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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January 29, 2011

Ducks In Anime: Lucky!

No, I didn't actually watch the show.  I was over at Doki Fansubs, one of the really good groups out there, and saw the above.  So of course I downloaded the three episode torrent to figure out which one it came from, and voila!  A lucky Ducks In Anime post!

Why, what did you think I was talking about?

(does anybody really wear their hair like that?)

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January 11, 2011

Ducks In Anime: My Necromancer Can't Be This Cute

-Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka, ep01

Okay, let's see if I've gotten this straight... our hero is dead, murdered by a serial killer.  He was brought back from the dead by a loli necromancer (necrololi?  Lolimancer?), as seen above.  The two of them are joined by a magical-girl-in-training who uses not a wand but a magical chainsaw... a pink magical chainsaw.  She loses her powers after fighting a giant bear in a school uniform.  Later, the magicless girl and the zombie schoolboy face off against a giant crayfish... and the zombie winds up having to crossdress in her magical girl outfit to defeat it.  Do I have that right? 

I do?

I'll admit that I was greatly amused... finally, a show I might actually watch this season.

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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!

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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!)

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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!)

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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.

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October 25, 2010

Ducks In Anime: A Good Day

Despite having a four-day weekend, here at Pond Central it's been something of a meh.  I'm dealing with a bad coldflucoughthing that just won't go completely away, and have been tired all the bloody time.  Other things are going on as well, leading to just one big "meh" of a weekend.

Until today.  Today began with an epic Formula 1 race, segued into an exciting (if exasperating) Bears game, and then...

-Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu Special #1

Any day with a new HidaSketch is a good day, particularly when it's a story that isn't in the four manga volumes that have been released here!  Or, at least the main story hasn't.

The secondary story is the Natsune flashback from the end of Volume 4, the one that Ume Aoki couldn't do in 4koma style.

And of course, there's the duckie.  It wouldn't be an episode of HidaSketch without the duckie.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I WANT THIS DUCKIE.


It's been a good day.

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October 15, 2010

You've Got Ducks In Anime!

-Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, ep02

First there was Uiharu's desktop app thingy, now there's an e-mail program.  It's only a matter of time until we get DuckOS...

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August 08, 2010

Ducks In Anime Has Returned!

For the first time since March 31st, 2010, we have a Ducks In Anime sighting!

-Amagami SS, ep06
I knew I liked Kaoru better than Morishima...

A closer look at the duckie reveals something important...


To be sure, it's not an exact match, but the biggest difference can be put down to the anime style of drawing eyes... even the duckies have big ones!  For the first time, I can honestly say that I possess a Duck in Anime!  It came from Wal-Mart, if you're wondering.  Part of a matching set of four, each in a different color (blue, pink and green), only a dollar each.  They're from Infantino.

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April 01, 2010

Chickens In Anime: The Proud Leghorn

-Sketchbook ~full color'S~, ep06

Is there a more regal fowl than the noble chicken?  I mean, really?

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March 31, 2010

Ducks In Anime: HidaSketch Hoshimittsu Is Over

-Hidamari Sketch Hoshimittsu Ep12

And so the most recent entry in the HidaSketch franchise has come to a close.  As with the earlier series, I'm sorry to see it end, but this time we saw a dud episode or two for once.  Not bad enough for me to avoid the next show, or to prevent me from buying it if/when it gets released, but there they were.

Of course the Core Four were still great fun to be around, and Nori-chan did grow on me nicely, but Nazuna never past a whimpering child with an inferiority complex big enough to choke a hippo.  I can't imagine her replacing, say, Hiro when she and Sae graduate, so it'll be interesting to see what happens when that occurs.

Other than the one or two episodes that turn the new girls into main characters, Nazuna more or less stays in the background, leaving the Core Four plus Nori to have the spotlight... fortunately!  Otherwise I'd be wondering why Ume Aoki hates us me. 

On the other hand, Nori has proven to be the most sane of the series.  Down-to-earth, not as prone to flights of silly as the others, and more than willing to point out the others' weirdnesses, I almost wish that the series revolved around her.  It'd make the silly more silly, and probably better... every comedy team needs a straight man, after all.  Though her idea for tomato sherbet was a little... odd.

It's the ducks, though, that push HidaSketch from "good" to "great".  Gotta love 'em... Yuno certainly does.

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March 17, 2010

St Patrick's Day 2010

Sure'n a happy St Patrick's Day to you from all the wee duckies of The Pond!

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March 15, 2010

Ducks In Anime: Yuno's One Of Us

So in the newest episode of HidaSketch, Yuno gets locked out of her apartment and ends up spending five nights away, one night with each of the other residents of the complex.  When she finally gets back into her place and discovers that the place smells horrible due to a rancid pot of soup, she stays another night with Miyako.  But what does she grab from her apartment as it airs out?  Her duckie.

-Hidamari Sketch Hoshimittsu, ep10
And later that night, as she takes a bath in Miyako's tub, she apologizes to her duckie for leaving it alone in the dark for so long.

Of all of the duckie appearances in the HidaSketch franchise, and there are a ton of 'em, this is the one that convinces me that Yuno is, in fact, a duckie fan and not just someone who has a duckie in her bathroom.  Give her a few years and she'll be visiting duckplanet and too. 

That's a darn fine duckie.

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March 09, 2010

Let Sleeping Ducks In Anime Lie

-Railgun Ep21

Oh, what the heck, let's make it a Twofer Tuesday!

-Railgun Ep21

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March 08, 2010

Ducks In Anime By The Book

-Read Or Die TV, ep01

I hadn't watched ROD TV in a few years, but I really liked it the first time through.  I didn't feel like catching up on Railgun (I'm two episodes behind) or watching Summer Wars (not enough time), so I figured what the heck, why not?

And there it was.  I don't remember it being there the first time I watched the show, but with hardsubbing, it might have been covered up.  I'll freely admit to being amazed. 

First episode is just as fun as I remember it being, too, so that's a bonus.

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March 05, 2010

The Greatest Ducks In Anime Moment Yet!

Of course it comes courtesy of Hidamari Sketch...

-Hidamari Sketch Hoshimittsu, ep08

I swear, the staff of the show must be doing this just to make me happy.

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February 27, 2010

A Different Type Of Ducks In Anime

Still HidaSketch, though...

-Hidamari Sketch Hoshimittsu, Ep07

After one or two episodes where I honestly didn't like the show, the series has come back nicely. 

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February 15, 2010

Ducks In Anime Get The BEST Views

For only the second time in the entire run of the Hidamari Sketch series, there was no sighting of a rubber duckie in Episode 06 of Hoshimittsu.  So, I'm posting these from Ep05 instead.

The duckie seems to be floating wrong, but who cares?

Oh, and click "more" for a mildly NSFW pic.  I was quite surprised it made the broadcast, to be honest, particularly after discovering that there was one episode in the first series that was VERY heavily censored... for no real good reason, in comparison to what's getting onto the air these days.


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February 04, 2010

Bathing With Ducks In Anime

-Hidamari Sketch Hoshimittsu, ep04

It's no shock to readers of The Pond that I'm a big fan of the HidaSketch franchise, what with it being the King of the Ducks In Anime category and all.  But this revelation might come as a surprise:

I didn't like this episode. 

In fact, I'm not overly fond of the two new characters either, since they're taking away from the four girls we've come to know and love.  I suppose that given time I could like Nori, the computer user, but Nazuna is everything I detest in one stupidly-wrapped package.  Timid and an inferiority complex the size of the Grand Canyon... ugh.  I cringe when she's on-screen, and recently I've been cringing when she HASN'T been on screen, for fear that she'll appear soon.

There's still plenty of time for her to come around, but I'm not holding out all that much hope: volume 4 of the manga, which is where the series is right now, has her stay pretty much the same.


Still, Yuno has her ducks.

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