January 24, 2009

Duck U. Anime Club Rides Again!

Well, who woulda thunk it?  On February 1st, the two-years-dead Duck U. Anime Club is going to rise from the ashes and give it another go.  The difference this time is that this one is almost exclusively student-driven, which is really exciting to me.

Last time around, I started the DUAC so I could have some people to watch anime with.  I did the recruiting, the posters, the viewing-rights-obtaining from the anime companies (ADV good, Bandai very very bad), the scheduling, the room reservations, and act as Advisor to the club, and enough people showed up to make it worthwhile.  The only thing I didn't do was decide where the budget was going to go... though I still had to sign off on every purchase (i.e., pizza and beverages for the club meetings).  It was fun, but I wasn't particularly unhappy to see it fade away; it was a lot of effort for not a whole bunch of reward (though the plaque from the club proclaiming me to be 'the best advisor a club could have' was pretty nice).

This time, though, two students independently came to me about getting the band back together, and while I was happy that there was interest there, I wanted it to be clear that I would only be the advisor this time... everything else was up to them.  Mainly this'll mean that I get to make the final call on shows watched: nothing offensive or explicit (no Elfen Lied, mores the pity, no hentai, no Hellsing Ultimate... and really no Dokuro-chan).  Other than that, the success or failure of the club is in their hands.  The fact that the two of them are freshman and sophmore gives me hope that it'll last for a while.

One clever idea they've already had is that the club will meet for about six hours on Saturday mornings.  The original concept was to blow thru an entire series (or two) every week... which is possible, sure, but I know that I get 'show fatigue': an inability to watch more than five or six episodes at a time (and that's for my favorites, like ARIA, Kanon '06 or Azumanga Daioh... it's a lot less for others).  I suggested they try three shows in 2-hour blocks instead.  That way, people can come for part of a series and still not miss out if they have to leave... or they could come for a genre they're fond of (i.e., giant robots) and leave when it shifts to something they don't like (i.e., highschool romance), for example. 

We'll see what happens, though I'm cautiously optimistic at this time.  It seems the two students driving this have talked to quite a few people, so this might actually work.  Keep your wingtips crossed!

Do you have any experience with anime clubs?  If you have any suggestions, leave 'em in the comments!

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January 10, 2009

Kurokami The Animation: First Episode Review.

Kurokami (aka "Black God") has a curious history.  Originally a manga, it was written by a Korean manhwa (Korea's version of manga) team specifically for the Japanese market.  The authors, humorously, don't entirely know Japanese, a fact they make fun of in the omakes at the end of the books.  The anime (produced by Sunrise), however, is the first ever to be broadcast simultaneously in Japan and America (on ImaginAsian TV, dubbed).  So, what of the show?

The milk is expired.
This is our hero, Keita.  He appears to be just a regular guy, a 17-year-old high-school student who lives alone.  His mother was killed in a traffic accident when he was young, an incident which he witnessed.  Seems she saw her doppleganger, and ran across the street to... I dunno.  "Wow, you look just like me," seems like an odd way to greet a stranger, but that's just me.  Anyway, while he lives alone, his 21-year old childhood friend, Akane, takes care of him, cooking and giving him money to live... an odd arrangement.

Onii-chan, why is my forehead so big?
The family next door seem to like Keita, inviting him over to dinner.  Mei, the little girl, is disappointed when he turns them down. 

Chasing birds...
He does have one little eccentricity, however.  After school, he hops on his collapsable bike and rides down to the 'bad side' of town, a section of the city that seems to have suffered from some calamity (earthquake?) that's broken highways and submerged some of it, too.  Well, it IS pretty when the streetlights come on...


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January 05, 2009

Touhou Doujin... ANIME?!?!?!

Touhou fandom is something I know nothing about.  Apparently, however, it's godawfully huge in Japan.  Originally a scrolling shooter game by a one-man 'team', it's grown into something much more massive than that.  Oh, the game is still done by the one guy, but there are now either 11 or 14 Touhou games, depending on if you want to count spinoffs or not.  It's so big, that at the recent Comiket there were nearly 900 individual sellers of Touhou-related doujin manga, and the game even has its own sizeable festival (called Reitaisai) devoted solely to a Comiket-like doujin market.

So... hugely popular in Japan, Touhou is.  Fans have assumed that it's just a matter of time before some production company scoops it up and makes an official anime out of it, but as of yet there's been no sign of that happening (one reason might be that ZUN, the creator of the games, wants to direct and write the show himself).  When you boil it down, though, it'd kinda be like making an anime based on Defender or Galaga... who knows how it'd turn out?

But, remember when I said that it was popular in the doujin circles?  Well, one group decided to make their own anime.

Skeptical?  I was.  It's a lot easier to draw a manga than to do a full-fledged anime.  So how'd they do?


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