Category Archives: Kaito Tenshi Twin Angel

Year in Review: Team Iri Wear Pants – Comedy Reigns in 2011

If Mawaru Penguindrum can be explained by the transfer of fates via the vehicle of an allegorical apple, then Fate/Zero can be explained by the wearing and ownership of pants. The idea here is that, well, what did Rider work to get? What did Saber wear? What did Iri wear? In Urobuchi’s world, people wear pants. I mean that is typically what happens during winter in Japan anyway. Without spoiling it for you, the winner of the Holy Grail War this time also wear pants. All who survived as participants wore pants. Pants is clearly necessary for survival in the Holy Grail War.


I’m going to say that 2011 is the return of the comedy. There were a lot of funny shows in 2010, but it feels like the funnies have for the most part stayed for the year as well. What is notable is seeing more of it in serious shows. I think if OreTsuba can bust my guts laughing, anything can. The potential is there.

I mean, talking about Mawaru Penguindrum again, was it funny? It isn’t epic funny like those Nanami episodes in Utena, but there were good chuckles all along the way. And man, Ringo. Ringo!

I watched Nichijou and Sket-Dance this year, so that may have skewed things. I think Hanasaku Iroha sometimes is really funny, although I don’t think some of those instances were intentional.

Working!! returned, which is usually solid for a few laughs. Bakatest, too, had some really big ones, despite season 2’s more somber tone. Squid Girl S2 also was solid, again. Majikoi and Horizon had laughs, and the latter is as serious as Fate/Zero is. Haganai, for the most part, was still funny. Oh wait, I’m suppose to laugh at the manual stereo mage orbit talk was I?

R-15 was pretty funny, despite being more hetare-funny half the time. Twin Angel was all hetare-funny all the time (but it wasn’t THAT funny unfortunately). Yuruyuri had a couple gut-busters, which is pretty surprising. And in 2011 we learned the true meaning of being a mage.

Going back to the start of the year, we did have Mitsudomoe S2 (which was pretty funny for the most part). OreImo True End was funny enough. Level-E was epic. And, well, there was Qwaser S2.

Looking back I think I ended up watching more comedies this year than what is fairly represented, but that is probably because they didn’t suck, like, say, in 2009.


This year I read both the fan-translated Kara no Kyoukai series and fan-translated Fate/Zero series. They are available here and here, respectively.

As a result, over large stretches of 2011 my mind is full of Type-Moon-ness. It is like a keg of kerosene to react to some spark from Type-Moon. But Fate/Zero isn’t that spark.

Carnival Phantasm is that spark that blew my mind. I’m not too sure what to make of it besides that I have to fight that urge to import the whole thing. Because it doesn’t seem to make sense especially since I missed the boat on all that Take-Moon stuff way back when. I mean this is before Fate/Zero, sorta, and Fate/Zero’s been around the block once or twice already.

There is so much that goes on in that show. The visuals are engrossing and varied. It is funny. What the hell is going on? I don’t know. Does it matter? Not really.

The only regret left is that Fate/Zero content is not represented in Take-Moon, and thus missing in Carnival Phantasm. I mean, take a look at this to get an idea.

PS. #cp_dateall ftw.


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.