Category Archives: Blood

Judge Book by Cover: Winter 2011 Edition

Another year, another season, another activity under the sun. Three-ep test time, right?

Danshi Koukosei no Nichijou – Nichibros is great fun. But I am not compelled. I think Nichijou was more compelling, despite significantly less gut-busting fun. Maybe it will grow on me. Maybe not. It’s still a lot of fun though.

Symphogear – Only if Polyphonica was like this. That said I ought to drop it. Wake me up when Minami Takayama shows up again. What is up with Nana Mizuki and crap anime anyways? At any rate, the weird feeling that I should go suffer through Blood-C first before this prompts me to do that first before watching any more Symphogear. Which is probably unlikely.

Kill Me Baby – It’ll probably be fun to watch at 2x speed. But not for me.

Ano Natsu de Matteru – Probably my most anticipated anime coming out of the first 3 episodes. There is a warmth to the characters and the animation radiates love. Kind of like how iM@S was. And believe it or not, Ichigo Morino (kind of wondering what would go with Umino) takes the spot of the first fixed pose PVC moe girl figure I ever owned. But actually, even if none of what I said just now is true, I would’ve put AnoNatsu in the #1 spot on the strength of episode 3 alone. It’s just a terrific piece of witty rom-com in the span of 23 minutes. It’s this kind of stuff that elevates late-night otaku fantasy into the realm of something that can be taken seriously as entertainment.

Mouretsu Pirates – Definitely my most anticipated anime going into this season. Does not disappoint. I am fine with the slow pace.

Rinne no Lagrange – This and Aquarion fight a bitter fight to see if it can fit into my even more restricted anime viewing time. It has an edge because it is on Hulu.

Aquarion EVOL – Just like the old series. But unfortunately I didn’t like the old show that much. I get the feeling it will be a mid-season call for this one, or will it have more staying power than Gundam AGE? One weird thing I noticed is how watching the OP and ED without any subtitles drastically improved my viewing experience. It’s like there is a saturation point in terms of what happens on every cut at any given time. The credits actually reduces the load on my sensory organs, but the subtitles (especially my favorite Karaoke subs) pushes it way over the edge and you missout that immersive experience as your eyes begin to ignore the stuff the subs breaks out from one moving frame to the other. Or at least it was for me.

High School DxD – Boobs are great, aren’t they?

Nisemonogatari – I wish I could just say “Boobs are great, aren’t they?” Definitely will finish it, simply because despite how much I find Nisioisin’s tricks worthless, they are quite entertaining. Also, at this point how can anyone take this show beyond pure fanservice? I have a hard time taking it seriously at all, maybe at the most as a funny word problem.

Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai! – Better known as Papakiki or “Listen to Me Girls, I Am Your Father!” it is more like, well, a planewreck than a train wreck. The first two episodes does a great job making a serious matter serious in this heavily saturated genre of man meets loli. The only question left is will the man meats loli? Also, the sempai character is kind of interesting.

Knight in the Area – Sums up why I have a hard time embracing shows like Cross Game, which I further contemplate if it has to do with why sports manga will never fly in America. Also, carwreck lol.

Another – I generally dislike horror as a genre, but this show is so gorgeous I don’t know if I can drop it. Also, Chihiro vibes where? Episode 3 ends with a very nice punch. Too bad she was my favorite moe character in the show; also makes a great first target.

Amagami SS+ – Glad it only has 2-ep arcs. First arc was kind of dreadful actually. But at this point I might as well finish. Good thing about 2-ep arcs is that any bad stuff only lasts for so long before another two reroll. Rihoko arc has proved to capture a bit more of the charm from the first series already!

Inu x Boku SS – I’m blogging it over at Jtor, and so far it is a deviation from what we typically expect out of David Pro. While I’m not holding my breath on it I expect it to be actually entertaining enough along the lines of, say, Maid-sama. Except instead of the annoying feminist blunders, it’ll have a lot of fujoshi baits. Or I hope. Ending is a great little nod.

Thermae Romae – It’s short and sweet. Being educational is a bonus. Also I’m really happy that it is only 6 eps long, because I’m not sure how much more of this I can handle.

Poyopoyo – It’s short and sweet and I can handle cats like this.

Recorder and Randsell – It’s short. Watching this on CR makes me wonder why am I not watching Morita-san or GDGT Fairies instead? But being on CR and being short means I can watch it on the commute.

Summer 2011 Checklist

I better do this before Otakon washes me out. This being just a run-through on the interesting titles this season.

As usual, just because I couldn’t fit a show in here doesn’t mean it does not deserve it. I think it’s self-destructively amazing that I can still watch so much anime given my usual hours. And I’m writing about it. Probably just so I can then forget it and do something else. Anyways…

Are you ready? I’m ready. At least my body is ready, so they say.

Mawaru Penguindrum wins the visual award. I’m blogging it elsewhere, but hopefully it’ll make me want to write more about it here too.

Mood-wise, I am pretty partial to Kamisama no Memochu and Kamisama Dolls. The latter just makes me want to sing UNINSTALL for some reason. The former has that DRRR chic with match eccentric NEET-types. But I don’t know; both shows are wildcards in execution and plot departments.

A supposedly safer bet is Blood-C. In a lot of ways Blood+ was really flawed. Like a PS3 is flawed. Blood-C has potential to reboot the brand, while retaining what is attractive and boot what isn’t from its predecessors. But each reimagination sucks the life out of the original concept a little more than before. It’s also my Nico experiment target #1–something relatively high profile, good viewer numbers, and hopefully some slick comments will feature-add over the dumb comments.

Twin Angel is also a Nico experiment, except for the reverse of course. I now truly understand what people mean when they said they’ve watched really crappy anime on Nico that they would not have otherwise.

I thought the same for  R-15. The truth is, it’s the creative sort of crap anime that is sufficiently enticing that I would probably continue to watch it even without the Nico snipping. It may be a typical harem kind of show, but it’s sufficiently deviant from the norm to be amusing and thought-provoking (at least a little).

And that is way more praise than I can give for shows like Black Rabbit. I feel all Kuroneko about this anime, in the sense that it’s some pathetic chuunibyou attempt to cash in on some thing by using the most unoriginal source material. That is probably too harsh, but at least in Yumekui Merry there’s some kind of moe factor along with a sharp directional sense. We don’t get either in this. And why am I slamming Yumekui Merry? Obviously Index is the real true public enemy #1.

Dantalian at least looks passably okay. Nico comments do help it go a little farther, like Blood-C. But I’m not excited.

Nekogami Yaoyorozu is… Touhou animu. Too bad it’s not even funny.

The real dark horse this season is Ikoku Meiro no Croisée. I mean, it’ll be all culturally relevant and iyashikei with moe power over 9000. “A Jasc show” by all means. It’s got that huge advantage only because there is nobody pissing on it as everyone is too busy pissing on Usagi Drop. Grrrr.

Total aside, isn’t it ironic how a bit over a year ago Funimation has noitaminA on that partnership lockdown? Look at things now! Zero shows!

I think Number 6 will get its audience; the drama (in the noitaminA format) should be compelling as long as there’s some substance. It can’t be worse than Jyuohsei. And I watched Jyuohsei. Oh poor me.

The real guilty pleasure this season is obviously Ro-Kyu-Bu. And I’m doing it for the seiyuu marketing. Yeah. That’s it. But more seriously, if it can stay true for its three-episode-pilot about team building and your garden variety sports drama tropes, I can’t see how it’ll turn out badly. Unless you count the FBI breaking things up as a bad end.

Oh, speaking of those 3-ep-pilots, I thought R-15 ep2 was in every way superior than ep1. It’s like watching two different shows, the differences. Ro-Kyu-Bu also had a similar difference, but that’s more because the plot stuff didn’t kick in full gear until episode 2. What’s up with that?

Then again some shows are still playing true to formula. I’m not sure what I’m suppose to do with Sacred Seven. I probably will pass on it until I catch up on Blue Exorcist. Or something equally unlikely. It’s not bad, just not good enough.

But sometimes not good enough is fine, if you’re the only thing that airs on CR (so I can watch it on the road via 3G streaming) on Monday (man I miss Kaminomi). YuruYuri is just that.

Kind of wish that is true for Mayoi Chiki too. As is tho, it might not matter–if I can’t get to episode 2 by the time episode 4 airs, the odds are low that I will ever watch it.

Is this it? Probably not. I have a couple more shows that I want to try (ie., Manyuu!). I think I’m watching still a lot of shows left over from last season, which cuts into the new shows I can pick up. And then there’s stuff coming back like Bakatest. Oh well.

So the net total is pretty good; we’re talking about just two shows that I find even at all notable that isn’t getting a simulcast. Even Morita-san has it. Now we can argue about 1 hr or 24 hr or 72 hr or 144 hr or whatever, or if we can even call it simulcast (I don’t think we should), but in my book any of those is better than never.

The Niconico Meme Malaise

It’s commonly known and accepted that during the “golden age” of anime in the mid 2000s, and also a part of the reason behind the uptake of sites like Youtube and NicoNico Douga, is the fact that you can watch anime on those sites as a part of a shared experience. Specifically, people watched anime on Nico because of the comments as enabled by the floating comment system that overlays text over video. It was hilarious.

It’s interesting because 2005 was when sites like Youtube started to get real traction with the public. It was new; people uploaded all sorts of videos there and then passed links to their friends. How that fits into the social context that makes up the overall notion of social media on the internet was something to be figured out. But, as you see today, there is probably not much room left for something like Nico’s famous overlay text system. Youtube eventually opted for a similar overlay technology for annotation, and it’s used to serve ads as well, but it was just not the same.

Just to muse on it some more: since Nico is launching a US portal with simulcast anime content, will we ever “recreate” the same sort of thing? The whole “anime is more fun when watched with folks” kind of thing, for certain shows? I’m not sure, but I am leaning towards no. Maybe the moment has passed. Maybe westerners no longer care for anime in that kind of viewing factor, and maybe those who do are more concerned about repeating memes than to offer insightful, interesting and funny comment that goes with watching anime in that context. I mean, who wants to read youtube comments?

But you would think a Pachinko anime makes great content for people to trash. So I did it. And it kind of works; actively commenting on it made watching it a little more bearable, but it was a bit of a hassle to pause when typing. However, even the best seiyuu talent cannot save something like Twin Angel: Twinkle Paradise.

I just hope this does not stop them from rolling out t-shirts at cons to everyone. Or not bring over their trademarked animated gifs (I noticed they were adorning the blog section of the site…)

The other day I also managed to watch Blood-C on Nico. The results are partly what I feared but also partly promising. A few good caps made it a lot more amusing, while there were also a lot of dumb meme repetition that didn’t really belong. It’s notably different than my other viewings (R-15 and Twin Angel) because I waited for almost a week to catch Blood-C, and it’s probably the highest profile anime they’re streaming. Those two…well, it’s sparse. You can find those streams on Nico’s channel page.

Which, is to say, it’s a totally different beast even compared to their Atlantis launch live stream last week, which I watched for about 30 minutes. That one looked pretty okay… And it isn’t that memes are a problem; it’s how you use it.

PS. Is it me or the way text scrolls in English need to be adjusted? Or is my reading bandwidth taxed having to both read the subs and the scrolling comments? Maybe both? I find it much easier to read short comments since they stay on screen longer, where as long comments fly across the screen crazy fast. And like Twitter, it’s much more likely to need to write long comments in English than it is in Japanese. This requires some tweaking on Nico’s part.