krpalmer: (anime)
At some point, “all the anime I could watch” piled up to where I shrugged and kept going back to see whole series again every once in a while. As last year drew to a close, specific thoughts of what to watch once more were sprouting in me, turning to some of my most foundational series. A decade ago this year was the last time I’d watched all of Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeada, 2009 being the year Macross’s space opera mecha action had been said to start. (While the series hadn’t been fully available in its original form over here in 1999, when its prologue had been set, my university’s anime club had shown its first two episodes subtitled, and I remember private satisfaction hearing cheers for the midair rescue scene.) Since then, though, I had happened to think I was coming up on three decades since I’d first seen some of their animation repurposed together as Robotech, but as that year itself had begun I’d decided to “mark an anniversary” by watching different series altogether, even if I’d managed to head back to a particular selection of Robotech episodes as a later indulgence. I suppose the thought did creep up on me that if I didn’t return to the series this year, that might somehow amount to “when again, if ever?”
To 1999 and before )
krpalmer: (anime)
“Soon to be an anime” announcements do catch my attention every so often, but “soon” is a relative term, and when the chance to watch those series arrive at last I seem lucky to feel a vague “I think I’ve heard about it” push towards picking up on them. However, two announcements close together on Anime News Network, both declaring manga series I’ve read in the last little while will get anime adaptations, did seem to pack a bit more impact than usual in their combination.
Astra: Lost in Space )
To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts )
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
What importance the Love Life School Idol Festival mobile game plays in its multimedia franchise, among live concerts and CDs and the anime series and movies and all the ancillary merchandising, I don't know. That it has kept being updated with new content and features probably means it's a mark in a corporate plus column. One feature added a while ago, though, did focus my mind on the time I've spent playing it since I saw the movie that closed out the first anime storyline and went on to a source of additional content. That the game now tracks the time you've spent playing it and gives you a special bonus every hundred days is something, but the thought of getting to a thousand days playing did get to me and have some consequences at last.
It's been a while )
krpalmer: (anime)
With "I like the way it looks" a simple explanation (at least at first glance) for why I've stayed interested in anime and manga for so long, there's some significance to a belief I've developed that when looking at manga series and the anime adapted from them, the manga will have better-looking character artwork. Colour, motion, and sound in all forms do add something to the experience for me, but most often if I start reading a manga before hearing it's to be turned into anime I'll stick with that version in print, and if I do start with the anime I'll keep from looking at the manga until its adaptation is over and I have to continue the story in a new media, so as to "not diminish that first experience while I'm having it."

Having admitted a big part of why I took interest in the beach volleyball anime Harukana Receive was "beach volleyball seems a better excuse than many to have its young female characters in swimsuits" (although I wouldn't say that wound up the only reason I kept watching it), knowing the manga it had been based on was starting to be published over here in synchronicity with the "simulcasts" stuck in my mind. When the first volume didn't show up in the local bookstore right when I was expecting it to, I made a special order; however, once I had the volume I put it aside to wait until the anime was finished. As I waited, though, I happened to see a review of the manga on Anime News Network, and then one in Otaku USA magazine, that both criticized the manga's art and suggested the anime looked better in this case.
Forming my own opinions )
krpalmer: (anime)
When I took the solemn step of ripping the plastic overwrap off my Blu-Ray of Kyousougiga, once more collapsing the dizzying sweep of "things I could watch" into a single like-it-or-not choice, it was getting late in the "quarter" now closed. Rather than having to wrap up my then-upcoming summary of anime watched in those three months finding something to say about a mere waypoint in a longer series, I'd wanted to get all the way through something short. Out of what twelve-to-thirteen-episode series were ready to hand, I suppose what had got my attention about Kyousougiga in the first place had been the interest I'd seen at least a few other people show when Discotek had pulled that series out of the "not licensed over here" cracks that can still catch some newer anime. The company has made a go of releasing older anime with some show of care and skill, some of which I've watched with interest (even as I keep supposing I like not just "older anime" but being able to go back and forth between it and brand-new shows), and I was willing to suppose there had to be something about a newer series they'd also release. At the same time, though, I was aware I couldn't quite give a clear, attention-getting short summary of the show itself starting off.
A choice and how it turned out )
krpalmer: (anime)
A "three decades of Gunbuster" piece on the Anime News Network caught my attention; when it was brought to my attention again by being mentioned on my reading list I thought that much more about the Original Video Animation series. My "default anime icon," after all, does invoke it, even if that might also have to do with how, when I saw someone on a message board rotating through "anime meets the Powerpuff Girls" icons quite a few years ago and started saving them myself, the Gunbuster one just looked the most appealing in the end.
It's been a while for me, too )
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
As I started taking in the light novel-manga-anime franchise A Certain Magical Index a few years ago, I'd picked up from somewhere an impression it was "like superheroes, but without the costumes." While I was soon to wonder about how "fetishy" the outfits of certain of its female characters seemed, I can now also acknowledge the superpowers of various justifications jumbled together in a world that's seemed able to stretch without breaking to feature them. Since I started that story, I've noticed several other manga-anime series that seem "superheroes with the costumes" rise to prominence among English-speaking fans, although I have to admit I've left off reading the One-Punch Man manga where its anime adaptation came to an end with the impression a continued adaptation will show up one of these days and I just haven't found the time to get started on My Hero Academia. As I continued to plug through A Certain Magical Index, though, in just the last little while I got to wondering if I could identify another personal "superhero universe" resonance, in that I was half-concerned the story was beginning to escape my grasp...
Reach exceeding grasp? )
krpalmer: (anime)
I liked the "magical school" anime series Little Witch Academia enough that when I heard the manga based on it was being licensed over here, I took some interest in that spinoff as well. This might have had something to do with the anime's "streaming on Netflix" situation adding to some personal uncertainty about whether it'll ever be available for sale on disc here, though (short of the conspicuous consumption of importing from Japan, of course). I'm a bit prone to repeating a stock potential criticism of "manga based on anime," and might have thought a bit about "rolling the dice" again.
How things rolled out )
krpalmer: (anime)
Well before my copy of the anime series Skip Beat! arrived as a Kickstarter pledge reward, I understood in a general way it was to be continued in the original manga and had started ordering that as well, in three-in-one collections to save a little money. By the time the set did arrive, I had thirteen of those thick volumes stacked up, and I will admit to a few thoughts there was the outside chance I might not like the series as much as those whose enthusiasm at the thought of it getting a release over here had first got my interest.
A more fortunate outcome )
krpalmer: (anime)
The appearance of another translated volume of Legend of the Galactic Heroes was in some ways a simple relief to me, given I still remember the days of a decade past when translated novels connected to anime series always seemed to stop appearing after their third volume, doomed by low sales. Even though some of Yen Press's translated "light novels" have run for a lot longer than three volumes nowadays, Legend of the Galactic Heroes being translated by a company connected to Viz does keep me wondering. At the same time too, the sixth volume showed up at an eventful yet controversial moment for its whole franchise over here.
Two anime adaptations and one translated novel )
krpalmer: (anime)
I've mentioned before how I seem ready to accept anime piles up faster than I can watch it but, convinced I can at least keep even with the manga I buy if I work at it, I don't often go back and read it over again. The most obvious exception to that is when a title I've read is licensed over again with promises of a new translation and perhaps improved production values. Vertical releasing a new edition of the "Voices of a Distant Star" manga did get my attention, but I suppose the not quite articulated respect I have for that company's licensing choices and presentation of which had to be weighed against knowing the manga was an adaptation of an "original anime," and the impression I've long had those adaptations are assigned to artists who can't quite manage titles of their own because the people in Japan too cheap to buy expensive disc releases don't deserve anything better. I still bought the manga anyway.
An impressively powerful cell phone )
krpalmer: (anime)
I've mentioned before the interest I've taken in the anime series "From the New World." It has a lot to do with the feeling there was fresh thought put in, and room for my own further thought, to its exploration of a particular idea science fiction has long included (although part of the novelty did have to do with my impression written science fiction backed away from "psychic powers" decades ago, perhaps not coincidentally around when a general credulousness for the idea crested and ebbed, to leave it for visual science fiction). Before the series had completed its first streaming run, though, I'd managed to hear this thoughtfulness had come not from the beginning of a manga or "light novel" series (or even from an "original production"), but from the adaptation of a serious and self-contained Japanese novel.
Piqued curiosity and an eventual surprise )
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
Consistent proof might not be needed that "you can't please everyone," but announcements of anime series being licensed for one form of release or another on this side of the Pacific can seem to fall into that unfortunate category, even if it depends both on the company making the announcement and who's reacting. I shouldn't pretend to be above this, but I do have to admit I can shrug off the indignation some show at announcements from Netflix, which sticks to a "make it available in large blocks" schedule at odds with the "as soon as possible after it airs in Japan" strategy shaped years ago by "fansubbers" and given above-ground force by other streaming services. I've been watching anime for long enough that I can think back to days when my interest was piqued by comments overheard from the better-connected; I can also admit that the building excitement of generally positive week-by-week reactions seems much outweighed by souring moods.

When I heard Netflix had licensed Violet Evergarden, a series that had attracted attention just by being made by Kyoto Animation, I managed another shrug. I'd waited to watch Little Witch Academia, and supposed I'd enjoyed watching it "by myself." Then, just a few days ago, rumours started flying that some countries outside the United States would be shown the series one episode a week, and my own country seemed included. I told myself things might not pan out, and kept thinking that right up to seeing news it had happened just like the rumours had it. It just amount to a bit of long-delayed compensation for the years-past indignation I saw some stirring up over Canadian content rules keeping out the American cable channels that showed dubbed anime and certain other issues; it might only be the second wrong (whether in itself or in the risk of coming across as "gloating") that doesn't make a right.

Anyway, I did tell myself that helping to add to the "week-by-week" viewing numbers might do something towards Netflix extending this model to larger countries, and for all that it meant not getting around to Space Battleship Yamato 2199 as soon in the week as I'd been managing last year I connected my iPod touch and budget Chromecast to Netflix instead of Crunchyroll and started the first episode of Violet Evergarden. I'd managed to miss out on the previews beyond an impression the series was supposed to be more serious than the Kyoto Animation shows that first come to my mind, and perhaps even set somewhere beyond Japan. After first impressions of the exceptional attractiveness of the animation, I started getting a definite "just post-World War One if safely elsewhere" vibe; the sudden revelation of the episode (for me, anyway) might have made that resemblance that much stronger by having me think of Fullmetal Alchemist. I do want to be cautious about what the reactions of others might be to a "post-action series," especially with the passing of time and the reactions of others to recent Kyoto Animation series that haven't hewed close to possibilities of formula, but at least the opportunity being available (if for others who might really want it as much as for myself) is something.
krpalmer: (anime)
I've watched my share of "popular" anime series, although I can think of some examples I haven't yet got around to for several reasons. Every so often, though, I do manage to pick up on a series that may not be what everyone's talking about, but for which the interest that is shown seems to make up for that. In the past, I've sought out Princess Nine and Princess Tutu for that reason, although I did take quite a while getting around to watching the DVD collection I'd bought of that second series.

When I began noticing people talking about a series streaming called Chihayafuru, built around a Japanese card game called karuta that involves listening to the first half of one of a hundred Japanese poems and then grabbing the card with the second half of that poem before your opponent, it did get my attention. However, I could never quite seem to find the time to watch it myself, and I did start thinking that streaming series aren't available forever. One day, though, there was an announcement the series had been licensed at last for a home video release over here, and taking note of how pleased some people were at that news I ordered the Blu-Ray set sight unseen (although I didn't go so far as to order the deluxe boxed set). What was more, when the set did arrive, I was able to fit it into my viewing schedule right away.
My trip through the series )
krpalmer: (anime)
Buying anime faster than I can watch it, in large part through the penny-wise, pound-foolish desire for "free shipping" turning most every casual interest into another title stored away here or there, does seem to have brought me to the point where every so often I just shrug off "getting through it" and go back to watch a series over again. The fair number of manga titles I buy haven't quite amounted to that yet, but that in turn has seemed to mean I never quite want to spare the time to go back and read a series again. When an older title that seemed to have attracted some lasting attention after all is licensed over again and released with promises of an improved edition, though, that can manage to get past my resolution.

Makoto Yukimura's Planetes got my attention near the start of the "cheap and fast manga paperbacks" era, and its science fiction tale of orbital garbagemen, collecting space debris and delving through layers of "resolve to exist beyond normal limits" to simple human connections in the end, left me with a "will anything else measure up to it soon?" sort of feeling. While his following work Vinland Saga has got through some risk-of-being-discontinued spots over here, it did get my attention again when I heard Planetes had been licensed once more, now by Dark Horse Comics. I did my best to buy both of the enlarged new volumes as soon as they were released, but it did take a bit longer to get around to reading them, specifically the Christmas holidays. Once I'd started reading them, though, I got through them with the speed of fresh interest.
A few new things, but one old thing too )
krpalmer: (anime)
In getting to read the Legend of the Galactic Heroes novels in translation at last, I am always sort of conscious of having managed to see their anime adaptation first. (At times, too, buying the novels does sort of seem a no doubt inadequate effort to try and "make up" for just how I saw the anime...) At the end of the second novel, I was as inclined as anything to keep seeing the story as pausing at a moment of great impact, but remembering a change in the anime's opening and closing credits (after a good number of episodes spun out of two novels) was one more sign of that. As the third novel picked up, I could see the Galactic Empire's protagonist Reinhard von Lohengramm as having been isolated by that, with his not nearly as totipotent counterpart on the other side of the interstellar space opera war, Free Planets Alliance Admiral Yang Wen-li, isolated in turn by being hauled before a kangaroo board of inquiry. I can understand this steady emphasis on the degradation of the Alliance (with an enigmatic third party meddling all the while) troubling people who might read the novel now; at the same time, I'm conscious of having become more dubious about invocations of "front-line military leaders who possess inbuilt dignity and reasonableness" since I first read the Robotech novelizations long years ago. The one point that might be made in favour of Legend of the Galactic Heroes could be that by this point in the story, the aggressive Alliance commanders have been killed off.
Space opera in the meantime )
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
As I worked on my latest "quarterly review" of anime watched at the beginning of last month, in commenting on how impressed I'd wound up with the series Nichijou I did contemplate how I'd also been quite impressed by some other series I'd only seen via the underhanded method of "fansubs," and then added the comment that in some cases series that had impressed me that way had actually been licensed for official subtitled release over here, and yet sometimes watching through those discs had wound up with ominous sensations of feeling like an "obligation." The sudden news that Funimation had managed to license Nichijou (they've recently released two other series from Kyoto Animation Bandai Entertainment did get to release before being shut down) therefore didn't have to dredge up that ambiguous impression from very far. It might not be a strange personal record in terms of "least time passed," but it does sort of feel like one.

I'd at least like to hope impressions that Nichijou's comedy can be enjoyed over again will turn out all right, although there I'm reminded I now have five volumes of the original manga waiting to be read; at the moment I'm trying to concentrate on working my way through another manga series I'd piled up a stack of thick volumes of before getting around to it. I suppose it turned out Vertical getting to license it wasn't just a singular occurrence.
krpalmer: (anime)
When the "A Certain Magical Index" "light novels" started being officially translated and sold over here, I went ahead and bought them where I hadn't started into too many of the other franchises Yen Press was beginning to turn out. There might have been the hope, though, that this would pull me a bit further into the franchise, and say a bit more about the interest of others that had caught my attention years ago, than their anime adaptation had. (For that matter too, the "A Certain Scientific Railgun" manga does seem to throw in references to the larger franchise every so often.) The only problem seemed the feeling that working through the translated prose was as much of a slog as the handful of other light novel series from Yen Press I have read. (To be as fair as I can, I have read a few novels translated from the Japanese that, while probably not considered "great literature" by those who had arranged the translation, were published long enough ago their translations might not have been "quick, cheap, and dirty," and there could be a resemblance between how I reacted to their prose structure and those of the light novels.)

Then, one day I saw the sixth volume of the series on the bookstore shelf, told myself I'd be buying enough manga that week without it, and left it. I did the same thing when I saw the seventh volume and then the eighth, aware by then a frayed thread was coming very close to snapping even with "Railgun" characters on the eigth cover.

On one more regular visit to the bookstore, though, I realised I wouldn't be buying very much new manga that week, and there was still a copy of the sixth Certain Magical Index novel on the shelves. I picked it up, perhaps even with the thought this was a final toss of fate, but also remaining aware it was the last volume to have been adapted into the anime I did see. When I started reading it, though, all of a sudden I was getting through it much more easily than I could remember with the last several volumes. The translation didn't seem to have changed much, but perhaps the story was quicker to get to the action. I even got to remembering an old impression the anime had managed to pick up a bit near its end from "episodes of standing around and talking per plot arc, and then one burst of concluding action." It had also concluded with allusions to events yet to come; there are two more volumes already out over here, of course.
krpalmer: (anime)
The second Legend of the Galactic Heroes novel has now been translated. At the back of this volume, there's the promise of at least one more instalment to be released, although I still don't know if the gloomy anticipations of other fans that "of course these books won't sell well enough to be fully released" will be realised. In any case, this volume gets a fair way into the story as I've experienced it in its anime adaptation, if still seeming to be a self-contained instalment in the story by itself. Both galactic factions turn to deal with internal dissent, which might only seem to feed into the air of reinforced genius of a still-rising star if not, perhaps, for a very significant loss at the close of the book.

I don't know if the translation has improved to any extent from the first volume, although I did seem able to cruise through it where I've found myself slogging through some of Yen Press's translated "light novels"; whether it's just a matter of this particular subject matter appealing more to me is a reasonable question. I did get to thinking again about the visual reality provided by the anime adaption. In the first volume, the uniforms of the opposing fleets are described well enough that I could envision what was ultimately drawn in my mind; however, there didn't seem anything said about the civilians in the corrupt democracy on one side (comments about the war eating away at its general vitality seem something I don't remember from the anime) dressing in late-twentieth-century fashion or the civilians in the aristocratic empire on the other side wearing late-eighteenth-century European fashions. There are also descriptions of the ultimate space fortress Iserlohn that seem different from the "liquid metal" surface it got in the anime as if to distinguish it from the most familiar visions of spherical space fortresses. However, the novel did get to setting up the "space-ax" combat that's long provided a more striking alternative to just zapping opponents. I can wonder how much more will provoke reflections back to the anime, but I've kept finding interest in what we've managed to get.
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.

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