KonoSuba S1 ends

September 22nd, 2016 by Author

And so, the light-hearted sword-and-magic comedy came to a close… except that the new season is supposedly green-lit already. It remains to be seen if the creators keep this on track or drive it into the ground like Dog Days. I’m not too unhappy. What can you say, it’s the anime that had Brutal Alligators. Also:

There is no best girl (well, some people say Eris, but that’s based on 1 minute of screen time). The members of the main trio are all defective. However, it’s done in such nice, inoffensive way, that I am letting it slip. Bring on the S2.


Saiki begins

August 29th, 2016 by Author

What series do I enjoy the most this season? Well, ReLIFE, of course, but that’s already over for those who did not need to stick to the fake "broadcast" schedule. So, what do I look forward to every week, then? The disastrous life of Saiki-kun, that’s what. The “Saiki” is pun with “Psyche”.

I’ve already read all of the manga, so the best part is the adaptation. As Director Kinoshita once said, the objective of adaptation is “to showcase the strong points of the original to the fans, while hiding the weak parts”. Saiki does that quite admirably. Plus, the production values are not bad, for the budget.

Note that being a pure comedy, Saiki is absolutely not for everyone. Comedies never are.

Teruhashi is the best girl. Oupf. {Update: Allow me to ruin the joke by explaining it. Everyone who meets Teruhashi says “Ouph”, except for our eponymous character. Naturally, she sees it as a challenge to make him say “Ouph”. Comedy ensues.}

BTW, the Daisuki app for iOS uses the difference in aspect ratio on iPad to place the subtitles outside of the frame. I can see why they thought it would be a great idea, but the font is too small and difficult to read.


DiGiKerot on Love Live Sunshine

August 24th, 2016 by Author

I only watched 3 episodes of LLS and it didn’t grab my attention. However, a post at Beta-Waffle re-kindled my interest with an interesting spoiler:

The point is that the game has changed. Everyone knows about μ’s, and everyone is trying to imitate that success. This is as true outside of the universe of the series as it is within it, of course. Admittedly, being linked to the Love Live franchise gives the real-life Aqours a massive leg-up on the competition, but the fact that just being a carbon copy of their predecessors is likely to result in only short-term interest would likely be true regardless.

In universe, though, the events of these episodes mark an important segregation point. Up until this point, the characters thought that μ’s were the pinnacle of the School Idol universe. They were the thing to be chased. It was who they were imitating, and what the events were paralelling. The reality is that, outside of their sleepy town, unbeknownst to them, their idols had instead become the baseline. Everyone knows about μ’s and A-RISE at their peaks, and everyone knows how imitate them. There’s nothing special about doing that, and it’ll get you literally nowhere. You have to be at least μ’s to be worthwhile.

Which is going to make the next few episodes interesting, as the characters have to start mapping a course beyond their heroines.

That Sunshine was a carbon copy of the original LL became a bit of an easy target for comentators, to the point that people started posting side-by-side screencap galleries. But now this.


Crunchyroll enters physical media market

August 16th, 2016 by Author

Remember when the largest incumbent of discs, Funimations, tried to stream? Good times. Tables are turned now, with Crunchyroll’s announcement:

[W]e are super excited to announce that Crunchyroll has acquired the rights for merchandise and home video for the smash-hit Kabaneri!

Crunchyroll is excited to announce our entry into the home video market with the following upcoming English-dubbed Blu-Ray and DVD releases:

Berserk
Big Order
Free! Iwatobi Swim Club
Gintama
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
Myriad Colors Phantom World
Yamada-kun & the Seven Witches
And many more still to be announced!

This comes on the heels of Daisuki intruducing a paid subscription (only $5 and “reduced” amount of ads, not eliminated ads). Also, Netflix is scheming too. Could it be that anime acquired a second breath, fueled by recent societal changes?


Bleg for a serious weaboo power

August 8th, 2016 by Author

This is little add-on for the latest ReLIFE manga chapter, 139. What does it mean, “英世は折ってはいけない”? I understand that she must not break something, but what? And why is it nostalgic? Scanlation’s translation makes no sense. Google was no help thus far. Neither were official dictionaries.

UPDATE: The best guess so far is that Hideyo may be an as-yet-unintroduced member of the preparationary committee. The only problem is, why no honorific?

UPDATE: Never mind, false alarm. I remembered the reference. She means the 1,000 yen note that Arata told her not to fold.


Strike Witches sequel announced

August 6th, 2016 by Author

Or so I read Beveridge’s post.

From a base in Petersburg in the Empire of Orussia, the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing “Brave Witches,” upon whom mankind has placed its hopes, flies with courage in the cold skies of eastern Europe.

It’s not only the Hollywood that’s creatively bankrupt, it appears.

But on second thought, the fact remains that I cannot stop rewatching ReLIFE 13. Do not send help.


ReLIFE

July 29th, 2016 by Author

It was over in a flash, I did not even have a moment to post the “begins” bracket. And now I’m posting before I had another to pull my thoughts together. But perhaps it’s better that way, or else I’d be like Mr. Wonderduck, who I’m sure watched all it, but never blogged it. And nobody else either among top animebloggers, or among geriatric animebloggers, bothered to do so.

I suspect I know why. Like the hideous balloon boobs of Divergence Eve, the dubious premise of ReLIFE spooked them away. They never gave it a chance. And indeed, if you ever let yourself to stop and think about the premise, you are going to end greatly dissatisfied. If ReLIFE were a high character drama, the author could’ve done the same of better job by isolating characters temporarily in a more realistic setting. Consider that, since there are no age changes or time travel, the ReLIFE experiment is largely isomorphic to any other kind of plot device that rips the characters out from their mundane lives and throws them together for a while. A military service, for example. Or being stuck on an island. These situations are really conductive to romance, too.

But I know why it had to be this way. Just as the majority of buyers of Divergence Eve DVDs came in for the boobs, the viewers of ReLIFE are ensnared by the wish-fulfilment premise at fist. It does not work on jaded animebloggers, but it’s their loss, and in any case they do not determine if BDs sell.

With that in mind, what is there for us to be ensnared?

If you ask me, I have to name the voicework Ai Kayano in the role of Chizuru Hishiro. I am not commonly astonished by seiyuu, but this was something else. Not only the casting was perfect, but it was a tremendous surprise because I was poisoned by manga and expected a more pedestrian, deadpan delivery. In addition, I did not even realize who it was. But when I looked it up, none other role of Mrs. Kayano sounded like this (among those I saw and heard, anyway).

Speaking of being poisoned, normally I’d wax poetic about characters first, and about voices later, or never, but in this case I’m quite familiar with the characters from the manga, so all I can say is that the adaptation was solid. I think I can like these people again (except An :-)).

Technicalities were in place, too. They would not win any animation awards, but it was competent and the accents were well placed. For example, the dude headdesks at one point, and the things laying at the table jump. The only thing I’m not sure about is the piano BGM. It is unusual and sounds awesome at times, but I think that by ep.10 it started to overstay its welcome.

<Author> It has some interesting twists wrt production. Like one time one girl steps on a ball by accident and twists her ankle. Naturally, it was off screen, because animating the unnatural movements is difficult and time consuming, so you just get everyone’s shoked faces and SEMPAI DAIJOUBU DESUKA?!!!
<Author> Or so you though
<Author> +t. But actually, they did animate it! They re-post a flashback for her and the whole sequence is in with her stepping wrong and falling. Maybe they failed to complete it for the previous episode time, or the director thought it would be more impactful to leave it off-screen.
<Cakes> lol
<Author> In addition, the anime is cut short and leaves the most interesting parts of manga out.

Actually, I was wrong about the ending of the anime. Instead of ending as I expected, at a natural arc break, it reaches into the manga a little deeper, just enough to end on a massive cliffhanger. I don’t even know what to think about this move. It’s most likely that we’ll never get a sequel. I don’t think ReLIFE was topping ratings, or even the animeblogging haters would feel compelled to blog, if only seethe.

This reminds me, I was just informed today that the Ranka and Sheril thing was resolved in the movie.

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: Why the heck not… and buying a BD might move the needle on the 2nd season, so…

P.S. Oh yeah, I forgot! They use a different track for ED in each episode, which I only noticed in 05, where it dawned on me that I know the melody… It was Puffy AmiYumi! Singing about… school friendship?! I can’t believe these trolls. They licensed 10-year-old hits as a joke on multiply levels. Get it? Going back 10 years, like the characters. Moreover, since the male lead listens to music on MD, it’s presented that he is listening to these songs.

P.P.S. Come of think of it, the lead is a familiar stereotype — a staple of anime that nonetheless you will not find on TVtropes.

P.P.P.S. Just for the record, the inverse recall scene in the final episode was expertly staged and directed — and it had no equivalent in manga. Talk about using the anime adaptation to its strengths. It works even on rewatch, when everything is known ahead of the time. If I were to compare it with something, it would be the telephone conversation on timer in ef, and frankly this is better. The beeping was rather annoying. Although obviously Shinbo did it on purpose, I think it was a miscalculation. A victory for Toshi Kosaka’s full-on director debut.


Regalia is cancelled

July 27th, 2016 by Author

According to the notice posted to regalia-anime.jp, it’s cancelled after 4 episodes (h/t sage). Or at least that’s how I read "第4話をもって、放送をいったん終了とさせて頂きます。" I don’t recall a debacle like that recently. Even when Yamakan was booted from directing Lucky*Star after the same 4 episodes, the series continued.

UPDATE: Mr. Robert Gross pointed out that

[Regalia is] temporarily cancelled and they’ll be reairing it from the start soon (next season?). Scheduling issue not allowing for sufficient quality, so it’s more Garupan than Yamakan kind of deal.


Planetarian begins

July 25th, 2016 by Author

Aren’t we supposed to hate tragedies here? Only if they suck. Overwrought, artificial, meaningless tragedies are no good. But I heard good things about Planetarian VN and who knows, maybe we’ll see a good adaptation. Available for streaming on DAISUKI.


Love Live Sunshine begins

July 24th, 2016 by Author

This wasn’t blogged in the category, but I ragequit the original LL in the finale of Season 1, hard. Never seen S2. And now this. Why? I don’t know, and I don’t care. Perhaps I want to meet someone like Nico again. And if I have to put up with another Nozomi, so be it.

Actually, I think it should be clear by now that the core of LL success is in its characters, love them or hate them. These fake idols are much too real.

One other thing, some folks were belly-aching about LLS repeating LL almost screencap by screencap. Indeed, there’s some of it. But isn’t it how great things are often times? They evolve and improve with every iteration. Look no further than Mazda MX-5.

Dia is the best girl, although I haven’t seen all of them in just 3 episodes.

P.S. I don’t know if it was intentional, but it’s as if the creators meant to underline how dumb Chika was when they showed her demonstrating a video on her cellphone and holding it in portrait format.

P.P.S. Production values are superb all around. It is especially noticeable in the handling of reflections. The 3D is another step forward.