Ξ March 15th, 2012 | → 15 Comments | ∇ Slice of (Real) Life, The Anime Annals, The Little(r) Ones |
First, a moment of reflection on the disaster that befell Japan on March 11th 2011, and the loss of 20,000 souls and cherished family members. I hope that the rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts are fully successful and continue to improve their way of life to be even better than it had been before the calamity. Out of ruin and chaos can rise an improved infrastructure and stronger building considerations, and people will have become better persons in dealing with each other beneficially in a calamity of this scale. I’m certain that Japan will be doing its best! Our thoughts are still with you
Now, for more trivial news:
NEWSFLASH! R.I.P Nyuu, Lucy and Nana:
Man, it’s been cold. Not temperature-wise but reality-wise. They’re really gone. I had the dubious pleasure of walking two miles in constant rain to the Post Office today to ship off my pair of Elfen Lied figures, which I had to sell to cover the rent. Adding insult to injury is that I only got about half of what I was hoping for for them. But I have a roof over my head for another month, so that’s good.
That’s not really much of a consolation though, as the figures were very precious to me, being that Elfen Lied was my proper initiation into anime (i.e. not by way of the commonly-shown juvy shows that most westerners associate with anime). Plus, I had to hassle and hustle to get them since pre-orders weren’t accepted from outside of Japan, and only 1,000 of each were made so they sort of vaporized upon release. I was so happy to get them! It’s among my most-favorite shows, and I really do enjoy having figures displayed to represent characters from significant and beloved series.
They really have cheered up the places they’re in, not to mention me. Just kills me that I had to sell Nyuu and Nana. If you pre-ordered both figures you received a bonus pack as well, with Lucy’s interchangeable face for Nyuu and “papa’s ribbon” for Nana (a necktie which she used to cover her horns). So, Lucy’s gone, too.
But I have to figure that since publishing my novel is my first priority, if we do well enough I’ll be able to replace them in the future. Good to have priorities. At least I still have Kanon‘s Ayu and Makoto, and Fate/Stay Night‘s Saber and Sakura
But it sure sucks seeing all these new figures coming out that I want; I’m doing my best not to look at anything that requires money, since (a) I don’t have any, and (b) why increase my aggravation? It really pisses me off that I can’t buy anything other than necessities for survival, and seeing spendy shit constantly dangled in front of me is uselessly annoying. I’ve found that it’s pretty easy to ignore useless and annoying things, and you save money and sanity by doing so
THE 2012 WINTER ANIME SEASON (Upcoming) REPORT:
I’m working on a report on the 2012 Winter Anime Season shows that I watched, and that’ll be forthcoming shortly (in my timeline LOL). I’ve actually been thankful that there were only five series I felt like tracking (in addition to the remaining four from Fall 2011, Shakugan no Shana Final, Chihayafuru, Last Exile: Fam, and Mirai Nikki. (I kinda put Bakuman 2 on hold until later.)
This season’s pickings include Ano Natsu de Matteru (rom-com, slice of life), Another (horror), Black Rock Shooter (sci-fi action), Kill Me Baby (wacked-out comedy), and Nisemonogatari, (indescribable) which more than makes up for the absence of any others to this list. I’ll put synopsis links up for those shows when I post the article; I included Nisemonogatari‘s for reference because of the very next section…)
Being a huge Bakemonogatari (and its studio, SHAFT) fan, I was already on board when this sequel was announced. And I’m thrilled that my favorite secondary character from Bake has been featured in the sequel! That would be Shinobu Oshino, a 500-year old vampire who… doesn’t look like one:
In season one (Bakemonogatari) she had about 6 appearances, none of which lasted much more than a couple of minutes. Very quiet ones, as she never spoke. She just sat in a corner at Oshino’s place, making you wonder just what the heck is up with her? (That’s one thing I love about Akiyuki Shinbo’s work with SHAFT; no hand-holding: they’re always making you think and wonder!)
A lot of viewers missed Shinobu’s appearance in episode one of Bakemonogatari, so I’ll say no more than that. But seeing Nise has made me really want to re-watch Bake again Another thing I love about SHAFT-works – they always bear re-watching!
Another reason: check out the combined genres and themes from Anime News Network’s description (caution: links will take you to ANN, not that that’s a bad thing):
So. Just puttin’ this out there…
Yeah… I wouldn’t mess with her, at all.
So Shinobu’s the girl I’m supporting in this year’s International Saimoe League, even though she hasn’t got a chance in hell going against the more-popular girls. But Nisemonogatari has gotten some decent reviews and buzz, so who knows? Can’t depend on the voters, that’s for sure LOL! She is pretty damn moe though, and a bad-ass, unbeknownst to most! I’m sure that her “talents” will be revealed over these last couple of episodes
But in terms of realistic contestants, I’m going to pull for Toradora‘s Taiga and Shakugan no Shana‘s Shana for the win and the Tiara. While I love Angel Beat‘s Kanade (aka Tenshi), everybody else does too, so I tend to leave the popular ones to the masses and stick with my tried-and-trues. Even though Kanade will probably win it all, which won’t make me sad Plus, she plays piano, and that’s a plus:
Ah yes… I fondly recall the first moment I saw Tenshi and loved her right away, caught as she was in the cross-hairs of a sniper rifle :-O She’ll likely take it all this year, unless lame political manouvering conspires to hate-vote against her, which is kinda what I expect to happen. Back-lashing will be forthcoming, I’m sure, since she was so dominant in last year’s ISML (though she didn’t win). Many voters will likely turn on her for that; lots of them favor disrupting a contest to suit their own selfish needs; such is life; Internet, Real, or otherwise. Great, fucking politicking in my moe contest, ugh. So grade-school. Such misfortune!
I just want to see which girl is HONESTLY voted the moe-est, not some simply-attractive character from a series that more people simply watched probably for its fanservice over its substance. But w/e floats their boat *shrug*
Some things about fandom I really don’t get, like the appreciation of “traps”, which to me are just cynical tools and a hopefully-passing fad; it sure figures that more are popping up these days. (Traps = “girls” who are actually boys that some studios create so they can go “hahahamadeyoulookaren’tweclever”, I guess). I wouldn’t really know since I won’t watch a show that needs that sort of gimmick to work (or for crude fanservice either, for that matter).
(Pictured above are chibi-versions of Tsubasa, Nadeko, Sugura, Mayoi, Hitagi, and… Shinobu… sitting by herself in a corner again. *sigh* See? I told you that’s all she did! In season 1, anyway )
No, *I* prefer the fanservice provided by Studio SHAFT. Nisemonogatari features extremely well-done fanservice; even squirmy at times it’s so effective! It never takes over the story. Well… except for a certain lenghty “toothbrush scene” that will no doubt become legendary! Well-done, as expected By the way, the following Promotional Video is only half as long as it says due to a repeat so it’s not quite as well-done, but still. And as with every anime from Studio SHAFT, the Pause key is your friend
ISML AND THE UNFORTUNATE FADING OF THE KEY/KYOANI GIRLS:
In ISML I always vote for my core of Key-cuties (courtesy of Kyoto Animation): Misuzu, Ayu and Nagisa, from AIR-TV, Kanon (2006) and Clannad, respectively. If you are a Visitor to Alastor’s who is unfamiliar with anime, and you want a story that is funny, heartwarming, magical/metaphysical, dramatic, and emotionally powerful, combined with beautiful animation, directing, and sound, then any of these three shows would make great introductions to the medium. I’d recommend them in reverse order; by the last episode of Clannad ~After Story~ you’ll have definitely seen the light. Then watch Kanon 2006 and AIR. You won’t ever view anime in the same light you once did
If you figure you won’t ever be watching it, then check out this wonderful-but-spoilerish synopsis-style AMV that uses the full version of “A Girl’s Fantasy” from the OST, and maybe you will reconsider after watching this moving overview. I’d suggest reading the short synopsis at ANN, then watch the video so that you get half an idea of what’s going on. Hopefully, you won’t figure anything out LOL!
Clannad fans will love it; this is the song that plays when scenes of The Illusionary World are shown (with the Girl and the Junk-Boy). So, MAJOR CLANNAD SPOILERS AHEAD! (And generally speaking, don’t ever randomly watch any YouTube videos of these “KeyAni” shows because they are RIFE with spoilers, as the plot-lines are twisty and surprising; knowing in advance what will happen will ruin the effect! If you’ve any inclination towards watching these shows, rent or buy them and then you won’t be spoiled. Like if you watch this one:
Too bad that the popularity of more recent shows overcasts the fond remembrances some of us have of these characters. Not me though. I’m fiercely loyal to “my girls” no matter how “old” they or their series have seemingly become. I say “seemingly” because the stories (and characters) are STILL great; after all, it’s not their fault that humans’ perceptions and memories are so shallow. So, please enjoy this great AMV featuring the stars of AIR, Kanon (2006) and Clannad; see if you can glimpse what makes these shows (and characters!) so great. It begins with plenty of heart, and a lot of expressing what is in it… you can feel it:
Oh, I said “memories” which reminds me to add Yuuko Amamiya to that “always vote for in ISML” list! She appears in this ”prologue” video for ef-a tale of memories, another fantastic favorite of mine (that I’m always talking about LOL), another fantastic SHAFT show (my favorite work of theirs), and another favorite girl who also happens to play piano (a bit better than Tenshi)! She has a back-story that is quite memorable and her gripping depiction of it, her awful revelation(s) of it, intense. Another “brave girl” who totally won me over:
Some characters are so well-written, so deep, and emote so wonderfully (courtesy of their talented seiyuu) that they become timeless. AIR‘s Misuzu is a good example, voiced by the late Tomoko Kawakami (who also voiced the Girl From the Illusionary World in Clannad). That’s why it irks me to see them forgotten so easily and quickly by anime fans who greedily gobble up shows as quickly as they come out and digest the older series out of their system and consideration too quickly. Sad. Sign o’ the times, I guess, and that’s sad too.
Be happy, and hear something beautiful: from the AIR OST, a version of “Natsukage” as sung by Tomoko Kawakami, who very sadly passed away last year, so very prematurely. This stands as a wonderful testament to her significant contribution to anime not only for Misuzu’s role but for those of many others she has portrayed.
And on that lovely note, I’ll say good night. Please feel free to leave a comment if you feel so moved; all are welcome