Category Archives: Walkure Romanze

Autumn 2013 Wrap

Incoming train of thought–

I took a nice vacation at the end of the year (I guess I’m in the middle of it) so I was able to catch up on a lot of stuff. Like Valvrave. I really enjoyed it, more so than I expected at any rate.

I was wondering if CLAMP designed the characters instead of Hirao-face-looking group that we had, maybe VVV would have more legs. As is, it’s actually a very good story but it just didn’t get to flesh out. The plot and the symbolism and themes all make sense and it is a good, liberal (as in liberalism) message that would resonate with kids. But I don’t know, it feels like the right message but it’s probably preaching to the wrong crowd. It could also use another 2 more episodes to flesh the ending out.

This season is tricky because I couldn’t tell that White Album 2 has another episode, I mean, what. Nagiasu really seems like it went off a cliff this week, because there’s another cour after that? Don’t even bring up Samumenco, geesh. I’m still enjoying Magi, and as far as sports anime goes I really like the past few episodes of Ace of the Diamond, explaining some basic sports mechanics sort of things that are not obvious to most people. It also got “good enough” to be talked about, IMO.

Say what you will about Yuushibu and OBC, both shows are great, and I had a good time with both. I think I enjoyed Yuushibu a lot more in that meta context, also it probably wins some award for dragging out a Star Trek joke the longest. OBC was more of the ideal guilty pleasure sort of anime, because the show didn’t really go anywhere with its soft power digs. I mean, it’s not even bush league. It’s not even softball. It’s more like wiffleball. Kind of like that football game they played–you knew they could do so much better but they just went with whatever, lawl. A shame I guess.

I still think it’s incredible that people walk away from Yuushibu episode 1 and think it’s bad animation quality. It’s insane. I suppose this is how some people feel about Kill la Kill when I say it’s actually not really that great. I think what’s good about it is that it is an anime done in a way and in regards to subject matter common to B-tier Japanese live action TV and movies. Now finally we have an anime like this–full with underboobs. I mean, you can’t do that on TV normally. Studio Trigger’s newsletter is great and it basically confirms all this. Also, maybe it’s because I saw Hentai Kamen live action movie this autumn and it kind of makes me feel like Kill la Kill is an inferior version of that. I get the feeling a lot of people watch anime as a medium don’t venture outside of it, so this is all fresh and exciting stuff.

The best anime this season is a tough call. I would give Kill la Kill the most creds as the most stylish, YZQ for the best sakuga feast, Kyousogiga for the most arthouse and best first episode, VVV for the most daring in terms of story, and Arpeggio will win the “It’s not Girls und Panzer but it’s close enough” award. OBC probably has the best meta fanservice and Yuushibu has some…serious fanservice. Best ED is obviously Unbreakable Machine Doll and best OP might actually go to Galilei Donna. Best concept has to go to Samumenco for not only the most meta but also the best written meta that I’ve seen in a while.

I also feel compelled to give Gundam Build Fighters some kind of recognition, so maybe it will win Aila’s biggest buns trophy or something stupid. Too early to call it the best AU Gundam but it’s definitely up there.

That’s kind of how I feel about White Album 2 too. I really enjoyed the series so far but it lacks a few compelling components in terms of plot. It’s too centered on the girls and not enough on the guy. I mean, I guess I don’t want another Golden Time but Haruki is at least interesting enough to get a little more exposition. Speaking of Golden Time, I’m okay only because I did watch Natsuyuki Rendezvous, so I’m build for it. That said gosh yes Koko is a bitch and the whole ghost-in-the-amnesia thing is dumb can we please just slap everyone and hire Linda to cater to more underground parties? I do give it a lot of credit for making every one of its characters a lot of substance and it’s easy to understand them, even the weirder ones like Miss Denpa.

Golden Time is also surprisingly meta too. That Nana-senpai. Even shows like Tokyo Raven is pretty meta, when it’s a run of the mill kind of a battle mystery story. Is it really necessary? Even I think it’s too much, and I’m someone who loves the meta.

I still want to watch more Sekatsuyo, but I can’t get past episode 4. I should just jump to the Chiaking episodes.

Kyoukai no Kanata was a thing. It all makes sense but it didn’t gel, which is too bad. It is the sort of beautiful nothings that we’re used to seeing from Kyoani, which is by all means something we can never run short of. Did I like it? Yes, but I probably won’t watch it again. It’s funny, but when you lay it side by side to something like, say, Noucome, I would take Noucome every time.

Perhaps Noucome is the ultimate guilty pleasure, sorry OBC. If being funny is a sin, Noucome is worthy a Kotaku post about how sinful it is. Too bad they pegged it as just some solid comedy.

But what does that make Log Horizon? It’s not a guilty pleasure, but it is for me–I’m totally watching it to trip on old school MMORPG feels. That, and Yumi Hara going all osaka, which is only appropriate. It’s a good anime as they say; it’s like if Maoyu got a Fate/Zero treatment, except not quite. I mean, that story could totally be built up better. Log Horizon is appropriately less ambitious in the scope and in turn more down to earth, but it’s also somewhat less epic on the face. I guess you can’t have everything. And that is okay when all it is to me is a guilty pleasure.

In a busy season like this I still watched 4+ episodes of Gingitsune, which is solid, 12 episodes of Infinite Stratos, which is disappointing, and all of Walkure Romanze. Man, that horse show is actually quite good in the way that exploitative eroge about fancy and peaceful setting can be, all because it has a freaking koushien in it. I respect it as one respect a well-polished trope. The fanservice episode clever and outside of the box, which is another thing you kind of didn’t expect a show like that to do. Nakamura Eriko-sensei can speak English to me any time.

Viva Torture!

gmens


My Little Pony: Plate Mail Zettai Ryouiki Is Magic

When I was growing up My Little Pony was about little magical horses and their owners–ie., little girls. Not exactly about friendships. Whatever. It was about cute little horses, fueled by children’s imagination.

Which is to say, when I watch Walkure Romanze, I did not expect it to show a story about friends and how a horse can mend a person’s heart. Granted, that’s not really where the story is going. It certainly isn’t the main reason why I’m watching the show, although that is a pleasant thing to see instead, of say, non-stop tits and butts that this eroge-turn-anime could have been. It’s distinctly not a pure-oppai anime, although it has the prerequisite payload, which saves it from the vapid morass of far majority of the too-earnest-so-it’s-all-tits category of shows. A degree of petty schoolgirl-politics also help to season things a little.

Depends on how you look at it, however, the things that draw most first-timers in is the horse animation and all that jousting. That, and all the pin-up character designs dressed in ornate plate mail with curious bits exposed. A lot of the designs also eschew the single-shape breastplate design for something more pin-up-y. It’s like someone went and analyzed the pile of Saber porn out there and realized it’s the plate armor part that is being underserved by the general output, creating a market opportunity. That said, I wonder how much of it overlaps with the fanbase of something like, say, Marimite.

Because of its roots in eroge, Walkure Romanze’s list of characters, design-wise, tilt towards “man, any of these girls can turn into full blown porn material” and sometimes it kind of blows my mind when I look at the right places. How could that possibly be you, Mio? Or Miss “Butt-of-jokes” Bertille? And nothing has answered my question as to why Celia-senpai is wearing two pairs of bottoms. Is it because she learned the meaning of “chafing” after wearing a godly suit of armor?

Translation typo from CR

I like how Walkure Romanze evokes that soft, freshly-baked-bread-from-Valkyria-Chronicles feel. I also like, as a gap moe sort of thing, that it did a “haitenai” episode, while still being so. And it’s being played as a joke! Moreover, all the horses are girls! It’s like “Oh snap, my master’s panties! She must be in trouble.” So when Sakura tries to eat Mio’s skirt, she was just playing as Saten to Mio’s Uiharu? How much horse-riding porn did the producers of this show had to watch to greenlit it? The world may never know.

But indeed, it is this gap that makes Walkure Romanze so amusing. That it tackles a classically barbaric sport with the grace of a sœur checking her underling’s sailor neck tie is much like how Celia (wo)mans up to riding out almost commando to give Akane one great ride, while evoking that Valkyrie (ala video games) imagery. Or just how all these pretty things parade up and down the stadium bearing the magic of “ftmm” in the latest display of superior fetishistic technology. (Then again, overflow ftmm on armor is just…way too lewd, so there aren’t any.)

Of course, maybe this is just a great example of how sexy and erotic things could possibly be girls dressed to the gills, all covered up? It’s like what they say about men–it’s the clothes that makes one. At the same time, I’m not exactly comfortable making that statement given how half the time it feels like they really aren’t wearing as much as I think they are? I suppose in 2D-w-fief-dom and jousting, it’s all about form.


Autumn 2013 Thoughts And Clippings

Part two.

AmiMami

Outbreak Company has, if anything, got the fanservice right. I think that will usually seal the deal for 3 episodes on my books, but it also had to add that Cool Japan jab. Not sure if the show will actually get beyond 3 for me, as I will have to enjoy the antics of the main character first. I think with a little more polish he can be a modern day Kintarou Oe, but at this point he is just an otaku without any restraint. On the fence, I guess.

Sekatsuyo on the other hand is all about screaming Ayachi and that is something to behold. The Asumi x Ayachi combo also makes me “I Can See the Ending” and in this case I kind of do. The production value is worse than expected, which says something–I’m not really expecting anything. I mean, how can you? I guess the least we deserve was seeing quality holds animated and I don’t think Sekatsuyo cleared that bar. It’s a mixed blessing that I am not really a martial arts person so I can’t make it out what’s right or not half the time. The fanservice is pretty okay, but I’m not S enough to fully enjoy it? Maybe?

Kingitsune: Maybe for a little while, let the squidgirl heal you?

Walkure Romanze: Maybe for a little while, iM@S seiyuu aside, because this jousting thing is ridiculous. Also, the CG horse animation is a little mesmerizing; the way they were able to animate the actual joust sequences by taking advantage of digital composition via the armor animation is great.

Magi S2 is Magi, which is okay in my book. I missed this version of Kyari~

White Album 2: I really like it. It’s like Kirakira all over again…except the music already gained significant stock with me from the first series.

Are we ready for another week of new anime? I am.

One more on Kill La Kill, and I think this is a pretty good read–if only to have someone explain why they like and hype the show, the assumptions and concepts that underpins some of the decisions people may make on the show. Unfortunately it’s also one of those cases where before I get to the point he (?) tries to make (maybe more importantly, before I give up paying attention), I already count 2-3 simply wrong statements that he made. It’s like the same perpetually inaccurate things film people hold to regarding Japan and anime for the past 30 years.