February 25, 2007

Kanon 2006: ongoing thoughts

As the blizzard blew outside last night, I pulled my comfy armchair in front of the computer desk and got caught up with Kanon 2006, watching episodes 17-21 (that's the entire Shiori arc and the beginnings of the Ayu and Natsuki arcs for those of you watching the show).

There are plenty of sites out there covering the show episode by episode, so I'm not going to do it here. Instead, I'm just going to comment about my thoughts and feelings regarding the show.

Maybe I'm just a sap, but this show is really, really managing to yank every emotional string I've got. Be it with the storyline or the visuals, KyoAni seems to have the ability to make me laugh or sob at will, and isn't shy about doing it. As a result, I've fallen head over heels with this series. Even if the story stunk, which it doesn't, I'd like the show because of the visuals. For example, this scene:
Fountain spray AND snowflakes?  Details matter, and KyoAni knows it.
This is almost a throwaway shot, just something in passing, but it's stunning. The lighting on that fountain goes through five or six colors, for example, affecting everything around it seamlessly. It's an effect that would have been impossible to animate well a few years ago, but KyoAni uses it to 'set the mood' perfectly in the Shiori arc.
But the entire show looks as good as this scene. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it's the best looking series I've ever seen, bar none.

I never saw the Toei version of the series, nor have I played the game, so I haven't the faintest idea where this is going to end up. Yeah, Makoto, Shiori, and Mai are out of the picture for one reason or another, so they aren't likely to be Yuuichi's final love (too bad, too, in the case of Mai; I have a feeling that I'd never see any ending in the game other than her's). The common wisdom seems to be that Ayu will be the last one standing, but I can't even guess. For once, I'm stumped, and I'm loving it.

The series is FUNNY, too. A lot of it can't be conveyed in pictures (such as the not-incredibly-subtle [but still funny] eye twitching) alas, but it is. Some of the more obvious humor comes from 'Zombie Nayuki', the girl that can't wake up to save her life:
...and Yuuichi's reactions to her. The bulk of the credit would have to go to his voice actor, Tomokazu Sugita, who also did the role of Kyon in Haruhi Suzumiya.

The worst part of this is now that I'm caught up to the most recently aired episode, I won't be able to marathon the new ones. That's gonna kill me. Actually, what's going to kill me is knowing that there won't be a sequel. There CAN'T be, the series ends when it ends.

As a final thought, when Jun and Yuuichi were dancing during Shiori's birthday party, did anybody else expect them to break into Hare Hare Yukai, the ED from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya? Using my mad l33t 5k1llz with Photoshop, I threw this together:
...aru hareta hi no koto / mahou ijou no yukai ga...
I'm sorry 'bout that.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 04:32 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 15, 2007

Parody AMVs

So, you're watching an AMV, and you think to yourself "hey, you could do this EXACT SAME VIDEO, using (insert different anime here)." Well, most times, you'd be wrong.

But not with these vids.

The first set of AMVs is Nightmare by Mousepotato. Using "Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums" by A Perfect Circle and Neon Genesis Evangelion, this is a tightly edited, dramatic, almost scary video. Highly rated in my book, it's an excellent AMV.

And because the video takes itself SO seriously (to it's benefit), it's a PERFECT target for parody. That's where Floyd's Nightmare comes in. Using the same song, and the original AMV as a framework, Parodic Productions remakes the viddy using... Azumanga Daioh? And it's ALMOST as technically perfect as the original. Want some examples of how it works? Here's some screencaps: the ones on the left are from Nightmare, on the right is Floyd's Nightmare.
...if you can read this, you're probably looking for something funny.  Sorry, got nothing.

Download 'em both, and prepare to giggle like a schoolgirl.

The other pair I've come across have a similar idea behind them. The original of the two is Mitternacht by Pwolf. Using scenes from three of the best known vampire animes out there (Hellsing, Blood: The Last Vampire, and Vampire Hunter D), and music by E Nomine, this is a neatly done action AMV. And who doesn't like vampires, huh? It's also another AMV that takes itself VERY seriously... and it shows; it won more than a few AMV contests at cons.

Now there comes Mitternacho by FallChild42. It's an attempt to do a shot-by-shot remake of the original using... um... Chobits, Cromartie High School, and (oh look!) Azumanga Daioh. Please note: NONE of these shows have vampires in them. That DOES add a certain level of difficulty to the proceedings, doesn't it?

And while it doesn't entirely succeed in the shot-for-shot thing, it DOES come pretty darn close. And more than a couple of times, it made me laugh out loud. A word of warning, though: to play it, you need a pretty hefty rig, as the file has TWO video streams, the 'vanilla' AMV, and the AMV with the original Mitternacht viddy playing in the corner, so you can compare the two. Neat trick! And a pretty neat vid.

Now, there are others out there, of course. AMV HELL 3: The Motion Picture had a fantastic (but short) clip called Ophoria parodying the legendary Euphoria.
Euphoria left, Ophoria right.  Still got nothing funny to say.
It's a shame it isn't a full vid. Oh, and that too, uses Azumanga Daioh.

I'm noticing a theme here...

Anyway, download 'em, and laugh.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 01:55 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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February 14, 2007

Um, Steven? About that fansub...

"Noodle Fighter Miki" has been licensed, and is going to be released in March. (scroll about halfway down)

(The Duck Sez: Snarky, insulting bit removed. See "Further Update," below.)

Oh, and Hanayuko Maid Team is pretty atrocious, at least through the first few episodes or so. After that, I couldn't take it anymore. Nudity is rampant... which is fine. MORE than fine, actually, but it just didn't much work for me. And it wasn't funny.

FURTHER UPDATE: Upon thinking about it, my "snark" DID come across as much more snarky than I intended, and I can see why he reacted the way he did. Sorry, Steven, I truly didn't mean to insult you, just 'poke' you a bit... seriously. That'll teach me to blog during whilst at work... I might have thought longer about it if I had been at The Pond.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:41 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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February 10, 2007

Sad Girl In Snow?

So I'm visiting my folks (Momzerduck and Ph.Duck) for lunch, doing laundry, that sort of thing, this afternoon. Normal Saturday stuff, y'know? So I look out the window, and what to my wondering eyes does appear?

A fox, hanging out in the backyard, chasing birds! THIRTY YEARS the Duck family has lived in the Olde Homepond, and never THIS! And we're in the middle of Duckford, nowhere NEAR where a fox should live!

Of course, considering the Kanon '06 kick I've been on recently, I blurt out "Makoto!"... then "Ph.Duck, get your camera!"

He dashes out of the dining room, gets his camera, and hustles (quietly... he's the only person I know who can hustle quietly) onto the back porch, secures the cat (who normally goes berserk at any sign of an interloping animal; not this time... this time he came slinking in with his tail between his legs. He may not have known what he was looking at, but he knew it was WAY out of his league), and leans out the back door to snap the photo.

And an amazing photo it was, too!

Then I got my wings on it:
Makoto?  Makoto!!!

If an amnesiac girl shows up at my door later, I'll be sure to let you know.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 02:22 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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February 06, 2007

Kanon '06: Mai's Story.

I've just finished Mai's story arc. I feel like I've been put thru a wringer. The whole thing left me stunned beyond belief.

I know how you feel, Mai...

Bravo. Simply... well, maybe not perfect, but about as close to it as I've ever seen in an anime. I laughed:

I cried:
...though not at this part.

I yelled at the screen in frustration:

And in the end, I cheered:

But I know, because of the way the story of Kanon is structured, that we'll probably never see Mai again. Dammit. THAT'S why this arc wasn't perfect.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:05 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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February 05, 2007

"For those who don't like Sport, there's Sport."*

"Am I getting tired of anime? Or is it just that I can't find anything new to excite me?"
Death Note

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya


Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru

Welcome to the NHK


Hang on, Steven! There's help on the way!

*quote from Monty Python's Flying Circus

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:48 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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