Monthly Archives: May 2013

Flood OreImo Web Radio with Your Overflowing Affection

“Otakus of the world, unite!”

DJ KURONEKO is probably a real DJ.

Should I put a [sic] there? I guess not. Anyway, Oreimo season 2 web radio has this corner where they are reading international fan mail. So it’s really neat. What’s even more awesome is how the web radio page got a translation so you can just waltz over and type in nonsense and hit submit. I think it would be great if all the oversea viewers of OreImo got to send their messages to the radio show.

To do it right, I think you also need to try a few things.

  • If you have some Japanese ability, try to write your message in Japanese. It’s okay to use terrible Japanese if you are a legit gaijin, and I think it’s kind of a good thing, as that gives them something to talk about. But it’s also impressive if your written Japanese is top notch.
  • Approach the message like a letter. Write a “Dear Miss Taketatsu and Miss Hanazawa” in there or something. It’s okay to close with “sincerely yours” but it’s probably not as important as the initial bit of the letter. It’s tempting to treat it like an internet blog comment, but this is a radio show still, folks.
  • Include where you are from in the letter. And generally stick to topic.
  • Additionally if you can handle listening to the previous episodes (well, just ep 2 and 3), give it a spin and hear what they say about the segment to give you an idea what to write.

I ended up using machine translated text. Great thing about Google’s web interface is that it has text-to-speech, so I can translate the text and hit playback to at least make sure what I wrote sounds okay, even if I can’t read it.

Most of these tie-in radio shows are pre-recorded, and so is this one. New episodes come out twice a month on alternating Thursdays (Japan time), but it makes me think that they’re recorded at the same time. At least, given episodes 1 and 2. I’m guessing if we submit comments to the show today, it probably won’t show up in the next week’s episode.

I think this is a great way to show that oversea fans can represent. They’re asking for it. Let’s give it to them.

PS. Just want to document this … thing some more.

The Shiny Festa: Now an English Language Hoobie

Isn't she on my team wut

Since Bamco decided to localize the three iDOLM@STER Shiny Festa games for the iOS (and especially make it look nice on the iPad), I’ve been enthralled with them yet again. Well, specifically, I finally got to play all three this time, thanks to a friend whose favorite is Chihaya, which rounds out the one game that I don’t own in some form. If it wasn’t clear, I own “Rhythmic Record” on the iOS (that’s the team lolicon version) and “Groovy Tunes” on the PSP (that’s the one everyone buys, ie., Makoto, Miki, Yukiho & Takane).

In some ways if you are familiar with iM@S, there are no surprises here. It’s the same smooth cool-aid that I’ve been drinking since almost 2 years ago. The games offer new songs, old songs, popular songs, character songs, meaningful songs, and some duds. I still don’t think much of the music in the game, but seeing the girls dance to the rhythm is a fun thing. Turning the experience into a video game, though, is something else entirely.

It’s exactly what you don’t get when you go to an idol concert. Maybe this is where wotagei can transform these group-participatory experiences into game-like situations. It’s as if someone turned the ritual of Mass into achievements and on-beat motions, or pulling off a PPPH with the preacher gets you bonuses? I’m not sure how to feel about that exaggeration that I just made. But it’s not far off the mark.

Which is to say, Shiny Festa is still a set of video games. It’s fun, because of the songs, of the dancing, of the core game design decisions, because it’s well-polished, it looks nice on an iPad, and it’s got our oshimen in it.

Best Cinderella Idol

Me too, Anzu.

And lots of jokes. Jokes are the studs and buttons and the stitches of iDOLM@STER fandom. The entire franchise is a series of corny jokes, interspersed with showsmanship, gameplay, and spending of money. And I’m barely exaggerating. Continue reading

Reading Reddit So You Don’t Have To: DQ/GSC AMA

I missed cherry blossom season just by that much

In summary, these are probably the most interesting actual questions/answers (IMO):

  • A blurp about Mikatan’s translated blog posts and being too sexy? It’s kind of funny to read this, and that is probably only because I read Mikatan for luls. For people who don’t know, Mikatan is a GSC employee who “reviews” figures by posing photos of new products that go on sale or on pre-order. Review in quotes because it’s more just plain PR, although it is still quite functional. Her blog also includes a lot of inside info, as expected of a social media outlet for a small, otaku-focused company. It’s just in the past few weeks there were some entries that is LOL, shall we say, a bit fanservicy. And she gets right down to it (“One of us”). Perhaps what is truly notable is that she writes in Japanese and someone translates it into English (old posts) usually a day later (and I think part of that charm might be lost in translation, causing it to feel more pervy). It’s also kind of prolific (a couple posts a week).
  • Regarding import restriction. I don’t have the full picture on this but it comes down to that there’s some degree of price discrimination between Japanese releases and oversea releases, plus an additional time lag. It’s most notable with Kotobukiya figures. The price difference between oversea and domestic releases are usually not very big so it’s not a super big deal, but the larger Japanese online shops do brisk and good business selling overseas, such as HLJ, Hobby Search and AmiAmi. There’s a reason why Amazon doesn’t sell overseas I guess. At the same time, you get into this situation where an official oversea distribution setup has to jump through more hoops like licensing issues and what have you, and that puts local retailers at a big disadvantage. What has happened in the past is that some JP distros will tell JP retailers to not sell to oversea buyers, but that doesn’t really hold any weight legally so the practice continues for the most part. Thing is, most importers aren’t paying any less to get our figures from Japan, so the real victims here are local shops, who may get the same figures, often for a slightly lower price, but months later. Well, with the exchange rate being what it is, it’s even cheaper now.
  • GSC is planning to hold tryouts for figure sculptors in the USA? Very interesting.
  • Future of 3D printing (including paint). I guess this hit the JP news cycle a while back but it’s good to see it again.
  • Sales patterns between US and Japan. Pretty much what you expect.

Some bigger picture things:

  • People want more vocaloid figures, duh. By more I mean non-Crypton ones. I’d say IA, because she’s still new, not to mention I’d buy one.
  • Pretty much everything popular, GSC will try to make it, or so it seems.
  • Figure collecting is still a niche market, overall, but like what DQ says, it’s got a very wide bottom, with a sharp spike somewhere representing you, me and all these peeps.

I like GSC. They run their company as if they know what they’re doing in terms of marketing. I hope you guys going to Acen or AX take the time to visit their booths, should be a good time.

Jojo Generation

Lisa Lisa

I was listening to this at some point before my trip in which the interviewee, a internet-popular personality defines meme as an idea that passes through generations a way DNA does, but just faster. Then I thought about Jojo.

I viewed Jojo TV marathon-style, but in sprints. The first 6 episodes I took it weekly, then I watched like 7-14 in one shot, and then 15 to the end after maybe a 3-month gap. I thought it worked well, except that the last chunk of it I was kind of just plowing through while half-tired and jetlagged, on a plane.

Feeling tired while watching the climatic end to Jojo made it a little less dramatic. But watching it marathon style does nothing to hide the feeling that the same formula in which the same kind of thing happens in the first arc was used in the second arc. Maybe it’s a good way to see how the 1800s isn’t so different than the 1900s. I don’t know if it’s true or not, at least when it comes to the content of our heroes’ hearts and the curse of the super-species of man that started eons ago.

It feels like memes are the anachronism for the future? Like, it is both a pot mark in the past in which the future can “understand” (eg., via name dropping) and also a way in which the future can connect to the past (eg., generational). It’s just the vantage point differ, since there’s that arrow of time and all.


~Spring~ 2013 Anison Albums

I put ~ around Spring because the albums I’ll cover in this post go before Spring. Basically, the crap I alluded to in this post.

As a commenter on Danbooru would have it, "DES Metal!"

Actually the main reason I want to share these opinions is so I can write a sentence about something from Angela to Zwei. And it really reflects the sort of releases we’re seeing for the first half of 2013. There’s also some observable trends. The “vocaloidzation of seiyuu idol music” is really the number one thing. That, and the appeal of groups.

By “vocaloidzation” I mean it in a simple, one plus one sort of way. Just like how I can enjoy a Kuchiroro track because of the seiyuu connection (and also because Kuchiroro is ballers), same can be said of producing seiyuu music in a similar way–just treat their vocals as samples rather than cohesive part of an idol image. Well, the vocals are part of the idol image, may it be reduced more so in recent years, but you gotta wonder how many people stopped listening to the likes of Mamiko Noto because it kind of hurts. Well, maybe it’s better to say that thanks to vocaloid fandom, now there is another framework in which we can make idol music. Because as cool as showa-era idols are, it’s a tough thing to ask of anyone. The sad fact is that while there are a lot more pretty faces today among the seiyuu idol crowd, and there are a number of decent singers, the two still rarely overlap.

Joking aside, with Yuikaori graduating from StylipS (and I feel this is something they sort of planned from ages ago), or how the Yuki Aoi x Taketatsu Ayana combination is now a thing, what does this mean? On the other hand Itou Shizuka is still putting out stuff and there’s that Pikasha woman with her album debut eminent. Aniplex’s Hanazawa project is going swimmingly, and it really does complement the array of artists they have under their thumb. With competent production companies and pipelines, idols gonna idol…? Money will part from fools, all is well with the world. And let’s get a move on– [aff links ahoy]

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