November 20, 2019

Ducks In Anime: Now With Less Giraffe

-Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight, Ep03
If you had told me that the director of this show had never worked with the director of Revolutionary Girl Utena, I would not have believed you.  And I would have been correct: the director of Revue Starlight, Tomohiro Furukawa, was assistant director on Yuri Kuma Arashi under Kunihiko Ikuhara.  And boy, does it show.

It's not quite as stylized and "out there" as Utena, but the ties are there.  The same fever-dream imagery, girls and swords, the same grand theatrical attitude towards itself.  Which is good, since Revue Starlight is ABOUT theatre.  Not surprising; the anime is based on a stage production that's half-musical, quarter-Cirque du Soleil, and quarter-Formula 1 Qualifying.  Which sounds weird, but trust me on this one... it is.  But in a good way!  If you've ever spent any serious amount of time in the theatre biz, this is a must-watch.  If you haven't, it's basically a sports series with a serious psychological aspect.  And singing.

A lot of singing.  In flat-out stage musical style.  These ain't pop songs, these aren't Idols, these are being sung by professional musical theatre actresses, many of whom have either been in or would join the stage productions.  And they're friggin' excellent.  It's been a long, long time since a series made me feel the way this one does.  I actually despise one of the characters... not because she's written poorly but because if you've spent any time in theatre, you know her attitude is... untenable.  That's good work from the writers.  But don't go into this expecting Idol happiness and fluff, you won't get it.  Does the possibility frighten you?

I understand.

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September 18, 2019

Ducks In Anime: Forgot About This One!

-Shokugeki no Soma S2 OVA

While casually searching through one or another of my "screenshots I may use someday" folders, which are filled to the digital brim with reaction shots or interesting things... trains, scenery porn, that sort of stuff... I discovered a Ducks In Anime picture I didn't recognize!  Understand, this is practically unfathomable to me... I can tell at a glance if I have used an anime duckie in a D.I.A. post, and I know this one has never been.  PARTICULARLY since it's Megumi, who would rank rather high on my list of favorite characters of late.  She's interesting, which is more than I can say about the main for this particular show.

What really (note: not really) terrifies me is that I don't remember watching this particular episode/OVA/whatever.  Indeed, I just yarrrred it and watched and I'm almost positive I haven't seen it before.  So how did the first picture in this post wind up in possession?  I don't know, it will forever be a mystery to me.  But hey, more Ducks In Anime, amirite?

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September 05, 2019

Ducks In Anime: Yes I Saw It

It started simply enough... an e-mail saying "Watch DanMachi2 Ep 05."  Then a text message.  Then a comment here on The Pond.  Then another text message.  Then a post over at R's place.  Then another e-mail.  And what heralded all this fooferraw?


-Danjon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Daro ka S02, Ep05
First, it was a duckie.  A very nice duckie to be sure, don't get me wrong, but a single duckie.  At which point, the producktion staff realized that while a single duckie is nice, many duckies are better.  Much better.  Much much better.

Even I had to admit, that was a lot of duckies... and they almost literally appeared out of nowhere.  First one duckie, then many duckies flowed their way into the bath like they had been there all the time... which they hadn't, as an earlier establishing shot confirms.

So where did all of these rubber duckies come from?  Particularly considering this is a fantasy world of swords and magic and Hephaestus isn't a lame, misshapen, ugly man but a eye-wateringly hot redhead with an eyepatch... rubber duckies should, sadly, not be a thing.  But yet, there they are!

I am hardly one to complain about rubber duckies in anime.  Heavens no!  I don't even care about internal consistency when it comes to their appearance in a series... the more duckies the better, is what I say.  Particularly when we all really know why they're here...

Yep.  That's why.  They're just doing their job.

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July 29, 2019

Ducks In Anime: Duck And Pandahamster

-Baja no Studio OVA
There once was a pandahamster named Baja.  He had a friend that was a rubber duck.  At least, he thought they were friends.  Baja lived inside, the rubber duck lived outside.

This is where they both lived.  Some of you might have just paused and thought "hey, why does that look kinda familiar?"  Sadly, there's a very good reasonBaja no Studio was made by Kyoto Animation and they based the building off of their Studio 1.

I saw this OVA last weekend, shortly after news of the terrible fire had taken over anime fans' attention.  I'm not gonna lie, scenes like this, of daily life around the building, were hard to watch.  It's a very light-hearted affair, Baja no Studio is, but I couldn't help but think about that madman's fire ripping through the place.

But there are magical girls, and zeppelins, and a magic comet blazing its way across the sky, and there is Baja and Ga, and for those 23 minutes or so, Studio 1 is a place of wonder and merriment again.

There's unsubbed version on yootoob, and subbed versions in all the usual places.  It's worth the watch. 

Update 8/2/2019:  Kyoto Police released the names of some of those killed in the arson.  Yoshiji Kigami, the director of Baja no Studio, was on the list.

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April 08, 2019

Ducks In Anime: Quite Possibly A Record

-Nande Koko ni Sensei ga!, Ep01
I don't know a darn thing about the show, except that the uncensored version is airing on the 11th.  That right there may in fact tell me all I need to know about the series.  It's only obvious that I'll be watching it, of course, if for no other reason that to see if there are more ducks.

I'm sure many people will read that and say, "Uh huh, more ducks, right."  Longtime readers of The Pond, however, are nodding their heads, "more ducks.  That's Wonderduck all right."

Anyway, the reason for the title?  These two ducks (the other one is offscreen bottom... it's a pan shot) appear in the OP, maybe a little over a minute into the episode.  I can't remember if there's been any other OPs with a duck appearing, so this might be the earliest a duck has appeared in an episode of anime ever.  Or not.  Either way, duckies!

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June 20, 2018

Ducks In Anime: Kase-san And Duckie

-Asagao to Kase-san OVA
Every now and again, something really special will come down the pike.  Roughly a year ago, I mentioned a manga entitled Kase-san And..., recommended it highly, then told you to go to Midnite Tease for a good post about it.  Since then, all of the manga has come out and it was still just as lovely as it had been.

And then an OVA was announced.  I squeeeee'd.   It came out a few days ago, and I squeeee'd again.  And then I actually watched it.  

Oh yes, yes indeed.

I find myself, however, in an odd position... I'm not entirely sure I can recommend it to my readers.  In a lot of ways, the OVA is for those who have read the manga.  It skips around a lot, not touching some of the more important story arcs, including a couple of the more important ones (school sports day, anybody?).  If you've read the series, this isn't a problem... you know how Yamada and Kase got to where they are... but I imagine it might be less fulfilling to one who has no idea "what came before."  Or during, come to think of it.  

Was it good?  Oh heavens yes.  Is it worth watching?  I think so, as long as you're okay with some yuri in your life.  But it's not even your normal yuri show... these two honestly, truly, have a thing for each other, in a way you don't see very often in anime.  But if you haven't read the manga, there are layers that I think you'll miss out on.  So take that as a head's up.

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February 22, 2018

Ducks In Anime: Take A Duck Camping

-Yuru Camp, Ep08
This season's best series marches on relaxedly, heading for the Great Camping Finale.  Fortunately for all of us, there's still another four or five episodes to come.  I'll be quite melancholy once it's over... it's just that sort of show.  A bit of Comfy Camp before bed is what my entire Thursday is geared towards.  

I actually had very high hopes for the show to give us a Ducks In Anime entry, what with all the hot springs we've seen and all.  Turns out my reasoning was 100% sound, the duck just had nothing to do with camping whatsoever.  Well, that's perfectly fine too.  Ducks Is Ducks, and Comfy Camp is way too comfy.

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February 04, 2018

Ducks In Anime: The Things I Watch For This Category...

-Orenchi no Furo Jijou, Ep01
So a guy is walking around and finds a shirtless guy seemingly near death, calling for help.  He picks him up and carries him home.  Only then does he notice that his visitor is a merman.  Oh, and that mer-folk need to stay in water or they die.

Oh, and the local river is polluted so can he please stay here?  Cue wacky bathtub hijinks.  Oh, and later a octopus-man joins the party.  There are lots of longing looks thrown around, and only the rubber duck who acts as the narrator is sane.

Thankfully, each episode is less than three minutes in length.  Even that feels too long, however.  It's absolutely not the sort of show I'd watch, except there's a duck.  See what I do for my readers?

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December 04, 2017

Ducks In Anime: What The...?

-Is The Order A Rabbit?, Ep01
What the hell is that?


What the hell is THAT?


What the hell are THOSE???

I'm really enjoying Is The Order A Rabbit?, but... what the hell, Japan?  It's rubber ducks, not rubber rabbits.  Jimmy Carter notwithstanding, rabbits don't swim.  This actually bothers me much more than anything Hellsing Ultimate did, and that show is batsh*t insane.

So is Rize, but in a good way.  She's keeping this show from going completely into Saccharin City, and I thank her for it.  It's been a while since I've laughed out loud at an anime, but she's managed to make me do it a couple of times in the space of three episodes.  

Just... go watch it.  It won't be everybody's cup of... um... coffee... but it's good!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:29 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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November 15, 2017

Ducks In Anime: Out Of The Darkness, A Light


-Aquarion Logos, Ep02
Despite my advancing years, my eye can still be distracted by cute representatives of the opposite sex, even to the point of watching an anime series solely because of a character design.  Oh, it doesn't happen often... I usually require something more than that, like a storyline or grand concept that is appealing... but upon occasion everything will line up just right.  As I wasn't really paying attention to anything this season... I still intend to finish up Girls Last Tour... I said "what the hell," and began watching Aquarion Logos.

This was not the best idea I ever had.  I acknowledge that giant robot shows can in theory be interesting and enjoyable.  Having acknowledged that, I need to state that Aquarion Logos does nothing to prove that theory correct.  Lots of combining small ships to make a big one, lots of yelled attack moves, flat-out awful animation levels, a stupid stupid plot... really, the only worthwhile thing in it is the Tagonist, Maia (above).  Yes, tagonist.  She's not on the side of Right And Good, so she can't be the protagonist, but she's not on the side of Darkness and Evil anymore either, so she's no antagonist.  So she's a Tagonist. Oh, and the cafe that's a front for the Good Guys' Giant Robot Hangar has a row of rubber duckies, as seen up top there.  Sadly, even the combination of cut-off jeans shorts and rubber duckies cannot save this series.


* Yes, I know I'm not using protagonist and antagonist correctly.  Just roll with it.

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July 11, 2017

Ducks In Anime: Now That's What I Call Cute

-Flying Witch, Ep09

Not only did I love Flying Witch because of how good it made me feel ("Max Comfy!"), but it also had the cutest darn duckie ever to grace this category.  Remember, the mother is a children's book illustrator... this is a page from a piece she's working on.

Why haven't you watched it yet?

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June 18, 2017

Ducks In Anime: UberLyft

As I often do on Saturday nights, I was online chatting with Brickmuppet (which says a lot about my life, doesn't it?).  He was sending me various and sundry pictures of a somewhat questionable nature, as is the usual wont, but one of them was different.  It was a picture of a tiny fairy-like being riding a duck.  I recognized it immediately, because c'mon, it's an anime duck... and I realized that I had never actually used that particular show before!  The time has come to rectify that mistake.

-Binchou-Tan, Ep01
The entire series has been put on yootoob and I warn you, you will immediately develop both cavities and diabetes from watching it.  But it's really kinda worth it... it's just a lovely little piece of fluff where every character is the living embodiment of types of charcoal.

It isn't all sweetness and light of course.  Binchou-tan is a lonely orphan that lives in a small house deep in the woods and has to forage for food when she isn't working in the nearby town doing menial tasks.  One of her friends is a miko that communes with the afterworld.  Y'know, that sort of thing.  There's some meat in the froth, though.  Well worth the cost of time, dental work, and insulin.  I will warn you that, unless you are completely heartless, there is a very chance you will be tearing up or flat-out crying during the last few episodes.

And it's got the best looking realistic ducks I've ever seen in anime.  That counts for a lot too.

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June 13, 2017

Ducks In Anime: For A More Civilized Age

-Kiniro Mosaic, Ep01

Should have been a slam-dunk for me... a laid-back, funny, CGDCT series seems right up my alley.  Except there were a couple of minor problems... it wasn't laid-back or funny.  It tries to be funny, it just... isn't.  Not to me, in any case.  Four of the five girls are annoying... like, fingernails on a blackboard annoying... and the one that isn't tends to be both quiet and spacey, a combination that just... doesn't... work.  It only just barely worked with Azumanga Daioh's Osaka, and believe me, Kiniro Mosaic ain't no AzuDai.  What I'm trying to tell you is "don't watch it."  

Sorry, I'm heartless and cruel... trying to be sad and cute ain't gonna cut it with me, not now.

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June 03, 2017

Ducks In Anime: Stand Alone Duckie


-Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Ep26
A few months back, I stumbled upon GITS:SAC running on Cartoon Network at, like, 4am.  I was struck by just how great the show looked, particularly since it was first broadcast in 2002.  Oh, sure, there are moments when it looks... not so hot... but by and large, they're outnumbered by the drop-dead gorgeous visuals.

For a while there, Production IG was the company to go to if you wanted a show to look top-shelf.  Sort of the way KyoAni is now, I suppose.  I gather they were the first to really devote themselves to digital animation.  Surprisingly, GITS:SAC avoids most of the oddness of early computer animation; only some cars look like they've been pasted into the scene.  I find it hard to ding the series in any way, really.  The storyline is a little clunky at times, but on the whole it all works.  Hard not to recommend it.

...and the rubber duckie has a red sailor hat and kerchief on.  Bonus points for that!

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January 07, 2017

Ducks In Anime: The Grand Return

Did you realize that it's been over a year since the last Ducks In Anime entry that featured an actual rubber duck?  It's time to fix that.

-Seiren, Ep01
Remember Amagami SS?  Essentially the first show to do an omnibus format,  with each girl getting four episodes, based on a PS2 dating sim?  Back in 2010?  No?  Yes?  Well, Seiren is essentially an indirect sequel to Amagami SS, taking place in the same world, in the same school as the older show.  In fact, one of the secondary characters is the younger brother of one of the girls from Amagami.  It looks like Seiren is going to be exactly the same type of series... and that's good, because Amagami was a secret jewel of a show.  If it's anywhere as good as the older series, this one is going to be a great time.

And hey, first episode rubber duck.  That counts for a LOT in my world.

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September 25, 2016

Ducks In Anime: Tanks For The Memories


-Girls und Panzer der Film
What, you've never seen tanks camouflaged as rubber ducks before?
It was a well-known technique during WWII, replacing the terribly ineffective zebra camouflage.  Zebras, of course, are not native to Europe or the Pacific.  Ducks, however, are ubiquitous.

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July 31, 2016

Ducks In Motorsports #01

Some five years ago, the Rubbaduck named "Ducktona" joined The Flock.

While Ducktona was actually designed as a way to promote duck races, there's clearly some NASCAR-type stuff goin' on here, too.  Now, I've joked once or twice about getting The Pond on a car somewhere (mainly the occasional Red Bull Faces For Charity event), but nothing serious.  But Rubbaducks... well, they've got more resources than I do.

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce The Xfinity Series #74 Dodge Challenger of Mark Harmon, who has just become duckdom's favorite driver!  He's one of the small guys, racing on week-to-week sponsorships, and he's probably best known for surviving what is often considered the worst NASCAR accident of all time

Rubber ducks in racing... once nothing but a dream, now a reality!

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June 21, 2016

Ducks In Anime: The Lyrical Version


-Servant x Service ED

Some people out there might call this cheating.  Since I run this darn blog and I get to set the rules however I see fit, to those people I say "Pbpbppbpbbbbbbbbthhhtttthhhhhh."

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:28 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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March 22, 2016

Ducks In Anime: Season 2 Of Hibike! Euphonium...

...apparently has less of a budget than anticipated.

Needs more of the Goofy Cute.  But there IS a duck...

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January 04, 2016

Ducks In Anime: In The Sticks


-Non Non Biyori, Ep01 ED

Over at some place or another, a conversation took place concerning "shows that were like ARIA."  The general consensus was that, other than YKK, there really aren't any shows like ARIA.  That led to me trotting out my theory that the two shows take place in the same universe, but that's not the point of this little missive right now.  One series that got a lot of support as feeling like ARIA without being anything like it was Non Non Biyori.  I'll be honest, I knew absolutely nothing about the series other than the name, so what the heck, let's give it a shot.  After watching the first two episodes, I've come to some general conclusions.

First, that's one darn handsome duck.  Second, neh, it's closer in feel to Sketchbook than to ARIA, which is no bad thing in my opinion.  Short version of story: Fifth-grader from Tokyo moves to tiny village out in the boonies, joins school that has four other students: 1st, 7th, 8th, and 9th graders.  They're all in the same classroom.  Hijinks occur languidly. 

Third, come for Renge-chan playing the recorder, stay for the scenery porn.  Everywhere you look, scenery porn.  Languid scenery porn, to be sure, but there nonetheless.  Should you watch it?  Heck, I dunno... I've only seen two episodes and it's kinda been hit-and-miss for me.  Languid scenery porn is nice and all, but something approximating a story would be useful once in a while.

Still... rubber duck in the credits.  A+ for effort.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:31 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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