Monthly Archives: May 2013

Mikasa Goodman

This guy thinks Mikasa Ackerman is a good girl. I’m not so sure. But while I was listening to that gaggle of voice actors sing along to the intense audio trope of a song the other day it dawned on me: Mikasa is played by Yui Ishikawa, who is in my mind, just Princess DNAra. A quick look on ANN says that Mikasa Ackerman is her second lead role for animation voice-overs. That’s a long time, relatively, in between. It’s also another incredible opportunity, to play a big role in a big show.

The thing is, Princess Dhianeila is also a “good girl.” In fact she is supposedly the literary parallel of some Greek mythological ideal for human goodness. I mean it in the “in contrast with, say, Gundam’s Relena or Lacus” but a force of nature pushing humanity into the next evolutionary level of existence, to join up with our space brothers and sisters; to chase after that mythical ancient race of gods or Qs or Precursors or whatever. In essence, DNAra is That Newtype. It’s about superhuman feats for an age where only such things can propel us forward, to overcome the other giants of the world.

It’s not too different, in that sense, from Shingeki no Titan. So what makes Mikasa Ackerman, and her muscle density? Or her voice actress? I have no freaking clue. It’s just yet another row in the database, where we bloggers run join queries and create nonsense for our entertainment. Ours and yours, hopefully.

And while sure, Mikasa, like Princess Dhianeila, are good girls, they’re also symbols in a way where a sense of flawlessness crusts over their humanity, their weaknesses. In my mind that is a great thing but it’s also not my cup of tea. In other words, I prefer girls who are more, shall we say, human.

Oreimo


Animazement 2013 Wrap: Kaku no Hana

There are a few big things I want to note but also some small details here and here. So the result is more aimless rambling from a sleep-deprived mind. Business as usual.

The Big Picture

This is my first true con of the year. Anime Boston’s new date this year did have some impact in the sense that it deprived Animazement some more dealers and a weaker dealer room presence. It also made it impossible for me to go to AB. AZ itself is possibly the same size as last year, I can’t really get a good grasp, but I didn’t think it got bigger. I think this year is generally feeling slightly less…good? Which is all to say, a down Animazement is still better than most cons out there.

Sunday Morning

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Animazement 2013 Day 0, 1

Poole Con 2013 was delicious as usual.

Megumi and Keiko Han are adorbs. Nakatani DAIOH. Spash is a splash as usual. Nagahama wanted Aku no Hana to be something that you know from knowing, not because it sits in a sorted bin of what you know. Not quite like a man who cosplays half robot and half Naruto?  It’s complicated.

Keiko and Megumi

Masako is grandma Masako more like. Yuko Minaguchi is gracious and has pretty okay English at least. I gave her a joke that she can’t quite play off of, oh well.

The rest of the old people brigade are pretty cool as usual. Nakao and Furukawa are stylish, good deal. Maruyama is frank and got his usual thing going.

And I can actually beat Go My Way on Taiko no Tatsujin 10, given this is like the first time I’m doing this thing. I had a lot of fun, free play etc.

Dear sleep awaits.


Mid-Season Update, Spring 2013

Anime blogs are suppose to blog about anime right? Can I stop being one?

Before I begin I just want to talk about the APR. The anime  power ranking is a lot of fun and if you are a regular simulcast-y type viewer, maybe Kevo would have you give him your 2c every week. I’m a major slacker and wish I could be home and send emails about anime on the weekends, but that is usually not typically possible after Friday night and until Sunday night, when the APR is calculated.

Guilty plug aside, I guess I’ll keep it simple: Up, steady and on hold/dropped. Links to viewing portals. Ordering is semi-random.

Same Same

Up

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet – A veritable science fiction healing factory. Hanaharu’s character designs alone might be worth the trip by itself.

OreImo Season 2 – I think this season is really bringing the pain, and for sisucons pain is not always a bad thing. The awkward exchanges between Kyousuke and his friends is at least less painful than Aku no Hana’s painful exchanges, which is good; that’s a sanity check. But it’s not a sanity check every seishun rom-com would pass. It’s probably up because we’re in the middle of the Shironeko arc.

Flowers of Evil – Since I am going to Animazement I probably should watch this to field questions for Nagahama. But it’s also just kind of an amusing show in that the bouts of fear, doubt and madness are baked into the atmosphere, only to be punctured by the visuals. The rotoscoping works both for and against the whole endeavor in a strange way. The story will continue to descend into insanity and who doesn’t love that? At least it’s an easier watch than, say, Texhnolyze.

Muromi-san – It’s half-length, but only if all gag anime was like this. It’s well-paced. It’s also the sort of Yukarin role that, well, is the best. Only if she plays characters like this all the time. That and people like this.

Attack on Titan – Well, it’s a fun show how despair continue to be front-and-center to the plot and theme. I just don’t know if that despair is for us or for the characters, because there is clearly a separation between “getting into the show” and “enjoying the show” in this case. Maybe this is because it does not focus on the plight of a single character.

Steady

Devil is a Part-timer – It’s a fun show, with solid comedy both ways. I’m 1001% in Yusa’s camp though. Chiho is adorable but I feel she’s the weakest link so far. With the addition of the new character in the romantic formula and the end of the “introduction” arc, however, I’m not sure where this show is going to go.

Valvrave the Liberator – The problem with making a show that has clear call cards from all your past hits is that the audience expects your past hits in your new shows, and it is really difficult to surpass all your pass hits. At this point I half expect Valvrave to go the way of Geass R2. Will it jump a shark? It already has. But will it jump a dozen sharks? Will it jump over a shark pyramid? Will it jump over shark Starfleet? I don’t know, but I know I will find out soon. That said, it would be a very considerable feat if it can replicate all that shark jumping in Sunrise’s back catalog while remaining coherent, and arguably it is on the way to do just that.

Fly like a bird, I mean, bat

Majestic Prince – Great show, for the Tatsuo Sato disciples among us. I think it’s going through a dull period but hopefully things will come together much better than Rinne or Pirates. After all it resembles the Stellvia template, which is probably the more successful line of shows. Unfortunately it’s kind of a wash for everyone else.

Space Brothers – Really glad that I had this backlog to work through, thus enabling me skipping all those recap episodes. Also now that the show is back to civilization, the full blown expectation of Japanese people hoisted upon unrealistic American experiences is again on display, highlighting yet again the real barrier between human and space exploration is human. And I mean it in the jaded, ironic, culturally hilarious kind of way.

Nyaruko-san W – I can’t really be bothered by this show but the shotgun jokes do still find their target week after week. It’s definitely a drop from last season and to me this is now a drop-worthy show that I’m still watching partly because of blogging obligations.

Henneko – The cute factor increases or at least keep steady weekly. I’m going to get diabetes watching this anime, but I look forward to it anyway.

Photo Kano – I was going to drop this show until I watched the photo shoot with the student council president. I am not sure what that says about me (probably nothing flattering) but the visuals are worth a look. I think this is really an “anime no chikara” example because without the animation direction this show is totally crap-tier. I like how it makes me feel like a dirty upskirting otaku without being one, but at the same time some really enjoyable visuals, with or without fanservice. I hope that one photography girl’s episode is all about dutch angles or something.

Sparrow’s Hotel – It’s a sin to be watching this without finishing Inferno Cop. I probably should finish Inferno Cop. Maybe same can be said of Nin Nin Shinobuden. Half-length. I’m actually a couple weeks behind but I think Minori Chihara’s greatest power is leveraging her natural ditz.

My Teenage Romantic Comedy SNAFU – OreGuile as I call it, it’s like a more pleasant version of Haganai in my mind. Which is probably a good thing. Also, what’s up with making Hayami Saori do the chew-you-out routine? I hope some enterprising people have made a cliip of it circa Tari Tari. I mean I would pay for this. Seriously.

Railgun S – As long as it continues to dish out things I want out of this franchise, I’ll continue to watch it I guess. The set of things I want out of this franchise may include beam weapons, awesome combat scenes, and that nostalgic, early 90s “winners don’t use drugs” mentality and themes. What I have to put up with kind of evens out with what I get, so I’m not in the greatest hurry or most wanting of this series.

Hold/dropped

Yuyushiki – I want to like this show and for the most part I do like it, it is likable, but the pacing suffers greatly. I might still stick with it, I don’t know.

Zettai Bouei Leviathan – Same can be said of this show. It’s way weaker than the other anime with Leviathan in it. Other than for the seiyuu, nothing is lost by dropping this one so it made a quick out.

Date-a-Live – I really enjoy the premise and they started off with a nice, earnest-type tsundere character, which is a very safe bet. I hope the show lives up to its creative premise. It’s on hold because there’s too much on my plate so this anime will take a back seat; also I don’t feel I have a good grasp of this show at 3 episodes in.

Chihayafuru S2 – I decided to put this off because it is really easy to marathon later. The funny thing is, after I got back from Japan I was going to catch up, but the word of a recap episode kind of put me off. So it continues to be put off. It’s going to be fun to watch either way you do it, so I think it’s no big deal other than having to mute everyone who tweets about the show.

The Severing Crime Edge – I just want to hit up all the fetishes every week. Not enough of a reason to continue I guess.

Red Data Girl – I probably would be watching it every week if I didn’t have to dodge people who are watching the pre-release, and as a result unable to talk to anyone who is watching this show. I mean, I know many of us are not watching the pre-release but this totally ruins the overall discourse. That said I’ve not dropped this show, although it’s up in the air if I will end up finishing it.

And that’s all folks! Actually, I’m probably missing something, not including the shows I didn’t want to include (I did skim through some Carnival and Utapri). But oh well…

PS. Aiura – This is, like a teaser/demo/sampler right? It’s both funny how people whine about its length, and how cruel because it’s so good yet so short. At the same time I think I’ll be okay if every episode has a shot of the back of the leg of someone lying down, the whole time.


Wai AnimeSols Akari AnimeSols Daisuki

datedatedatedatedaisukidakara.jpg

I think I’m going to have a good time making fun of Daisuki. Daisuki, the international effort of a Japanese congolmerate trying to promote digital streaming distribution overseas, opened its doors last Thursday and featured a sampling of free streaming anime with both new shows like Gundam Seed HD and Lupin the III 2nd season. I mean, that’s quite a range; you could be crawling in your skin watching Sword Art Online one moment and slapping away with Zeta Gundam the next.

Launching the site also means playing most of its hand. The design of the site seems to break down into a video section and a store section. The FAQ page lists various generic Q&As that a retailer site would have. It also answers questions about a potential pay-subscription service. None of those things are available yet. In fact, other than some hiccups, there’s not much to say about Daisuki itself right now.

The one thing that can be said is DRM. At least, I am assuming this is why Daisuki’s video playback require flash, and local storage via flash. So if you can’t get that to work, no video for you. Which also means no video for most devices running Android 4.1+ or any iOS devices.

A very different story happened 2 days earlier when AnimeSols launched. The half-kickstarter, half-free-streaming site launched with 8 titles from the wayback machine. I watched an episode of Creamy Mami and I am like, hey this is not entirely terrible. It uses only HTML5 which means it works on everything other than Firefox and some versions of IE. They are essentially streaming without DRM.

It isn’t to say AnimeSols don’t have (serious) problems. The website looks like a fan site from 6 years ago, the pledge mechanism could be better (eg., can’t freely cancel pledge before deadline). The fatal flaw is a general lack of understanding why successful crowdfunding projects are successful. It didn’t launch with some key components like FAQ and the like (some were added afterwards). There are simply too many launch pledge titles, there is next to zero discovery mechanism, and generally does a poor job of marketing any of their pledge drives (in fact I don’t even know how it is suppose to work, who is running them, etc). Well, it’s hard to say what is what without knowing the constraints Daisuki and AnimeSols had to work with, but AnimeSols is like that beautiful paper airplane from ef, except it’s gonna crash and burn.

I think there’s a half-empty, half-full approach to look at these two new ventures. On one hand, anime is kind of an insular business, especially since Japan can’t be counted on to produce a catchy tech business, let alone revolving around children’s cartoons. Outside of Japan, there are probably too few people to really call on in order to make something really top notch. At least, not after Crunchyroll–arguably the only legit startup in the business. That Strike Witches joke from Seizon season one, heh, strikes again–it takes more than one person to make an anime; it takes also more than one person to sell it.

But I would love to be proven wrong.

These two sites are just getting started. Time will tell. Meanwhile go sign up on Daisuki, win some prizes and vote on what you want to see. If you want junk from anime studios’ storage closets in the form of “vintage merchandise” from shows back in the 70s, go back some stuff from AnimeSols.

PS. The post topic is brought to you by this adorable twitter bot. This post is brought to you by the need to pun.

PPS. The ANNCast with Daisuki rep is unfortunate. I’m not sure anyone took note or what, but if there’s one takeaway, it’s that old Toei titles are all open game (eg., people will really daisuki for Daisuki when it becomes the one place that shows Sailor Moon), except of whatever that may be blocking their way.

PPPS. Hi there.

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