Category Archives: Editorials

My version of the Perfect anime

It just so happens that the anime god said that since very few people actually leaves comments on this website(since my comments probably turn people off), I can say whatever I want! Hence, if I haven’t said this already, I’m gonna talk about my perfect anime. As if this topic hasn’t been done to death already.

Anyways, I would love to…

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Eva Unit 02: It’s ALIIIIIVE!

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Some time ago, Ray gave me a Eva 02 model kit from Japan for Christmas. I never got around to finishing it until now, and I’m pleased to present the final results here. Thanks a bunch, Ray! It was a lot of fun building it, giving me a lot of the same pleasure that I have when I build computers. It was also cool seeing how all these little, weird-looking, and seemingly unrelated parts come together and you discover–hey, this is Unit 2’s arm! This is the leg, the torso, the head!

Alas, I don’t have the skills to paint the remaining parts manually, nor the time, but it looks awesome anyway. Its final home is on the top of my monitor, standing guard for any evil alien Angels hovering nearby.

The full photo gallery is at Flickr over here. CIMG1721.JPG

Code GEass and the Freedom Pizza

So it began that one day out of my extreme boredom of not able to live under the shadow of the good ol’ red white ‘n’ blue, I decided that I had sudden craving of some America’s finest, most original cuisine – freedom food! Since the McDonald’s in Taiwan don’t serve real hamburgers (you know that those folks eat pigs EVERY meal) and freedome fries (didn’t these potatoe sticks come from Belgium?), and the pizza here is doused with mayo, sprinkled-plenty with corn and bak choy. I felt like some freedom food! Now, my favorite freedom food is of course, fries, but is just so happened that I craved the other freedom foods, and I wanted some pizza. Before I bothered order anything, I downloaded a certain anime from the Land of the Octopus pizza and fresh fish McNuggets. How the hell did I get there? Who cares? There on my screen, I saw an utopia where the Great Empire of America has conquered and perhaps Christianized the entire Terra (that’s my one true, dear wish, that American Empire can actually Christianize the whole planet and make my stay anywhere on this crappy planet super-freakin’ convenient)! I was jubilant!
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Shouri anime

Wait, what the f did I say? "Shouri" anime? What's a shouri? Did the Otaku Federation or more affectionately in some circles known as the NHK, and in the other circles/camps known as Genshiken coin this term? Or did Some overlords (Ahem The Third ahem) of this planet decided on that term? Did some secret Organization based in France (read: Le Soldat) planned this? Or is it just another marketing scheme by the horny and money grabby greedy directors at a studio by the name of Gainax (with the New Century Evangelion Scam)'? All right, all right, I'm over doing it…
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Since Mike did his list…

I’ll do mine, simply because I’m bored as hell and I don’t feel like translating all these shitey documents I got right now.
My kick ass show of 2006: Black Lagoon.
My comment: Duh. Yeah. Revy.
My suck ass show of 2006: Ergo Proxy
My comment: stupid flashback, stupid philosophy that doesn’t work, stupid silent story that bores me to death.
My laughed my ass off show of 2006: a tie between school rumble and Azumanga Daioh (I don’t give a shite that season one of school rumble and the whole Azumanga Daioh wasn’t made in 2006, or I could be wrong but again, I don’t give a shite)
My fanboy cheesy school girl show of 2006: High School girls/Girls High.
My comment: Nabatame Hitomi-chan, Shimizu Ai-chan, Noto Mamiko-chan, and lots of girlish things that a guy wants to know about. Quote the show’s self intro screen: “girlish comics for boys and girls.” And a little cheesy but fun comedy doesn’t hurt.
My MOE show of the year: gee, would that be BInchotan?
My comment: if you don’t know it, then you don’t know MOE. Don’t argue with me, dammit!
My feel good but if you didn’t finish it so what show of the year: AA! Megami Sama TV2
My comment: watch it if you love Kikuko-sanma, or if you think this sort of romantic (maybe)comedy isn’t outdated and is fun, oh and if you love the manga so much ( I have every volume and I didn’t bother finish this show).
My surprisingly good show unless you’ve already seen the manga and know that show of the year: D. Grayman.
My comment: better and not cheesy like Chrno Crusade. And if you like the show, keep watching!
My “why the f$#$^$#%$ didn’t you watch it” show is another tie: I’ll go with Gintama and Welcome to NHK. (Well, why the f^@*&#$% didn’t you watch more of it, Ray you moron?)
My comment: for Gintama one laughs his ass off one second and become shonenly touched the next. And yes, I just invented that word. For NHK…well I didn’t watch enough, so yes, I’m a moron.
My “freaky medical show of the year” goes to Ray the animation.
My comment:yeah, good plot but freaky cases.
My “gee, that’s a cheesy way to play a pun on a song and I didn’t even watch this anime!” is: sin in the rain.
My comment: I’m sinning in the rain, I’m SINNING in the rain! $#%$^#$^and I’m happy again!
My favorite yuri(girl love girl) show with shojo-ai flooding throughout the show:strawberry panic.
My comment, Shimizu Ai-chan and Nakahara Mai-chan actually do kiss in the first half ending video! It’s that they just didn’t show it in the show!!! MOE!!! Oh, and I love Nabatame Hitomi-Nakahara Mai pairing…I mean Shizuma and Nagisa pairing.
My “um, I just lost interest because it just got boring” show is Witchblade.
My comment: it just got bland on me.

Finally, my “wow!” show of the year: HARUHI!
with my most MOE seiyuu of the year: Hirano Aya-chan! Her real life voice and looks are just so freakin’ cute that I’d scream MOE all day if she were to stand in of me!

NOTE: the above comment doesn’t represent this station’s opinion. He’s just nuts and probably drunk and trying too hard to be funny…oh, you actually read this far? Otsukaresanma desu=you must be tired!

Michael Huang’s Year-End Roundup

2006 was the year I joined an anime club and got caught up with newer shows again, kicking off what is for me the Second Age of Anime Indulgence (the first was my first years of fandom in college). I’ve never downloaded and watched and been involved in the anime scene as much as I did this past year. With that in mind, here’s the shows that I discovered this year and thoroughly enjoyed. Rather than pick a single favorite or rank them by number, I’ve broken them down into categories.

Note: this list doesn’t even pretend to be comprehensive, and not every show is technically from 2006. These are just shows I saw in 2006. I obviously haven’t watched a great deal, and I’m pretty picky in what I choose to sample. Any complaints/suggestions about what I missed are welcome as it gives me a whole list of more things I can watch. :)

With that–here we go!
Continue reading Michael Huang’s Year-End Roundup

Dubbing…Yeah.

Gee, there’s dubbing, and there’s hell. For me that is. Only the American Duo Maxwell did a great job, because the character was supposed to be American to begin with! Sheesh, other than that, dubs are atrocious.
You don’t think so? Well, which American voice overs for Japanese animes (for ghibli works don’t count – Disney gets these big time actors for that) took at least 4 years of voice training for voice over? Name one, tell a name to a foolish and knowledgeless person like me (who also can’t spell, but hey, I’m Asian!) And listening to something that just isn’t authentic makes me wanna puke my guts out.
I guess it’s true that these American voice over (I wonder what the voice overs in other countries sound like) tried hard. But they just sound so flat and no feelings. There’s a reason that the Japanese anime characters come alive – the seiyuus made them sound alive. If the seiyuus were dead, and novices (unfortunately, they use them too many times these days) are all of the sudden used, we may get some really enthusiastic people (think that lock out season for football – oh wait) voicing hard. But I’d shoot myself in the head before finishing listening. Art is attached to the culture, and blasting it with different voice is just atrocious. I hate Robotech and love Macross. So flame me, shoot me all you want. I welcome it.
Oddly enough, I’m all for the Americanization of the entire world. That would make my life easier everywhere. So sue me.

The Disturbingness of Haruhi Suzumiya…English Auditions

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On the official American Haruhi Suzumiya website, there is a hidden link where you can actually vote on four different English renditions of Mikuru. (The original Japanese audio is included for comparison.) The scene being played, of course, is one of the many “costume assault/rape” scenes where Haruhi forces Mikuru into various otaku fetish getups. The scenes, of course, are played for laughs in the show, and this is clear in the original Japanese audio through the music more than anything else.

It apparently hid it well enough that it only hit me now, as I listened to these musicless auditions in a language I understand, just how…actually disturbing the words and the scene actually can be. It’s not called “costume rape” for nothing, it seems. Take away the music and the comedic patina and that’s what the audition sounds like, the prelude to an assault, as filtered through porn. It was actually painful to listen to, which is both a compliment to the voice actresses and a question to raise at the writers of the show and what kind of subtext was going through their heads. (And it’s not just because I have a dirty mind! :) I really do think, stripped of its comedy context, a lot of people would hear the same thing.)

Come to think of it, Kyon in one particularly nasty harassment, wonders out loud “this is supposed to be a comedy?” while acknowledging how turned on he is at the same time. I suppose this is their way of tipping their hat at this dilemma, though without really resolving it (or perhaps coming down on the comedy side, what with lines like “If I become ruined for marriage, will you still take me?”, which is simultaneously appalling and hilarious.) Yet more evidence that however charming a character in an anime, Haruhi may not be the greatest person to have around in real life–she behaves, for one thing, an awful lot like real cult leaders do, dragging poor hapless saps into her schemes for causes only understood to her. :)

The Phenomenon of Haruhi Suzumiya

It’s strange how badly companies want to emulate, through viral marketing, the natural process that is “word of mouth.” What makes “word of mouth” marketing work is precisely its spontanaeity and its lack of connection to those who might do such a thing for the money. Anything less is, well, marketing. (Look what happened to Lonelygurl13 or whatever her name was, when she was revealed to be a professional actress.) I would give this particular effort by Kadokawa/Bandai an above average grade though–they succeeded, at any rate, in setting the anime blog world atwitter prior to the initial announcement with genuine speculation. But surely, no matter how clever and winsome…a certain kind of spell is broken the moment the words (C)2006 Bandai appear.

I do have a question: who are the Japanese-speaking actresses in the promo video? They’re definitely not the seiyuus from the anime. Are they simply the actresses who will act those roles for the live action promo videos? I know none of these people are going to be the dub actresses….

As for Haruhi itself: it’ll probably win my originality award for 2006 along with Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni, and I’m really surprised no one has seen the similarities between Haruhi and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. That was the first thing that came to my mind in the way it mixed sci-fi, comedy, absurdism, and more than a dash of philosophy by the end. Mmmm….philosophy. Red meat for theology majors like me.

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Is Haruhi Suzumiya acknowledging the existence of a different god by wishing you a Merry Christmas?