Monday, December 24, 2007


This song's been rattling around in my head. "Kimi to Yozora to Sakamichi to", something about You and the Night Sky and the Slope, if I'm parsing that correctly. "Slope" isn't very romantic, of course. Neither is most of Myself; Yourself. Okay, that was a bad segue; I'm still watching it after all. The good part: Nanaka miko banzai. The bad part: unlimited loli works. Okay, I'm stretching again, but to spend two episodes on whatshername offends my sensibilities. I guess you can't create a visual novel for the mainstream without hitting all the major demographics. And there's probably not enough plot to fill out 13 episodes otherwise, even though they've thrown in just about every cliché they could. Well, I take that back, they've got several characters' worth of plot left, probably; Ep 7 implies that there's even a path for Yuzuki-sensei. Admittedly the anime has made me mildly curious about the visual novel. For example, these frames are pretty much instant tsundere gratification.

(Slight change of topic) Looking at ANN, Nanaka's seiyuu, Ami Koshimizu, has done a lot of other roles. This season, she's also in Kimikiss, as Hoshino-san, a role that's close to that of Nanaka. Interestingly, she's also the voice of Tenma in School Rumble, quite a different character. Even more curiously, she's going to be Horo in Wolf and Spice/Spice and Wolf/Spicy Wolf, something of a teasing role. Well, next season should be interesting.

Oh yeah, the song. It's very catchy, particularly the refrain. For awhile I had "ボクらしく,そう,キミらしく,ただ夜空を見める" repeating endlessly in my head. That line pretty much sums up my romantic attachment to this song. Listening to it now, I can identify other catchy aspects. There's that guitar riff after the lead-in, which turns into a chromatic upward cadence -- it's a major rush. I've also started to notice the stunning effectiveness of simple backup voices, whether in harmony, or to add breadth to the melodic line. In this case there's a lot of groovy "whoo-hoo"ing which somehow works extremely well. Man, there's an organ in the mix too. These arrangements never cease to amaze.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The lately

I haven't been doing much of anything lately. Watched one or two episodes of Noir. Read the usual unending trickle of manga; some may be worth discussing in depth.

The only thing I really caught up on is Kimikiss. Certain portions are absolutely inane (you know, the frogs) but the rest is exactly the vicarious romance that the doctor ordered, in a variety of addicting flavors. (The worst part about romance material is withdrawal, after all.) Putting that matter aside, it seems that the production committee blew their budget on that sax CG. That said, it's actually pretty good CG for once, and musically accurate (disclaimer: the only wind instrument I play is the recorder). But the question is, why'd they devote the effort to it? Why go so far as to integrate a solo passage into the CG sequence? It boggles the mind.

Oh, since I was in the city today, I went to Kinokuniya. It seems they've expanded into the ground floor, basically directly below the second floor space, with a reduced footprint. The first floor is all manga, and the second floor is "other stuff". The expanded store might be larger than the San Jose location, but I'm not sure. I somehow felt that the manga selection wasn't as large, but that may be because I wasn't able to find Moyashimon.(Their website shows it in stock at SF, but I looked around the KC section several times and didn't see it. Maybe I should just ask next time. Or bring one of these along.) But I got the rest of what I was looking for, and resisted buying some mysterious $10 boxed Haruhi figure. (Seems to be the Solid Works Collection DX.)

The requisite picture:

I haven't been keeping up with news, so it was gratifying to see that Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is getting a second season. The volume of N.H.K. is for a friend who's also slowly learning Japanese. Minami-ke is just for staying current, even if I can't read it properly.

Mokke is definitely much better than the anime adaptation would lead one to believe. It feels like a seinen manga -- and I'm not talking about the lack of furigana.

All this manga piling up means that I need to start studying the language seriously. I've been sitting on this textbook for almost six months, sigh. Time to get cracking.