December 14, 2010
Yosuga no Sora set off my OMG detector just from the preseason description. As a more-or-less faithful adaptation of the original eroge, it has the hero scoring with every girl in sight.
In ep 11 he adds his twin sister to the tally. I somewhat rhetorically asked, "I wonder if we’re going to get a 'nice boat' ending?" JPMeyer responds:
I can’t imagine anything else at this point. The real question, I think, is who does the boating.
And how seriously boated he is afterwards. Surely one of those girls is going to turn yandere.
In general, I stay as far away from eroge adaptations as I can. The only one I think I've ever watched all the way through was Popotan, and that wasn't really an adaptation. They discarded the player avatar and tossed the entire original story. The only thing they kept was the character designs for the girls as well as the house that three of them lived in. The game's alien space ship became an image of magic taking place. Everything else was completely new. I think I heard someone describing it as "jacking up the license plate and replacing the car." (I have a vague memory that it was J who said that.)
Princess Lover was also originally an eroge, but they left out all the sex when they adapted it to anime. Anyway, I only watched about four episodes before giving up on it. (Later I went through the whole thing to take frame grabs for the top rotation, but I did that with the sound turned off and the subtitles disabled.)
This season also included "The World only God Knows", which was another I wanted to stay far, far away from. The basic concept is that there's a geek who happens to be a wizard at playing and winning dating games, and he gets recruited by an angel to use his profound seduction skills to win the hearts of real girls, because there are pieces of something-or-other in their hearts which need to be recovered. Or they are possessed by demons. Or some other contrivance.
The real hook is this idea that expertise in playing dating games somehow prepares you for real life romantic endeavors, and I found that idea utterly ludicrous.
Jessi found it really offensive, but she's a grrl and is offended by the idea that girls should be thought of as being so predictable. I found it offensive, too, because it insulted my intelligence. (No one understands girls.)
There's a kind of meta-level going on here. The reason this dork's skills work on "real girls" is that they're no more real than the ones in the games. They're just as much artificial creations of writers as are the ones in the games. He's moved from one level of unreality to another one.
But bad as that is, at least he isn't having sex with his twin sister. All together now: EEEEW! YUCK!
UPDATE: Pete responds.
IIRC, ef and To Heart were not eroge.
October 03, 2010
One of the shows I will not be watching this year is "Super Robot Wars". It's based on an anime from a long time ago, or a computer game, or something like that. But as I look at the frame grabs, I'm instantly reminded of all the reasons why I don't generally like mech shows. Or at least the pure flavor of mech shows, the ones mainly driven by wish fulfillment.
For instance: why is it that if the pilot of a mech is a woman, then her mech will have breasts?
July 07, 2009
Kyoto Animation burst into the attention of R1 otaku with the release of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (released eventually in R1 as "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya"). KyoAni fanbois began to eagerly await later releases from them, and still do to this day.
But I'm not one of them. I bought the Haruhi DVDs when they were released, and there are parts of it which are pretty good. And parts which suck pretty badly.
Nothing else that KyoAni has released to date has been of the slightest interest to me. There have been the Key dating game adaptations: Kanon 2006, Air, and Clannad, and all their sequels and addenda. They're hanky shows. The goal is to hook the audience and wring as many tears out of them as possible. Not a kind of show that I like.
And they can be pretty manipulative, like taking a really, really cute little girl and giving her a fatal disease which, as Harlan Ellison once put it in a different context, "smites but does not wither."
There was Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. Problem was, it emphasized the parts of Full Metal Panic which I liked the least. And anyway, I'm not really much of a fan of that franchise. I watched the first series once, and haven't had any urge to watch any of it again, or any of the successor series, like KyoAni's Second Raid.
There was Lucky Star. It was another huge hit for KyoAni, and it has given us iconic characters. But when it finally came out on DVD, I bought the first couple and tried to wade through it. And I gave up after about 4 episodes. I tried; I really tried. It just didn't work for me.
So there's Haruhi. But the series is running again this year, with new episodes mixed into the continuity between the old ones. They finally got to the first of the new episodes, and I watched it. And it didn't work for me. The magic is gone. It was just more of the same. On first viewing it was pretty much fun, but by the next day it started feeling really stale. Since then, more new episodes have come out, and I haven't felt any urge to watch them either.
KyoAni has produced a lot of shows which were very popular. It seems that the problem is just that they're not doing the kind of thing I like, and I don't expect that to change any time soon. So these days I'm always interested in new shows from J.C. Staff, and very interested in any show from Studio Fantasia. I'll even be curious about new shows from Gonzo. But announcement of a new show from KyoAni gets a yawn from me.
UPDATE: Oh, and there's K-On. Yet another show which was a big hit, but which doesn't even slightly interest me.
May 24, 2008
It just hit this week as a boxed set. But it won't be on my to-buy list. Here's what ANN says:
Takaya Ohgi is just a typical high school guy who wants nothing more than to protect his best friend and live a normal life. Enter Nobutsuna Naoe, an older man who informs Takaya that he is in fact the reincarnation of Lord Kagetora. Naoe, himself a possessor, awakens Takaya's abilities to exorcise evil spirits and fight the Fuedal Underworld. While most possessors remember their former lives before being reincarnated, Takaya does not. Naoe is thankful for this, considering his passionate and abusive past with his Lord Kagetora. As Takaya improves his abilities , he also begins to remember what Naoe did because of his love for him. Meanwhile the dark forces of the Hojo and Fuma clans begin their attack as the Fuedal Underworld descends upon the living world.
So it's Ikki Tousen, sort of, without any girls, but with yaoi. Eewww! Ick ick ick...
March 16, 2008
I'm a big fan of Dragonball Z. I make no apologies for that. Everything bad that everyone says about it is true, or nearly everything, but I like it. It's slow, and packed to the gills with filler, time wasters, and money savers. But I've gotten to know the characters, and there are pleasures to be had from it. And the powers everyone has are cool. It's fun to fly and toss energy blasts around; I wish I could do it.
There are also characters in it I've come to like a lot. I like Piccolo, for instance. I like Vegeta. I like Krillin. And it's fun to watch Gohan grow up over the course of the series. At the beginning he's 4 years old. At the end he has a 4 year old daughter.
Why would I want to watch Naruto? What does it give me that DBZ doesn't give me better? Well, there are more girls in Naruto. That's it. But the fights aren't as spectacular, and frankly, the characters don't intrigue me.
It's another interminably-long series which shows no sign of ever ending. If there's any kind of long term plot, it doesn't seem to be showing any sign of trying to come to a conclusion.
What's it about? Well, a bunch of trainee ninjas, apparently. The title character is a punk, and apparently he's an incarnation of some sort of evil spirit. Or something like that.
What I gather is that the entire series is one big exercise in "My Kung Fu is Stronger than Yours". That was a major theme in DBZ, but I don't really need any more of it from another series.
What is there that would make me watch it, then? Well, there's Temari. She has the same voice as Nayuta from Shingu. But she arrives late, and she isn't a major character. I gather there are a few other good looking women.
But a fan service show this ain't, and if I want to watch bodacious babes doing kung fu, I'll wait for Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny. (Coming soon, from a Media Blasters near you!) There's not a girl in Naruto who can stand up to Kan'u Unchou, in a fight or in a swimsuit.
There's either something really right, or something really wrong, with this series. It seems to have created its own militant fan following, known to disrespectful outsiders as "Narutards". It's like Star Wars and Star Trek in that regard. Even DBZ didn't inspire that kind of thing.
Not interested, not curious.
UPDATE: Is Pete a fan?
As regards "massive ignorance", Pete misses the point of this series of posts. Of course I'm ignorant about the various series described in them. I'm explaining why I treasure my ignorance about them. That's why they're all titled "series I'll never watch".
March 13, 2008
I don't know what this fascination is that the Japanese seem to have with gender-bending. Kashimashi -- Girl Meets Girl is one of the more extreme examples of it.
There's a shy guy. He falls in love with, or gets a heavy crush on, a girl and finally works up his courage to "confess" to her -- only she says no. So he hikes up a mountain, and a deus ex machina falls on him, and turns him into a girl. (Based on the character art, the alien didn't skimp on the chest.)
He She returns to his her home and starts living life as a member of the opposite sex, and tries to pick up his her love life where he she left off.
Gad. I don't know how the plot develops from there, and I damned well don't want to find out. What I know is that this is shoujo-ai in drag. It looks as if the core of the series is a yuri love triangle. Eeew!
UPDATE: Not that I have anything against yuri, mind. What I "have against" is shoujo-ai, plus the sneaking suspicion that the alien may not have fully completed the job. Hermaphrodites are just not my thing.
Based on hints I've seen, that was the case with the manga Pretty Face, where the gender-bending was done by a mad scientist. I keep expecting that one to get turned into an anime. I wonder why it hasn't happened yet?
February 24, 2008
The Japanese have never really understood Catholic nuns. It's a visual trope that shows up all the time in anime, not to mention being a big-time fetish, but characters who are nuns don't act the way I think of nuns as being. For instance, in Petite Princess Yucie the character Arc, a handsome rogue, makes a pass at a nun in one episode. She blushes and smiles and acts in a way that suggests she might be willing to respond, were it not for the fact that everyone is busy. She certainly doesn't act as if his comment was out of line.
Not in any Catholic church I've ever known about.
No show typifies that disconnect better than Chrono Crusade. The primary characters are Sister Rosette, a 16 year old nun, and Chrono, apparently a tame demon who works with/for her, though later in the series it's revealed that the relationship between them is more complicated than that, and darker.
Sister Rosette is simply too gorgeous and sexy to believe. Not to say that girls that good looking don't become nuns -- it does happen. But their habits don't look like the one Sister Rosette wears, and sure as hell don't emphasize their figures the way hers does. That isn't a habit, it's a fetish costume.
She wears a lot less than that in a few cases later in the series, or so I understand. Fact is, she's a fan service object in this series, which is a bit icky. But that's not the biggest reason I don't want to watch this.
The real problem is that having spent 23 episodes showing us this young, gorgeous, vital, enthusiastic girl, and doing their best to get us to know and love her,
I bought the first DVD of this series, and I think I watched two episodes of it. The basic disconnect regarding nuns turned me off and I didn't go any further with it. Probably just as well, because it's fundamentally a horror series, and I never do very well with those.
Pity; it's yet another series where Chiba Saeko has a major role (as Azmaria).
February 22, 2008
Peach Girl is about a "ganguro", a girl with deeply tanned skin, and light orange hair. That was a Japanese fad about ten years ago, and generally girls like that were thought of as being sluts.
Peach Girl is about an average high school girl, Momo Adachi, who everyone thinks is a beach bunny / slut because of her tanned skin. The actual reason she is so tanned is because she was on the swim team and tans very easily. She likes a boy, Toji, who she heard only likes non-tanned girls. This causes her to question who she is and have low self esteem. She spends a lot of time trying to remake herself into the girl she believes he wants. However, she has a friend, Sae, who likes to go behind Momo's back and make her life terrible, mostly by trying to take Toji away from her. All the while there's another boy, Kairi, who is in love with Momo.
25 episodes of angst. That's what this says to me. I'd rather die.
For crying out loud, the scheming witch to pretends to be the friend of the angst-ridden heroine? Why didn't they call her "Iago" and be done with it? The Funimation site for the series has episode summaries, and I looked at a few. This sucker may set an all new record for hanky count.
Gad. It's a pity, because Momo (the heroine) is voiced by Chiba Saeko. After enjoying her performance as Akina in UFO Princess Valkyrie, I've been hoping to find something else by her that I could enjoy as much. But this series sure as hell isn't it. (And she was wasted in Ichigo Mashimaro, because she got stuck with the role of Chika.)
Come on, Strike Witches! She's going to star in that one. She plays the stern squadron leader, with the eyepatch. (Unless Gonzo recasts it.)
January 29, 2008
School Days is yet another anime based on an H-game. A guy likes a girl, but she doesn't notice him. His friend, another girl, says she'll help him get to know the girl he likes. So far, so good.
The only problem is that nearly everyone in the show is either a monster or a victim, sometimes both. These kinds of games usually have "good ends" and "bad ends". The Japanese language games will say, "Good End" or "Bad End" in English once you've finished playing. Sometimes Bad Ends can be really bad.
When they did the series, they decided to end it with nearly the worst Bad End the game offered, and among the worst in the entire genre.
In between there are a lot of other wonderful things happening, like rapes.
Oddly enough, people who have watched the show say that what happened approaches being a "good end" mainly because the guy is such a despicable bastard and they hated him so much that they wanted to see something like that happen to him. Perhaps so. But I'm not even slightly curious, and won't be watching it.
School Days is the series that gave us the term "Nice Boat ending".
January 28, 2008
On his 16th birthday, Tomokazu Mikuri had a realistic dream where he sees a girl battling a giant floating monstrosity. When he wakes up, he is surprised that the girl is actually sleeping next to him... Whenever he sleeps from now on, he ends up back at the dream world, and more and more people that he knows keep showing up there too. He finds out from a mysterious masked woman in the dream world named Silk that they are fighting against one named Faydoom, and he is the one who provides the powers to those girls so that they can fight these monsters.
What ANN doesn't say is how he "provides the power" to those girls, a couple of which are lolis.
He molests them. That powers them up so they can fight.
There's also a PS2 game, though I'm not clear which came first. It gives numbers. Mone is 4'6" tall, with measurements 26/20/27. Yeah, sure; tell me that's an adult.
They don't give an age for her. The others: Miduki is 16, Nanase is 22, Kuyou is 14, and Neneko also doesn't have an age. That one's 4'2", obviously another adult.
I have the feeling that deep down this is a Sakura Wars rip off, at least at the game level. The Sakura Wars game franchise was immensely successful. The fighting team was all girls but led by the male player avatar (Ogami). Part of the game was keeping the girls happy, and part of it was fighting battles. If the girls were happy, they fought better.
In SW, "keeping the girls happy" was entirely G-rated and platonic. In Yumeria I would bet it's borderline hentai, and "happy" may not be the goal anyway. And in the anime, the guy does things to the lolis I have no interest in seeing.
UPDATE: Actually, I ended up changing my mind and did get this one. It was... OK. I guess. It certainly wasn't quite the lolicon pander series I thought it would be. But it wasn't really all that good, either. I ended up giving it two stars.
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