⚫ Houkago no Pleiades will be in 4 episodes for a total of 25 minutes length and will be shown on youtube in HD! #1
⚫ Nyantype magazine March issue is out! View a compilation of all this month’s posters here! Then there’s the Megami magazine posters compiled here. It’s always fun to pit them against each other this month and decide which one has the more arousing offering! What are your thoughts on this month? Personally, I think this is one of the best Megami issues in months, and it’s clearly the victor! The new-season shows have taken over with some glorious results: Kuroneko is looking utterly stunning in school swimsuit; Merry is showing off her DFC in a sukumizu as well; Victorique is looking adorable in her poster; the Oniichan poster is fittingly ero; Yutorichan (no. 17) is potently loli; while the Idol M@ster B2-size poster is this month’s star attraction!
Meanwhile, Nyantype offers a few gems: The IS swimsuit poster is very attractive, the Mitsudomoe sukumizu-bondage poster is extra ero, and the Madoka Magica bikini poster is superb! Your thoughts?
⚫ You can see an extensive screencap comparison between TV and BD version of Strike Witches episodes here. Other than the obvious uncensorship (which is fantastic), there are also a plethora of minor but welcomed animation fixes.
⚫ Seems like this year’s TAF is looking at a deficit of approximately 6,400,000 yen, showing a big impact from the pull-out of many major anime production companies and publishers. Good. This sends a strong message to governor Ishihara in regards to his manga regulations bill. source.
⚫ Kadokawa releasing a new magazine, 4koma Nano Ace. The lineup for volume one includes Nichijou (soon to be a KyoAni anime), Baka Test manga, and a Nanoha Force manga (a parody 4koma). Could be good. Volume one comes out on the 9th of March. source
* I didn’t get a chance to watch the new episodes of anime today, unfortunately. Looking forward to them tomorrow.
A Channel PV:
Lotte no Omocha PV:
Morita-san wa Mukuchi PV:
Rio Rainbow Gate is one of the first new TV-anime of 2011 (yayy!!), but after watching its premier episode for 22 odd minutes, I can only hope that this isn’t a sign of things to come. You see, Rio Rainbow Gate, unsurprisingly, is seeping with mediocrity.
This episode was basically what I expected after reading its origin story and glancing at its design work. This anime is based on a series of pachinko machines (Japanese slot machines), and revolves around an idolised female dealer at a large and exotic casino, Rio, who’s called the goddess of gambling. There are a few other characters thrown in for shits and giggles, but that basically sums up RRG in a nutshell. The animation studio is the underachieving Xebec, and its core staff include director Takao Kato (inexplicably still employed), and an unknown chief animation director, Hisashi Shimura. On the upside, the writing staff shows some potential with Mayori Sekijima (script of Petit Cossette) handling series composition. The first episode didn’t really show any spark of creativity or depth in the script though. All these people and circumstances have convened to create Rio Rainbow Gate, and the result is thorough mediocrity. The designs are poor, the colouring and background art bland, the animation weak and the dialogue is pretty dumb.
However, mediocrity isn’t necessarily a bad thing; at the very least it implies that this isn’t an outright BAD anime. This anime is definitely watchable, and it even has a petty decent amount of entertainment value if you can look past its average exterior. Most of this entertainment value comes from the fanservice, almost all of which is featuring the titular character, and which is cleverly spaced throughout the episode to keep your attention
aroused for its full length. To her credit, Rio is almost as sexy as she is apparently rumoured to be (confusing sentences ftw!), and she isn’t afraid to flaunt it! Well, actually she is pretty coy about the whole thing, but her boss takes every opportunity to get her into some kind of revealing and erotic situation (thanks, man). Oh, there’s also a cute loli character!
Beyond the characters and fanservice, the show plays on the idea of Rio being a gambling goddess. I’m not sure what that really entails, but she has some magical gift for gambling (a ‘believe in the heart of the cards’ kind of thing), which she seems to use to strategically humiliate her opponents. More on that later I guess. I don’t really know what direction this show will go in, or if it will ever even feel the need to have a direction, but for now I can say that it is a distinctly average yet somewhat fun ecchi anime. But a picture tells a thousand words, so I uploading the screencaps below instead of writing the 18,000-word review I originally had planned!
OH, there’s also a ferret!
I had to be hospitalised after watching this episode of Ore no Imouto due to dangerous levels of moe. True story. Seriously though, this episode should come with some kind of warning because by the time the girls showed up dressed up as maids I was caught in some primal moe paralysis, and spent the rest of the episode transfixed with a massive grin across my face. There may have even been drool! At its peak of the episode, the reveal of Kuroneko in all her nekomimi-maid glory, my heart literally stopped and I could have been declared clinically dead. As depicted in the above clip, this was probably the highlight of the episode for me, being a long-time fan of nekomimi and maid outfits. But there was much more on offer in a similar vein. The moe potency continues with Kuroneko seductively calling Kyousuke ‘Nii-san”, and then finishing up with the moment many of us thought might never come: dere-dere Kirino! And this time it wasn’t just a quick ‘thank you’, but a full-blown act of kindness (with only a slight slant of Kirino-selfishness). She gives Kyousuke a present and thanks him for all he’s done for her. GOOD. Unfortunately, she was cute enough that I got caught up in the moment and forgave her for her past sins!
But the episode didn’t just have moe going for it, it also had humour! I was laughing out loud for a pretty good portion of the episode, especially at Kyousuke’s attempts to hide his porn and eroge from his Mother and Manabi, and at Kuroneko’s dangerous “manga” exploring the daily incest life of Kirino and Kyousuke! I’m still laughing just thinking about it! This episode had a very high entertainment value, even if it didn’t feel quite like a penultimate episode. But it could be said that the dere-Kirino is a flag that the GOOD END to be depicted next week will be Kyousuke/Kirino! What do you think?
Koe de Oshigoto is a popular manga series running in the magazine, Comic Gum, which follows the story of a young girl who’s recruited into the frightening and alien world of being an eroge (porn game) voice actress by her older sister on her 16th birthday! The young girl is Aoyagi Kanna, who accepts the job out of a sense of obligation to her older sister, who supported her since the death of their father. What follows is an amusing and erotic foray into the realm of eroge voice acting, which extracts most of its appeal from embarrassment-play of the understandably inexperienced Kanna. An anime adaptation, in the form of an OAD episode bundled with the latest manga volume, was recently released, which has quickly grabbed widespread attention! I liked the sound of this manga since I first heard of it, and briefly dipped into the manga some time ago. But I wasn’t all that excited about this OAD. I thought it would be cheap and reasonably entertaining, but not much more. The casting of Mako as Kanna seemed to be its best asset!
Milky Holmes is proving to be surprisingly fun. This episode has to be my favourite yet. When I found out that Tatsuya Yoshihara would be the animation director for this episode (and would therefore be contributing significant amounts of key animation), I was motivated to catch up! Tatsuya Yoshihara is a pretty well-known animator coming into prominence. A MAD of his key animation on various TV-anime can be found on youtube here. His style is really interesting and easy to distinguish. He uses blurs in movement a lot and often has an exaggerated, sharp form, but not to the point where it degrades the character models. I was interested to see what he could do in this show, and I was even more interested when he tweeted that the schedule he had to work with was in a terrifying state. He warned that we shouldn’t expect too much from the episode! But I really enjoyed it, both from a content perspective and a production one. Sure, there weren’t a huge amount of drawings, and some shortcuts in animation were evident, but, if the schedule was as bad as he said it was, he should be commended! There was plenty of fun animation which worked really well for the gags, and he imprinted his own style on it with flare!
I won’t hesitate to call this the best episode of Star Driver yet! It could just be that it’s coming off the bank of last week’s pretty silly offerings, but I found the characterisation and story this week to be much more compelling than it has been. My reaction to Star Driver has generally been a dull bemusement, but, even if the plot backbone is as confusing as ever, I actually found myself compelled this time around. And, of course, BONES added their usual high-grade flavour of great production qualities. Overall, it was great fun.