Archive for the 'nazo no kanojo x' Category

Nazo no Kanojo X 01

Monday, June 18th, 2012

For some reason, the one thing that got stuck in my mind about Mysterious Gf X was Otou‘s initial reaction (on Twitter, quoting approximately from memory): “icky trappings aside, it’s just a bad relationship, man”. He later completely recanted, so it’s not even the truth, but it kept the series on the radar, until Pixy gave it good marks. Poor Mauser was doing all the heavy-lifting ([1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]), but it was all for naught.

One way or the other, I watched an episode, generally liked what I saw, but am going to put the series aside for now (don’t even want to post “X begins”). I did not know what to expect: possibly Tsubaki and Urabe entering a magical contract and fighting some ghosts. In the event, it turned out a typical story: boy meets girl, they fuck, fall in love, and have 25 episodes of character development. The innovation here is that they kick-start things with erzatz sex instead of the normal one, but generally the anime promises to shape as an equivalent of Kimi ni Todoke, only for dirty-minded. In other words, essentially endless. Not only that, the material of school romance is starting to get to me. I can deal with something nice like Ano Natsu once in a while, but not every blessed season, please. Put some mecha into it or something, at least.

Beautiful artwork, however. And the Kamichu‘s 1980s.

Fencedude on Nazo no Kanojo X finale

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

He says, “Not really an ending, but a good place to stop for now.” Sounds like a decent show for a queue.

UPDATE: Chris Beveridge has more:

In the end, nothing is really resolved, which makes sense, as the manga’s been running for several years past the point where the show ended. We never find out what makes Urabe so “mysterious,” so those hoping for a final reveal will be disappointed. But in the end that’s really beside the point. It’s been a relaxing, sweet, nostalgic slice of life show, with a bit of supernatural psychic powers to add a twist. The choice to use drool as the catalyst for the supernatural is a questionable choice, but what’s done is done.

John Sato on Nazo no Kanojo X

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

This is interesting, and although I only watched a couple of episodes, I think he may be on to something:

MGX has no conflict or confusion about its fanservice. Instead, it actually embraces it, making it a major plot device. What I find interesting is that MGX manages to make its fanservice acceptable and unobjectionable despite failing to make it particularly classy or elegant.

So why is it that I still watched this show every week […]? The answer is romance. See, MGX, for all its drool, blushing, and fetish representing, is the story of two high schoolers in love. Sure, it’s a very… unique, very very awkward, and at times frustrated love, but that doesn’t change its core nature. How does fanservice fit into all of this? Because it’s a lesser part of a greater whole. MGX embraces its various fanservice elements, and it makes them less important than the story. And that solves the greatest problem associated with fanservice; stopping the story for it. For all its drool, MGX is all about being in a relationship.

John uses “fanservice” to describe something other than fanservice as I know it. Rather than depictions of pretty girls, he is talking about the hypersexualization messaging through innuendo (e.g. Urabe undressing, notionally off camera, and posting signs of extreme arousal is what? People were panning Upotte so badly for it.). So just run s/fanservice/johnservice/ in the text above, if that helps.

With terminology aside, isn’t it nice that they “did not stop story for it”?

Oh and heh:

If I had to describe the experience of watching MGX with one word, I have no doubt in my mind that the word I’d pick would be uncomfortable. […] If you thought that the idea of someone licking another person’s drool off their finger was awkward (and it is), then you’ve got another thing coming when this show really steps things up.

When I find an anime “uncomfortable”, I drop it (“uncomfortable” was my capsule reason to suspend Accel World; Chihayafuru received “maddening”). John persists, so he’s not uncomfortable enough, without quotes, when he’s “uncomfortable”. I don’t want to press the point too far before I finish the series, considering that it “steps up” somewhere ahead, but it’s possible that our dictionaries split again.

Nazo no Kanojo X OVA on 8/23

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Just noticed that ANN claims an upcoming release, to be bundled with a limited edition manga v.9 in late August. Tempting, if it’s real. But most likely they are out of preorder slots already, it’s July.

Who is Karen Iwata?

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Take it from a seiyuus ignoramus: one of the biggest things that I marked about AKB0048 01 was how Nagisa’s voice was far too big for her character, even after the 4-year timeskip. The effect is somewhat similar to what many were observing about Urabe (CV: Ayako Yoshitani). The most common reaction was how the voice was “surprising”. Mauser wrote, “[Urabe’s] voice actress has a very unique voice, totally atypical for anime girls, but appealing.” Karen Iwata’s work voice is not quite as unique, but it is equally unexpected for Nagisa.

Mrs Iwata has no roles listed at ANN, which may mean anything. A stage name, for instance. Or an escapee from pornography, like Natsumi Yanase. But unlike the latter, I do not expect Nagisa’s voice to be as controversial as Chihiro’s was in ef.

UPDATE: Omo tweets the obvious: she is a member of AKB48 group! But of course. For some reason I thought that AKB48 talent was going to voice the “elder generation” or even cameos of “original” AKB48 in “historic recordings”. This brings up how I was at a panel with Yoko Ishida and someone asked her if she’d like to do some voicework. She reacted with a fright. Said that seiyuu were far too professional and she could never do it. Well, Mrs. Ishida… Karen Iwata seems succeeding admirably to me, except being somewhat inflexible at the squeaky range, perhaps.

UPDATE: Fencedude (a staff writer at Sea Slugs) twittered a link to official character page, which includes a picture of Karen. She is the only one with a different haircut! Also, her name is spelled as “華怜”. It’s like “Marina”: having a surprise kanji.

UPDATE in 2015: I completely forgot — until I reviewed this post today — that Karen wore long hair once before. She started to grow it back again in 2015, but then cut it again.

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.

Steelbound on drool in Nazo no Kanojo X

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

The Null Set:

To me, the drool angle was a very important component, not merely superfluous, because it was used to let the viewer feel the approximate same uncomfortable feelings both the main characters felt throughout the series as they stumble and learn how to build a relationship between each other.

There’s something to it, no doubt. Note how the ick gets de-emphasized accordingly: first it’s a big deal, shown unfolding in gross detail… But the sequence is gradually cut in length, extra messaging is removed, and we’re only left with a qick sign suck on a finger. But it all comes back for Oka! Because she’s new to the ritual obviously. Then she brings two bottles when Urabe trains for the relay.

Internet ruined Oka for me

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Look:

TV anime never was so good. Sure, Porco Rosso, yes, that was this good. But it was shorter, it was more expensive, and we knew it for being exceptional. Now, every other series has animated visuals like that.

Still, when I see Oka doing it, I cannot pass on snickering.

Oh god, why (there’s a rage face for that, too).

Mauser on Nazo no Kanojo X 12

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Spoilers have never been so fun. OK, maybe they have, strictly speaking, but YKWIM. It took me a while to start laughing out loud, I think it happened when I saw the two dudes commiserating while nursing identical injuries. And gosh, am I glad that nobody lost an eye to an amateur with scissors, because the danger was quite real.