(The picture is from Sabagebu! – Survival Game Club!, yet another girls with (airsoft) guns show. It has its moments, but I can’t give it more than a lukewarm recommendation. Still, it’s vastly better than that Stella C3 abomination.)
The Girls und Panzer OVA has finally been subtitled, though it apparently hasn’t hit the torrent sites yet. In it, Miho and her comrades face the girls of Anzio. They’re an enthusiastic crew who’d rather fight than eat, and vice versa. ((Yeah, I’m ripping off S.J. Perelman here.)) Anzio has a bunch of cute, but pesky, little tanks, plus one that’s not so cute. Tank otaku Yukari gets a chance to shine, and we learn more about Caesar of the military history obsessives.
The ending is never in doubt, but that hardly matters. The Anzio OVA is the most purely fun of any Girls und Panzer episode, and is worth tracking down if you enjoyed the original series.
• The opening theme for Sailor Moon is “Moonlight Densetsu.” Period. Anything else is wrong, particularly if it involves Momoiro Clover Z.
• Kotono Mitsuishi is Sailor Moon — that is, the Kotono Mitsuishi of 20 years ago. Now she’s in her mid-forties. She’s still one of the best voice actresses in the business, but you can hear the strain in her voice as she tries to sound like a fourteen-year-old
• The first episode of the rebooted anime follows what I remember of the original fairly closely. The differences are mostly improvements. Mamoru isn’t quite as insufferable as he was the first time, for instance, though he’s still a pompous twit.
• Usagi’s bawling has potential as an offensive weapon.
• The art looks vastly better than in the original anime. The character designs have been tweaked to follow the manga style more closely, which is a plus overall. Unfortuntely, it also tends to emphasize the bug-eyes.
Should you watch it? If you are a Sailor Moon obsessive or are interested in mahou shoujo/sentai team hybrids, it’s worth sampling. Most other viewers will find it rather silly. I might watch more, or I might not.
Stereo pictures from WWI. A couple of notes: stereograms made for hand-held viewers use the parallel method of viewing, not the crossed-eye. I.e., the right eye focuses on the right image, the left eye on the left. It is possible to free-fuse the images, though it is easier done than explained. Let your eyes relax and drift apart until the images of a well-defined region in the pictures, such a the bright sky through the roof in the above image pair, start to overlap. Focus on that region until the images snap together, and you should then be able to see the entire scene in perspective. (You’ll need to sit back at least two feet from the monitor if you want to see the full-size images at the link in stereo.)
My minimum standard for singing is HatsuneMiku. If a vocalist can’t sing at least as well as software, he has no business near a microphone. Similarly, I can define a minimum standard for art: if an artist can’t paint or sculpt at least as well as Hozuki no Reitetsu‘s Nasube, he needs to master his craft before exhibiting his efforts. If his works are easily mistaken for trash by the cleaning staff, they’re not art. ((John C. Wright: “Go into a modern art museum and look at the trash on the walls. Bomb the museum. Go back through the wreckage and see if you or anyone can see any change.”))
In the ninth episode of I Couldn’t Think of a Proper Title, Fino, the daughter of the Demon Lord, receives her first paycheck in the human world and goes shopping. (If the pictures are not visible, click on the boxes where they should be.)
Episode seven of Arpeggio of Blue Steel was mostly just plain silly, with the “mental models” of the warships behaving like infatuated adolescents. The show is partly about about artificial (or alien) intelligence, as embodied by the models, acquiring human-like emotions and behavior, but this was ridiculous. Oh, yeah, it was a beach episode, too. It was set on Iwoto/Iwo Jima, and, as I anticipated, there was no indication that the writers had any awareness of the geological nature of the island.
Episode seven of Kill la Kill was also subpar. All the absurd invention and energy couldn’t redeem the trite moral: wealth isn’t necessarily a blessing. (I would like to verify that for myself, though. Would anyone care to subsidize a few months of luxury for me?) It’s still worth watching, but I expected something better.
Incidentally, I recently discovered that Kazuki Nakashima, the “series composition” guy for Kill la Kill, also wrote the play that Oh! Edo Rocket was based on.
Five episodes in, the story in Kyousougiga is taking shape, and it looks like that underneath the Carrollian whimsey and name games, it is exactly what it purports to be, a fairy tale of love and rebirth in the Kousanji family. It’s difficult to encapsulate the show beyond that. ((Crunchyroll’s description of the show is “Enter a description.”)) Instead, here are a bunch of screen caps from the second episode, “Episode 1,” to give you an idea of the flavor of this willfully eccentric series.
While I wait to see how well Kenji Nakamura pulls everything together in the concluding episodes of Gatchaman Crowds, I’ve been again re-watching Mononoke, his first full series and still his best. Above is a screen capture from the fourth episode, in which an ayakashi with the unmistakable voice of Norio Wakamoto visits the passengers of a ship sailing seas stranger than any in Yellow Submarine.