January 10, 2013

Ducks In Anime: Mochi Edition


-Tamako Market, Ep01

Well, the first episode of the new KyoAni show debuted today.  Unlike almost everything else they've done, Tamako Market is original to Kyoto Animation, not based on a manga, light novel or video game.  This... may not be a good thing, as KyoAni's previous foray into original work, Munto... let's just say it wasn't worthwhile and leave it at that.

As far as THIS original work goes, jury is still out.  It had some good points (it looks great, as all KyoAni shows do, and Anko is also great) and bad (wtf bird?), but it's anybody's guess as to which will win out. 

Still, they put a duck in it.  That counts for a lot.

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January 03, 2013

Ducks In Anime: Purple


-Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!, Ep05

Kyoto Animation doesn't do ducks very often, but when they do, they're usually nothing to write home about.  It's almost as if they didn't give much thought to ducks in everyday life or something.  It does appear, however, that with Ep05 of Chuu2, they've seen the error of their ways.  A lovely shot in a lovely scene.

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December 26, 2012

Ducks In Anime: Some Perspective

As if there hasn't been enough duckplay on this site in the past few weeks...

-HidaSketch x Honeycomb Ep11

This weekend was the 12th and final episode of Season 4 of HidaSketch, and I've gotta say that this was easily the best of the bunch.  Indeed, the final minute or two nigh on made me weep, it hit all the right buttons for a good episode of the show.

In fact, looking back at it, it was the perfect way to say goodbye if there isn't a fifth season.  Fortunately, I can't imagine the franchise not getting one more run of episodes; we're too close to the obvious end, the graduation of Sae and Hiro.

Don't be confused, though: I'd be perfectly happy with more.  Actually, I'd really like a spin-off for Nori, the computer girl.  She's become, far and away, my favorite in the show.

Heh.

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December 02, 2012

Ducks In Anime: Bubble Bubble...


-Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb, Ep09

Looks like SHAFT discovered the special effects filters in their copy of Premiere.

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November 21, 2012

Ducks In Anime: Art School Called


-Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb Ep07

I'm noting a distinct whiff of "artsy-fartsy" coming from HSxH these days.  I can hear you now: "Wonderduck," you say, "it's an anime about students at an art school... what did you expect?"  And you're right, of course.  You then continue, "Plus, it's animated by SHAFT, the reigning monarchs of artsy-fartsy anime."  And I can't disagree.

What can I say?  I'm a simple duck.  I like my ducks in anime to be simple.  But HSxH has been pulling out the odd camera angles of late and that scares and confuses me. 

The newbies are disappointed.

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October 30, 2012

Ducks In Anime: Talented


-Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb, Ep04

I have no ducks that float upsidedown normally.  That's a skilled duckie.

I'm hard at work on the Halloween project.  Thanks to friend GreyDuck and his helpful pointer, I have a chance to get it done in time... if it works out, this will be EPIC.

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October 23, 2012

Ducks In Anime: !


-Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb, Ep03

!

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October 16, 2012

Ducks In Anime: HidaSketch Is BACK, Baby!

(subtitled: Yuno's Duck in Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb Ep02)

For the rubber duck fan, the HidaSketch franchise is the gift that just keeps on giving.  Even if they've done a bathhouse episode before, it doesn't matter... this isn't the sort of show where things like that are important.

Just a very nice episode all around.  And Yuno's Duck gets an entire bathhouse to swim around in, which really is rubber duck nirvana.  The only thing better would be a heated olympic-sized pool.

By the time we return to the Hidamari apartments for the traditional "Yuno-in-a-bath" moment, we've gotten three great duckshots, and plenty of HidaSketch "awwwww" moments.  Just what this tired store manager needs after a long day of training sessions.

Well, that and a cookie.

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October 10, 2012

Ducks In Anime: Kyousuke's Back!

You know, there's probably no way I won't like Little Busters, the most recent Key game to be made into an anime.  While I wasn't fond of AIR, I loved Kanon, Clannad, and the sequel ~After Story~.  There's something about their work that just hits me the right way, y'know?  Even the knowledge that it isn't being animated by KyoAni didn't stifle my enthusiasm much.  So it was with a hint of excitement that I began the first episode... and what to my wondering eyes did appear?

-Little Busters, Ep01
Yep, I'm going to like this show.

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March 26, 2012

Ducks In Anime: We Must Repeat

Not all that long ago, I said that I hadn't watched a single episode of Nisemonogatari.  That has now changed, and I've watched up to Ep04.  And found a better image of the duckie!

SHAFT draws the best duckies.  Hands down.

Much like Bakemonogatari, this show's predecessor, there's an awful lot of talking going on and not much of it makes a whole heckuvalotta sense.  Stylistically, it's the show of the year.  Content-wise?  Maybe not so good.  Still, it's got a duckie... that's gotta count for something.

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March 14, 2012

Ducks In Anime: Wamphyri


-Nisemonogatari Ep04
I haven't watched one episode of this show yet.  I just jumped into the middle of Episode 04, realized the scene I was watching was taking place in a bathroom, and waited.  I knew SHAFT, being SHAFT, couldn't resist adding a duck into the scene.


For a second, I thought that they had slipped Yuno's duckie into the show... both HidaSketch and this one are by SHAFT, after all... but no, it's a different duck altogether.  Pity they missed that opportunity, I think.

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January 12, 2012

Ducks In Anime: Yarrrrrrr!


-Bodacious Space Pirates, Ep01

I'm... not sure about this show.  On the one hand, everything seems to be perfect.  The characters are believable, or at least they're as believable as a show like this ever gets, the artwork is quite appealing, the animation is acceptable, there seems to be plenty of room for both humor and drama, and there's a bodacious space pirate rubber duckie.  Oh, and "Bodacious Space Pirates" would be a great name for a band.  Like I said, perfect.

Bodacious Space Pirate Waitress
On the other hand, everything seems to be perfect, and that scares me.  This could go so very very wrong... which would actually be pretty fun.  I find that I'm quite looking forward to Ep02.

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November 16, 2011

Canards dans l'animation: Je ne parle pas francais


-Wakfu, S02E14
Now that, my friends, is one smug looking duckie.  As one would expect from a floating convenient censorship device.  Not that he doesn't have reason to be smug...

...after all, rubber duckies get to hang out in bathtubs with teh hawt chix0rs. 

Yes, he has a reason to be smug.

Interesting show, this Wakfu.  Or, more correctly, interestingly animated show.  From what wikipedia says, it's all Flash-based, yet it's much better than any Flash cartoon coming out of the US.  To be honest, if I didn't know better I'd say it's animated the same way as any anime, just with a more cartoony look.  A look that fits the tone of the series, I might add... though since I've only seen the one episode, I'm hardly an expert on the thing.  A fun way to spend 20 minutes, though.

(tip o' le chapeau to Mauser for the pointer!)

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November 12, 2011

Ducks In Anime:


-Hidamari Sketch x SP Ep02

I'm a firm believer in the magic of rubber duckies.  Really, there's nothing a rubber duckie can't improve.  I'm glad the folks at SHAFT agree with me, at least as far as HidaSketch goes. 

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November 06, 2011

Ducks In Anime: Yuno What It Is


-Hidamari Sketch x SP Ep01
It's been a long time since we last got to hang with the gang from the Hidamari Apartments.  The arrival of the first of two Specials for the third series has fixed that, however, and with a vengeance! 

L to R: Nori, Nazuna, Yuno, Miyako, Hiro, Sae
The first half, where the six girls visit an art museum, is pretty much a perfect HidaSketch episode.  There's humor, kindness, fun... just a group of six different personalities doing things together.  If this doesn't sound like a great way to spend fifteen minutes, then the HidaSketch franchise is not for you.  Those of you who are fans of the show are probably scrambling for the torrent sites right now.  The second half, where the girls (minus Hiro and Sae, who are studying for college exams) visit an indoor swimming pool, isn't quite as heartwarming.  Point in fact, there's a lot of fanservice. 

Not that there's anything wrong with that... quite the contrary!  It just felt a little... wrong for HidaSketch.  As a visual exercise though, it was plenty good.  The Special ends with the sleepover from Vol 5 of the manga, where Yuno falls asleep as soon as it starts.  It's a little rushed, but still fun.

Then of course, there's Yuno's duckie.  How I've missed seeing it every week!  Well, there's still one more Special to go, and then the fourth season with air (date still TBA, last I checked).  Plenty of duckie still to come, and I for one wouldn't have it any other way.

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October 15, 2011

A Dark Duck In Anime Has Seven Lives


-Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi ep12

To be honest, after having watched ep12 of ITnKU (or "A Dark Rabbit Has Seven Lives"), I have no idea what the show's title means.  What I do know is that a) almost everybody in the show can use magic, 2) almost everybody in the show has the hots for the protagonist, and III) the female lead has hair that's longer than she is tall.  And of course, the final episode of the season takes place as a bath house.

The duck on the left wears a bow tie.  Bow ties are cool.
To say that this show isn't my cup of hair meat tea would be an understatement.  The only worthwhile thing about the last episode were the ducks.  To be fair to the show, the ducks are great.  They're obviously cousins of Yuno's Duck from HidaSketch, and made an obvious throwaway episode worth watching.  Even if it was with the volume down (half the cast has voices that sound like fingernails on a blackboard) and the subtitles off (I'm dumb enough already to have to have braincells killed by the script).

I gather the show is based on a successful series of light novels.  Hopefully they're better than the one episode of the anime I just watched.  But hey, ducks!

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September 14, 2011

Sugar. Spice. And Everything Nice. These Were The Ingreedients Chosen To Create The Perfect Ducks In Anime.


-Powerpuff Girls Z, Ep21

The original Powerpuff Girls was an intelligent, engaging, entertaining and funny romp of a show, one that never failed to make me laugh at its aimed-at-adults humor.  The Japanese, seeing it as homage to Super-Sentai style anime, thought it would be a good idea to remake it in their own unique way.  Thus was born Powerpuff Girls ZIt was a magical girl show, with three normal little girls becoming "Hyper Blossom," "Rolling Bubbles" and "Powered Buttercup."  It was also turned into a kids show.  In short, it was everything the original was not... in particular, it was not funny or clever in the least.  But it did have a rubber duck in one episode.  In fact, the rubber duck was even the main "villain" of Ep21 "Quack Quack Attack".  Given life by the "black light" that created monsters, the duck eventually grew to enormous size.

Left: Steven's worst nightmare.  Right: PPG fans' worst nightmare.
The duckie wound up accidentally terrorizing the city of Townsville as it tried to find its owner, which it loved very much.  All it wanted to do is be reunited with the little boy that dropped it one day.  Eventually it was, it returned to normal duckie size, and all was right with the world.  The End.

But hey: rubber duckie.  That's the only worthwhile thing to come out of PPGZ, right there.

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September 03, 2011

Ducks In Anime: Don't Call It A Comeback

The bad thing about hunting for rubber ducks in anime is that you can go for months without ever seeing one.  Even shows where a rubber duckie would make the most sense, like one taking place in an onsen, will inexplicably skip the duckie... and yes Hanasaku Iroha, I'm very disappointed in you. 

And then from out of nowhere, in a show you'd never expect to include anything as light-hearted as a duckie, you get rewarded.

-Blood-C, ep08
I mildly enjoyed the first few episodes of Blood-C, but not really enough to keep up with it.  I wasn't a fan of the first two installments (Blood: The Last Vampire, Blood+) and the addition of CLAMP to the team for C did nothing to keep me enthralled.  I found myself wondering just exactly why Saya would do her hair like that, which is probably not what the creators intended.  Then came the censoring of the fight scenes in later episodes, and I just gave up.  But something told me to download this episode today... maybe it was a mystical link I have with duckies, maybe it was fate, maybe it was Doki's preview picture, I don't know.  But there, in the middle of an dark, dark anime about a schoolgirl with a sword killing the bad things that go chomp in the night (and in the day, for that matter)... is a duck.

A nice duckie, too.  Good sized, big eyes, floats well, an all-around attractive duckie.

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May 25, 2011

Ducks In Anime: It's Been Too Long

It's been a while since there was a true Ducks In Anime sighting.  The brief view of a duck in Rio Rainbow Gate! doesn't really count, and before that the last one was in an eyecatch for (urgh) KissXsis.  You have to go back to the first episode of Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka, in early January, for the last real D.I.A.  Sometimes we'll go through this kind of lull where there is nary a rubber duckie to be found, even though there are plenty of scenes where one would be appropriate (yes, Hanasaku Iroha ep04, I'm looking at you...).  But then the darkness will turn to light, and lo a duckie will appear to great rejoicing.  Like this one:

-Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi, ep02
It's not even from a series I'm watching (get with the program, Hanasaku Iroha!); it took a pointer from Big Papa Pixy himself to bring it to my attention.  But oh, it was worth it...

more...

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March 19, 2011

RRG! Loves Me

I knew it would happen.  I could simply feel that it was going to happen.  I knew it was only a matter of time.  Lord knows I deserve it for watching this show.  And the Production Staff rewarded me for my devotion and forbearance.

-Rio Rainbow Gate, ep11

Oh heck yes.

This episode falls into the "Epically STUPID!" category, so it might take longer than normal to create the writeup.  But there was a duck, so it's a fair trade.

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