Waving as I pass by

Life is complicated these days, and anime is low priority. I’ve heard good things about Kimi ni Todoke — I gather that the protagonist is Aspie-ish, which could be interesting, handled well — and I plan to download it when I see a batch torrent. Otherwise, though, nothing else recent looks worth the time.

A few random notes:

Via Pete, here’s a look at a deluxe Russian edition of Haibane Renmei.

Many in the otakusphere have been writing about the decade in anime. Uh, guys, you’re jumping the gun. Just as 2000 was the last year of the 20th century, 2010 is the tenth year of the first decade of the no-longer-new century, not the first of the second decade.

Disappointing musical news: Kayo is leaving Polysics. The band apparently will continue to tour and record, but it won’t be the same without her robotic persona and bleepy synths. Who else can possibly shake the pompons in “Peach Pie on the Beach”?

I bought myself a Christmas present, the basic edition of Filter Forge. It’s something like Reaktor for graphic artists: you can download thousands of filters made by other users, or you can roll your own from the tools provided (if you get a fuller version). There are a couple of examples below the fold. Warning: they’re based on a snapshot of myself, and I am not cute. Once you see them, you can’t unsee them.

Continue reading “Waving as I pass by”


Media Blasters has rescued Seirei no Moribito. Further good news: the first novel in the series that Moribito is based on is scheduled to be published in June. The series also will be shown on Cartoon Network. I look forward to apoplectic reactions from the “meat is murder” crowd when the twentieth episode airs.


Quote of the week:

As regards Go Nagai, I’m not sure that the creator of Kekko Kamen and Cutey Honey is really the father [of anime] we want to acknowledge. He’s more like the creepy uncle who goes around wearing the trench coat.


So far, the only upcoming series I plan to watch is Allison to Lillia. The main reason, of course, is that it is based on books by Keiichi Sigsawa, the creator of Kino no Tabi. I recently discovered that the opening and closing themes feature the Kuricorder Quartet, who, as the Kuricorder Pops Orchestra, did the music for Azumanga Daioh.

Update: Astro has posted the opening.


A few notes on the Anime Blog Awards before I drop the subject forever:

1. As I mentioned before, Rule #10 disqualifies me from participating:

10. You do not have to nominate blogs for all the categories. However, you are required to fill in at least 9 nominations in 9 different categories in order for your nomination to be accepted.

Let’s see: I don’t read manga; I don’t obsess over particular seiyuu; I’m not interested in fan art, doujinshi or visual novels; I don’t collect figurines; my main sources of anime news are not blogs; and, for humor, satire and comics, I’m too spoiled by David Burge, Randall Munroe and their peers to have much interest in their otakusphere counterparts. That leaves at most eight categories in which I might be able to make knowledgeable nominations. Owen, in a comment on my earlier post, says

I got clarification: it’s a guideline, not an absolute rule. It was made in order to scare off those who’d vote in like 1-2 categories for 1-2 people or something. Perhaps you have like 5, 6, 7 potential nominations? That’s fine.

That implies that there are two sets of rules, the official ones posted on the site, and the real rules, which are secret. If that’s the case, then I’m really not interested in being part of this.

2. The categories are rather arbitrary. I can think of several not included that I would rather have seen than some listed, and I expect that you can, too. The worst omission: there should have been a category for “best reviews.” The single most useful service an anime blogger can do is to identify what’s worth my time and explain why. Those who are good at it deserve recognition.

3. The list of blogs nominated so far suggests that the inhabitants of this region of the otakusphere are rather parochial. The awards are popularity contests and you’re inevitably going to see the same sites over and over, but I expected a broader range of nominees. Many of the sites I find most interesting were still missing from the lists last time I checked. Surely I’m not the only one who finds the infrequent updates at AniPages Daily worth the wait. There was exactly one nomination for a mee.nu blog. There is one site in particular I have in mind whose absence from four of the listed categories is inexplicable and renders the competition meaningless (not that that particular blogger gives a damn).


Nick has posted a collection of short works by Makoto Shinkai on his site.


I’ve been following the “March madness” at Derailed by Darry. It’s depressing; it demonstrates yet again that popular taste is a lousy guide to quality. In search of further bad news, I took a close look at the list of the “Top 50 best rated” animes at ANN. ((There are two different lists of the “best,” each calculated differently, but both essentially the same. This one is the “bayesian estimate.”)) Here it is, with my comments:

Continue reading “Foolishness”


(If you’re reading this at Anime Nano, don’t bother clicking through. This is just the traditional “no time to write” post.)

Nutcracker season is imminent. While I’m not on stage this year, I will be in the auditorium taking thousands of pictures during tech week. There won’t be time for anime or anything else beyond work, sleep and photography. Things should return to what passes for normal around the middle of December. There might be a book review or two, but otherwise don’t expect much activity here until then.


If you need something to read, there’s plenty of fuss in the otakusphere about whether anime will survive. The most cogent discussion is, predictably, at Steven’s, here and here (be sure to read the comments). See also Avatar, Author and DiGiKerot.

Quirky, cutesy, strangely dressed

The only kind of “moe” I really understand is Moe Howard. I’ve been trying to get a handle on moe as the term is used in the otakusphere, and I have been following Avatar‘s reporting on this year’s Saimoe tournament, but I’m not sure that I grasp the concept (or that there is a concept there worth grasping). Let’s see if I have this right.




Not moe. (From Oh! Edo Rocket)

Let’s try a subtler distinction.




Probably not. (From Denno Coil)

Isako is possibly the most interesting character in any current series, but I think that she’s probably too intimidating to be truly moe.

Let’s see how far we can push the concept.

Continue reading “Quirky, cutesy, strangely dressed”

What anime fans share in common …

that make them attracted to anime in the first place.

I have an untested theory that anime fans tend to be… by disposition not attached to the physical world. They get by with the education mill and then join the workforce – some of them may do extraordinarily well, some less so. Their level of participation in society at large tends to stop at earning their bread – they are just not the type who get anxious in not participating in the mating rituals, climbing the greasy pole etc. I think it is mostly because their mental life is too occupied with something else better than the real world has to offer. It is not that they are maladjusted – they tend to do this by choice.

Exceedingly random notes

I’ve watched very little anime recently, mainly because I’ve been playing with my new toy. It’s as much computer as camera, and learning everything it’s capable of is a major project. (Not that it’s hard to use — put it on “auto” and it is a superior point-and-shoot.) I’ve been posting some of the pictures on my other weblog, starting with “90/365.”


The third episode of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei doesn’t begin with an attempted suicide, which is a bad omen for this black-humored satire. This week’s flakes are a blonde with a dual personality and an illegal immigrant. Unfortunately, Itoshiki disappears in the last third of the show, and Kafuka doesn’t have the same chemistry with obsessive-compulsive Chiri as she does with Mr. Despair. While tasteless humor is to be expected in this sort of show, some of the gags cross the line, notably a brief allusion to pedophilia. Although SZS remains the least unfunny of the current comedies that I’ve seen (Oh! Edo Rocket is something more), I’m still underwhelmed. I watched it a second time, pausing to read all the graffiti on the blackboard, and it wasn’t worth the effort.

Otherwise, I’ve been rewatching Shingu. I’m half-way through and, once again, I’m in no hurry to finish it. I may make some time this week to get caught up with Denno Coil; four new episodes were posted in the last three days, after a three-week dry spell. I may also take a look at Mononoke.


A couple of weblogs that might be worth keeping track of:

FictionJunction J-music — Julien writes about and posts samples of anime soundtracks and other Japanese music.

Japanese words of anime fans … — Discussion of Japanese terms of interest to anime viewers. Many of the words I would prefer not to learn, but it is a potentially useful site nevertheless. (Via Wabi Sabi and Nick.)


Sailor Moon remains a constant menace. Usagi Tsukino and her cohorts currently pose two fresh threats. First, there is a “Sailor Moon” game in development for the Wii. Fortunately for the West, it will probably be region-restricted to Japan. And if that isn’t frightening enough, Usagi herself is poised to strike Japan as a major typhoon:


I hope Ken is packing an umbrella.