Anime Blog
Neverending New Beginnings: February 2011

12 Feb 2011

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

Labels : , ,

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Episode 6

[This is the first post with the "quick summary" label. Basically, I'm covering the episode I watched, but not as full length review as a regular episode like the post before last. You could say that it a very summarized first impressions based on what I could remember at a glance, and maybe what I've stumbled upon while writing it. My attention span while watching it does impact how I write it, probably not remembering what I even saw.]

What I remember about this episode:

 Dancing game machine + techo & instrumental version of the opening theme

A very long talking scene

Another long talking scene

"Madoka?! What on earth were you trying to do by throwing that thing?!"

Sayaka is suddenly dead right after she said that.

 The magical artifact that Madoka threw earlier has been retrieved and....

Sayaka is alive again, puzzled as to what just happened.

Labels :

"Where are the subtitles?"

(Note: I've already dropped this anime, Yumekui Merry, since episode 2)

So, the above is something you would most likely to see to most of you in openings of most anime, and you are so used to it that when you see screenshots or the videos that I used to put up, you don't see any text at all.

Preview at the end of an episode. The following episode of the same scene would be shaking and cropped.
Take this image from a post dated last week as an example: If you've watched where this screenshot came from, you would have heard some narration.

You want me to add some subtitles? Well.... (refers to a post from a year ago)

If you understood the original audio, you know these subs are lying, but you wouldn't know if you didn't since it has the sense of shock of what is happening.

That is what you get. Actually, subbing is not my kind of thing. Syncing the subs with the correct timing is a nightmare by itself, made worse by, not by the duration of what is being subbed, but the number of lines.

Subtitles, despite what they are intended for can get too distracting if you know what is being said, but not the subtitled languages. They can be very much of a visual distraction if there are many of them, especially if they are hard-subbed into the video.

However, as much as I don't like subtitles, it's also a necessary thing if I couldn't catch what is being said. I also don't like dubbed audio as they tend to be out of sync. They may add the original music that is being played while the characters are saying things, but those might be faded out. Also, the background atmospheric sounds are lacking a lot. Except maybe cartoons and 3D characters, it's very hard to sync with the lips without rephrasing the words.

5 Feb 2011

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

Labels : ,

To Aru Majutsu no Index - Season 2 Episode 17

(Note: I don't normally write an episode summary, but this one caught my attention in terms of how different it was from the previous episodes. Oh, unless otherwise mentioned, Misaka refers to the main person and not the clones based on her.)

#17: 罰ゲーム (Penalty Game)

Fanning while kneeling down out in the public while (unintentionally) blowing Msaka's skirt up.
Misaka: "Ehehehe" | Kuroko: *stares*
As the episode begins, you could easily be mistaken to be watching its Railgun spinoff since they are featured inside their dorm instead of Touma or a summary of previous episode(s) with his voice, but nevertheless, they are characters of the main series too. They don't appear as much in this season though, but Uiharu does make an appearance with an actual conversation with Misaka and Kuroko as compared to none at all and a cameo appearance in season 1. The first scene where the left image came from is just Misaka dreaming about the recent Gakuen Toshi wide festival and Kuroko being jealous over what Misaka is sleep talking. It's quite short since the (new) opening appeared after this scene. ["Gakuen Toshi" means Academic City in Japanese (学園都市), but the name Gakuen Toshi did appear on a map in one of the Railgun episodes]

We had finally see the characters wearing the summer uniforms that were previously not seen outside the short novel and manga (with the small exception of the bank robbery flashback scene in Railgun). At Touma's school, we see them already arguing and fighting over the smallest things, and arguing with Misaka.

Meanwhile, we also see Accelerator and Last Order (Misaka Clone no. 20001) being assigned a new apartment to stay at an apartment resting. The reason for being allowed to stay there being guarding the house from buglers while the owner goes to work. Accelerator showed us what those strings and a collar around his head are for that, with a switch around the collar, would have him to hear normally, or some strange fading echoing sound.

After school, and after the "skirt fanning" incident (see top image), Misaka wants to meet Touma as part of the "Penalty Game". While waiting, Uiharu walks up to her and on how she's running away from Judgement work and passes them to Kuroko is busy at the moment. Uiharu adds that she's envious that Tokiwadai Middle school has violin lessons and asks to teach her how to play it. Misaka agrees without question and does it in an elegant way that makes Uiharu feels as though she's dreaming. It's funny to point out that the sound from the violin (which seems to appear out of nowhere) is terrible to the ear. This was disrupted as she saw Kuroko approaching her and being dragged away. By this time, Touma arrives, about half an hour later than the appointed time.

In truth, she wants to sign up a mobile contract involving something that works like peer-to-peer (P2P) to be able to get cheaper calls so that she could get the free Keroro strap (the green frog she's so crazy over with). To sign up, she needs Touma, being the only guy she knows who could fit that position, and a photo that requires to be together and really looking like a couple. They tried to do it, but failed and, eventually, Kuroko appears out of nowhere to drag Misaka away.

The last section was about the Misaka clones. There are quite a number of them, and the newer ones are more capable of emotions, able to hide part of themselves from the Misaka Network (how all the clones share knowledge and know what the other clones know), but are still unable to have the power that the real Misaka has and are comparatively weaker. All of the clones add a description of their actions after they talked. The Misaka Clones in this episode are:

  • No. 10032 - clone Touma has met before and is featured the most of the time
  • No. 10039
  • No. 13577
  • No. 19090 - has more emotions that the other Misaka present at the briefing
  • No. 20001 - Last Order: and admin and a failswitch should the other Misaka clones go wrong. Looks and behaves like a grade-school kid.
No. 10032: "I know you are trying to persuade me, but
since we are of the same gender, I find it rather
Towards the end of the episode, clone no. 20001, was locked out of the apartment that she and Accelerator are now staying at, encounters clone no. 10032 and complained about it to her, despite already being known through the Misaka Network. No. 20001 notices that all of the other Misaka Clones has a gadget worn on their head while she herself does not have it at all. Being jealous, no. 20001 steals it from no. 10032 and runs away. Taking it as a provocation, no.10032 takes out a gun from inside the bag, loaded it up, and pointing at where no. 20001 was last seen running towards (it's unclear if she was already out of sight or if the nearby apartment building is where she stays at), saying that it would be a revolution.

Looks like there could be bullets/magic/electricity running all over in the next episode.

Threat identified

Labels :

Failing Expectations

Why? Oh WHY?

Two of the currently airing anime I'm watching are starting to annoy me, but did not drop for what I'm hoping would happen, or historical reasons. These two are これはゾンビですか? (Is this a Zombie?) and Season 2 of とある魔術の禁書目録 (A Specific Forbidden Index of Magic). I'm starting to get annoyed because of things in it that I tried to tolerate, but seemed to made a turn for the worse.

I would like to talk about お兄ちゃんのことなんかぜんぜん好きじゃないんだからねっ!! (I don't like you at all big brother), but I dropped that at the first episode and never even took a glance of its latter episodes. This is about ones that  I've manage to watch past the initial episode.

What's with the identical shirts?
For Index2, there's a spin-off, Railgun and it's upcoming 2nd season, has, ironically, more enjoyable to watch than the main series, but I'm not talking about that. It surrounds around a common thing: nuns and priests, with the big give away being Index tagging along Touma a lot with her trademark robes and blue-ish hair.

"Everything is solved with Touma's right hand". That simple?
My next complain is how Touma could do nothing more than block magic spells with his right hand without going into research of how it works, and how time is filled with long, boring/unnecessary, conversation or battles. And maybe some level of stupidity included. Add that to the second and the current story arc (Crazy nuns fighting; magic ship in Italy), and it's a recipe to make me ask why was I even watching it. Well, actually, I find the episodes that don't have the religious conflict more enjoyable.

That current arc looked as though they went to a (stereotyped ancient) city in Italy Misaka and Kuroko, main characters of the Railgun spin-off, hardly even make an appearance as compared to Index1. Well, I've watched episode 16 at this point, which is the episode where the current arc ends and a (brief preview) of what happens next.

They sure know how to make a day seem like months. The summer vacation seemed like forever as it lasted from the start of around the first episode of season 1 to around the middle of season 2. Except for the manga and a flashback in Railgun about a bank robbery, you don't see the characters in their winter uniforms at all. Looking at the episode 17 preview, they might finally do. Well, it seems like it: everyone except for the Misaka clones are wearing the winter clothing.

This anime has two extremes of both wanting to watch or drop this and I'm stuck as to what to do.

The trailers of KoreZom during the Winter preview did caught my attention of wanting to watch it, but everything went downhill by the end of the first episode. I didn't know anything about this anime, so I continued watching, hoping that things would improve, but episode 2 made me think otherwise.

Well, depending on your tastes, you might say that it has gotten better, but, to me, it's the opposite. It's already episode 4 and I still don't remember the character's names, not even vaguely. Well... maybe I'm the kind of person who would prefer the more serious themes.

Character wise, they are kind of... strange. In a way that it's not as bad as that anime with a crazily long name, but not enough for me to like either.

Let's say the character in the right image. She's Nepheoloasasi from the world of  Nulaedjccoi, and speaks dotdeas. (Or something like that) Too much jargon. She mostly hangs around the house most of the time, not doing anything other than taking care of the household chores. What's up with that?

As with most anime, the parents of the main character of anime of this genre are always absent from home for some long duration, typically long enough to not be needed to be introduced at all in the anime.

I don't really mind the main character (still don't remember the name) becoming a magical girl, but only if they completely look and behave like a girl. Not some sick pervert that crossdresses and what not. I can't stand looking at it. It's giving me nightmares just looking at it.

At this point (up to episode 4), you could see that there is a character that's yet to be introduced appearing in the opening animation. Given how much disappointment I have for this anime for the boredom and disappointment I had to go through, I won't be watching anymore just to find out. It's like hoping to be familiar with someone you randomly met on the train, but with no contact info and the routes you take to get home are completely different with no pattern. It's a whole lot of a storyline that goes around in circles and/or making very little progress. Anything with fanservice is a huge negative point for me.

Well, maybe my standards are high from having watched Death Note, Depression of Suzumiya Haruhi, K-On, Eden of the East, Code Geass, and so on.

Just from this cap alone, I could already see the things that I don't like.

What's that rotating blue/grey cylinder thing with a stand beneath it seen in the house while the characters are having a meal? Nobody mentioned about it, but it's the most obvious unusual household appliance seen in the anime. That's an electric fan. No really. It appears to be "invented" as recently as 2009, though it does look out of place of where it's shown.