Blog Archive

Monday, November 20, 2017

December Treats:

The last month of the year is not completely devoid of fun.  We can expect a lot of treats to close out the year, starting with actual new Yuuki Yuuna content which we've been waiting for all year.

Imouto Paradise 2 is slated for an English translated release December 22nd, which has all the ero anyone might need to make up for the censored purity of Little Busters! English Edition.

Akame ga Kill! Zero's latest volume will be released translated into English on the 12th, which probably also has some ero.

Parchment and Wolf's first volume will be translated.

The ridiculously ero final episode of To Love ru should be translated by the end of December as well.

Fairy Tail's latest movie, Dragon Cry, should be translated by December.

The third season of Sailor Moon Crystal will be out in English in Blu-ray in December.

The new Star Wars movie will be out.

Bowl season and championship week will make college football great again.  There are only 78 bowl slots available this season and 74 teams have already qualified, so it looks like there won't be any teams with losing records in the post-season this year.

Who knows, maybe the Yama no Susume oav and Shingeki no Kyojin ova will be translated?

The World Cup draw, which decides who will be playing who among the 32 teams that qualified for the World Cup (shockingly not including Italy, the USA or the Netherlands), is December 1st.

Though this doesn't happen in December, it's still exciting that a new Eromanga Sensei oav has been announced for 2018.

Zero no Tsukaima volume 21 and Hataraku Maou-sama! volume 15 will surely be translated by December, they're both so close to done already.

Roy Moore will be elected and stick it to the lying Democrats.  And the tax bill will pass to boot.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 has been announced.  The game doesn't look that interesting, but the music will be, because the main composer is Hitoshi Sakimoto.

The music of Xenoblade Chronicles x 2, all 120 songs, should become available this December, by the inimitable Yasunori Mitsuda.

More Utawarerumono has been announced, including a new anime oav.

The final Dynasty Warriors 9 new characters will surely be announced by December, it releases in February so there's little time left to preview it in.  Xin Xianying was one of the characters I was asking for so I've been pretty pleased with the announcements so far.

There's still Little Busters! to play and Kuromukuro to rewatch as well.

November's been fun, but December will be even better.  Like the difference between Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Rewrite Available in Blu-ray:

Episodes 18-24 have all come out subbed in blu-ray now thanks to Dmonhiro.  Combined with the previous releases by GJM, all of Rewrite is now subtitled in blu-ray.  Dmonhiro himself complains about how much better the visual novel is than the anime (don't I know it!), but it's still a great anime even with all its obvious flaws.  This is a pretty speedy release, it hasn't even been a year since Rewrite aired, so there's no need to start rewatching it immediately.  But it's always best to catch these things while they're still seeded.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

www.Working Rewatched:

In keeping with my pledge to not only watch but rewatch all the series in my top anime rankings, I've now rewatched www.Working, about a year after it came out the first time.

The series starts strong but quickly grows repetitive and annoying.  The only good aspects after the first four eps or so center around Shiho, but sadly even that story progresses too slowly and obviously she can't carry the whole series on her own.

This was the same problem with the original Working!  The problems became overly protracted and repetitive and everyone resorted to violence instead of working things out via conversation and self reflection.  I feel like the series could have been resolved in half the time if people had acted reasonably, so half the series is just boredly tapping your foot waiting for the plot to finally progress.

The manga-ka behind Working is a genius in setting up initially humorous situations, but she never resolves them in timely fashion, so the humor dries out somewhere along the way and is replaced with just annoyance.  I used to have Working ranked way up in the 20's, but rewatching www.Working only reminds me why I now have it at a measly #92.

Kuromukuro is an even lower ranked comedy than Working, but hopefully it's at least better than www.Working, which is the real low point of that franchise, so my rewatching days will proceed more pleasantly from here.

I wonder if all the people calling for Roy Moore's impeachment based on mere allegations will impeach Al Franken who's been caught red handed sexually assaulting a woman with photographic proof?  If they don't, their hypocrisy will be clear to the whole world and the Senate will be exposed as a merely politically motivated farce and chamber of lies.

Hayate no Gotoku S1 blu-ray Available:

Why does this always happen to me?  Right after I rewatch a series, it inevitably releases in blu-ray for the first time, after being ignored for decades.

Well, the good news is that by using my newly created Hayate filler guide, I was able to avoid downloading any of the filler episodes, which cuts the download size in half.  So in a way I guess it was better it worked out this way.

I guess this also means I'll have to rewatch Hayate again someday, or the download would go to waste. . . I must really love this series if I'm going to watch it a fourth time. . .

Well, with Season 1 covered, now the entire series is out in English subtitled blu-ray.  For those of you who have been ignoring Hayate up until now, now's the perfect time to dive in and watch Hayate at its best.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Kuromukuro blu-ray Available:

Kuromukuro is one of those shows that stubbornly refuses to release in 1080p blu-ray.  No matter how long you wait, no progress is made.

So the solution brought about today by Kotex is welcome.  Just combine his subtitles with the raws from ohys and at least we'll have a 720p blu-ray version of this long-neglected show.  Once I'm done rewatching www.Working, Kuromukuro can now come next.

I had to settle for a 720p blu-ray version of www.Working as well.  If a show isn't popular enough, it commonly happens.  It's not the end of the world, it still looks great, it's just not what you'd prefer for an archival copy which should always be at its very best.  (At least with blu-ray there's always less censorship).

Yasunori Mitsuda says Xenoblade Chronicles X 2 has a 120 song long soundtrack, and the music is modeled after Xenogears'.  That sounds pretty much like heaven.  December 1st can't come soon enough.

Netflix's Punisher comes out in just two more days, as does Fairy Tail's Dragon Cry movie.  November is heating up.

Another good piece of news related to Fairy Tail -- Blue Mistral's final manga volume is finally getting translated -- in July of 2018, for sale at Amazon.com.  I can't resist the #1 manga of all time so this is a must-buy.

That leaves only the Raido Issen manga untranslated out of all the Fairy Tail corpus.

I don't like the Ruka arc in Hayate no Gotoku.  Nagi doesn't act like herself from start to finish.  It feels very artificial.  Why would someone suddenly lack confidence in their artistic skills when looking at an unfinished storyboard as opposed to the finished manga she reads every day?  Couldn't she have seen the gap in quality all along from the start with any manga volume she opened?  If none of that made her feel bad about her art, looking at a storyboard wouldn't make any difference either.

In addition, Nagi is under the misimpression that Hayate loves her and they're currently dating.  The reason he keeps things platonic, in her mind, is because he's a chivalrous gentleman who takes into account her young age.  However, the multiple times Hayate has promised to be with her forever, to protect her in the future, that he likes her, and so on, guarantee that when the time is ripe their romance will take on a more concrete form.  She wouldn't believe that Hayate could be taken away from her or lost just because he pays back his debt or quits as his butler, etc, etc.  First and foremost they're a couple.  And yet, strangely, she acts like this part of her character is just completely forgotten for the duration of the arc, like they aren't dating at all, and their only relationship is that of master and butler.

To make matters more of a plot hole, she returns to thinking they're a couple after this arc, so the change in attitude is a total whipsaw.

It should have been impossible for Nagi to be told that Hayate will marry Ruka without her challenging him with cheating.  "How can that be?  Aren't we already a couple?"  That's the first question the real Nagi would have given at this moment, but instead she just accepted it as natural and acceptable that he could agree to marry Ruka.

Meanwhile, Hayate couldn't possibly have agreed to marry Ruka, given all the promises he had made to Nagi in the previous arcs to be with her forever.  It makes no sense that he could be so callous towards Nagi.  It's not in his character to abandon and betray people like that, and all over a flippant promise Ruka extorted out of him just a few weeks ago.  Shouldn't he have told Ruka that marriage was unthinkable due to his prior obligations and oaths he'd already given?  If breaking his promise with Ruka was bad, then what about his promise to Nagi to be with her forever at Sakuya's birthday party?  Shouldn't that promise have taken priority?

Furthermore, Nagi is so terrible at drawing and writing manga, I find it hard to believe she could have completed something worthwhile that would gain 100 sales even in the forgiving atmosphere of a comiket.  The fact that the story is never revealed makes it all the more suspicious, as even the author doesn't seem to know how Nagi could have succeeded.

Even the very first stories by Ashirogi Muto are infinitely better than the nonsense Nagi produces (given that she's just a sheltered 13 year old rich girl, this isn't saying anything bad about her, it's just reality.)  But Ashirogi Muto had tons of trouble getting recognized or serialized and it took years of effort polishing their craft to make something presentable to the public.  Nagi had a lot further to go, so how did she manage to sell 100 copies of anything just months after the initial crap we saw her producing?

And why does Nagi want to be recognized by others on the basis of her own merit?  Why does she suddenly care about gaining high status from others?  All this time up until now, she's been an arrogant, full of self-confidence and self-esteem, 'go it her own way' woman who didn't care what other people thought and looked down on all of them.  Going to school, much less working, was considered losing out to society while staying at home and playing video games was winning.  Whence came her sudden desire for societal approval and the complete breakdown of her own self-confidence, requiring the validation of others to make up the gaping void in her heart?

Are we to believe her entire life up until now was just putting up a front and really she was desperately anxious for the praise of strangers?  But remember, in her mind, Hayate has already totally fallen for her for who she already is, so why does she need any more outward validation than that?  Hayate is a popular, hot guy who all the other girls want but he chose her over all of them, isn't that a social status dream come true for Nagi?  What more proof does she need of her own worth?  Yet again it's like Nagi's completely forgotten that Hayate loves her and in this world is still a needy young girl requiring affirmation from someone, anyone, anywhere, in any way.

As far as I can tell, the author grew to hate Nagi for who she was and decided to change her character into something he preferred, and he just rammed the change through despite none of it making any sense.  To make matters worse, I preferred the old Nagi to the new one!  You can say she was foolish and naive and whatever, but she loved herself and loved her life and loved and believed in Hayate, and thus was genuinely happy.  Was it all a delusion?  Maybe, but the happiness was real.  She was living out the dream life, the human ideal.  Now she has nothing.  She's just a crappy doujinshi maker, broke, Hayate's promised to marry another woman, she no longer takes satisfaction in any of her old hobbies and she no longer values anything about herself.  This is character development?  This is growth?

Also, Kayura was a terrible new character who served absolutely no point.  Her role could have just as easily been served by Chiharu who was already there.

Ruca's arc wasn't all bad, Hinagiku, Ayumu and Izumi were still great.  But we're talking something like 1/3 of the manga that does more to undermine the premise and quality of the story than buttress it.  No wonder the anime quit midway, and even resorted to writing up its own separate stories.  Anything to avoid the Ruka arc.

At least the final 100 chapters should get back to the original concept of the story and deliver a satisfying conclusion.  I recall the final arc being just fine, though I guess I won't know for sure until I re-read it as well.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Fate/kaleid liner movie available:

The video quality is low, but it's still watchable.  The long awaited Fate/Kaleid Liner movie, Oath on the Snowflakes or whatever, is available for viewing.  It's just a continuation of the manga in movie form, telling about Miyu's past.  It could easily have just been part of the next tv season, but they decided on this method of presentation instead.

It's a nice movie, but it isn't as good as, say, Ordinal Scale, especially given the difference between blu-ray and some random camera rip.  Well, in this dismal year of 2017, we have to take whatever we can get.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Blend S Dropped:

Blend S has plenty of good points, like the art, the animation and even sometimes the humor.  But it's all ruined by the manager.  He almost crashes a van, nearly killing like seven people, all because he's too sexually excited to drive responsibly.  He passes out bleeding in a women's swimwear store.  He lacks all common sense and is constantly causing trouble for the people around him.  These are sins he committed in just the latest episode.  Over the previous five eps he's done plenty of other creepy and dumb things as well.

I liked the initial setting of the series, getting to watch people play various characters while serving customers, but it feels like we're slipping further and further away from this show's strengths and more and more into its weaknesses.  There wasn't any customer service at all this episode.  It's like a basketball series that no longer plays basketball.

Luckily, Yuuki Yuuna starts airing new content next week so there won't be any diminution of the lineup overall.  The sooner this season is replaced with the winter lineup the better though.

Meanwhile, I finished rewatching Hayate and began re-reading the manga chapters not covered by the anime.  The series' plot was kind of confusing so re-reading the manga might help out when it comes to the non-silly-comedy aspects.

I've also started playing Little Busters! English Edition.  I have a lot of complaints, like with the censorship from even the Japanese memorial edition (nevermind Ecstasy), the inability to retain your stat improvements between routes (thus making the mini-games practically unwinnable), and how much of the content was already covered by the anime and thus boring, but the innate quality of the story still shines through all that.  I just have to get to portions the anime didn't cover and it will become a real gem.  When that happens seems like a distant shore though.