As we start to settle into the coming winter months of the season, by now I think the subs are smoothing out and the weeks are rolling by. Some good stuff and some okay stuff. Here is the breakdown for the week.
First off, I have enough data now to update the the weaboo wall with this season’s entries. Be sure to check that out.
I might be the only animu blogger to say this, but I quite like Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai, even if it’s heading slowly into harem territory. The male MC isn’t a complete sod, but the rivalry between Yozora and “Meat” is just incredible. It has a visual style rather like Denpa Otoko but character interactions from just about everything else. This episode was just as good, including how they set up some kinda fun little flashback that connects the main characters. Go on.
Mirai Nikki is just plain weird and creepy, but it’s one of the most thrilling shows this season in my opinion. I knew what to expect a bit from the OVA, but they even captured Nina Wang’s signiture hairstyle well in Uryuu Minene, the crazy terrorist bomber whose diary is the “Escape Diary”. But the obvious outcome of this episode, is that Yuno is a stalking psychotic bitch with definite ulterior motives against Yukiteru. Sounds like the kinda girl I know one person might enjoy…
Yachiyo’s strange relationship with Kyouko is the focus of this episode, as they run into Otoo’s long-lost wife only to lose her again, while Nazuna Takanashi seems to have figured out how to control Popura and Yamada through the power of praise. Just another fun-filled day at Wagnaria.
I realize I didn’t do a full preview for Guilty Crown but I can’t be bothered to do that, so I’ll jump ahead. Honestly, despite several folks on my feed who might disagree, I am finding this show to be quite excellent. As excellent as the often compared UN-GO? Eh, I’ll leave that alone, but on it’s own, it has a very GitS kinda feel with a tablespoon of Code Geass, a teaspoon of any generic techie-type show, and something else I can’t put my immediate finger on. Still, it looks promising, and if they promise not to fuck it up, I’ll keep saying it’s good.
Caption aside, UN-GO is actually pretty good, and presents an interesting angle in the genre of “solving mysteries”. So far this year we’ve been treated to a variety of mystery-solving titans, from Victorique to Sherlock Shellingford, to Alice and more, but here we have a “Failed Detective” and his meta-morph sidekick whose special power borderlines Lelouch’s absolute obedience. Their mission? To really solve crimes that some four-eyes old man sitting in front of a monitor cannot. So really, it’s like the anti-thesis to Kamisama no Memo-chou with special powers.
Alright, let’s settle a few things down before I start. I am a Gunda/m/ man, so if you aren’t, you can skip this. For the rest of you, AGE isn’t doing anything new so far. You’ve got your Amuro, you’ve got your Nalah, and you’ve got your everyone else and Haro. Space colony. Invaded. Blows up. SEED started that way. Unknown aliens, probably will end up being exiled humans or some shit, Nadesico, check. Wait, Nadesico? Yeah, this is my single complaint about AGE, it simply does nothing to make Gundam any newer than the last ten series. When people say it’s a re-hashing simply for toy profit, they’re right.
That said though, “Loli Gundam” isn’t half bad, and it’s been pretty good out of th starting gate comparatively. It’s no 00, which sadly is one of the best modern Gundam series out there, but it can’t do any worse than SEED Destiny unless they replace the entire cast with Jesus Yamato and Mary-Sue Cylne and Mitsuo Fukuda takes the helm.
The one thing I kinda hoped Shakugan no Shana Final would do from the gate was wow us, you know, make the fact that we had to put up with numerous other JC STAFF projects, bad Rie-voiced clones, and constantly delays of this season by making it something worth watching, even for the first few episodes before they settle into some story and setting. But instead they just kinda present you with ten seconds of what you’ll see at the end to tease, and then backstory, blah blah, shit we already knew. If I wanted to read the book, I’d have by now, and honestly I should, but I don’t want to spoil what I am going to see. That said however, Yuji being back and squaring off against Shana, what is all of this about? Fuck I’m still confused about the Bal Masque shit, but I’ll roll with this.
Edit: It occurred to me after trading some words in saimoe chat today that I might be just impatient as they set the story up for the final hustle. This is true, I am being a bit impatient, and bookfags have told me that the fact Yuji leads Bal Masque and that shit gets real soon enough should be reason alone for me to watch, but what got me was that towards the end of each episode, they would tease you with the notion that something was about to go down in the opening minutes of the next episode, but then wind back up to building up again. When I say it’s like slow masturbation, I mean it, and I don’t know about you, but eventually when you can’t take it anymore, you flip on the good shit and go to town. I’m okay with building the story, but give me a little meat to sink into for more than thirty seconds to prove there is a reason I’m still going to name my first-born daughter Shana in the future.
I was very impressed with this week’s Ika Musume as one of the shorts was about English, and how apparently everyone but Eiko can speak it. Now, usually when Japanese VA’s speak English it’s always either heavily accented, or broken Engrish-sounding mess, much like overzealous American teen girls trying to speak Japanese. But if Cyndi Campbell’s VA, Nabatame Hitomi, was speaking those parts, that sounded like flawless English, almost too good to be true. I’m inclined to find out more about that just for shits and giggles. Good show.
If it wasn’t for the many top-tier shows this season, Ben-To would be much higher, because it really is above expectations. Sure the subject matter is strange as hell, but when you think about it, if stores around here put food up for half-price you’d have to be quick to grab that shit before it’s gone, I’d probably fight for it. So in retrospect, nothing like a fighting-type to shake up the season roster.
Honestly, Maken-ki started out well, and then dipped into a disappointing harem that I’m afraid not even the big breasts may save soon unless something changes. For one, the female MC is an overbearing sod who can’t stand the pervert, but isn’t exactly avoiding it by rooming with the poor fellow, the male MC is a powerless piece of garbage who just ogles the girls all day and whines about everything, and then there is hiw stupid chivalrous charade where he thinks he needs to protect the girl, and with the show’s overly pro-woman “WE’RE AWESOME” rhetoric, they render him completely unnecessary in this show. The solution? Dump him and continue the show with just the girls. Otherwise, have a guy beat one of the girls senseless and shove off this feminist bullshit. That is playing fair, right?
Finally, a short word on the latest “innovation” in subbing technology, 10bit. A lot of subbers are using it, and that’s fine. A long time ago I would talk about how it annoyed me that subbers pushed the h264 format on subbing because they acted like everyone should own good computers when the majority didn’t. This of course was probably 3-4 years ago, and by now, most have upgraded to dual-cores or better and have the power to render things at 1080p, so we’ve accepted it as the norm. I still find it annoying that my PS3 won’t play MKV files, that I still have to rely on XVIDs if I want to watch my shows on the couch in the living room, but eventually when I build a machine to hook up to that TV it won’t be a problem.
10bit kind of annoys me the same way, because while it is not a major upgrade in terms of format and such, it means I can’t just pick and choose between multiple subbers if I am going to store the show on disc later for viewing sometime, I have to make sure it will play on approximately whatever I have to play it with. Of course I’ve upgraded my CCCP and don’t plan to downgrade or all, but all it takes is for me to whip out some older computer or something without internet access in the mountains and be greeted with splotchy colors or someshit and rue the day anyone was born. I realize this is an extreme scenario, but I am a man of standards, and I just feel it’d be nice for the subbing scene to wrap around the same pole somewhat, though to their credit, it’s a whole lot better than a decade and some ago when the digital age first started. Thank god for CCCP and Nyaa Torrents, ya’ll got it easy today. To think of the days spent downloading A-E’s Angelic Layer from IRC bots during class. Wow, I’m old. That’s sad I can even write that.
Until next week, or after that. Or something.