Archive for the 'Joshiraku' Category

Joshiraku begins

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

That’s right, the “begins” bracket after just one episode. It does not owe to Joshiraku being all that brilliant, but rather earnest and straightforward, with little chance of pulling a deceptive 1st episode on us (I look at you, Natsu no Arashi).

In watching exhuberance I tagged Joshiraku as series of the season. This needs an explanation (perhaps a longer one than “too weaboo”). It is not an outstanding anime, and we’re not experiencing a story. If anything, it’s a cross of education content of Sunred and cuteness of GA:GADC. The first episode includes a black-screen warning “the dialog was intentionally kept plain in order not to obstruct your appreciation of how cute these girls are”.

Without even visiting Seiha, I imagine Aroduc laying hate on how the comedic timing is off, the innovation not there, lazy writing, or whatnot. All true, but it’s completely not the point here. The point is that I knew half or more of whatever the TL post listed. Or even more than they listed. For example, remember how the 1970-vintage Momoe Sanemori yells “baka yarou!” at the sea? I thought the scene implied a specific issue with the sea, like its impervious nature. But it turned out to be a stock phrase like “Tamayaaaaa!”. And when I see kids riding a Type 61 tank, I think of Bokura no Nanokan Sensou. Note that anime creators selected Type 61, and not Type 74, or Type 90, which is far more modern.

P.S. Ana-sempai’s junior thesis was Rakugo. Maybe I should unearth that.

P.P.S. Has dancing chibis.

P.P.P.S. J.C. Staff redeem themselves after Kill Me Baby, which was equally unfunny, but on a useless material.

UPDATE: Drats, he outsmated me:

Kudos to the director there for keeping things flowing at a good pace for humor. […] I laughed more than a few times at least, so that puts it above most of the rest of the shows today. A lot of the better jokes were pretty lingual though, so I’m not sure how well it’ll carry over for the subtitle crowd.

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.

Aroduc on Joshiraku

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

02:

Not so good, although I am glad they cut down the actual rakugo bits. The entire second portion was talking about various Japanese towers, so… yeah.

03:

The first third wasn’t too bad. // The middle travel segment was just as lame as the last one. They lack even the nice visual direction, instead just drawing various places. Yawn. // The third [segment] was probably the best, not to mention the most weird and violent.

04:

The first two parts weren’t particularly good. The middle travel part was a little better than usual since it was about motion sickness instead of rambling aimlessly about various Japanese landmarks, but it was still pretty dumb.

05:

As feels typical, only about one segment was decent.

Marii-san is not amused. Perhaps because she’s naked.

To be fair though, the task in front of the creators was about as big as before Kaufman when he scripted “The Adaptation”. And they even joked about it in ep.1.

Going BRW on Joshiraku

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The recent turmoil at GG prompted me to give a good try to Joshiraku raw. The result is an interesting mix of things that are easy and difficult to pick up. The phenomena is somewhat awkward to explain, but here’s a visual example from a single segment.

This frame is easy. Gan-chan wins “Miss Lens Frame” against a cast of noble meganekkos: Tsubasa Hanekawa of Bakemonogatari, Ritsuko Akizuki of Idolm@ster, Nodoka Manabe of K-ON, and Ichika Takatsuki of Ano Natsu. Don’t ask me how Tsubasa qualified for this exclusive list.

This frame is moderate. Kigu wins something of a “Miss Most Cultivated Youth of Tokyo Metropolitan Area”, 東京都(とうきょうと) 青少年(せいしょうねん) 育成(いくせい). Chiyo-chan requires no introduction. Kyon’s Younger Sister next to her is more or less obvious. But the two remaining youths are a mystery. Note that they are not even prodigies – just iconic anime little girls.

This frame is hard, and that is despite the katakana. Teto wins “Miss Young Sunday”, which is impossible to crack without the cultural knowledge. Google provides some fascinating hints. Characters are no easier. I have no idea who they are and what is common among them, and what links them all to Tetora. The leftmost outline reminds of the lead in that A-1 show, the name of which escapes me at the moment.

Verbal jokes in Joshiraku cover a similar spectrum of difficulty. The glass-half-full view is that it’s not a completely impenetrable jumble, far from it. Even rudimentary Japanese will carry you to a good enjoyment. And not having to strain reading helps to enjoy how cute girls are by a lot.

QUICKIE: “ヤングサンデー” is a magazine, which features attractive young women in bikini on its cover. That much is obvious. The question is who the characters are and why they belong to the group.

UPDATE: Steven recruits help. Everyone seems to know Last Order, but how about the girl in furit hat? And the energetic older women?

AAAND, that was quick. The missing small girl is from Cooking Idol. The remaining 3 ripe women are Yuki Mochizuki of Tomehane, Mari Oda of Toritsu_Mizusho, and the titular character of Miyuki (the hoodie and blouse were on the cover of issue 1; also, not serialized in Young Sunday).

UPDATE 2012/09/29: As said on Twitter, the title may be supposed to refer 東京都(とうきょうと)青少年(せいしょうねん)の健全(けんぜん)な育成(いくせい)に関する条例. Very likely, I missed that. However, I think the joke shoots itself in the foot: if Kigu and the runner-ups are what the law brings us, then it’s not a bad law, the joke says. It’s like that photograph of a leftist chick with a sign: “Fighting for Peace Is Like Fucking for Virginity”. Everyone immediately noticed that fucking is the only known way to make virginity. Not condoning the awful censorship by Japanese Mayor Bloomberg (why is it always the cities), but heh.

Dancing Chibis ED

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Apropos J.C.Staff making amends for the awful Kill Me Baby, was there ever a bad anime with dancing chibis ED? Or is that a mark of director’s impeccable taste?

UPDATE: Steven says that Happy Lesson was one.

Tsutomu Mizushima also helmed Dokuro-chan, the vilest anime produced with utmost professionalism.

UPDATE:

Peter S. goes BRW on Joshiraku

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Obviously, I was not the only one who went raw when GG stumbled after ep.7. Peter documents the experience after rewatching subbed:

I am pleased to report that I got the repetition of “new” in the first bit, and April wasn’t hard. Other than that I had to follow the visual action. So I didn’t know what the envelopes were all about, but I could tell the girls were keen on the money inside. The visit to wherever it is went right past me, apart from spilling water on Gankyou. As for the April part, all I knew was that it was April 40 and everyone was trying to cheer up Kukuru for some reason. Weird to say that the raw was not as dull as I thought it would be. In fact, knowing what they were talking about almost ruined it.

It’s about what I got too, more or less (e.g. I knew what otoshidama was). The important part is that subs do materially detract, going raw makes the effect impossible not to notice, and it’s something that fans of sub-only releases tend to ignore or deny.

Joshiraku ends

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

And what an ending it was. I watched a few epic endings in my anime-watching career, and this one was right there, or at least felt that way – in an anime about cute girls doing nothing, and which had no story. In Azumanga, the graduation was the linchpin, but in Joshiraku they completely pulled it out from the thin air.

By the time the traditional chibi dance started, I forgave Gan for being an asshole, Kigu for being a two-face, Marii for being stupid, and Kukuru for subverting the beloved stereotype for the worst. Teto needed no forgiveness, of course.

Welcome back, J.C.Staff. I missed you.

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: Yes. Raw, of course.

P.S. Looked at a screencap collection with the purpose of Visual Retrospective, and it’s just insane. I can easily do a 80-cap run. Gold, pure gold, in every one. This is going to be tough to trim.

Books

Monday, January 21st, 2013

I am back to reading books on paper for the moment.

That is Joshiraku manga on the right, and yes, I took a picture of its back cover by mistake. It is a limited edition that comes with a combo audio/data CD. The audio portion containes rakugo skits (of course!), and the data portion has an assortment of things, such as scripts in PDF, and wallpapers.

The wallpapers go as far as 1600 resolution, but all of them are in 4:3 format. What gives?

Joshiraku rewatch

Friday, September 26th, 2014

For some reason I keep rewatching it raw. Of course, I use pirated raws for convenience’s sake, although I have the R2 DVDs. Anyhow, I understand perhaps 10%, so I would be hard pressed to point out the reason.

Oh, wait. It was predicted in the end-bracket post.

UPDATE: Don, too.

Steven, don’t fall for it!

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

In a comment at Brickmuppet’s:

That GIF file is driving me nuts because I can’t remember the show it’s from. I remember when it ran a few years ago, but I didn’t watch it. It’s about a group of women who entertain their audience by telling stories, right?

The dancing chibis are only the ED! Not the anime itself!