Archive for Opinion

Re-take: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie III: Rebellion

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie III: Rebellion

Evil or pure love?

Finally got my Rebellion blu-ray, completing my collection as promised. Obviously, a great chance/excuse to rewatch it again, this time in the glory of blu-ray quality. As with all great movies, rewatching gives a totally new perspective to the movie contents as well as affirming my convictions for Homura’s choices in the movie.

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Why do you like/hate Madoka Magica’s ending?

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

Praise be to Goddess Madoka!

Okay, since this is going to be inevitable later on in whatever post I make about Madoka’s finale comments’ section, I’m just going to open this up to the readers first and deal with it early.

Why do you like or hate Madoka Magica’s ending and what is your justification for your stance?

I would really like to see how the opinions are really divided amongst the viewers. For the time being, you can count me in the “like” camp, but I realize there are flaws in the ending.

P.S. I sincerely hope no one actually takes the religion jokes about Madoka that seriously.

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mt-i’s anti-”anti-moe” post

This is awesome.


[...]a particularly exclusive group is the bloggers you could call intellectual aestheticians, who unironically judge anime based on its adherence to (their understanding of) the conventional canons of high culture.

[...]but one singularly effective way of establishing your IA street cred is to discuss moe and its calamitous influence on all aspects of anime-as-an-art-form—the works themselves, the creators, the fandom, you name it. Because moe, you know, is the main reason for anime’s artistic downfall since the aforementioned and still unspecified golden age.

We found that you ought to make the following points, preferably in order:

  1. Affirm the sorry state of anime in relationship with moe;
  2. Point out some deeper consequence of the moe trend;
  3. Put that consequence in a larger social context;
  4. Propose a theoretical (sociological, philosophical, etc.) explanation for the underlying social change;
  5. Deduce the historical inevitability of the moe decadence;
  6. Remain a beacon of enlightenment in this inescapable turmoil.

The usual trick is to assert that the moe trend threatens not only anime quality itself, but the very fabric of anime production and consumption. [...] nobody expects you to substantiate those claims: vague and general assertions (“demise of elaborate story-telling”), problematic scare words (“exploitation”, “sexualization”) are quite welcome and will go unchallenged

[...] give an impressive-sounding description of the scope of the imaginary problem that you have brought up, and interpret it as a mere symptom within anime of large-scale historical, ideological or social movements. And be sure to make that a downward movement. [...] “the downfall of political and religious grand narratives in the secularized North after the Cold War”, “the consumerist corruption of wabi-sabi in post-Imperial Tokyo shopping malls”, you see what I mean.

As a proud IA, you need to uphold your intellectual pretensions by giving your post a scholarly twist. [...] For example, don’t just write about “the downfall of political and religious grand narratives after the Cold War”; make it “the Lyotardian theory of incredulity towards metanarratives”. If you mention “the end of history”, put it in a “Fukuyaman perspective”.

And you don’t need to let reality (e.g. the fact that words like tsundere originated in fan discourse itself, rather than by fiat of the industry; or the existence of TV Tropes) get in the way of your discourse.

And those are just some of the good parts.

Oh god, that was probably the best meta post about the animeblogosphere I’ve read since good ‘ol tj_han. It’s amazing how mt-i manages to parody their tone and language, yet still never does descend in to wall-of-text “tl;dr” style too much. I found that probably the best part of the post lol. Not forgetting how he ended the post itself!

Seriously, give it a read. It’s worth the 15 mins.

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A lookback at 2010′s highlights

Happy New Year 2011

Second installment. Continued from yesterday.

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Happy New Year 2011 (and a lookback at 2010 in anime)

Happy New Year 2011

You know the drill.

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ANN and fansubs

This is just too good to pass up:

ANN

Yeah… okay, sure…

Excuse me while I appreciate the irony sarcasm joke whatever this is.

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An Open Secret

j1m0ne:

Simply put, I’m bored of this whole seiyuu thing. Extremely bored. Horrors(!), you say? Well, it’s not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last I ever say anything like that; my interest tends to come and go in cycles and at the moment I’ve hit a deep trough and I certainly don’t see a V-shaped recovery on the cards. Looking through these rose-tinted glasses, I offer pithy complaints about how the seiyuu industry in 2010 is 腐ってる and populated by shitty people who can’t even get the basics of voice acting right (no concept of enunciation or phrasing and heck, some of them don’t even possess voices that are suitable for anime or game characters) as reasons for my boredom.

I don’t know (and I don’t want to know) how many cocks Omigawa Chiaki has sucked to get where she is or how many Yukichis Music Ray’n are stuffing down producers’ throats to get their seiyuu employed, how dumbass agencies are looking at the ¥ signs and fast-tracking hopelessly out-of-depth teenagers even if they posses the talent of a farting mongoose, how more than 60% of shows are moe crap that only requires seiyuu to produce voices as freakishly high-pitched as possible, preferably while inserting random nyaas and nyaans into every other sentence, how some of the best seiyuu from just 3-4 years ago are already being sidelined (Nakahara Mai, Saito Chiwa, Ueda Kana etc etc) in favour of the kids. Heaven help us if Taketatsu Ayana is supposed to be one of the best young things the industry can offer.

This season is a good example of how annoying the whole situation has become, with voice acting in some autumn anime so atrocious that I’d be willing to watch Cantonese dubs just to escape Omigawa’s voice (alternatively, I guess I should just stop watching Shaft anime). I can name maybe 2 or 3 performances worth looking out for (Nakamura Yuichi in OreImo, the leads in Zakuro). The only time I’ve found myself getting really excited about an anime cast in recent memory was when I was marathoning Black Lagoon (Koyama, Toyoguchi & Tomizawa are so effin awesome!)…and none of those seiyuu are getting regular anime jobs these days.

Well, honestly, the quality of the “popular” seiyuu nowadays are pretty much an open secret anyways. Now it’s more about looks and marketability than real voice acting talent. Heck, I think most wannabe-idols prefer to go down the seiyuu route as a shortcut to popularity/success rather than actually being one to cater and please the masses of raving otageis abound. And then you also get people like O-mi-gawd Chiaki. I wonder who the fuck thought she was good. Guess the face distracted them too much.

I’ll have to say, while I share the same sentiment at the dearth of talent in the “popular” seiyuus nowadays, I’m not as negative as j1m0ne is. There are some nice voice talents about. I genuinely like Kana Hanazawa, as overused as she is, but at least she is truly working out as a seiyuu instead of branching out in to the idol-latry shit (looking at you there, Sphere, Mu-Ray). And Sphere also has some okay people I guess. Aki Toyosaki and Haruka Tomatsu at least sound decent enough most of the time. But I still hate their singing and “idol” exposure.

Truth to be told, I actually don’t care for much about the “idol” aspects of the seiyuus nowadays. I understand it helps to supplement their meager income, no wait, it’s probably their main income in any case, but I hate the focus on their looks and “personalities” more than anything else. I really don’t care about their personal lifestyle. Sure hearing about them burning a kettle or two or having a fake wedding makes for fun news, but that’s not my focus.

And I really miss the elder generation of female seiyuus. I’m not saying we should lapse back to the time when Noto-sama was in about 5 shows per season per year and Hocchan was like the rage of the industry, but they’ve been getting so little leading roles of late, I’m just watching random shit where they are minor characters with about 6 lines per episode just to hear them. Even Bitch Tsundere Queen Kugimiya’s missing lately too. Now, those were voices that really made me moé for them. Thank god Mai Nakahara’s gotten a lifeline this season with Otome Youkai Zakuro.

Even the male seiyuu are hell lot more consistent in quality than their female counterparts. Although, I guess being a male seiyuu means that:

a. You are going to be worshipped by legions of fujoshi’s and constantly play BL fantasies.
b. You are going to be generic male harem lead no. 3457.
c. You are relegated to random minor role– oh wait Takehito Koyasu has the monopoly on that.

Still, when I think people like Mamoru Miyano are better than half his female colleagues this season… it sure shows how bad things have become.

I guess we shouldn’t totally blame this on the poor girls though. It’s generally a fact that anime is slowly declining in quality over the years and the number of productions every year keeps going down. I guess it’s just a confluence of a lot of factors.

tl;dr female seiyuus nowadays sell body instead of talent, therefore they suck.

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“Slice-of-life” or “Ambience”?

Cake!

Cake is always welcome

Nova started and omo followed up.

Which inspired me to think of this way; why is the genre called “slice-of-life”?

Sure, it usually attempts to present characters in a daily life based setting, but usually they can lean to more fantastical (Kino no Tabi, Mushishi) or sci-fi-ish (ARIA, YKK) bents.

In fact, the Japanese term for these types of shows are “kuuki-kei“, that roughly translates to “atmosphere/ambience-type”, and that term is really quite spot-on as a term describing those types of shows.

So why don’t we all just call it “ambience” anime? It’s much more accurate and a better term to describe them than “slice-of-life”; which in most cases, usually isn’t quite correct for most of them. Truly, their selling points are the settings and the pull they have towards the viewers, rather than the characters or the plotlines.

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“SUPPORT THE FUCKING PUBLISHERS!”

Pixiv

You know what, I am sick of moralfags looking down on people because they read scanlations online. More than 60% of scanlations probably don’t have even have an English market, and the English market wouldn’t even have existed if not for scanlations.

I am sick of moralfags preaching about buying original merchandise of a certain area when they themselves pirate almost everything else. Then they also look down on people for reading scanlations online.

I am sick of the whole “TEH INDUSTRY IS DYING BECUZ PEOPLE STEAL STUFF FROM THE INTERWEBS!” gospel. God knows the industry wouldn’t have actually come this far without the Internet acting as a catalyst to spread it further.

I am sick of outdated Intellectual Property laws that seem to protect the creators but are actually used to enrich the rights-holders (in many cases the recording/publishing/production company) without ACTUALLY fairly giving the REAL creators their share.

I am sick of the moralfags that just pretty much act like asses just because their buying power is greater than people in third world countries without any regard for how much inequalities exist in the world economy.

Fuck all these. I do and will continue to buy original merchandise that I deem worthy enough to justify the enormous expense. Otherwise I am quite comfortable with reading scanlations and watching fansubs/raws as they come off the Internet. If there’s anything really good, then I WILL SUPPORT THE FUCKING INDUSTRY EVEN IF IT’S GOING TO COST ME HALF A MONTH’S WORTH OF LUNCH MONEY. I’m not just gonna crawl under a fucking rock just because I don’t have enough money to BUY EVERY FUCKING CONTENT I CONSUME.

Otherwise, fuck off and get the fuck off your fucking high horse before you start preaching about SUPPORTING THE FUCKING INDUSTRY. Are you even sure you’re not consuming any illegal content at all? Think about it, moralfags.

</rant>

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The real Amagami SS 03 post

Amagami SS

… are you one of them?

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