Archive for the 'midori days' Category

Ayase Days

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

We all have our hangups. I steer away from yaoi, traps, and lesbians — although only when they are real, so Mikan does not count. And even then everything is balanced against the overall quality (which is why Simoun is still teetering in my evaluation list after a year). Steven, apparently, has issues with masturbation (and judging by the font size, these issues are pretty big: 36 points or larger).

I didn’t see much of Midori no Hibi, because I became bored too quickly, but I remember how amazing it looked. It was especially noticeable in shots of Ayase. I think it had something to do with the pioneering use of computers in 2D by Studio Perrot, at the time when every studio tried to push 3D, and consumers pushed back. One way or the other, the result was groundbreaking.

Midori no Hibi begins

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

I ordered Midori Days from Netflix with a certain trepidation. I pride myself on being spoiler-proof, but I managed to spoil myself by reading old Lawson’s bloggage (and that means old old bloggage, before Hop Step Jump). So I know that Ayase is a kind of a prototype for Ami of Toradora. But this series has an ending.

Everything was quite good so far. The organization of the beginning is similar to Ranma or Kamichu, where viewers are made to face the life-altering fact at the start, and everything flows from there, with the backstory filled in as necessary. Simple and effective. Everyone is likeable and acts naturally. Honestly, I’m concerned… Some bloggers said that the series is “forgettable” (Aroduc went as far as say that every time with Ayase on screen was “painful”). But I’m enjoying this a lot.

Netflix mapping 2

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Netflix delayed Midori Days v.3 several times. It was in the queue before Nanoha v.1 and only arrived together with Nanoha v.3, a month or two later. Netflix recently got into a habit of bypassing the top of the queue and sending discs from follwing positions. I suspect this means that Midori no Hibi v.3 is getting rare (although officially there’s no “Wait” indication), and so into Netflix Mapping it goes. Please take care while watching this disc!

Spotting reports are welcome by e-mail as usual.

Midori no Hibi 08

Monday, January 26th, 2009

I’ve seen 12 episodes and saved the last one to be savoured later. But no matter what happens, Midori no Hibi has already done a remarkable thing: it made me to like the filler. I’ve seen some pretty strong filler before, in RahXephon 15 and Kamichu 12, for instance. But Midori Days 08 was special.

From certain point of view, neither of the three are pure filter. In RahXephon‘s case, we even learn something of material importance about the background of the characters. And in Midori’s case, she probably learned a thing or two about herself. It’s just that in neither case there was a direct impact on the story and all three are a filler in a sense they can me omitted without damaging the story.

One of the best things about the Midori’s case is the way creators played with the characters without overdoing it. I’ve seen many convoluted dream sequences before. Some were downright delirious, like Hidamari Sketch 05. MnH, however, does not become recursive, or such (even in the final frame, the depth is limited to 2, see the screencap above). And in general, the episode was plain old nice, e.g. the Iwasaki’s anger at dense boys.

Due to Netflix’s idiocy I interleaved Midori no Hibi with Nanoha disc by disc, and the former wins hands down. It’s more entertaining, more sophisticated, more interesting that its highly acclaimed and popular accidential rival. Who knew?!

Midori no Hibi ends

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

As I mentioned in the opener post, Lawson’s old old blog was my primary reference, but as I think now Brickmuppet prompted me to act. When he says “NO FREAKKING WAI GTFO” in bold underlined italics, it must be good, right? And it was!

I regret to say that I have to break with Lawson on this. He joined with the “cute but forgettable” crowd, which is rational but seems like missing some point. MnH does not deserve more from a film critic, but it feels better than its merits.

Liked: YES
Rewatch: Probably.

Midori no Hibi for $20

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

That’s right, RACS has the whole season for $19.98. Of course I grabbed it.

This is a Media Blasters release, so it’s thin on extras. Still, it includes stickers, which are very handy to mark laptops. I was running low.

Midori Days, a visual retrospective

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Unlike the one for J2, this entry is going to spoil minimally, but still. Caveat emptor.

Midori no Hibi was the last series from my happy anime days, and perhaps this is why it feels more special than it should. But even now I think it’s generally underappreciated, like Dai-Guard.

I already expended three great entries for beginning, middle, and end. But there’s plenty more.

One of my biggest bones with characters is that Seiji treats Midori poorly. He rejects her heart-shaped carrots, scolds her for sneezing, etc. I really want to think that I would raise above such petulance and meanniness in his place. We know that he cares for her, which is great and all, but this kind of behaviour does not bode well for their future. It’s 20 years of marriage experience speaking here.

This is a “flashforth”. Note the cat, a recurring gag, wearing the same glasses. I have a feeling that animators had fun working on this.

Shiori is supposed to play a role similar to Futaba in Shingu. Sadly, I think she’s not quite there. For one thing, she’s not as innocent in her advances. Also, the gag nature of the series undercuts her character by making her waste her screen time on the gags. And finally, she’s at the center of weirdest pedagogical case I’ve seen in a while (unfortunately, too spoilerish to discuss — I’m talking about the end of ep.06).

The series’ true otaku is not as annoying as he could be. Not unexpectedly, he drives the visit to Comiket and thus a whole episode of filler. I found the fillers in Midori rather bearable. Most or all of them are made to include some elements about Midori or Seiji, plugged into the continuity (I call them fillers because they are easy to cut), and generally are fun. It’s somewhat like Kamichu (where certain people liked ep.08; and I liked ep.12).

In some ways, Midori has a sensible world. For example, Seiji questions the fact that Midori is so skilled at housework despite coming from a typical anime rich family with a mansion.

In other ways, not so much. Little Midori never eats (if I remember right), but she certainly drinks. Does anyone else wonder what happens to the material she consumes? It probably is unfair to ask. She is a magical creature. But for some reason I find it easier to accept that she can rotate a full circle upon her attachment than problems with her body design. I would not say that my suspension of disbelief was unduly taxed overall, but there are some small yet intractable problems.

Animation in Midori is generally acceptable, and some parts are just done very well. I especially like designs of secondary girl characters like Iwasaki and friends of Ayase. But at Studio Pierrot they just cannot seem to keep it up for 13 episodes without a lapse. Azumanga, where are you?

Almost looks like a fishbowl shot, doesn’t it? I’m not telling what (or whom) they are seeing though.

The love umbrella.

This much fetish power made me reel, I have to admit. Not sure if the name signifies anything or not.

Iwasaki, it’s impossible not to love you (unless one is extremely unobservant, evidently).

This is the scene from ep.11 where Midori is trying to hold Seiji to his word. More importantly though, we can see Seiji’s pencil case. The weird part for me is, in my school students generally stopped carrying them by the 7th grade (or earlier). But I guess not in Japan. I began paying attention to it back when Azumanga included every girl’s pencil case into DVD extras as some important design element (mind, the infamous eye cheatsheets were not included). Is there a meaning here I fail to grasp?

I don’t know if I could take living in Japan, where people are happy to eat a roasted hamburger patty… I know that Seiji’s finances are rather shaky, but this is just bad.

And finally, Ayase. I like her. I think one of the points of having her around is to let Midori to remark on their similarities. Aroduc also remarked at #animeblogger that “every time having Ayase on screen was painful”, and in ep.07 I noted “OK, Aroduc was right, this is painful.” Perhaps part of the pain for me was to realize that her idiotic theatrics only hurt herself. Also, it was impossible to guess if she liked her own visions of grandeur more than reality and/or Seiji (fortunately, the question was resolved in the grand finale).