Tuesday, January 29

Lucky Star - My thoughts

Some people knew just how much I disliked the anime.

The most widely reported consequence of this is in the Washinomiya Shrine of Washimiya, where the Hiiragi sisters work as priestess in the anime. Various Japanese news media reported that the shrine became a place teeming with photographers trying to replicate scenes from the anime, cosplayers wandering around, and prayer plaques ridden with anime drawings and strange prayers like "Konata is my wife". - Wikipedia entry.

Now I look at this and astounded of just how popular this anime despite the total lack of purpose of the story. The phenomenon even led to "official" Lucky Star visit by the staff and voice actors of the show which attended by 3500 fans. Official Visit, in Japanese.

Needless to say old timers who frequenting the shrine are dismayed by the turn of events and actually asking if this is good idea.

I know it is old news but I will reproduce all the news article before it disappeared into dustbin of history.

AROUND JAPAN/ WASHIMIYA, Saitama Prefecture: Fans flock to real-life home of anime hero


Washinomiyajinja shrine here is seeing a rise in popularity due to an unlikely ally--an animation called "Lucky Star."

The surge in visitors started after a magazine reported that the home of one of the main characters in the animation is based on the shrine.

Young anime fans are not usual visitors at shrines, but locals say the youngsters are well-mannered.

One afternoon in late August, wooden plaques covered with illustrations of the animation character were found scattered among the normal ones adorned with prayers for household safety and academic success.

Two local women in their 20s looked at the illustrations and described them as "disgusting." Despite this reaction, about 10 anime fans visited the shrine over a period of about two hours.

"Lucky Star" is the creation of Kagami Yoshimizu, an anime artist from Saitama Prefecture. It started out as a four-panel cartoon in a gaming magazine.

The animation is about geeky high school girls always joking around. It depicts the ordinary lives of high school kids in a comical manner. Many of the topics covered in the anime are light-hearted ones familiar to students.

Each unique female character has a large legion of fans.

"I can relate to the characters a lot because they lead lives similar to mine," says a 20-year-old student who spent more than two hours traveling to the shrine from central Tokyo. The student decided to go to the shrine to visit one of the characters' supposed homes as well as Kasukabe Kyoei High School, the model for the school that the characters attend.

According to a leaflet issued by Washinomiyajinja shrine, the shrine is the oldest in all of the Kanto region.

It's known for a traditional Shinto dance form that has been designated as a significant cultural asset. Around 100,000 worshippers visit the shrine during the New Year season alone. The shrine is located on a plot of land measuring roughly 33,000 square meters and is surrounded by trees.

Youngsters started showing up en masse in May. The number of young visitors continued to increase when the shrine was introduced in an animation magazine published in July as one of the many places that formed the basis for locations in "Lucky Star."

According to a 50-year-old priest at the shrine, visitors seen as anime fans come early in the morning as well as late at night to take pictures of the torii gates and surrounding areas.

"They all worship in silence. We don't have any problems concerning their manners or behavior," he says.

One student, who traveled all the way from Ehime Prefecture in Shikoku, said: "I wouldn't have learned about this shrine if it weren't for the cartoon. The history of the shrine itself is really interesting."(IHT/Asahi: September 18,2007)

Original print


This is what other commentator said about the appeal of Lucky Star.Ask John's answer.

Personally I think the anime is overhyped and it is nothing more than a vehicle which narcissistic mirror of Kyoto Animation and Haruhi masturbator. I felt that this anime is one massive viral marketing for upcoming season 2 of Haruhi.

One thing I have to say though, the OP is addictive. That I have to concede, guilty of all charges.

Sunday, January 27

Voices of anime stereotype, an academic study

Voices in Japanese Animation: A Phonetic Study of Vocal Stereotypes of Heroes and Villains in Japanese Culture

Mihoko Teshigawara
B.A., Nagoya University, Japan, 1996
M.A., Nagoya University, Japan, 1998


The voices of heroes and villains in Japanese animation (anime) are thought to represent the vocal stereotypes of good and bad characters in Japanese culture. In this study,phonetic properties of the voices of heroes and villains in anime were examined.

Previous studies on vocal stereotypes reveal that people infer similar personality traits from voices. A few studies have investigated the acoustic correlates of personality in speech, and a few have examined auditory correlates identified by phoneticians; however, no study has investigated the correspondence among auditory correlates, acoustic correlates, and laypersons’ perceptions. This research attempts to fill these gaps in our knowledge by investigating the phonetic correlates of vocal stereotypes.

The rest of article can be accessed here.

It is pretty interesting look into more anime stereotypes.

Claymore anime, my last thoughts

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...this is sort of conclusion to this earlier, more supportive post

Well, I will sum it up in few words. The anime episodes from 1 to 22 is Grade A anime but the rest ruins it a lot. I have no idea that ending was so botched up and totally destroyed the anime's point of existence that is Claire's revenge for Theresa of Faint Smile.

So the equation looks like this to me

Ep 1-22 FTW Anime
Ep 23-26 WTF Anime

There is good reason why Claire willing to shed her humanity to look for the killer.It is hard to imagine her vengeance can be undone by few words in the end, let Priscilla go scott free. Just did not make sense.

Pacifism is good but not to the point sacrificing reason to be. I don't know why Japanese liked pacifist ending so much. And I have to concur that Raki despite my defense of him, he totally ruined the anime with her cliched speech to Claire in the end.

But oh well the manga is going strong with return of Galatea.

She still kicking despite being blind. Now the story focused on her efforts to defend the city from another Awakened Being, Agartha.

Black Lagoon Manga

Ohhhh, me like big gun. Big pretty gun, ja.

Actually this is scene from Chapter 58 when Roberta the Maid is taking on CIA black op team in Roanupour. This hybrid weapon of M82A1 with Striker style grenade launcher.

The English translation for Vol 6 and 7 is available, go there and get it. This is turning into longest running arc in Black Lagoon.

Thursday, January 24

Japanese votes for top anime of 2007

1. sola
2. Lucky Star
3. Katei Kyoshi Hitman Reborn
4. Ookiku Furi Kabutte
5. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai
6. Gintama
7. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS
8. Nanatsuiro Drops
9. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
10. Hidamari Sketch
11. Darker than Black
12. Clannad
13. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
14. Potemayo
15. Hayate the Combat Butler
16. Nagasarete Airantou
17. D.Gray-man
18. Makin Tantei Nogami Neuro
19. Seto no Hanayome
20. Sketchbook ~Full Color's~
21. Gundam 00
22. ef - A Tale of Memories
23. Myself; Yourself
24. Minami-ke
25. Nodame Cantabile
26. Da Capo II
27. Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!
28. Moetan
29. You're Under Arrest Full Throttle
30. Happy Happy Clover
31. Bleach
32. Zero no Tsukaima: Futatsuki no Kishi
33. Shakugan no Shana Second
34. Hitohira
35. Mononoke
36. School Days
37. Naruto Shipuuden
38. Bamboo Blade
39. Sky Girls
40. Toward the Terra
41. Kimikiss
42. Kaiji
43. Engage Planet Kiss Dum
44. Yes! PreCure 5
45. Moyashimon
46. Rental Magica
47. Denno Coil
48. Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho
49. Midnight Club (?)
50. Princess Resurrection
51. Idolmaster: Xenoglossia
52. Genshiken 2
53. Zombie-Loan
54. Buzzer-Beater
55. Romeo & Juliet
56. Shigurui
57. Kodomo no Jikan
58. Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo
59. Tetsuko no Tabi
60. Viper GTS
61. Baccano!
62. Prism Ark
63. Shugo Chara
64. Bokurano
65. Code E
66. Saint October
67. Mokke
68. Kaze no Stigma
69. Night Wizard
70. Goshusho-sama Ninomiya-kun
71. Guardian of the Sacred Spirit
72. Moonlight Mile 2
73. Onegai My Melody Sukkiri
74. Claymore
75. Rocket Girls
76. Touka Gettan
77. Kyoshiro and the Eternal Sky
78. Emma - A Victorian Romance
79. Kamichama Karin
80. Ghost Hound
81. Reideen
82. Oh! Edo Rocket
83. Venus Versus Virus
84. Doujin Work
85. Heroic Age
86. Les Miserables Shoujo Cossette
87. Dragonaut
88. Blue Dragon
89. Overdrive
90. Koutetsu Sangokushi
91. Saint Beast
92. El Cazador de la Bruja
93. Shining Tears X Wind
94. Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica
95. Mushi Uta
96. Shijo Saikyo no Deshi Kenichi
97. Blue Drop
98. Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula
99. Skull Man
100. Kaze no Shoujo Emily


Frankly, more than half of this list is crap. I could not imagine how Seirei no Moribito can lose to juvenile anime like Potemayo or Sola.


This what I felt about the list.

Tuesday, January 22

Japanese Farmers gettng power suits.

New Robot Suit to Assist Japanese Farmers

The 'catch phrase' for Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology is "MORE SENSE" which is derived from "Mission Oriented Research and Education giving Synergy in Endeavors toward a Sustainable Earth." The university traces its own roots back to 1874 and Japan's Meiji Restoration period, and has been chartered as a full fledged university since 1949.

Capturing the spirit of that inspirational catch phrase, a university team lead by Professor Shigeki Toyama formally announced the development of a robot suit they hope will dramatically ease the burden on agricultural field workers as well as other manual labor intensive jobs.

Developed at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology graduate school, with support from the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, the new robot suit attempts to address the challenges faced by Japan's aging, and difficult to replace, rural farm population.

Unlike larger countries like the US, Canada, Russia, and China, Japan has almost no flat easy to mechanize farm land. The vast majority of Japanese agriculture takes place on small, irregularly sized plots tucked into rough volcanic terrain. This makes it almost impossible to introduce large scale corporate farming techniques.

Full Article

Saturday, January 19

Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei Zoku or Season 2

I enjoyed this kooky anime from last year and so far I see no problem with the sequel unlike my massive disappointment with Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino. Will post complete review on this once Season 2 is done.

Big Dog Robot Video

Interesting real world look at state of robotics.

Dragon Ball Movie Plans

Are You Serious?: Anime Goes Live Action?

What Hollywood jack ass decided that they were so desperate for ideas that they decided to start making anime into live action flicks? As if every terrible video game movie isn’t bad enough, now we need to start appealing to the anime crowd. Now there is nothing wrong with the anime crowd, but if I had a guess I would say they are into anime because it is ANIME (notice the animation part in the word?)! They enjoy the cartoon aspect of it! Now the whole reason they even decided to do most of this in cartoon form is because it would be a pain in the ass to shoot all this crap in a live action format.

Dragonball is a great example of this. I used to be a huge Dragonball Z fan when I was in Jr. High and I remember that they always liked to throw their characters through mountains in big battles, and the fact was it didn’t have to be believable because it was a friggin’ cartoon. But now you try to make it all live action and suddenly you have to make this crap real. It has to be believable.
Full Article

A very, very funny and angry article on upcoming plan for the live action adaption. I have to agree with most of his opinion on the plan.

Female stereotyping in Anime

Casting female stereotypes in the Pacific Rim

By Wilson Tai

It is only because we have a movement and discourse of Asian Americans, Asian-American studies, and Pacific Rim perspectives, that I can look at how Japanese Animation (better known as “anime” to fans around the world) influences American culture. In general, any popular media influences the people subjected to it. Japanese animation influences American film and television, and in turn, influences society and the people within. Specifically, it has come to my attention that Asian women, who are typically stereotyped as “passive geisha hooker dragon lady butterfly,” (Chin) are being represented in both Japanese and American media as: strong, sexy, and aggressive - the ultimate male fantasy: a lady in the dining room and a whore in the bedroom.

Full article

A normal and sort of summary on this topic.

A bit outdated, but interesting look at Japanese female anime fan choice

Top 9 Comic Magazines on 'Female Readers' Favorites' in Japan

Weekly Jump became the number one comic magazine on the "Japan's Female Readers' Favorites" list, according to Orikon Style, which conducted an anonymous questionnaire covering a total of 2,933 individuals that included readers and members of the Orikon Research Panel. The statistics show that the top 3 comic magazines are Weekly Jump, Monthly Cookie, and Margaret (additional volume). People pointed to its beautiful drawings and fascinating stories as the reason they selected Weekly Jump as their favorite. With an increase in its female readers, the era of Weekly Jump's dominance is far from an end.

Top 9 Comic Magazine of Female Readers' Favorites

Rank / Name of the Comic Magazine

1. Weekly Jump
2. Monthly Cookie
3. Margaret (additional volume)
4. Hana to Yume
5. Shoujyo Comic
6. Weekly Magazine
7. Lala
8. Kiss
9. Chorus / Desert

**Reference: Orikon Style March 29th, 2006

Wednesday, January 16

Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino Comments

New Gunslinger Girl season is here. Excited? At first, yes. Now? Bleh.

The art for Season 2 is closer to manga style rather than Madhouse version few years ago. Apparently the mangaka him/herself have some input for Season 2.

Henrietta and Giuseppe's new voice are totally did not match the character portrayed in the anime especially main female child assassin, Henrietta. She sounded too cute for the role and I was wondering what the casting director was smoking when using her to voice Henrietta. Also in first episode, she has quite Godlike shooting as she managed to land rounds on a leaning small target from speeding van while she is riding a weaving scooter in busy street.

Marco's VA is atrocious. Instead of dangerous middle aged military operator, now he sounded like a street punk with bad attitude. This is a good example on how a bad voice acting can totally ruin the experience to immerse in the story. Because of such dissonant voice and character, it is totally did not jive at all.

The piano piece in episode 2 is nice and quiet. Franco and Franca looks great, so is Pinocchio, the assassin. The VAs for them are passable but here, Pinocchio sounded like he should be, brooding and dangerous.

Angelica is still alive in this one just like the manga.

Here too, you will see the raison d'etre for Republican terror movement to topple current administration of Italy. It is clear that social divide between north and south Italy is crux for their anger and they perceived the government as corrupt and unwilling to address the issue of inequality between north and south Italy.

However the anime is sadly a major letdown. The feel is simply not here unlike excellent Season 1.

Tuesday, January 15

New Year 2008

Greetings to myself and everyone who still visits this old blog.

Year 2007 have come and pass us.

I will post something soon but have to get my shit sorted out first.

Meanwhile enjoy this pic.