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Friday, April 1, 2016

Other April Highlights:

Rewrite is going to be an alternate story starting midway through the anime.  The script is by the same people who originally wrote Rewrite, so it isn't exactly filler.  It isn't what we were hoping and waiting for either, though.  I only hope the story isn't as butchered as Negima's was.  Ultimately, it's obvious that everyone is going to just have to read the visual novel and stop waiting for the clearly impossible anime adaption anymore.  The VN came out in English years ago, so there's no excuse for people not to have already read it by now.  Now more than ever is the time to get to reading, since it's obvious the anime isn't going to cut it.  (Also since the sequel, Harvest Festa, has almost been completely translated as well).

Anthem of the Heart finally came out.  It was a splendid movie, with beautiful art, animation, music, singing and voice acting.  I can't call it a great anime though, because a lot of the things it tried to do just didn't work.  The baseball character was obnoxious and everything involving him was weird and disjointed.  The scenes just didn't mesh with the rest of the movie and they seemed surreal in terms of how the people were acting.  I also don't understand why the main couple broke up in junior high if neither of them actually wished to do so.  What kind of idiot lets a girl like that go without even a fight?  The idea that they accidentally broke up until they got the courage to talk again is just stupid.  There's a limit to how stupid anyone can get and both of them passed that limit.  If the story were just about the aphasic girl, it would have been a great anime.  But if Schwarzesmarken had just been about the evils of communism, it too would have been a great anime.  Sometimes less is more, and sometimes more is less.  Artists need to think carefully about this before adding in additional characters and melodrama, it just dilutes and demeans the final product if they aren't all just as solid as the main theme.

Like all the other series I've watched in full but can't recommend as a must-see, it joins the runners-up list of 'good' anime.

Some really promising visual novels are coming out this month.  Island is getting an anime so there's no need to worry about it, the same for Wagamama High Spec.  But Tsui Yuri, Natsu Uso, D.S. and Wizards Complex won't be so lucky.  Instead they're going to be great visual novels that like always never receive an English translation, another giant could-have-been until artificial intelligence finally manages to fluently translate languages for us.  D.S. (Dal Segno), is especially painful to miss out on because it's the newest work by Circus and the girls are out-of-this-world-beautiful.  That hat.

There's no use worrying about D.S. when not a single Da Capo visual novel has ever been translated in full.  It can join the infinite other Da Capo travesties that already beset our aching hearts daily.  Da Capo III R will someday finish being translated, which will literally be the first time a Da Capo game has fully been translated, but it's not like that includes the Platinum Partner sequel or anything, so even that in the end isn't the whole story.

If Utawarerumono 3 doesn't get an anime adaption (and I doubt it will), I'm going to add it to my wishlist.  However, it's unjust to ask for the anime now when the game isn't even done yet, so I'll just bide my time for now.  The ending of the anime just created more questions than it solved, so it's very unsatisfying.  However, the show as a whole was just fine while it was airing.  I don't mind their slow pacing or giant cast, it was a beautiful and mesmerizing and attractive world to be submerged in.  I just want some closure is all, and this season didn't give me any.

The FFXV demo displayed some amazing computer graphics, the best I've ever seen.  I've been watching trailers and demos all this time, so this really comes as no surprise to me, but boy does FFXV look good.  I can't wait for September 30th -- except by then I'll probably be in the middle of playing WoW Legion so I probably won't end up buying it any time soon all the same.  ^^;

The new Index book is coming out in a few days, which I'll dutifully read if it ever gets translated.  I just wish this story would ever try to come to a graceful finish though.  Sort of like Xanth.

The new SAO book is also coming out soon.  As Tap translations have stalled out at the halfway point, the best source to get caught up with SAO volume 16 is defan translations.  Maybe defan can help us out with volume 17 as well?

The Higanbana manga is typical Ryukishi07 fare.  Ryukishi07 is an amazing innovative thinker, but this isn't his best work.  It ends up readable but not a must-read.

Cowboy Bebop has a good beginning and a good end, but its weakest point is its middle.  Most of the episodes are worthless, totally forgettable, episodic nonsense that does nothing to advance characterization or the plot.  That feng shui episode?  Really?  Or the evil clown or the immortal kid?  Come on.  The best episode is probably when they go spelunking to get a beta tape player and see Faye when she was a kid.  After watching the series so many times, it was the only episode that got me emotional this time around yet again.  Cowboy Bebop looks great on blu-ray, though.  The art and animation are still top notch, even after all these years.

The Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm anime concentrated, in my mind, too much on the sport aspect.  If it had balanced that with some characterization outside of the sport I would've cared more about the characters.  Like Saki does.  I'm sure the visual novel, by having a romance aspect, also delved more into their private lives and worried less about their latest special moves.  It almost ended up looking like DBZ out there by the end.  Another classic example of a good but not great series that can't keep everything juggling in the air like it needs to.

I finished the 6th light novel volume of No Game no Life.  It was better than the 4th and 5th, I'm willing to admit, but the new characters too closely resembled Sora and Shiro, which kind of implies that in the end he can only write those two good characters -- the same problem we kept seeing in Sword of Truth where the author could literally only write one character for his whole cast -- they all shared the exact same internal voice and none of them could be separated whatsoever from just the author's direct stream of consciousness.  It may as well have been written in a letter format from him to us, there was so little variation between the characters.  Well, Sword of Truth is also a series I love, so I can forgive both it and No Game No Life.  I'm just saying this is no SAO.

I'm up to date on all that's been released of the 3rd volume of the Hai to Gensou no Grimgar light novel.  In the light novels Ranta rants on and on about nothing.  Luckily the anime doesn't waste our time like the novels do.  It preserves his outspoken characteristic but doesn't make him sound like a total idiot all the time.  The anime also has better art than the light novel, which is really rare.

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