Category Archives: Fate

Double Duty

It’s one thing to be prominently credited in an OP, it’s another to be prominently credited in two OP in the same season.

Prism Iliya

Watamote

Oonuma Shin. He even storyboarded the OP for Watamote.

How does this work? I know this occasionally happened for some SHAFT guys but really now? If this is not a red flag, I don’t know what is.

 


Fate/Zero Goes “To The Beginning”

I’m still savoring the feeling of enjoying the ride to the end. When the credit scroll hit in episode 25 I was like, that was nice.

Oh, spoiler warning for Fate/Zero, obvious. I’ll break this into a few different parts demarcated by bold titles.

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Digital Composition, Fate/Zero

I think the best live example of digital composition that I’ve seen recently was on the bonus video clips from Infinite Stratos. Sentai’s BD release has one of the bonus feature in which the viewers are given an example of how it’s done in the typical 3DCG merge scene. For IS, that means flight mecha designs with 2D face and body parts plastered into the mecha.

In light of digital animation and its proliferation and increasing sophistication, this is a no-brainer category in which anime can expand, grow, explore, and create new stuff. A while ago Raito-kun mentioned this, and it makes sense:

Really, the secret star of F/Z is Yuichi Terao, the director of photography. F/Z is no ‘sakuga anime’, but a ‘satsuei anime’.

In relation to that, duckroll posted a bunch of translation (on NeoGAF) from the recent interviews on Mynavi, all about Fate/Zero & ufotable.

There’s a good blurb about background art in the show featuring Terao and Kim (BG artist). Click on and read it~ Some notable blurbs:

– Terao joined Ufotable in Dec 2003. At the time he was hoping to apply for a job in production, but he was instead put into the newly formed Photography Department (Digital Compositing). He knew almost nothing about animation photography back then, but now he is the head of the department and the director of photography for Fate/Zero.

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– For Terao, one of the most important aspects of the show is the sky. He uses a “Type-Moon Blue” to characterize the sky in the show because it is a color that works well with Type-Moon characters, and serves as a motif in all their original artwork. He tries to bring this out in the sky backgrounds as much as possible.

– To illustrate an example of the type of sky he is talking about, he shared a reference photo he took for Garden of Sinners on the studio roof. Incidentally, the studio roof is also the reference setting for the stand off between Tokiomi and Kariya in episodes 14 and 15.

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Spring 2012 TV Anime Impression, Season Preview Style


The need to write this down is greater than ever; just so I don’t keep forgetting about shows that I want to follow up on. Go, exhibitionist memo pad of a blog!

Some things to keep in mind: I ask myself the same three questions for these shows to illustrate some kind of judging-by-cover that I’m applying. There are a lot of shows I think that are good this season but I won’t even like all of them, or even half of them? I don’t know, it’s too early to say. But just because I won’t watch them or I don’t like them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either. Hopefully the three questions illustrate the idea I’m trying to get across for each shows.

Also somehow this turned out more like a season preview than anything. It makes me wonder how the hell do people do season preview blog posts without just doing mostly an info-dump and looking at who is doing what, or what is the source material. Which, is to say, kind of helpful but kind of different. As much as I think that exercise is at best a pat on the back and at worst outright misleading and harmful, massive props belong to those who do a good and thorough job of it.

Zetman
Quality anime, lots of fun, dark and …American-y? It will have its appeal, but given a tough season it is probably not going to get watched by me.
Is it good? Pretty good.
Can you eat it? Yep!
Will I? 3 eps.

Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna
I haven’t finished Michiko e Hacchin yet. Not because it’s bad, but because my interests with the show dwindled to the point, after about the 16th episode, that it became a matter of willpower in order to finish the show. I think I still have 4 or 5 eps left. It’s kind of like, listing to some girl talking about her life, ranting. Except I have no real reason to be interested in what she will say. Maybe it’s a man thing. I think at this point in Fujiko (I think it is best to call it that to avoid confusion), my problem is that if the show is going to focus on Fujiko (the character) the whole time, I’d rather go finish Michiko e Hacchin first. It really is a lot of the same, just wrapped in a different candy shell. There were some really outstanding episodes in Michiko e Hacchin, so hopefully we’ll run into the equivalent in Fujiko sooner rather than later.
Is it good? Absolutely.
Can you eat it? Got milk?
Will I? Totally on the fence on this.

Medaka Box
I might have snoozed in an episode or two. I’m with the consensus when it comes to Toyosaki’s voice. I really don’t care too much but at least the setup is kind of interesting.
Is it good? Nope.
Can you eat it? Lickity-split good.
Will I? If time permits.

Fate/Zero
Yeah, more shining, well-framed, rich-looking pretties. Enjoy your F-15s and and V-MAX.
Is it good? Game of Thrones good, minus the nudity (I always feel the irony while making this comparison).
Can you eat it? Kind of disgusting but yes.
Will I? Every Saturday morning!

Uchuu Kyoudai
This is one of the first series this season that, I think, depends on your engagement with the manga material, can give you an entirely different outlook on the anime. Key word is can. For some people it makes no difference. I’m loving the mainstream-dumbed-down, warm fuzzy feel of this show. Also, Sawashiro again?
Is it good? Pretty decent.
Can you eat it? If you like a face full of hair, but some people like it.
Will I? As a proud ex-owner of several space shuttle toys I have no excuse not to.

Saki – Episode of Side A
More Saki, but with an entirely new cast. I’m not sure at this point because the old cast has pretty good chemistry and when the tourney begin it was a flood of interesting side characters to keep things, well, interesting. We haven’t gotten far enough in Side A to make any real calls.
Is it good? Probably as good as the original, minus tacos.
Can you eat it? Again, minus tacos.
Will I? Probably.

Sankarea
It’s a cute show, the lead chick is appealing. Interesting crossover of different elements. It goes the “utena” way with thematic exploration in the character development context, which I guess can be hit or miss.
Is it good? It’s not that good.
Can you eat it? Yes.
Will I? Maybe for a while.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia
Besides being the Takane-as-a-ghost template…and Yuuko is just like a few other Yuukos out there. The Oonuma Shin connection makes it more like, wait, isn’t that Arashi? A real oujo-sama has better upbringing than the less-than-proper Yuuko here. How does x translates to “of”?
Is it good? Probably not.
Can you eat it? Somehow, but it is kind of weird.
Will I? At least for now.

Tsuritama
Nakamura’s most normal anime yet. Anchored by the high school hijinx framework it is also probably the least exciting one, but I think it’s exactly why it’s the most exciting anime this season for me. It’s liquid crack for visually-oriented database animals.
Is it good? As per usual Nakamura.
Can you eat it? You’ve been warned.
Will I? Raw? Sauteed? Simmered? Boiled? Broiled? Baked? Fried? Stir-fried? Deep-fried? Steamed? Nuked? However it takes.

Sakamichi no Apollon
I find this show overrated but when contrasted with Fujiko, I come to appreciate this style a little more. It feels like, hey, this is a shoujo manga taken seriously. Done by a guy who is probably best for his HK Blood Opera-inspired stuff. I noticed that the first two episodes have a huge gap between the way the animation and music interact with each other. The first one was super-stiff, but the second one was like a page from Hachikuro. Nice job I guess.
Is it good? Undoubtedly at this point.
Can you eat it? Yes. Delicious Yoko Kanno is delicious.
Will I? Yep.
Bonus: Just need to figure out how much of this anime is just an ad for various albums.

Polar Bear Cafe
Cute computer bears are pretty amusing but the humor just doesn’t work for me.
Is it good? Worse than Mitsudomoe. And don’t take it the wrong way–I liked Mitsudomoe. As an aside, now that could be the best setup for a Sphere anime.
Can you eat it? Just don’t eat too much.
Will I? Nope.

Kuroko no Basuke
Typical sports manga-turned-anime. Interesting protagonist being the proverbial 6th man. Except he has the figurative power turned literal! Hahaha.
Is it good? I don’t know.
Can you eat it? Maybe.
Will I? Nope.

Acchi Kocchi
Konata-level cuteness. Unfortunate I don’t have a thing for Konata. Or I should say, I kind of like her in the “I kind of like to punch her in the face” kind of way.
Is it good? Below average.
Can you eat it? I guess you can eat candy.
Will I? Probably not. But who knows?

Upotte!
The characters are anthromorphs of assault rifles; I should rather say, they are normal-looking school girls, but somehow they have attributes that relate to the firearm they are named after. And somehow they are students in an escalator school and their grades determined by the biggest ammo they can accommodate. I guess this means nobody graduates from this school. That is also probably the least weird fact to realize from this ridiculous series.
Is it good? Nope.
Can you eat it? Very well! Or as some would say, “Eat lead!”
Will I? Probably as long as there are enough humor elements to keep me laughing. I like the gun talk just enough to realize “Wow, I think I understand, just barely, what they’re saying! I am probably not a gun otaku.” Positive self-affirming stuff.

Kore ga Zombie Desuka? OF THE DEAD
Also a “continuation” from a previous work. Season 1 was a dark horse because it’s an unknown quality, and season 2 still is a dark horse, just by happenstance of who is in the running. I enjoyed the first series so I look forward to the next. Iori Nozomu owns this show pretty hard. Mousou Eu is everywhere.
Is it good? No, but you would be surprised at how good it really is.
Can you eat it? Good question.
Will I? Probably. Although I will most definitely if there’s a Sankarea crossover.
Note: Where’s your simulcast FUNi? Your google fu is entirely missing, to boot.

Queen’s Blade Rebellion
I did and only planned to watch the first episode of the third season of Queen’s Blade to see if anything outrageous happen. Not so much. Although DAT HORSE LOL. And Itoushiz pirates. And the other Sheryl Nome anime of the season.
Is it good? Nope. But it is stable and steady breastservice.
Can you eat it? Yes.
Will I? No.

Nazo no Kanojo X
I read a bunch chapters of this manga back when, it was a very nice hook but it really failed to capitalize on it I think. The manga was still pretty solid, and the anime seems like a straightforward adaptation, something that should be acceptable for most. Get over the drool thing already.
Is it good? It’s not bad, but probably not good.
Can you eat it? Probably not the best question to ask when the show is about drool swapping.
Will I? For now.

Leiji Matsumoto’s Ozma
This retro sand-submariner anime is pretty cool actually. I used to read the manga for this for the setting, like, when I was little. Don’t remember much now. But I do remember the original manga was cooler because paper books can’t talk so the whiny feeling didn’t get in the way.
Is it good? It’s kind of average.
Can you eat it? Not really but YMMV.
Will I? Probably not for now.

Sengoku Collection
It’s a good, solid moe-chara show. I think it’s like the one moe anime every season or two that does something I really like, but nobody watches it.  Also will eventually make a cheap Zombie ADV license down the road, as they tend to be invariably the case. Sencolle episode 3 featured a Mamiko x Nakahara Mai duo performance that took me back to the mid 00s. Man. On the other hand, given the setup, Rumi Ookubo isn’t going to get a lot of lines despite being the main character, isn’t she.
Is it good? I think it’s good enough!
Can you eat it? Like spider-sense-tingling candy.
Will I? As much as I can fit it.

Jormungand
If I were to recommend my RL bros an anime to watch, this would be it. If they want less crazy or less violence, it’ll probably be Apollon or Space Bros. Also, Koko “Lovely” Morishima indeed.
Is it good? Passibly.
Can you eat it? Don’t let the brass shell get in the way.
Will I? Yep.
Note: By process of elimination, this is going to be a Funimation or NISA license isn’t it. And either would make a lot of sense.

Eureka Seven Ao
Okinawa vibe is nice so far. Like any other BONES project of this sort the long haul view is the only one that makes sense, but that isn’t going to stop people from dropping it (or picking it up). It’s a nice visual treat at least. And like any other BONES original project these kids are gonna tour the world right? Ao so Bleu w.
Is it good? Ask me again in half a year.
Can you eat it? Maybe.
Will I? On the fence.

Natsuiro Kiseki
It’s not terrible, but it’s not very good. I think it can be fairly okay, iyashikei-sort-of-thing, but I don’t know if I can recommend people to wait it out, at least not with a straight face. Maybe it will surprise me down the road.
Is it good? Probably not.
Can you eat it? Kind of reminds me of Hatsukoi Limited, that Saki.
Will I? Yeah, taking the bullet for the team.

Accel World
If .hack//SIGN was like this I would have watched it.  In a way I see this as finally, these video game anime about online video games have reached a point where it doesn’t just intrigue by concept, but also by execution. I don’t know when we got there but I am not complaining. Chunibyou notwithstanding this show is fairly solid, if nothing out of the mold and nothing out of the ordinary.
Is it good? Probably not.
Can you eat it? Mmm baby back pork ribs.
Will I? Maybe, going to give it 3.

Shining Heart: Shiawase no Pan
The Tony Taka design looks fine except for their faces, which just…translate stiffly for some reason. At least Nishimata’s faces aren’t too weird looking when animated? I’m not really in a position to criticize. The anime feels awfully iyashikei-appealing, which is a good take for something like this. Itou Kanae helps to sooth the pain.
Is it good? Probably the worse Production IG anime in a while.
Can you eat it? OH YEAH BABY
Will I? Probably will give it 3 and drop.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san
Nyarlathotep has never been so cute. And you know what, I learned how to spell its name because of this show. Yes, Asumi Kana carries this show, but she didn’t just carry it, she made it hit in America. The source material is also very funny, which helps a lot when it’s faithfully translated in such a way.
Is it good? Nope!
Can you eat it? Ufufufufufufu.
Will I? LET’S NYAA

Random stuff:

Akibaranger – Hahaha, I enjoyed it, but the fact that it is live action kind of bothers me. This is so manga-ish, it might as well be.

Kuromajo-san ga Toru!What happened to these? Anyway, this is actually very fun to watch because of the straight humor it applies. It is also a great example of quality voice acting.

Yurumates 3Dei! – I kind of zoned out on the original series, but this reboot is a little more spirited.

Only Hyouka and AKB0048 left.

PS. I’ve listed 24 shows (not counting the miscellaneous/random stuff), three I dropped on one episode. If I do the 3-ep test for the rest that means in the span of maybe 4 weeks (I actually watched Ozma 1-3 back-to-back when ep3 aired) I would have watched 66 episodes of new anime. Not including the shows I’m following that are not new. It seems like a lot, but I guess that’s just how I roll…

PPS. How many sequels can you see? It’s less than 25%! THAT is why Miyako’s bowl is empty? Color me impressed. But I guess given the 1-2yr lead time, it’s about right that we’re reeling from the sequel-itis flooding from 2010-2011.

PPPS. Tsuritama > Space Bros > Slopes > Fate Zero > Bodacious ~ Jormungand ~ Nyaruko-san > Sket > Sencolle > Fujiko > Natsukise > Saki ~ Medaka ~ E7AO > Korean ~ Sankarea ~ Dusk > Ozma > Kuroko > Upotte ~ GFX > Accel > Zetman > QBS3 > Bread ~ AK > Bearbros > ??? > profit. Actually Akibaranger is pretty funny, and I normally don’t dig tokusatsu stuff. Kuromajo-san is a riot too. Maybe I will supplement the humor shows I’m planning to drop this way.


Fate/Extra

There was a reason why I am really behind on my Haikasoru reading. Or at least one of them being Fate/Extra. It is also the first Japanese RPG-type game that I finished to some degree of completion since Valkyria Chronicles 1, which was a long time ago.

Lamenting on lack of time and interests aside, one of the biggest draw for Aksys’s localized version of the thing is (aside from being translated) hearing Tange Sakura as Saber Extra. The Red Saber. The Saber with see-thru skirt. Whatever. I kind of enjoyed that a lot, despite PSP’s built in size limitation in terms of how much voiceover it can possibly hold.

I went for Rin in my only playthrough, on the other hand, and they really need to give her more lines.

The only lure left is to play through the game again using Caster, with Saito Chiwa. I mean, right? I don’t think they were beating around the bush at seiyuu selection.

There’s a little bit of me inside wanting to play it through again just so I can get to Ryogi Shiki, but that would be a spoiler–well, not exactly. She’s one of those optional unlock bosses you can find in the New Game+ scenario.

There are a lot of interesting things to Fate/Extra that nobody talks about. Probably because it really is not important, and those who would probably can’t withstand the tedium of playing rock paper scissors so many times.

I wonder if it sold well enough to warrant Fate/Extra CCC, or at least so I can download it by the time I end up with a Vita (which I assure you is not likely this year). On that note, I should say something about my SIGNIFICANT DISAPPOINTMENT with GameStop with their preorder program. It happened that I preordered the game before I moved, and I forgot to change my address on my preorder when I did. Eventually it came up with GS by the time they wanted to bill me, so there was a back-and-forth. When the issue was resolved with GameStop CS they decided to not ship me the preorder bonus with the game. I sent an email and they said they will ship it to me, except it has not yet happened. And this is about 3 months ago now. Because I totally would not have bought the game physically (or even with them) otherwise!

As for Red Saber, I think her story is kind of sound although I have a hard time buying in. It seems to mimic reality a lot better than normal Saber’s plea to genderswap, which somehow made it easier to question the details?

I guess the only angle I have on Red Saber’s legacy is one that is like Guilty Crown’s Hare’s First Love. Not that it’s like how history paints it. And here ends with answering one spoiler with another. It’s unfortunate that I’m doing a cop-out here, since all the interesting stuff are probably spoiler of some sort.

Speaking of not-spoiler material, at one point in the game I realized there are actually only so many R/P/S patterns to memorize, and they don’t even all show up on the same level. It worked great because you get to run each level of the dungeon maybe 2-3 times per game-week. All I had to do is go through the fights once and it’ll come to mind which moves to guess when it comes down to guessing. It also helped that Saber was very error-tolerant.

Well, it’s a fun diversion, if it took a little longer than I wanted. I probably didn’t have to grind so much near the end. Is it worth it? Only if you like Type-Moon and the voice cast/moe/otaku nature of it. But you probably didn’t need me to tell you that. What you probably didn’t know is, unlike some possible kusoge, the system is smooth and doesn’t try to get in your way. As long as you remember that the square key teleports you and the triangle key skips the dialog, it’s a good time.

I mean if “omg Omo finished a JRPG! It can’t be good” makes sense to you, well, you should be happy that this reaffirms the same.