Archive for the 'shingu' Category

Lawson on Stellvia and Shingu

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Seen at Hop Step Jump:

After a long wait, I recently finished Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars, otherwise known as the Sato Tatsuo show that isn’t Nadesico or Stellvia.

Ouch.

Haven’t seen Shingu, I cannot parse Jeff’s compare-and-contrast. Since I avoid bandwagons, I only marked Shingu for future perusal when one was gathering steam nearby… But I guess I am only postponing the inevitable now.

Blog comments (on Stellvia)

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

The discussion of blog comments just won’t go away. I saw a curious comment at Jeff Lawson’s Stellvia vs. Shingu by Craig Steven Calhoun:

One reason that Stellvia has more teen angst than Shingu is that there are no parents at the academy. In particular, Shipon’s mother’s juvenile prank at her send-off had to have been extremely isolating to Shipon. Nayuta not only lives with her parents (or at least her father), but she has been trained for her destiny since day one; although she clearly falls for Hajime, she never loses her self-control long enough to get herself kissed. It also helps that the female lead in Shingu falls for a normal human, while Shipon falls for her series unknowable god.

Just put it aside, I am not quite sure what juvenile prank Craig refers to. The special message was anything but juvenile and served to help Shipon, IMHO.

Anyway, it’s an excellent comment and it illustrates well what a blog without comments stands to lose. But we always knew that. The issue here is that species of Craig are just too rare to justify the expense of maintaining comments.

Get a goddamn blog, Craig. I’d link.

AD2225 jumps on Shingu bandwagon

Friday, July 27th, 2007

AD2225:

I wouldn’t quite say I’ve been enjoying it immensely, but it’s been close.

Heh. I’m the last hold-out, it appears.

Bandwagon departing, platform one

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

I marked the 19th anniversary a couple of days ago and guess what my spouse presented me? Yes. That’s right. Next blog entry may be delayed while I deal with the aftermath. I am going to deem Steven personally responsible for the consequences…

Futaba’s marriage dreams

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

At one point, Futaba exclaims, “It is just like the arranged marriage interview!” and makes this “I’m happy and excited” gesture (a substitute screencap, sorry):

She does not seem in any way uncomfortable with the concept, just the opposite in fact — as long as the marriage is arranged with the man she selected herself.

I think the bride’s input (if it occurs) makes Japanese system different, from, for example, the Muslim system, where the girl is but a slave for sale by her family (I’m sure ton of people are going to tell me how wrong I am; I only know how it was and is practiced in Central Asian countries.).

Alas, the input is sometimes limited, e.g. in Mahoraba the choice is whom and not if:

In Dual, it’s even worse:

In the same Dual things progress well enough for us to see the interview, the kind of which made Futaba so charmingly excited (unfortunately, no screencap). It seems not unduly ritualized and is not an empty formality either. The lady who carries out the arrangement sits on the bride’s side of the table, as I observed. Not sure what it signifies though. All in all, not entirely what androphobic American intelligenzia makes out of it.

UPDATE: Also, Kyouju.

Shingu’s OP rocks

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Before starting with Shingu, I was unable to help noticing how every critic seemed to agree that OP was poor. So it was quite a surprise when the OP turned out to be a very decent school song with Ghibliesque visuals. It may be marred a bit by Muryou’s placid mug, but otherwise it’s great. I find it a good match and preview for the show.

There’s a low-quality copy at Youtube for those who want to listen for themselves.

I guess that SDB started it with: “The OP and ED royally suck”, in a separate item, no less. Then everyone in his halo started aping it. Not all is readily googleable, but here’s Ubu’s opinion: “Worst. OP. Ever. ” (yep, with the <strong> tag).

I’m not saying that all these people are deaf and blind, they just have a different taste. A part of the explanation may be that Shingu’s OP is not a “blockbuster” type OP to which fans are conditioned by the likes of Xenoglossia and Stellvia. I saw EDs done with a similar bend, I think. Perhaps Abenobashi is an example. But I cannot recall a similar OP.

One thing that bothers me about Shingu’s OP is a strong deja-vu. I feel like I heard it before, but cannot quite remember where. My own school didn’t have a school song, so, most likely, it’s an anime-induced memory. Strangely, it has a smell of something out of one of Hanaukyo Maid Tai versions, but neither of them features a school song. Anyway, it’s odd.

UPDATE: DiGiKerot calls the OP “tedious”. See “conditioned by blockbusters” above. But he is right in that there was enough time to show more of the cast.

UPDATE: Aziz liked the OP.

Shingu ends

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Not much to report, it is all written elsewhere already. I’m even going to postpone the normal Liked/Rewatch mark until some test of time. Ditto for the decision if it’s on the level of Stellvia.

One curious thing about Shingu is the wheels-inside-wheels jokes, such as the Magistrate.

I think Wennul was right that a human (or even a regular alien) is not trustworthy with this kind of power. An unexpectedly profound thought for a product of empire, I might add. If we presume that Tatsuo Sato spoke with his mouth, this was not a small amount of foreshadowing, too.

UPDATE: Steven writes that this entry is designed to torture him. I can only take it as an indication of interest in my opinion about the series, which is flattering, certainly. I admit, he influences my coverage of Shingu a great deal, primarily because I do not want to repeat things which you can read in the review or TMW.

Regarding the OP, I still think that it’s a good match and it translates the feel well, or at least the Tatsuo Sato’s vision for the series, according to the interview in the booklet. About the preview function, I have to ask myself if I deceived Nick; the majority of “elements” are missing from the OP (such as the spaceships and battles), and same goes for the majority of characters. But at a minimum I maintain that the OP has set my expectations correctly. The school is the center of the series, there can be no doubt about it. What is the final frame? The school.

Strange normality in Shingu

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

When I just started with Shingu, one oddity I noticed immediately was how it featured no defective characters. Sure, some had issues, but overall they are very different from common characters in contemporary anime. Nobody is neurotic, and it feels like something large is missing.

Another facet of the same thing is that stereotypes, upon the development of which anime creators worked so hard and so long, are practically absent. We can formally classify characters, but it’s not who they are. Nayuta is not a tsundere, she is just proud and shy and traumatized; Harumi is not moe.

Someone (maybe a commenter) wrote that kids seemed too mature. I don’t think so, they seemed exactly matching their age, except for Shun. That guy is definitely way too sly, but fortunately he is too good-natured in general. I think the unusual normality was mistaken for maturity by these observers.

Aside from being stable, most characters are also exceptionally nice, which is incredibly odd, considering. In Figure 17, for example, we have no less than two actively present assholes: Aoyama (the guy with glasses who courts Hikaru), and Mina (the pretty girl with complex braids). In Shingu, however, there aren’t any.

Such characterization contributes to a feel that I rather expected from “The World of Narue”. It took me about five episodes to get desensitized to this Hello Kitty world and stop wondering what is wrong with everyone.

UPDATE: As an example, Cowboy Bebop is an opposite of Shingu: everyone is defective in it (even Spike), but its characterization constitutes an anime norm.

Shingu, iro-iro-to

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007
  • When Muryou Subaru opened his mouth, I heard Kanji Ninomiya. Issei Miyazaki is getting typecast badly.
  • Mr. Sato’s script has repeating phrases. 3 different characters say “sorede, soretoshte” (only heard in Kamichu once), 2 characters ask “atari?”.
  • しめい means “duty”. Oddly enough, ぎむ is used too.
  • The idea of “simple guy” needs its Joseph Campbell.
  • Moriyama is spelled “守山” and not “森山”.

Shingu: We’ve got Omo

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Well, it was rather Jeff than “we” who “got” him, but anyway, welcome to the bandwagon club [link].

Ever encounter a situation when you find yourself totally appreciating something that is well-constructed, beautiful, meaningful, and unique, but totally unable to enjoy it?

Indeed, I can see people having a problem like that, although I liked and enjoyed Shingu. I don’t think it’s an Azumanga-class production, but that’s a tall order. I remember that I did not like Haibane Renmei all that much initially, but I came to recognize its greatness.

Perhaps it all will make sense after I give it some more thought. Tatsuo Sato’s work tends to be densely multi-layered and yet ordinary on first glance. Here goes.

I’m pinning my hopes on the second watch.

BTW, Shingu is full of simple comedy. It alone is worth $50. You know how Azumanga‘s fans come in two varieties: those who laugh when Osaka loses the soap and those who cry? I think there should be nothing wrong with watching Shingu for laughs…