Season Ending Blog Anthology

A chain of short blog posts about their subjects. The last one is a run-on about Moenovel. The rest are about currently-ending or airing anime.

Waiting for a Levia-sama joke

The Soul of Wit

This is basically why I dropped Yuyushiki at 4 and loved Aiura to bits. I would go a step further to say that K-ON is not actually a cute-girl-does-cute-things narrative, even if that is a major motivation for people to watch the show. So far Yuyushiki feels more like an even more aimless version of Azumanga Daioh. Except unlike the classic 4-koma comedy anime adaptation, there are fewer character hooks to hang our interests on. It’s a much more concentrated dose.

But here is the thing. Why is it 23 minutes long each episode? If you want untapped potential of comedy to spin out in long stretches of snippets of casual life, you can do better than Yuyushiki easily. I expect a lot more out of the series but I ended up getting just a lot of the same skits. I want better use of the time than simply more of the time. It’s like I wanted a stronger drink, not just the same lukewarm ones over and over again.

It’s the sort of thing that begs the question–is one Yuyushiki episode worth 6 Aiura episodes? I think it’s a resounding no. I’m not even sure if it’s worth 2.

To be fair, though, Yuyushiki has a lot going for it. It’s on my list of things to catch up on after season’s end. Much like K-ON I think there is more to it than just cute girls doing funny things or whatever.

But if Muromi-san was 22-minutes or whatever, I would’ve eaten it right up.

Maou-sama Peaked with Episode 8

The expectation-kicking-to-the-curb anime series Devil Is a Part-Timer is actually a simple love triangle/harem kind of affair. I suspect however people enjoy it largely for the straight-faced, passive-aggressive office humor that’s laced throughout the series. At least that’s when the show shined at its best for me.

There are a couple interesting, almost unique elements to Maousama too. One is the theme on “limited time” that is best described by the ending visuals and Chi-chan’s dream in the last episode. The other is the weird internalization that keeps Emi tied to Maou. The whole “you are a good guy but you killed my family” sort of thing, that because she operates as a person with principles, can’t really let go.

I liked both of those aspects (well I liked all three, including the humor), but for very different reasons. The limited time thing makes a nice mono no aware dig, especially the way the ED is put together. Chiho’s pin-up pan has clocks that moves on her translucent dress! That’s really neat. Kind of like the retail display a high schooler walks past, featuring the latest fashion trend–and its equally ephemeral nature. The Emi thing has to do with my feelings about characterization and characters. It’s one thing to tell a story about someone who does the right thing, but I think it’s much more powerful to tell a story about someone who is just right. See: Twelve Kingdoms. I think Emi is basically that, so it’s kind of okay if she doesn’t do the right things, because it becomes a situation where the belief of character becomes a way to interpret the work, and that can be addressed thematically.

But since we’re done with 1 cour, neither of those themes can play out. Instead I laughed well and heartily at episode 8. Thanks!

Valvrape

I have this tl;dr post prepped but I have to revise it for ep 12 orz.

Best OP-EDs, Spring 2013; by Best I Mean I Like Them

Best OP: Muromi-san

I think it’s a shoo-in.

Why? Because this is definitely the one OP I always actively wanted to watch. Like, I would want to watch it, I put it on, I watch it. It’s hard to explain what’s special about it, but over the weeks when I was watching the show, I have never once wanted to do anything else other than to watch it, when it comes time to watch it. I even want to rewatch it sometime.

Also, this sign language animation. So cool *_* Muromi-san can flash signs at me all day long. I want to find the person who came up with the idea and shake his or her hand. And ask if it was inspired by the Little Mermaid’s traditional muteness handicap.

Bonus link. Because you know Sumire Uesaka would’ve found that by now.

Runner-ups:

  • Aku no Hana OP…song(s). Damn catchy.
  • Attack on Titan OP - Guren no Yumiya gets a leg up because it’s the sort of song that grows on you. If it wasn’t a meme I would not have included it.
  • Nyaruko-san W OP – I want to learn the poses!
  • Aiura OP – JOBS CANCER hur hur hur. Also wins for most dissonant OP this season.

Best ED: Aku no Hana ED

Mainly because I also always watch it all the way through. And this means something when all you got is basically a black screen with a credit scroll.

No link to the actual anime EDs because they’re not really visually remarkable by themselves. There’s a lot of times where they work in a whiplash but you know when it’s creepy time every week! Also, the full version is a pretty interesting experience on its own. It’s proper post.

Runner-ups:

  • Henneko ED – The dance is so hnnnng. But it needs, I don’t know, something more.
  • Gargantia ED – Chochou’s voice and the direction/layout is so iyashikei, like.
  • Maousama ED – See aforementioned clock motif
  • Nyaruko W – The two Kuuko EDs – Sexiest EDs this season.

My Simulcast SNAFU

I read twitter at work. Sometimes I read it right when the @crunchyroll account tweets that the latest SNAFU episode they’re hosting has gone live. And in the next half hour I would read tweets from Mikako Komatsu who would live tweet her viewing. So cool, right? Except Crunchyroll is a freaking week behind so there’s no magic there.

What is up with that this season? The week-behind-cast? I’m pretty sure I would have kept up with Photo Kano, if it was up to date. At this point I’m only like 4 episodes behind, so maybe it doesn’t make a big deal.  Well, maybe a better way to describe is that because of the 1-week lag, I ended up not watching both shows as they air. I stuck with both series from CR up to about 6-7 weeks, usually because I watch it in small 2-3ep bursts. Then I just fell behind, and caught up separately. Well, I’m still behind on Photo Kano. And I think Asuka Ogame was livetweeting at least her episodes… Augh.

MJPR Is about What Again?

I really have no grasp of this show even after its turning point. I am with Pikasha tho, team Doberman is where its at. Despite the high-flying death flags.

Is This Really Okay?

Well, we reap what we sow. I would not describe it as people backlashing at censorship, even if the narrative has transformed. The 45 minutes or whatever I spent reading the few threads on Konosora seems to suggest it was just poor misinformation and negative people (not to blame them tho) took a hold of the spin of the news coming out. I think it is safe to say that if anime still has a marketing problem in English-language land, visual novels just makes me want to laugh and get a drink.

By the way, I played the demo for 10 minutes. It checks out okay. At this point my game backlog is long. I haven’t even finished one route in ef yet. I still haven’t finished Ni no Kuni. Can’t justify another visual novel right now.

My own take on Moenovel’s strategy is that it is simply incompetent. I think they have the right idea, but execution is everything. It’s not even a 50/50 sort of thing, more like the right idea only counts for 10% of your success, if even that. And it’s extremely difficult to execute right if you don’t have the experience. I’m not sure if they do. On the bright side, experience is something you acquire so things will get better if they keep at it. Hope will prevail.


10 Responses to “Season Ending Blog Anthology”

  • Author

    Muromi lost me with ep.12

    • omo

      And that is actually perfectly acceptable. On the other hand I laughed well at that episode.

      It certainly is a lot less problematic than losing at episode 2 or 4 or some such. 12? You’re almost done.

  • Lifesongsoa

    I think a lot of the backlash at Moenovel is about the censorship. I suspect we would have seen a good amount of it no matter who brought the visual novel over or how they marketed it. Judging from what I’ve heard about the original it was filled with sexual humor and sexual situations that are just cut entirely. I’ve been lead to believe that one of the story routes revolves around becoming sex friends with one of the girls. Everything I’ve read about this title makes it sound like a bad choice for this kind of treatment.

    What I’ve heard from mangagamer’s staff is that censorship is a pretty big deal to their customers. I don’t have a hard time believing that is an issue a lot of visual novel readers are genuinely upset with regardless of how a release is handled.

    Despite my own concerns the bigger problem that I see here is that Moenovel just up and ignored the concerns of their potential customers. Censorship is the one people are barking about the most, but there are also concerns about the super literal(and imo awkward) translation. I’ve played though the demo myself and while it’s not unreadable it does feel unnatural. There are other concerns as well such what exactly was done to solve any issues that might come up in the story. While Moenovel have made brief statements, the larger scale of the changes has been left to the imagination.

    • omo

      This is kind of what I’m talking about. It’s actually really clear that Moenovel isn’t really doing what is typically called censorship, but to simply making an all-age game from an 18+ game. This happens all the time in Japan and nobody complains about it.

      But somehow the internet talking mouthpieces took it as censorship and now the narrative is all about censorship, when in fact it’s really nothing like the sort, especially given how they went about changing the game so it is significantly different.

    • DarkFireBlade25

      The problem is, the 18+ original is still just as accessible as the not 18+ version in Japan. This on the other hand, is not, at least without some volunteer work.

    • omo

      Right. I think it’s better to say that it’s better to get something than nothing at all?

  • TheBigN

    Yuyushiki never really strays from that aimlessness for the rest of the show, actually. As the character list expands, the show gets more entertaining. Yuzuko does get a little more annoying though.

    I’m trying to get back in the swing of watching series myself.

    • omo

      I think the only major backlog this season that I have is Chihayafuru, which I aim to resolve by the week’s end. After that it’s yuyushiki…

      Well, it ain’t no Aria that’s for sure.

  • Lifesongsoa

    I don’t think that is really a fair comparison. For one the way people use the word censorship has evolved. When people talk about censorship(especially in this context) they are often simply referring to change of content by the publishers, self censorship if you will. Perhaps that is wrong, but I see so many people using the word that way that I don’t want to fight it. I guess that really just comes down to semantics.

    The other thing is that the Japanese market doesn’t really have a reason to complain if a port removes or modifies the content. They still potentially have access to a version that does. Even if they do have a reason to complain the situation isn’t entirely the same. I don’t think you would find many people complaining if Moenovel gave their western release an all ages version and an 18+ version.

    I think we also have to keep the whole rapelay thing in mind. Japanese publishers haven’t forgotten it and neither have western fans. There is a mentality of caution on the part of the publishers and a mentality that Japanese companies are a bit xenophobic among the fans. Neither one of those things needs to be true to effect the way people think about these issues.

    I do understand your point about how this should be looked at as an adaptation of an 18+ title, but I also think that is what the whole upset is about. Many people don’t want to see all ages adaptations of 18+ titles. The western market may be complaining about something the Japanese market doesn’t complain about, but that shouldn’t really surprise anyone. It is a different market with a different mentality.(I think we are probably more on the same page than I thought when I first read your blog)

    • omo

      I don’t think you would find many people complaining if Moenovel gave their western release an all ages version and an 18+ version.

      And I basically said this as well. And since Moenovel has not denied this could happen, it’s only censorship because someone calls it that, not because of what they are actually doing.

      And this is basically why I opened up the post with “You reap what you sow.” It’s understandable that people may be upset of a release that is the all-age adaptation of an 18+ game, but it is irrational to get upset. This is not a zero-sum game.

      As for the rapelay thing, I don’t think it applies in this case. But yeah, there’s some kind of poor understanding of the market at work here, maybe partly due to the effects of the eroge community reaction from the rapelay thing. Or the general xenophobic deal that some eroge makers have taken. But I don’t think this applies as much as you say, if at all.

      After all they went to the ESRB? I think this is a radical departure from that kind of narrative.

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