Monthly Archives: November 2016

It is not Your Fault, Izetta; it’s Mine.


Sometimes reading other people’s blogs give you a way to convey what you wanted to say but couldn’t find the words for, and such is the case here. I don’t know if I am happy with “uncanny valley” to describe where Izetta’s hijinks fall in with Too Much Realism way to explain how some things don’t jive. To me the hope I had with the series shattered when the OP came on in episode 2. If there was a path that leads us beyond the uncanny valley, it would be the bridge of suspended beliefs. Too bad the whole busty witch with no panty shots riding a big gun flying around shooting tanks with swords thing is way over the load bearing limitations of strands of good will and its fantastic, make-believe setting of not-historic-but-you-know-what-is-going-on.

I still stuck with 6 episodes of the show and it turned out to be an OK experience. I can see why certain European countries would like to stick it out with the series through thick and thin, and props to them. For those of us who don’t have a bone in the national-pride-game-because-my-country-is-(not)-in-a-fiction, however, I’m not sure you would have trouble finding a better use of your time and attention than to follow this silly thing that is really just full-on-pandering in disguise.

I’d like to compare it to Keijo!!!!!!!!, where we all go in expecting something and in the end got something slightly different, too, but in that situation our expectation betrayed us in a positive way. (I’d add Keijo!!!!!!!! is a great example of a story use both its strengths and weaknesses to delight). It’s like a post-Aria otaku media world, where we want our wide faces iyashikei stories not because they heal, but because we’re healed through much poetry and finesse, even if the portrayal is the utmost ordinary.

Naobou Debut! But Does It even Matter Anymore?

I think the most astute observation I’ve read since the announce of Touyama Nao’s solo music career start was that she’s the only singer on Q-MHz’s album that did not had a solo career. It is also likely not a coincidence that her attachment to Flying Dog (subsidiary of Victor) is like how Kinmoza is a Flying Dog seiyuu group. I also think this is kind of like how Numakura Manami got into all this, who went on record after her solo debut to explain that her days in Trident changed her mind on this matter. Both are with Flying Dog, too.

So it’s possible that this is a localized phenomenon. Both Numakura and Touyama are well-known among seiyuu otaku circles as people who’s got “it” and can perform the solo stuff, but clearly there’s a difference as people who got into the biz as seiyuu versus those who are making a music career from that fan base (or beyond). In other words, we are not looking at it from the talent’s perspective. We are not looking at it so much from the producer’s perspective either.

I just want to point out that it doesn’t really matter, solo career or not. For example, last night’s roundup from Crunchyroll off of the usual anime matome blogs didn’t even mention this. Imagine if I was a PR guy I would almost be mad that the main news doesn’t get reported, but the ancillary social media engagement did. I mean, having a twitter account is not that big of a deal in the big picture, especially since it’s a PR account. It’s funny, a little weird, but also not unexpected. It also shows us where our priorities lie.

And the truth is that seiyuu do the solo music thing all the time, ever since decades ago. Entertainment biz was fluid even before seiyuu became a thing, and that part hasn’t changed. Naobou started with a push as Kaminomi’s idol character, and that anime adaptation went all in on it, with seiyuu talents who all turned out to have ties to works of that nature. In some sense Naobou is the least surprising seiyuu debut this year, to the degree that a lot of us go “huh, she didn’t yet?”

Strange bonds...

I personally am still reeling from buying all this Mocho stuff, and was already happy enough that I was there in person during her solo announcement. I guess we’ll see how things go, but I get the feeling we’re not going anywhere we have not been before.

Flip Flappers 5

It’s hard for me to write about this show, which is, by all means, a trip. By that I mean, like, if you’ve just had a great cruise vacation or a nice international flight, you might be tired by the end but you’re kind of refreshed. To stretch the analogy, when it comes to Flip Flappers, it’s like traveling first class.

To me, though, as someone who always flies economy, the joys and sorrows of flight as an eventer has more to do with bargain shopping, optimizing travel times, doing the best mileage runs, taking advantage of various loyalty programs and promotions, and the ins and outs of frugal traveling. The parallel here is that if you drop a show like Girlish Number on my lap it’s like dropping a CSR on my lap. I like it and can enjoy the various perks, but it is definitely not for everybody. In fact one of my issues with that show is exactly reading the reactions of people who are not familiar with the ins and outs of the seiota world, which is namely everybody who has bothered to review it that I’ve read. “Yeah you may get 3x points on restaurants but you aren’t getting the travel benefits if you don’t travel!” It’s like that.

Flip Flappers is kind of like flying first class. Sure, it might be weird and you definitely don’t understand what’s going on all the time, but Yayaka holds Cocona’s hand throughout the process, and you’re a little bit assured that at the core of the experience is a story about friendship that we are just a little too familiar with.


Too familiar, because episode 5 properly subvert the notion of their relationship in this house of repeating horror looped by the comfort of same-sex familiarity. The yuri is fun to watch and it’s a point of overlap in which Flip Flapper explains itself to the viewer in as many words. I mean it takes fewer words too, compared to, say, post-apocalyptic sand societies. Or Mad Max.

Visually this episode kind of blown me away. Yeah you can make an Utena joke, but we’ve been doing this since the 90s. Flip Flapper actually does something I thought that was kind of trendy in episode 5, which is pairing it with actual horror, and not just the horrifying thought that your yuri ship can sink at any time by the canons of canon. (Heyo, Kyoto Animation. BTW, if Flip Flappers 5 is a first class flight, then Sound Euphonium 5 is definitely a cruise.) Anyways, the magical girls stuff is a vehicle for the fine animators described here to show us just how there is strength in numbers? How many people worked on this show? The art credit is like, a mile high, let alone the key animators.

As you can see I’m just not equipped to gush over animation, even if at times I feel compelled to do so. The dimensionality inside the clock tower is vertically oriented, which allows for the crazy action scenes we sort of saw in episode 3 take place in a constrained space. It made those fanfare slo-mo during the transformation scenes fit. Inside a closed environment we can think of it in more straightforward terms (versus, say, Brave Witches and the requirement for clouds or the ocean in every single air combat scene).

I just don’t think it’s low cal?

PS. Go vote you American pigs!

Girlish Number Is a Form of Gap Analysis

This blog post is like a 200-level course and requires you to be familiar with Girlish Number episodes 1-4. And seiyuu/anime biz. Spoilers, in other words.

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