July 30, 2008

Playing The Anime: Clannad (Tomoyo's Route)

To: Kyoto Animation.
Fr: Clannad fans everywhere.
Re: Tomoyo cooking.

How could you have left this shot out of the anime?  What in the world were you thinking???  Perhaps it's in the "alternate route" OVA, ep24, which I have yet to watch (I wanted to finish Tomoyo's story in the game first).  Even if it is, you guys should have had it in ep18. 

It's no surprise that I enjoyed the Clannad anime, really, but the game gives you so much more backstory on the characters, it's amazing.  Of course, Key had a lot more time to work with, but even so I'm still stunned by it all.

And I'm not even done with Tomoyo's story yet.  In fact, I've only run through Misae's route prior to this... she wasn't even a secondary character in the anime, more like a tertiary or... um... quadiary?  Anyways, minor.  But it was great to learn more about her (though it would have been nice to see the giant swing manuever animated), and I can't wait to meet more of the non-main people down the road.

One negative, though: Sunohara's even more of a whiny little b*tch in the game.

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July 17, 2008


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July 16, 2008

Strike Witches ep02: It's The Little Things That Count...

Strike Witches is really turning into everything I could have hoped for (and did!).  Lots of good ol' fashioned fun... and the animators have a remarkable eye for details.

For example, take this screenshot:

The red arrow is pointing to a stream of smoke coming from the centerline of the Akagi's flight deck.  Most people probably wouldn't notice this, as it was only on-screen for a second or two, but when I saw it, my jaw dropped.

The IJN used a steam valve set in the fore of their flight decks to help their pilots gauge wind direction and speed on takeoff.  It's the little things that count, and that tiny detail just made me go "wow, they got it right."

Another detail, but one that raised a question in my mind, is in the screenshot below:

Major Sakamoto leads a squadron of fighters from the Akagi against the Neuroi attacker.

Those aren't Zeros she's leading; they're Mitsubishi A5Ms, Allied code-named "Claude", which was the predecessor of the Zero.  It was a remarkably nimble fighter, even moreso than the Zero, but carried the same armament as a Sopwith Camel: two .303-cal machine guns.  They were introduced into carrier service in 1937, and withdrawn from all frontline duties by 1942 (two defended the Shoho in the Battle of the Coral Sea).

I wonder, with the arrival of the Neuroi, did the Zero ever get built?  It's obvious that ANY normal fighter plane is hideously outmatched against the aliens, so why bother with advancing the state of the art?  In the intro to the series, we see British Hurricanes in 1939 facing off against the invaders... maybe the Spitfire never got made?  And the Fw-190? 

With the Witches being the preeminent fighting force, when would the first jets come into use?  Assuming the good guys win, would jet transport ever come about?  Or would it be much, much later than it actually was?

So many questions from one little screenshot...

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Playing The Anime.

If you've read The Pond over the past couple of years, you've probably realized that I'm quite fond of the production combination of Key Games and Kyoto Animation.  The two companies have combined on the anime versions of the visual novels for AIR, Kanon and Clannad.  While I didn't much care for AIR, the other two are way up on my list of favorite shows. 

But I've never had the chance to actually experience the original source material for the shows, since they were in Japanese and there's never been an English translation... until now.

Baka-Tsuki, TheWaffleHouse, and Sprocket-Hole Subs have been working on an English patch for the game, and while they aren't done with it quite yet, somebody took their translated files (in a 99.9% done state) and released them in a format that works.

So what's it like?

Well, I'm only an hour or so into it, but I am amazed at how well KyoAni manipulated the game to turn it into the anime.  It's all there, and more besides.  Each of the girls have a storyline as full as Nagisa's, and other than quick glimpses, hers was the only one we got to see in the show.  Somewhere, I read that there's well over 300 hours of gameplay in Clannad, and I can easily believe it.

The humor level is still high, though without the moving visuals some of it doesn't translate as well (Sunohara in the garbage chute).  It's way too early, though, for the drama to have begun, though I fully expect that it'll be at least as intense as what was in the show.  The reasons for the successful Key/KyoAni partnership are clearly evident to me now... both sides brought a helluva lot to the table, and the end result is an amazing feast.

Now if only someone would do a translation for Kanon, I'd be the happiest duck around...

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July 13, 2008

ARIA: not on the cart yet!

Pssssst... hey, buddy!  Yeah, you.  C'mere...

*looks around furtively*

Wanna new episode of Aria: The Origination?  'Course ya do... you'ze a smart guy.  Well, I gots one fer ya... it's called episode 5.5.  That's a strange name, yeah, but dere's a reason fer it: it's one o' dem special DVD-only thingies.  But it's a full 24 minutes of Aria that we didn't expect, y'know?

So howsabout it?  Wanna know more?


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July 07, 2008

What's Wonderduck Watching: Five First Episodes

So the new season of Anime has begun to roll out.  Five shows that I was interested in all came down the pipe within a few days of each other, so I decided to marathon 'em.

I have to admit, the Summer certainly holds more promise than the Spring season did (though these shows'll have to work to be as good as Soul Eater)... click below to see What's Wonderduck Watching!


Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:50 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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