krpalmer: (anime)
It was something, anyway, that three months ago some of the capsule descriptions of anime series from the upcoming season were catching my attention, something that just hadn't happened at the start of the year. That, though, just put me in another uncomfortable, familiar dilemma. Knowing I'd be leaving on a month's vacation in the middle of the season, no longer able then to circle around to streaming shows every week with the small, helpful push of routine, had me remembering similar vacations now several years past where being left with my own thoughts just had me dwelling on how far the reaction threads had soured for the series I'd taken chances on, such that I found myself rehearsing end-of-the-quarter explanations for why I'd dropped them myself until I returned with accusing blocks of time empty on my schedule and uncomfortable thoughts about yielding to peer pressure. (At certain times afterwards, I would go ahead and buy the home video releases of some of those abandoned series just because I felt "sorry" for them, but a lot of those peculiar purchases are still sitting around unopened...) I'd already spent some vacation-affected seasons since then not starting anything brand new, and with all the previously made anime I have ready at hand to watch I was just in the same position as at the start of the year, but I do still feel aware of all the possible consequences of "disconnection" from other fans, even if it's only wondering if anyone else will find something in these reaction posts.
Getting started: Lupin the Third and Please Teacher! )
Queue-clearing with verve: Symphogear GX )
A major project begins: Mobile Suit Gundam movies )
A major challenge: Zeta Gundam )
Getting back to queue-clearing: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too )
Not what I'd thought: Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars )
Movie experiences: your name. and A Silent Voice )
More movies: Time of EVE and Strike Witches the Movie )
krpalmer: (anime)
It was something that Makoto Shinkai had gone from "making a work of animation lengthy for one man on his own" to "directing full-length anime features," but I'm always aware of a nagging sense of the general rhetoric about "impressive lighting effects and background art" being followed by "but..." Working backwards through his filmography, The Garden of Words was short and might have raised an amused eyebrow or two, Children Who Chase Lost Voices just perhaps took "someone has to carry on the Ghibli tradition" to the point of "now let's see your own thing" dismissal, 5 Centimeters per Second could provoke some resistance to "downbeat, inability-provoked developments," and I remembered more positive impressions of The Place Promised in Our Early Days, but not its title without looking it up.
There was something different about Your Name, though... )
krpalmer: (anime)
The start of a new year meant, among many other things, the start of another season of anime series, but in the first days of the year I watched the list of streaming announcements accumulate without quite seeming grabbed by any of it. (Exclusive licenses to streaming services I don't have subscriptions to or which hold episodes back until they're good and ready to pull in "binge-watchers" were a side note, but not quite a crisis in themselves.) This might have bothered me more than it did given I'd had the same problem for most of last year, but in its last three months I'd managed not just to start but to stick with a fair handful of streaming series. I could watch other people muttering about how thin the new season seemed while thinking my own anxieties had somehow reset; in any case, I still wasn't lacking for things to go back to.
Returning to start off: Planetes and Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans )
Two different catch-ups: Princess Tutu and Sound! Euphonium )
A standout catch-up: Flip Flappers )
More getting around to things: Full Metal Panic! and Lupin the Third series 2 )
Finishing up: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU )
krpalmer: (anime)
Over my last few "quarterly reviews" of anime watched I did start dwelling on how, for all that these three-month intervals correspond to the way new anime series roll out, I was playing less and less of the modern game of watching those series through online streaming. It wasn't the obvious and oft-proclaimed tragedy of "falling out" with anime itself given the slightly-older to "older" series I was watching, but the whole situation of "this first description didn't grab me the way it did others; this description did seem sort of interesting but I don't have a subscription to the service it's on; the stiff price I know this series will be ultimately be sold for if at all somehow still places a shadow over it; I took a chance on this show but it's not much fun watching it when everyone else winds up complaining a few episodes in" felt far from ideal.

If not in the very nick of time, though, the past three months were different at last, as several descriptions caught my attention. The new alliance between the online streaming service Crunchyroll and the more traditional disc-producing company Funimation could have helped put more options within my casual reach. More than that, I managed to stick with the shows I started, even if there were still problems with "the real jackpot is when your sagacity is shown by everyone else liking what you do," and added ambiguities about how slow the particular message board I've focused on for a long time has become, at least when it comes to week-by-week discussions. It is somehow different to "watch a show by myself at my own pace" (even if that pace may only be twice as fast as "once a week"), anyway.
Streaming, part 1: WWW.Wagnaria and Izetta: The Last Witch )
Streaming, part 2: Brave Witches and Keijo!!!!!!!! )
Two different takes: Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans and Turn A Gundam )
Two takes on something else: Animation Runner Kuromi and Shirobako )
Catching up to the crowd: One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100 )
To round things out: Symphogear G and Princess Tutu )
krpalmer: (anime)
I've led off my last few "quarterly reviews" of anime watched by dwelling on how few brand new series of late I've managed to even start viewing, much less stuck with, but in the three months just past I suppose I hit rock bottom, not watching any brand new series at all. One weak defence I could offer was that I knew I'd be going on a vacation in the middle of those three months; to be oppressed by memories of other vacations that had meant not just enforced breaks from watching weekly series but dwelling on how negative the opinions of everyone else on them had become until I'd convinced myself to abandon them seems to have its own small problems, though.

Being oppressed by that did at least point out how I wasn't quite facing "no capsule descriptions even appealed to me," however. It was a bit of a surprise to see the anime adaptation of a manga called "orange" had begun, but it just so happened I had started buying the manga itself without thinking about the upcoming anime, and hadn't quite finished it yet. "Starting with the manga" does seem to get in the way of "getting to the anime" for me these days; I at least wound up hearing the adaptation had hit some pretty rough patches along the way, and the "a future tries to help the present" manga had wound up more appealing to me than, say, Erased's "the present tries to change the past." It was that much more of a surprise to hear Funimation had licensed the new Love Live spinoff. That might have overcome the general uneasiness already mentioned and provided the push for me to sign up for their own streaming service at last, except for one more bit of casual contempt from someone else towards that service run into at the exact wrong moment adding to the nagging, half-irrational fear that since the animation studio Sunrise produced both Love Live and Gundam, the mere fact of Love Live Sunshine being a "spinoff" meant it would end up under the precise cloud of opprobrium most of the Gundam "alternative universes" seem weighed down by. A few months after that, though, the sudden announcement that Funimation and the streaming service Crunchyroll would start cooperating was a somewhat more pleasant surprise, if one I had scarcely even conceived of before with the impression Crunchyroll was where "everyone else" promoted their content. Whether this will mean in turn "everyone else" will start striking exclusive deals with still other services I don't have subscriptions for either is another question, however, and I suppose I don't even know if Love Live Sunshine (which seemed to be received with at least some positive reactions) will wind up part of the shared content before it's available for sale on discs over here anyway.
Continuing: Turn A Gundam and Giant Gorg )
Manga preparation: High School DxD New and Nichijou )
Short efforts: She and Her Cat and Inferno Cop )
One-shots: Girls und Panzer, Under the Dog, The Ancient Magus' Bride )
Revisiting: Iria and Shirobako )
krpalmer: (anime)
Three months ago, I suppose I was thinking not just of the latest season of anime series starting up to be officially streamed, but also how in the past few seasons I'd had trouble watching new series that way. Any possibility of making more of an effort to join the crowd this time, though, might have gone by the wayside when I got sick just a few days into April; recovering I didn't seem to have the motivation or opportunity to at least take in lots of first episodes the way so many seem to. While a few series had sounded more interesting than others, exclusive licensing deals and the sudden promise of English subtitles on the expensive Macross Delta Blu-Rays leaving me with the feeling that to watch the show "fansubbed" would somehow obligate me to shell out for importing it (an obligation, I fear to admit, that seems much more broken when it comes to series being sold for premium prices over here, even if those seemingly steep costs are less than in Japan) chewed away at them. With all of that I did pick up a few shows and stick with them a bit longer than with some others from seasons just past, but further developments just a little later on took their own peculiar tolls until I was once more hardly following any discussion threads.

Despite that accumulation of small misfortunes, though, I didn't lack for anime to watch and grow interested in as I watched it. While a good number of series I was watching were older ones, the newer series I did watch seemed to fit in. While I did think at times how I wasn't watching quite as much anime even that way as I had been at the start of the year, I was also aware I'd added an additional competition to assorted long-running hobby projects by putting a fair bit of time into the Love Live School Idol Festival mobile game, which does have a definite connection to anime.
Efforts made: Gundam Unicorn re: 0096, Kiznaiver, and Space Patrol Luluco )
Finishing up: Lupin the 3rd Part 4 and Mazinger Edition Z: The Impact )
On the weekends: Creamy Mami, Gyrozetter, and Sally the Witch )
From days gone by at last: Turn A Gundam and Giant Gorg )
krpalmer: (anime)
I've thought of a few reasons why I might have stayed interested in anime for so many years compared to at least some other people. Of late, though, I've started to wonder if I stay interested in it where I don't tend to watch or read "live-action" and "domestic" properties others take a "fannish" interest in because that interest is tied up with a certain few attitudes and judgments that grate on me. That, in turn, did make me wonder if it's for my personal best that anime keeps seeming to fly under that high-powered radar...

Today, though, I happened to see the latest in the endless stream of "licensed Monopoly versions" just happens to be an Attack on Titan game, and that did amuse me even as I once more remembered the days "properties" got original board games made up for them and peered at the image attached to try and answer that all-important question as to what the least and most expensive game properties are (the game is putting the anime's characters on them). The apparent demonstration "crossover appeal" has lasted for at least a while is interesting. However, I did begin searching on a vague whim to see there's been a "Pokemon Monopoly" already; it may be a bit much to try and make this particular instant a "we have arrived" moment.
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
In the latest of my regular "quarterly reviews" of the anime I watch, I mentioned having become quite impressed with a not-that-old updating of a vintage series. I also brought up, though, being just a little aware that "Mazinger Edition Z: The Impact" didn't seem to have been widely discussed among other fans for all that reactions to the licensing announcement had been positive enough to get my attention. Somewhere along the way, I seem to have noticed a comment or two about one of the "Super Robot War" video games, which cross over mecha anime old and new but which the English-speaking fandom has to import from Japan and play in Japanese, including that particular series but "fixing the ending." It cast a certain apprehension over the escalating stakes of the final episodes.

To try to be non-specific, the series did end in somewhat the same "setting up" fashion as the original Mazinger Z did, only this time with a rather serious cliffhanger. That there hasn't been a continuation to this date means being stuck trying to "use your imagination," and perhaps that's the problem. For an anime series to "mangle the ending" is almost a cliche when it comes to fan reactions; I've done my best to positively view some of the more infamous series accused of that, but perhaps it's a bit different when you don't sense things going in particular directions several episodes out. Even so, there can seem a trace of "giving up" to let everything seen beforehand be cancelled out in the end.
krpalmer: (anime)
As another new year got under way, I was looking at all the anime DVDs and Blu-Rays I've piled up over long years of buying them faster than I can watch them (although I've been conscious in the months just past of seeming to have just about cauterized any internal urge to buy the expensive "quasi-imports" that reassure executives in Japan cheap fans over there won't be tempted to "reverse import") and contemplating just which of them to open, but also hoping, with a feeling that might have had a first, slight resemblance to desperation, I'd be a bit luckier this season at taking interest in new shows streaming everyone else wouldn't sour on straight off. In the first three months of this year, however, a few surprises affected both of those intents.
Starting off: Mazinger Edition Z: The Impact )
Weekend diversions: Creamy Mami and Gyrozetter )
An unexpected discovery: Paranoia Agent )
The lone survivor: Erased )
The next surprise: Love Live! series 2 )
Continuing on: Lupin the Third series 4 )
krpalmer: (anime)
There was time as the year just past came to a close to put a capstone of sorts on a small personal plan, but I had been wondering if it would turn out "ironic." The episodes of Robotech I had an impression of having seen in the 1980s had more or less fit into the weekends of the last three months of the year. As I'd worked through them, I'd got around to taking a soundtrack recording of the single episode I had taped all those years ago, and managed to synch it to better video (but had perhaps managed to step a bit beyond "I just can't cope with anything that sounds unlike what I first heard"). I'd then stretched the project a bit and watched an important episode I'd only learned about by reading the first Robotech novelization I happened to buy (even there, it had made an impact on me); I had happened on it in a furniture store's video-rental section years before I had discovered other people still remembered Robotech online only to run into how a lot of them were very indignant the novels had introduced some fanciful technologies and powers as easy answers to questions that might not have been asked by anyone other than the authors. With all of that, though, I was thinking about something I'd also heard about in those first days online.
The long chase )
krpalmer: (anime)
I've spent slices of this year just sort of reflecting on having watched anime for quite a while, and made a proper anniversary of it by watching several series from "decades past." Looking the other way, though, could trouble me a little. I kept having trouble finding new series streaming online (on the limited number of streaming services I do subscribe to) that sounded interesting to me; for some reason, I'm not as eager as some to play the modern game of just starting to watch everything available and pruning my viewing list mere weeks later with a shrug. With all the series I've bought over the years (and sometimes for slim enough reasons) I never lacked for things to watch anyway, but I can think that at some point the series I'm not watching now will be what's for sale.
Starting off: Your Lie in April, Another, and Mazinger Z )
Some effort made: Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans )
Moving along: Hidamari Sketch Honeycomb and Angelic Layer )
Finishing off: Yuki Yuna is a Hero, Bodacious Space Pirates, and Wagnaria )
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
October seemed the appropriate month to watch something scary, so I dug into my piles of anime and located my Blu-Ray set of Another. It was one more of the cheap Sentai releases I take a chance on sight unseen to fill out orders to the international free shipping threshold when what comments about them I do happen to notice seem more positive than anything. My attention might have focused on it because I'd "doubled down" on its story by also buying the manga adaptation of the original novel, collected in a thick volume by Yen Press.

The series did seem able to make the everyday settings of its small-town location subtly disquieting to start with without laying "backwater decay" on; the bursts of grand guignol to establish the curse at the heart of the horror also fit in their own way. Beyond that, though, I did come to think the story managed to set up some expectations and then force me to face other possibilities without sudden reversals, and in that I can think I can't say too much more without giving things away. I did in any case reflect a bit on the white eyepatch bandage of the important character Mei Misaki, having previously understood it to be a minor fetish in other anime series only to then see it made a joke in "Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions."

Aware this story began as a novel, I sort of shrugged off lengthy discussions of just what the enigmatic rules of the curse might be as inherited from the original, and wondered how they would come across and maybe be clarified by repetion in the manga. In thinking that, I did seem to accept the series as indeed appropriate to the month.
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
The "Monster Musume" girls looking out from the magazine racks at the nearby bookstore meant another issue of Otaku USA magazine had arrived. I buy it regularly, "I can start at the beginning, so I will" having led straight into "it's the last English-language North American anime magazine--might as well do my bit for it." It could also be, though, that just what it covers and how seems a "known quantity." As I pulled a copy out, however, one of the cover blurbs caught my attention.

"Do We Matter?
Geek media is huge, but what about anime?"

This was something different. Getting to the article "Do We Count?" by Daryl Surat about how "As 'geek' culture assimilates, 'otaku' remain outcasts," I spent some time mulling it over, and as I did I just happened to see an online piece (on a site that does at least try to mix in some coverage of manga, and even an occasional piece on anime, in with its "comics" news) making a similar point about manga, one pointed out in a few other places afterwards.
I was interested in what Surat would say, but... )
krpalmer: (anime)
Three months ago, even as I made up my second "quarterly summary" of anime watched in what's for me a multifold "anniversary year," I did dwell a bit more on one continuing development. While I'd pretty much liked the shifting mix of older and recent shows I'd just seen, I'd also sat out altogether the modern game of watching that season's new series week-by-week streaming. A complex mix of feelings had gone into that, and while they might all have been plain irrational, I suppose I could wonder where straight lines might point.

Straight lines can also bend, though, and just like in last year's summer I did manage to pick back up on streaming. While I wound up seeing a few people complaining the season felt thin for them, starting from zero makes anything more a plus. I suppose it helped that some sequels to series I'd seen were showing up: that's good for avoiding "not getting grabbed by the initial summaries" and at least did a bit to hold down the fear of "starting to watch something the discussion of turns to condemnation." I even managed to avoid being completely discouraged from beginning some series at all by thoughts that, despite even sounding sort of interesting, they'd only be available for later purchase as take-it-or-leave-it "quasi-imports" twice the price or more of any seemingly comparable amount of video sold on this side of the Pacific. With all of that, though, I was still watching plenty of "older and recent" series, taking them at my own pace and perhaps freer to let my reactions be my own with the majority opinions already set and not discouraging, at least in some cases.
An odyssey again completed: Gundam Seed )
Rounding out the anniversary: Psycho-Pass and Mazinger Z )
Back to streaming: Knights of Sidonia, Gatchaman Crowds Insight, Wagnaria 3, and Classroom Crisis )
A progression of sorts: Princess Jellyfish, Genshiken Second Generation, and Outbreak Company )
One-shot experiences: Little Witch Academia 2, Shirobako OVAs, Robot Carnival, and Mighty Atom )
One more to finish things: Symphogear )
krpalmer: (anime)
Three months ago another new season of anime series was getting under way, but I didn't seem quite able to join in the general anticipation. In half a month I'd be leaving on a vacation, and while I was preparing to bring an assortment of encodings to stay on the self-imposed schedule for the antique series I'd started watching at the beginning of the year as a sort of commemorative project, I suspected I'd have neither the connections nor the time to keep up with streaming too. That had me remembering years past when I'd left on other vacations chased by the feeling the series I'd been watching streaming now seemed burdened by fine cases of contempt from what seemed everyone else on the message board I follow, and in the enforced break from routine found myself mentally rehearsing seemingly clever explanations for why I was dropping the series until not returning to them on getting back was pretty much automatic. Even if I did think at times I'd be leaving so early in the season negativity might not have had the chance to really settle in, with all of that in mind it just seemed none of the capsule descriptions in the licensing announcements were grabbing me. That might not have even taken into account how, once I'd got over the uncomfortable feeling the series Funimation licensed for streaming were disproportionately represented among those I'd dropped, the seemingly wide-spread disdain for its private-label streaming service kept me from watching anything on it at all for the simple fear I might see the point of that negativity, or the troubling sense I'm developing a distinct taste of preemptive "sour grapes" towards the series licensed by Aniplex of America and Pony Canyon USA because of how expensive their video releases will be.

In any case, a new season was under way, and I wasn't watching anything from it. I was completely aware this followed from the season before, where I'd only started watching one "all-new" series, and that on a last-moment whim only to drop it three episodes in. I was a bit less aware of missing the first episodes of the old reliable Ace of the Diamond in its new time slot until all of a sudden I was concluding I wasn't that interested in seeing its high school baseball team start to climb the greasy pole again. Still, as often as I've worried about those who sit around and complain to anyone within earshot how anime has abandoned them, the older series to watch before and during my vacation and the stacks and stacks of DVDs and Blu-Rays to open something from once I got back (there didn't seem quite time to get through even a short series before leaving) kept me from dwelling too much on that.
Getting to a conclusion: Sailor Moon )
More old stuff: Cat's Eye and Mazinger Z )
Starting into the new: Strike Witches 2 )
A daring return (at length): Gundam Seed )
A second experience: From the New World )
One more old milestone: Dallos )
The new replacement: High School DxD )
Finishing things off: Amagi Brilliant Park )
krpalmer: (anime)
This year will mark thirty years since I first happened on Robotech on TV and became so interested in one story (even if certain people might put quotation marks around "one") told through animation that I eventually (if not nearly as fast as some) pieced together it hadn't been just a singular achievement from a vanished time and indistinct place; it'll also be twenty years since I went off to university and started going to the anime club showings there, primed by that old interest (even if I hadn't had the cash or the courage to seek out and watch more animation from Japan in my last years at high school) and ten years since the tempo of my purchasing anime DVDs picked up to where I wasn't taking breaks in between watching series. I know there are anime fans older than I am, and certainly fans who know much more than I do, but I do still feel like there's a certain patina of experience on me by now. That longevity still surprises me at times, though, and all I can say is that I got over realising how the "limited animation" gets parcelled out among "standing around and talking," "stock sequences," and "things that do look pretty good," and then got over what a lot of other people seemed to wind up fixating on as "fixed settings" and "fixed characters," to contemplate the possibility that after everything the character styles appeal to me and that's a good part of that. I've also wondered if coasting on memories of Robotech until I got to university might have helped in its own way, too: I might have avoided the feeling that something picked up in the teenaged years would be left behind with them.
Starting off way back when: Mazinger Z )
The continuation: Clannad After Story )
More revisiting: Cat's Eye and Sailor Moon )
Continuing on: Ace of the Diamond, Gundam Build Fighters Try, Parasyte, and Shirobako )
Challenges and responses: Aldnoah Zero, KanColle, and Strike Witches )
Finishing off: Steins;Gate and Hidamari Sketch SP )
krpalmer: (anime)
As the storage boxes fill up one after another, there are times I do think a bit more about the casual admission "I buy anime faster than I can watch it"; it would seem I have a very adequate bulwark against the potential localized catastrophe of "not being able to buy it the way I do now." The thought has come to me I could address that purchasing habit at least in part by looking back at the shows I saw through official streaming this year and asking myself whether I should buy them when they're released over here. At the same time, where some impose the stern test of what's worth viewing repeatedly, I can just ask myself "could I watch it again?", or indeed sometimes I'll just feel sorry for a series it seems "nobody" else has bought or seems likely to buy. It's also true that in many cases "revisiting" a series, to see if it feels a bit different being watched day by day instead of week by week, ought to be just a matter of going to the back catalogue on Crunchyroll, but there perhaps I do get to thinking how releases on disc do tend to translate and subtitle the lyrics of the opening and closing themes, which of course means a very simple change could have pretty profound effects.
The series )
krpalmer: (anime)
Looking back every three months at the anime I watched in them doesn't seem to demand remembering too many opinions, and it also happens to align with the way new series show up. Introducing one of these summaries, though, always seem to suggest saying a bit more. Some of the old standards for building an introduction around, however, weren't quite as ready to come to mind this time. If we are on a fixed track towards "paying appropriate amounts for appropriate releases on disc--don't you know things are different in Japan?", it's all happening at a comfortable remove from sight right now. As for an older concern I would set up quarter after quarter only to knock down every time, at the start of the past three months I took interest in the brief preview summaries of enough new series to start watching them through official streaming so that my "once a week" slate stayed pretty full with the series continuing from the previous season, with time left to watch some shows on disc that I'd managed to miss the first time around only to notice everyone else getting interested in, and therefore not inclined to dwell on old worries about "having to accept one day I might have to find something else to occupy my time." It therefore took a little while to get the introduction just right.
Starting off: Attack on Titan )
Continuing: Argevollen, Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, and Akame ga Kill! )
Two different takes: Gundam Build Fighters Try and Reconguista in G )
Happened on: Parasyte and Shirobako )
Getting to: Girls und Panzer and Love Live! )
Revisiting: Clannad )
Finishing theatrically: The Garden of Words and Patema Inverted )
krpalmer: (anime)
This may be a new era in which anime series are rapidly available through online streaming, but if the first descriptions don't grab me, even if I then happen to notice how excited other people seem to get over a particular show, it still has to take its chances before I get around to it myself. Such was the case with a show named Girls und Panzer. It did seem to be kind of "high concept," the idea over which we're invited to suspend our disbelief being "suppose that for Japanese high school girls, a hallowed method of developing femininity in authorized school settings is to become a member of a World War II tank crew and go into live-fire tournaments." (The official translation of this is "tankery.") Having decided over the past few years that a good number of the series I've found considerable enjoyment in have been ones where I can feel a sense of healthy, straightforward absurdity about them, this series certainly did seem to qualify. With one thing and another, though, I didn't get around to watching it until now, when I already had two volumes of its manga to move on to afterwards, and if I actually liked the anime itself.

In the first episode or so, I did wonder if I'd heard comments to the effect of "it gets better later." I also wondered if going in expecting absurdity wasn't quite the same thing as sort of discovering it. Too, having heard the series was similar in structure to "sports anime," I did find myself thinking of one of the first proper sports anime I've seen, the baseball series Touch, and the sense I got halfway through it that its protagonists didn't really want to be in the sports they were in, but were in them anyway for the good of their community. The similar feeling that the protagonist Miho Nishizuni was being strong-armed into restarting her school's "tankery" program did get to me. Just an episode or two later, though, as the tanks started rolling, I did start feeling like the absurdity was appealing to me after all. I also happened to notice how often Miho's radio operator Saori was talking about boyfriends; not that any of those controversial entities actually appeared, but I did get to thinking that with the tanks being operated by crews ranging in size from three to six (the school scraped together several to start with, although the other teams tend towards having "similar themes" even if there's some actual variety in the basic character designs), there might not be quite so much of an opportunity to wink and nudge at the thought of pairing the girls off romantically. (Then, as it turned out, there was a scene later on that just might be jumped on to an even wilder conclusion...)

As the tournament was set up and the scratch force of lightweight and obscure armour took on cultured and tea-drinking schoolgirls in British tanks, brash and casual schoolgirls in American tanks, crude yet hearty schoolgirls in Russian tanks, and finally chilly yet efficient schoolgirls in German tanks, I was able to enjoy the whole thing. The "mechanical" animation of the tanks was done with computer animation, but it looked as good as some of the detail work in the character animation. Having heard the manga focuses more on Miho's loader Yukari, who starts out sort of tentative but immediately opens up once she can start talking about tanks, I am sort of interested in getting to it too when I can.
krpalmer: (anime)
A while ago now, as Kodansha Comics was just getting really started selling manga over here, they began promoting a new title called "Attack on Titan," as I recall pushing it pretty hard so far as manga goes in this market. It was easy enough to pick up on the general storyline of "people trapped inside walls by monstrous giants start fighting back." However, it also happened that at that time they were attracting a lot of negative attention for "getting off to a cheap start," and in particular I remember seeing one picky fan proclaim he wouldn't buy the manga because he'd been offended by the bonus pages being left out of the back of a late volume of Negima. (He since seems to have vanished into that ether that claims anime and manga fans consumed by disdainfulness of the "localization industry.") I can't say that was the sole factor in my not buying that manga either, but stay away from it I did even as I recall happening to overhear a major "spoiler" about the cliffhanger ending of the first volume.
After a few more volumes, though... )

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