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Monday, July 24, 2017

Kemono Friends Season 2 Green-Lit:

"It will take some time, so please wait."  So who knows when we'll actually see season 2.  2019?  2020?  Nevertheless, it's good news for Kemono Friends.  It's nigh-impossible to get a high ranking with just 12 episodes, so this extra material might be just the trick for the show to break the top 100 barrier.

The series left off in an open-ended way that felt like a sequel would be desirable.  I don't feel that this is just a cash grab. There's still a lot more fun to be had in this world.  Tamoshii!  Sugoi!

Basilisk is also getting a new anime season, for what that's worth.  I have no idea why since everyone in the story is dead by the end of the first season.  But whatever, Basilisk is Basilisk.

I've listened through Classic WoW and with Burning Crusade WoW.  One of the composers, Matt Uelman, has just been horrid.  Thankfully, he never composes for any expansions past this one.  At least they corrected that mistake.  Even so, Uelman oversaw so much music for this expansion, he still ended up with three songs in my hall of fame -- The Cenarion Expedition, Nagrand and The True Draenor.  (plus some short ditties).  I guess even a broken clock can correctly tell time twice a day.

I also listened through all my Legion WoW music, but that's comparatively little since I didn't manage to get the full soundtrack of this expansion.  Still, I did get the most important songs, and they are quite good.  So far, my hall of fame has 50 minutes of music from Legion, 1 hour and 14 minutes of music from Burning Crusade, and 2 hours and 4 minutes of music from Classic.

As you can see, Classic takes the cup by a mile.  But there's still plenty of competition left.  Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, and Warlords of Draenor are all yet to come.

Kana Asumi:

Kana Asumi is the latest seiyuu to reach my anime voices hall of fame.  She's a famous voice actress who has been doing this for a long time, with a lot of great roles under her belt.  The roles that really stand out are Popura and Komari, where she uses a very high, chipper, cute voice that's irresistibly moe.  But that's actually not her only voice.  She plays many other roles with low, serious voices, like the villain Roka Numachi in Hanamonogatari, or the 'mature-big-sister-type' Kaoru Hanawa from Tamayura.

As Chihiro Kosaka in The World God Only Knows, she plays as a normal high school girl you could meet anywhere.  Her very ability to not stand out takes talent in this case.

Even so, I think everyone likes Kana best when she's playing a high voiced cutie.  Preferably a very short one.

This is the 77th female seiyuu inducted into my hall of fame, and 121st overall.  Mezasete, 200!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Eiga Precure Dream Stars Available:

The good people of [anon] have subbed a 1080p blu-ray copy of Eiga Precure Dream Stars, the latest crossover Precure movie.  So be sure to grab it while it's hot.

Looking Forward:

There are four newbie shows that still have the potential to make my top anime rankings airing:  Gamers!, Tenshi no 3p, Action Heroine Cheer Fruits and Princess Principal.

Gamers! and Tenshi no 3p have the advantage of being from established respected authors.  At the same time, this is a disadvantage though.  Unless these shows prove that they have some value unique to themselves and aren't just a rehash of older, already ranked material, I have no incentive to add them to my 'must-see' top 200.  If Tenshi no 3p were a new idea, it would already be in, but since Ro-Kyu-Bu! already exists I don't see much point to Tenshi's existence.

Princess Principal is amazing in terms of music and visuals, but the plot is still suspect.  I just can't wrap my head around the bizarre setting, or whether the story really can be great just by showing what a badass Ange is for the next ten episodes.  Is that really enough to be must see?

Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is the show with the most potential to achieve greatness.  Every episode so far has been fantastic, with a great mix of humor and sentiment.  My only worry is this show is such a dark horse that I really can't tell where it will go next or if the quality so far has just been a fluke.  This is an anime original project.  They envisioned it first as an anime and were well into the production cycle before a manga adaption was released just a week before the anime started.  Which means no one has any clue what this show is doing or how it managed to be so good.

There's nothing famous about the people making this show.  The director isn't famous.  The company animating the project isn't famous.  The voice actors aren't famous.  There's no reason why this show should be so good, except that it is.

I'm leery of awarding a show like that greatness until I'm absolutely sure -- like with Kemono Friends, I couldn't believe my own eyes until around episode eight.

The drama of the summer season continues until I decide if these four shows are great or good, and until I decide which out-of-contention shows are good or just mediocre.  But these are just minor details.  It's actually more interesting to look ahead to the fall season from here.

After watching the comicon trailers for the CW shows, I'm more convinced than ever that Flash and Supergirl are no longer watchable.  However, Arrow looked exciting and Legends of Tomorrow looked fun, so I'm looking forward to those two starting this October.

The fall anime season will also be interesting.  UQ Holder!, Yuuki Yuuna, Love Live Sunshine 2, Wake Up, Girls! Shin Sho, and Fate/Apocrypha will of course be good.  Dieas Irae, Mahoutsukai no Yome, Imouto Sae Ireba and Idolm@ster Side M might be good.  And then there are always dark horses like this season's Action Heroine Cheer Fruits.

In August, Netflix's Defenders series will be released.  It's possible Punisher will be released this fall.

Utawarerumono 3 comes out this September, not long now.  Little Busters! comes even sooner, the English version is slated for release this August.  Manga Gamer has finished both translating and editing Imouto Paradise 2, so it should be out soon too.

Megaman 9 and 10, the only Megamen I haven't played, come out for PS4 August 8th.  On August 13th, Owarimonogatari Ge, the conclusion of the stellar Bakemonogatari series, will air.

For all my desire to rush to 2018 where I can watch Fairy Tail again, there's still plenty to look forward to in 2017.  Three video games, two visual novels, a new anime season, the current anime season, superhero tv, football, etc, etc.

There's 1/3 of the year remaining, so we just have to make the best of this Fairy Tail-less world.

Ultimate Video Game Music Playlist Requires WoW:

I've played WoW for so long, it's taken years of real playtime.  Like, years of my life are invested in my level 110 World of Warcraft characters.  I have no regrets, it was time well spent.  The game is cheap and extremely fun, and I enjoy all the different classes and races.  I have friends and family on WoW and it's fun hanging out with them.  But what it did mean is that I've heard all the music from these games so many times that I felt no need to listen to the songs ever again.

As such, even as I built up an enormous video game music playlist canvassing all sorts of games, from Mario to Zelda, I never touched the music from World of Warcraft.  However, having been away from the game for over a year, I think it's safe to take another look at this game's music from an objective point of view.

That's right, I'm beginning to miss the wonderful music from Warcraft.  It's been long enough, that I'm no longer revolted by it, I actually find it wistfully beautiful again.

I assume I'll start playing WoW again once the next expansion comes out.  I still have a few months of free playing time saved up.  But until that happens, I don't mind being accompanied by the music again in its lieu.

As such, I downloaded 557 songs from WoW, and am starting to judge them one by one, starting from the very beginning classic soundtrack, onwards to Burning Crusade, and so on.  This is going to be the biggest nostalgia trip on Earth.

I suspect a lot of these songs are going to end up in my hall of fame.  Which means my hall of fame which previously sat at 9 days of continuous music is probably headed for 10 days or even more by the end of this.  But an 'ultimate' video game music collection that leaves out the best video game of all time's music?  That makes no sense.  Especially when the music is genuinely amazing, as you'd expect from anything ranked #1.

A perfect musical Hall of Fame collection is ridiculous without the music from WoW, which has some of the best music of all time.  It also has the deepest personal connection to my life, even more so than Final Fantasy.  It's also music that, very likely, more people around the world have listened to, for longer, than any other songs on Earth.  The Beatles have nothing on this game.  20 million players listened to this music continuously for an average of five years each.  It's unimaginable what could be a more important foundation for any music hall of fame than that.

In hindsight, it seems sort of silly how desperately I avoided including this music for so long, but after being immersed in WoW for so long sometimes you really do just want to get away.  Now that I've had my sabbatical, it's time to give WoW the credit it's due, and create a true ultimate video game playlist and downstream of that a true music Hall of Fame which really does have all the best music the world has to offer.

If 2016 was the year of sports, 2017 was the year of music.  I've spent this entire year gathering and curating music from all fields of life.  It feels like once I finish with Warcraft, there won't be anything left to gather, though.  I may finally be able to sit back on my throne and relax.  With ten days of music to randomize between, I can't imagine getting tired of hearing any of these songs by coming across them too often in a row.  My music Hall of Fame will be a permanent asset in the future, which I can listen to until my dying day.  And as new music bubbles forth from all the various venues I've been collecting it so far, the list will only grow in size and quality.  I see nothing but roses and rainbows from here on out.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

My music Hall of Fame gets some reinforcements:

I've been chipping away at my hall of fame music list, taking out remixes and bad songs one by one.  At the same time though, I've also been adding in songs that merit inclusion but were somehow overlooked up until now.

A couple come from Kiki's Delivery Service.  But the rest come from western movies and tv shows -- the Jurassic Park theme, the Indiana Jones theme, the James Bond theme, the Game of Thrones theme, the Mortal Kombat theme, the Hobbit theme, the Top Gun theme, the Harry Potter theme, the Terminator 2 theme, and the soundtrack to the movie Gettysburg.  It's obvious how good this music is, but for some reason I've just never made the connection that it's music I should be listening to independently from the films/tv show.

Overall the number of songs isn't noticeably changing.  It's just the quality is rising with each new edit.  This is meant to be the ultimate musical playlist, so I can't afford to leave a single iconic song out.  Gotta catch 'em all!

36/191 top anime still have additional content coming.  But 8/10 of the top ten series have more content coming.  The rich keep getting richer.  It's almost inevitable SAO will get a 3rd season announced at some point.  If it does, that would mean 11/13 of the top 13 shows all have more content coming.  It's also almost inevitable a new season of Index will be announced.  If it does, it would shoot up the rankings to 14th, and then 12/14 of the top 14 will be receiving new content.  If enough Full Metal Panic! is adapted, it could easily rise to being in the top 15 as well, which would mean 13/15 of the top 15 anime is all receiving new content.

Subtract 8 from 36, and 10 from 191, and you get an accurate picture of all the have-nots.  28/181, or 15%, are receiving additional content.  Meanwhile 80% of the top 10 have sequels promised.  Or if you prefer my hypothetical scenario, a full 87% of the top 15.

In part, good series merit sequels because they're popular, so it just turns out this way naturally.  But the darker side of it is many series could have been as good as the top ten, if only they'd received the level of support the top ten have.  Between them, the top ten shows have 2,706 episodes/movies and rising by the day.  That's practically a third of the entire content of my entire rankings.  How do you compete with that?  If you're, say, Hanayamata, with 12 episodes in length, what on Earth can you do?

The average top ten show is 23 times longer than you and still rising.  So yes, my top ten is horribly slanted towards the mainstream, popular, immortal shows, but that's why I have a separate apples to apples rankings, which I encourage everyone to consult, also included in my top rankings posts, which gives series with similar circumstances the chance to only compete with one another.

In that apples to apples world, there are six different ranking ladders, and PapaKiki is as much #1 as Fairy Tail.  There's even a wishlist rankings, where I detail who would be most improved and is most deserving of new content being given to them, where Bleach is #1, as is Negima, Freezing and others.  So there's a lot of different ways to look at things, and the basic 'who's best?' ranking system only tells part of the story.  My full rankings tells the full story.

A lot of the 36 shows receiving new content are slated for 2018.  Fairy Tail especially.  It's getting to the point where I wish 2017 would just end already so we could move on to all this delicious new material.  Not only will we have the Winter Olympics, the World Cup hosted by Russia (what a stick in the neocon/liberal eye!), the ending to Game of Thrones, tons of new superhero films, and the return of Fairy Tail -- there's going to be Code Geass, Fate/Heaven's Feel, Nanoha movies, Full Metal Panic! S4, Girls und Panzer's final season, and watching the Democrats get drubbed yet again in the 2018 midterms.

So yes, I think we can definitively say 2018 > 2017.  Not every year can be the best, and this was pretty much a lull in the storm.  I can't wait to see the apple drop and the new year chime in.  I am so ready for the new Fairy Tail anime to begin.  I can't wait to see its new opening, what its new theme song will be; it's going to be an emotion like no other.  (As though Zero's opening wasn't good enough!)

Hibike! Euphonium S2 available in blu-ray:

Thanks to [pls], all of Hibike! S2 is available in 1080p fansubbed blu-ray.  Catch it while it's still seeded.  This show has been on a roll.  It's one of the few shows made in the last few years that actually ranks highly (#44), and it's not even done yet.  There's still two more movies in the works, and who knows what will happen after that.

Since S2 came out just last fall, there's no point rewatching this series just yet.  But it's nice to have stored away for the future.