atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#475: More anime commentary

I don't get Hidamari Sketch. It seems to be a "slice of life" series but the director has gone overboard on the ART!!! OF!!! ANIME!!!. It's kind of like His and Her Circumstances on overdrive; the end result is distracting at best. There is no real story, either; it's a series of unconnected days in the lives of four high school girls who live in a six-unit apartment building. (I say "unconnected" advisedly. For example, episode 5 takes place on February 13. Episode 6 takes place in July.)

Floral Magician Mary Bell is a magical girl series which is clearly aimed at kids, and after only two episodes I don't know if I can keep watching it. It's not dumbed down or excessively cute or anything, but I just don't know if I can stand watching a series in which every problem revolves around flowers. And there are at least 34 episodes of this.

The live-action Sailor Moon is alternately really good and execrably cheesy. Luna is a stuffed animal which is sometimes computer-animated; the girls are ordinary Japanese girls until they transform, at which point they get wigs with their Sailor Scout outfits. The girl who plays Ami Mizuno (Sailor Mercury) doesn't seem to be much of an actress. Somehow, though, it manages to work, and if I can just resolve a technical issue with the way it displays on the TV I'll be watching more of this.

The Sailor Moon video plays fine on the flatscreen, but once I slide the play window onto the TV, it drops into 16:9 and cannot be changed back. I have to close the video player and re-open it. The video is letterbox format but not 16:9, and the latter aspect ratio makes all the characters look squished because the black space is not ignored. *sigh*

I have not been impressed with Mamotte Shugogetten. I saw the first several episodes of it some time ago, and didn't think much, but decided to give it another shot when I saw the entire TV series available as a torrent of fansubs. Well, so far, my earlier impression has not been altered: it's not all that entertaining.

The problem arises from "stupid, unobservant, and incompetent character" syndrome; a character shows up who does things with a specific goal in mind, only she doesn't think about her actions, she doesn't seem to notice that they have the opposite effect of what she intends, and half the time the things she does are just plain useless anyway.

He is My Master revolves around a pair of middle-school girls who have run away from home with their pet alligator. They end up working for a rich orphan with no scruples. It's a fan service vehicle and the premise is pretty stupid, but the story is actually entertaining.

I just mentally add four years to everyone's age in this series and mentally replace "middle school" with "high school", and it works out fine. By doing that, it makes Izumi, the female lead, 18 years old rather than 14; her body then matches her age somewhat better, too, because unless something is seriously wrong with Japan, 14-year-old Japanese girls do not have bodies like that. (Okay, yeah, something is seriously wrong with Japan, but that's not what I meant. Though buxom 14-year-olds might explain a lot.) Since Izumi is 90% of the fan service in this series, that solves a lot of problems for me.

Ikkotousen Dragon Destiny--what is this? To say that I don't understand what the hell is going on in this series would not be overstating the issue. After two episodes I like to at least have an idea what is happening, and although I understand that the high schools in this series all have armies of "fighters" that fight to the death, I don't understand why this is so or what the point of it is. The story starts approximately in the middle of the beginning, with almost no exposition; that technique enables a "fast start" for the action, but you don't get much of an explanation of why, or even what. And it's uneven.

* * *

Overall I'm trying to work on clearing out my "B" list of fansubs, and several series in the above list fall there. Rocket Girls and Lovely Complex are how I reward myself.

Rocket Girls, at least, is pretty good...but the series' basic conceit of "high school girls are the ultimate astronauts" is still kind of silly. With a successful orbital flight under its belt the SSA has been given a reprieve, but now they are hiring a third high school girl to be an astronaut.

And I don't need to say more about Lovely Complex, do I?

* * *

As it is, I'm looking at picking up a couple more hard drives in the next week or so. One's going to be a big external drive which I'll use for backup; the other will be on the order of 250 GB or so, internal, and SATA, to replace the current F: drive, which is EIDE and 120 GB. The fansubs have filled most of a 160 GB drive!

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