Category Archives: Shirobako

Autumn 2014 Coverage

I haven’t watched everything I wanted to yet (this almost goes without saying these days), but here goes.

Shirobako – This show is by far my most favorite thing this season. Chalk it up to my aniota senses, but if there was an anime made for the anime otaku, this is it. It’s not to say non-anime otaku will not enjoy it, or that all anime otaku would, but I get the feeling for people who don’t just enjoy watching anime, but also the craft of it, it’s a special treat. It’s the memo our TV anime industry guys writing for the rest of us.

Rage of Bahamut – Mappa really pulled out the stops for this one. I really don’t like the main dudes so far but the show is really good overall. I did try out the mobile game some years ago (around the time when Kamiyama did those commercials). So far this is nothing like the game.

Vanadis – It’s another pulp swords & fantasy story, and it’s got both what I like and dislike about this category of anime from Japan. I’ll stick with it a bit but well-endowed valks only go so far in 2014. Chaika might be filling my quota for this.

Celestial Method – Solid show featuring the usual little girls and their CVs. The big hook for me is that Nansu takes the lead–perhaps the most capable of the Torahamo group. And I think as long as the story goes that way it will be a watershed moment for her in my book. Given the nature of the story it’s not for everyone, but it works for me so far.

Akatsuki no Yona – Solid show I would watch. Dropped after 1 ep because it’s not for me and I won’t have the time.

Amagi Brilliant Park – Kyoani male fanservice vehicle. If you think of the theme park in Amaburi like this anime, the entrance fee is validated when you see the four fairies do their schtik. Or whatever Bunta-kun’s actual name is. Or both. That said no simulcast means perpetual omo delay on watching this. It’s no Hyouka so I’m not holding my breath on the other stuff. Ayako doctrine x2 this season is a good thing.

Cross Ange – If the cavity search is to get people to talk about Cross Ange, it worked perfectly. I keep saying, though, that an anime which premise is sexy ladies riding transformable flying-bike mecha in skimpy outfits fighting dragons that shoot lasers and MIRV fireballs can not go wrong. Cross Ange dares me on this point, but I think it knows where it stands on things.

Twintails – Fun show. May help combat my lack of sentai intake; actually at this point there are no other draws for this besides that sentai angle and the usual seiyuu factor. Hearing Marei say lewd things is actually not that lewd? She’s really good at it.

G-Reco – I like it a lot, but not enough to keep watching weekly. Will try to catch up hopefully once we approach 1-cour, especially if I hear good buzz.

Gundam Build Fighter Try – Not as engaging for me on the uptake compared to GBF, and I have mixed feeling for the main character (the ero aspect aside). I even have mixed feeling for the other main characters, but the trio concept is novel. I guess I never really took to Reiji anyway. Still, the concepts and fight scenes are good, so I might stick with it. Having it on Youtube makes things easy.

[Insert complaint about FUNi’s website here.]

Your Lie in April – Good stuff, but short of sublime. At episode 1 it has not gotten my attention yet, at least episode 2 did better.

Log Horizon S2 – Despite the somewhat sketchier production values, it’s more of the same, which is good, because it was already good.

World Trigger – JUMP trigger warning more like.

Trinity Seven – Demon Lord harem high school concept with Harami lead is a sure sell. It knows not to drag its wet feet here so at least it’s passable entertainment.

Yuyuyu – Reminds me of Kyousogiga, which is a mixed blessing. Will stick with it till 3. Madokagellion is fine as is but I think it’s going to skew a little.

Girldfriend (Kari) – Fun fluff, seiyuu quiz. Say it with me everybody, CHLOE LEMAIRE.

Fate/stay night UBW – This is the version that hopefully would solve the “need to play the game to enjoy content” problem Type-Moon has.

Inou Battle – It’s true to the spirit of chuu2, and the way Trigger takes on a “sit in the club room all day” type anime is intriguing. Enjoyable, but ultimately a futile thing to try to watch. I’ll forge on a bit more at least.

Garo – It’s pretty cool on episode 1, but not sure if I can spare the time to follow. I suppose now as good as any.

Still to watch: Psycho-Pass 2, Seven Deadly Sins, Terraformars, In Search of the Lost Future.

Continuing on Chaika, Log Horizon, Ace of Diamond.

Shorts – Karen Senki, Yukarin waifu anime (I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying), and SeHa is AOTS.

PS. Real AOTY is the iM@S movie, right? Right? Having the ability to rewatch parts or all of it on demand is a power I need to wield more responsibly.

PPS. Real destroyer of my free time is SSA blu-ray OMG I can watch this all day (and I will)!


Shirobako 02 Notes

I think the plan is I will do this on Jtor, but since I’m still working on the intro post let me jot down some notes here in the form of a blog post.

Couple items worth noting: 2ch tries to map the Musani staff to real life people, and for the most part it works. Then there’s this comment from another fellow seiyuu aficionado: “Hahahahahahaha damn if only the seiyuu were THAT pretty hahahha.”

What’s amusing is that while there’s this direct mapping between characters and real life individuals, when we go into “prpr mode” (for the lack of a better term) I think our way to judge stuff changes. In a nutshell, the anime/manga character style is a form of caricature. As a rule it’s not life-like in details. Shirobako applies already a pretty life-like approach to the character designs (in a way that is reminiscent of a lot of the prior PA Works shows) but I mean, just take a look.

Shirobako S2 via Conflag

Fellow koebutas can agree, I think, that Kayano has that puppy-looking eyes going, and for me they’ve really captured her visage by doing the eyes/bang layout right. Nakahara Mai, on the other hand, is a lot more difficult to capture using the anime/manga style because her distinguishing facial features are more the way her nose and facial bone structure are, giving her that sharp look. It’s hard to portray those things when most anime characters don’t even have a pronounced nose to speak of. On top of that, when you have kind of a late-night moe anime thing going on, Kayanon’s puffy cheeks are easy to reproduce relative to the more mature looks you get from Nakahara and Itou. That said, I think Itou Shizuka’s forehead/hair go a long way to represent her character in the anime, so that one was easy to pick out just at a glance, too.

I wonder if they took that into consideration when selecting the seiyuu they would mimic. I suppose there was a casting call for these three girls who had to voice as themselves and then voicing a character within the anime. If you think CV: Casting Voice is meta, Shirobako is one layer more!

As for the actual comment about pretty, let’s just say even accounting for the “3DPD factor” there are pretty anime characters and not-as-pretty anime characters. I think even in Shirobako you have that range of visual beauty–just look at our 5 protagonists. So no comment here about if not-Kayanon or not-Nakahara is prettier than their real life counterpart (uuuuh).

By the way, what Kayanon demonstrated in episode 2 was a page out of seiyuu school. If you listen to seiyuu radios it can be a treat. Like what Hayami Saori demonstrated at her Otakon panel, for example…

As for the episode proper, I loooove the way how the plan comes together and the way anime uses anime-only powers to demonstrate what it is really meant when Arupin has arrived. I loooove the way how they make Maruyama a bit like the patron saint of struggling TV anime productions. The way they add him during that meeting scene is both lovingly done and funny in the sense that they make clear he doesn’t really contribute in a tangible way. Can we have a Shirobako-type anime but instead produces a movie that takes 7 years to release? LOL.

PS. Onee-chan is Nu. But she doesn’t get an anime character cameo! WTB anime Nunu please (fat chance, I know).

Episode 02

PPS. Speaking of the ED animation (as last week’s ED is actually the OP animation), it’s done by the core team, directed by Mizushima.


Shirobako, Identity

When I was little, I was the type of kid who liked to ask why things are the way they are. Discovering what things were and how it worked was an amazing feeling when I was just a child. I wasn’t very handy, but I also liked reverse engineering things. I think I got that from my dad, who also did it habitually. The difference between me and perhaps someone who did took something apart and see how it worked was that I tried to model it in my mind and internalize how it works. To me, writing things down was symbolic, it was the act of putting some kind of physical representation down that reflected, expressed or symbolized something that was in my head. In that regard, I’m not too different today than so many decades ago.

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