究極の姉萌え!ユミナお姉ちゃん!

All roads lead to Moé.(全ての道は萌えに通ず。)

よろしくね!

あぁぁ、ユミナお姉ちゃん!あぁ、なんたる素晴らしさ!なんて清楚で美しく、おしとやかで、慎ましく、優しく、おくゆかしく、柔和で、簡素で、清貧で、ことば優しく、笑顔で、慈愛に満ちあふれている聖女様なんでしょう!まさに和顔愛語を体現してる聖女さま〜!そんな聖道の聖女様がバザールにおいて邪道な暴走族の「よろしく」Tシャツをピックアップしてるのです。なんというセンス!そんなユーモアたっぷりのユミナたん(笑)!今では死語となった日本語表記、その表音文字たる漢字は「イデア文字」となってるそうです。それがユミナお姉ちゃんの宗教の神聖文字なのでしょう。ちょうど、カトリックがラテン語を使い、仏教徒がサンスクリット語を使うように。それで、「夜露死苦(よろしく)」だなんて、よくそんなイデア文字が残ったものです。神聖文字なのに。

Continue reading 究極の姉萌え!ユミナお姉ちゃん!

Great Artists Steal

Good artists copy; great artists steal.

– Attributed to Pablo Picasso

What is the difference between copying something and stealing it?  To copy is to mimic, to ape, at all steps being cognizant of the fact that the thing you are copying is not your own.  To steal is to take something and make it your own.  Therein lies the fundamental difference in attitude between the technically competent and the great: an artist who merely copies without making a work his own has not imparted his own style and has not truly produced something worthy of being called art.  He is a failure as an artist.  A great artist, no matter how much he may superficially use the styles of others, leaves his own mark on things.

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The Suits & Values Of Summer Wars

When thinking family as a unit comprised of varying components, functioning as best they can with their respective abilities and personality quirks, it isn’t hard to think of how cool it would be if this were so on a regular basis. Or at least, when the world needs it most. Which is all the more heartening to see a film that not only gives us the ultimate expression of this in anime form, but succinctly embraces its identity as singular 21st century entertainment. The many levels of enjoyment to be had from Mamoru Hosoda’s follow-up to Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo are wide and plenty, making it not only great reminder of anime’s many wondrous attractions, but also a grand example of family-geared amusement sans pandering, and packed with savvy.

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The Anime Diet State of the Union Address

The Anime Diet State of the Union Address

– By Ray Hu, representing all for this moment in time.

February 26, 2010

My fellow Otakus:

As Anime Diet enters its third year, I’m reminded of the tracks that we have carved in the history of anime fandom. As fellow anime lovers, or otakus, if you so dare, we have been fighting. Yes, fighting. Just as you have struggled through the last decade engaged in mortal combat with changes, finance issues, work, school, relationships, and any other seemingly trivial but strong foes. You have waged war with the enemies with all your heart, your might and your strength, and at the end of the grueling match, you have come out on top, and that’s why you’re reading and hearing this. I congratulate you for your bravery and resourcefulness in managing social upheavals as well as other concerns that have been of the utmost importance in your lives. As for us,

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Rozen Maiden, Vol. 1–Some Short Observations in Bullet Point Form (Again)

Having seen the anime series a good number of years ago (before this website began), and thus knowing at least the eventual outcome of the first season, this is a tough volume to review in the usual way. For the most part, it’s very similar to the first few episodes of the series, so here are some thoughts about what stood out for me on experiencing the story for the second time.

  • The hikikomori allegory aspects stood out much more strongly this time around: the hub world with the many possible entrances, the idea of talking to dolls as a form of therapy even–see Lars and the Real Girl for a much more positive take on the idea in American cinema, of all places. Reading this postWelcome to the NHK! is instructive; the situation is somewhat reminiscent for one of the sister with the MMORPG-addict brother though Nori is much more domestic, much more motherly. (And less interesting, alas.)
  • That contrast between Jun and Nori makes Jun that much more unsympathetic in this instance too. For some reason I don’t remember being as irritated with him when I saw the anime than when I read this manga. He really is a bit of a jerk, though of course the point of the series is watching him come out of his shell.
  • The line work is lavish and attractive. I was not all that taken by the dolls in the anime for some reason, and I found many of the voice actresses annoying. There are some wide panels in the manga that show off the fine detail of the hair and the dresses and I can recognize the artistry in them now. Kudos to Peach Pit.
  • It’s interesting we are barely told anything about the Alice Game so far. Most of the time spent in the in-between world was devoted, Evangelion-style, to the internal and real-life world of Jun and what he’s missing. As I mentioned before the hikikomori aspects are clearer to me now and so the story seems more character-driven as a result.
  • Why did I also feel that the conversation Shinku and Nori have about the right temperature for tea leaves was a thinly veiled allegory about Jun? It reminded me very much of the conversation about pinot noir grapes in the movie Sideways, in which different kinds of grapes = different kinds of people.

Will I continue the manga? I’d actually be curious in knowing a little bit about how it differs from the anime from all of you who’ve read it, so feel free to give some general hints in that direction. (No outright spoilers, please.)

Tsundere Banana – that Guy Had a Friggin’ Private Small Plane!

OK, the latest Tsundere Banana is out. I think I won’t post too many show notes because people are smart and they can look it up. I will have links like below.

I will respond to each comment individually. I know that’s not the normal but each one of you offers a unique response (trust me, you do) and I’d like to respond to each person personally.

List of topics:

Losers of the week:

Guy ram IRS Building with his PRIVATE JET PLANE (not a hero, trust me)

Bandai Channel (prejudiced thoughts behind that bunch – get with the times)

Winners of the week:

You, of course! (Forever)

Claymore Revolution (still going)

Sora no Woto (Edge of my seat)

Durarara! (Outstanding)

Follow me below:

My twitter

warning: no holds barred.

Welcome to the NHK! Vols. 5 & 6–Lying To Yourself

The story in the Welcome to the NHK! manga has now fully departed from that of the anime, and the bleakness is almost stifling. Still, it really gets some parts of human nature right: the infinite capacity for self-deception and the power of indiscipline.

Note: Over a year ago, I reviewed volume 1, volumes 2 and 3, and volume 4 of the NHK manga. Even longer ago, I reviewed the light novel where it all began. This is a long-delayed follow-up to all this.

Continue reading Welcome to the NHK! Vols. 5 & 6–Lying To Yourself

萌我一如(Moe-atma-aikya)

萌我一如(Moe-atma-aikya)

Mike and Ray from AnimeDiet strongly recommended Welcome to NHK, so I watched it. And this was so interesting that I watched 24 episodes at once. And this chanson is wonderful! How wonderful the theme song of Welcome To NHK is! It’s definitely divine song.  Anime-song is the most elegant art. It’s surprising that chanson becomes an anime-song. Anime is a composite culture, yes, just like Picasso swallowed African art into his art and made into cubism. Ahh, France, I want to go, I want to live there! France is the origin of café, salon, etc, which was the starting point of revolution! And the origin of French maids. And if there is a waitress with French maid costume on, then it will be Maid-café.

And this chanson’s best part is this into chorus. Singer’s voice, ah, God. Mysterious, ah, a girl’s voice is too cute. Very cute and fashionable. Girl’s voice is the best. Idol seiyuu’s voice is the best. There is no more wonderful than this. Having moe on voice is the best part of seiyuu-moe. What a wonderful harmony, melody, chord progression, and good tempo and a sense of rhythm, this sweet, whispering voice’s chorus, gentle, a little fashionable, ah, how can I express… Yes, very feminine, this feminine voice is embracing me with ecstasy! Feminine quality is the divine backbone! The best guna! This is the eternal feminine that Dr. Faust pursued. Yes, pursuit of it is moe.

Moe is exactly Brahma-atma-aikyam. Brahma is India’s principle of universe. The word “brahma” comes from the verb “bh” and it means “expand, grow.” Yes, it means “sprout, grow out, show omen,” and the Japanese verb, “moe-ru.” And the Greek word “nymph” originally meant “expand, sprout,” and it also meant “rosebud.” “Sprout” in Japanese is “moe-ru”, so yes, nymph is a moekko. That is pretty obvious in the ED of Kimi Ni Todoke. Kuronuma Sawako, voiced by divine seiyuu Noto Mamiko, is a moekko. And, Brahman is moe, Yes, rosebud is Brahman. According to Vaishnavism, Brahman grew out of a lotus flower from Vishnu’s naval. That proves that Brahman is moe. In short, personalized, deified moe, is Brahman, and that is the universe principle. Brahman is moe. Arche (principle of all). St. John called the Word “arche.” Tares said it was water. Pythagoras said it was number. And Gautama Siddhartha said it was dependent origination. And anime-otaku says it is moe! To the ancient Indians, Brahman is the arche, the same thing with anime-otaku moe is the arche to them. It’s the same. Brahma-atama-aikyam is moe-brahma-aikyam. And moe-atama-aikyam.

By the way, voice. By listening to idol-seikyuu’s voice we reach moe, and we attain the state of moe-atma-aikyam. Just by listening to voice. That is shravaka (voice hearer).  We listen to the voice of jina and Buddha. Gautama Siddhartha said,

Listen to the voice coming out from my mouth, and learn the tranquility. (Sutta Nipata 1062)

Yes, learning tranquility, and tranquility is moe-atma-aikyam. So, Buddha is a moekko character, or seiyuu that puts spirit in the characters. Yes, in anime, moe and voice are one. By that, we attain tranquility, so moekko is tranquility-kei, that is iyashi-kei. And atman from brahma-atma-aikyam is translated to “soul” but the original meaning was “breath.” Puts breath and then animates, just like Adam started animating when God put his breath into him, anime characters get animated by voice. And, voice is made of breath, so voice and breath are one too. That is to say, unity between moe-character (Brahman) and breath (atman) causes moe. That is the state of brahma-atma-aikya. And by listen to the voice of moe characters, we as atman get united with moe characters. In Buddhism, someone got enlightenment by just listening to Buddha’s voice. That means Buddha is Brahman, and Brahman is moe character.

Is Buddha the same with Brahman? Tenjo-tenge-yuiga-dokuson painting, Gautama was born from the lotus. Yes, it’s the same with Brahman born from the lotus flower. Yes, sprout from the lotus. Moe-deru from the lotus. So, Brahma-buddha-aikyam. So, anime otaku seiyuu fans are the moe people. And I reach moe by listeing to this chanson. Ahh, how cute. I imagine about Nakahara Misaki-chan (even hugging her dakimakura), reaching the state of this chanson, and immerse myself into moe. If there is a girl over this fish eye lens! Over this door! Isn’t there any girl like Misaki-chan in this real world? In this 3-D world? Please console me! How wonderful if I can have some tea with her at manga-café she’s working! And she says to me, “okaerinasai, goshujin-sama (welcome back, master)!” Gyahahahahaha!

This cruel world, 90% is consisted of suffering, brutal survival of fittest market fundamentalist world, the ideology that sees “market” is the arche, dominates this world. From the time of Jesus of Nazareth, market fundamentalism already ruled Jerusalem. That’s why Jesus acted and kicked out market from the temple. The temple controlled by market fundamentalism was rejecting the social weak. The temple was supposed to be a place to help them out. Yet, we otaku who live in modern society are marginalized by market fundamentalism with social darwinism.  However, moe will be saving the wretched people like us. And moe anime has French influence. Yet, how does France think about anime? Segolene Royale, who appeared as the fighter for the social disadvantaged, once French presidential candidate of the Socialist Party, is attacking anime. Miyazaki Hayao is also negative on moe anime. We otakus are rejected by socialists. Socialism betrayed us. The offspring of Paris Commune has abandoned us. Well, socialism is just relocating the market from God’s hand to human hand. It’s not denying the market. Therefore, it’s rather strange to have expectation from it. Royale surely disappointed us. So, we only have moe.

What we need is a kind girl like Misaki-tan. Misaki-tan is Venus. When you hear “Misaki,” you imagine “Muroto Misaki,” where Kukai absorbed the morning star (venus) into his body. Misaki (cape) is associated with religious experience. Cape is an often-used symbolism in Welcome To NHK. So, becoming one with Misaki-tan is moe-atma-aikya. And chanson fits Misaki-tan very well. Yes, Misaki-tan and chanson become one! Martin Luther said, “Wein, weib, gesang (wine, women, and song)” but I don’t drink, well I’m alcohol intolerant, so Protestantism can’t save me. So, I say, “Anime, Lolita, chanson”! Or “anime, maid, chanson.” Anyway, moekko!

Ahh, chanson, how feminine, ah, how French…Japanese anime culture has been influenced by French culture a lot. Just like Van Gogh was into Japonisme in France. Yes, the most advanced artists were into ukiyo-e. And Louis Vuitton designs were created based on Japanese kamon. And, then, now France is influencing the modern Japan’s most advanced art, anime. France’s maid costume, and café, and French Lolita, yes, the recurrent themes in anime are imported from France.

Ah, I want to go to France. I’m tired of America. I thought the advent of Obama would change the world, but the cruel real world America will never change. Obama is not a 2-D person after all. This article criticizes that severely. Ah, loathe and leave American land. Happily pursue French land. The word “France” in Japanese is written “Buddha” in kanji. Buddha’s child is French girl. From country of rice to country of Buddha. Yes, country of Brahman. 2-D world is French like. Ah, southern France’s idyllic scene, and a girl from that region is my true moetical girl. Like Nora-chan from Spice And Wolf. Ah, Pastor. “Pastor” meant “shepherd” in old French. Shepherd bishojo is definitely idyllic, and Nora-chan looking after sheep in an idyllic scene is therapeutic to me. Idylllic bishojo is my therapy. Ah, I want to be sheep of Nora-chan. And I want her to take care of me! She seems very kind. Ahh, if I have moe on Nora-chan, I can sleep well at night. By counting “One sheep, two sheep,” I will imagine about Nora-chan, on laps of Nora-chan. And, I can sleep deeply. Deep sleep is the very state that moe and self would be one, moe-atma-aikyam, by hugging dakimakura of Nora-chan. That is moe!

Moreover, France is the original place of French Lolita, yes, Lolita’s homeland. Lolita, ahhh, Nabokov’s Lolita’s archetype is Annabel, a teenage girl from Cannes, famous for Cannes Film Festival, yes, a Cannes girl is the archetype. And that girl was the first love of Professor Humbert when he was a teenager, yet she died. Yes, that is very much like Beatrice from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Dante’s first love, Beatrice. Annabel’s archetype. And Professor Humbert moved to America after the war, and he discovered Lolita when he got a teaching job as a French literature professor in North Carolina. Yes, Lolita overlapped Annabel. And it is a bishojo version of Virgin Mary cult. Since Lolita was originally Mother Mary. Lolita’s real name is Dolores Haze. And Dolores is from Maria De Los Dolores (Mary of Sorrows). Yes, it’s one of the titles of the mother of Jesus of Nazareth. And Dolores means sorrow, and Via Dolorosa is the street Jesus walked carrying the cross. Dolores from Dolorosa. Jesus’ pain is Mary’s pain. In Spanish, pain is “dolor” and its plural from is Dolores. Therefore, it’s Mary of sorrows, which is Dolores, and Dolores’ pet name is Lora, and its diminutive form is Lolita! Yes, Mary worship came out in a different form during the 20s. And we can trace its origin to Southern France. Yes, moe’s clue is in France.

A girl of Orleans, Jeanne Of Arc is like that. Teenage fighter bishojo’s original. Jeanne was worshiped by Napoleon Bonaparte’s revolutionary government. Yes, exactly a symbol of revolution. And a symbol of France’s victory, Goddess of victory! In the period Jeanne lived Christianity was still new in France, so ancient goddess worship might still have remained. The people suffered from wars might have accepted what Miko-shaman-like girl said. That kind of practice and custom was still going on. In fact, Jeanne rose to action when she heard the voice. Yes, so she was also shravaka (voice-hearer)! And king, soldiers, and folks stood up by hearing Jeanne’s voice. Jeanne might have been a shaman. They become one with God which was the universal principle. Yes, French people become Jina (victor) by becoming shravaka. They heard voice and became jina, and the French people who heard Jeanne’s voice became jina also!

We otakus are looked down upon as losers. “Social loser, dreg of human” etc. Yet, we can be a winner by moe! By listening to the voice of moekko who is also Brahman and Buddha and becoming one with moekko, we can become a victor by achieving moe-atma-aikya. Because we are shravaka! And we ourselves become brahma and Buddha, becoming one with the arche, and reach tranquility! Yes, the moment we wake up as anime-taoku, we become shravaka, and by that we become arhat, and become the real victor. Therefore, moe is a path to victory!

That’s why  I want to go to France as an opportunity. Loath and leave American land, happily puruse French land. Happily pursue Sanskrit land. Loathe and leave 3-D, happily pursue 2-D. Happily pursue moe land. In short, going to France is a path to victory.!

 

 

Jokes, Caprices, and Coincidences (Durarara! Thus Far..)

They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!

-Nellie Bly

Finally strapped myself in, and took a nice deep dive into the hellish wonders of Durarara! And for this reviewer, it can be shared with no uncertain issue, that it is easily one of the most consistently interesting series this year. As much as I’d love to spend the whole of this post to merely puncture myself to incessantly gush at any who’ll gawk about my positive feelings about the series, it only felt right to at first give a smal glimpse into what it is precisely that keeps me transfixed, drawing me further into its surreal comic nightmare.

Continue reading Jokes, Caprices, and Coincidences (Durarara! Thus Far..)

Some Possibly Reckless Generalizations Based On Three Episodes of “Maburaho”

My roommate, having exhausted some of the current shows this season, was looking for some other anime to watch. Some time ago, when we were trawling through the anime section of Best Buy, I saw Maburaho and suggested that he might like it. Well, last night, we decided to finally check out the first three episodes. Here are some observations.

  • This feels more like Love Hina as a harem show than, say, a more “modern” example like Baka Test.
  • Why are “main girls” so often pink-haired? It’s true here, and in Zero no Tsukaima, Baka Test, Rosario + Vampire…the list goes on.
  • I was still relatively new to anime in 2003, which is when this show was released. I remember that it was considered extremely racy for its time. Now, in the Kanokon-Queens Blade-Seikon no Quasar age it looks rather tame.
  • The only little sister-like character we encountered so far (episode 3) was not really fetishized. The imouto loli lovin’ hadn’t quite begun yet at all.
  • There was a startling amount of plot accomplished in the first episode, more than I expected. Not that it’s a good plot, mind you–it’s as full of holes as any show of its ilk–but until the mindless haremette chasing begins in the second half it felt kinda, well, meaty. In both senses of the word.
  • The pacing seemed a bit slower, almost limp by today’s standards. Or was it unusually slow for its time too?
  • It’s a testament to how things change so fast these days that a show that is merely seven years old already feels like it comes from another time: before Haruhi, before the wholesale moe takeover, etc. Though of course the formula is pretty well in place.

We watched some Rosario + Vampire after that, and in the space of five years, the animation quality, the action styles, and even the introduction of snarky self-referential humor: all were in place for a “current” anime.

Now I’m told that this show becomes a lot more than just a harem comedy later on. I’m not sure I’m interested enough to check it out further, but the experience was instructive. Or, I could be generalizing irresponsibly based on a tiny sample size. What do you think?