November 21, 2010

Nuppiyo Returns To Ducks In Anime!

-Fortune Arterial, ep05
Of course, it isn't really Nuppiyo at all... just a human in a costume.

Okay, a vampire in a costume.  A vampire with balance issues in a Nuppiyo costume.  At the end of a three-legged race.  But, hey!  Nuppiyo!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:36 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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November 13, 2010

You Don't Mess With The Ducks In Anime

-Fortune Arterial, ep03

That Nuppiyo, he's a baaaaad mother-(shut yo mouth!)

Hey, I'm just talkin' 'bout Nuppiyo (we can dig it!)

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:15 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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November 08, 2010

Ducks In Anime Can Be Found In The Strangest Places

The world has changed.  Tokyo, and by extension all of Japan, has suffered a major ecological disaster.  Much of the city is underwater, and anything not submerged has been seriously damaged.  Floating above this flooded city a small ship, maybe the size of a fishing vessel or tugboat, is slowly making it's way from one location to another.  A young woman, wondering if she could see through the floodwaters and see sunken houses below, leans over the side of the vessel.  As she strains for a better view, something unexpected begins to float by.

-Witchblade, ep01

Noticing that one of the rubber duckies has gotten separated from the rest of the duckie family, she leans over to guide it in the right direction... by splashing the water nearby.

As the small ship heads to its destination, we see it shrink away into the distance.  The rubber duckie family, again complete, travels onward. 

Where the duckies are headed or where they came from, we never discover, but it doesn't matter.  What matters is that, even in this ruined city, rubber duckies exist and thrive.  There is hope for the world.

To be honest, the story of the rubber duckies would probably have been better than that of the Witchblade anime, a hideously violent and pointless show.  Not entirely its fault; it's not like the source material (which has no rubber duckies) was particularly good to begin with.

(hat-tip to gerberette for pointing me in the direction of the duckies!)

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:59 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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November 04, 2010

Yuno's Duckie: An Appreciation

Some three years ago, the series Hidamari Sketch debuted on Japanese satellite station BS-i.  The show followed the lives of four students, Yuno, Miyako, Sae and Hiro, all of whom are attending Yamabuki Art High School.  As a prototypical "slice-of-life" show, there's not much in the way of plot other than that of going through life with your friends.  In the third series, Hidamari Sketch Hoshimittsu,  two new characters, Nazuna and Nori, joined the cast and quickly became part of the family.

Ever since the first episode there has been another member of the group.  Yuno's rubber duckie has appeared in all but two or three episodes in the series' 44-episode run.  HidaDuck has no lines, and doesn't quack even once, but a careful watcher of the show will realize just how important it is to the main character, Yuno.  When she moves into the Hidamari Apartments, the first thing that she unpacks is HidaDuck.  At one point, she's locked out of her apartment for five days.  When she finally gets back in, she immediately apologizes to HidaDuck for leaving it alone in the dark for so long.  I've said in the past that Yuno is "one of us," a collector who truly understands the joy of ducks. 

But why is HidaDuck so special?  To be sure, it's a cute rubber duckie, but no cuter than quite a few of the members of my Flock.  It's particularly well-detailed, with distinct feathers on the wingtips and tail, but that's actually becoming more and more the norm amongst full-sized duckies these days.  That it floats, and floats well, is a nice feature but again, not one that's particularly different (though sadly, quite a few rubber duckies these days float poorly or not at all). 

There are some aspects of HidaDuck that are uncommon, however.  The eyes are quite large, bigger than those of most of the ducks in my collection.  The opened bill isn't as common as one might think, particularly when you realize that the two halves are long and unsupported (almost all of my duckies with an open bill have much shorter halves at a shallower angle, and a "tongue" in-between).  That's a good look for a duckie. 

But all of that is nothing more than an attempt to quantify something unquantifiable, namely the appeal of Yuno's Duckie.  Perhaps it's the fact that SHAFT has put so much care into making it consistent from episode to episode (though there was one time that they failed miserably).  It seems pretty clear to me that they must be drawing from a real, physical, rubber duckie as a model.  Maybe it's that Yuno obviously gets a lot of enjoyment from HidaDuck; she certainly talks to it as if it's listening, after all.  Maybe it's because it's far and away the most visible rubber duckie in anime, and perhaps on all of television, Ernie's not withstanding. 

Or perhaps it's just that HidaDuck is a cute duckie.  Really, what more reason does one need?  A cute duckie is enough on it's own.

I'll admit that I tried to e-mail SHAFT to inquire about the availability of a HidaDuck, but I can't find an address on their webpage to do so.  I refuse to give up, though.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:52 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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