Monthly Archives: March 2015

2015 Split Double Header, Game 2: Day 1-3

As some of you might know I’m currently in Japan as of this writing. The funny blog post title is more a clue for you to figure out what the hell do I mean by it, and for me to distinguish this series of travelogues from the other ones I will write, which hopefully will be for IM@S 10th.

The trip for this “game” includes, hopefully, a NPB exhibition game too, so pardon the baseball motif. Their proper season doesn’t begin until in 2 weeks I think, but the various teams are already doing their spring training games and what not. The one I am planning to go to is the Samurai versus Euro game. Snooze, right?

Also, I want to write a few notes about the lives I attended.

This might get kind of long.

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Maria the Virgin Witch

I finally was able to catch up big time on this little series. Maybe it’s better to explain why I had to do that. (At least, aside from being on Funimation.)

The issue is pretty much summed up, albeit regarding a different facet, as to why anyone who is familiar with modern late-night anime might find concerning. I quote:

I hope it also doesn’t suddenly turn into a morality play about the Otaku Virtues.

witch activity

What first drew me to the series was actually the exact opposite: more toilet jokes are okay. The whole Shakespearean feel to the story was refreshing, and also appropriately gutter-level fanservice trash. It turned out to be different, which I was okay with given that the focus was on a lot of plot-related stuff, building character motivations, what have you.

The one thing that I cannot stand in this context is obvious moral soapboxing that is actually the point of the story, and unfortunately Maria is chock full of it. It really comes down to the main character, being who she is, had to say the things she say and do the things she does, because otherwise she lives in a caricature world of moral ambiguity and corruption. I get all this regarding the heretic and the traditionally democratically-ordained religious norms she had to deal with. Unfortunately that just makes it worse. In fact the more they try to do the “oh some people are good/bad” the more I retch, not because of the veracity of its value judgment but rather it’s all too eager to make them for you. Maybe if there is a better way to pass the pill, so to speak. The famed English playwright was a master of this.

Maybe the problem really was that Maria was French?

Actually, the problem is more like the French has no sense of humor. The most powerful tool in this story is criminally underplayed in Maria: stuff needs to make people laugh. It goes back to kind of why fanservice heavy shows are often comedic, because it helps to make viewing it tolerable. Same here, except it’s not for fanservice’s sake. We have the owls having a jolly o’ time but they are even rarely funny. It’s like most of the laughs comes from either bullying Hanazawa’s owl or some big-breasted voice joke from Pikasha. Maria has got to do better on that front: both the show and the character.

Otherwise, though, Maria the Virgin Witch is pretty solid so far, and refreshingly different. It is just sad that these important, but unfortunate issues will hold it back from being actually good.


Choucho – transient blue

Choucho did two shows on back-to-back days at the end of February for her Whitepetals live shows and I was fortunate enough to be able to catch her last show, where she performed a couple tracks off of her limited single, transient blue (stylized with lower caps). It comes with three original Choucho compositions with acoustic arrangements, plus the acoustic version of Authentic symphony.

It’s a Lantis single but produced with an indie budget. During MC, Choucho talked about transient blue being something she had a big hand in producing and it was recorded humbly. During the acoustic corner she performed a couple songs out of the single (full set list both days here) and luckily we got to hear Answer on day two. It’s a pretty neat treat for a couple wary English-speaking travelers who flew in to catch the show. I’m just going to transcribe the song here.

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Voices, Social Structures

I read this and I don’t get what the other end of the spectrum is. And to be fair, aren’t we all Evirus wannabes? Who are these exceptions?

Some incidental spoilers on Shirobako ahead. It’s not a post about Shirobako so I didn’t think it’s a big deal.

Ogasawara

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