Archive for the 'haruhi' Category

Haruhi meh

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

So far the only note is, Netflix ships DVDs in Haruhi (broadcast) DVD order. Other than that, nothing to be talking about really.

At least I’ve seen Tsuruya.

UPDATE: Damien wrote to correct my misconceptions about the order. The list is supposed to make it clear, but doesn’t.


Friday, November 30th, 2007

One odd experience of watching Haruhi now is how the history unfolds backwards. When one blogger insisted on calling Shiraishi “Taniguchi”, it confused me. Shiraishi didn’t voice Kyon, so what was it? Well, now I know, and I know where “Wa-wa-wasuremono” comes from. Curiously, both Shiraishi and Ono appear on Lucky Star as themselves, but only Shiraishi became a legend. Poor Ono! If only he were a girl, he could press idol DVDs.

UPDATE: A picture, for the archives.

Kyon and Taniguchi

Taniguchi is an object lesson how an excellent seyuu is unable to move a secondary role to the forefront in the same an actor would (if director permitted it).

Haruhi in motion

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

I’ve made an unprecendented step of rewatching a netflixed DVD yesterday, because I’ve completely turned around on Haruhi. I may expound on the reason later, but in one word: Kyon.

OK, one more sentence: the idea that he is the god is absolutely preposterous (not to mention, counter-textual in view of ep.6). The idea that The Fourth is Naruto had way more credibility and consistency than the concept of Kyon-god, before it was debunked explicitly by Kishimoto in Shippuunden, at least the way I see Haruhi. Oops, that’s two sentences.

My initial antipathy originated in my dislike for assholes, such as Haruhi. God or not, it’s not an excuse. If I don’t like you, I don’t want to watch an anime about you. It’s not that I like Kyon either, but there’s a certain personal connection now. After I gained this beachhead, I can watch for something else.

By the way, on the second pass I had subtitles off and it helped me to hear that one item on Kyon’s list of troublemakers was “jishou… toki wo kakeru shoujo” (a self-styled time-traveller girl). The traditional translation for Tokikake is “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”, which is literally correct, refers to the content, and sounds good in English. However, it may just be that “a time-jumper” is the stock phrase for a time-traveller. Did it occur to no-one?

Haruhi ends

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

I thought I would never be able to shake off the crazy blog hype that surrounded Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but I forgot about it pretty quickly. Perhaps because my impressions were contrary to most old writing that I saw.

Firstly, the animation quality jumps all over the place. It’s not terrible anywhere, but mediocore is certainly not past Kyoto, whenever they think they can get away with it. For example, this is outstanding:

This is not so outstanding:

Even if we agree to abstract away the dubious 3D, let’s look at Kyon’s face.

The second point is small: the episode order nazis can blow me (please pardon my potty mouth). It’s just fine as it is. Shuffle it all you want, it’s not going to do squat.

And finally, the biggest point I took away home was that Kyon is no rebel. He not just accepts his own fate of servitude, but rationalizes it (“for the sake of the world!”) and gets complicit in it. Perhaps even finds small fun here and there, or tries to ride the dragon. In order to drive the point home, creators trotted out Ryoko, who rebels and dies for it. I thought it was glorious.

This is not to say that Ryoko is good and Kyon is bad. Let’s remember that she thought she had a chance, so there was not much of a sacrifice in her, but quite a bit of miscalculation and recklessness. Still, she knew that it was likely to end badly, and stood up to the status quo.

By the way, I thought it was a very interesting use of color to highlight Ryoko’s supreme moment. Watch and lean, SHAFT.

There was also a story and the musting about what was happening, but IMHO it was seconday. Jonathan had a good run-down for anyone interested in questions like why Shamisen speaks.

Liked: Sorta.
Rewatch: About 3 for the 1st half.

Bandai’s prices

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Don writes:

Thank you Bandai, for simplifying my winter viewing. As a matter of policy, I don’t download series once they’re licensed. I don’t need to worry any more about Shigofumi or true tears. In fact, I probably will never see them at all, unless Bandai changes its insane pricing.

It’s fashionable to bemoan Bandai for the insane prices, but the reality was different so far. When I bought my Haruhi, it was about $22 for a 3-episode voluime. Not the cheapest price, but not “insane” either. And it was not a thinpack, but an honest first-time release.

I understand that fans must stay ever vigilant against attempts to impose the R2 price model upon the R1 (and thus collapse the whole market by making it even more niche than it is now), but so far their insane rhethoric has not translated into insane prices.

UPDATE: DiGiKerot e-mailed to remind that Bandai stands for two companies: Bandai Entertainment (the old and sane one, they released Haruhi), and Bandai Visual (the crazy one). The true tears is licensed by the crazy one.

If you want to see really crazy prices, you should go look at some of Bandai Visuals US Blu-Ray releases, some of which come with completely redundant DVD copies of exactly the same feature!

Mercifully, most of Bandai Visuals TV series licenses have been awful
thus far.

I knew about the two, but it completely slipped my mind when I wrote the above. And BD is going to be fun.

BTW, if I should’ve read the the announcement before blogging about it, because it leaves no doubt about the prices:

The first volume will ship with one episode on May 27 for US$29.99, and the next six volumes will ship with two episodes each for US$39.99.”

UPDATE: Avatar comments with puzzlement.

The Redundancy of Anime Notebook

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Actually this post is not about Ani-nouto in the same way Damien’s post is about the technicalities of Moe Check. Instead, I just want to make a play on a play on a meme, in a post about a different but related meme: Kyonko. There is also a second play: everyone knows about Kyonko by now, so this post is redundant. In fact, the whole site is.

Nonetheless, here’s picture he posted (Kyonko on the left, Itsuko on the right):

Too bad there’s no Miss Taniguchi.

I am not amused by the sex swap per se, primarily because I think Ranma squeezed that particular lemon dry back in the 80s. But the layers upon layers of memezation, and the unexpected strength of Lucky Star as a recognizeable symbol are amusing to me.

P.S. Truth to be told, Kyonko does play some angles on the swap which Ranma didn’t. Specifically, the favourite joke of Kyonko is how all the relationships and actions become ridiculous after the swap, e.g. Mr. Yuki Nagato inviting Kyonko to his room late in the evening. It’s the schtick advocates of colorblind society enjoy a lot, and it never gets old. So, Kyonko is not completely redundant, unlike Ani-nouto.

UPDATE: Daniel of Animanachronism (in comments elsewhere, rascal):

Kyonko is indeed moe. I’ve been wondering about this myself. The original Kyon wasn’t moe, but he had a compelling personality (a good thing too, since the whole show’s filtered through his experience), so I thought maybe part of Kyonko’s attraction is the tantalising idea that she’s a witty and sarcastic girl with whom we’re almost familiar.

I’m wondering. Koyomi Mizuhara was certainly compelling… Then, we had Kagamin. But coincidentially, both were defined by a oppositional relationship. Would such a character stand alone?

SDB on Haruhi

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Steven posted a review of [Melanholy of] Haruhi [Suzumiya], which reiterated and assembled the points he has made before.

I only have a few small bones to pick… Firstly, Haruhi is not “gorgeous”, only pretty; Ryoko is gorgeous. Also, I think Kyon is somewhat interesting character, so “Cliche” is not the word I would use. Certainly, the concept of being goaded into love is not unknown. The beginning of Kiminozo, which I suspended just the other day, plays upon the same idea. The twist in Haruhi is, if Kyon strays then the universe may crack. So, his responsibility is far greater than that of Takayuki.

But overall, I mostly agree with his assessement, and I did buy the two first DVDs.

New Haruhi

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

I was busy with life for a couple of days, and now I’m not only missing the Tower of Druaga, but completely overwhelmed by the bloggage. I think, one most important note is the designs of new Haruhi at Canned Dogs.

They should’ve given it to Toei, for lulz. But no, it’s Kyoto again.

P.S. Kuro hosts comments for this.

Brickmuppet opens Haruhi

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Brickmuppet defies the broadcast order nazis to produce this:

Haruhi Suzumia is bored…completely…utterly…bored. She dispairs of her banal existance and wants desperatly to do interesting and unusual things and by golly she is going to try to make said things happen!

This is, on the surface, a really cool character trait and certainly should be an excellent start for anything…unfortunately Haruhi is not a particularly good person, in fact she is a borderline sociopath.

Haruhi is, you see, one of those obnoxious, pushy, psychobitch fangirls many of us have had the misfortune of encountering over the years, the manipulative narcissistic female bully to whom all people she encounters are nothing but disposable red-shirt bit players in the glorious Mary Sue story that she believes her life must be. Unfettered with any ethical inhibitions and adept at avoiding any serious sanctions for her increasingly bizarre actions, Haruhi collects a likeable but hapless band of bit players through intimidation and kidnapping to join her highschool club (the SOS Brigade) and help her achieve a state of not-boredom……

Even with the benefit of watching the whole thing, I happen to agree. I did not blog the Haruhi’s nastiness, and preferred to concentrate on positives, such as they are: cowardice and passive-aggressive outlook of Kyon, tragic moe of restless and doomed Ryoko. This blog is negative enough as it is. But thinking about it again, it’s not a nice show, and Haruhi herself plays a major part in it.

Dame-dame on Waiting For Haruhi

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Suguru laments the long gap between releases:

I remember someone at Kyoani mentioning at one point that they wanted Haruhi to be like the Gundam franchise for them–someone needs to go to Kyoto and tell them you don’t built a franchise by just sitting on a one-cour series for years and throwing out the occasional teaser. I can’t say they’ve killed my interest in the series, because I’m sure I’ll be counting the days until the next season airs regardless of if it’s in 2009 or 2039, but I’m starting to wish J.C. Staff or some other studio would do the second season just to get things moving already.

Personally, I’m not enthusiastic with attempts by studios to find “another Gundam”. This may have to do with the distaste for sequels (after all, I rejected the ef ~melo~ after the success of ef ~memo~: highest post count on Ani-nouto), but generally I’m open to the idea. I may yet like 0083 after 08th MS Team. The difference between Haruhi and Gundam is that the former franchise, if ever occurs, would be based on direct sequels.

Given the above, the gap between releases makes no difference to me. I’m going to evaluate the new Haruhi on the basis of its merits. In this, too, Suguru’s reaction is antagonistic to mine. I wonder who’s in the majority?

The delay in the light novels is just baffling — the 10th light novel, “The Surprise of Suzumiya Haruhi”, was scheduled to come out in summer ’07, but the publisher announced it would be delayed, and a year and a half later we’re still waiting with no release date in sight. Given the ninth novel had a pretty ambitious plot, with two parallel universes/stories of sorts going on, I’m a little worried the author just got in over his head and has no idea how to continue the story. Or worse, the author’s at some kind of impasse with his editors, where he wants to do something drastic like kill off Mikuru but the editors are petrified that’ll piss off the fans.

Heh. I wonder if they have any plans to resurrect Ryoko? That might increase chances that I’d watch the thing. Although, if they corrupt her character in the same way their colleagues from other studio dealt with Kuroki in Paris-hen, I may swear undying hatred.