August 24, 2015

Chugging along

New stuff:

GATE - Pretty interesting thought experiment. Pre-dates Rome, Sweet Rome by a couple years (based on the histories I've found). The "Rah! Rah! Nippon! Everyone else is evil!" tone that comes up later in the manga is a bit off-putting given the Japanese tendency to white-wash their prior behavior. And I can't help but notice that the majority of the fantastical equipment they've been using to dazzle the locals is imported.

From the Archives:

Girls und Panzer - Amusing. Doesn't take itself too seriously, which allows it to survive cursory scrutiny. Any further thought and the whole thing collapses. Now all the "Panzer Vor!" in World of Tanks chat makes a bit more sense. (Though I was somewhat aware of its provinence at the time.) Regret Level: Sugar-Cookie Breakfast.

Kancolle - All the train-wreck I expected it to be. Made entirely and solely for fans of the game. When it isn't boring, it's retarded. Also with the "rah-rah we didn't really start the Pacific war" BS. Regret Level: Midnight Nachos.

Started watching Gargantia. More thoughts will follow once I finish it.

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July 21, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again.

It's been close to six years since I watched a new anime of any sort. Having your BT machine crap out, moving, getting married, having a kid and moving again can do that to a hobby sometimes. I was also driven off by the increasing and pervasive need for shows to pander to otaku perverts through gainaxing, panty-shots, needless yuri/yaoi and tentacle monsters.

Wonderduck's posts about Hibike piqued my interest enough to dive in to Crunchyroll (an innovation which is quite handy) for a marathon session getting caught up. Here was a simple show about band nerds doing band nerd stuff. I could get behind this. Other than a brief stupid dalliance with yuri for no good reason, it was an enjoyable show with extremely high production values.

Since then I've been binging on the various shows that I saw receiving praise over the last few years.


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July 08, 2008

Gurren Lagann 1

So far so good. The video transfer looks sharp. Audio is clean. The "extras" are a little sparse, but I expect they're saving those for the eventual dub release.

Pro subbers still seem to insist on translating XX-dan "Team XX" instead of "XX Brigade." Team lacks a certain militaristic punch if you ask me. It's also odd that they chose to use the "kick reason to the curb" motto on the DVD packaging, but then they didn't translate it that way in the subtitles. I'm gonna have to guess that decision came down to limited screen real estate.

Otherwise things seem to have translated cleanly.

[Update:] Ok, so I've watched all nine at this point. Episode 6 seemed to have a helluva lot cut out for broadcast. Still not a nipple one, but I don't remember any accidental kanchos or breast-squeezing remote controls. I'm not feeling inclined to go back and make a scene for scene comparison just to confirm.

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May 27, 2008

Mario Plays the Hits

There are times in a man's life when he begins to reflect. What have I done with my life? What have I added to society? Have I left my mark?

Then there are those other times when you begin to ask the same questions of other people.


Let's see... we've got Haruhi three times, Lucky Star, Madlax, Air, several video games. Yep, he hit all the nico-nico meme highlights. Interesting little project.


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April 25, 2008

My Kinda Woman

Over the years, I've observed something about myself. When it comes to females in anime, I'm a sucker for the sensible ones. The women who have their act together, and in the absence of plot contrivance, are perfectly functional people. If there's Shipping to be done (which, oddly, doesn't seem possible with most of my choices) , I'm usually Shipping in their direction

For example:


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April 23, 2008

Planetes - Extended Aftermath

I had some thoughts on the show that didn't really fit with the comments in the other post. Most are holes in the "realism" of the premise that I think are interesting.

For a show touted as "realistic," it seems to be full of highly dysfunctional people in positions where dysfunctions are normally filtered out in the application process. Psych evaluations are a big part of going into space right now. That would have been an interesting direction for the show to explore. The world is full of people who have no business going into space for various reasons, but if we commercialize space to the extent shown in Planetes (and dreamed of by guys like Glenn Reynolds), how do you handle the competing needs of access and safety for fellow travelers?


I know the Japanese are still in love with tobacco, but what company would spend the time and money building something as hair-brained as a "smoking room" into a moon base? Some people maybe be disappointed (angry even), but I fully expect space to be a default No-Smoking Zone, no exceptions.


How the hell do they feed all these people in space? I wasn't looking very closely, but I didn't see anything resembling dome-agriculture on the Moon. If I ever go back to watch it again, I'm going to keep an eye out for exactly what they eat and where they might get it from.


I'll keep adding to the list as I think of things.

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April 21, 2008

Planetes - Aftermath

This is an old draft (4/9/08) that's been sitting in the list waiting for me to finish it up. The problem is that I still feel exactly like I did when I wrote it, and I don't have any interest in going back to give the show a second chance.

It must be the novelty of "hard" sci-fi. That's the only explanation that makes sense for the praise this show receives. (Or the socialist prosthelytizing going on constantly throughout the second half.)

The management of the Debris Section are a couple of screw-ups that would never be let within sight of a functional rocket in the real world.

The ending felt tepid. Maybe all the glowing reviews inflated my expectations. Maybe moving in the middle of working through the show colored my experience. Maybe the show's the greatest thing since sliced bread, when viewed in the right place, time, and frame of mind. None of that does me any good right now, because I have no interest in re-watching the show at all right now.

Maybe in a decade.

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April 18, 2008

Shingu - Red Pill or Blue Pill?

That's basically the choice in this show. How much do you dare to know about what's really going on?

It's a show full of characters. Sure there are some eccentricities (I guess all aliens are fun-loving goofballs), but it looks like everyone's up to pulling their own weight when the chips are down.

On the other hand, you can tell the show doesn't take itself too seriously. Fourth wall breaks appear in just about every episode (mostly by Hajime in the narration, but occasionally someone else will ham it up and talk to the camera).

Oh, yeah, you can probably guess I found my Shingu DVDs.

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February 27, 2008

Baccano! ~ The love-child of Snatch, Pulp Fiction, and the Godfather.

Yeah.. I got nothing at this point... I think I need to go watch that again. This time with lots of notes to keep track of the 45 HOJILLION THINGS GOING ON AT ONCE!!1!!!11eleventy-one!!1!11


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February 07, 2008

On Moe vs. GAR

IKnight has been working on a series of posts laying out the basic concept of GAR, and it got me to thinking about how Moe and GAR in many cases are opposing sides of the same coin.

Things are going to be a bit disjointed, and I'm sure there will be many things that get left out. I'm not writing a thesis here. Hell, I should be working right now. I'm assuming a level of familiarity with current anime characters, but I'm also going to be working from a set of ideas drawn from this essay. Take a minute or 20 to read through it, because I believe somewhere in the metaphor of the sheep, sheepdog and wolf lies a clearer definition of moe and GAR.



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February 05, 2008

Minami-ke ~Okawari Episode 5

Without prior knowledge of the relationship between these three sisters, this episode would probably seem rather strange.

With that said, I spent the better part of this one cackling maniacally at the palpable dread and crescendo of terror and panic Chiaki and Kana experienced as the end drew near. You don't break Haruka-banchou's things and live to tell. Serious-business faces popping up left and right. Fujioka the teddybear-samurai was a bit odd, but what isn't in this show?

It's amazing how much fun a show based on a very simple premise, without any high-tech hardware or magic, can be.

Now for the pictures.

Now that's some horror.



Posted in Anime by: Will at 07:29 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 04, 2008

While my credit card gently weeps...

Hokay, so I dropped some change this last week on:

1)Vandread, knowing that further delay could mean never getting it.

2)Shingu, because I'm a sucker for a sci-fi story even if the box art is a less than stellar.

3)Planetes, because hard sci-fi has a place in my library too.


I've got my eye on the Haruhi LE bundle, but I'm holding out to for when Robert gets the Gurren Lagann OST in stock to bundle it all up.

Actually, I'm a couple episodes in to Vandread, but not far enough to give an honest assessment of the plot. Gonzo's been real hit-and-miss with the character designs so far. Characters' proportions swing pretty wildly from one scene to the next.

Posted in Anime by: Will at 02:13 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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January 28, 2008

So, so jealous...

About a month and a half ago, I linked a Gurren Lagann AMV that made good use of Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. It had a few problems. The timestamp was in most clips, subs showed up in a few places, and there was no footage from the second half of the show. It was obviously a rushed and rough draft.

The following video is not the final draft of that project. It's a MAD (different/Japanese way of saying AMV) done by an entirely different person with clean clips, a longer version of the song, and it includes footage from throughout the series. It's a marvel of editing and craft.

My warning from last time still stands. If you intend to watch Gurren Lagann at some point in the future and hope to get anything out of the experience, don't watch the video inside the spoiler tag.

Posted in Anime by: Will at 04:20 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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January 23, 2008

Short snippets

So far I'm really enjoying Spice and Wolf (or Wolf and Spice, or Spicy-Wolf, or whatever). The banter between Lawrence and Horo keeps you paying attention through what would in most shows be simple throwaway scenes.

Rosario + Vampire is sitting firmly on the far side of my fanservice comfort zone. If they insist on keeping this up (and all signs point to "YES"), I'll end up dropping it. It's a shame, really. I find the characters and premise at least entertaining, but the upskirt shots in the third episode are way beyond what I'm going to put up with.

Still keeping up with Kimikiss, and I still think Mao is one of the better female leads I've seen. Sure she likes Kouichi more than as a simple neechan-from-another-mother, but she knows that Yuumi makes him happy and is trying mightily to keep from butting in.

It's nice to see Shana II escape the rom-angst funk it was in for half a season.

Shugo Chara drips so much sugar and cheese it's hard to turn away. It's like a gingerbread trainwreck.

Still waiting on the first DVD of Gurren Lagann to release. I haven't itched this much for a show to hit since... well, ever.

There're a few other shows that I'm keeping up with that either don't deserve comment at this time, or I haven't seen enough to really form an opinion.

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January 12, 2008

Six Minutes of Mental Vandalism.

Don't say you weren't warned.

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January 03, 2008

Give me that Olde Time Elegance

Never has an article needed writing more than this one right now. With each new season, it becomes more difficult putting up with borderline pRon to get new programming more interesting than the tripe on American TV.

If this trends continues, there will come a point where I can no longer justify watching anime based purely on moral/legal grounds. Attempting to separate the wheat from chaff just won't provide enough material to make it worth my time.


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December 25, 2007

That Double-A Bridge in Shakugan no Shana

I've been trying to find if the bridge in Misaki City is based on a real bridge in Japan. What made me think of this is it's resemblance to the new Zakim Bunker Hill bridge that is part of the finally-completed Big Dig.

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December 11, 2007

My "Faith" in the Media Falls Every Day

So the Telegraph requested submissions for a revised Union Jack to appease some politician with his panties in a bunch. What they got were mostly jokes.

It's the Internet. What else can you expect?

So here's the winning submission.


"Flame-haired cartoon dragon" my ass. Don't any of these people do any research anymore?

"It represents shouting "UNION!" and joining together; kicking reason to the curb and doing the impossible; fighting the power, and piercing the heavens," said the Norwegian designer.

My lord in heaven, google any one of those phrases and you're bound to come across an image like this.

Either they really don't get the joke, or they know they've been caught with their pants down and only hope to salvage some small amount of dignity by keeping quiet..

Posted in Anime by: Will at 07:07 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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An Update too Big for the Bottom of Previous Post

Gurren Lagann meets the Transformers movie.

There are clips from throughout the show, so you could consider them to be spoilers.


Oh Geez, another update below the fold.


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December 07, 2007

Two Great Things, Together at Last

It took a while for AMV Hell 4 to grow on me. One of the things that really grabbed me was the song "Welcome to the Black Parade", played during the ending credits.

Now, My Chemical Romance is not the kind of band I would normally find myself listening to. The prevailing opinion of them is that they're an "emo" band, regardless of what the band members may think. To be honest, I probably wouldn't recognize any of their other songs.

"Welcome to the Black Parade" is not a negative song. It sounds negative at first. That is until they hit the first chorus and you figure out that it's nothing of the sort. And that's why I like it.

The theme is carrying on in the face of pain, fear, sorrow, and grief.

That got me to thinking about how well it would mesh with the themes from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.



Posted in Anime by: Will at 11:20 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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