Category Archives: Coyote Ragtime Show

Manabi Style, or UFO Table Loves Me

I call it the intersection of “loli and heart.” And it’s more like this loli than that loli.

But for real, Manabi Straight is by-the-book UFOTable. In a way this is what I was expecting from Coyote Ragtime Show, but that one was “heart and cool” except it’s a lot more “heart” and UFOTable’s “cool” is a little passe and not 80s enough? We may love Mister and Angelica, but it just wasn’t Cowboy Bebop-like?

But yes, it’s signature UFOTable. If you haven’t seen Dokkoida then not only you should be ashamed of yourself, nor you know not what loli (and definitely sisucon) really is. I think the same probably can be said of the Norio piece that is Ninja Nonsense, except that was more Coyote than Manabi.

I’m an UFOTable fan. The point of this rant isn’t so much to explain why already by episode 2 (not even to mention 3) this is already blowing away all the other new shows this season, as much as to explain why I like UFOTable so. I like them mostly because, in as much as you expect something like Suzumiya Haruhi or Kyoani’s Kanon from Kyoani, I expect Manabi from UFOTable.

From an objective perspective, sure, it’s just a decent studio delivering what they promised its audience early on, even after stumbling at a few turns here and there, but it blows away all competition. It’s like a Gainax show, almost.

And like Gainax, not everything is a hit. They’ve came up short three times since Dokkoida, but it seems three times is what it takes to do a good enough job. It’s not to talk smack of Futakoi Alternative, but well, that’s a rant for another time. But I’m all about smack for Coyote!

The Tsukihime Half-Time Show

No wonder Coyote Ragtime Show sounded so familiar when I first heard of it.

Arcuied Brunstead

Sorry, this is not so much of a show and much more of a tell. But half way through Type-Moon’s first big-time hit, it struck me that what made the stuff tick is translatable. Stuff was ticking; people who I don’t expect to enjoy or to be remotely interested in the game were playing it. Its warm reception seems to give credit to its content.

Admittedly on the other hand, I find the material a little unreal. In some ways it tries very hard to bring a sense of seriousness about death and holding onto a selfish sense of existence. At points it spirals out on the edge of existential panic to drive Shiki’s motivation home. Yet, so many other times they don’t explain his motivations. Maybe it’s a thematic point they’ll explore later on in the game, but it seems a bit odd.

It seems funny when they are doing the whole crime-and-punishment bit. What would wash away Shiki’s sins? Nothing but the blood of a Jesus allegory, I guess. Or who’d know that tidbits about South American zombies to be relevant? Those were pretty good highlights, as they made me chuckle (at the wrong moments).

But how about the ero scenes? I pretty much smashed the mouse button furiously, for better or worse. Not so sure if the writing was holding up, either…

It’s an intriguing story. Which is probably why I’m still playing it. Shingetsutan Tsukihime, I think, wasn’t as out of whack from this as what people say because it also had an intriguing story. Sure, it doesn’t have the best parts from the game, to start the list of its failures, but it’s not that bad…

Anyways, do yourself a favor and play this game. It’s pretty expensive to buy it, but maybe you’re one of those kind souls who would help to adopt a copy of Tsukibako and give it a good home for the rest of its life. It’s a good thing that I didn’t pawn my copy for a small profit. I’ll be cool about it if that means you’ll have to pirate it first. It looks like you’ll have to pay an auction service but the overall cost isn’t really more than $400, and maybe as low as $100.

One more funny thing. I remember when I first played Tsukihime around the time I first got a copy of Tsukibako. I remember some retarded curfew in the Tohno household. And I remember Akiha and the maids getting into hissy fits like Shiki was when Shiki breaks it cleanly to meet up with Arcu. That was actually kind of fun, aside from the whole “Waaah someone help all the innocent peeps preez” thing going on. Somehow, I get the feeling that Tsukihime is a great multi-pathed visual novel, it would’ve been a lot more fun if it wasn’t visual. And that’s coming from someone who really likes the character designs in Tsukihime, to boot.

This half-time show is brought to you by Mirror Moon, for setting standards at LOL fansub games.

Trying to Get Simoun Out of My System, Attempt #2

With the shows I’ve been following coming to an end, a quick review is in order. Maybe it’ll remind me that there’s more to life than the girls onboard Arctus Prima.

If you didn't get it, it has to do with Otome

Simoun vs. Ouran High Host Club

It’s not that I am not afraid of comparing apples with oranges, but it struck me that what is missing in Ouran Host Club is exactly what makes Simoun so good.

I like to criticize Suzumiya Haruhi no Uuutsu on the basis that Kyoani, outside of maybe Air, has generally gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to adding that “feel” to a show. I have a hard time putting it to words, but it can be said that the same effect can be replicated when you cook chicken breasts the wrong way, that they come out tasting like soft chalk. Granted, the effect is nowhere nearly as bad. FMP: TSR was as bad as it gets, and it isn’t that bad at all. Maybe it’s the consistency? Does it lack “soul”?

But I feel that is exactly what makes Ouran Host Club remind me of Suzumiya Haruhi no Uuutsu. Ouran, as visually impressive as it is, fails to reach that visceral-ness Suzumiya Haruhi did. But like Suzumiya Haruhi, Ouran is a very cerebral experience, it is very smart. The characters are both flat and round in order for the gags, both visual and mental, to work, and I think the show did a decent job of that. That’s not to mention my favorite part of the show–the direction. It’s sharp and clever. Even in its weaker moments it doesn’t fail to impress. In some ways it surpasses most anime that I can remember on the technicals, even if it couldn’t hit those “we pour love and money into this episode!” peaks that shorter, TV anime this past year did.

I can foresee that in the near future I’ll come around to enjoy Haruhi again. But for now, this show is the diametric opposite to Simoun: it’s clean, it doesn’t leave you attached, it impresses visually and mentally, but leaving you a little longing inside.

Tsuyokiss vs. Simoun

In some ways Tsuyokiss only reached the first step of what Simoun did, but since it gambled all 13 episodes on that one thing, it came out pretty well when we look at Tsuyokiss on that one thing, and only that one thing. That one thing, well, it is probably best described as a dialogue the anime production people have with the audience. It tries to tease you, it tries to please you. It knows what it has to work with is crap and it doesn’t care even if it is the worse case of original-adaptation-cide ever. It is unapologetic about it, but in a way it expects you to know that much. In the end it delivers on a platter of something that is like a B- high school group project, but since you were a part of the group, you get sentimental over it.

Simoun, on the other hand, has gotten that bit over with when Mamiina broke out with fists and claws. Since it is twice longer than 13 episodes, it can’t afford to do the same either. Their first tour with Wauf was all about it.

Simoun vs. Blood+

Blood+ is a very clean show. The production value shines through. It is intelligent yet it has the pacing of a typical 90s anime that aims to dramatize. The story, in retrospect, is a powerful one. However, most of the power was robbed by its mechanical, one-fight-per-episode formula that is as mediocre as it gets. There is some sense of overall planning and vision, but on the ground it doesn’t please or tease or amuse anyone. It tries too hard being cool the whole way, when it could have gotten a lot farther by shedding the drama and just get things done, and offer up some twists.

On the other hand you can look at it as a sign of respect. Blood+ knows we know what it has up its sleeves, and it’s just a matter of waiting it out. However it feels like all this formalistic pretense just gets in the way of me trying to enjoy Saya’s plea.

Simoun vs. Honey & Clover 2

I hope Mamiina didn’t mistake rats with hamsters.

The concluding 12 episodes of Honey & Clover was rather good, I thought. But the break between episodes 26 and the recapping episode 27 really spoiled things. As here we were, all ready to accept things as it was with how the first 26 episodes ended (and it was a decent way to end something that “doesn’t end” I thought). Yet now there’s real closure.

Of course, by episode 26 you get a good idea how Takemoto is going to take things, and what happens between Rika, Mayama; Yamada, Nomiya; and obviously Hagu… Can’t say I am NOT surprised but somehow how it ended felt right; things ended as it should (save for the little oddness with Hanamoto-sensei that will boggle and mislead a bunch of fools).

But was it all just ending for having an ending’s sake? Is it really just a long-ass ending thing? It would certainly make Honey & Clover one hella unique anime. Not only as a romantic comedy it was rather unconventional, it has the longest ending sequence ever.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni vs. Simoun

Satoshi visits the Spring, only to realize boycotts and local conspiracies murdered Onashia and her relatives over dam construction at the ruins. Add drugs, dogfighting, gruesome torture, and identity crisis. Tempus Spatium makes a guest appearance in the form of Mion’s tatoo.

Higurashi was great up to episode 5. From then on it tries to explain and continue to add more to the wholesome mix of loli horror, but it never quite reaches the same peak. A mostly linear downhill ride, I’d say. Admittedly this genre is fairly NOT my bag of tea but I enjoyed what little there was to enjoy about this show. The OP itself was awesome for setting the mood and all.

Bokura ga Ita vs. Simoun

One makes me feel gay, the other doesn’t? And while I think I would be pretty comfortable watching Bokura ga Ita with other, non-anime people, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with myself watching Bokura ga Ita even if I was by myself. Those times I wish I was watching Ouran High instead. Less yucky, more pretty.

But nonetheless it’s a nice, alternative take to the same genre. I’m just not sure if I can take it…period. It drives me insane.

And let’s not forget. I’d rather have other people walk in on me watching Neviril kissing some other equally “moe-looking” chick than stick-figure Yano and Bokura ga Ita’s simple visuals. It’s that bad. Or it’s that good? I suppose that’s shoujo anime in its bare form.

Simoun vs. Coyote Ragtime Show

I’d be pretty happy if Angelica hooks up with Amuria or Onashia or something. She is a pretty, enlightened, old fashion gal and I think without her the Coyote Ragtime show would be only a shadow of its current self. I enjoyed the show, that said, because it has this die hard feel to it. Too bad objectively the show kind of tanked in some major aspects. I blame it squarely on Katana, Bishop, and Mister themselves. Being such important aspects to the show they are really pretty … lame. Swamp, being the token black guy, at least did his job well enough. Considering we have three (to 4 to 5 if the Coyotes break up) narrative perspectives, at least 2 out of 3 involves something less lame, like the 12 Sisters or Chelsea and Angelica, the show wasn’t too terrible to watch. But as a proof of concept I think it fails terribly. Maybe it would have been better if Bishop and Katana had more going on rather than being sidekicks.

Simoun vs. Aria the Natural

An episode of Aria is like an episode of Simoun once you remove any trace of conflict. The girls do not kiss each other, but they might as well. I think what really makes Aria works is the SD. I hated Aria-prez when Aria first got animated a while back, and now that’s all but a remote memory–it shows just how powerful your brain is in ignoring or filtering out stuff that it really doesn’t like. And that can include those girl-on-girl kisses. It would be just as an irritant as Aria-prez’s incessant whining.

And some might even like that!

Howling for Indignation, A Pack of Coyotes

I have better things to do under a hot August day than this?

Straight from Danbooru

I mean, what the?

I’d just have left it on the Stock Exchange, except I hate those things that requires me to use a bug-me-not account, as to not going to bother with it at all. Furthermore I think his post merits commenting, so instead of working on the damn long blogging series or preparing to get my house in order before Otakon, let’s see what I can spare.

1. The truth is that Coyote Ragtime Show is pretty decent, yet it manages to take a very mainstream subject matter and turn it on its head for the sake of a particular group of people that has a perchant for this sort of shows. It’s not another Cowboy Bebop, that’s for sure. It isn’t even Samurai Champloo, although I think people who enjoys Coyote Ragtime Show will no doubt like both of them. It is the forging of a genre identity in the sense that UFOTable managed to take something essential to all those shows, and make a twist out of it. The result is that the new identity is only going to be appealing to those who liked those essential elements.

2. Badassery. Those of you who saw Futakoi Alternative may recall Niidaime’s father. He, really, is what Mister is. I agree that until Mister actually dishes out some whopping it would remain hard, for some people, to believe this old dude is capable of it. But a badass is a badass not because he can do badassery things–it’s because that’s who he is. I think this point is only strengthened by Franca’s relationship with Mister (and her father to some extent), in comparison with Rentarou and his. Just how much does badassery get in the way of a healthy relationship? In other words, to Rentarou, his father isn’t a badass; nor is to Franca, Mister. Yet Rentarou’s father is a total badass to everyone else. The difference here is that Rentarou’s dad is not a part of the viewer’s experience, OTOH here we’re looking at the “real side” of Mister along with Franca.

3. Obfuscated focus. We started the Coyote adventure with Angelica and Chelsea. They are wonderful characters by all means. But ultimately they are important only from a plot device perspective. Given how the audience are being told the story from the perspective of the Coyote crew, we already have that inside view. Maybe the narrative may pan out back to Angelica like how the show has been doing it so far once we get to another mysterious junction where Mister alone holds all the cards, but even then the rest of the Coyote crew have no clue what’s going on. Which is to say, what role will Angelica and Chelsea play? There really isn’t much left for them to do. The narrative, however, will pan back and forth–what are we to do? It lacks focus.

4. Popularity. Yes I’m fully aware people who like that kind of show are probably watching it already, thx gg. That’s that. But more people can watch and enjoy Simoun. Seriously. ;)

Simoun fans unite!
Soft subs!