November 2010 Archives
Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish)
Number of Episodes: 11
Production Company: Brains Base
Brief Overview: Tsukimi is a Jellyfish enthusiast who lives in an women's-only apartment building. Her roommates are also otaku of various sorts who have a fear of fashionable people. One day a beautiful women helps Tsukimi and follows her back to her apartment, but the lovely lady turns out to have her own set of secrets.
Need a little after-Thanksgiving entertainment? Here are a few new AMVs to keep you company as you get over your food coma. Enjoy that turkey sandwich and remember, these are all hosted at www.animemusicvideos.org so you'll need an account there to watch/download them.
For the Love of the Game by Pwolf (Pwolf's Anime Music Videos)
An inspirational AMV using the long-running anime Major as a source. It tells the inspirational story of a young boy rising through the ranks of his school baseball team, eventually entering the professional arena. It's very straightforward, but well-made and fun to watch.
The World of Tomorrow by qyll (Izzle Kizzle Studios)
An action/horror AMV that juxtaposes the optimistic words of the narrator against a lot of violent, dystopic imagery from anime like Ergo Proxy and Texhnolyze. The future will be very grim if it's built on the backs of the populace.
Rockstars by CorpseGoddess (Eh-MV Studios)
As stated in the video description, and I quote, "Hot guys being awesome! Bishies galore!" Yeah, sometimes I just need to see an AMV where dudes are beating stuff up and looking cool doing it. There's nothing super special about this AMV, but it uses quite a few sources (a lot of classic ones, which is nice) and it's fun to watch.
Miyanishi Tatsuya Gekijou: Omae Umasou da na (You Are Umasou)
Number of Episodes: 20 3-minute episodes
Production Company: Asia-Do
Brief Overview: A tyrannosaurus (raised by plant-eating dinosaurs) meets a baby ankylosaur one day and names him "Umasou" (Looks Delicious). The two form a close, family-like bond.
Tegami Bachi Reverse
Number of Episodes: TBA
Production Company: Studio Pierrot
Brief Overview: Lag's quest to return Gauche Suede's heart continues. Along with his faithful dingo, Niche, he pledges to become a stronger Letter Bee so that his next encounter with Gauche will be more fruitful.
Another sampling of AMVs with widely varying tones this week. Remember, you'll need a (FREE!) account at www.animemusicvideos.org to view and download these AMVs.
Chase the Sun by ReAN
As much as people seem to dislike Earth Girl Arjuna as a series (I haven't ever watched all of it, but it's accused of being extremely preachy often enough), vidders seem to love it as a source. This AMV blends some of the more dramatic, striking imagery from the series with a cool techno track that seems to fit very well. I'm not so big on all the special effects and filters, but it's a minor complaint.
The Price of Freedom by Creed_FR (Soul's Team)
One of the rare AMVs to seriously tackle the subject of war, using scenes on the battlefield from various anime, as well as scenes which deal with the other casualties of war (like innocent people) and things that medical personnel have to deal with. Unusually serious and strikingly honest.
And We Persist by Nessephanie (Random Destination Studios)
An upbeat, determined Honey and Clover AMV which deals with two of the series' many entangled relationships. It's a pretty straightforward video about facing love head-on, which becomes bittersweet considering how ill-fated many of the relationships in the series turn out to be (I don't think that's really a spoiler at this point...)
Yosuga no Sora
Number of Episodes: 12
Production Company: Feel
Brief Overview: Brother and sister Haruka and Sora, after the death of their parents, move into the country to the town where they once stayed with their grandfather. Things go well until Haruka begins to remember events from his past.
Super Robot Taisen OG The Inspector
Number of Episodes: 26
Production Company: Asahi Production
Brief Overview: Gutted after being at war, the Federation Government is forced to rebuild. Its acting president acknowledges the existence of extraterrestrials, as well as states that these aliens pose a serious threat to humanity.
While Kyousuke tries to get through one of Kirino's eroge, Kirino laments her lack of otaku companionship. Kyousuke's solution? He suggests that she join an otaku social group online. A real-life meetup is planned, and Kyousuke goes along with Kirino for moral support. Though the group meeting doesn't go well, an "after-party" hosted by the organizer is more fruitful; Kirino meets another female otaku and hits it off, otaku-style. The two find companionship in their disparate tastes. Kyousuke finally finishes the game he was loaned and has a more complete perspective regarding what Kirino enjoys about them.
I'm honestly a bit surprised by how much I liked this follow-up episode. While I'm still not really onboard with the assertion that Kirino somehow innocently enjoys games that revolve around incestuous relations, the episode's look at otaku in their element was surprisingly fun (and particularly accurate, as far as the "my anime is better than yours" debate was portrayed). I'm a bit squicked when it comes to the siblings bonding over dirty computer games, but it's clear that Kyousuke is actually trying to look out for and help his little sister, and that's pretty sweet. The animation during the "otaku debate" was also really well-done; I'm amused by how accurately the two different anime genres were portrayed.
This was one of two shows that ANN was supposed to stream, but had to be taken down due to some sort of site hack. The episodes are now back up, and the original review (as well as the review for Togainu no Chi) has been updated with a link to the ANN video page.
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge
Number of Episodes: 13
Production Company: SHAFT
Brief Overview: The adventures of Ric, a man who can be indebted to no one, and Nino, a self-professed Venusian, along with the rest of the quirky residents living along the Arakawa River, continue.
In an attempt to bring back an old favorite column of mine and to help introduce people to some cool AMVs, I'm restarting the weekly AMV recommendations (at least until I forget about it again and let it fall into obscurity). It should go without saying at this point, but all of the links lead to the AMV profile pages at www.animemusicvideos.org. You will need an account there to download and watch these AMVs. An account is free, and if you're a fan of AMVs you really should have an account there anyway.
Onto this week's recs!
Lost and Found by Dr. Dinosaur (Corndog Vidvids)
A relatively simple instrumental AMV using NieA_7 which deals with friendship and loss, made unique by the creator's decision to include two separate video streams - one which tackles the subject as the beginning of a journey of friendship, the other which looks at it through the lens of bittersweet remembrance of a friend now gone away. Very few scenes are different between the two versions, but they set the difference in tone very well and it's a neat experiment using modern digital video encoding technology.
Spanish Wolf by Cross/Fade (AMP)
An upbeat, spritely video that looks at Holo from Spice and Wolf and her amusing, are-they-or-aren't-they relationship with Kraft Lawrence. The video does a great job of capturing Holo's mischievous nature and the teasing way she and Lawrence interact with each-other. Some mild nudity at a couple points in the beginning.
Vita by Osnar (Visual Experience Studio)
A festive, joyous look at the birth of a seed, from the point-of-view of the spirits who help it to spring to life. While the Genius Party Beyond anthology wasn't nearly as good as the original, this AMV helps to breathe some new life into one of the better segments of the film.
Number of Episodes: 12
Production Company: Xebec
Brief Overview: High-schooler Taro Sado is a self-proclaimed Super Masochist. This might not be a problem, except that he wants to confess to the girl he likes and thus feels that he should be cured of this condition. He joins his high-school's Second Voluntary Club in order to seek help.
The World God Only Know (Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai)
Number of Episodes: TBA
Production Company: Manglobe
Brief Overview: Keima Katsuragi is known as a glasses-clad otaku at school, but on the internet he's known as the "Capturing God" for his ability to capture any female character in a dating sim game. One day he's offered a contract to do just this, or so he thinks.
Saturday night I had the opportunity to watch the new and well-regarded (by many critics, anyway) anime film Redline. I had seen plenty of trailers for the film and the hard-edged, gritty animation style, as well as the promise of insane car races, intrigued me ("ooh, maybe it will be like Initial D, but in space!"). I'm glad to say that I certainly wasn't disappointed in the experience, but I really need to stress that watching this film truly is an experience; looking too hard for a strong plot is only going to lead to disappointment.
A lot of the stuff that happens in the film is, for lack of a better descriptor, completely ridiculous. There are physics-and-logic-defying racing maneuvers and plenty of characters who look like they were ejected straight from the bowels of the Mos Eisley Cantina. There's sexuality and violence (sometimes sexy violence) tossed around almost thoughtlessly, sometimes gleefully. There's a giant bioweapon called "Funky Boy," for crying out loud. But you know what? Despite frequently wanting to laugh at the film for knowingly and wantonly making its characters say and do completely over-the-top things, I have to give it to the people who worked on this film - it was the most incredible adrenaline rush I've had in a very, very long time.
In fact, I think the last time I was so pumped was that week back in March when I blazed through all of Gurren Lagann in about two days. If it's one thing that this film know how to do, it's how to build excitement and constantly raise the stakes. One giant bio-beast? How about two of them, fighting each-other? Regular nitro? How about super-special-ultra-nitro that humans supposedly can't even handle and which causes the car using it to disintegrate? Or a super-fabulous giant pink spaceship that leaves trails of sparkles and is manned by a child princess? I feel as if this was a movie made by committee, though in this case, the "committee" in question decided to conjure up their 12-year-old selves and ask them what they would have thought was cool... and then they dialed that up to 11.
In all seriousness, though, this really is a film for people who love animation as an art form. The plot of this movie is paper-thin, but there's a whole lot of visual creativity here that's a pleasure to watch. And the adrenaline rush the film provides is something else - I was awake until almost 3am after coming home from the showing.
I guess, in short, I really liked the movie. I tend to enjoy things that let me experience a range of feelings that I normally don't experience in my daily life, and HOLY CRAP SUPER ADRENALINE RUSH is definitely one of my least-common states of being. This isn't the type of film where plot is key; honestly, it's more like "barely-there." But it's fun, exciting and goofy as heck, and it's gonna look great on my TV too once I can buy it on Blu-ray.
Xam'd Lost Memories (Bounen no Xam'd)
Number of Episodes: 26 on 4 DVDs
Production Company: Studio Bones
R1 Licensing Company: Sentai/Section23 Films
Brief Overview: Akiyuki is a normal boy who lives a normal life on peaceful Sentan Island until a terrorist attack suddenly provides him with the ability to transform into Xam'd, a being whose power he can't yet control. He's rescued by Nakiami, a woman from the Tessik tribe, who uses her knowledge to help him gain control of his abilities as well as maintain his humanity.