October 24, 2014

Twintail -- ep 3

Twoaru reveals her newly-built secret base, and it's worthy of Kururu at his best:

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Complete with a secret elevator door in their kitchen. The sign says "秘密基地入口".

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Souji and his mom are overjoyed. Aika is less than thrilled.

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All it needs is Angol Mois at one of the control stations and it would be perfect!

Tail Red responds to attacks all over the world, one a day, for a couple of weeks. This also results in lots of new phone-camera pictures of her flooding the web, and fan clubs and fan web sites start sprouting up like mushrooms.

Eventually the bad guys come up with a way of fighting her and she gets in trouble. Never fear, however, Tail Blue shows up to help!

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October 23, 2014

Amagi Brilliant Park -- ep 4

So now we're finally getting some story and some character development. Seiya is becoming a more sympathetic character.

But this episode was about Isuzu, and her relationship with Seiya. She, too, has become a more sympathetic character.

This was a good episode, definitely a step up from last time. The story telling flowed this time. Definitely nice work.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 09:49 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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October 21, 2014

Similes

Just rewatched the GuP OVA, and reflected on the character Pepperoni. The character page for her on TVTropes says, "Not the sharpest tool in Anzio's shed."

And I got to thinking about other humorous ways of saying "She's not too smart." And... I could only think of one: "Not the brightest bulb on the tree."

Surely there must be more! Help me out here!

(I'm looking for things that suggest she isn't very smart, not things that suggest that she may be nuts. So "Not playing with a full deck" or "Rowing with only one oar in the water" don't qualify.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 10:37 AM | Comments (13) | Add Comment
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October 18, 2014

Madan no Ou to Vanadis -- ep 3

And so we get the great battle for Alsace. And it wasn't just "everyone charge into a melee and beat up the other side." There were actual tactics, and ruses, and it was genuinely interesting to watch the progress of the battle.

No amount of material superiority can compensate for a commander who is a blithering idiot and a coward. So when he abandoned his force and fled, the bastard got what was coming to him.

more...

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October 17, 2014

Just kind of wondering

Why does this picture show an American plane painted in Japanese colors? That wing configuration is very distinctive. Indeed so far as I know it's unique.

What it isn't is a A6M Zero, which is what the movie is supposed to be about.

UPDATE: Maybe not so unique. It could be an F4U, but it could also be a Stuka. It isn't a Zero, however.

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Amagi Brilliant Park -- ep 3

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This ep didn't have the same magic as the first episode did, especially given I watched it right after Twintails ep 2, which was full of happy silliness.

But I guess that's inevitable. The story is about being terrible and then rising to become great, and once it becomes great the story is over. We're only a quarter way into the story, so we're still in the "terrible" part.

Our Hero closed the park for a day for cleaning and painting, and now he's trying to get more customers into the place. One way is cheesecake, even though this is primarily a children's attraction. Another way is Moffle, which was interesting.

This wasn't enough to make me lose interest in the show, but I wouldn't be surprised if it has that effect on some other people.

UPDATE: Comparing Twintails in my mind to Amagi, I think the problem is that Amagi feels forced. Twintails is flowing smoothly and everything that happens, including the silliness, feels believable. Amagi feels like there's sand in the gears. There's a story but it isn't really being told well; it isn't unfolding organically.

Part of the reason is that Twintails has embraced the Rule of Funny: Anything is permitted as long as it makes you laugh. Ultimately Amagi isn't really a comedy, so they can't do that. (I would say it will turn out to be a coming-of-age story.) So Twintails can get away with an Alien fondling a statuette of Tail Red in a nurse uniform.

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It makes no sense, but it gets a giggle, and that's enough. Amagi has to put its story together in a way that really does make sense, and so far they're only succeeding about 75%.

UPDATE: Another difference: I like all the main characters in Twintails. But there isn't really any sympathetic character in Amagi. In particular, I like the lead in Twintails. Yeah, he has a strange (but ultimately harmless) fetish but he's actually a pretty nice guy. The lead in Amagi is an arrogant bastard and I keep hoping he'll get taken down a notch. Isuzu is cold, Moffle is ugly and violent, and there isn't really anyone there that I like.

UPDATE: When I see a girl in a bikini, I don't want her to look terrified or uncomfortable. That's how you get cheesecake wrong.

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This is the only one they got right. The other five all look like they think they're about to be raped.

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Twintail -- ep 2

The craziness doesn't let up and the energy doesn't, either. This is a plot exposition episode, but they manage to keep it from getting dull by sprinkling a lot of silliness in the middle of it all.

Toaru explains some things about what's going on but is rather reticent about other things, and Aika gets mad:

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The caption for this was, "Answer seriously or your elbow's range of motion will double!" So her answer to "Why did Souji become a girl in the transformation?" was "I like girls!"

Souji's mother eavesdrops on the whole thing, and it turns out that both she and Souji's deceased father had aspirations to become superheroes, but never were able. Learning that her son has that ability, Mom is entirely in favor. She also grants Toaru permission to build a secret base under their house, which takes just one night. (Shades of Keroro Gunsou!)

Up in space, the alien boss orders his lieutenants to come up with ways to defeat Tail Red, and their answers are a sequence of fetishes:

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They compete to see which lieutenant will be the next to challenge Tail Red.

Souji and Aika go to school the next day, and it seems that pictures of Tail Red are everywhere, and she's become the meme of the day.

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The student body president calls an assembly, and announces her love for Tail Red.

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Toaru has implemented an activation code for the bracelet: "Tail On!" The aliens are attacking a school in the next town, and Souji activates Tail Red:

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Turtle Guildy attacks:

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He lasts about five seconds; Tail Red kills him with a single blow. That's not the problem, though.

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October 15, 2014

Fairy Tail -- Victory party!

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Even Asuka gets to dress up.

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October 12, 2014

Girl Friend (beta) -- ep 1

Gaah! Keep it away from me!

I only got halfway through the episode before giving up. If there's any reason for this show (besides pumping a telephone game) I'll be damned if I know what it is.

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This is Kokomi, who may be the main character in the show. And this is the beginning of my disenchantment, for it there's anything I hold in more contempt than performance art, it's gotta be rhythmic gymnastics. Kokomi is on the team and has a tournament coming up.

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The only other notable thing about the show is that all the girls (and there are a swarm of them) are top-heavy. Not Maken-Ki level, to be sure, but way beyond the norm for Japanese girls.

When Mochizuki showed up, her voice grated terribly; it's a horrible performance from a seiyuu who ought to know better. Bad directing? Who knows. Maybe just lack of time to do a proper job; there were at least 20 different voices in the first half of the first episode, and every expectation that it's going to keep on like that.

I expected this show to be brain dead, and it is. It doesn't even rise to the level of "cute girls doing cute things".

Dropped, like a hot rock!

UPDATE: Pete is lukewarm.

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October 10, 2014

Grisaia no Kajitsu -- ep 1

Peter Burd wrote about this show and used the magic word ("panties") so I was curious.

The strangest thing about it is that the video is 2.35:1. And yeah, there are panty shots but by the time they happened I no longer cared. I think this show will end up being categorized as horror.

Our Hero is Yuuji, who seems to be very stoic. He's been assigned to a new school which has a grand total of five other students, all girls, and all strange. In the first episode he meets them all, but it's clear from the ending that nothing in this place is as it seems -- including Yuuji himself.

My guess is that he's an assassin -- and the other girls may be as well. Or... it may be that they're all psychotically homicidal. Two of them carry knives. One is an expert with lock picks and invades his room on a transparent excuse. One is shown in her room constructing bombs.

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This one's the one he found in his room. She's got the biggest rack of the five.

By the way, buy the BDs.

The fan service in this show is completely out of place. Fan service goes better in comedies, and this isn't remotely a comedy. I think it was poor judgment for them to include it, and I suspect this is a case like Divergence Eve where the director had to promise the production company he'd do it in order to get the project approved.

I won't be surprised if every one of the girls makes at least one attempt to kill Yuuji before the show is over. (I also won't be surprised if every one of them gets a nude shot.) The short description of the show makes it sound like a harem, but I seriously doubt that's what's in store.

I am curious about it and may watch another episode, because next ep they're going to reveal a lot about Yuuji himself, and we're probably going to get the first attack on him next time.

I think it unlikely I'll want to watch this entire series, but I have to admit to being intrigued at least by the first episode.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 07:56 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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