“Kotoura-san” is the anime of the year

Posted on January 19th, 2013 at 3:36 am by astrange


Trip Report: Rokkenjima (Kyu Furukawa Gardens)

Posted on November 26th, 2012 at 11:00 am by astrange

Once upon a time I went to Hinamizawa (Shirakawa-go), home of “Higurashi no naku koro ni”.

This year I happened to find myself in Japan once more, so what better thing to do than continue the series?

The Ushiromiya mansion can be found in Kyu Furukawa Gardens (旧古河庭園), a park 10 minutes north of Akihabara on the Keihin-Touhoku line near Kami-Nakazato Station. It’s actually rather small and cannot be entered by the public, but you can see the outside, the rose garden, and of course the rest of the park (which has an extensive Japanese garden and a pet duck.)

The roses themselves weren’t blooming at the time, so we never did see Maria’s rose.



By the way, both Shirakawa-go and the park have been added to Google Street View, so you can go on a pilgrimage without spending nearly as much as I have!

Madoka Magica movies

Posted on October 22nd, 2012 at 3:47 am by astrange

Last night I went up to New People SF to see the two 120 minute Madoka movies. I don’t think they need a review here – I’ll say it was worth spending 5 hours of travel time for, but hopefully next time I won’t have to take public transit – but without spoiling the series, there were some interesting things about the movie adaptation.

First off, the theater turned out to be pretty small, with almost two rows just being people I knew from Twitter, there was none of the special merchandise, and our tickets were printed on receipt paper. This leads me to suspect that Los Angeles is the only US city Japan believes actually exists.

I don’t exactly remember the TV series scene-by-scene anymore, but as far as I noticed there weren’t many new scenes; new animation instead went into improving the witch fights and transformation scenes, animation fixes, and added OP/ED sequences that really seemed sort of out of place in a movie.

The few new scenes mostly seemed intended to make Homura even more of a main character1. Mami actually lost character development, along with all the adults – her wish isn’t shown and they spent almost all their onscreen time talking about romance. In exchange, Mami’s new theme is really good.

All of the cast rerecorded their parts for the movies, and this time actually knew what the story was ahead of time. I’m not sure it made much of a difference, but Kyouko and QB’s performances stood out as very good. (Kyouko’s the best anyway.)

My only complaint about the translation is that one of the seiyuu used the word sekaikan in the opening comment, and I doubt anyone understood what she meant from the subtitle translating it as “worldview.”

In the end I still think Madoka’s plot is very strong when seen all at once, but Kyouko does suffer a little too much and Madoka really doesn’t have a reason to keep following people around at night. Still, if you haven’t seen it yet you should all go and do it before it’s ruined by sequels!

Discussion questions:

  1. Why does Kyousuke have to stay in bed if he has a wheelchair?
  2. Why don’t Madoka’s parents notice she’s never home at night?
  3. How do magical girls afford apartments?
  4. Are the flights of doves and their teacher’s voice Hidamari Sketch jokes?
  5. Define sekaikan.
  6. Really, Anne Frank?
  1. and MadoHomu the main pairing []

C82 genre stats

Posted on July 12th, 2012 at 2:36 pm by astrange

Source: unknown (Comiket staff?) via Yaraon

This time around the most interesting change is the new section for Tiger & Bunny, which was split out of “Anime (Sunrise)”, and starts out with an enormous 1109 circles; the rest of Sunrise was left with only 269 in the process. Since most of the other girls’-side genres – Reborn, Gundam, short stories and Hetalia – are down this year, I think we can assume their doujin will not feature Dragon Kid but instead gay dads, which I think is what that show is about according to Tumblr.

By the way, fanfiction (‘SS’ in Japanese and most of ‘FC(小説)’ at Comiket) seems to be very popular with fujoshi (including all my English-speaking friends), but I don’t know a single guy including myself who cares about it at all, even though I’ll happily read all kinds of amateurish comics. I’m sure there’s plenty of counterexamples, though.

In other news TYPE-MOON has almost double the circle count compared to where it’s been for years (presumably due to Fate/Zero), Leaf&Key continue to fade away and Touhou is still the most popular genre out there at 2670.

AX2012 Mirai no Neiro playlist

Posted on July 9th, 2012 at 12:47 am by astrange

Sorry about the delay on posting this.

There were three Mirai no Neiro panels at AX, the first being PVs sent from overseas (translated and presented by us) and the second being discussions by the Vocaloid producers who paid their way to attend. The first panel actually ended up starting quite late and so we managed to re-run it the next day; I wouldn’t really say it was the fault of the con staff, though, and the panel tech crew was very helpful.

Part 1:

0. We started with a hologram concert (AKA rear projection on a mosquito net) run by Amid-P (@AOKI_KC) with a custom video by masatakaP and the songs from:

- Freely Tomorrow by Mitchie M feat. Miku (YouTube | NND)
- Paradise Cage (Guitar edit) by doriko feat. Miku on Les Paul (NND)
- Sadistic Love by Junky feat. Rin (NND)
- Poker Face{Not that one.} by yucha feat. Gumi (NND)

1. Senbonzakura by KurousaP feat. Miku (YouTube | NND)

We think the similarity of the piano to “Native Faith” is a coincidence.

2. Renai Philosophia by KurousaP feat. Miku (YouTube | NND)

3. ASTEROiD by tokuP feat. Miku and SeeU (NND)

A world premiere song and video!

It reminds me of “Escape”, which none of you know about because we ended up cutting it from the panel last year.

4. Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion (Handel), arranged by MiRON-P feat. Luka (YouTube | NND)

5. I Time-Slipped When I Karate-Chopped My Stag Beetle by Ie no Ura de Manbou ga Shinderu P feat. Gumi (NND)

Will try to post the translated version later.

6. Deliver me a Happy Death (Koufuku na Shi wo) by Kikuo (YouTube | NND)

The lyrics to this one are a bit surprising.

8. Through the Window by MasatakaP and ELECTROCUTICA (YouTube | NND)

It’s about Windows 8.

9. Welcome to the Tea Party by PAC (1, 2)

A series of MMD shorts.

11. AiDee by Mitchie M feat. Miku and Luka, video by Gtama (song on NND)

I don’t think the video for this one has been posted yet. It’s really good, though!

12. Twinkle Twinkle☆Vocalo by tamachang

Also on the list, but cut for time reasons:
- Aqua and Spaceship by nexus feat. Miku, video by masatakaP (YouTube)
- Freely Tomorrow by Mitchie M, video by Gtama (see above!)

Part 2:

This one is a little fragmentary since I didn’t take good notes and don’t have the playlist.

- DeadballP showed “Japanese Ninja #1″ (YouTube)

- Dixie Flatline showed the new song “Answer”, the sequel to Just Be Friends (NND).

- odoP (VocaliodP) showed the new song “because the sky is”, which follows last year’s trend of being overtly political! (YouTube)

Mirai no Neiro @ Anime Expo 2012

Posted on June 25th, 2012 at 12:27 pm by astrange

Just like last year, kransom and I will be at AX with D.P.H with new translated Vocaloid PVs and composer guests for you.

The panels are at 5pm Friday for Part 1 and 10am Saturday for Part 2… in other words, conflicting with everything possible. Nevertheless, it’d be lovely if you showed up.

Check back here afterwards for the video list; I actually have plans to post the videos this year too.

I also plan to actually finish writing about C79 at some point, but then I keep not doing it.

Some Internet archaeology

Posted on December 29th, 2011 at 2:12 am by astrange

Here are some old wallpapers I found while cleaning. I believe they came from a Hotline server around the year 2002. Hope you like Ah My Goddess!

http://2chan.us/wallpapers.zip

Not sure I remember how to write in English at this point, but more contentful posts hopefully coming soon…

Fall 2011 shows that are worse than “The Sacred Blacksmith”

Posted on October 15th, 2011 at 2:33 am by astrange

Shakugan no Shana III > Maji de Watashi no Koi ni Shinasai > Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon > Mashiroiro Symphony

Shana may actually have the worst script of the four, but at least it’s classically bad. The horrifying creature in Mashiroiro ensured it the lowest spot.

Speaking of horrifying creatures, I can’t seem to remember what the point of that scene in Fate/zero was.

Mirai no Neiro – The Sound of the Future 2011 Playlist

Posted on July 16th, 2011 at 8:41 pm by astrange

If you’ve been to Anime Expo in the last two years, you might have seen the Vocaloid panel “The Sound of the Future”, by Masaki. (If not, you should go next year.)

This year kransom and I (plus mdl and stephieku) helped run the panel and did song translations. We still ended up an hour late, since the previous panel had way more corporate sponsorship, but here’s the playlist.

Most of these links are to the unsubtitled versions, since I forgot to ask if we could upload the translations, so contact us or watch this space if you’d like them. But you should watch them anyway!

1. honey and clover club by yuuyu and baker, video by nagimiso

2. Aku no Musume Trilogy by nazyo, NazekorewoP, Yuuki

3. DYE/Re:reflection+ by Treow, remixed by AVTechNO, video by heki

4. Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya! by daniwell, and the MMD version

5. Rondo of possible world by millstones, video by masataka

6. Strobe last by Powapowa, video by masataka

This one’s translated!

7. Sweet Devil and Electric Love by HachioujiP, video by wakamuraP

9. Memories (unfinished video) by SmileR, video by wakamuraP

10. Innocent girl feat. Kaai Yuki (international edit) by KagomeP and rlldi

I have no idea what this video is about.

11. Ameyumerou by HitoshizukuP and Suzunosuke

12. Flower Tail by yuukiss and 25 KAITOs

13. My world by KuchibashiP

(not actually related to the next song)

14. World is Mine video (unfinished) by Sadamasa Shiika

15. Last night, good night by kz/livetune

Finally, there were three new songs presented by the special guest producers:

1. Galapagos by Penguins Project
You can find the English introduction at his blog.

2. The Socialist by ZANEEDS
Japanese title: “What if Kagamine Rin read Marx’s ‘Das Kapital’”?

3. Boring Bowling by SunzriverP
It’s a song about bowling, because Americans love bowling. No translation just yet.

My AX report is that instead of Day 4, I went to the beach. I recommend you do the same!
Photos (featuring several returning stars) can be found here or on the sidebar —>

2ch translation: What K-ON would be like if it was American

Posted on June 11th, 2011 at 4:21 am by astrange

Well, I think it’s funny, anyway.

Source: News4VIP via BIP blog


6.
Azunyan dies in every episode.

8.
Ritsu is black.
Illustration

11.
All the songs would have “Fuck” in the lyrics.

12.
There would be a laugh track.

4.
After School Drugs.

13.
After School Barbeque.

25.
All of them would have babysitting jobs.

29.
It would be dubbed in Japanese by Koichi Yamadera.

31.
After School Tea Party.

40.
There would be a very special episode about Ritsu’s pregnancy.

Is this Degrassi?

44.
Yui: “Shit! I cut my finger!”

61.
The first one killed would be a funny black guy who listens to rap.

64.
>>61
Azunyan?

68.
Mugi’s eyebrows would be salami.

??

77.
After HTT saves the school from being blown up by Islamic fundamentalists, they become heroes.

Cheerleaders: “We were wrong. You’re cool after all!”

83.
“Hamburger wa Okazu”

100.
There would be an annoying hairy alien living in Yui’s house.

106.
Sawako’s old band would have done Marilyn Manson covers.

113.
The club room would be covered in graffiti.

#114 is good but is beyond me to translate.

147.
Mugi would actually be a lesbian.

196.
Mugi’s shirt would have some nonsensical kanji on it.

202.
>>196
Don’t you mean Yui’s dressing gown?