Monday, December 27

Magical Girl Madoka Magica / 魔法少女まどか★マギカ

What? I watch magical girl? Gasp! Yes for one good reason. Look at the staff list below:

Director: Akiyuki Shinbo
Series Composition: Gen Urobuchi
Character Draft: Ume Aoki
Character Design: Kishida Takahiro
Music: Kajiura Yuki
Animation Production: SHAFT

One can marvel at the amount of firepower assembled here for this series. No wonder a lot of fans went berserk in anticipation. I am intrigued by the fact Shinbo was given a carte blanche/ blank cheque to direct a fresh anime instead of adaptation work. Reportedly he expressed desire to direct a magical girl anime genre while he is still working on Bakemonogatari.

Slated for air on 6 January 2011. I wonder which one will be better; this or Fractale? Only time will tell. This is also first SHAFT original anime since 2001. If anyone doubts Shinbo doing magical girl, just check Nanoha S1. Yes, that is done by him.

Yuki Kaijura joined the project due to "amusing script".

Home Site

My final impressions here.

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Fractale / フラクタル

Yutaka Yamamoto, director of Kannagi, Black Rock Shooter and The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi Season 1 is coming up with new anime which soon to be aired on 14th January 2011. The series was called Fractale. I have no idea what is the story about so I will quote this synopsis here:

"In the future, the world is managed by a network called the Fractale System. A boy named Crane is living an aimless life with his parents, who are actually computer-generated "Doppels". One day, he runs into a pretty girl named Furyune, who is being pursued by someone. When he rescues her and helps to keep her hidden from her pursuers, he is pulled into her troubles as well. After meeting her, his life will never be the same."

Yamamoto staked a lot on this series, wrote that he will retire if Fractale fails. Pretty bold. Some people called him a drama queen, some people are impressed by his commitment to make good anime. One thing that struck me is one of the staff is an anime scholar whose task is to develop the story. Now I am really curious when I learn about this. Looking at the trailer, it reminds me shades of Last EXILE for some reason.

The only reason I want to watch this is because of Yamamoto.

Clain : KOBAYASHI Yuu (小林ゆう)
Phryne : TSUDA Minami (津田美波)
Nessa : HANAZAWA Kana (花澤香菜)
Enri : IGUCHI Yuka (井口裕香)
Sunda : ASANUMA Shintaro (浅沼晋太郎)


Director : Yamamoto Yutaka (山本寛)
Original Work : Mandelbrot Engine (マンデルブロ・エンジン)
Series: Composition : Okada Mari (岡田麿里)
Original Story Concept : Azuma Hiroki (東浩紀)
Original Character Concept : Hidari (左)
Animation Production : A-1 Pictures
Production Assistance : Ordet

Home Site

Airing on 14th January 2011.

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Sunday, December 26

School Uniforms from various popular animes

Some of the uniforms here are ridiculously designed. And none of the female uniform have pants. LOL. Perhaps the most normal is Detective Conan.

Merry Xmas to all by the way.

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Saturday, December 25

One of the most beautiful anime OP I ever seen so far.

One of the most beautiful anime OP I ever laid my eyes on. Right music, right animation, right feel. What a nostalgic feel to watch this again. The Record of Lodoss War TV, made somewhere in late 90s.

However the TV series is mediocre at best, did not live up the magic feel of the OVA or this promising OP.

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Wednesday, December 22

Fate Zero anime and manga confirmed! Yes!

TYPEMOON and Ufotable has confirmed the adaptation of Fate Zero as anime and manga! YES! Finally after years of speculation, my prediction came out as reality. So far no news on casting, movie/OAD/TV series is out yet but it will be revealed May 2011 issue TYPEMOON ACE Vol 6. Director is Ei Aoki (あおき えい) whereas character designer by Tomonori Sudou (須藤友徳)and Atsushi Ikariya (碇谷敦).

After awesome work on Kara no Kyokai, I was hoping Ufotable will be doing more TYPEMOON stories and I was right. This time, I predicted fans will like charismatic and manly Rider (Alexander The Great) and very stern, serious Saber. Shirou's foster father will the main driving character for this story. Here we can see how ruthless and cold man he is, much to Saber's disapproval.

Penned by Nitroplus Gen Urobuchi, it is more action packed compared to more mystical and obtuse Kinoko Nasu.

Hell yeah.


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Thursday, December 16

Manga publisher backlash against new censorship law has gone global

As predicted, the backlash is getting global coverage from top newspapers. I wonder how long the right wing Tokyo Governor can hold on before he buckle under the pressure. It won't be long in my opinion. I don't think he expected this kind of coverage and indirect complaint from Premier of Japan, Naoto Kan. While he is no Aso, he nevertheless deplored the new law as he feared it will reduce Japanese economic competitiveness in global market. Not to mention the often overlooked softpower aspect. What a lot of people including the Governor of Tokyo did not realise is, one of the mainstay of Japanese global power is its ability to influence world audience thru softpower.

Wall Street Journal




Daily Telegraph

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Wednesday, December 15

Shoji Kawamori short anime

I find this anime short done by the famous Macross guy, Kawamori. It is tongue in cheek humour, using NHK building with Domo-Kun as the "captain" of the transformed mecha to block the meteor.

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Tuesday, December 14

Bill 156. What does it mean?

Someone asked what does the bill mean. This is what I understand so far.

Well for starters, DPJ has agreed to support the bill that specifically aimed to tackle the perceived otaku social issues. Why DPJ counts? Because they still have clout in political Japan and if they willing to support any Bill, it most probably will pass the voting. The formal process to stamp the Bill to be in effect is on Wednesday. The one who proposed this Bill is Tokyo Metropolitan Government which led by notorious right winger Governor Ishihara.

Stuffs like underage characters in explicit situations, yaoi or yuri stories or anything that is seemed to impede desirable youth development in Japan by suggestive content that glorifies anti social stuff. Problem is the Bill is very subjective and almost everything under the sun can be censored or banned. It is so easy to abuse this interpretation: "unjustifiably glorify or exaggerate" certain sexual or pseudo sexual acts". The word "pseudo" is giving me heebie jeebies. What does it qualify as "pseudo" then? (slaps head in confusion)

This one too: “rape and other sexual acts which violate societal norms”. Fine, rape is bad. But "other sexual acts?" Another big hole here.

What is more intriguing that this law is very specific on anime, manga and games. Why they do not examine films, tv series or novels especially those from "pinku genre"? Some otakus are enraged by this very specific targeting by lawmakers.

What does it mean for anime fans around the world?

Well beginning next year June or even earlier, no more panty shots, no more hot springs scene, no more beach scenes, no more stumbling into female changing clothes scene, no more males or females engage in intimate behaviour and possibly most interesting is no more school life scenes. There is even reports of publishers already banning depictions of school uniform in light of the Bill. Pretty extreme.

The famous Japanese school girl phenomenon will probably die with the wider adoption of this Bill.

Some titles like popular Love-Ru or School Days might be banned, needless to say stuffs like Sekirei or Rosario might in danger of being cancelled too. Seinen stuff like Index or ToraDora! might not survive this Bill too. Even mega popular stories like Evangelion or Fate/Stay Night could be in hot soup too.

Maybe games like Love Plus or those countless eroge VN will be in trouble since they emphasize a lot on romantic encounter with school girls.

Another scenario is there will be less anime or manga output since most of them will be branded adult which means higher cost of production since market is smaller for them. Less anime content in Japan, even lesser for rest of the world. Less anime means less stuff for subbers to translate too. So every anime fans around the world, legit or not, will suffer from this law.

No more glorious years of 2002-2006. Or even worse, anime stories will be more stale since it is gonna be so kosher/clean.

Am I too pessimistic?

I don't know but looking at the wordings of the Bill 156 certainly very open to interpretation. The word "pseudo" is very worrying and too convenient for anyone to ban any works without much examination. Not helping when anime/manga industry in Japan is declining and now have to face this bizzare law that further squeeze their market from usual demographic.

I will be hard pressed to see how any mangaka or animators going to make a living with this law in force soon. Not surprising when 10 major manga publisher companies decided to withdraw support from Tokyo Anime Fair 2010 which is chaired by Ishihara.

Dark days indeed for anime and manga.


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Friday, December 10

Most realistic mecha firefight so far in last 5 years.

No screaming weapon names, no lolicons/kids or childish hot blood shit. I want more of these mecha combat. Seriously.

Why no more realistic mecha series? Sigh.

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