⚫ Nice 2channel-translation report on the recent Keion concert at Mangajet! LINK
⚫ The Keion TV-anime has broken a record by selling over 500,000 thousand Blu-rays in total! That’s pretty impressive, but don’t forget that it’s a 2-cour anime. So on a per-volume sales basis, there are certainly TV-anime with stronger BD sales, such as Bakemonogatari. source
⚫ Anime announcement: based on a light novel, Ben・Tou is an action-comedy story about a guy who gets stuck in a ‘supermarket survival battle’. I dunno, even if it sounds kinda dumb, it is very popular. It hit fifth in the 2010 light novel ranking. Funny that this news came out just as 2channel was talking about how light-novel anime announcements are dying off (the theory being that original is coming back into popularity, or that they’re running low on popular titles). Maybe the explosion of light-novel anime is slowing, but they’ll be around for a long time to come. source
⚫ The OP for next-season anime, Hidan no Aria will be done by May’n (the singing voice of Sheryl)! #1
⚫ The author of the Infinite Stratos light novel says he’s troubled by how to make Rin a cuter character. He says, although he likes Rin, she does give off a cute vibe at all, which he admits may be due to his lack of skill. He apologises to Rin fans. Of course, I wouldn’t take these comments too seriously. The blog entry has an up-beat tone, so I don’t think there’s too much angst behind it. This is just the latest and most official thing I’ve heard about Rin not being a very good character, so I think it’s about time I came out and threw in my support for her! I find her really cute already! Not on the level of Charles, obviously, but she’s cuter than England! source
⚫ Zero no Tsukaima ending at volume 22. It’s had a good run, and it’s nice to know it’s ending. I have to admit, I’m kind of curious about what note it’ll end up on in terms of the Louise/Saitou relationship. source
⚫ Although the Sisters arc is finished, the Railgun manga will be continuing on, and it will feature a new character designed by Haimura Kiyotaka (the Index novel illustrator)! Can’t wait for it! source
⚫ The new TV-anime for kids starring the seiyuu unit, LISP, Pretty Rythmn, will air at 10am every Saturday morning. source
⚫ Upcoming anime R-15 about an ero-novel student writer is officially set to air in Summer season! #1
⚫ Kannagi will be re-aired on Tokyo MX! Could this be a sign of more Kannagi coming our way, now that the author is back on her feet and doing the manga again? #1
##Once again, I didn’t get the chance to watch any anime today (sigh). Actually, I tell a lie; my day was brightened up somewhat with 1080p versions of the Sakura memorial specials (Cardcaptor Sakura), which I might do a brief post on after this. The first ‘true end’ OreImo episode came out today, which has got the net all fired up. I’m pretty excited to see that tomorrow! More Kuroneko, more Saori, and more Kirino – sounds like a recipe for fun!
Discussions on a possible Kannagi season 2 got me thinking .. about the infamous directory, Yamakan. So I added a controversial poll today! Follow your heart!
⚫ 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:
Freezing was a bit of an unknown for me going into this season. I’d seen the PV, which kick-started a mild anticipation, but beyond that I hadn’t really looked into it, either in terms of the staff involved or the original material. I basically just pinned it as the AT-X battle-ecchi anime of the season.
This first episode sort of proved me right, but sort of proved me wrong. On the one hand, it definitely fits the battle-ecchi description, but on the other, it’s not really a typical Ikkitousen alternative. Along with the panty-shots and occasional tits, there is a surprising amount of violence! These girls aren’t just hitting each other to remove clothing, they’re doing some serious damage, and the action sequences have a genuine sense of tension to them. This is largely thanks to the cinematic production approach. Kind of like Highschool of the Dead did, Freezing uses excellent post-production effects and camera-work to bring energy to the sequences, rather than relying only on good animation (although there are a couple of moments of good animation too!). The inspiration for Freezing’s approach almost could be traced back to the Bourne movies (but toned down), with the relatively fast editing and shaky camera! Of course, I could just be thinking that because of the spy-thriller-esque BGM, which keeps the heartbeat going as the girls brutally clash with one another.
A visual guide to the week in anime/otaku news and distractions! Hopefully this new post format is useful and fun for people. It was a pretty interesting week in the otaku-verse, with lots of anime adaptation announcements (including more movies announcements), and of course, a good supply of high-quality ero pictures from the monthly magazines, Megami and Nyantype.
Please comment to share your thoughts, observations, additions, corrections, et cetera! Let’s get a discussion going! I really want to know what people think of this post format, so I’m encouraged to continue doing them every week.
I’ve been holding out on watching this anime for only one reason: the version aired on TV was censored, even on the glorious station, AT-X. It’s not so much that I’m inherently opposed to this kind of censorship (if it helps sell more DVDs/BDs, then I don’t think we have the right to be angry over it), but just a feeling of, ‘why not just wait and get the show in all its spectacle’? Well I waited, and the spectacle is all I’d hoped – an almost constant stream of eye-candy, both in terms of the nipple-inclusive nudity and the sexy art style and animation. First, the fanservice! If you’re a fan of nipples in anime (and why wouldn’t you be?) then this is definitely an anime to check out – the toplessness rate is very high and the drawings are unabashedly sexy. I also like the fact that there’s a rage of breasts sizes included, unlike other erotic anime. We’ve got a Kugumiya Rie voiced loli character with a fetching flat chest, and a large cast of buxom girls to make her feel insensitive. But it’s not just the nudity, the fanservice also encompasses some nice costume fetishism as well. We’ve already seen a number of moe outfits show up: bloomers, maid outfit, schoolgirl clothes. The way these typical anime wears are fused with feudal Japanese clothing styles create costumes that are somehow cool, sexy and cute at the same time! Then there’s erotic themes like Hanzou’s sexual infatuation with her (also female) master, and the arousing way Juubee calls Yagyuu ‘oniichan’.
I’m not typically a fan of anime that lean too heavily on the erotic tones and don’t bother trying to squeeze in any other assets. Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls may be heavy on the fanservice, but it’s not overdone to the point where the characters are dulled to mindless/retarded ecchi drones, and it’s all rendered with a unique and polished ‘look’. That ‘look’ is defined by bold outer lines on the ‘cels’. grainy, stylised backgrounds and thematic blotches of ink that splatter the screen in action moments. That might sound a bit wanky, but when you experience each of these design choices together it works surprisingly well, and instantly sets it apart from other anime in this category. The actual animation quality is quite high – the action sequences are well-executed and quite exciting to watch. Tsutomu Miyazawa is the chief animation director, and does a good job. The art director, Junichi Higashi, has done pretty much everything, good or bad, so I don’t know how much of the unique look to attribute to his input. The director, KOBUN, on the other hand, is a bit of a mystery. KOBUN is an alias, under which no other works have been done. Their true identity is unconfirmed, but after doing some searching, the general consensus among Japanese fans is that KOBUN is Kobun Shizuno, which seems believable. KOBUN has made an impressive entrance into the realm of TV-anime direction and I hope to see more of his works.
The characters don’t stray too far from their gimmicks/cliches, but they’re still fun to watch. I don’t think anyone expected deep, realistic characters from this show, and frankly, an ecchi anime with characters who aren’t annoying as fuck already qualifies it for ‘rare gem’ status. The male lead is unintrusive without being pathetic, and the girls are both cute and strong-spirited. Kugimiya Rie’s character, Sanada Yukimura is especially fun as the proud and feisty loli, Tokugawa Sen (played by Kotobuki Minako) is a self-important girl with a soft dere core beneath her stubborn outer shell, and Hattori Hanzou is amusing as the easily-flustered maid with an almost slave-like relationship with her superior. Then there’s the bipolar lead character, Yagyuu Juubee, who has a deadly and barbaric warrior side and an endearing, naive maiden side. It reminds me of Elfen Lied in that respect. As you might have noticed, the girls are named after historical samurai figures, however there’s no real historical value to this anime. So far, Samurai Girls has been solid fun and deliciously ecchi!
The last couple of days have marked another step forward in the march of the booming Nanoha franchise: the long-awaited release of the 1st movie DVD! I’m reminded again at just how remarkable the Nanoha series really is, it has to be one of the greatest success stories for a side-character ever! No one could of predicted that Nanoha would go from her roots as a minor character in a mediocre H-game and OVA series (Triangle Hearts) to being the face of a new era of the mahou genre, and one of the strongest character brands around today (just look at her and Fate’s saimoe records!). Instead of letting her fade into oblivion, it was director Akiyuki Shinbo and the animation studio Seven Arcs who pulled her out of obscurity by transforming her into a magical girl for an original TV-anime: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. The series was a success and was notable for its new take on the genre: it strayed from the humble themes of mahou shoujo and gave it an epic, science-fiction warfare bent, as well as portraying an overarching, tragic story. While other series also fit this description, Nanoha is possibly the best example of Mahou Shoujo series with an older male demographic. The first season pitched to the lolicon crowd with fanservice scenes, but this was soon overshadowed by its intense story and exciting action sequences. The fandom grew by the time the second season, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’s, came along, and then jumped even further with the third season, Strikers. Many fans latched on at this point, but for me, the core appeal of Nanoha lies in the powerful emotional story of the first season, as well as the Nanoha/Fate dynamic! That’s why I was really happy to hear this movie announced, which would cover the first season! And, having just watched it, I can say that, as a big fan of the first season, I wasn’t at all disappointed!
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!