April 18, 2015

Re-Kan -- ep 3

OK, with this episode we're no longer trapped in 4-Koma hell. They actually told a story this time that ran most of the length of the episode. And it was a good story. It brought tears to my eyes. (I'm such a softy.)


In a show about ghosts, inevitably some of the stories will be about death and loss, and this one was. But Amami was able to use her special talent to help a couple of people heal.

One of those was Inoue, who no longer even tries to pretend that she doesn't believe. And as of this episode Inoue and Amami are now pretty close friends.

Amami is a yamato nadesico. Her character page on the show website says so. It's not a character type you see very often, and it was an interesting choice. I think it works. The danger is that it could turn Amami into a plot device instead of a complex character, but so far I think they've avoided that mistake.

Azumanga Daioh started out just doing gags but fairly soon started telling stories of varying lengths. I think that's what has happened with the 4-Koma that this show is based on, too, and that's the reason why the production company thought they could turn it into a decent anime. If it had continued like the first two episodes, it would have crashed and burned. But with this episode we can see the potential for more beginning to develop.

UPDATE: And next week we get a beach episode. I guess that was inevitable. Will we get an onsen ep, too?

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April 17, 2015

The uselessness of public opinion polls

A Japanese website asked Japanese readers: Which female anime character has the most curves?

Well, as stated the question is stupid. If drawn correctly, they should all have the same number of curves. Some will be longer and more bulgy than others, but if the character isn't malformed or diseased, they'll have the same number of curves.

Anyway, ignoring that, the list that resulted was very strange. Three different girls from K-on ended up in the top ten. One of those, Tsumugi, arguably rates being on the list, but the other two shouldn't even have been also-rans. Lucy Heartfilia managed to make 14th place but she was the only character from Fairy Tail who rated.

No one from Senran Kagura was on the list. Super Sonico wasn't on the list, and being curvy is her signature feature. No one from Maken Ki was on the list. No one from Madan no Ou to Vanadis. Sylphy got ignored. None of the girls from Dragonar rated. No one from Momo Kyun Sword. Yukikaze Panettone was slighted. No Rias Gremory.

As usual, people ignored the actual question and just voted for characters they liked. I'm a bit surprised that Louise wasn't the winner; that would be in character. (But I guess her star is fading.)

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April 16, 2015

Punchline -- ep 2

I guess the idea of this episode was to do character building. The only important event as far as I could tell was Yuuta breaking a bottle and getting a level up from it. Everything else was him observing the women who were all being crazy.

There wasn't even any fan service, and the world didn't blow up this time.

It felt like filler, but ep 2 is a bit early for filler episodes.

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April 15, 2015

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku -- eps 1-2


Oh, this is another bad one. Our heroine is Eruna, who is a raging lesbian, or maybe would like to be but doesn't yet have any actual experience doing that.

...not that there's anything wrong with that... I think is what I'm supposed to say at this point.

She makes Kuroko the Teleporter look calm and stately. But what she's actually been doing is playing dating games and imagining herself "getting the girl" -- and then running off to the nurse's office at the school because there are beds there.

She is near to graduating, or has graduated, from middle school and doesn't seem too interested in finding a high school to get into. Her cousin is just as weird as she is. His name is Shigure and he's hung up on Eruna and makes no secret about it. He keeps reminding her that since they're cousins it's legal. (Which is the case in Japan.) He shows up with a brochure from the high school that he attends, and she leafs through it.

She declares that the school uniforms are cute, and she also sees a picture in it of a gorgeous girl. He tells her that her name is Seisa Mikagura, and she's the granddaughter of the founder of the school. Eruna instantly falls in love lust, and decides to apply there.

The application process is bizarre. First, she's given an exam which is absurdly easy, consisting of things like "1+4 = ? 1+5 = ? 1+6 = ?".

And then there's an interview. The interviewer is a talking, flying cat, and he eventually tells her that anyone who can see him gets admitted.

And it gets crazier from there. The whole thing is run at farcical levels, and for that to work you need a single sane person in the middle, a rock in the storm for the audience to hang onto. There wasn't one as far as I can tell. It sure as hell isn't Eruna, who spends about half of these episodes drooling with lust at the various girls she meets.

There's probably a story here, but I don't care enough to keep watching to find out. There wasn't enough fan service to cover up all the flaws (as in, "there wasn't any at all") so it doesn't even have that going for it. I'm not sure who this is supposed to appeal to, but it sure ain't me.

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April 14, 2015

Nanoha Strikers BD release


I wasn't aware of this until Wonderduck mentioned it in one of his posts. I missed it when it came by a couple of weeks ago. It doesn't look like an upscale from 480p; it looks like a rerender.

When they did the Haibane Renmei BD release, that one was an upscale and it looked terrible. This looks great. (The above picture is trimmed but not resized by me.)


So I'm rewatching it, and gathering candidates for the top rotation. The first two episodes have been particularly fruitful, about 20 images so far.

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April 13, 2015

Nanoha -- the generic Nanoha show

Here are the things we have come to expect from any Nanoha series:

1: A treasure hunt for preposterously dangerous Lost Logia.
2: Opposing magical girl(s) searching for the same Lost Logia.
3: An enemy we love to hate who is manipulating the opposing girl(s).
4. A potentially world-ending crisis at the end, just barely averted.
5. Hyperpowerful magical lolis fighting one another.
6. A cute animal magical sidekick.
7. Befriending!!

As best I can tell they're only partially cleaving to the formula in Vivid. #1-#4 aren't in it. But we're going to see Rio, Corona, Vivio, and Einhart fighting. (And from some spoilers I've seen, Rio really kicks ass.) The cute animal sidekick is Sacred Heart in bunny form.

And we've already had our first case of befriending (Nove and Einhart). It won't be the last.

Befriending is the one absolutely essential aspect of the canon, and it's good that they realize it.

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April 12, 2015

Yamada and the seven witches

DROPPED like a hot rock. I only made it ten minutes in before I'd had enough. Jeeze that sucked!

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April 11, 2015

Nanoha Vivid -- ep 2

So the mysterious loli is named Einhart Stratos. She's descended from one Klein Ingvalt, one of the monarchs from a certain war period in the history of Belka.

Just thought I'd mention that the planet Belka no longer exists. Is she a clone of him, like Vivio is a clone of an ancient Belkan Saint Queen? Not yet clear. (She can't be an exact clone, of course, because she'd be male.)


And here are some old friends.


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April 10, 2015

Re-Kan -- ep 2

It's obvious that this is based on a 4-Koma; it feels staccato.

It's possible to do an anime based on a 4-Koma without feeling that way. Azumanga Daioh is the classic example; the episodes were made of several short segments, but each of those still represented a large number of 4-Komas.

But it can also fall apart like tissue paper in the rain. Re-Kan isn't quite to that point, but it feels like it's threatening to do so.

I'm sitting here trying to come up with a short description of what happened in this episode, and I can't. It doesn't hang together; there isn't any single story being told here. It's just a bunch of events which are distantly related, if they are related at all beyond the fact that they all are about Amami.

It wasn't terrible; it wasn't boring. But it also wasn't a story. It was so fragmented that it doesn't even rate "day in the life". (Anyway, it covered more than a week, but you know what I mean.)

It feels like a bad 4-Koma adaptation, unfortunately. And that's a pity. There's potential in this concept and I hope we can see that potential developed.

UPDATE: One bad sign is that they're starting to rely on running gags which aren't funny. Inoue doesn't believe in ghosts and keeps saying so even though there are objects flying around her. One of the girls keeps throwing her phone and hitting Yamada in the face. Another girl seems to be a yankee and even the guys are afraid of her. Another girl is a total space case.

This isn't characterization; it's laziness.

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Shokugeki no Soma -- ep 2

It's time for the entrance exam to the best culinary school in the known universe, which flunks 90% of its students and turns away even more. Nearly all the other applicants are rich, famous, and powerful, and they look down on Our Hero because he's from a neighborhood diner. Low class scum.


The examiner is that busty blonde. Her name is Erina and she's known as "God Tongue" because of her exquisitely sensitive palate. She's also arrogant and cruel and loves to crush people.

When the other applicants learn that the entrance exam is to prepare one dish for her to taste, they all freak and run for the exit. Only Our Hero is willing to give it a try.

His dish is rice with eggs on top, which is really classless on the face of it. She's insulted he would serve her such a thing -- but when she tastes it, she has a foodgasm. There's a lot of that in this show. However, she has standards to maintain, so she flunks him anyway even though the food was outstanding.

Well, it doesn't happen. An old man comes in later, alone, and tastes the rice, and then overrides her decision and allows Our Hero into the school.

I would hate Our Hero a bit because he has no sense. Even if he's as confident in his cooking as he is, taunting the judge isn't smart. Sometimes you have to suck up. There's plenty of time after you're in the school to taunt the arrogant bitch, but when she holds your future in her hand, you really ought to be nice to her.

Having said that, it continues to be fun and interesting, and I think I'll keep watching it. Everything in this is exaggerated to the point of farce, and that's kind of cool.

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