Category Archives: Modern Visual Culture

Seiyuu Nicknames, 2015 Spring Edition

I reference seiyuu by nickname sometimes. It’s not a habit I pride on and I think it’s better, in such a blog, to refer people by their family names. It can get confusing since romanized, a lot of people’s names are the same, so nicknames often help as a better way to communicate. (Especially since the reverse situation, while does happen, rarely does due to the way nicknames tend to form.) Anyway, I digress. Ask me separately about how I feel about them sometimes I guess.

For sake of ease of recalling, I group them by how I felt like it (kinda) and sorted by nickname, since I figured that’s the better mapping. Also I’m limiting it to the names I would use on this blog. I know there are more nicknames than what I list here, and some seiyuu have many nicknames that I only list a few. Truth is I don’t even know all of them, even people I reference to.

Also I’m avoiding the list of people who are not new because this is going to get REAL long if I added people like Miyukichi and Asumiss in the mix. It’s already really long.

Only if CG was this cool

Core IM@S

  • Akky/Akki – The (recently) married and with-child, Hasegawa Akiko. Plays Miki.
  • Asapon – A high end nickname for her is like “Shimoneta” because Shimoda Asami is like that. the CV for Ami/Mami is also playful.
  • Azumin – Asakura Azami. Yukiho’s second CV. Best known otherwise in her High School DxD and ChuuniKoi roles.
  • Chiaking – Takahashi Chiaki, or Azusa’s CV. See also King. See also “JPY” or “Juicy Party Yeah”???
  • Eririn/Eriko – Nakamura Eriko plays Haruka.
  • Haramii – Hara Yumi. Lately Takane’s CV’s new nickname “Hanyanya” has gained steam, but it has yet to stick.
  • Hirorin – Hirata Hiromi plays Makoto. Also see Kaachan.
  • Jurikichi – Takita Juri, or Kotori’s CV. The second 765Pro mom.
  • Kaachan – Somehow Hirorin gained this nickname because she was pretty public about her early goings of being a new mom. TBD how this nickname will stick with multiple buns in the oven in the near future!
  • Kami – Wakabayashi Naomi, or Ritsuko. Mom #3.
  • King – It’s actually just the next stage of Chiaking.
  • Kugyuu/Kugimi/etc – Kugimiya Rie, you know her.
  • Mingosu – Imai Asami, CV for Chihaya. Just a side note but Mingosu is often a suffix (see: Asamigosu, Eromingosu, EriMingosu)
  • Nunu/Nu – Numakura Manami, CV for Hibiki. Nuuuuuuuu.
  • Sensei – Often refers to Nakamura in this context but in general this is a flexible nickname in all cases.
  • Yurishii – Hase Yurina. The original Yukiho CV. Also goes by Ochiai Yurika. Retired from IM@S back in 2010 or so.

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Spring 2015 Anime Intake

Just some notes.

Wow, but how do you pass this off?

Denpa Kyoushi – I like the concept and idea but the execution is too much of that “weekly manga turned anime chapter 1″ nonsense that generally sours me on most of such types of manga. TrySail’s OP is catchy if all too ordinary. Whatever pays the bills I guess. Another 10ch anime. I guess let’s get that out of the way: gorioshi full force this spring for TrySale yeah? I hope Useful Dreamer moves.

Triage X – Boobs, gangsters and sentai-type team bloody violence is a winning formula. Can it keep on executing I don’t know. Will it have a theme worthwhile I know even less.

Shoukugeki no Soma – Food Wars is a better title. Same problem I have with Denpa Kyoushi applies, but this is executed better. Tanechan’s O-voice LOLOL. Somehow just as erotic as Triage X IMO. Might keep with it a bit just due to strength of its material.

Danmachi – Hestia mania aside the anime itself is intriguing. Its light novel roots show, for better or for worse. As long as the story trucks on I think we’ll be okay on this one since I doubt it can outstay its welcome at ep 13, the boobstring memes regardless.

Houkagou no Pleadies – I like the way it looks and its presentation but it is seriously boring. Would be hard to motivate me to try episode 2, but I might go that far.

Punchline – It’s a lot of fun and this anime has more details in it than most. Just the production value alone is worth keep on with it. Another Tenchan anime, but this one she at least gets to do a very different role. I have no qualms on the oddishly contrasting subject matter, noitaminA aside.

Dia no A – Can we get some not recaps please. OK I guess they need a break, but can they just not have any episodes? LOL.

Sound Euphonium – Looks great, with less filling. My favorite part of the show so far is its channeling of moody high school artsy feels and the way they frame the cast’s voice. Moyochi sounds positively neutral and natural in this, and even Moeshi’s typical saccharine sound fits like a glove. The brass animation porn is…shiny. And I still don’t get why Asuka is so adored when Mamiko is by all means superior.

Fate UBW – I like the new direction, I guess. UBW always strikes me as something with a lot of room for improvement. At least this might turn out to be one, I don’t know.

OreGuile 2 – Feels like the first one, minor differences aside.

Plastic Memories – It’s charming in a second-tier cartoon with SF motifs kind of way. Tenchan is working that cooldere and has a lot of lines to go with. I feel like this is her natural niche, just a matter of getting a character with enough scenes and speaking lines (sorry Shiho, Akame). Story-wise and character-wise it’s actually not remarkable, for someone as fatigued by Asmov-style robot stories as I am, but I’m sure the feels will come flowing sooner or later.

Etotama – Surprisingly a lot of fun, just like Rieshon is surprisingly a lot of fun. She still needs lots of help, but calling Etotama the Rieshon anime is pretty spot on. I don’t know if I would be adverse to gorioshi of Rieshon but the idea entertains. Well, I don’t think she can handle real gorioshi anyway. This is also the most anime anime this season, 3DCG included.

Show by Rock – This and Etotama are like, poised for head-to-head comparison I feel. It’s got that weird shoujo anime vibe to it that matches what it tries to do but feel a little weird, kind of like the 3DCG feels a little weird. It’s worth trucking through a bit, because the idea shines through the lackluster execution. At least will keep an eye on.

Re-Kan – It’s okay. I would like to watch more shows like this, but the hook doesn’t really have anything on me. I’ll let nature take its course on this one.

Stuff still to try?

Sidonia S2 – Will wait to marathon. Thanks Netflix :(

Gunslinger Stratos – Universally panned! Gotta try one.

Oremonogatari – Universally praised! Must resist urge to badmouth it.

I tried watching RIN-NE and stopped a couple seconds in.

Yamada-kun – The caps looked interesting, so is the cast.

Griasia – Just a matter of time. I like this show in that it’s the first one in a long while where I sat through it while finding it difficult to watch, but still felt compelled about it. Looking forward to season 2…

Kekkai Sensen – Just haven’t gotten around to it.

I still have built-in Funimation bias, I don’t hate them, but I don’t expect to use their services unless they upload it to youtube or Hulu, as they typically do. Not even Ninja Slayer will get me to subscribe I’m afraid. FWIW, Inferno Cop was free and freely subbed. I think that goes a long way getting it viral and popular.

That said, I’m watching a few shorts. Like the Suzuken/Yukarin duo show, and maybe will pick up another one or two.


The Characro IDOLM@STER Cafe: A Guide of Sorts

Sorry E

Characro is a … brand? How do you explain Namco’s side businesses in meatspace amusement? Anyway, there’s the IDOLM@STER Cafe in Tokyo that will probably run for the next foreseeable months. (That, and Tiger & Bunny, and Macross Frontier.) I went to the IM@S cafe a bunch of times, so I figured a guide & review is appropriate. Maybe I’ll cross-post it to HPT.

The cafe itself is no longer new & novel, since it started doing business last December, and the sheen is gone for Ps especially because it’s the kind of place you want to go a lot of times. The novelty can wear off fast if you do that. For me, I can stand to go there a few more times.

Oh, this is entirely different from the Cure Cafe Cinderella Girls tie-in, just to be clear.

Vitals:
Characro Cafe Akihabara (IM@S and T&B)
Home Page
How to go there (JP)
Address: 2 Chome-5-12 Kanda Surugadai BF-1, Chiyoda, Tokyo
[It’s across the street from Garten, which is a certain someone’s regular joint.]

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The Need to Praise When & There’s Not Much to Say

If that's not Maruyama, I don't know who it would be

I actually agree with this review, almost 100%, and want to make a corollary.  Author says great anime can’t be spoiled, but I think it goes a step farther: great anime doesn’t need to be talked about. Shirobako needs no advocacy, even if it’s always good. There’s no need to make a case for itself. In fact I had a hard time trying to do it. I could write about the simple stuff, like my first impression of Minami-san was that he’s a little intimidating. And I wonder what Maruyama-san’s cooking is like.

But in that sense it’s also a cheat in that as with all arts that are interpretive, we bring in as much as it brings us. The union between artwork and audience is no less sacred than the miracle of creativity in that sense. I think your experience as an anime nerd will not only play greatly, by referring to the art of the craft as the heart of its references it will disarm every late-night anime watcher, so most of us EN-speaking types can fall in line like all the JP viewers.

Perhaps the only thing equally difficult to keeping that spark and drive alive in salaryman life is being able to stay up and watch your late-night anime. Shirobako actually airs early enough in Tokyo that you can watch it before bed, but it takes some measure of dedication to get home and put it on, while not falling asleep watching it.

Action speaks louder than words, and it’s hard to find the words to describe it. I guess I did doze out during one particular viewing of episode 22 (since it’s kind of a filler to bring to 23?), largely to no fault of its own (a long day of touring + late night drinking + watching the raw). It’s like how I already internalized the “Taro,” the indifference of Hiraoka, and other representations in the office environment. Have you been working in such a thing long enough to see past it? Not just your own situation but the dramatized office of Musani? What is top shelf and what’s on the bar Shirobako serves its customers? Is your inner 10yo asleep?

But, because it’s such a cherished tale of animation production, based on a simple understanding of it that so few anime has taken on, it will stand as a classic just on that fact alone. Shirobako being entertaining enough to keep those otaku ossans awake late at night is just bonus.

PS. I found these tweets ironic. I guess it’s because PA Works tried very hard to make something that bucks the trend consistently. To say, for example, Hanasaku Iroha is following a J-drama formula misses the entire point that if not for PA Works being a studio that doesn’t chases after the latest trends (sup Glass Lips) that Shirobako even exists (see: the vol1 omake). They believe in their creators (Shirobako is very clear on this), and let them do what they think is best. Even if that means we have to sit through a Glass Lips now and then. And to be clear, this is a pervasive attitude-entitlement issue that manifests way too much among people who have opinions on entertainment, so my apologies to Toast for making an example out of him. It’s all of us. Buhiiiii.


The Threads of Life

zzz

For people new to my blog you might not know that I am one of those crummy old nerds in this fandom space who poop on certain words. I have a thing for “slice of life” as you might know. But lately I’ve came up with a new way to define it: it’s the negative space in which Western fans lack the proper words and tools to describe, thus this life-like catch-all terms all these great anime, from Rozen Maiden to Shirobako. And yeah I’m being facetious with those examples, to make things clear.

I mean, it’s a theme lately but today I found in my mailbox this solicitation. I wanted to laugh, except I was at work. It’s such a great head turner that it took me a while to realize they’re charging people money to watch stuff they might not have a license to screen. The fliers in the email solicitation looked half-way like something photoshopped from the internet, the other half way like actual covers of manga. Are they anime bloggers? Please don’t be anime bloggers. Or more like, they’re doing this most likely because they aren’t. I don’t know. They certainly don’t know they can’t just J-List this and get away with it, with anyone serious.

Anyway, I found some sense of peace with the term once I stopped thinking about it descriptively. Maybe that’s the reason why so many people put up with the terrible terminology and stick to its usefulness. I just think it’s a misguided term that precisely causes people to think about things the wrong way as per that solicitation. I mean, real life nerds like anything in anime ended with Genshiken season one. In so far as much as real life nerds are liken to anything on Big Bang Theory, we are matching people to caricatures. The usefulness of that exercise, at this time, seems less than the eventual butthurt that it will invariably results in, not to mention it just seems like a waste of time and effort.

To go back to the solicitation, it also feels like a general lack of context, or the usual appropriation going on, guides that train of thought. But I guess I’m more or less not going to bother with mentioning that in detail unless it is unusually interesting–pretty much every western social group oriented around anime has to cope with that problem.

I think they should all just sit down and marathon Saekano or Seizon or something. Really dig into it and grasp what they’re saying. The problem with lax reading is perhaps endemic to anime, but a rigorous read on those material really can yield insight as to why people think and say the things they think and say in those light novels. And that’s more valuable than doing this pattern recognition thing and not understanding why there’s a pattern. Endemic probably because often people don’t want to take entertainment seriously. It’s like folks don’t realize the Shakespearean plays they read for school are no different to the people of the time.