Saimoe 2011 – Round 2 Block E Day 1

Wow, this is really quite an overkill. Raildex really has the lower hand this time. Sayaka and Mami combo is way too overkill, considering Sayaka can already beat those two without help. Poor Saten and Uiharu.

Picks: Saten, Mami

Prediction: Puella Overkill

*Oh my God Uiharu currently gets more votes than Saten?? Sad day for us Raildex-ers.

BD/DVD Sales in Japan goes up in 1st half of 2011

FROM ANN

So apparently its been going down since the 1st half of 2009. 2009 actually had a smaller decline of drop but we all know why right?

2009 saved a little = BAKEMONOGATARI (abt. 70- 80k units sold per volume), K-ON!

2011 saved a lot = Madoka Magica (abt. 70k), Anohana (abt. 35k), IS, Tiger and Bunny, etc.

I just love how its SHAFT who has the two monsters under its belt.

I don’t know the point of this post :)). I just thought of Bakemonogatari airing in 2009 and Madoka this year.

 

 

About Animation (You know, those drawings that move on TV)

There’s a recent hot topic in Animesuki about Hanasaku Iroha being “sterile” causing quite a debate on art and animation. I am quite firm on my grasp that Hanairo looks quite amazing, one of the best ones I’ve seen in recent times. But. . . I do get what the topic starter is saying.

Beautiful or Lonely?

Looking back at Hanairo (checked out some episodes), there is a point to why it would be called sterile. The argument was that Hanairo had way too many lone shots/backgrounds that’s just way too perfect to look like its in this world. There’s a point to it since PA Works uses a number of CGI techniques on its background. But saying it’s sterile is just going too detailed. If you watch Hanairo casually, you’d just go “Wow that looks nice”. You won’t notice that way too shiny CGI pole sticking out too much, and frankly Hanairo really does its best to make their CGI very seamless.

Noting on the animation itself whatsover, Hanairo still excels. Remember, PA Works (the production team of Hanairo) are professional animators/the best of the best. The movement of the characters in Hanairo is perfect. It really exhumes how a person would move in real life.

Then again, sometimes being too perfect is a bad thing (I don’t think so). There are some animation that truly excel in fluidity, some examples this year would be Anohana and Ao no Exorcist. The characters really move more than anything. The whole production really centralize on the character’s movement. Some of the best ones I’ve ever seen are K-ON!! (note the two exclamation marks) and CLANNAD (both by Kyoto Animation).

There’s also Sakuga to note. Sakuga itself, is animation done by one animator. ONE ANIMATOR. See animation is usually done by a team of people. Some would do the key frames, while the others do the in-betweens (to make it smooth). Western Animation usually completely abides to this rule. With anime however, there’s sakuga. With sakuga, creativity and style can really flow. Different techniques that cannot be done with many people are used here. Oh yeah remember that episode in Naruto where Sasuke and him had that awesome fight in the river. SAKUGA THE WHOLE EPISODE BROS.

My whole point is that- I don’t know what the hell was my point. I just wanted to share what little knowledge I have about animation. Correct me if I have some details wrong (though I’m sure I’m right) since I do want to learn and Animation is really quite a nice topic to talk about.

By the way if you ask me, everyone should just watch Nichijou. Probably the MOST visually stunning anime in TV in recent times.

So. . . yeah!

*I don’t want to mention SHAFT since that’s a whole different ballpark to talk about (literally cause they’re weird) 

Saimoe Round 2 Block C and D

Winners in C: Madoka, Hercule ; Elsea, Run

Winners in D: Nero, Ika Musume(fuck yeah!); Last Order, Yuno

Surprise, surprise: Milky Holmes is really strong. Maekawa lost in D and Hercule pretty much dominated in A.

Dissapointing: Denpa Onna is completely fazed. No more contestants from that show :(.

Rough Day: Menma. Anohana is also fazed out, but at least Menma is now in heaven. I am still dumbfounded on how Anaru lost in Round 1.

Potential: A-channel. God they’re getting really good with their wins.

Moe in Par- Ikoku Meiro no Croisee (END) – 87 points

Moe-est screencap I’ve ever made

Moe in Paris/Ikoku Meiro no Croisee is about a little girl named Yune who brought in France Moe for the first tim- I mean a Japoinese (that’s how they pronounce it)girl who starts living in France. She becomes part of Claude and Oscar’s little family and there her little adventures start (literally she doesn’t go to a lot of places). One of the many interesting things about this series is the culture mixing. We get to learn the culture in France, and at the same time the traditions of the Japanese.

Some of the things I’ve learned is that the Japoinese don’t eat cheese, the French think Soy Souce is eewee, corsets turn out to be one of the freakiest things I’ve seen in French culture, and that there’s blue eyes in Japan (and apparently its freaky/ I doubt it though since Anime was made because the Japanese wanted to have big eyes).

The drama is annoying but pretty good. Claude is probably one my least favorite characters in the show; he doesn’t like Sukiyaki but forces Yune to eat those damn dairy products, he makes her tell her past while Yune has to be yelled at before him telling his, and his notion that rich people are bad (not really cus he has the hots for Camille). But his character is very realistic though and he does realize his mistakes and shortcomings so yeah. . . Alice on the other hand is a favorite of mine. Just the fact that she cares for Yune and actually knows how to interact without looking like a total bitch, that’s enough for me. Camille on the other hand is the mysterious rich girl (who has the hots for Claude) and somehow is the perfect example of the pains of the rich society in France. I can’treally comment much on Oscar so I’ll concentrate on the main character next.

Our dear little Yune-chan is probably the cuuuuuuuuutest character I have ever seen since Ika-Musume. She doesn’t want to intrude on anyone, nor make anyone feel bad, a genuinely nice person. She’s very strong on the inside, very willing to learn different cultures (GOD DON’T FORCE HER TO EAT CHEESE! SHE NEVER LIKED IT!) and. . . MOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

The series is very character based and I think I’ve talked about the characters a lot now. Plus if you wanted to see my intake on the society with Moe in Paris I do have a post about it. Anyway, ratings time!

Execution: 34/40

Engagement: 25/30

Characters: 19/20

 Production: 9/10

Overall:  87/100 (Really good!) 

I highly recommend this if you want an easygoing, relaxing yet educational (Japanese don’t eat Cheese in the 19th Century) anime

Shinryaku!? Ika Musume – 01

Isn’t this animal cruelty?

Besides some environmental issues I have with this episode (Tsukimi-tan would get mad at you folks) I must say, Ika-chan is back and as strong as ever. Sanae is still as obsessive as ever, Chizuru as scary, Eiko as naggy, and we even get to see Ika with her friends!

Also lol Horrible subs, how did de-geso turn into “squidding”? That’s it I’m using a new fansubber next week.

Hanasaku Iroha (END) – 90 points

Takako looks terrible no matter which angle you put her.

Hanasaku Iroha is the first 26-episode anime that I blogged, and while some of my post about this were a bunch of one-liners, I really had a great time with this series.

Being the 10th anniversary project of PA Works, we almost already assumed that quality is ensured. The first two episodes of Hanairo were truly breath taking. There’s that unique concept of working in an inn, and the hardships of working really showed. As Episode 3 was aired, the synchronized praise for this series splitted. There was a schism. From a highly reflective anime that we saw in the first two episodes, it became some slapstick reality TV Korean Morning Drama (lolwut) that had no idea what its theme was. While people (me included) had some problems with it, the anime somehow grew on me. It became an anime I highly anticipated every week. Each episode, I wanted to see Ohana’s antics, the problems Kissuiso will face, the large cast’s beautiful characterization, and with so many things it did well, it really just. . . swallowed me I guess.

By the end of Ohana to Tokyo arc, I was just mesmerized by this series. It almost did everything already. I even got goosebumps on how good it was on some episodes. So yeah I was really happy with this series — until the second half came.

No, the second half wasn’t bad. Frankly it maintained the quality I was hoping it would do. But these two characters really ruined things, no matter how good the characterization of each character was. TAKAKO AND FUCKING ENISHING. No offense but I could really care less about those two dimwits. When it was their turn in the spotlight, I guess I couldn’t help but sighed. And they even went as far as to fucking getting married. Don’t get me wrong, everything was nicely done, its just that those two were really annoying.

Besides Takako and ENISHING, the characterization is one of Hanasaku Iroha’s big appeals. Ohana is the most three dimensional character I’ve ever seen in anime, most of the other characters as well. They aren’t one sided nor do they land in certain anime tropes (not that anime tropes are bad but). The interaction between the characters is very flowwy; it never feels forced. There’s also Okami-san, who by the end of this series, had the best development in the series. It was really Dawwww inducing when she said to Ohana that she didn’t want to ruin everyone’s dreams just for her own sake. This is just my gist on the characters.

Being PA Works 10th anniversary project, this is probably their most beautiful work to date (aesthetics-wise). I mean the backgrounds are fucking visual porn, animation is always fluid, and there’s always that air of “OH MY GOD I’VE NEVER SEEN SOMETHING LOOK AS GOOD AS THIS”. It really comes to a point where it beats out its real world counterpart. That’s how good Hanairo’s production is.

So where does this stand from PA Works 4 fully produced anime. I’d say its the best. While there’s some heavy quality control needed at the writing (especially in the middle episodes), Hanasaku Iroha is their most balanced anime (besides true tears, but I never really liked that anime) to date. Also, where does this stand in my favourites? Nah, its not close to my top 3 so far (S;G, Madoka, Nichijou) but in itself, its a really good anime that I would love to recommend to anyone who wants a highly reflective Slice-of-Life series.

Rating:

Execution: 35/40 (Besides some writing flaws in the middle episodes, Hanairo pulls itself quite well.)

Engagement: 26/30 (My first 2-cour anime blogged. Its quite an experience, and I must say I was never bored writing about this)

Characters: 9/10 (No one-dimensional character, a large but highly memorable cast, Ohana and Okami-san are really great characters)

Production: 10/10 (Simply mesmerizing)

Overall: 90/100 (Somehow it achieved legendary status)