May 28, 2012

Aniplex Announcements

Crunchyroll has a report on a bunch of recent Aniplex announcements.

  • Sentai Filmworks is confirmed as the licensor for Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works
  • Aniplex will take pre-orders for the second volume of Fate/zero on Blu-Ray starting June 1st for release on September 9th simultaneously with the Japanese release
  • Bakemonogatari will be receiving a new sub only boxset release this Fall on Blu-Ray with no plans to dub either it or the sequel series Nisemonogatari. Unfortunately, there are also no plans to stream Bakemonogatari.
  • Aniplex does not have plans to go back and dub either Blue Exorcist or Fate/Zero
  • OreImo will be re-released later this summer in a lower-priced DVD edition
  • Baccano will be re-released following its previous limited Blu-Ray box release
  • Kara no Kyoukai/Garden of Sinners will be released in a new limited edition DVD boxset this Fa

There is a bit of good news in that Sentai did indeed get UlBW. They have announced a Bang Zoom dub which speaks well of their finances and confidence in the market.
However, In the rest of the announcements I note the continued trend in avoiding dubs. While this is of little direct concern to many of our readers it means that the current plan does seem to be to skip the US Distributors and simply release Subtitled Japanese Blue Rays at... Japanese prices.

US Anime is doomed!...must..tweet...everybody!

Ubu saw this coming a while back, and while it is indeed a big FU to the US fans it is not entirely out of the blue.

The Japanese prices are insane and, I believe, counter-productive even to their domestic market in the long term, but they are, in part, a response to the huge piracy issue, the shrinking domestic market (which the prices help to shrink) and the fact that the Japanese companies have the additional overhead of producing the product (US and other overseas distributors just have licensing, distribution and occasionally dubbing ).

I would be very surprised if a lot of the licensing was not discontinued in favor of just the subtitle track. The total sales would drop but a few hundred or a couple of thousand sales total would make what they'd get from licensing with an option for more if it was a runaway hit. If there is licensing in the future it might well be restricted to dub only in the future to kill re-imports.



Of course they'll also kill off most of the legit market here because 700 dollars (350 per season) for a series is stark raving cuckoo for cocoa puffs.


The Japanese prices also make clear one reason why collector Otaku are thought of poorly in Japan. The hobby there takes as much money as a heroin habit. Someone who indulges in it there is either rich beyond the dreams of Avarice or has some seriously screwed up priorities.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 03:19 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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In Defense of the Indefensable


I have a confession to make.
I...
I...
I actually liked High School of the Dead.

I may be the only human being for whom that is true.

Allow me to defend this most indefensible of opinions.

First, it must be acknowledged that most of the criticisms of this show have valid points. The fan service is a bit over the top. I sure as hell could have done without the damned panty shots. It is a grim show.  It is aggressively and flamboyantly excessive. It is disrespectful to physics.


 Physics and her friend Anatomy called...They're pissed!#

All that being said this show has some real strengths.

The early episodes in particular do a better job than many zombie movies (even Romero's own) of conveying the actual horror of the whole zombie apocalypse situation. They handle that bit really well. This is all the more remarkable because of the breakneck pacing of the early episodes. The show manages to combine non-stop action with a sense of genuine dread as the characters realize just what is going on and the implications of it.

It is a horrific show, and at times hard to watch, but the admittedly excessive fan service actually mitigates this somewhat. It is sufficiently silly to act as comic relief and thereby break some of the tension.

In fact, the two most gratuitous episodes regards cheesecake,  6 and 7, (where the show managed to work in sort of a bathhouse episode), were in some ways the saving grace of the series. Both actually had some neat, even thoughtful, character bits. They also added a bit of humanity and decency that saved the show from becoming the nihilistic exercise so many stories in this genre are.



From that point the show becomes not so much a horror show as a show about retaining ones humanity in the midst of a societies collapse.  The cheesecake is somewhat toned down in later episodes as well.

In any event the show is never boring.


For all that, I probably would not have liked it had I not first seen the dub, which is superb, and is delivered with the staccato pacing of a Howard Hawks film and with  just a bit of snark. The voice acting is really well done Mark Laskowski and Maggie Flecknoe in particular do a superb job. The nurse in the dub has a voice that can grate cheese...but that actually fits. As I type this there's a 12 minute spoileriffic excerpt from ep2 of the dub here which gives a good overview of the pacing of the early episodes.

The show is indeed aggressively and flamboyantly excessive.

It is also, despite it's exceedingly grim nature, a show that manages to be surprisingly upbeat and I frankly found it rather fun.

...and now
Well, now you know that about me.



#Regards...that .gif
The bullet is traveling in the vicinity of 2700 feet per second.
    The bosoms in question transit back and forth during the time that the projectile passes through the area of interest  and thus are moving at least twice as fast as the bullet itself. This gives a breast speed of at least 5400fps.
    The speed of sound at sea level is roughly 1100fps. 5400 fps is just under 5 times that or approximately Mach 4.8-Mach 4.9 so a conservative reading of the available evidence would indicate that in addition to her levelheadedness, well developed sense of ethics, athleticism and general competence, Saeko possesses hypersonic tits.

The above analysis was originally posted here....where spoilers and snark dance the tango together.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 01:03 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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May 27, 2012

Chekov's Zodiac

This episode of Bodacious Space Pirates started out as a bit of a mess.

It muddled along as a moderately enjoyable collection of random events until suddenly...

It all began to come together.


Why is she wearing her pirate hat in the dingy?.Oh never mind..

Every random bit is there for a reason, either to ad to the plot, or distract from it or provide nice character continuity. 

This episode is a rollicking good time but it is has a much darker edge than earlier ones. This is a real battle and in the worst possible circumstances.






This show really exemplifies why Japanese kids shows are sometimes more satisfying than many American live action dramas. These kids are striving to be adults. They don't always succeed at that (they are kids) but they have goals and dreams and they generally behave as young adults. They take their responsibilities seriously.  In a lot of contemporary shows here the adults are trying desperately to avoid responsibility, whine a lot and generally act like kids.

Also this show has space battles, dogfights...and silly pirate hats that make perfect sense in context.

I'll call this one a win.




Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 12:38 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 20, 2012

Oh..So There's a Fetish for That

I probably could have led a happy, prosperous and productive life and never known that....but didn't so I do.

Mysterious Girlfriend X is a perversely engaging show. I'm not sure I'll be able to get past the squick factor, but I laughed out loud several times.


Certainly it delivers at least part of what it promises in that there is a girlfriend and she is sure as hell mysterious.



Not Pictured: Her exceedingly sexy voice.

Urabe is the quintessential mysterious transfer student and seems to have a rather traumatic past... 

She's a bit odd; not a typical space cadet in that she seems to be aware and a decent student, just not very sociable, a little awkward and apparently sleep deprived. She's really kind of interesting in the same way our hero protagonist is not...

Souvlaki here is well named as he appears to be just a random piece of animated meat whose job is to be enough of a cypher that salivapheliacs of all walks of life will be able to relate to him.

"Excuse me. My name is Tsubaki."

Anyway...

The two end up sitting next to each other and after a while romance blossoms oozes between them.

It is a very off-beat and rather cute show.

There is also drool...rather a LOT of drool.
I nearly wretched twice.
I laughed out loud 4 times..once while almost wretching.
Thus I find myself conflicted but holding at 2 to 1 in favor of continuing the series.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 01:29 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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May 07, 2012

Palate Cleanser

Sort of...
The last post was High octane nightmare fuel so here is something that is...merely wrong.


Via
Beware, NSFW language.


Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 10:19 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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May 05, 2012

Earnestly Paving The Road to Hell

Magical girl shows:
Someone has given ENTIRELY too much thought to the concept.




I'd long heard that Puella Magi Madoka Magica was good.
But...
It's a magical girl show
I'm 42.
I'm a dude.
To say I have little interest in the genre is an understatement. It was, therefore, rather far down on my to watch list.

I was particularly afraid that it was going to be a creepy underage cheesecake vehicle.

Oh my!

It's not. It's creepy in an entirely different way! Six episodes in I'm finding this to be an an intelligent, albeit rather disturbing show that raises a lot of questions. Those include hard questions about ethics as well as questions about who the HELL the target audience is. 

The character designs and animation are nothing to write home about but the art direction and writing is really inspired. Set in the near future (as envisioned by Corning it would seem) the backgrounds are gorgeous and imaginative. This contrasts jarringly with moments of frightening  otherworldlieness that come off as downright Lovecraftian.

The story is excellent thus far and is consistently surprising. This show has quite important things to say....Be advised though, it goes to some very dark places.

I'm hoping against hope that they can keep this up for the last half of the show. At the midway point I'm inclined to recommend it highly.

UPDATE: Wow...

more...

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 04:51 AM | Comments (17) | Add Comment
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