Monthly Archives: December 2010

Year in Review: N-Listing

My tribute to the 12 days of Christmas blog thing. See M3 for more details. As usual I will do a list of 12 things, each thing being a list of 12 items. Some are counted down, some are counted up, others are unnumbered.

I’m a little late this year, only because of my blog being down. It’s surprisingly annoying that you can’t look back to what you’ve written.

1. Best simulcasts – The true first year of simulcast for the whole duration,  yeah?

  1. OreImo – for breaking street – you can’t get more zero day than negative. And it’s not some kind of boring show nobody watches (sorry TogaInu). Heroman actually gets the record for the earliest leaks, but let’s keep that hush-hush ;)
  2. Kuragehime – For not only being another goal in Funi’s big win in simulcast this year, Hulu actually places the ads during proper ad breaks!
  3. House of Five Leaves – Taking it easy.
  4. Shiki – Taking it less easy.
  5. Tatami Galaxy – Lower only because Funi isn’t streaming the bonus episodes. All four (2-5) are really kinda tied because the Funi x Fuji thing is pretty awesome.
  6. Sora no Woto – Anime no Chikara – flagship title, good stuff, and like Durarara we even got the OAV episodes! Also, nice HQ feed.
  7. Sora no Otoshimono – The seiyuu video CR made Hayamin & company do hands down wins. And also, it’s kind of a show that is prone to spoiling, so the speedy simulcasting is appreciated.
  8. Panty Stocking w/ Garterbelt – So cash. In fact thanks for all the Gainax pickups. Even including Hanamaru Kindergarten.
  9. High School of the Dead – TAN’s “simulcasts” are well timed now, even if it’s horribly managed (like, how the hell do you cancel crap?) and half the time it doesn’t even work for me.
  10. Occult Academy – Anime no Chikara – Fun little show that is retro just right.
  11. Giant Killing – this sort of anime works best for simulcast, that weekly sauce makes those cliffhangers feel just right. Also, World Cup synergy almost.
  12. Basically any show that aired within 24 hours of Japan o/ Down with “simulcasts” that are a week behind srsly.

2. Anime with CHIKARA, in no particular order. I don’t even know what this means.

  1. Panty Stocking and Garterbelt
  2. Heroman
  3. Qwaser
  4. Yosuga no Sora
  5. Strike Witches 2
  6. Occult Academy
  7. Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
  8. Mai Mai Miracle
  9. Chu-Bra
  10. Sora no Woto
  11. K-ON!!
  12. Star Driver

3. Sex jokes, no order:

  1. Training with Hinako has an Android app?
  2. Yosuga no Sora ED – Sora’s deep throat shot, and that whole joke.
  3. Star Driver – Kissing with glass without glass is just a kiss?
  4. Amagami’s instructor play – because it is actually funny.
  5. Fate /stay night: Unlimited Blade Works – Dolphins.
  6. BakaTest’s Hideyoshi – Going to the bath house, gets own gendered changing room.
  7. Panty & Stocking episode 3b – Probably the one segment that signaled to me that the series worth sticking around for.
  8. Chikyubi (the hamster from Mitsudomoe) – It’s a running joke, all right. It’s got little legs this big!
  9. Seikon no Qwaser – the tsurupettan Song
  10. Shino Amakusa – Seitokai Yakuindomo’s lead character is generally pretty funny once you get caught up with her pace.
  11. B Gata H Kei – The entire show is a sex joke
  12. Koe de Oshigoto – Oh MAKO lol and the entire show is also a sex joke

4. Scenes from 2010 anime that I remember, no order:

  1. Gundam UC episode 1: Floating out into the fiery inferno, Banager’s dad smiles.
  2. Cross Game: The final confession
  3. Seikon no Qwaser: Boob fountain (which one?)
  4. K-ON!!: Lycopene…
  5. Eden of the East: The King of Eden: Walking around @ Angelika Film Center in NY.
  6. Asobi ni Ikuyo: Manami and Aoi’s skinny bike chase
  7. MM!!: Mio’s episode one batter-up maid debut
  8. Panty & Stocking: the car “chase” scene in episode 6
  9. Macross Frontier: Nyan^2 Clips: Northern Cross is… woah damn.
  10. Working!!: NEW ITEM
  11. Yosuga no Sora: He just keeps on going.
  12. Bakatest and Mayoi Neko Overrun: The spats/bloomer feud.

5. Episodes from 2010 that I remember, no order:

  1. Strike Witches 2 6: The rocket episode
  2. Panty & Stocking 13: Bitches, and more bitches, and a pair of legs.
  3. Hidamari Sketch *** 12: Tomato jamboree
  4. Seikon no Qwaser 13: What a recap episode.
  5. Mayoi Neko Overrun 6: The music video episode. Yes, I remember it better than ep 4!
  6. K-ON!! 20: The last school festival. It was such a high.
  7. SoreMachi 12: The day that Hotori died, bye bye Miss American Pie?
  8. OreImo 11: Most of the jokes were pretty solid, which is unusual. Even the dad joke.
  9. Angel Beats 3: Iwasawa was a big impact. Sold me a CD. Heck, Angel Beats 10: Yui-nyan! Sold me a CD too! LOL. Oh what is this with dead music people.
  10. Gundam UC 1: It’s just so pretty.
  11. The World God Only Knows 4: Take me down to minori city where the music’s by Tenmon and the girls are pretty~
  12. Katanagatari 12: Great conclusion for something totally Nisioisin-y.

6. Things that can’t be something else:

  1. My MM can’t be this fanservice-free
  2. My foot fetishism can’t be this pervasive
  3. My little sister’s anime’s title can’t be this verbose
  4. My Love Plus habit can’t be this expensive
  5. My camel militants can’t be this racist
  6. My blog hosting can’t be this cheap
  7. My AsoIku can’t be this furry
  8. My Prime Minister can’t be this good at mahjong
  9. My Azunyan can’t go all the way in Saimoe
  10. My Bisei Tokei apps can’t be iOS only
  11. My Aniki can’t be this hedgehoggy
  12. My Selvaria figure can’t be this expensive

7. AX 2010 moments:

12. Listening to gabber at the Nokia Plaza was surreal. It’s like being in Akiba.
11. Seeing Konishi cosplay Aniki was pretty boss.
10. Kitaeri’s panel, a lot of fun. Plus High Jumper.
9. Clover Brewed Coffee is p. good if you are a junkie like myself. They even have Kona that weekend, if you like Kona (I’m so-so on it).
8. Spotting Kenji Kamiyama scouting terrain. Totally expecting to see LACC/Nokia theater/Staple Center complex in his next work now.
7. Nabeshin being, well, Nabeshin.
6. Manga Gamer guests, plus High Jumper. CooRie and Kuribayashi, huh.
5. Yoko Kanno reprises their MacF/Tanabata routine at May’n and Mamegu’s live. Also it’s as MacF as it can get in America. Damn you Harmony Gold.
4. Alexd’s “luck and chance” sketch GET
3. The “No Photo” sign story
2. Group pic with KitaEri
1. Being in on the joke on Horie as collaborators with Morita and Asakawa.

8. Things I did to celebrate Satoshi Kon’s memories

12. Make a pun.
11. Whine on it on the internet.
10. Buy a copy of New York Times. Ugh buying newspaper ugh.
9. Realizing some (somewhat) famous guy who died actually matters to me.
8. Realizing my autograph from him will skyrocket in value!
7. Looking for copies of his stuff that I don’t have, like that lush LE box for Millennium Actress.
6. Stare longingly at his storyboards.
5. Learn more about the man after he has passed, from others who also knew him.
4. Follow the going-ons of his last words and its ripple, like that Farewell Project thing.
3. Read his final blog post.
2. Rewatch his movies, or at least clips from it.
1. Feel better about it after getting all sad from the news of his passing.

9. Reasons why I can’t pick a favorite character in 2010, no order

  1. Amagami SS sunk my omnibus – I like all the arcs, can’t choose… Alternatively, Amagami SS’s Tsukasa route was totally crap! – It’s Kaori Nazuka’s last shot at 3-peat!
  2. Runner up: Noloty from Bantorra is a great character, except she’s just a side character and doesn’t get much love from the series, in more than one ways.
  3. Way too many sequels – It’s hard to like what you didn’t like the year before.
  4. Way too many Kana Hanazawa roles – They are all kinda alike! And I like too many of them for my own good!
  5. Love Plus: hearing Saori Hayami’s moe voice confuses me with Manaka flags – Manaka is a no-no for me.
  6. Runner up: Teresa from Qwaser just didn’t get enough development to qualify.
  7. Runner up: All of K-ON cast, but I love you equally (which is honestly not that much).
  8. Runner up: Shoko from BakaTest, but she hasn’t had enough time to flesh it out. Also, too many other people’s waifu.
  9. Runner up: All those endless pleasure sticks.
  10. Runner up: Mii from Railgun, but she doesn’t have enough dimensions to her character.
  11. Runner up: Rin Tohsaka, because it’s not like Mii a more refreshing cool take by the same Kana Ueda. Also, dolphins? Really? (Wait is this supposedly in the sex joke category?)
  12. I usually pick my stuff from serious shows, and when the shounen romance pieces this year let me down, I had nowhere to go.

10. 12 OP from this year, no order

  1. K-ON!! OP2 – Mainly because it is probably the best out of all of K-ON’s. S1 OP still is kinda special too… well.
  2. Kuragehime OP – I don’t think much needs to be said.
  3. B Gata H Kei OP – Still a very nicely choreographed and catchy thing
  4. Mayoi Neko Overrun OP – It’s like a mind attack with a strong audio component
  5. SoreMachi OP – As smooth as SHAFT gets.
  6. Arakawa UB OP – Season 2 OP was disappointing compared to season 1’s, but that’s not saying much when it’s this good. Sayo Yamamoto, right?
  7. Angel Beats OP – Lia actually delivers something worthwhile here. Visually moving too.
  8. AsoIku OP – Pretty standard stuff, but I like the song.
  9. World God Only Knows OP – The full version is pretty interesting, but overall it is simple yet sophisticated in the way Eden of the East OP was.
  10. Big Windup S2 OP – I like it for the song. Animation was hauling ballz too!
  11. Dance in the Vampire Bund OP – for the shock in nekkid loli dance and the song is pretty good too!
  12. Star Driver OP – I like it for the use in whiplashing the viewer, but also for seeing something kind of pretentious but also kind of mesmerizing.

11. ED from this year, no order, because I’m out of ideas for lists

  1. Durarara ED1 – Pretty catchy and visually interesting. Kind of reminds me of Persona Trinity Soul ED.
  2. Amagami ED4 – Yukana has this super ero voice power, I cannot resist.
  3. K-ON!! ED2 – Yeah, yeah.
  4. Tatami Galaxy ED – My favorite of the year, easily.
  5. Qwaser ED2 – I like this song more than ED1, but the visuals in ED1 is more cohesive. (Not to be confused with this)
  6. Yosuga no Sora ED (second one) – It’s hilarious and visually exciting.
  7. MM ED – It’s the psychological attack version of Mayoi Neko Overrun OP. Except now with Aso Natsuko.
  8. Hidamari Sketch *** ED – Really like the concept and how the music works with it.
  9. Hanamaru Kindergarten EDsI guess I can just fill this list out with them. I recommend #2 and 7.
  10. K-ON!! ED1 – Cake Fairy is probably one of the best music video on TV in anime.
  11. Bakemonogatari ED (final) – I like this composite version the best for some reason.
  12. Angel Beats ED – It’s actually a nice song. The ED itself is more a joke that is subtle than anything. How about that Aoi Tada…

12. 3D and miscellaneous things I probably should mention, no order

  1. Hiyocchi is good-natured and FUNNY!!!
  2. Cosplay Girl gets you what you think you will get
  3. My random seiyuu soup…and now
  4. It’s totally cool to see that slick WoW addict and his compatriots at Otakon this year. I should pick up Kikuta’s Touhou album, shouldn’t I. Also, they still haven’t give up that CD single they promised back in August. That’s pretty egregious.
  5. Kamiyama’s trip at AnimeNext made that con worth it alone.
  6. K-ON Live BD is a good time, can’t wait for the next one.
  7. Sphere joins Shukufuku no Campanella in 3D TV land. Wasn’t some May’n show also done that way…
  8. First time I did karaoke during a con. In the normal way and not the weird American way. Need to happen more often.
  9. B156 and Dan Kanemitsu’s bone.
  10. Figures are serious business, but when you run a figure panel make sure you get a ton of super rat’s shots and just slideshow them.
  11. Almost done figuring out the illumination “problem” with UOs and renewable glowsticks and battery-powered stuff. I’m going to have to test drive these suckers this year, but so far I’m impressed with the one I have.
  12. minorigate is at an end. Oh God the memories flooding back.

And that’s a wrap folks, see you in 2011!

I Am a Broken Otaku

Because I read this thread and I get excited. WHY am I so messed up?

For those of you who didn’t click on the link Let me just say that I enjoy armchair industry speak and it’s fun to follow the business processes that leads to the localized release and distribution of anime that I watch. I don’t know if it is interesting because it’s a business nerd kind of thing, because I am not exactly a business nerd. I don’t know if it is interesting because it involves anime I watch, because I care about anime I don’t watch, too, and occasionally non-anime stuff.  I don’t know if it’s a weeaboo thing, but I’m not really a weeaboo, and I have plenty of negative things to say about Japan and their way of doing business (well, I have plenty of negative things to say about almost anything, so it’s not a big deal). I don’t even care about a lot of things that is unique to Japan. I just happen to know a couple things about Japan as a part of the context in order to understand this hobby-thing of mine, or maybe as a distant part of my heritage as an Asian guy who used to live not too far from Japan.

I’m leaning towards the business geek angle, much like the appeal that baseball manager story has, that leads to its adaptation to anime in early 2011 (by Production IG no less). But another dark horse answer may play also a key: there is this transcendental barrier between fandom and turning it into a career. Anime in America is largely brought on by fans who turned pro and started businesses localizing it. It’s not to say I’m quite there, at that place. I don’t think I want to be (and my Jtor gig might be the closest I want to be) there, maybe ever. But who knows, it’s a draw that some fans find interesting, in their difficult-to-satisfy quest for information relevant to their interests.

I find myself feeling this urge the strongest when it comes to con drama. Most people running cons are fans on some level, too. I wonder what drives them?

Homework: how big is the US anime con industry? Take attendance * reg price as a baseline? Has someone came up with it? For every big Summer con there’s a dozen small cons that cost $20 and draws like 2000 people. We can ballpark the vendor costs by taking a spread but vendor attendance is much harder to figure out. Who knows?

You Know It’s Been a Good Year for Comedy When…

Author is writing about people’s perception of 4koma presentation and breaking things up. I think it is a matter of personal interpretation but the switch between a seamless medium and 4koma is part of the tricks of the trade of comedy and presenting manga. After all, all manga begins on a blank piece of paper. “Koma” is added to give presentation its structure, and we stop at 4 identical framing for various other reasons, to give it even more structure.

The same applies in anime as well. Seitokai Yakuindomo mimics that by giving those “second joke” cuts with flying stamps, transiting from scene to scene, or strip to strip. On the other hand Lucky Star is almost entirely devoid of it. Thinking back to Azumanga Daioh, the first otaku anime 4koma smash hit, does it make sense?

And why AzuDai, even? It’s just my lens in which I view the situation. Azudai is broken up into 5 segments per episode, where as you can see a similar kind of breakdown in SYD. More so when the punchlines are flying in the air. Not so much in Lucky Star. But that is a stylistic choice. I mean, Lucky Star feels a lot more like K-ON (that’s 4koma too), and that’s because both are similarly presented. And who cares about transitions in K-ON?

Look at Working!! for example, does that feel like 4koma to you? Now that is where AzuDai is. A much more perfected blend of television narrative with jokes that hits like sewn-together sitcom punchlines, that it is textured without trying very hard, because you were laughing when the story changed from frame to frame. The original 4koma material is like dough for this new baked good.

But I think that’s not to say it is the only way or even the best way. Seitokai Yakuindomo is meant to flaunt its panel-switching cuts since it is a running joke as well; it doesn’t hide its transition, but rather uses it as a joke. Of course people who gets turned off by that seemingly-seamless-seam-switching might enjoy it more. It’s not so much that I would be laughing when the anime changes from strip-to-strip: I was too busy trying to process the joke and on-screen text to notice.

However, I find it hard to believe that Lucky Star is underrated. It’s gotten so much hype during its hay days that few shows deserves, if any. Maybe among Author’s reads, I suppose.

Crunchyroll Rolls a Squid’s Hat

Whose idea is it to run promos on Christmas weekend…

But hey, if they’re cool seiyuu vids with autographed prizes to go with, you can roll it whenever you want! I think it’s pretty awesome that CR is doing all these things. It’s like NISA’s thingy with AX but this is fine too, if even more fair to those people who can’t go to cons (read: most people).

More importantly, if you are a CR user you would know that their anime contests 90% of the time are some kind of “collect x badges!” or some other random crap thing you get by running the video and get badges within a certain time frame. Which is totally not helpful for people who are watching something already. Something like this seems at least fun for everyone and possibly more fair, lol.

See this thread for the contest rules and information on how to do it.

Also see this interview. LOL. Get your share of Hisako Kanemoto, who’s made two big splashes this year and at least one more next year(?) in Makoto Shinkai’s new film.

Year in Review: I Read Books

At some point in September I bought a PSP so I can play a couple games that I wanted to see. It turns out that on average it takes more than just a few hours to finish a game like Valkyria Chronicles 2. It’s too bad, because I haven’t finish a book on my backlog as a result of this.

Until that point, I was struggling with going through Haikasoru’s lineup. In fact right now I have two books (three if you count Loups-Gaoru) lined up, plus a couple other non-Viz titles. If I wasn’t playing VC2 and was reading instead, it would have taken me about a month or two to finish all that. Which is about the right speed, since it is about as fast as they publish those things.

However, I can’t say I’m really missing out. In the 12+ months before I got stuck in VC2, the hit and miss ratio is not exactly flattering. The Haruhi books, for example, were kind of horrible until you get to Disappearence. Unless you are a really forgiving reader of SF, Haikasoru’s offerings were often either too weak or too mundane, and while they’re usually interestingly flavored, they are not always something you enjoy the aftertaste of. And not to mention all the non-SF pieces that I avoid on genre grounds. (Well, I did read a few non-SF this year.)

Still, because the turnaround speed for a book is much faster than some 40-hr video game, I was able to read a lot of them, and as a result, hit some interesting titles. I guess that’s also because Japanese SF is this fairly big genre after all. Going into it blind is not exactly the best strategy, kind of like going into Japanese animation blind, etc. I was glad to read Harmony and Yukikaze this year, as I really enjoyed those two.

I hope I can finish VC2 and get back to books soon, because like books, 40 hours is a long time spent on a single thing.