Well… we made it. By “making it”, meaning me jumping off the ship to avoid sounding like a old man telling young people to get off my musical lawn. I’ve been… displeased to say the least with how the bracket has gone (not taken into consideration my torched bracket in the omochallenge, but that has been spilled milk for a while now). Partly because it makes me feel like I don’t know what music is nowadays. When you have people saying things like “instrumentals/English songs shouldn’t be involved in this competition”, it makes me shake my head. I guess my definition of “anime music” is a lot looser than most people; if someone said this was an “Anison” contest, than maybe I’d understand.
So I’ve been refraining to comment on the past couple of rounds because of this feeling, but since we’re running into the final four, I feel like I need to at least provide a sense of closure to myself (or at least not feeling like I just quit on this project). In going from 256 songs to 4, there’s been a lot of ruminating on what songs mean for people. I still don’t feel like I’ve got that yet, but I’ll try somewhat. Continue reading ‘The Anime Music Tournament 2013 Semifinal “Analysis”’
So far, of the shows I’ve watched so far this season (a list which slowly grows the more free time I have and the more interesting statements I hear about it from others), Kotoura-san two episodes in has been the one that’s grabbed me. It helped that I didn’t know anything about the show before hand, as a large part of it is the pathos that they try to induce by quickly dropping misery on the namesake character, and whether or not they’ve done too much with depends on the eyes of the beholder, I guess. While I can easily seem some moments in both episodes so far that could give me a feeling of “they’re trying too hard here” (in episode one, DAT CAT. In episode two, the lonely house as examples), I haven’t come out having that feeling as of yet.
The show’s been trying to advance the idea of “how someone with psychic powers is ostracized in today’s society” with the heavy dump life takes on Haruka in the first half of the show, as well as how it still affects her (and Yoriko) in episode two, and it’s been effective for me. In fact, I wish they could have been more visceral in some ways, such as actually showing Haruka’s emesis in episode two instead of a discretion shot. If it went that far however, I’d assume many people would be scared off by watching something that intense (might be too serious for something that’s supposed to be a romantic comedy). That being said, it’s hard not to notice that I’m trying to be played like a violin in order to care for Haruka as she comes out of her shell. And it’s pleasant for me that I know this and (so far) I don’t care about that.
Continue reading ‘Kotoura-san and the Power of Emotional Manipulation, Successful or Not’
tl;dr: You can find in a work what you go looking for. When I wrote off Horizon on the middle of nowhere as fanservice fluff, friends suggested that there was more there. I went looking, and was surprised at what I found.
If you’ve found your way to this blog backwater, you’ve probably seen the Blinded by the Tits project*. When I first looked at Horizon on the middle of nowhere, I made the same mistake as the titterers — I assumed that with its character designs, the series was putting its sole asset up front, that there was no substance behind those designs. Like the titterers, I didn’t even bother with a single episode of the series.
Friends, whose taste I trust, told me the series was better than that. So I set aside my prejudices and took a look at it. This led to Horizon becoming one of my favorite series of the past few years. I’ve found subtlety and creativity in the series that I think rivals shows like Kaiba, Tatami Galaxy, and Mawaru Penguindrum.
Continue reading ‘Horizon on the edge of endurance’
Sundays at Otakon are always a cool down period for me. Part of it is that usually the panels scheduled on this day tend to be ones that I don’t particularly have much interest in (though I really wish I did check out the Director’s panels when they used to be there. I missed out on something special there). Part of it is the anticipation for going back to my regular daily grind and wishing that I had more of a respite from it. Part of it is gearing up to say final Hi’s and Goodbyes with friends. And so on. So I don’t really run around during this time and try to get something more out of my leftover time there. I’d like to think this was the case on this Sunday…
Yuki Sanada from Tsuritama. You can find the most interesting cosplays in autograph lines…
Continue reading ‘Otakon 2012 Day 3: Not Much Quantity, Yet So Much Quality’
To start off, I was remiss in not mentioning the random get-together on Friday that was had over a lack of mahjong sets available. In another example of how some of the best things that occur often come unplanned, the hope that someone had an available set for some riichi outside of the Internet was dashed. But a conversation about life, randomness and Tanto Cuore (loved how the way to explain the game went as “Dominion with maids”, given that I’ve never played that card game either) ensued with people such as 7thWraith, Eternal, and others. In terms of importance, there wasn’t that much, but that moment was worth something in measures of enjoyment, and always a good reminder as to why I’ll probably only really enjoy going to conventions where I can meet up with people I know.
Flandre Scarlet Cosplay. Best Touhou cosplay I saw at the con. She even had fangs!
Continue reading ‘Otakon 2012 Day 2: Panels, Podcasts and… Pictures’
Compared to last year, when I essentially had to piecemeal any hours I could get from my work hours (since I couldn’t change my schedule at that point), I tried to set things up so that my weekend would be free enough to at least enjoy a full Saturday and Sunday, with whatever I could get from Friday as a bonus. It worked out, and I was in a light enough rotation that I didn’t have to stay longer than necessary there before I headed out. Stepping into Baltimore Convention Center again felt damn good after quickly getting my badge (not even 5 minutes, really) and left my things at the hotel room I roomed at for the next 2 and a half days. It was around 6PM when I came around, so there were some moments that I missed by then, such as SDS and Dave Cabrera‘s mahjong panel, the Gen Urobuchi Q&A, and the Opening Ceremonies, the latter of which included a mimetic surprise, from what I held. But while I missed those, I was at least glad to be in Baltimore for an uninterrupted amount of time, where I did not have to worry about being called to return to work for any specific reasoning. It was refreshing.
Strength from Black Rock Shooter. Impressed with how much effort it took for those arms.
Continue reading ‘Otakon 2012 Day 1: Felt Good To Get Back’
Sooooooo… To start, my main (laptop) computer’s fan crapped out, and while I can still use it with the help of a powerful cooling board, it’s functionality has been seriously affected and slowed down to the point of inefficiency to do many things, including watch anime with it. As such, I’ve been using a Kindle Fire to watch anime for the past couple of weeks. It’s been an interesting experience; partly in that most of the shows that I want to watch this season with outliers (e.g. Smile Precure!, AKB0048, Natsuiro Kiseki) are able to be watched through legal streaming means which greatly helps things IMO, and partly that the Fire has various apps (hulu + and Crunchyroll are what I’ve been using – let me know if there are other good ones) which help “keep me in the loop”, as it were. As for shows I’m watching this season that make me feel like I can write about them in the small amount of free time I do have, even though there’s a lot of good stuff this season, typing on a tablet is kinda…
Continue reading ‘Random Ramblings V’
After being notified of this work by a cool reader of the blog, as well getting a notification from some sort of official company somewhere (I think – shady business all), I figured I might as well link to the trailer for an upcoming combination between Toyota and Studio 4°C, Peace Eco Smile:
Via the press release-ish e-mail I received:
This extremely entertaining 7 episode romantic comedy explores the adventures of a fun-loving alien named PES. The intergalactic traveler falls to the Earth and lands in Japan, while his friends NaSuBi come to rescue him.
From the trailer itself, and from ANN’s summation, the story does seem pretty whimsical. And colorful. And flowing with that awesome animation and energy that Studio 4°C works tend to have. Totally up my (and dm00’s) alley, for sure. But it does also come off as obvious product placement for Toyota as well (the 2nd official trailer sort of drives that point home – pun intended). Granted, it’s not the first time that this has happened before, but I’m hoping when the mini-episodes come out that I’m not beat over the head with how wonderful a Toyota is. That being said, just by the studio alone (though it does look like this is the director‘s first solo directing effort), I’m intrigued and hoping for something special. When Houkago no Pleiades, a Subaru and GAINAX production, came out last year, it was pretty entertaining (not really special though), and other than the name of the main character, there was little overt focus on Subaru’s products and focus was kept on the adventures the quintet of magical girls.
I’m looking forward to see what comes out of this combination though. Should be pretty interesting. :3