July 16, 2009

Endless 8: a reply

(Over at Chizumatic, Steven has put up a post regarding the continuing saga of the second season of Haruhi Suzumiya.  For those who don't know, the past four episodes have taken place in a time-loop, replaying the same two week timeframe.  Kyoto Animation has reanimated each episode so everything is visually different, and while the dialogue is mostly the same, it isn't completely.

And there's been a huge uproar by various people over how annoying this is.  I've been steaming about this uproar for a couple of weeks now; Steven's post just pushed me over the edge.  This was going to be a comment over there, but I decided to make it a post here instead.)

There isn't anything clever about this. It just shows utter contempt for the fans.

I completely and totally disagree.  I think it's experimental, very inventive, and quite fascinating to watch.  Trying to see how they're going to make it different this time, how much closer they're coming to breaking the loop (don't let anybody tell you different, Kyon & Co. are coming closer)... it's been quite entertaining to me.  Certainly better than Generic Harem Comedy & The Sword of Power, iteration #83.

I just don't get why people are complaining... you wanted Haruhi 2: The Wrath of Kyon, now it's here.  There was no way it could possibly live up to the expectations of those people who thought everything else should be put on hold until KyoAni made it.  Now that it's running, and it's not all Unicorns farting rainbows, it's immediately marked down as the worst thing EVAR.

I call bullhocky on that.  Is it as good as the first season?  No, no it isn't.  Is it offensive and contemptable?  No, no it isn't.  Would I like to see "Endless 8" end?  Yes, I would, but saying that KyoAni is disrespecting the fans because it hasn't ended is ridiculous.  So you don't like the plot loop.  Fine; I wasn't fond of the length of the Makoto arc in Kanon 2006, either, but that doesn't make it crap, or "poor judgement," or whatever.

Perhaps I'm the iconoclast here, because I'm enjoying the show.  So be it.  Wouldn't be the first time, won't be the last. 

UPDATE: Yes, this is how much KyoAni disrespects the fans.  The setup is that the SOS Brigade visits a Bon Festival, and Yuki decides to buy a mask.  Here's what the scene looks like in the first episode of "Endless 8":

In the second episode, this is how the scene appears:

Third time around:

...and fourth:

Yes, in all four episodes, she's buying a mask.  But every time, KyoAni has given us a different look and feel to the scene.  The masks are different, Yuki's kimono is different, the camera angle is different, and while you can't tell from these shots, her body language is different.  Which, considering that in the storyline, she remembers every detail of every loop (over 15000, which works out to nearly 600 years), makes perfect sense. 

Every single episode is presented like this; everything is the same, but completely different.  If that's a lack of imagination from KyoAni and contempt for the viewer, then I'll take their contempt every single day of the week.  It's still better than most of the crap out there right now.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:18 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
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July 02, 2009

Thank You, Nozomi!

About a month ago, I wrote a post entitled "Anytime, Nozomi", wondering when the third of the ARIA series was coming out, and hoping that Arietta, the OVA, would be included when it finally was released.

Today at AnimeExpo, Nozomi came through for us.

ARIA the Origination and the OVA, "Arietta", have been licensed and is "Coming Soon in 2010."

That's a while away, but at least we know it's coming... and it's a happy day!

Of course, the best part is that we'll finally get the finest episode of anime ever on DVD.  I can't wait!

...and neither can Alice!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:48 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Anime Bowderlization

Throughout the history of anime in the United States, there's been a tendency for some shows to be... well, not censored exactly, but toned down or outright changed a bit for the English dub.  From Sailor Moon removing the yuri aspects of Sailor Uranus, Pokemon losing a lot of its more mature aspects, and of course the horrific bastardization of Card Captor Sakura that was Cardcaptors, American dubs have done some truly lousy jobs of translation, either intentionally or not.

However, since I've pretty much only ever watched my anime subtitled, I've managed to miss out on those changes entirely.  Until tonight.

Tonight, The Librarian came over for dinner and anime.  She brought with her a show she was thinking about showing to her library's anime club, a show I had only heard about, never seen: Kodomo no Omocha, better known here as Kodocha.

And dear god, what a frenetic and flat-out exhausting show it is.  Funny, but in a "did I just see what I think I saw" sort of way, as opposed to a "ha-ha" way.  However, and here's where the whole bowderlization thing comes around, the library anime club doesn't watch subs, only dubs.  We were going to watch to see if it was suitable for 11-to-17 year olds.

The subs are not suitable for younger adults, that's for sure.  The main character, Sana, a sixth-grader, calls her agent her "boyfriend and pimp."  Sana is a tv star, and the studio's hairstylist is pretty stereotypically gay, and has a thing for the agent.  It has moments of flat-out hilarity that is completely inappropriate. 

And we kept pausing the show, backing up, and watching it again with the English dub... and we were amazed at the changes Funimation made in the dub!  Gone is the "pimp" line altogether, replaced by something less "offensive".  The hairdresser no longer shows any sign of being gay (except for a slight lisp), and instead of drooling over the agent, he simply expresses shocked disapproval of Sana calling him her boyfriend.  There are other changes as well that simply take a lot of the edge off the humor.

To be honest, I'm not sure I liked Kodocha.  It's funny, but it's also on crack.  Sana obviously manufactures and takes speed.  Her mother is a famous author with a chipmunk in her hair.  It goes on and on.  Unfortunately, when the show does slow down, it loses a lot of its humor.  We only watched the first four episodes out of 102, so perhaps they get the balance right later on.  I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed with the show... it had such hype behind it in 2006, even being nominated for "best comedy" in the American Anime Awards.

Still... eh.  

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:36 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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