Archive for the ‘Anime’ category


June 28th, 2011

Today, a very, very sad thing has come to pass. I filled up my 1TB external hard drive.

One thing I have to say on the topic of hard drives: at the pace of technology today, hard drives usually become out of date long before they fail. This is a wonderful, thing, I suppose.

Unfortunately, the pace of technology today still can’t keep up with my rate of anime consumption.


Musings on the ideal protagonist

April 8th, 2011

So yesterday (Wednesday) I got bored of all the anime in my queue:

[spoiler]SOUL EATER (just finished today!), Seto no Hanayome, Beet the Vandel Buster (just started it yesterday, and kind of unsatisfied — somehow no old series has managed to interest me since Ranma), Kara no Kyoukai (don’t get it), Katanagatari (accidentally/purposefully spoiled myself on Wikipedia and lost interest), Aishiteruze Baby, Mitsudomoe (it’s so sick and disgusting trying to masquerading as this cutesy-wutsy kid anime), Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (not funny anymore…), DARKER THAN BLACK (nothing that really draws me in), Tales of the Abyss (almost done, but again not excited about it), SHUFFLE (god), Motto ToLOVE-ru (saving for a rainy day), Gintama (can I drop this yet? people say it’s so funny, but it’s… not…), School Rumble II (already finished the manga… and saving for a rainy day kind of?), Utawarerumono (mask-face pisses me off), Code Geass R2 (subtitles are out of sync…), and Spice and Wolf (trying to read the novel. was. like three years ago.), and Kyou no Go no Ni, Mahoraba, Da Capo, Magical Pokan (rainy day), Tegami Bachi (don’t know…), Air (wow), Hidamari Sketch (probably drop), Kobato, NuraMago (fansubbers gave up halfway through), and all of the series from Winter ’11 that haven’t finished yet.[/spoiler]

Not counting the Winter ’11 series, that’s… 26 titles. Counting the Winter ’11 unfinished, that’s 31.

Depressing, no? I’ve been trying to shave this list down, but it seems to have a mind of its own, and is still tending to grow rather than shrink.

I’m just not interested in finishing some of these. It’s not entertaining enough.

Manga is much more entertaining. Instead of one amazing series every 50 that I go through, which is getting to be the case for anime, nearly every manga I decide to start turns out amazing. I can say that my last three were absolutely fantastic: Hoshi no Samidare, Beelzebub, and Oresama Teacher.

I started Oresama Teacher. It’s a shoujo manga about a delinquent middle-school girl. Kurosaki Mafuyu is the name of the female lead. The art is brilliant, and the comedy unbelievable. It’s not just any shoujo manga, either. I mean, Mafuyu is the second-strongest character in the book, and beats up mobs of gangsters to relieve stress. How can you reject a kick-ass MC like that?

The other supporting and main characters complement her well, providing gags and humor as well as drama. The fighting and all makes this shoujo manga have similar characteristics to shounen manga as well, so I think it would not be inaccurate to describe Oresama Teacher as both shounen and shoujo. Meaning… everybody should read this. Boys and girls alike.

Thinking about those last 3 manga, I’ve put some thought into what makes an exemplary protagonist. First of all, the main character needs to kick ass. A weakling main character, like Nagasumi in Seto no Hanayome, is difficult for the audience to truly get to like. Weakling main characters also tend to have weak or cliche personalities. The MC need not be the strongest character — in fact, that would make it rather difficult to come up with plotlines. In fact, when you have MCs like Nanoha who can annihilate anything within a five mile radius with a Starlight Breaker or two… people get bored of the flashy graphics and cool attack names, you know?

Secondly, the MC should be tomboyish. This goes for male MCs as well, I suppose, but we’ll consider females. Protagonists like Sakura (I’m thinking Tsubasa not CCS) who exhibit a silent, kind personality aren’t fit to be leads. Shy or childhood-friend don’t work either. Female leads need to be resourceful, confident, athletic, and cheerful.

The same adjectives need to apply to male leads as well. In fact, those exact adjectives. I can’t think of anything more to add for males. I think it’s also necessary to add a touch of mischievousness. Main characters like Ueki (Ueki no Housoku/The Law of Ueki) lack depth: Ueki exhibits all of the traits above, but is too righteous. Morals that are too strong get in the way of the audience’s enjoyment. Biggest moralfag: Touma (To Aru Majutsu no Index and related).

Now that I think of it, those three manga are also all poking fun at something. Samidare pokes fun at shounen plots… just read the first chapter and you will see what I mean. Beelzebub could be interpreted as a parody of juvenile-delinquent movies that I guess are common in Japan (never seen any myself though). Oresama Teacher has less of a “parody” intention, but in combining the shoujo and shounen genres, it mildly laughs at both: stereotypical male personalities in shoujo manga, and stereotypical boss fights and leveling-up in shounen manga. Well, I guess this point doesn’t apply as much as I thought it would. But genre-deconstruction is definitely a plus, if done well.

I shall leave you with a lovely guide by Mafuyu on how to escape from being tied up in a hostage situation by an enemy gang. I am sure it will be of use to at least one of my readers in the future.

Click to enlarge. Credits to MangaFox and scanslators. Fair use rationale: this manga is not yet published in the United States. Will remove when or if published, or upon request of copyright holder. I apologies for the unclear translations. No offense to the scanslators.

Please do not attempt to practice this at home. Especially if your parents won’t be home for a week and the neighbors hate you.

We’re killing little girls because we need to prevent the heat death of the universe.

March 6th, 2011

I still have objections to some of the art in Madoka Magica, but it’s been a brilliant ride so far.

Just wanted to use a cool title for once.

And don’t you love it when anime invokes physics? Even better, thermodynamics?

If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation. — Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Anime Recommendations for Hanchan

March 5th, 2011

In order of recommendationness:

* Denpa Teki na Kanojo [2] (serious and contemplative)
* Haruhi movie, The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi (I have heard NOTHING but praise for this movie, even though I still haven’t watched it yet)
* Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann [27 OR 2 movies] (you must have heard about this. come on now)
* Tears to Tiara [26] (fantasy/magic/adventure <3)
* Kyouran Kazoku Nikki [26] (hilarious)
* Nyan Koi! [12] (cats!)
* Toradora! [25] (interesting couple)
* Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei [3+ seasons] (i’ve only just watched season 1)
* Seto no Hanayome [26] (brilliantly random comedy)
* NHK ni Youkoso! [24] (may be tedious)
* Nagasarete Airantou [26] (ecchi though I think)
* Polyphonica / Polyphonica Crimson S [12/12] (it’s about music)
* Elemental Gelade [26] (fantasy/magic/adventure and romance; unspectacular ending however imo)
* To Aru Majutsu no Index / To Aru Kagaku no Railgun / To Aru Majutsu no Index II [24/24/24] (Index and Railgun are actually quite different)
* Asura Cryin’ / Asura Cryin’ 2 [26/26] (it’s either love or hate. it’s awesome in its own way.)
* Ueki no Housoku aka The Law of Ueki [51] (i know it’s long)

Thursday is my new favorite day of the week.

February 10th, 2011

Three of my Winter11 animes come out on Thursdays: Infinite Stratos, Madoka, and Yumekui Merry.

IS could have been so much better… I’m serious, the art and animation and OP piece is so superior, and the characters are all so appealing, so I seriously wish they had done IS in a more serious tone, instead of branding it as just another lame harem anime.

Madoka is the anime of the season, apparently, and everybody’s talking about it. Personally, anime-for-the-sake-of-art anime has always been a bit odd for me to watch (not to say that it isn’t enjoyable). Number one for me is Madoka‘s music, both instrumental and vocal; however, the Yuki Kajiura ominous music doesn’t quite fit. I like the normal art, including the randomness and liberal hand involved in animating scenes from unexpected angles, but the witches and their domains are completely out-of-whack with everything. It’s disgusting, which I suppose was the intention, but that doesn’t make it any less disgusting.

Merry is probably my favorite out of the three Thursday animes. I just like it; it’s uplifting after a stressful day at school.

Other anime I am watching in Winter11: Kore wa Zombie desu ka? on Mondays (favorite anime this season, wacky and fun), Index II on Fridays (I thought the Queen of the Adriatic arc was too short and too underdeveloped. Nothing happened. I expected so much more.), and Fairy Tail (it’s become one of those neverending shounen animes) on… Tuesdays I think.

Anyways, what I wanted to say: Every single anime I’ve started in Winter11 (admittedly I only start animes that appeal to me in the first place, but my judgment is VERY OFTEN wrong) has been very good. Generally only one anime every season reaches the awesomeness of any one of the Winter11 animes I’m watching. I’m very pleased with anime, and very unpleased with anime, because it’s detracting from my sleep and homework.

Anime Log

January 25th, 2011

All stuff I watched today. Yes I really watched that much.

To Aru Majutsu no Index uh latest 2 episodes
FRIGGIN. AWESOME. UGH. Awesomest anime ever.

Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka Episode 01

OMG! Mahou shoujo with a chainsaw! BEST. IDEA. EVER.

Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka Episode 02

“Yes, I’m a vampire ninja.”

This anime really has everything… lol.

Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka Episode 03

Why is this anime so nice. The title sounded so stupid too.

I hope all Winter 2011 animes are as good as this.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Episode 01

O. M. Effing. G. What everybody said about this anime was right.

Crap. Yuki Kajiura music is unbelievable. There’s nothing I can say against this anime. MUSIC IS AWESOME… ughhhh

I love the pencilly linework. It makes the artwork of this anime look really special and nice!

Ok time for my lame commentary.

From far away Madoka reminds me of Luna(r). Of course huge personality gap. Akemi’s personality reminds me of purple-hair whatshername from Bakemonogatari.

My headphones aren’t high-quality enough to enjoy Yuki Kajiura’s awesome BGM… you need like $500 headphones to give the BGM the quality it deserves XD;

Strange magical creature makes me miss Yuuno. But it’s so ugly.

Interesting anime that functions unlike any other as a masterpiece of art. However as for catering to the masses, I’m not sure this anime will enjoy popularity (but then again, look at series such as Haruhi etc).

SIDE NOTE: Browsing the recommendations and reviews on MAL really gives an indication of how deep and thought-provoking animes really are.

Also watched 3 episodes of Kurenai today. The impression I got from whatever anime reviews I read that made me start this is totally different from my judgement of the actual anime. I initially hated this, but it’s not so bad. No action or romance, or school life, or any generic themes at all. I guess that makes Kurenai kind of a strange anime… “genreless” if you will.

Protected: uh anime post

December 13th, 2010

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

13 hours well spent

November 17th, 2010

This anime was the best comedy I’ve seen in quite a long while. If it weren’t for the so-so ending and the so-so intro and outro songs, Kyouran Kazoku Nikki may even have attained the unattainable SSS ranking of 11/10. However, I can only leave it with the coveted ranking of SS+ [10.5/10] because of these easily-overlookable flaws.

Everything was just so sweet, hilarious, deep, touching, and generally wonderful about this anime. While telling a sweet tale of family love juxtaposed onto a gut-busting comedic masterwork, this 26-episode story makes the audience contemplate the meaning of family and love. The sometimes heart-throbbing backstories of the characters is masterfully executed, and each story arc is tidily wrapped up in its own individual package. You heard that right — plot in a comedy anime that makes sense and makes you look forward to the next episode. Also, because of the serious undertones of Kyouran Kazoku Nikki at times, it’s potentially better than some of my old-time favorites such as Hayate no Gotoku.

I am also extremely impressed by the AWESOME complete lack of ecchiness, harem, naked women running around, et cetera. It is impossible to find a good comedy anime (or even a good plot-driven anime) that does not contain any of these offensive situations.

Perhaps what I like most about this anime, and what the main driving force behind its appeal is: the characters. For the most part, each character is deeply developed, yet not too much time is spent on character development. Each character has catchphrases or memorable characteristics that somehow make me laugh every time.

Instead of being “AHAHAHA that’s funny ok next” like other recent animes in the same genre (Sora no Otoshimono comes to mind), combines the best parts of everything (except music-wise).

The art, especially the extra linework on the noses (which usually isn’t seen because modern anime artwork often encourages very abstract noses), took an episode or two to get used to, but after that, it was absolutely brilliant. In fact, I actually love the art and animation in the opening and endings; I just dislike the songs.

I’ve watched two other very good animes recently, Elemental Gelade and Macademi Wasshoi (from the lightnovels titled Magician’s Academy). Macademi has a very interesting backstory and setting. The “balance between shinma” and the whole sci-fi thing really attracted me, along with the HUGE cast of characters. It’s also of a similar genre to Kyouran Kazoku Nikki — slice-of-life random humor magic supernatural wtf just happened omg that was awesome — but the contents are too harem-typical and non-nudity-barring. Another similarity is that the OP/ED music in both sucks. However, at least Kyouran Kazoku Nikki‘s OP has good animation. I think Macademi Wasshoi is an example of sometimes going too far overboard with randomness and “wtf” situations. However, I did enjoy it (or rather, it gave me an irresistable urge to check out the lightnovels with less nudity and awkwardness, and more action and detail and generally more of all the good parts of this anime and less of the bad parts).

Oh, I must take this opportunity to add that I still am not capable of getting past one page of a lightnovel successfully yet. I can however read mangas now. From being exposed to so much Japanese dialogue, I have no problem with vernacular, colloquial Japanese (like the text in talk bubbles in manga), but my ability level with Japanese prose approaches zero.

Elemental Gelade was also extremely enjoyable. I might even have given it an SSS if it weren’t for the dissatisfactory ending. (I guess I’m really picky about endings. In fact, I can’t think of a single anime with an ending I liked! Wow.) It takes me back to nostalgic memories of fantasy, with music by Yuki Kajiura, very reminiscent of the soundtrack from Tsubasa (also composed by her). The background music was absolutely brilliant, and the intro and outro songs were fantastic. The entire theme, pacing (which I kind of ruined watching at 4x), and tone of the anime attracts me to an unbelievable extend. I admit, the plot is rather standard-shounen, and the characters are also rather stock. However, I just inexplicably love this anime.

By the way, why can’t scriptwriters ever end animes right? Agh.


October 29th, 2010

The Organized Blog Post of Sunday, October 24/29th, 2010

Tagline: “Efficiency — a month of blogging in a single post!”


So Tim commented on this post from over a year ago, which sent me an email alert reminding me of the existence of my blog. From there I wandered into this post. Among all the other amazing posts from a year ago that stemmed from my illustrious genius (sarcasm).

I wish I could return to my prolific blogging habits from my sophomore year. It felt really good to bring out my thoughts, and at the end of the day, it gave me a feeling of having contributed to society — a feeling of general productivity, I suppose, which I can’t attain from games or anime or television.

As I return to this half-completed post, two days ago I got my computer infected with a virus (I knoww! ME, the total computer geek, with a virus?!), and life has generally been sucking. Well, that’s to be expected. Perspective, Ben, perspective. Your life rocks.

Anime Music

I have had no time for anime. And although this Fall 2010 season is a major exception, modern anime has been uninteresting for the most part. And of course the one interesting anime season would happen when I’m at the busiest point in my life. Tsk.

That was my short two-line spiel on anime. I won’t bother going into more detail (no time + no interest). However… anime music lately has been beyond awesome. Faylan’s last vision for last (if you remember, they did the remarkable OP for CANAAN a few seasons ago) is number one here. I was immediately obsessed with the TV-size version; however, upon hearing the full version it didn’t seem that great anymore. It is still a good song, nevertheless. My favorite part is when all the drums, guitars, etc all die out and leave just the piano and her singing. Maybe the animation that accompanied the song in Hyakka Ryouran was the reason for this.

Speaking of opening sequences, the opening of Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai / The World Only God Knows is the best this season. I usually hate english lyriced songs, but everything just fits together so perfectly in that intro sequence. I especially like the logo at the end, where the kanji “kami” (god) does that uhh weird thing (sry for dropping out of ap english o_O).

I also like irony by ClariS, from Ore no Imouto ga Konna Kawaii Wake ga Nai (the anime about Tim and Dorothy’s daily life). I can’t quite put my finger on what I like about the song. It’s cheerful, both in melody and in lyric, and somehow deep (even without trying to interpret the lyrics into native byte-code). I really love the name. It’s not very often that Japanese artists name their songs well (SERIOUSLY. UGH. one of my biggest gripes with asian music.) so it’s nice to see a short, sweet name for this just-as-sweet song. I feel like translating the lyrics for this song (but it’s probably already been done twice overby Words of Songs lol).

eufonius’s new song for Yosuga no Sora is nice, but it’s too similar to all of their previous works (Apocrypha, Mag Mell come to mind, along with the ef songs). They use the same instrumentation on all of their songs, and the same melodic phrases/chord progressions. The original conception was brilliant, but repeating the same formula over and over again wins them no points in my book.

New Fairy Tail songs are okay, but I’m saddened at the removal of Mikuni Shimokawa’s outro song. Sora no Otoshimono‘s opening isn’t as catchy as ring my bell, but I remember it was okay (can’t remember anything about the actual song).

I am very dissappointed in To Aru Majutsu no Index II ‘s music. I was looking forward to an outro song bu IKU more than I was looking forward to the actual anime. I’m saying that seriously. The OP by, whoever it’s by, was nothing special either. I guess I was impressed by the content of the actual anime, though. Since I read the novel, and know what will happen, I’m actually more excited after each cliffhanger/episode.

I know there are many brilliant animes this season, but I am already being crushed by what I have on my watchlist right now, so I will put most of this season off until last year. Yes, that includes Bakuman.




I’m thinking of moving the servers off of my home network. First of all, bandwidth and cpu/disk access from site visitors often hinders my normal computer usage. It’s annoying when suddenly the computer freezes up while I just had a good idea for my english paper, et cetera. Next, I would like to reduce the power consumption of my computer and increase its operating lifetime by not keeping it on overnight or while I am at school. Seriously, my computer is pretty new, and it already feels like it’s five years old. Things are breaking and crashing every other day. Finally, a dedicated server would provide faster access/ping times and high speed bandwidth, which would be nice to have in case we ever need to upload, say, large music files or video files (e.g. for songwriting or moviemaking).

I’m not quite sure how I’d pay for the server usage though. I would ideally want a package at less than ten dollars a year. I don’t need much bandwidth, and PHP and MySQL are pretty much the only server features I need. I wouldn’t even really need SSH access (although it would be nice). Any donation offers? :D

Other Music
so touhou

I can’t frick-ing (LOL Frick… sry inside joke) get enough of Touhou music. It started from a random post on an anime blog with a random link to a lame Touhou fan video (it was a parody stand-up comedy thing… very wtf weird). And then I heard the ending song at the end of the video, and it was all downhill from there~

One gripe is that not all Touhou music is equally good. In fact, most songs suck incredibly. But it’s very fun picking out the awesome ones and listening to them on repeat for five hours.

The Touhou characters and the setting of Gensokyo is also extremely compelling. I read one of the mangas, Silent Sinner in Blue in one night. Well, it was short. But I’m amazed at Touhou, and more amazed at Japan and its Touhou fans that have brought the game to such international fame.

I know this post was a bunch of meaningless crap. And I still posted it like four days late. Good thing all anime-containing posts are hidden from the front page o_O

Two-sentence Anime Post

September 18th, 2010

Ok so I’ve been watching my Summer ’10 animes and I’ve dropped most of them by now, only following Fairy Tail, Seitokai Yakuindomo (you didn’t hear me say that), Reborn!, and NuraMago (I call it “mango” for short) and yeah today I just finished Kurokami, it was totally fantastic and Korean and all but the ending was just so sad omg why did they have to omg ughh (that was just one sentence I swear).

I haven’t really been watching much else (there’s Asura Cryin’ I’ve been watching erratically) and I do have a pile of unfinished anime but screw that oh yeah and there’s random crap (I’m embaressed to even admit that I watch these) like Kore ga Watashi no Goshujin-sama and Kanokon and all of these SUCK so bad I hate it ugh what has become of the Japanese animation industry (there, two sentences).