October 28, 2007

New Anime Season - Sketchbook

After one episode this is one to track.  It's a simple slice-of-life series about a girl who likes to sketch and has a phobia about strangers.  Her classmates are delightfully wierd, from a girl who paints "darkness" as her favorite thing, to a girl who pulls out hand puppets to have an argument with herself about her favorite food, to a girl with an insect fixation, and a hapless teacher with some obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Sketchbook_1_0.jpg

Oh yeah, and some guy whose sole role so far as been to play an unwilling cat, but will probably be involved in some vaguely romantic subplot in the future.
Sketchbook_1_1.jpg

This is the hand-puppet girl again.  yes, she tries to eat it anyway, with the usual oral-blowtorch visual effect...
Sketchbook_1_2.jpg

This girl with the insect fixation also has a cocklebur fetish. Actually, all the girls seemed entranced by the cockleburs.  I always hated pulling them out of my socks, but maybe Japanese socks are cocklebur-resistant.
Sketchbook_1_3.jpg

Posted by: mparker762 at 09:30 PM
Post contains 163 words, total size 1 kb.

October 27, 2007

Moyashimon, or Deja Vu All Over Again

To explain the title, I should mention that I graduated from Texas Agricultural & Mechanical University, and that the full title of Moyashimon is "Moyashimon: Tales of Agriculture".

The series begins in earnest with our hero Tadayasu at the opening ceremonies of Tokyo Agricultural University.  In a field.  With a Tractor.  In the mud.  'Cause that's just how Aggies do things the world over.  I wonder if the Japanese have Aggie jokes as well?

moyashimon_1_2.jpg

The opening ceremonies are followed by a parade.  I tastefully skipped the gung-ho pooper-scooper crew following along.  Not out of sensitivity, mind you, I'm just saving my tastelessness budget for later on...
moyashimon_1_3.jpg

Oddly enough, it appears Our Hero can see microbes of various shapes and flavors.  Not realistic microbes like these...
moyashimon_1_1.jpg

but cartoony microbes like these...
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And here goes half of the tastelessness budget.  This is "Kiviak", which I sincerely hope is an invented delicacy.
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And here goes the second half of the tastelessness budget.  Here's how you enjoy it:
moyashimon_1_7.jpg

I'm sorry, but I'm one of a handful of westerners that actually likes (loves? craves?) Natto, but this stuff is just nasty.  I haven't been left this slack-jawed by an anime episode since the last episode of "School Days".
moyashimon_1_8.jpg

Fortunately the action transitions to the lab and an extended demo of Our Hero's microbe-spotting ability.  And an extended demo of the lovely if somewhat dominatrix-like Hasegawa-san.  Somebody get this girl a whip and some Blue-Star ointment.
moyashimon_1_9.jpg

Summary: wierd wierd wierd in a very gritty and earthy sort of way.  I think this is a series that I will keep tracking, if only because it's so incredibly different.

This is from the OP, which is live-action for some reason.  Muddy footwear and Aggies just go together.  If it were Texas A&M this would be cowboy boots though, though hallucinogens aren't very common at Texas A&M (or weren't when I was there), and beer doesn't make you see things like the oddities on the bike rack.
moyashimon_1_0.jpg

Posted by: mparker762 at 09:38 PM
Post contains 335 words, total size 3 kb.

October 20, 2007

Random thought while watching Myself;Yourself

So do Japanese also think they all look alike?

The setup in Myself;Yourself is that the guy (Sana) moves away for a few years, and when he comes back he doesn't recognize his former friends even though they recognize him just fine. This is a common setup for dating-sim games and derivative anime, and it seems to be a major plot point in Myself;Yourself between Sana and Nanaka (she had a crush on him, and his failure to recognize him seems to have hurt her deeply).

Add to this anime's tendency to draw represent most characters as western-looking to make them easier to distinguish, and you gotta wonder...

Posted by: mparker762 at 11:50 AM
Post contains 113 words, total size 1 kb.

October 16, 2007

Minami-ke

This looks like a low-budget slice-of-life comedy.  It's about the three Minami sisters; in order of age they are Haruka, Kana, and Chiaki.  Haruka is the responsible one, while Kana looks and acts like an older Miu from Ichigo Mashimaro.  Their younger sister Chiaki seems fairly responsible, but definitely enjoys messing with Kana.  There were several laugh-out-loud scenes in the first episode, but the series is marred by some unfortunate animation choices, in particular the upside-down mouths and the unattractive thunder-thighs.

So far it's a net win though, I'm really curious to see how this one goes.  Ichigo Mashimaro is one of my all-time favorite series, so as long this one can hit similar comedic notes I'm willing to forgive its flaws.

A Mui moment from Kana.  Note the upside-down mouth.
minami_ke_1_1.jpg

Compare with Miu from Ichigo Mashimaro:
Ichigo_Mashimaro_OVA_2_3.jpg



Believe it or not, this was supposed to be pancakes...  Kana is apparently about as talented in the kitchen as Ranma's Akane.
minami_ke_1_2.jpg



There's something very wrong here...
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Another Miu moment, now with extra ass...
minami_ke_1_5.jpg

vs Miu's more elegant wall-crashing technique:
Ichigo_Machimaro_OVA_2_2.jpg


Note the seriously bizarre mouths.  This entire scene was milk-spittingly funny, despite the thigh and mouth issues...
minami_ke_1_6.jpg


And another Miu pose for good measure...
minami_ke_1_7.jpg

Posted by: mparker762 at 06:19 PM
Post contains 202 words, total size 2 kb.

October 12, 2007

New anime season - Suteki Tantei Labyrinth

Also bad.  Made it maybe 15 minutes in before giving up.  Annoying character art and ghost detectives.  I get enough of this from the wife's TIVO selections.

Posted by: mparker762 at 11:48 PM
Post contains 34 words, total size 1 kb.

New anime season - Night Wizard

I tried to watch this - I really did.  But I didn't make it through the first episode.  Generic and bad.

Posted by: mparker762 at 11:46 PM
Post contains 27 words, total size 1 kb.

New anime season - Sugo Chara

The show mostly takes place at a school that looks like a cross between a fairy-tale walled city/castle, and the all-powerful school council has an even aller-powerful super-council made up of plaid-cape-wearing "royal guardians"...
Shugo_Chara.jpg

...who have their own crystal palace on the school grounds where they drink tea (and no I'm not making that last bit up).
Shugo_Chara_4.jpg
(note the fantastic school architecture in the background).

Our heroine wakes up one morning to find three eggs in bed with her.  For some reason she seems to think she laid them herself?
Shugo_Chara_3.jpg

One hatches and a guardian angel pops out, and our heroine gets a magical transformation and the ability to get her most embarrassing and awkward wishes granted.  At school, it turns out the cape-wearing "guardians" also had their own eggs and have their own transformations as well.  There are also hints of legends about a three-egg guardian who would someday show up.

Our heroine gets into a fight with a catboy who tries to steal her eggs, and mercifully her transformation sequence isn't a porn sequence.  There's also an amusing reverse-transformation during a particularly awkward moment in the fight:
Shugo_Chara_2.jpg

Awkward in the sense that she's about 20 stories up in the air, that is, and in her nonmagical form flies about as well as one would expect, which is to say straight down in full scream.

Other than the blessed lack of naked transformations, I can't see a whole lot to like about this show.  I'll give it another episode or two to see what the other eggs do, but I'm not holding out much hope.

Posted by: mparker762 at 11:36 PM
Post contains 272 words, total size 2 kb.

New anime season - Blue Drop

This is a strange one.  There are some truly gorgeous moments, such as this oceanfront scene:
Blue_Drop_1.jpg

Every one of those birds is individually animated (or at least a convincing simulation of it), and the swirling cacophony is utterly mesmerising.

It's definitely setting up to be a yuri show - it's set at an all-girl's school after all.  And we get a catfight in the first episode.
Blue_Drop_2.jpg

But then things get wierd.
Blue_Drop_3.jpg

I'm still uncertain on this one.  I'll give it a few more episodes before deciding.

Posted by: mparker762 at 10:46 PM
Post contains 92 words, total size 1 kb.

New anime season - Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun

Guy (named Shungo) takes on brown bears bare-handed for "training", but gets tied up by schoolgirls so they can torment him by showing him their pantsu, because if there's one thing a healthy young Japanese boy can't stand, it's pantsu:
/Ninomiya_1.jpg

So let's see... Govt chopper drops off cute girl (Mayu) at school who is nearly mauled by a horde of schoolboys, our intrepid hero rescues her and takes her to his house, and makes her supper... and ogles her admittedly ogle-worthy sweater-puppets.
Ninomiya_2.jpg


Hmm, apparently he's only repulsed by pantsu when it's topped by seifuku.
/Ninomiya_3.jpg


The girl with the camera is his sister Ryoko.  Apparently she's some sort of commando.  And judging by the reliability with which she manages to turn up (with camera) whenever there's a particularly compromising situation, she's also quite the devoted perv.
Ninomiya_4.jpg


Oh yeah, the pink-haired girl Mayu with the batarangs in her hair is a Succubus.  With a fear of men.  His sister Ryoko and Mayu's brother Mikihiro (who is of course an incubus) arrange for her to move in, put the two of them in the same bed, etc, in order to help her work through her awkward psychosis.  There's the minor matter that he's having increasing difficulty resisting doing naughty and improper things to her, and that that too much contact between them can kill him, but his adoring sister seems to think these are minor matters.  I'm really curious to find out just what sort of relationship Ryoko and Mikihiro have - they seem quite friendly, and clearly this scheme wasn't cooked up over an internet chat room.

Posted by: mparker762 at 10:45 PM
Post contains 271 words, total size 2 kb.

New anime season - Clannad

After 2 episodes I think I'm gonna pass.  The character designs are too similar to Kanon (though much more annoying for some reason) and the story, such as there is, just doesn't grab me.

Clannad_1.jpg

Clannad_2.jpg

Posted by: mparker762 at 10:28 PM
Post contains 39 words, total size 1 kb.

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