Monday, February 25, 2008


So I'm about to plunge deeper into this subculture, by putting lots of money into it. It will be a downward, vicious cycle of spending and obtaining; I can feel it. Though, arguably I started this behavior sometime ago. I was at Kinokuniya today and ended up buying 9 volumes of manga. That I am unable to read, mostly. They join the rest of my manga in my bookcase, which has been growing at an exponentially increasing rate as of late.

But, buying "raw" manga doesn't worry me that much. I feel a certain responsibility to buy the series that stand out, after having read so many scanlations. In my book, buying J-pop is more worrisome. After all, I'm not so big a fan of pop music in general. There are a few standout artists that I feel compelled to support, though admittedly I view J-pop through the limiting lens of anime openings and endings. I think what makes buying J-pop more worrisome is that I have to import it. And it's $30 an album, or $12 for a single. That level of pricing gives me pause. Still, I've filled my shopping cart and am waiting for a sense of finality -- some comparison shopping shows that yesasia doesn't carry some of my items. I guess I'll sit on this basket for one more day. Or not...

The most serious threat to my wallet and my ego, however, are figures. I posted a picture of the older version of this Haruhi some time back. I think I'm going to get it now. Hopefully the molds aren't shot.

I wouldn't be thinking seriously of getting figures if it wasn't for good ol' Heisei Democracy. I have a serious itch to get that Kagami, even at $40ish. They're definitely sucking the fanbase dry on this figure -- the design is nowhere near as complex as other figures at this price point. So, uh, somehow that makes me think that getting the Kagami + Tsukasa set is a good idea. Seriously. I'm walking a fine line between semi-restraint and full-blown goods fiending. After the figures come square pillows, and then long ones. (I don't know Polyphonica, actually, just couldn't find the Hinagiku dakimakura on this site. There seems to be a towel though. :3)

Friday, February 22, 2008

anime on bossa = wtf

I saw [Iwao Junko - Anime on Bossa] at the strangely-titled Akibanana, and decided to check it out. It's pretty weird, as expected. That's not to say that there's not good talent involved: the musicians have impressive chops, and Iwao Junko does something of an Astrud Gilberto impression. As a card-carrying member of the Jazz Police, however, I sense some faults in this album, on a deep, ideological level. First, these are anime songs (that I don't know, mostly), so they sound a bit funny (or a lot funny) when set against that swaying bossa nova beat. Second, a few of the tracks aren't bossa nova; they're that corny-earnest weird Japanese jazz.

Corny-earnest jazz is bad. It's insidiously bad. I can't really explain, it just twists me painfully inside. I've heard it in places like 99 Ranch, a CD full of "I'm playing with strategically added grace notes from a half step below, so it must be cool and jazzy now" piano schlock. So please stop making this stuff. Thanks in advance.

[This post was rescued from the drafts dustbin in May 2009, and the original link is dead.]


I've been going a little crazy these past few days trying to find out when the 10th Haruhi novel is coming out. So far, no hard date. There's some news from last summer about it being delayed. This thing (described as a shareholder report by Babelfish) shows 涼宮ハルヒの驚愕 due sometime this month. However, given that there's been no massive ad campaign, it can't be arriving anytime soon.

I kind of feel that Tanigawa-sensei has written himself into a hole with the plot direction in #9. From past author's notes, Tanigawa-sensei gives the impression that he spends a lot of time in plotting and planning. Since #10 is supposed to be the conclusion of the arc started in #9, the only thing that could be holding it back so long is a massive replumbing job. At least that's my hope. #9 gets into dangerous territory, in that it focuses the overarching plot, introducing new characters and potentially expanding the SOS-dan. In previous novels we've spent a lot of time delving into things involving Yuki and Mikuru, and not so much the Haruhi=God supposition. By extension, we've yet to see much of Koizumi's secrets. I doubt this forthcoming novel will blow the whole thing wide open, but hopefully it'll answer more questions than it raises, without sinking the enterprise.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I took a look at To LOVE-Ru and saw the name Yabuki Kentaro. Flipping through the first chapter, I'm glad to say that I didn't see Train or Sven, but the bodyguard guys were awfully familiar... Well, typical shōnen fanservice manga I guess.

Then I came across this madness. Tokunan Seiichirō: Human Clock. It's seriously surreal: feels like Dali (art and film), Picasso, Miró, and whoever else did this sort of thing, along with a splash of French cinema. I can't tell if this is pure sloppiness or pure genius.

Comipress: Tokunan Seiichirō
Julien Offray de La Mettrie
Man a Machine, translated

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Doujin Work

You would think that the whole making-doujinshi genre has been wayy overdone. It has, for sure, but somehow it's terribly enjoyable. I started watching Doujin Work again (after a hiatus), which consists of some amazingly low-budget animation. The first few episodes were pretty predictable, but I watched episode 4 last night and it was hilarious. The whole Cafe With Cat stuff was great. And ... :3

[I finally hooked up my big speakers. Earlier I played the ED from Noir, which had a rather scary presence. Now I found my Tenchi stuff. It's pretty nostalgic. The OP to Universe is rather amusing. More importantly, I need to find my Foobar settings...]

Friday, February 1, 2008

Geh, more anime

I'm glad there's not very much to watch this season. Maybe I can catch up with older stuff... primarily Dennou Coil.

I just watched the first episode of Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de / They are my noble masters. It's pretty darn trashy, but still entertaining. I confess that I do have an affinity for the ojou-sama setup, which is the primary reason for my interest in this anime. However, it may just be too trashy to endure. For example all the characters are uncannily derivative. Shinra (-sama) gives me Haruhi vibes, I can't place Hato but she seems awfully familiar, and the rest ... yeah. I like how Yume is into ham radio, but these randomnesses are just that: randomnesses. (According to Firefox spellcheck, it's a word. Woot.)

Last week I watched Minami-ke ~Okawari~. I couldn't stand last season's edition, but the new crew seems to have a better conception of the manga's unique characteristics. Just starting from the (pretty bizarre) opening, you can tell they're reaching for some OMGWTF. Then the pacing, the fast cuts, and the freeze-frames are all done in a way that reflects the manga's deadpan action. I think they got it right, along with the slice-of-life elements.

Tried Wolf and Spice. Seems pretty meh. I'm putting this series in the "going to read the novel someday" pile.

Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is awesome, no question. Haven't watched it yet, beyond a few minutes.

I finished Myself; Yourself a few weeks ago. It wasn't anything special, and I plan to hate on it sometime. Currently in the romance pile are Kimikiss, CLANNAD, and Tokimeki Memorial (surprisingly awesome, I swear), so I'm not sure about picking up either of this season's offerings. H2O has generic character design, pretty nice backgrounds, and maybe an interesting story, but I worry that it's cliché and/or depressing. True Tears seems like it has more ambitious direction, and from the description has the potential to be more heartfelt and slice-of-life-y. We'll see.