New Game

December 3rd, 2016 by Author

The New Game is a CGDCT, no more, no less. Only now the action is set not in a school club, but in a workplace. To keep the desired effect running, the show plays with the infantilism a bit, even up to office workers discussing if this or that coworker behaves childishly.

This is not a workplace comedy though, as such. The CGDCT focus is so strong that the anime features an all-female cast without any kind of explanation. This includes not just the company, but any other environment, such as Nene’s university. The only time a man moves in frame is when a random passenger walks onto a train platform. This reminds me very much how late Steven den Beste refused to use screencaps with even incidental men in them for the top rotation at Chizumatic.

With such cast composition, one might wonder if thematic concerns are present. And yes, they are, but it’s not too terrible. Mostly focuses on Rin of all people. A bath episode is surprisingly tame.

Production values are outstanding. At times it looked like J.C.Staff at its peak decided to re-animate Lucky Star. In actual fact, the production studio was Doga Kobo. I don’t recall ever hearing about it, but they were subcontracting forever.

Best Girl: Umiko.

Liked: Yes, although it’s sugar calories
Rewatch: Possible

P.S. If you compare New Game with the first cour of Shirobako, the difference in scope is gigantic. More and bigger things are happening, more characters are introduced — and developed. The lead is alpha in Shirobako and beta in New Game. It’s just amazing how much more sugary and empty New Game is, from the perspective of the story and characters. But then it’s cute.

P.P.S. Speaking of Steven, he lived long enough to dismiss a series seemingly created precisely for his tastes thus:

We’ve seen it before: “The people creating your entertainment are a bunch of fruitcakes”. It turns out that all of Aoba’s coworkers are nuts in one way or another, at least based on the first half of the first episode, which was all I could stand. Then I gave up.

Sadly, we cannot debate it with him anymore. But… They do not qualify for “fruitcakes”, IMHO. The protagonist’s cubemates are: 1) a girl, 21, who is physically active, 2) a timid girl who prefers to communicate through instant messaging, 3) a normal girl with no particular deviances. Perhaps I worked in an office environment for too long, but I’ve seen all of this and nothing is abnormal. The team lead has a penchant for sleeping in the office and is sometimes found by her manager. Without pants. Okay, maybe that’s pushing it, but then if your manager is your close friend and covers for it, people often do worse. Frankly, this is the least worst thing a primadonna designer can afford to engage into before the management is compelled to take action. So yeah, I disagree with Steven’s excuse.

P.P.P.S. I awarded Umiko the Best Girl, but she is a bit controversial. When I saw her first, I thought that if she continues to draw in everyday environment, this woman is certainly going to cap someone by accident one day. But on the other hand perhaps all she needs is one good warning by a person she respects.

Denpa Onna to Seishyun Otoko, force-cancelled

December 3rd, 2016 by Author

I visited a screening of Denpa Onna at our local fabulous anime convention, which ran for 2 episodes. Such expeditions are often useful; that is how I came to know Nodame and Mahoraba, for example. This discovery wasn’t as profitable, but at least I watched it now and I’m free to bad-mouth it.

Over the years I gradually became disillusioned in SHAFT and Shinbo. I think the last his work that was watcheable was ef. Denpa Onna came very close to staging a comeback for them, in a way that Somethingmonogatari could not. Animation is still SHAFTist, but quality is unusually high. No photos for backgrounds, here. There was one instance where a stationary fabric pattern was used, on a blanket into which the human burrito was wrapped. The 3D was kept in check. The comedy is Arakawa Under Bridge redux, but again, smarter than back then. So, what’s wrong?

To begin with, the “everyone is broken” setup is not particularly attractive as a base. Upon that, the construct of “cute crazy (girl)” is mounted, and it’s not actually as cute as it was in Mahoraba. We have a chuuninbyou so advanced that the patient has dropped out of school purely because she was too disfunctional. A Sword of Damocles is hanging upon all this, where the dude ultimately does nothing to cure her, because SHAFT hoped for more seasons. Really didn’t want to stick around to find out.

Comico monetizes ReLIFE starting today

December 2nd, 2016 by Author

Today being Friday, I went to read the ch.155 and found it blocked from accesss through a website. Yep, it’s time for pay our dues. Whiteout Scans have already posted a statement. The scanlators appear to be interested in continuing, but what am I to do if I want raws? I suppose the only way is to reverse-engineer the app’s network protocol.

UPDATE: Whiteout report that all the images in the app directory are unencrypted, so “Slapping the JPG extension onto the file names is all it takes to make the files legible again!”.

Interviews With Monster Girls is actually

December 1st, 2016 by Author

Demi-chan wa Kataritai anime? Why, I would’ve never guessed. From the headlines, I thought it was some kind of knock-off for Everyday Life With Monster Girls. The English title was apparently invented in the bowels of Kodansha.

The Demi-chan manga is rather cute, mostly. The detectives were terrible, and I do not care for the idea of a dullahan in this application, but yuki-onna and the vampire compensate, and omg dat succubus! Also, the tension of the forbidden harem is so juicy. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a decent ending planned. But then it’s common in mangas.

Production is by A-1. The broadcast is set for Winter cour.

Running manga

November 24th, 2016 by Author

Recently, I found myself reading manga quite a bit, and possibly at the expnse of the anime. Most of it is rather so-so, but I found 3 series available online that are worth reading raw.

#1 is Oshiete Galko-chan. It was featured at Ani-nouto previously, and although officially it comes out on paper, it is available at Senmanga. Scanlations were sporadic and ceased a while ago.

#2 is ReLIFE. Not sure I really like where the author is taking the manga. Clearly he’s not reading my suggestions (j/k). But it’s not bad, for a school romance. It’s available officially at Comico, on a strict schedule every Friday. Scanlations keep up, and I sometimes refer to them. {Update: The festival may be over. Can you believe the timing?}

#3 is Mousou Telepathy. That one is a school romance also (a theme is beginning to appear), and is rather cute. Or at least I’m not as bored with it as with the Tomo-chan, where Humitan decided to squeeze the lemon of popularity to the last drop, instead of developing a story. Both are at Sai-zen-sen, on an erratic schedule. Scanlations are way behind, but chugging along.

If someone wants a wider selection (and in English), they may do worse than to look at Draggle’s list in 3 parts (one, two, three). I find little to quarrel in it.

Usagi Drop ends

November 14th, 2016 by Author

Let’s stick to basics in this one.

What do we have? An anime about raising children of tender age of about seven. Nice and sweet.

Good sides? The OP is phenomenal, especially the artsy animation of the two rabbits. The tune is all right, but meshes well. Apparently, it’s by Puffy? The main characters are quite decent, especially the girl. The phylosophical question of whether children are sacrifices was presented well — reminds about the question of whether loving a robot over a human was okay in Chobits. And a ton of cute moments like cooking, playground, and the like.

Downsides? The mother part was painfully squeezed into the story in order to create the desired family layout. She herself is a massive self-insert for the mangaka. With this, it should be no surprise that the writing is massively from a woman perspecite. Comes especially heavy when dude’s sister runs away in ep.7.

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: Not likely, but not impossible either.

Omo on Girlish Number

November 3rd, 2016 by Author

Gotta snipe this bit of a longer post:

Which is also to say, Girlish Number takes a rather cynical and unfortunate example. If things were like this from the beginning this industry would not have blossomed like it did today.

This recalls very much in my mind Yano’s observation about the people who continue living the dream (and the rest of that conversation in ep.19).

Digibro on character design of Gurren-Lagann

November 3rd, 2016 by Author

Now the vlogs and youtubing are things that completely passed our notice at Ani-nouto. I hardly have the time to watch anime, what to say about fan videos, unless it’s something everyone talks about. Still, people do some good work out there. Check out 10 minutes of non-stop praise in "Cool Character Designs: Gurren Lagann". I’m not sure if I agree with all the points. The examples of cosplay didn’t look all that amazing, honestly. But, a very slick presentation overall.

P.S. Look at the subscriber count: ~250k for Digibro. As a point of comparison, Nutnfancy has ~670k, Sootch 460k. It is essentially in the ballpark. Of course Hickok45 has ~2.2 million, but he’s Mr. Rogers of our days. And in any case, the point is, I highly doubt that 2,000 people read Ani-nouto regularly, let alone 200,000.

The Behind on Euphonium

November 3rd, 2016 by Author

The Behind of the Nihon Review posted a usual season summary, where a couple of grafs caught my eye. In particuar, the second opinion by a staff blogger Reckoner:

Euphonium’s second season has yet to truly justify its own existence. Now that Kumiko and the concert band have made it to nationals, a lot of steam has come out of the show’s wheels. That obsessive and intense focus the band had in accomplishing their musical aspirations has taken a backseat to some generic feeling drama and nonsensical yuri pandering. Kyoto Animation knows exactly what kind of audience they are trying to titillate still with Kumiko and Reina’s relationship, but at this point it is starting to drag down the characterization and hence the show.

LOL, I knew it!

Kuro on Vivid Strike

October 27th, 2016 by Author

Kuro tweets:

In other news, Twitter killed animeblogging and then suicided. GAB is far too politicized. I suppose I’ll keep the GNU/Smug.loli thing going for now. It’s not like I have many years left to play with it. At least that one provides an RSS feed.