Archive for the 'mahoraba' Category

Sorting pictures

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

I was sorting screencaps today and found that the last pass over Mahoraba left 138 new frames. If I had a top rotation, it would rival the best in the field. I cannot resist sharing some of it. Or can I? OK, just one now.

After her crushing defeat, depressed Tamami is getting drunk on the orange juice, with Momono-san serving her. It wasn’t explained specifically, but I think that she’s using her super-human biochemistry to crack sugars in the juice into the alcohols.

AD2225 on (early) Mahoraba

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Seen at AD2225:

At the beginning of every episode we meet a new personality, the main character, Shiratori, does a children’s book sort of telling of meeting another princess, that all live in this castle. I think the castle is like Kozue’s body. (The landlady.)

The word “every” tells us that he’s very early into the story. There aren’t that many of them, it’s not a Sister Princess.

I am pretty sure that Shiratori did not think of the castle as the body, if only because the transformations include the bodies. It’s only a castle. BTW, at some point the prince enters the castle… Too much Freud is bad for you.

And I’m wondering how they met in the past fits together. Every now and then I catch Kozue saying something suspect that feels like it’s leading up to something.

I find it difficult not to throw heavy spoilers around while talking about Mahoraba at the level of detail AD2225 aims at. Perhaps it is a good idea to maintain some kind of out-of-line page. This is what WordPress has “pages” for, after all… Maybe later.

I think any idiot understands after one episode that Kozue and Shiratori have to get together. Sakura petals were falling when they met, so… It’s the law of the genre. It wasn’t their first meeting, but since no Childhood Marriage Promise was involved, this one is presented as fateful. Since it’s unavoidable, a small spoiler: circumstances jogged Shiratori memory later and he remembered seeing Kozue before, but it did not play a huge role, just a nice play with the concept.

Mahoraba is crap

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

I love Mahoraba, I really do. But I love it despite its many shortcomings.

For example, the reflection in the image below pisses me off (I don’t think it spoils, even if you look very closely… Those who haven’t seen it may try to guess what is going on. But even if you win, it’s not a big deal.):

Retarded animators did this.

Have the animators ever seen a mirror?! I can understand that animators may not know how dog’s snout looks when someone stuffs a ball of medicine down its throat [^1], but mirror is far more common and simpler to draw, one might think!

So, I am trying to be cautious and avoid recommending Mahoraba. I don’t want to be responsible to disappointment. If you are ready to fall in with the magic, good, it will be a fun ride. If you turn away, no problem from my side. You can have an impeccable anime taste and not care for Mahoraba in the same time.


^1: It is a story, possibly apocryphical, commonly told about studio Ghibli. When Mr. Miyazaki wanted Haku to look like an angry dog, his staff was unable to fulfill his wish, because none of them have seen a snarling dog well enough with their mind’s eye to re-create it for the movie.

Oregon ni massugu GO

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Gir:

The series ends on a sad note with Mikan leaving for, OREGON?! Who knows why Oregon of all places but it’s still very sad.

I suppose quite a few animebloggers think that there’s nothing in Oregon except Steven Den Beste, but actually one of their universities scored a cooperative program with Waseda. Visit wasedaoregon.org for details. Maybe the creators heard about it. Waseda is a relatively well known school… BTW, in Mahoraba, Momo goes to a school called “鷲田”, which can plausibly be called “Washida”. I wonder if it’s a reference.

The smooth-talkers

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

When I watched Shingu, I had an feeling that I’ve met Hajime before. On reflection I think that it comes to his ability to set things straight by talking to people. This might not be a real trope, but it’s something reasonably discrete (more so than “moe”, perhaps). The little theatrise below contain spoilers for Shingu, Mahoraba, Fruits Basket, and Hanaukyo Maid Team.

Hajime Murata is the archetype. His premise is a regular guy who gets to rub with magic users. He has no magical abilities of his own, so in order to be level with them he is awarded a special ability: smooth-talking his associates. As a result, they are sufficiently enthralled to let him into their inner circle, and so the adventures and whacky hijinks ensue. So, this is the basic formula. It allows to avoid the trope of the guy who suddenly pilots the mecha/ship/etc. without any training. For some reason the populus believes that it’s natural for such smooth-talking to be innate and accomplished without any training under the difficult conditions of extemporaneous communication; all the hero needs to do is be the nice himself and presto! everyone is charmed.

Toru Honda is essentially a girl Hajime, and so in addition to the power to smooth-talk she commands the power of girls. She gets to demonstrate her enormous skills at running the household and adhering to gender roles. She would be impressive even if she said as little as Kasumi Tendo. This obscures her smooth-talking talent, but it’s still quite present. When applying it, Toru often is a one-trick pony, trying the same approach of “let’s all get along” and big-eye charm even to utter assholes who by all rights should not be vulnerable. But it’s not quite as dire and she can be smarter than that if she wants to [citation needed — rewatch how she dealt with the little rabbit jerkface; other later relations?]. Maybe she’s just intellectually lazy (and lacks good sleep due to all the chores).

Ryuushi Shiratori is different in the way that he has to excercise his smooth-talking talents on manifestations of Kozue. That is the secret circle which accepts him, and the obvious circle of residents is slaved to it. They don’t even have any extraordinarily abilities; they are but keepers of the secret. The only exception to this is Tamami, and perhaps this is why Shiratori has to deal her and her alone such a crushing defeat with his golden tongue. The raw difficulty of the tasks in front of Hajime and Shiratori is about the same, that is to say, they are very hard. However, Hajime’s responsibility is greater, he cannot fall back on his drawing skills for support, and he does not permit others to mop the floor with him as much. This is why he is the archetype.

Taro Hanaukyo is different from everyone else on this list by virtue of possessing a proper authority. So, strictly speaking, he doesn’t have to be on top of the smooth-talking game. We saw plenty of effective leaders who weren’t as astute in this regard. However, he is good at it, which helps. As it was argued elsewhere, it’s likely that Taro is at least partially telepatic. Still, even if he relies on the additional information obtained telepatically, he has to talk overtly to his subordinates to win their trust and make them work smoothly as a unit, so he certainly belongs into the group anchored by Hajime.

The Right Stuf’s teasing

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

I think that the only series to do justice to the amount of hype is Nanoha. The problem with my argument is, companies usually overhype.

The released hints are far too vague to interpret. Someone at AoD forums [link gone stale] made an observation that the deleted text of the second hint might be more revealing, and that’s why it was deleted. It read (deleted part in italic): “This one will be a bit longer. The paperwork is now on my desk! This one that goes here will make people heads explode. That would be messy!“. I don’t remember many exploding heads after Elfen Lied, so I guess the text was deleted because of possible implications between “mess” and the licensing process, not the content of the show.

P.S. My head might explode if Mahoraba were licensed, but I’m not holding my breath. The series which missed the boat are usually licensed by bottom feeders, not matter how popular, and TRSI is not one. Case in point, the license of Yawarra by AnimeEigo. Yawarra ran together with Ranma and had better rankings. I personally know people who thought that it was better series than Ranma. Nonetheless, it wasn’t licensed by ADV; not even by MediaBlasters.

UPDATE: It was Maria-sama ga Miteru under the name “Maria Watches Over Us”. See also, Cutest Cosplayers Ever.

UPDATE 2: I forgot to mention, TRSI licensed 3 seasons (2 TV and the OVA), but apparently 4th season was announced.

LATER UPDATE: Since the forums moved, here’s the list of hints:

  • It’s “coming soon!” It’s a done deal. All will be revealed. Who will be happy?
  • This one will be a bit longer. The paperwork is now on my desk! [Author: this where exploding heads were added.]
  • This one I have a draft on now. Drafts are good, but they are not final enough.
  • And if this last thing goes through, everyone will cheer.

To be continued.

Sixten on Azumanga

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Sixten agitates for Azumanga with an essay. It’s good effort, although I see that nailing the secret is hard. He comes very close with the “transition between funny and heartful”.

Little Snow Fairy Sugar and Mahoraba – Heartful Days are the only two J.C.Staff series I consider superior to Azumanga.

IMHO, Mahoraba is nice, I even have note collection for it, but it’s no Azumanga. It is overlong for its story and is full of filler, it has many more animation defects, characterization of Kozue’s alts is uneven (Saki is a person, Chiyuri is a caricature), Shiratori takes a very long time — over 8 episodes — to start doing his job, and the big story is not properly resolved despite the length. In short, it’s not made to the Azumanga’s standard of quality, not even close.

On top of uninspired execution, where Azumanga blazed new trail and became a yardstick for innumerous wannabees, Mahoraba was formulaic. Its only claim to fame is the unusual composition of the harem.

Certainly, Mahoraba did an exempliary job in making brain damage look cute, without the intensity the ef brought into the discourse. It’s relaxing to watch, especially if you know that it has a good end (my R index for Mahoraba is 4.5). And the comedy is at the level of Azumanga. But it’s not enough to enter the pantheon, as far as I am concerned.

TAF is tomorrow

Friday, March 28th, 2008

I settled in enough to ride the subway and receive our tickets from Mr. Rio Fujita, a collegue from our company’s Tokyo office. I even visited Tonkatsu Tonki, thanks to J. Greely’s instructions. All in all, navigating was remarkably trouble-free so far.

Akihabara was rather meh. It’s interesting how there’s a ton of merch for Maburaho and Mahoromatic, but nothing for Mahoraba. Now I wonder if it’s not licensed because R1 companies consider it a poor seller and avoid it. That would be a great misfortune if true.

It looks that aside from Rio, I’m not meeting anyone. Since my Japanese is not where it would sustain even a halting conversation, I need an English speaker. But the only fluent person I knew moved to Ahisashikawa. And if I run into any animebloggers at TAF, I won’t recognize them.

Unless something comes up unexpectedly, I’m going to spend Monday wandering around aimlessly.

Another order is received

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Good to my word, I ordered the DVD 1 of the Windy Tales (Fuujin Monogatari), and added Mahoraba v.2 to complement the v.1 that I brought from Tokyo in March.

Obviously I’ve seen both, but you know… supporting the industry etc.

Aroduc on the movement of staff

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

On #animeblogger a few minutes ago (links mine):

<hikago> some of the “camera” work is nice in mahoraba
<hikago> like we get a first person view from shiratori and pink=haired one signals with her hands to focus more on her
<hikago> and the view shifts accordingly
<hikago> don’t see that much in animu
<Aroduc> Guess what that director is doing now.
<hikago> no idea
<Aroduc> Juuden
<Aroduc> Same script writer too
<hikago> WTF
<hikago> this is madness
<hikago> I can’t make the connection
<Aroduc> Script writer was also the head for Potemayo.