Monday, May 25, 2009

Hitoshi Ashinano is still crazy

More than two years since Yokohama Shopping Diary wrapped up, Hitoshi Ashinano finally publishes a new book. It actually appears to have come out in October and I totally missed it, but it was in the new release section at Kinokuniya this week, so I snatched it up. I'm still wondering when the hell he's going to figure out a way to collect the chapters he did for Position before Afternoon Special got canceled, but pretty much anything he writes is more or less the same sort of thing.
But this time things focus on a boy flying an airplane (in the exact same comfortably peaceful post-apocalyptic world) and getting flying lessons from the two sisters who actually own the plane. There is some deep seated madness like landing on a giant leaf or flying the plane onto a hook hanging out of a massive airship, but as usually, he seems to be equally fascinated by hazily drawn vistas, and oddball moments of character nuance that make them seem like real people even though all three characters are pretty much exactly the same as the robot and two kids in his previous series.
I feel like I've developed a deep seated cynicism over the years that makes it harder for me to enjoy a book so purely about tone, and that's clearly seeping into my writing, but I was pleased to find that reading the book made me forget to be cynical for an while. It's probably a necessary antidote to most of the rest of what I read and do.

Wait, there's a Yokohama Shopping Diary novel? How is that even possible?

Friday, May 22, 2009

A new incarnation of Pulp

Viz's experiment with Rumiko Takahashi's newest title was an apparent precursor, as they now have a website dedicated to running Ikki magazine titles.  They have already posted the first chapter of Daisuke Igarashi's Children of the Sea (read Andrew's brief review here), with promises of more to come.  Titles in the near-future include:

Bokurano (Mohiro Kitoh)
Dorohedoro (Q Hayashida)
House of Five Leaves (Natsume Ono)
I'll Give It My All... Tomorrow (Shunji Aono)

Bit confused on how the decision to print titles will work out (based on individual hits for a series?  Publish a volume after it is fully serialized, or just treat it like any other non-Ikki series?), but this is promising.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Late to the future

I'd been hearing some buzz about Future Diary for a while, but decided to hold off until I could check out a dead tree edition. So far, it's not too bad; this first volume reminds me of Death Note by way of Battle Royale, with a dash of trendy psychotic heroine.

In a nutshell, compulsively-journaling schoolboy Yukiteru's grotesque-looking "imaginary friend" updates his cel phone diary to cover the next 90 days of his life, then informs him there are twelve others with the same gift, and they're to wipe each other out until there's only one standing. Who will then become God. And the hilarity, she does ensue.

It'd be nice if the main character had more personality than a wet dishrag (it's no accident that the more... colorful female lead gets foregrounded on the cover), but Esuno does at least treat his lack of character as an actual flaw he'll (hopefully) grow out of, instead of an implied point of reader-identification. The art is so-so, and the story hasn't fully gotten into gear, but it's an enjoyable potboiler with enough kitchen-sinky enthusiasm that I'm willing to see where it goes next.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New yoshitoshi ABe Project

From ANN.  Bringing back together staff from Serial Experiments Lain (hopefully including executive producer, screenwriter, director and sound director).  Set in Japan's Taisho era, and given the title Desperant.

Hopefully it will be released in a timely manner to ensure that Wally Xie and I do not go insane from self-hype.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Let sleeping dogs lie.

Years ago, waaaaay before Boogiepop, Kadono Kouhei wrote a novel. It was rejected. He wrote it three more times, failing each time.
Then came Boogiepop, and thirty other novels, including the Jiken series...and he decided that old failure would fit in nicely. He started sowing the seeds, and then announced the next book would be The Cruel Tale of Zankoku-go.
Took him four years. Severe writer's block? Problems making it work?
He probably should have abandoned the idea.
Because this is the single worst thing he's ever written.
I have literally been reading this fucking book for two months. I polished off the second half today, but that first half was an interminable slog that took a whole hell of a lot of stubborn persistence to get through. I'm really not sure why I bothered.
Story generating from characters or from high concepts is a running theme on this blog lately, and it's been partly because I've had this book on my mind. Kadono is a writer who has built his entire career on his fascinating, elusive, unique characters.
This book is all about fucking plot. Endless god damn dreary exposition, no god damn reason to give a flying fuck.
Sure, it has moments; one supporting character even manages to be sort of awesome, and she'll hopefully show up in a good book some day.
But large chunks of it are just BAD. Even when people are actually doing something they have a tendency to spout ghastly cliches like, "Let's finish this!"
The change in artists doesn't help. The cover is awesome, the character I liked has a particularly cool design that shows how much the artist tried to capture the berserk aesthetic the original one brought to the series, but ultimately he wants to be fucking illustrating an eighties sci-fi books, and there is some embarrassing battle jump suit and cape combos that totally take the books some place way blander than the first four novels. Which goes along with the relentlessly large scale plot.
Zankoku-go worked in Some Tragedies of No Tear Land because he was a small cog in the book - a gigantic monster fight that flitted through a much more ground level, personal, intense drama. Here he's an utterly bland force of nature in a plot that is all world on the brink of destruction massive shit. Avoid.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Eve no Jikan, Episode 04

Half a year later, Eve no Jikan makes its magnificent return.

Previous installments give plenty of winks and nudges to the audience, carrying a consistently light tone and never taking the story too seriously compared to the miasma of melodrama that anime usually has.  Episode four takes this playfulness and jacks it waaaaay fucking up.  Nearly every action is of absolute importance, from maintaining casual conversation, pulling out and sitting down in a chair, deciding when (and when not to) down drinks, and assuring a new customer that the old man is actually a human girl that is not yet eight year olds.

These convoluted moments are not without reason, as our two leads are dealing with a ticking time bomb: an older model android that attempts to integrate himself in The Time of Eve café.  With steam frequently pouring out of his neck, a trembling frame that would put a chihuahua to shame, and the imminent danger of consuming a cup of Evlend coffee, Rikuo and Masaki scramble in their efforts to make sure that the café is not brought down in an explosion.

What is even more astounding is how free of pretense the whole affair is.  As much as I love Satoshi Kon and Chiaki J. Konaka, it is easy to see why others would be put off by anything resembling posturing in their works.  Yasuhiro Yoshiura takes a candid approach to these science-fiction ideas (predominantly revolving around Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics and potentially conflicting instances of logic), integrating them as nuances to the story rather than overt messages.  Even when the situation becomes decidedly somber, Yoshiura never overplays events, content to merely layer themes rather than revolve around them.

The delay in the episode's release becomes obvious within its opening minutes: the amount of detail and editing is absolutely insane.  Information darts about the screen, and viewpoints are constantly changing when the tension begins to boil.  What results is perhaps the most ambitious attempt at creating camera movement in Japanese animation, even moreso than the already impressive first three episodes of this series.

While I am still enjoying Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z Hen and Eden of the East, and am looking forward to the second series of Haruhi Suzumiya, the second half of the so-called first season of Eve no Jikan is undoubtedly the highlight for anime series of 2009.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Don't let the space mice catch you masturbating

The triumphant conclusion! Or not. Yuuki Masami seems to have been quietly informed halfway through the storyline collected in the last two volume of Birdy the Mighty that Young Sunday was being quietly taken out back and shot for no fucking discernable reason. He somehow managed to make the last volume not end on a cliffhanger, and found a new magazine to continue the series in, so I suppose I've got to go pick up Birdy the Mighty Evolution 1 now.
We were just talking about Moyashimon and characters being subservient to the author's high concept, but Yuuki Masami's writing is exactly the opposite, occasionally to a fault.
Like Patlabor, Birdy the Mighty is fundamentally a character centric work with an insanely complicated plot. In fact, Patlabor's fantastic ending is the one thing that gives me any confidence he'll be able to make sense of this mess. Each individual arc functions perfectly well, but the characters that flit in and out all seem to be inhabiting fully functioning stories of their own, the beginnings and endings and middles of which we are not privy to, so we constantly get little character building moments of theirs that just happen to cross paths with Birdy herself, who functions as sort of a fringe character, constantly tripping over the big picture, punching it in the face, and then merrily running away before she really gets a glimpse of it.
This storyline, for instance, involves Tsutomu (the human boy Birdy's sharing bodies with) and his friends getting kidnapped by space soldiers. Birdy winds up fighting her way up the ship protecting them, and they wind up finding out the truth about what's been going on all this time. About time. There's also a subplot about Tsutomu's sex drive coming back, which (when he tries to sneak one after Birdy falls asleep) leads to the unfortunate moment with the space mouse.
While the main character have a relatively simple perspective on it, the space dog soldier who goes bug fuck insane and starts shooting the walls of the living space ship to capture them is clearly in some maverick anti-hero action movie of her own, and they were only kidnapped because of the space dog page boy who got caught while on an illegal underhanded mission for the space parrot delegated to monitoring the situation on earth and the potential of opening official diplomatic channels with Earth civilizations (an option the military have ruled out, on the theory that Earth has no unified central government) and space parrot only ordered the page boy to enlist Birdy's help in recovering the space republic's satellite probe because he was convinced the general's arrogance was going to lead to conflict with earth citizens that could potentially cause issues should they ever initiate first contact.
Fucking massively complex shit to have hovering idly in the background while the main characters are punching things and being embarrassed about having to strip down for decontamination.
I'm rather lost for where to go from that, so let's just settle for claiming arbitrarily that the anime totally fucking missed the point of the manga, and everyone should read the manga instead because it is better. FACT.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Saki episode 1, or, Even a Monkey Can Create Anime

Well, now I know Gonzo must be a green company, because I don't think I saw one moment or character that wasn't completely recycled material from some other series' waste bin. It's been a loooong time since I saw something this cynically, thoroughly formulaic.

I should just get around to watching more Akagi instead, shouldn't I? At least that distracted the mahjong-illiterate with insane melodrama instead of loli buttcheeks. The lightning strike of tile-theft at the end was a nice touch, but too little too late guys.

Bubblegum Crisis live-action movie

Apparently we're getting another live-action anime adaptation: six companies in six different countries have come together for the production.

That shouldn't be taken as a sign of quality, though - there's a serious risk of design-by-committee there. They've already announced some changes (such as the inclusion of 2 male leads) but the mention that the film production will leverage a bunch of international treaties to make use of government funding makes me skeptical of the proposed 2012 release window - and the hope of getting it distributed through mainland China kills any hope that it'll be anything too innovative.

If it doesn't collapse from organizational chaos (How many fingers in that pie? With governmental policy involved too?) it'll end up being a big-budget action movie that probably borrows little more than the power armor and boomers from the original.

I've got a lot of fond memories of the old series (which hasn't held up as well as you might hope) and the subsequent spin-offs were intermittently entertaining if not actually good ("Mm! Let's get a bager while my partner is killed by boomers!" "Are there any words (like boomer) we should avoid during dinner to keep Sylia from going completely bug-nuts?"). With any luck we'll get some laughs out of this production too.
via ICv2 with more detail (including the mention of what's already been changed) at io9.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The best part? The AT field is coming out of his butt

Not really much to say here.
from Something Awful

One Piece fans rejoice

For Funimation is going for a simulcast of the anime with only a one hour difference between the airing of the Japanese episode beginning later this month, and Viz is releasing the most recent Japanese chapters in their Shonen Jump magazine starting in the fall.

The latter news is more interesting to me, considering we should see massive volume releases soon thereafter.

Now if only Funimation would license Hosoda's One Piece film...

The Twelve Kingdoms: The Vast Spread of the Seas

If Fuyumi Ono made an entire series devoted to covering Shoryu and Rokuta over the 500-year period of the Ever-King's reign, I would import them and then rebuy the books should they be published in English.  The Twelve Kingdoms: The Vast Spread of the Seas is addicting that way, centered on delivering overblown fights over the roles of kings with manuvering by very important and intelligent people.

This story also has the benefit of not coming across as an afterthought like it does in the anime adaption, as well as avoiding the awkward attempt at a frame tale to preserve Yoko as the main character.

What is distressing, though, is the current lack of availability here.  Probably just a short print run by Tokyopop, knowing the economy and their situation, but it's still not satisfying.

I love this show, but why is this noteworthy?

Anyone know why His and Her Circumstances getting a new, cheaper collection is news worth reporting? I love the show and all, but if it's just a product repackaging, why does it matter?

Are they re-mastering it or putting back in the couple frames cut from the tasteful sex scene?
via ICv2

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This week's Souten Kouro bullet points

Cao Cao is still a pimp, flirting with his tsundere wife and seducing a dancing girl AT A FUNERAL.
I see budget issues lead to them using exactly the same dancing music at all occasions of state.

More importantly, Guan Yu has an awesome 'stache.
Later, some horses run in place.

And a small child cheerily talks his way into being Cao Cao's military advisor.
Cao Cao then INVENTS THE MEME and destroys the fucking country.

At least I learned what miso is

Moyashimon has always had a severe predilection for textbookitis. With the main character able to see bacteria, it stands to reason the thing has to explain what the bacteria are; with everyone students at an agricultural college it stands to reason their lives revolve around the research they're involved with. The plot generally proves strong enough to bolster it past the occasional onslaught of exposition.
Not so much in volume 7. While there were a number of fascinating passages on the process involved in making staple ingredients of Japanese food, and a long lecture on how sake shops really ought to conduct themselves that managed to be compelling reading in spite of itself, there was literally no plot for the bulk of the volume. A character from an earlier volume showed up literally to get drunk and have some light background gender confusion comedy, and there was some business about secret doors that seemed to defeat the author's considerable artistic abilities entirely, and basically spend a hundred pages or so with characters staring in shock at something poorly defined for reasons even less poorly defined, and I pretty much had to page back through the lectures to put all the puzzle pieces together once he got around to answering them.
I strongly suspect that the kind of fashions he likes to draw girls in lining up a lot with the kind of fashions I enjoy seeing girls drawn in was a significant reason why I still found it a largely pleasant read. This is a shame, and Moyashimon should probably aspire to something better. Restore the balance it maintained successfully for the first six volumes, anyway.
I don't think the English version has started coming out yet, so I suspect people aren't aware just how oddball the format of this book is. Manga in serialization tend to get the frames plastered with helpful little pictures of the characters and brief bits of text explaining who they are - a vague attempt at making it possible to pick up and read a chapter of something in the middle. They also tend to have cheery little slogans plastered on the sides or over certain frames, commenting on the action. Snarkily for quirky comedies like this, with demented enthusiasm for jovian adventures. For reasons known only to the author - wait, I can't keep writing this because I'm too lazy to look up his god damn name. Ishikawa Masayuki. Right. Too generic to be anything but his given name. Anyway. Ishikawa apparently does all those character profiles and random commentary himself, and they are all preserved in the final collected volumes. A shocking panel might have "Good god!" written next to it; the character introductions tend to be less useful as such and more ongoing metacommentary on the work. "The main character, though you'd never guess." "Gosh, she's drunk a lot." "Male." He also tends to grab the images from the least identifiable places possible - shots of them from behind, or in silhouette. And then he might chose to spend an entire chapter simply introducing the bacteria floating around the corners of the frame. They certainly aren't essential reading, but they tend to provide a chuckle when the main pages have started to bore me.

Asura Cryin', episode 1

The classic tale of a boy and his giant robot/epic destiny/heroic journey is completely turned on it's head with the addition of the ghost of an adorable girl that has been haunting our hero for years! Or something.

Beautiful women abound, of course. By day, they are his mild-manner (and large-chested) classmates, but by night the transform into warriors and attack him, demanding that he turn over something he's never heard of before. Surely this has no connection to the heavy briefcase his globe-trotting brother's girlfriend dropped off with him (complete with an ominous and cryptic warning), right? No one would have expected that it contained a giant CGI robot ready to do do his bidding!

Despite having the usual love interest role be filled with a ghost and a title suggesting slang-slinging Indian angels, nothing new is really going on in Asura Cryin'. Nothing at all. Recommended only to those for whom the "reluctant school boy hero gifted with great powers and pursued by dozens of beautiful women with their own powers" mine has not been completely exhausted.
based on 1 episode : ANN : Wikipedia

Antique Bakery, episode 1

It should probably be expected, considering the source material. Several beautiful-but-rather-amateurly-drawn men run a bakery in a world of sparse, light-on-details (but still CGI) backgrounds. They are, of course, also very rich. With trouble pasts. Just waiting for some attention...

There are some minor sources of amusement (such as the rich owner of the store apparently having been kidnapped a child and apparently force-fed delicious cakes, which naturally leads him to want to open his own pastry shop later in life...) but there is ultimately never even an effort to rise beyond a CLAMP-clone harem show for women. The most original part of the show is the predatory gay chef who is so demonically gay that he turns every straight man he meets - except for the aforementioned owner (who was a dick when he was younger and the first to turn the chef down).

With the lazy art and barren CGI sets, its hard to recommend Antique Bakery to even those who just want non-threatening fantasies about pretty boys who are naturally curious and just want to experiment over a bit of delicious French pastries.
based on 1 episode : ANN : Wikipedia

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I guess I have at least one CPM appreciation post in me

Part of the problem of basing your business around releasing short OVAs is that the format is basically dead, and the few that do squeak out nowadays usually aren't worth the time it takes to watch them. Case in point, Bee Train's Murder Princess, which was so lily-livered and indifferently animated that I had to rewatch Hades Project Zeorymer to wash away the taste of mediocrity.

Zeorymer revolves around the internal and external struggles of Tekkoryu, a.k.a. Hau Dragon, your standard elementally-themed giant mecha committee for world domination, opposed by two also seemingly standard-issue plucky teens in the titular stolen, never-to-be-duplicated unit. So far so generic, but two things make them stand out from the rest:

Firstly, these guys live the dream of every rap video and Bond villain, rocking a sumptuously decorated floating dragon-head fortress absolutely dripping with overdesigned clothes and equipment. These mad rococo stylings are the calling card of director Toshihiro Hirano (a name we'll revisit as soon as I finish watching Vampire Princess Miyu TV), but the important part is this: if Tekkoryu wants you dead, they will shoot you in the face with a gold-plated gun. That is just how Hau Dragon rolls.

Second, they are the world's single most dysfunctional and gossipy crime syndicate, largely due to being founded by one of the most sadistically pragmatic mad scientists I've seen in anime. His master plan is surprisingly clever, so much so that I'm not going to go into the plot in any real detail-- it's only four episodes, just watch it-- so let's chat about the animation for a bit.

The animation quality is consistently very good, but in some ways curiously wasted. The main problem is that the Zeorymer outclasses its enemies so badly that it barely expends any effort taking them out-- it just shrugs off their attacks for a bit then shoots a single beam, or worse, just crosses its arms, and then boom, on to the next challenger.

Still, all the energy blasts, exhaust trails, and incidental mecha greebles are lovingly detailed (you can even make out the labels on the various control panels) and the set designs are lush. It's only now that animation standards have dropped so low across the board, that I appreciate little details like the Hakkeshu Empress' elaborate bangles and hair decorations swaying with every step she takes.

It's all very '80s, but in a good way-- sometimes all you want is a nice-looking, coherent robot fight show that gets in, struts its stuff, and gets out. If you're watching, say, the new Mazinger, this might make a nice snack between screenings. It's mecha comfort food, but made from very rich ingredients. It's a shame CPM couldn't be bothered to put all four episodes on one disc, but at this point I'd say they've paid for that sin.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Oh hey, Cencoroll is almost done.

It has a website and everything. And two fucking awesome looking trailers!
Wally Xie found this one a year or so ago, but it's been an awful long time since we last heard anything...because the thing is animated entirely by one dude.
One awesome dude.


Could this woman be more bad ass?

Between her and the fucking epic launch of Mazinger's beam weapon, this was really channeling that Giant Robo vibe big time.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fully baked

Yakitate!! Japan is one of those series I read faithfully and recommend, but it doesn't really lend itself to commentary because it's pretty much just a series of sight gags. Still, this volume forcefully reminded me of how much of a pain it must be to translate all the culinary technobabble, AND adapt all the puns, instead of just sticking them in a footnote somewhere. So here's to you, Noritaka Minami and Jake Forbes... despite the latter being curiously absent from v.17's credits.

Enma is a pimp!

Magical Manga Opera FIRE KING!
King Gonta's long-awaited follow up to the magnificent Souten Kouro came out back in October, and I quickly grabbed the first two volumes and utterly failed to read them, put off by the slightly childish, less polished looking artwork.
This shit is fucking AMAZING.
I mean, just take his design for Enma. Shoulder length bead covered cornrows decked out with a fucking Chinese court hat and HEAT GOGGLES. Pimpin' red coat and tails, shoes that curl up at the end, giant glowing outie bellybutton peeking out over the glowing demonic eyes on his pimpin' beltbuckle.
And the dude is only in the fucking prologue!
Enma finds a human baby, is impressed by what a bad ass the baby is, and gives it powers before sending it to live with a fucking dimension hopping con artist, who happens to be in a fucking Ferrari driving at top speed down the highway when he sees all the signs change to The Sixth Gate and a FLAMING BABY appear in the air down the highway barely far enough for him to spin the fucking car while opening the door in time to snatch the fucking baby out of the air!
The story proper kicks off when the kid is ten, and by sheer dint of always going in when told not to and/or some place is dark, and not being afraid of anything, winds up earning the respect of a giant fucking monkey god and visiting the land of the monkeys where they appear to be having some sort of epic war with the evil bird people.
Kikazaru hides in the kid's thumbnail to recover, and Iwazaru and Mizaru take him to see the monkey king.
The monkey king is dying - he is so impossibly huge he communicates entirely in 48 point font, a sentence at a time thundering across vast vistas of pages with the kid's replies in microscopic unreadable scratchings until the junior monkeys form a giant chain of monkeys from the kid to the king's ear.
At which point King Gonta makes a mic test joke.
Night falls, the sky fills with birdmen raining deadly wires down upon the feeble force fields generated by the 33 Wise Ape-Men's Conference.
Now it is 12:30 and I have volume two looking very tempting.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance trailer

A gorgeous trailer for Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance has been released in streaming Windows Media format. I figured out how to embed it below, but for some reason the controls aren't showing up, so right-click and choose "play/pause" to start it. Or just stream it directly.

Looks absolutely gorgeous to me. Can't wait - and reminds me that I need to sit down and rewatch the first remake movie to put my thoughts together for that.

via ANN

Thursday, May 7, 2009

ADV picks up a mixed bag from CPM's corpse

So CPM's official dead now (as opposed to just in a coma, like they've been for the past few years) and the looting as begun. Apparently ADV has announced that they're picking up four of CPM's classic titles:
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • Now and Then, Here and There
  • World of Narue
  • MD Geist
It's great to see Grave of the Fireflies and Now and Then, Here and There (the latter being an oft-overlooked gem of the unrelentingly depressing take on the typical alternate world story - a Disney or Miyazaki movie gone bad, in a sense) but the other choices are a little more confusing.

World of Narue looked nice for its time, but ultimately never amounted to anything. And MD Geist published by anyone other than CPM will be not only surreal but inexplicable. That's something CPM could have just taken with it to the afterlife.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Akikan!, episode 1

An archetypal example of "this could only have been created as a joke or dare," Akikan! asks the tragic question of what happens to a soda can after it has been emptied and tossed aside - in the uniquely Japanese way of having it turn into an adorable girl and throwing her at a sex-crazed high school student. Who loves nothing so much as prancing around his apartment naked, adoring his collection of empty cans.

When he puts his lips to a can of melon soda, it turns into a beautiful girl. He is, of course, convinced that this is all a dream (especially when she turns back into a can and communicates with him telepathically) and proceeds to act accordingly. There's also a lesbian schoolgirl witch who pulls razor-sharp playing cards out of her crotch and a predatory homosexual salaryman from the government who is somehow investigating cans-turned-into-girls... or something.

In addition to the unbelievably ridiculous premise, it also revels in the puns, drowns in double entendres, and embraces improbably ludicrous dialogue. "You'll open wide for anyone as long as they have money." "It's Refreshing Beverage Magic." "The sixth sense of my loins tells me this is a dream." This is wildly fun for a while, but it remains to be seen if the insanity can be maintained.

The show also suffers from being pretty darn ugly. The character designs are dated, angular and amateur. If it were easier on the eyes, the fundamentally bizarre nature of the show would come through stronger and more compelling.

This is probably worth checking out an episode of just for the retarded nature of it, but it's too ealry to tell if Akikan! will be able to avoid the predictable moe trap and rise to be anything more than an amusing "believe-it-or-not" oddity otaku pull out when trying to one-up each other with their knowledge of the stupidest anime shows ever created.
based on one episode : ANN : Wikipedia


This show is NOTHING without the narrator. His brief resurgence halfway through this episode made it very clear just how important he is.
Without him, how would we know why Mazinger can DEFLECT LASERS?

Only this narrator can pronounce Zed enthusiastically enough to make me briefly forget that it is supposed to be pronounced Zee.
We then plunge beautifully into melodrama in a way that felt very much like Go Nagai and Imagawa (none of the suspicious genuineness from last week) and involved Devil Mazinger.

Followed immediately by a short sharp return to episode one style bad ass entrance theater. AWESOME.

07-Ghost, episode 1

Coming to the rescue of any otaku who felt that there was a distinct lack of effeminate and angstful anime pretty boys staring deeply into each other's eyes, 07-Ghost has all the breathy-voiced bishis and baroque costume and set design one would expect. It's also about as boring as expected.

It covers the checklist:
  • a brooding, amnesiac hero
  • an overly chipper best friend who is always trying to get him to open up emotionally
  • a doting mentor
  • mysterious powers (though the show doesn't put any effort into demonstrating them, it just cuts to the chase and has another friend say that the hero is "special")
  • a beautiful asshole who walks into the show and drives the hero into a rage, only to end up in power over him
The slash-fic almost writes itself, especially in the scene where the perfectly platonic friend insists on sleeping with the hero because it's going to be their last night together.

There's also some plot about a war between nations, lost members of a royal family, wanting to get revenge for a half-remembered and murdered father, but none of it really matters when the show is really only interested in having beautiful boys fling CGI magic attacks at each other. It's a Dragonball knock-off for the ladies who don't want to admit they'd rather just be watching straight-up yaoi.

The only saving grace at all are the mechanical designs, which are somewhat interesting in their baroque extravagance, but the airships only show up briefly in the first episode and certainly aren't compelling enough to justify attention.

Only recommended for slash-fic writers who simply can't come up with any interesting pairing of their own.
Based on one episode : ANN : Wikipedia

Sunday, May 3, 2009

God fucking damn, Indonesia!

Where have you been all my life?

Starts slow, then unleashes some of the craziest shit I've seen in a long while.