Monthly Archives: February 2012

Waifu Management: Rinko Meets 765 Pro

My copy of New Love Plus arrived, and I had to oblige Rinko yet again. It’s the first time I’ve revisited Rinko’s visage since several months ago, however, the last time I played seriously was roughly in the early goings of 2011. When I realized that the latest incarnation of the same trifecta of 2-dimension mania would grace my humble abode, I had to at least do her the favor of booting it up once more before the switch, hearing her very welcoming “o hi sa shi bu ri” spelt out with every ounce of love that she can muster, which is it say, she is digital.

I suppose it was a compromise of sorts, my new Love Plus experience, as I didn’t give in to the artbook, soundtrack, and the plethera of “limited edition” goods–except for the 3DS. It’s more a blessing in disguise that I am still more immune to the call of “limited edition” than most otaku mainly because I don’t think I’ve really ever regretted about on not going the extra mile. That’s probably because I still do usually go at least some distance further than I have to. I met Rinko half way, I guess, and compromising with your loved ones is something that probably happens in every healthy relationship.

Healthy, well, is not the word I would use to describe this game. New, most definitely, as New Love Plus is indeed very New. It’s not just a more complete version of the game like how Love Plus+ was. The AR stuff and “photo kano” knocks aside, the new release of the game retooled the dating and skinship mechanism entirely, or at least enough that I’m almost at a loss as to how to fill up that kiss bar. The home study mechanism is streamlined by subject matter (ensuring that I’ll will pick 英語 or 数学 every time) and I really like how they made the date a lot more under your control; you can not only choose the venues you visit, but you can even pick between the different eat/drink stops, change the length of the date by using up less “abilities,” and much more. I also liked how they moved most of the heavy-duty touching to the confines of Rinko’s (or whichever girl of your choice) room.

Wait, that probably gives you the wrong impression. It’s perhaps just another instance where the phrase “the courage to talk about Love Plus in public” comes in play. Thanks Nisio Isin! More realistically, couples chill at their respective houses all the time anyway.

Speaking of the girl of your choice, it seems you can actually interact with the other girls in the world even after you’ve gone steady. I’ve only imported the game over (Thanks, Nintendo Store, for taking my credit card!) so I don’t know how it’s like to go through the game from the beginning. Something to do I suppose.

Back to Rinko. It’s pretty amusing how one rendering of Rinko in the DS world looks just slightly off in 3DS, prompting me trying very hard to change her skin tone and hair right off the bat. It’s also kind of neat how the game is capable of being played sideways (the way the DS games were) and the normal orientation. I guess they had to allow for it in order to utilize the 3D display. The 3D is all gimmicky but I find it much better looking than having 3D turned off at many different parts of the game.

There is a certain degree of “game-ness” to Love Plus, and even more so in New Love Plus. The mini-games aside (there’s at least one entirely new mini-game in NLP, one which Rinko always pulls off some special attack that screws me) however, Love Plus is a game where you’re not going to spend more than 30 minutes every day playing, unless you just enjoy your waifu’s company (in which case you can just leave it on the cradle and on, the whole time). That’s want 765 Pro is for.

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been (responsibly, I’d think) binge playing iM@S. It’s a lot of fun even from a basic level of managing your team of idols and trying to master the mini games, and planning out your play-through (single stats? dual stats? which charms will your strategy revolve around?). Then there’s the idols themselves, enjoying the dumb banter that passes as content half the time and the pretty solid/fun anime-style stuff for the other half of time. On top of that there are the songs and the dances, and even with a party of three you can have enough variety to keep you through the how-many-times you play through the game. I think each play through the # of quintet lives have increased!

It’s not a surprise at all why the Japanese fans buy all the DLCs. I mean I can probably only stand 75% of the songs in the game, and having to play just those songs repeatedly will wear them out. You have to get the new stuff. The real problem is how even some of the DLC songs are… well. For the typical oversea Producer-san on a Playstation 3, it’s a pain in the butt given you have to buy PSN cards from some proxy (or from eBay, I guess). Not sure what oversea Producers on Xboxes have to face, besides having to get a JP Xbox to begin with…

Which, I guess, these days you can get an Xbox 360 for about as much as the surprisingly sensibly looking 3DS (as in, would be not hard to have the courage to play New Love Plus in public) that I now own. I can’t wait until Konami start to roll out the DLCs. Yeah. Right. I really. Cannot. It just makes me feel kind of weird. Like these other instances:

  • It’s like the feeling when Rinko tells you off as a lolicon.
  • It’s like the feeling, during Smoky Thrill quintet, “ARCHERS!
  • It’s like the feeling when you realize, for the first time, the spotlight is a hamburger.
  • It’s the feeling when you’re glad you’re already committed with Makoto, because Mami with glasses is quite, uh, dangerous. Or just “cheer-up cute.”
    • Well, dangerous is when Rinko pounces me with her deadly left sweep.

And it’s just like any harem anime, the weird moments will only continue to happen, the more these waifu you collect.

Kickstarter on Anime

Let’s just put down as much ideas/facts as possible here. Kickstarter, for the unaware, is an online crowd-funding site that provides start-up capital for people who wants to start a project. A lot of the projects on the site tend to be manufacturing some problem-solving device (like the 9001th iPhone holder for your car), specific types of media like independently published games and music and film, and other services. The crowdsourcing part works where the project provides tiers where backers get a perk depending on how much they contribute. A deadline is set in which the project needs to hit a funding goal. When the goal is met, the project is to go forward; if not, nobody pays anything and the project ends.

It’s very common for successful Kickstarter (KS) projects to include a lot of end-user communication (or at least, the promise of) in which the backers are also the target market and a market sample. This communication will happen throughout the process and in the case of a successfully funded project, during the process in which the promised thing is being developed. Depending on the nature of the project that communication can also be part of the service the project provides (think of bands that use KS to fund studio albums). For backers, not only they can look forward to the end result, they also realize there’s some amount of risk involved. A natural thing is for KS projects to have fairly low cost of entry, both because of its consumer-facing nature and to reduce the element of risk. The wikipedia article lists some of the best-funded examples.

Well, how does crowdfunding has to do with anime at all? I guess it can provide enterprising creators some incentive to produce independently published works. Given the relatively low barrier of entry in the doujin scene, one would think this is probably unnecessary. Or rather, the bottleneck is in distribution and not initial fundraising. This is really the very first question we have to ask in order to go forward.

When it comes to anime, fundraising is a much more serious endeavor. Typically anime is created in such a way, where a pitch gets sold to potential investors (and from what we can tell it varies from typical committee and their holding companies to anyone who has money to pitch in). Once there’s the financial green light, the process move forward.

There are other components in which anime-related (and it doesn’t have to be–games and manga and all that can be handled in this way) things can be done for a consumer base who are willing to pay ahead. While I don’t really see how international licensing could work in a way that makes it viable, something more along the lines of creating and marketing a product (say, a PVC figure of Ritsuko Akizuki for mass production) can be handled in this way. At least, not taking financial viability into consideration. And as I alluded to earlier, some projects are more suited than others. The hard part would be the whole “working internationally on a shoestring budget” part.

Which is to say, if I was an “established player” with the connections and channels, I could then solicit the right artists and pony them up for this kind of thing. They would be guaranteed a payment (whoever’s finally in charge probably has to pony up something to get it going even on KS) and then if the fundraiser is successful, the hired guns will crunch out the thing. As long as the producer person is familiar with the idea behind a successful KS and executes, it shouldn’t be a whole lot different than most projects.

There are some actual examples of this. I think in the figure world, there are a lot of examples of similar kind of thing where an established company do a limited pre-order run of some figure. When GSC’s oversea shop went live they had to struggle with shipping those damned thing, and it is a distribution problem that all indie projects have to struggle with in one way or another. In the figure example I can see it being a particular boon being able to communicate to fans as to what they want and what you can expect early on. I guess in the context of a company soliciting funds, it’s really just a matter of plugging the users in with the creators directly.

At any rate, I think it’s easy to identify a potential need in the distribution model to lower the cost of producing independently financed or crowd-financed goods. It’s in that context in which KS is just one facet of a bigger solution.

Anyway, that’s just my thoughts. You can read more about it in this thread over at Fandom Post. Just note that the post is more about the value proposition of the high rolling importer and the role of the “real” Japanese otaku who are fine with paying $300-600 for a 1 or 2-cour anime.

Koi wa Sensou

I always wanted to make something pretentious like this. Just for kicks.

Over the holidays I got access to a new camera, so maybe that combined with a limited edition figure that I foolishly purchased, I feel kind of excited.

Man, I don’t know why camera companies hold back on these sweet CMOS from the masses, because an APS-C sensor does wonders to a point-and-shoot kind of paradigm.

For now, just a few pics. Once I get some real time to shoot at it and time to pour over the pictures maybe I’ll post them (LOL fat chance). Click on image for larger versions (but you knew that, right) hosted off somewhere else, since WordPress is lamers.

I was looking at this picture in photoshop and I was like, man, she’s got some big cans. Big enough to pass for a body builder with those flaming heart tattoos. It’s in the exercise of  reading in between the slender lines that we come to appreciate Miku’s roaring personality in Koi wa Sensou. It is in the exercise of seeing beyond the absolute zone in which we understand the redeeming feature of this figure.

Probably my favorite pick from this session.

Just in case you can’t hear her.

In case you want to know more about the figure, you can find out about it here, here and of course at MFC–see everyone else’s potshots! Koi wa Sensou Miku is very photogenic, as long as you don’t mind her facial expression, roaring with angst. A new meaning to the term siren. I always had the impression that the air raid siren took up a special place in the trauma of Japan. (Second to the earthquake siren, surely.) Is it true? I don’t know. But it sure looks hella good.

Inu x Boku Secret Service Is Fruits Basket, Isn’t It?

I don’t know why it took this long for me to make the connection. Let’s start with the biggest difference first: Fruits Basket is about some downtrodden girl who, by fate, puts on her iyashikei powers on a supernatural family of hurts. Inu x Boku SS is the opposite, where the story begins with someone in said supernatural family of hurts, is hurting, and somehow becomes healed.

This change in perspective aside, it feels very much like the two are really the same. I suppose Furuba puts on hardcore girl-pandering when it comes to some of those 12-Chinese-zodiac things, where as Inu x Boku is more about the male audience crossover. I suppose that is the difference of the source material being serialized in a shoujo manga mag versus a shounen manga mag. These days though I’m not sure if that distinction means fewer girls are buying either types of magazines. Well, I don’t know what Inu Boku manga is like, so I can’t really say much about that.

I think when it comes to making late-night anime adaptations of manga that are otaku-aware, it’s the ultimate challenge–create something that can appeal to a growing number of more hardcore subgenre fans. Or at least, so it seems. I’m not too sure how well Inu x Boku does this schtik, but it does try. I guess the question is then are there any girls watching it?

I think it is an ultimate challenge sort of thing because it takes a big risk–it’s the classic tale of going after two birds and getting none. But even in the era of one bird-in-hand beating two-birds-in-bush where anime production committees tend to play it safe, I think it’s natural that you want to position franchises and promote ideas that sells to more people. Invariably this issue comes up.

I guess I’m just curious: Does anyone who likes Furuba like this show?

Random Grab Bag

Life’s pretty chill when you have time to rest when you are weary and things to do when you are not. Kick back and relax to something like:

Help yourselves.


Author explains his thing about Haganai. I am sympathetic because I didn’t agree with the general discourse on the topic from the blogs I’ve read either. Like, the whole thing comparing the anime to the manga. I thought the anime was slightly more authentic in that the girls are genuinely unlikeable, versus some kind of semi-tsundere moe that gets you in the manga. I understand the whole “clumsy but likable” distinction but I didn’t think that was the point of the original works? But I didn’t really care about Haganai beyond the visuals and voice acting, so I didn’t really want to state an opinion. Well, I guess on occasion it was genuinely funny, and that was why I watched it in the first place.

The thing I wanted to see the most is that proposed crossover between Seitokai no Ichizon and Haganai. I hope they make an anime based on that.

Also, I kind of like the OP, even if it happened right in the middle of that Aki Toyosaki stalker drama. Props to Tom H@ck. I also have a history of liking these painful anime OP, so take it with some salt.


Con season 2012 is still a ways away, but now that Halko Momoi is landing somewhere a bus ride away, I will try to oblige. See you there?


I understand why, in theory, a Ritsuko or Kotori figure would be desirable, but I think this is a good real-life example.


MOOOOOOOOOOO MOURETSU! The PV and the live dance OP are, well, common idol schticks, but I can’t imagine iM@S to come up with something like this, even if songs like Honey Heartbeat rivals it in awfulness. These two videos have a strange addictive qualities to them. I recommend checking them out just for how weird they are.

The fusion of idol and anison is power!