It has been a very slow week with Anime since releases for shows I’m covering didn’t come out until the end of the week. Nevertheless, I decided to cover them in one post with some real life experiences along with the usual thoughts on the Anime itself. This includes Kaichou wa Maid-sama, Working!!, K-ON!! Episode 4. This post is paginated by each series. If successful, I may do this in the future to leave room for more editorial posts.
Archives for April 2010
As the first round is coming to a close, competition is becoming fierce. As always, my review criteria won’t change as we review another 12 Anime Blogs.
Before going on, this review Digest will contain screenshots of the actual website and how they look on my machine, so slow connections, beware… I’m basing all content on quality, not the blogger’s overall opinion on issues and stuff. Also, if you want to vote in the tournament, you can do it over here.
[Read more…] about AniBlog Tourney Part 4 (Day 10-12) Digest
Almost about a year ago, I have written against the ban on eroge games and had a poll on it. A vast majority was against this ban. What caused it? Some controversial game called Rapelay appeared on the UK Amazon store that sparked outrage. Now like with some people, they like to butt into other countries business and extremist groups like Feminism Now, which I put the full blame along with news organizations like CNN overblown the whole situation putting the pressure on Japan to try and create anti-loli legislation that is clearly unconstitutional and having a group of creators in Japan speaking out against the legislation.
Along with it, minori, an eroge and visual novel maker decided to bar everyone in the west from their site. Just recently, they launch an assault on a popular visual novel translation wiki with an editing war saying the fans are not allowed to translate a clean, all ages visual novel eden. This obviously outraged a lot of minori fans accusing them of being betrayed even after importing the games legitimately from Japan, thus dubbing the whole situation as “minorigate.” Two blogs, Omonomono with the article titled Open the Minorigate” and another from The Nihon Review with the article titled minorigate, or, How to Piss Off Otaku Without Really Trying both produced very convincing arguments, but I’m not going to focus on Minori in this opinion piece. I want to show my opinion why I am against this whole eroge ban and why people who want to dictate how Japan should control their culture really need to stop now.
The Rapelay incident is just like the Hot Coffee incident that happened in July 2005, around the same time the Rapelay incident occur. Like Rapelay, Hot Coffee was a mod in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas that was a minigame that featured a sex simulator. This drove controversy and the game was rerated Adults Only and drove controversy. Jack Thompson arose from this incident and wanting to ban all video games with nudity and violence. He targeted violent games and also Sims 2, a popular life simulation game. Thompson’s attack on video games made gamers angry saying that what Thompson’s attack on gaming and his “Modest Proposal” was going to ruin freedom of expression. There were video game laws that were passed in California and Florida, but eventually these laws became unconstitutional and were shot down and Jack Thompson eventually lost his attorney license.
Why am I mentioning Hot Coffee Mod? In relation, Rapelay is the same, except that instead of being a western game, it is a game made in the east. Now we get into different cultural values and stuff and being Asian myself, I know how different these cultures are. The problem is that like with Hot Coffee, it is going to be like trying to ban violent video games. It’s not going to work because most free countries have laws that protect the freedom of freedom, expression and media. So what Japan is lax on stuff when comes to sexual stuff. The problem is, some westerners no matter how much they hate eroge or not, they have no right to tell another country how to dictate their culture. It is Japan’s culture, not yours. Say if another country said that they were offended by the stuff in Grand Theft Auto and want the game banned. Then the United States Senate creates legislation trying to ban every game that have violence in it, would you like it? For most people, they will not and complain over it. If people in the US don’t want violent games to be banned, then like with Japan, they don’t want their eroge banned. How do you think they will feel if the anti-eroge bill gets passed in contrast with a bill banning violent games used in my example… do you think they are going to be happy as you going to be happy with violent games being banned? The answer is most likely no.
As with violent video games, they do not equate to gamers who play these types of games to commit violent crimes as a Japanese person playing eroge and doing the same. Video Games do not influence people in practice. People should already know right from wrong and not to copy what happens in the video game.
Another thing I blame is news organizations and radical groups like Feminist Now. News organizations had overblown the whole situation when it didn’t need to. We get those radial groups that want to ban Eroge and then we have this massive chaos going around. Just last month, CNN tried to fuel the fire and go on and bringing up Rapelay again when the incident was several months old. This causes minori to do what they have done and I don’t blame them. I blame media organizations and radial feminist groups. The problem with them is they disregard what other people think about them and go ahead and start this holy war against Eroge games and ruining it for everyone else. People easily get offended over everything. If they get offended already, they should practice self-censorship and do it now. Why? It is a great practice so that you don’t have to go around and ruin it for people who wanted to play that sort of content.
In conclusion, it is more of the media organizations, politicians and radial group’s fault for letting this crusade to ban eroge games for going so far. They don’t care about what other people think or what they think about them. As long they are satisfied, fans of these games not only in Japan, but also outside of Japan are going to get hurt badly because they can’t practice self-censorship. Also, it is not their business for them to dictate what other countries should do with their culture. It’s the countries responsibility. I for one, think this crusade needs to stop and everything needs to go back to the status quo. Even if I don’t play Eroge games that often, I don’t want people have to suffer the fate of not being able to play the next Eroge game from minori they want to import. As some said, people should stop complaining about Anime Dying, but Eroge Dying because of these groups that want to put an end on Eroge.
This is the last of the Anime Music reviews for a while… until the Angel Beats! OP/ED comes out or some Insert Song Album shows up. Further ado, now onward to the K-ON!! ED Single Review, Listen!!
Album Title: Listen!!
Artist: Houkago Tea Time (Toyosaki Aki, Hikasa Youko, Satou Satomi, Kotobuki Minako, Taketatsu Ayana)
Catalog Number: PCCG-70073
Release Date: April 28, 2010
2. Our MAGIC
3. Listen!! (Instrumental)
4. Our MAGIC (Instrumental)
It has been proven that Hikasa Youko is a better singer overall compared to Toyosaki Aki. Proven with the single, “Dont’ say lazy” that was released last year. Not only that, she managed to pull off Fuwa Fuwa Time pretty well and bring out a very fluffy and catchy song that brought out her character’s “cute” side. Does Listen!! delivers on that consistent quality the last two single albums have done after the disaster called “GO! GO! MANIAC.” We will find out soon enough.
Listen!! has energy, but not as much as the predecessor, “Don’t say lazy.” They seem to play it safe after the big disaster they had experimenting with GO! GO! MANIAC. The vocals are more present, similar to the style in “Don’t say lazy” and also, very catchy. Some may find the longer version better than the TV version… It is obvious that Hikasa Youko is a lot better than what I have seen with GO! GO! MANIAC.
Nevertheless, it was pretty damn close, but only a bit off of being just as good as the predecessor and is still a good addition for this season.
A bit slower than the last side and is more of a pop song that has a 60/70s feel as some people say. In contrast to the B-side from the “Don’t say lazy,” it is very different as it doesn’t have the rock feel. Our MAGIC is a very catchy song. As they say, this song sort of didn’t suit Mio’s character just like “Hello Little Girl” from Mio’s Character Album that released last year. Perhaps it could of suit Kotobuki Minako better, which had a pretty good singing voice from my experience… but I don’t know… Despite that, Hikasa Youko has done a pretty good job with this song.
Overall, Listen!! is definitely a better single album than GO! GO! MANIAC and a decent addition to K-ON!. It may not be on the same level as the predecesor, but it was pretty damn close. This pretty much proves Hikasa Youko is simply a better singer than Toyosaki Aki… As always, the animation of Listen!! is top notch just like “Don’t say lazy” from the first season.
And wait… Didn’t Hikasa Youko sing songs for Chu-Bra!! a long with Kotobuki Minako? Well, yes… of course. Although I didn’t heard any songs from that Anime since I have no interest in it, I’m positive that it is probably around the same level from my assumptions. I may be wrong, but oh well.
8.5/10, Outstanding, but barely.
Album Title: GO! GO! MANIAC
Artist: Houkago Tea Time (Toyosaki Aki, Hikasa Youko, Satou Satomi, Kotobuki Minako, Taketatsu Ayana)
Catalog Number: PCCG-70071
Release Date: April 28, 2010
1. GO! GO! MANIAC
3. GO! GO! MANIAC (Instrumental)
4. Genius…!? (Instrumental)
K-ON! in the first music had a very good amount of good pop music that sounded very good and very catchy. Did Go! Go! Maniac fulfill the promise to be better than the opening of the first season? Far from it since from first time listening to the TV version, it was a complete mess. However, does this album fixes that messiness. Not a chance… and you will find out soon enough.
GO! GO! MANIAC
Well, in comparison to Cagayake! GIRLS from the first season, GO! GO! MANIAC is two leaps backwards. The problem? The vocals are sadly a big mess. Toyosaki Aki’s vocals were a big mess compared to her first single, love your life, which sounded a lot better than this… The problem is that the messiness comes from the lyrics being sung way too fast and causing some squeakiness. I think the trend of Kyoto Animation providing not so good opening themes is becoming a reality since Suzumiya Haruhi S2’s opening theme, Super Driver, was also considered a disaster because of the not so good singing from Hirano Aya.
Oddly enough, taking the vocals away makes the song less cringing… but it doesn’t change the fact that the song was ruined by the vocals.
Genius…!? sounds better than the former and Toyosaki Aki’s voice not nearly as bad, but fits in and pretty catchy. However, as with the overall horribleness of the opening song, this song simply doesn’t have the energy and sounds pretty simplistic.
From Toyosaki’s performance of these songs, the overall performance of the songs in the album was average. The problem is the opening song is obviously a big mess to make the song slightly unlistenable. I have heard a a lot better from Toyosaki Aki from the Houkago Tea Time Album and also Yui’s character Album. GO! GO! MANIAC did not deliver at all and was actually worse than the former OP in the first season. Even Toyosaki’s version of Fuwa Fuwa Time sounded better than this… Way better. From my impressions, it is clear that Hikasa Youko will perform better on the ending theme, Listen!! which I will review next time.
Now, we are on week two of the competition and it is pretty fierce. As always, my review criteria won’t change as we review another 12 Anime Blogs.
Before going on, this review Digest will contain screenshots of the actual website and how they look on my machine, so slow connections, beware… I’m basing all content on quality, not the blogger’s overall opinion on issues and stuff.
Black and Blue Socks
Black and Blue Socks have a clean layout. Although the theme is commonly used, I won’t criticize it since it’s a limitation on WordPress.com. The layout is very clean and navigable. Although an episodic blog, it does have a decent amount of editorials mixed in and the content is fairly good, so I have much to say… It is a pretty well rounded blog…
Major Arcana has a very nice and clean design. Although the author does episodic blogging as the former, unlike the former, there is a lot more editorial blogging covering a variety of subjects. The post quality is very good, except that unlike the former, the author doesn’t post as often… but from the quality of posts and content, the advantage is Major Arcana, but ever so slightly.
There is not much I can say about Daijoubu as it is another comic blog with well, comics that look as they were made in MS Paint and posts that lack quality and not as good as Beta-Waffle’s… I wished that this blog have done a better job in providing content that are higher quality. Perhaps some editorials and stuff… Oh well…
Although not particularly interested in some of the genres that the author is looking at, I think the author of this blog done a better job with the post quality. The author posts a mix of editorial and rarely episodic blogging. With the shortcomings of Daijoubu, it is quite obvious that this one is going to be my choice…
Day 7 Results
Major Arcana and Mecha-Guignol
Despite the name of the blog, Ani-Gamers is a mixed episodic, editorial and review blog. Ani-Gamers have a clean layout, although not the usual layout as the stuff is on the left side. Fairly good quality posts and the author seems to post frequently.
Anime Full Circle
The problem with Anime Full Circle is that the text is a bit unreadable, maybe because of the fonts used on my system. In contrast to Ani-Gamers, they post fairly frequently, but the problem with the posts is that some of the posts lack some quality. If they improve their post quality, I would have vote for them, but the clear advantage is Ani-Gamers. Anime Full Circle should consider either getting a new theme or fix their current theme so it would be more readable.
Since I follow Anime Instrumentality Blog on my RSS reader, it is obvious that I am going to vote for them automatically. It is rare that the Anime Blogosphere focus mainly on Anime Music as a whole, but I find this blog rather unique with high quality reviews on Anime Singles, Albums and Singles and also focus on Anime and related music as a whole.
The problem with Kita ze Inbou is that they focus way too much on Episodic Blogs and post a lot of screenshots like Random Curiosity. They have a clean layout, but why the banner add is on top of the banner? I would rather have them move it to the content area. Although the theme looks appealing, they really need to post more original content like editorials and stuff.
Day 8 Results
Ani-Gamers and Anime Instrumentality Blog
Behind The Nihon Review
Behind The Nihon Review is mostly an editorial blog. The pieces I have looked at were pretty professional and rational, although they don’t post as often. The layout design overall is pretty clean and easy to navigate.
Chocolate Syrupy Waffles
Chocolate Syrupy Waffles is probably one of the most controversial blogs out there that tries to be funny and interesting. The problem is some may not like the opinions shown on the blog. Also, they do episodic posting as well. As for the layout, it is pretty clean and easy to navigate. Despite the outrageousness of the blog, I think Behind The Nihon Review is better since it has a more rational approach on issues and being more polished.
The author of this blog must have put a lot of effort to make it look really nice. From the looks of the comments, that is simply insane. The content is mostly editorial and the posts are pretty good quality.
Super Noisy Rice Shower Goes Boom!!
￼Rarely there is a blog out there that focus primarily on Seiyuus. Like the former, the content is pretty good as well and it also has a very clean layout. Tough decision… so I’m going to let you guys vote for what blog I should ultimately decide on. The poll will close this Friday and I will decide on that day on what blog to vote according to the votes on this poll.
Day 9 Results
Behind The Nihon Review. Match 18 to be decided.
Okay, this wraps up the long blog digest… Now, vote for what I should vote for on Match 18 and I’ll be on my way. Next digest will be posted on Friday with another 12 blogs to review.
Fanart used in this post is by G TONG (Pixiv Page)
If the artist name doesn’t ring a bell, well don’t worry. This single obviously contains the insert songs in the Spring Anime, Angel Beats! that is currently airing. It surprised me on how early in the season it was released, but then again, the K-ON!! singles just released recently as well… Sorry if I’m not good at music reviewing. Probably Anime Instrumentality Blog will do it better?
Album Title: Crow Song
Artist: Girls Dead Monster (Singers: Marina and LiSA)
Catalog Number: KSLA-0051
Release Date: April 23, 2010
- Crow Song
- My Song
The Album sounded fairly good, but it is not without flaws… Like with the music oriented K-ON! which had the characters playing with some rather good music, this is the same effect, but not perfect… Overall, the vocals were good for all the three song, except that the feeling in the vocals was somewhat missing or something as they sound a bit flat. I noticed this on all three tracks. If I compared this to Fuwa Fuwa Time or even Houkago Tea Time back in 2009, I think they done pretty close, except the flaws I mentioned.
This song is the insert song played in Episode 1. The overall song sounded really good and really like the instrumentals and had a lot of energy.
Alchemy is an album insert song. Although this song sounded good, but not as good as Crow Song as the energy wasn’t there that would make this song a bit forgettable. I think it would have sound better Live or something. It is sad that this one hasn’t been used in the Anime let.
This song is an insert song played in Episode 3 and it is a ballad. I haven’t watched Episode 3 yet, but it is a ballad. The song itself is powerful, and liked the acoustics. A bit better, but the vocals are still a little flat…
Overall, I think the instrumentals sounded really good because they are obviously composed by Jun Maeda which have made some really good music in past works. The only problem is with the vocals I mentioned earlier. While it is almost damn close to the K-ON! songs released last season, I think the flatness of the vocals is the problem I see here. If it wasn’t that flat, I think it would have done better…
Going to do this digest today since I got bored and just wanted to review more Anime Blogs. Will be using the iPad Simulator’s Mobile Safari (still based on Webkit) instead taking a screencap of every window because of the inconsistent window sizes and blogs should be designed for a 1024×768 resolution. No ands and buts. Now onto the blog reviews…
A Product of Wasted Time (an episodic blog) has a good layout design, pretty easy to navigate and such, except the large number of ads… well besides from that, the author seems to have decent content and frequently updates (from the number of posts made on the Archives). How about what the competitor is doing?
Chaostangent has a unique design which is very clean, appealing and original (the bottom shows his Last.fm, Youtube and Flickr profiles). His approach of blogging some can view as pretty good as he takes three episodes and write about them and afterwards, write a review in the end of the show’s running, which is pretty unique. Also, he posts rather frequently, so although some say it was a hard choice, the match goes to Chaostangent.
見ないで! ひとり言 (mi nai de ! hitori gen)
The duo blog from jpmeyer and Hinano… who seems to RAEG a lot or focus too much on the negative. The overall design of the blog is good. Depending on the person, you may find the raeg funny or maybe not as your milage may vary. The notable feature from this blog is jpmeyer’s “what i was forced to watch this week” posts that many can find amusing, although lacking in some quality…
Unlike the former blog, Caraniel’s Ramblings is less on the RAEG and negativity and more on the actual content. Comparing post quality, it seems that this blog is a little bit more higher quality than the former although the banner should of be design better, but the vote goes to this one as they seem to update more frequently, have better content and less RAEG…
Day 4 Results
chaostangent and Caraniel’s Ramblings
Just as Planned
Just as Planned has a clean and simple layout. The only flaw that I see with the layout is that the archives are missing. How I supposed to check older posts. The author posts fairly often and the author’s post seems to be very descriptive and high quality and is mostly an episodic blog…
Moe Check has a really good design and really navigable. Although the posts are good quality, the problem is the author seems to post infrequently, which slowly lessen the lead with design sadly. If only the author have posted a little more every month, it would get my vote, but the vote has to go to Just as Plan because the author of that blog posts far more often while maintaining good quality posts.
Rainbowsphere is very passionate with its eroge and hentai so much there is a post saying that he is not ashamed of his porno… Something that will turn me off (no, I have nothing against porno, eroge or such, but I find it… gross). The main problem with the blog is that it hasn’t seen an update since March 8th, which is almost like a month and being updated very infrequently, the chances of voting for it is very slow. The navigation is awkward compared to other blogs that have next and previous page on the bottom of the index of blog posts. The author should consider fixing that as well so that it will be easier to navigate towards pages and such.
Besides the fact that Janai on Twitter nagging about people not using licensed anime sources and this drama on twitter that causing myself and my friend on twitter to unfollow him (no offense) because of this reason… this shouldn’t be the big thing to be against of the blog because of something that happens on twitter. The design is pretty appealing, clean and navigable. The blogger focus primarily on the Anime scene mainly in America, so he focuses on issues that pertain to America and also Anime Cons and such… not that I would be interested in. The blogger also posts fairly frequently, so the advantage is clear… despite the shenanigans that happens on Twitter on theme design and productivity.
Day 5 Results
Just as Planned and JanaiBlog
Canne’s anime review blog
I seriously think the blogger needs to put more effort on the images as it look like something that came from MS Paint or something (hint: Use GIMP, Paint.net or Photoshop (If you can afford it). Besides from the fact of that, the content doesn’t reflect that at all. The posts are fairly good quality, but the blogger should really update more often! At least the author posts a few posts every month, I guess…Besides from that, the layout is clean and navigable.
I can say that the post quality is around the same as the former and they don’t update often. However, don’t like their design and what with this advertisement for Funimation… Ugh… I think I will vote for the underdog, Canne’s anime review blog. Also, they are missing archive links to older posts.
Although the color scheme and layout of Beta-Waffle is ugh, the content on the blog is pretty unique. They post comics that have to relate to Anime and such that they are funny… Only thing they should really improve is the theme and it will be all good.
bananaMuffin has a very appealing design to the eye and easy to navigate and has good quality posts and author posts fairly often… I don’t know… This is a tough decision… so what do you decide I should pick on this round? Its up to you now. The one that gets the most votes by next Monday is the one I will be voting for…
Day 6 Results
Canne’s anime review blog and Match 12 to be decided bananaMuffin.
Okay, this wraps up the long blog digest… Now, vote for what I should vote for on Match 12 and I’ll be on my way. Next digest will be posted on Tuesday with another 12 blogs to review.
No, seriously… This episode was filled with alot of Mugivision™… Wait… Wrong show…
If Takanashi didn’t have enough with the rather eccentric girls like Inami not liking men and want to punch the lights out of them, well meet another rather eccentric girl named Yachiyo. As shown in a flashback, she was bullied because she was carrying a katana for some reason… and one day, she gets picked on and Kyouko hit them with a needled bat and after that day, Yachiyo follows her around. This meant that Yachiyo seem to have some love interest to Kyouko, although Kyouko only cares about the food…
This episode had alot of Yuri of what you can imagine. Besides the parfaits and Yachiyo go dreamy over it, there were more hints of Yuri aka Mugivision™… For example:
Wait… Theres more where that came from:
Don’t ask, but Yachiyo did lash out at the general manager, Otou Hyougo with her Katana for taking Kyouko away from the damn parfaits… yes… it was bound to happen… You know that Yachiyo’s feelings for Kyouko is very sensitive you know… Kyouko got to have those parfaits no matter what favor.
And yea, Inami didn’t punch Otou… but instead Takanashi… I think punching him is getting a bit… well, old… I hope this doesn’t turn into a running gag…
Overall, from the look of it, it’s a bit better, but not good enough. The problem with Working!! like with other bloggers said that the show might start getting into the “stupid humor” ditch that once you get in, it is pretty difficult to get out. Like always, your milage may vary… We get that when Yachiyo only takes out the katana for that one instance… nothing else which made it slightly disappointing. Also, the whole episode left Popura out the spotlight… I thought she was the centerpiece of the show and that Takanashi likes her because she is short and childish? Did she become unPopura…. NO WAI!!!! It can’t be! It is for this one episode.
I still don’t know about this… but from what I have seen, I still perfer K-ON!! over Working!! because atleast it is funny in its own way and it didn’t show “stupid humor.” Then again, it is just what I prefer…
Like with most bloggers and such, I don’t spend all my time watching anime and such, but do other things like posting on AnimeSuki, tweeting, playing video games, writing editorial posts on my blog and even program stuff. For that, I need music to occupy myself while I am on my laptop. Even on the go, I will listen to music sometimes with my headphones with my iPhone 3GS, which doubles as a iPod. Since my return to watching Anime, my music collection was small, but it grew and grew as time went by… and I think I got what artists I seem to like personally… You don’t have to agree, but here they are (no specific order)
[Read more…] about Anime and Japanese Music… and Favorite Artists