International Saimoe 2009 – Round 5

So, like all otaku, I did my duty.  I climbed Mount Kunlun to pay homage to Haruhi and vote in the International Saimoe League 2009 Aquamarine Period — Round 5 elections. I am a blogger of Anime Diet, moritheil, making an obvious reference.

International Saimoe League 2009: Draw upon the power of your moe to breathe in space!

While this isn’t the original Saimoe we all love to gripe about, ISML is vastly simplified.  This directly benefits the participants in that it does not feel like working a second job.  The staff have also gone to extra lengths to be inclusive of international crowds and their submissions – some might argue too inclusive.  See this for Touhou-related drama.

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I Knew I Was Right to Compare Toradora and Karekano

As evidenced in this wonderful (though still incomplete) video:

That it really, really fits proves my point. Though I still think Kare Kano is ultimately the more insightful show.

This is making me want to go back and watch Kare Kano again. Or imagine what Toradora! would have been like in the hands of Hideaki Anno…one can only dream.

(HT: bluemist.)

Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai 01 – Decompressed review

This work relies on stereotypes, but it uses them with a deft touch.  The villains and heroes are easily identifiable as such, magic is obvious, and there is an alternate dimension locked in desperate struggle, in stark opposition to the daily lives of the teenaged protagonists.

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Review: Toradora! (85%)

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Animation: 85%
Acting: 90%
Music/Sound: 80%
Story: 88%
Overall: 85%
See explanation of scores.

Toradora is the standard-setter anime about high school shounen romance. It does for high school love what Kare Kano does for adolescence in general and Honey and Clover did for post-adolescence–and that well-defined scope is both its strength and its ultimate limitation.

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Anime Diet Radio Episode 33 – Tuneless

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EDIT: Counters fixed.

This late episode, recorded a while back, may be tuneless–as might be expected when seiyuus since punk rock songs–but it is a lot LOUDER thanks to the Levelator software! We’re louder than bombs, as another band might say. And we’re going to bombard you with news about Taiga on city posters, teachers forcing girls to be maids, and Dutch wives in the trash bin.

But the center piece–or the horror show, as it were–is our Roundtable about the Puncolle Seiyuu Punk Rock Collection of songs, in which seiyuu desecrate cover various classic punk and alternative tunes. The results, in which we present a good number of clips, are either horrifying or horrifically funny.

Anyways, enjoy this latest outing from Anime Diet Radio. Leave your comments below; we will do our best to answer them on the air!

PS: sorry we didn’t get your comment in time, asdf–but know that the massively improved clarity of our voices is due to your suggestions and links. Seriously–thanks so much!

Show Order

  • –(00:00–02:48) Intro
  • –(02:48–08:50) News 1: Taiga Inspects Your Home
  • –(08:50–14:13) News 2: Teacher Forces Girl to be a Maid
  • –(14:13–22:09) News 3: Man Throws Out Dutch Wife in the Trash
  • –(22:09–33:26) Mailbag
  • –(33:26–49:58) Roundtable: Seiyuus Go Punk
  • –(49:58–50:48) Conclusion
  • –(50:48–end) Back Bumper

Show Notes

O Pocky! My Pocky!

O Pocky! My Pocky! our shopping trip is done;
The pack has weather’d every press, the space we sought is won;
The chair is near, the squeals I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the slender line, the package red and daring:
But O mouth! mouth! mouth!
O the tell-tale drops of phlegm,
Where on the bench my pocky lies,
Fallen prey to them.

O Pocky! My Pocky! Rise up and hear the crunch!
Rise up! For you the flag is flung; for you the panties bunch!
For you cold plates and milk in cups; for you the mouths a-gaping;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their joweled cheeks a-draping;
Here pocky! Dear snack!
This arm beneath your stem;
It is some dream that from the pack
You’ve fallen prey to them.

My Pocky does not answer, its base is pale and still;
My chocolate does not feel my arm, it has no pulse nor will;
The groceries are safe and sound, their voyage closed and done;
From fearful tack, the promised snack, comes in with Pocky won;
Exult, O fans, and ring, O cells!
But I, with morunful hymn,
Walk the ground my Pocky lies,
Fallen prey to them.

Perhaps if pocky had been around in his time, Mr. Whitman would understand.

With apologies to Walt Whitman, who originally composed O Captain! My Captain! about the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Oshii with a penny-pinching budget for a film – Good?

From ANN

Sky Crawlers’ Oshii PLans 1 Anime, 2 Live-Action Films

…the writer and director known for the…revealed his upcoming film plans at a Friday event to mark the DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases of…in Tokyo…one of the projects will be aimed at film connoisseurs and will have a penny-pinching budget…

Ray’s take: Wow, Mr. Pretentious with a shoestring budget, very nice. I guess we can expect endless monologues about the meaning being human, eh? You know, I could do that while eating pizza and drinking beer, and hey, if I remember to put a flower into a beer bottle at the end of the film and remember to add some monologue, I may win an indie film award! I guess I want to see the one with epic eroticism and violence. I just hope I’ll stay in my seats after I finish jerking off!

P.S. To our international readers, I’m very sorry for the very American references.

Alien Nine: Utter Alienation

To steal a line from Spike Spiegel, there are three things I hate: crying kids, incompetence, and strange, unidentifiable fluids. So tell me, why has Alien Nine gathered them all in one place?

Don't kill him! We need him to pay the dry cleaner's bill!

The show begins well. The character designs are cute. The utter mismatch between the main character and the job she is selected for is comical. It’s also nice to see a refreshing change from the usual paradigm of “magical girl revels in it;” the reasons behind Yuri’s ambivalence are very clear and plausible. She’s a middle school student and simply not cut out for any sort of conflict, even when equipped with a deus ex machina.

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Aversion and hikikomori

Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei makes the argument that the hikikomori complex is an elaborate form of aversion. In fact, all the people portrayed in the show are slightly dysfunctional and avoid facing reality in certain ways, and it is this backdrop which forms an excellent basis for equating the two. The title character continually reacts to life by fantasizing about suicide, relentlessly genki girl Kakufa Fuura reacts to everything negative by reimagining it as something bizarrely and improbably “positive,” the counselor hates helping people and does not willingly give of herself despite her job as school counselor, and so on.

The show deals directly with hikikomori in episode two, wherein they visit the house of Komori Kiri, the shut-in. Like all names in Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, this is a play on words: Hikikomori is the Japanese term used to designate people who shut themselves in their rooms and avoid social contact. True to form, Komori is shown in her room watching anime, with tankobon and DVDs piled up all around her.

If you think about it, hikikomori are kind of like old men:

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