Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cat Shit One

I've never wanted to see something dubbed so much in my life.
Cat Shit One (aka Apocalypse Meow) is basically a hard core war action movie done with adorable fluffy stuffed bunnies. (You can see the stitches in their feet.)
Japanese hard core military jargon, however, is so riddled with terrible Engrish that I found it really detracted from the intended experience; now matter how intensely you growl, "You copy?" it doesn't sound at all bad ass.

The short film is a fucking blast, though. Never read the manga -- I think my impression was that he drew bunnies because he couldn't actually draw at all. But I appreciate the idea, and hope this does well enough to encourage more.

Friday, July 16, 2010


So Maijo Otaro wrote the story for a movie. I didn't really think there were many people capable of tapping into his unique wavelength...

...but I am entirely unsure how they managed to make something with that much Maijo insanity clearly evident still look really generic. The Japanese film industry is kind of a meat grinder. Throw anything into it and it will shit out a wacky comedy or a weepy melodrama.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Full Redline trailer

Now with more Engrish.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Occult Academy 2

Think I'm ready to commit to this being pretty dang great. Time Agents sent to save the future FROM ALIENS, Nostradamus, ghosts right out of The Haunting, and the pace just keeps things moving at exactly the right speed.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hey, maybe Princess Resurrection won't suck this time

The first anime was a fucking disgrace, but the new OAV at least has loads of blood!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shiki Ep 1

A lot of what I was afraid of is certainly true, but it's also way more faithful than I expected. Generally, I think the structural changes are very smart decisions, compressing the first volume or so heavily -- without really feeling like they are -- and focusing on a single character's story, ending with something like a hook.

The aesthetic, however, is more of a problem. The more conservative designs are generally working fine, but Fujisaki is not exactly known for conservative design work. What the fuck he was thinking with Atsushi's ugly gorilla design is beyond me, and turning Megumi into a pink haired goth loli is pretty typical of the exaggerated approach to her character they've taken. All of the beats of her personality and arc are identical to the novel, but instead of playing these realistically -- making her a painfully naive, hopelessly lost kid -- they've turned it into generic Asuka-inspired anime yelling. This works better than it should -- it's probably a good sign that she managed to still be a little bit sympathetic despite it all -- but coming to this directly from the novels I couldn't help but feel they'd done her a disservice.
There were enough moments in this that did capture the original tone that I'm planning on watching a few more episodes, and will keep my usual bile in check. Basically reserving judgment for later.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nurarihyon no Mago

Or, how not to fucking do anime.
I swear to god, I actually saw someone claim this show was original because the lead character is not a swaggering cocky stock shonen lead. Yeah, wimpy Megane-kun -- the second most popular one-note terrible shonen cliche protagonist -- is SUCH an improvement.
It is very, very, very hard to convince me anything with yokai in it is worthless after only one episode -- I stuck with Kekkaishi, after all, and that manga has a terrible opening.
But Nurarihyon not only has not a single original idea, it doesn't even use GOOD cliches! Every cliche it uses is SHIT! When it even bothers putting in enough work on characterization or plot to rise to the level of cliche!
Most of the fucking characters don't even get sketched in enough to actually become cliches! The entire plot of the episode consists of what any show not written by fuckwits would do as SET UP in the first five fucking minutes, but instead of paying off the set up they just abruptly end the episode as tediously as possible!
Characters that have special powers and want to be normal has always been one of the fucking stupidest cliches out there -- has anyone alive ever fucking been able to identify with this shit? -- but usually they at least both giving a fucking reason, explaining why this character is so desperate to be normal. Nurarihyon clearly has a reason -- Negima...whatever his fucking name is says something about deciding this a long time ago, which will presumably involve a tedious flashback to something really not interesting at some dire point in this dire show's future, but such an impossible stupid cliche really needs to put that stupid fucking reason front and center or the entire show collapses like a pack of cards. Likewise, if the main character's awakening is going to be a central point in the show, maybe it should fucking happen in the first episode. That might be a decent starting point for your stupid story, hacks! Instead, he starts to awaken, and they stop him for no apparent reason! They actually start to introduce the fucking hook, and then decide it's too soon!
Jesus Christ, this better be raping the fuck out of the manga, or I have no idea how the fuck it ever survived in Jump when Jump's fucking canceled everything worthwhile they've had for the last four fucking years.
If you liked this episode, you officially like shit. You eat shit for breakfast, you fucking fecalpheliac. Get away from my blog.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Double Zombie Fun Time

High School of the Dead is blast. Normally I'd be turned off by this level of fan service, but they manage to hit the proper Crank-like tone to make it all seem like part of the gratuitous package, and the episode just flies by. If they can keep this kind of pacing up through the whole season, great. If they feel the need to slow things down and focus on the characters, it might fall apart; I think the character stuff in this episode was one step more complicated than it needed to be, which made it feel interesting in the minimal time it got, but I doubt it was original enough to stand up to actual scrutiny. Bonus points for actually using music from 28 Days Later.

Occult Academy sort of surprised me. Since the Anime no Chikara original anime series initiative was zero for two -- I'm not the target audience for Sora no Woto, and Night Raid took an interesting concept and put the audience in a coma -- and this had really drab character designs and a generic sounding concept, I barely even mustered the enthusiasm to give it a shot. But the actual show sort of took me by surprise. I'm having trouble telling if it was actually good or just Kuroshitsuji style unhinged enough to be entertaining, but it never quite went the direction I thought it would, and really sold several big moments. The headmaster accidentally resurrecting his own corpse at his funeral via a tape of his last message to the student body was pure Ghostbusters, and there's an amazing bit with an axe that made me wonder if they'd played Deadly Premonition. And the live action end credits featuring dead children lying in a field is just mind-boggling. Let's hope they're actually going somewhere with this.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Kimi to Boku ga Kowashita Sekai

Recap: In Kimi to Boku no Kowareta Sekai, Hitsuuchi Samatoki's romance with his sister Yoruichi is interrupted by MURDER. The case is eventually solved with the help of Byoinzaka Kuroneko, who attends school in the nurse's office because she is pathologically afraid of people. She also sleeps with anybody who asks her to, a fact Nisio appears to have conveniently forgotten in the five years between these two books.
In Bukimi to Soboku no Kakomareta Sekai, Kushinaka Choshi's sister is murdered, and he sets out to solve the mystery with the help of Byoinzaka Meiro, Kuroneko's cousin. Meiro does not talk, but communicates volumes of exposition through facial expressions alone. Kuroneko herself makes an appearance near the end, to tie up some loose ends and make sure we all understand that Choshi is the creepiest fuck Nisio's ever created.
The third novel finds Kuroneko (narrating) and Samatoki on an airplane. Kuroneko's distant relative, Usui, has funded a trip to London to help out an old friend of his -- a mystery novelist who believes his new novel is cursed, and anyone who reads it will die. Their flight is interrupted when the man sitting next to Samatoki is murdered.
Chapter two kicks off with Samatoki (now narrating) reading the short story Kuroneko wrote on the plane, in which the man next to them is murdered. They meet with the mystery novelist, and then make a beeline for 221B Baker Street on the grounds that this is clearly the first place anyone in their right mind would visit in London. (Samatoki would have preferred to see the Rosetta Stone.) Along the way they solve the mystery of how the mystery novelist faked his wife's suicide.
Chapter three kicks off with Kuroneko narrating again, and pointing out that the previous two chapters were actually written by Kushinaka Choshi, who actually accompanied her on this trip. And of course, the mystery novelist's wife actually died in a plane crash. As they tour the British Museum -- or rather, Kuroneko does, since Choshi refuses to stop staring at the Rosetta Stone -- they solve the mystery of the mystery novelist's agent's suicide.
Chapter four kicks off with Samatoki narrating, and demanding to know just who the hell Choshi is and why Kuroneko replaced him. Of course, the agent actually died of a heart attack, and the only thing they've been sent here to do is prove the novel isn't cursed, which is why Kuroneko just finished reading it. In the morning, Samatoki finds her dead, with an army knife through her chest. He goes to see Phantom of the Opera, but fails to solve her murder.
Chapter five kicks off her absolutely furious with him for killing her off in his chapter of the novel they're writing, particularly since he failed to actually come up with a solution to the mystery. She didn't read the novel, but instead pointed out that it couldn't be cursed if the novelist himself was still alive. At this point Usui calls their room and tells them the novelist has been found dead...and the time of death is the day before they actually met him.
The epilogue has them both at the airport ready to go to London. Usui -- who is actually Kuroneko's father -- paid for the trip in return for their feedback on the novel he'd written. The trip is then canceled due to terrorism in London.
Gloriously meta from beginning to end. I'm clearly going to have to go get the fourth book in the series now.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer anime part 1

I normally only sample a couple of anime a season, and then don't finish watching those.
But this season I have discovered that watching this shit on Himawari Douga improves it immensely. Having several thousand Japanese otaku watch the thing and mock the shit out of it can make a certain level of garbage palatable.

Ookami and the Seven Counts of Plagiarism:
I think this was supposed to be the big name light novel adaption, and it seems to be hitting that audience. Who needs original ideas when you carefully cut and paste proven character types from other series wholesale? If this was at all self-aware it would be a parody, a sort of light novel Murder by Death, but it doesn't really seem to know how derivative it is. The tumbling sequence was nicely animated, but the show is mostly a testament to how willing people are to respond to even bad shows as long as they follow the formula.

Amagami SS:
Five girls share one character design! And it isn't a good one.

Legend of a Legendary Hero:
Wow, it's like the 90s again, only shit. I remember when you still had to beat people with a stick for trying to pretend Lodoss was good, and Slayers seemed like a breath of fresh air at the time. It didn't age well. So a series that basically is a giant rip-off of Slayers with less personalities, even more one-note gags, a director who can't film action, and a script that thinks lurching between boring heroics and the kingdom of the bishonen will do anything but prevent either of them from being interesting...well, I'm amazed anyone finished the thing.

I watched the whole thing after they busted out the Battle Royale music early on, but there was very little else of note. I suppose they think they're fighting the lolikon menace by making everybody fat? Or are they catering to the chubby chaser pedophiles?

Shukufuku no Campanella:
Suddenly I found myself longing for the thrills and excitement of Legend of the Legendary Hero. I literally stopped listening to the opening monologue halfway through, and was equally unable to make it through any further dialogue without my brain just refusing to process any more language. When entire conversations receive the presentation of a budget rpg -- character picture moves in from the right, other character picture moves in from the left, alternate -- you know this is made by people who have given up on life.

Kuroshitsuji 2:
Fucking bad ass. I had no knowledge of the original at all, but the kid stabbing his maid's eye out with a finger for looking at him was the most over the top shit since Elfen Lied, and following that immediately with the butler tap dancing on the balcony to Mozart before swinging on a chandelier, yanking the carpet out from under the table so it flew into the air, and then setting it while wall running around the walls of the room pretty much sold me for life. Apparently it is actually about two other characters who are far more boring, which is a shame. I dug this enough to go back and watch the first season, which has just enough crazy to hold my attention, but nothing that even came close to the sequel's level of batshit. Hopefully the sequel keeps this shit up. It would be a shame to regress immediately.