"Only". For ten years, 40 eps was all there was available in translated form. *sigh*
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Dinner last night was a super supreme from Pizza Hut, and on the way there it finally occurred to me--after 39 years of living in the Fungal Vale--that one could call it "Crete Money High School" since the property taxes are so stinkinously high here.
Crete Money High School. Makes sense to me.
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I am still resisting the siren song of a new desktop computer. The latest CompUSA ad has a Gateway with an i7 for $700. *sigh*
Gotta get a job first....
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Took a run through the playlist last night. Bakemonogatari ended up on there, but I found the first episode hard to watch. Too much damn ART!! going on; it's distracting to have the camera angle change with each line of dialogue, making you re-evaluate what you're looking at and making it harder to keep up with WTF IS HAPPENING.
The tendency with ARTY! series is to splatter text all over the screen for a fraction of a second. This forces the viewer to back up and still-frame the thing in order to read what's on the screen, further making it impossible to understand what's going on. This kind of thing got started with Evangelion and Kare Kano (thanks, Gainax!) and Bakemonogatari does more of the same.
The story being presented seems to be pretty intriguing: girl weighs 5 kg but appears normal; guy is a recovering vampire; he takes girl to guy who helped him recover--there's a lot of interesting potential here. There's absolutely no need to splatter all this ART!!!! all over the place.
It just makes the damn thing no fun to watch. Like with Hidamari Sketch--I like the characters but the ART!!! gets in the way of me enjoying spending any time with them.
Okay, let's face it: you're making a cartoon, okay? It's not art for the ages; it's a frickin' cartoon and the film school bullshit doesn't help tell the story--all it does is get in the way. The only people who are going to pretend to be impressed by your ART!!! are other so-called sophisticates and people who want to be thought of as sophisticated.
"Pretend" because no one understands meaningless scribbles, and your constant scene-changing and silly backgrounding and oversaturated colors and odd blocking adds nothing to the story and is therefore artistically void.
"That's what you say! It's because you're not sophisticated enough to understand my art!"
...you're making a TV show for commercial release. The idea is to get as many people to watch it as possible. Making that show inaccessible by shitting your ART!!! all over it may get you raves from the critics and other fools, but how many people will really enjoy watching it?
The ART!!! seemed to calm down a bit partway through the episode. We'll see if it erupts again, or what, but I have a very low tolerance for this kind of nonsense, especially when it's so poorly executed. I mean, at least in Kare Kano it didn't get in the way of telling the story. (I might say the same thing for Evangelion but for the inconvenient fact that it didn't have much of a story to tell. That's a rant for another time.)
And the stories are why I watch this stuff in the first place. I'm a storyteller by nature, and I like hearing them as well as telling them--but if you're going to obscure the story with all kinds of horseshit I'm going to stop listening pretty damned quickly, because I don't care how much you learned in animation school about advanced techniques for compositing photographic images with animation in digital format. Okay? What I care about is, "What does this scene tell me about the characters and/or their situation?"
Showing a closeup of one character's eye, then a quick pan of (what I assume must be) a high school cultural festival program, then a shot of the two conversing characters in silhouette from across the room, then a cut of two hands twiddling a pen, then the program again, then a closeup of the other character's eye, then another silhouette, then--ALL IN THE SPACE OF FIFTEEN SECONDS--this doesn't tell me anything. It's just taking a jumble of images and cramming them all together, and laying dialogue over the top. It's not even a montage--it's just noise.
There are probably a thousand ways to convey the information in that bit of dialogue--needed exposition--which the director chose not to employ, solely because they were apparently too ordinary for his tastes. The scene was necessary to set up the first real interaction between male and female lead--but the ART!!! was not, and in fact it took a simple one-minute interaction (if that) and turned it into five minutes of confusing, annoying nonsense.
...what I thought, in fact, was the opening theme of the show turned out to be two minutes of nothing but useless animation masturbation, because after that lead-in came the real OP of the series. Why the opening thingy was even included in the first place is beyond me...except of course that it showcases the director's sophistication and nuance as an animator.
But as I said the story is intriguing, and if the art staff can keep the ART!!! out of the way maybe I'll get to enjoy it.
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Meanwhile, in Yawara!, Fujiko is about to face Anna Tereshkova, the evil Russian cyborg Terminator with the blue crew-cut, in the open-weight class at the World Championships in Belgrade. They're finally getting away from her nonsensical "stage fright" stuff, which was getting old anyway--but they'll probably amp it back up for her match with the Terminator.
Well, Fujiko is only a white belt and hasn't been in that many tournaments so I guess it's not terribly surprising that she'd get scared. But having trained with the Bolshoi, and been in the running to be a prima ballerina (before she grew too tall) she ought to be better at managing her fear than the average person is. Certainly this whole "quivering with fright" thing shouldn't be as big a problem as it was in her first match.
Still can't wait to get to the part where Hanazono knocks her up, though.
As for the eponymous character, she is having her own problem. Matsuda isn't at the tournament (his father had a heart attack and is hospitalized) and so his paper just sent Kuniko Kaga, his camerawoman, to the event. She told Y-chan that Matsuda had gotten tired of her, and so now Yawara is all befuddled and having trouble winning her matches.
Kuniko has a great body (and is much cuter in the manga than the anime) but she's too damned sneaky and conniving for my taste.
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Well, me bloviating about anime is not getting my errands done. Guess I'd better get moving.