Eventing 2018

[Updated Feb. 9, Kawaii Kon is a go!]

This is a blog post that will keep track of the nerd events I’m attending in 2018. It will be updated over time to add/delete and update the status of the events I plan to attend or have attended. If you’re going to one of these, feel free to let me know ahead of time. You can find last year’s log post here.

In 2018 I think I’m just going to be kind of vague, since YOLO’ing the past 2 years has kind of caught up. There are some stuff I’d like to go and see/participate but a lot of maybes are really in play. Just going to throw them down as guidelines.

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Dissonant Antarctica

I read this and like, I have a very different impression of Yorimoi. Let me quote:

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further Than The Universe) is remarkably well done. Before the season started, I fully expected it to be a trite “cute-girls-doing-cute-things” fluff piece about high school girls having implausibly canned adventures in Antarctica. However, it turns out Yorimoi adopts a serious attitude toward exploring the logistics required and examining just how something like this might actually be accomplished. I take it as a triumph of original anime that the story seems well thought out and enjoyable in ways that are often missing from anime adaptations of preexisting works, particularly when such anime try hard (to their detriment) to closely follow the source material.

Wait, so Yurucamp TV, a manga adaptation that is all about the details of doing camping as a bunch of high school girls in the fall/winter time frame, does not adopt a serious attitude towards exploring the logistics required and examining just how something like camping might actually be accomplished? Are we even watching the same things?

Disclosure: I dropped Yorimoi like 3 episodes in, as I didn’t buy in to any of the main characters except the tarento. It’s not a trite “cute-girls-doing-cute-things” fluff piece. It’s an “annoying-girls-doing-weird-things” piece, where I often find the characters obnoxious and incorrigible, for weird character development reasons I’m sure they’ll explore later but I can’t be bothered to care–or stick around long enough to find out. I guess it also doesn’t help that Antarctica is not that an exotic location to me, since I’ve read up about it over the years following research that was done down there, and talked to a guy who spent some time there. The show itself is well done, I think, but the posture came across as too full of itself and there’s a degree of calculatedness that runs against my expectation of something that’s more organic in the making.

Actually Yurucamp gets it. What Yorimoi might take a season to do, Yurucamp does it in 1 to 2 episodes. And in essence, it does what I want to see, and just keeps on doing it. How many times did the girls in Yorimoi go to Antartica yet? (I guess episode 8 by the time of this writing.) It doesn’t need that setup. I don’t need to be hit in the face with your quirky personality quirks every few minutes. That some people in Japan have the balls to make a story about high schoolers wanting to go to Antartica, in 2017 terms, is just too much for me to take seriously–except it’s a serious anime! I’d rather watch a show where a bunch of Japanese high schoolers try to raise fund for a summer vacation in New York City–at least I find their destination worth investing in terms of my emotions and attention span. After all, NYC too is quite far, basically it’s as far as another world.

It’s worth examining what “cute-girls-doing-cute-things” mean for each work. I’ve been watching anime since the 90s, at least following TV anime with any real interests, and this descriptor dates back well even before that. I remember watching Magic Knight Rayearth–cute girls doing isekai RPG but in a meta way–and that was already a pretty solid framing of this notion. If somehow the Kirara-manga-adaptation brand has altered this category by flooding the market with trendy cute-girls-doing-not-much anime, please show how this is the case. I can understand, say, shows like Jinsei or Anne-Happy, or something, don’t get into the nitty gritty–but they aren’t shows about doing something. I just don’t understand the criticism as applied to manga or light novel adaptation in which the details are omitted, in which we can apply “cute-girls-doing-cute-thing” tag to. Death March? That is not even in the same genre. Slow Start and Mitsuboshi Colors? Yeah okay, but they aren’t about doing anything specific really (well, Slow Start is about mental trauma, I guess, and Mitsuboshi is about brats being brats). Koizumi is like Yurucamp that they are both very meticulous about specifics, and adopt from manga. Does that leave Takunomi as the only show that fits Evirus’s description?

I just don’t think that statement has any merit. In the scope of things Yorimoi is well-put-together, and there’s a strong feeling of production value? But I find the writing and direction betraying the same expectation in a negative way instead.


PSA: Please Don’t Facebook Your Anison Live Bootleg Like a Pleb

Link here.

Here’s the problem. It’s besides the point that you are a “fansub group” and solicit money via Patreon or whatever. When you post a bootleg of Toyama Nao’s solo live publicly it stops being yours and it starts to become a problem. There are less KY ways to spread the love. If you are too KY to realize it, then you’re no better than Logan Paul, who doesn’t have a clue and post videos of dumb things that should not be posted.

It’s too 20th century to say this is a copyright issue. It is an image/ethics issue–a low quality audio bootleg is only going to please existing fans and not really make new ones, so it’s not effective outreach. Yeah, people will appreciate access to things they don’t have, but it’s not your place to give it publicly. I have a bunch of bootleg audio with pro equipment and I can tell you it’s rare that the audio will come out well enough that I am not ashamed enough to publicly share, let alone publish as a fansubber, especially because when you’re in Japan and you’re gonna likely have to hide the stuff when you record. It’s a different attitude and culture in Japan and don’t gaijin smash your way out of it…then put it on social media saying it’s a service you do for your viewers, just like that guy.

What is it good for? It’s like the photos you take on your trip through life–keep it to yourself to reminisce or share it with close ones when you hang out. Don’t let Facebook condition your Pavlov dog-brain and think you should or you are entitled to publicly share this stuff like food pics and selfies, because that’s not the right etiquette and it happens to be illegal. I don’t even care for the reputation damage–a live bootleg is way better than, say, a movie bootleg (LOL Indonesia etc).

Don’t be a pleb. And more importantly, don’t be that guy.

PS. This reminds me, gonna listen to my bootleg Kanno Yoko music now, been on a Kanno streak lately.


Million Random Thoughts, Million Live Thoughts

Just some thoughts in my head about Million Live recently. Some have been around for years, others prompted by ML4th, and some looking forward to the near future.

0 WELCOME HOME KOTOHA

I think in the next few months Million Live will undergo some cool hype and changes. One of which is the reunification of the theater trope as Kotoha returns with her CV to the project. The way they did it was just the right amount of pomp and circumstances, too. Dropping it without notice was a nice surprise when I logged into the game 2 minutes after midnight JST to check out the “autio-group by song” feature in Theater Days…

For those who don’t know what “Kotoha’s return” means, it refers to that in late 2016, the voice actress for Tanaka Kotoha of Million Live, Taneda Risa (Tane-chan or Seed-kun, as they were) took a hiatus from work due to health issues. She returned to the industry towards the end of last year, and during her absence obviously she wasn’t able to perform at any of the Million Live events or voice her characters. This lead to the launch of Theater Days without Kotoha and only today they have added her to the game. IIIRC, her first notable roles since her return has been Shoukaku and Zuikaku from Azurlane, and reprising her role in the Gochiusa movie. For more Million Baggage on Seed-kun, refer to Million Live 4th Anniversary day 3.

Kotoha’s return also means I’ve been spending too much time finishing up this post. So consider this preface a warning about the amount of time spent since I started writing this piece and the time I publish.

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Winter 2018 Anime Sampling

This winter, I’m still watching a lot of TV anime.

Yurucamp – Probably the kind of Kirara slice of cute girls doing cute things the world loves. This time it sticks to the namesake.

Overlord S2 – The lizards are great, and the cutest Tenchan character in recent memory.

Darling in the Franxx – I love the designs in the show, and it is like an older style of giant robot sf cartoon. Like before Star Driver was a thing. Maybe my tastes have changed to like their output more over the years. Maybe the Trigger influences are starting to show. I guess we’ll see.

Pop Team Epic – The dubbing kills. It’s the best thing about this show, other than packed with obscure references I don’t get in the first person. Which is kind of ironic I guess, because I think this is the kind of comedy that would only appeal GenXers who actually knows their stuff. If you see any Gen Xers who don’t like Pop Team Epic it’s because they’re just posers. Or not Japanese.

Violet Erryhogaarden – The show whose name I love make fun of. Sakuga aside this is just not working IMO. It feels too much like a 23-minute Animation Do commercial except it isn’t even advertising anything. Go back to making films IMO. I’ll give Violet Evergarden a try, despite not expecting it to be like the English Patient at all even.

Mitsuboshi colors – … I think I’ll dig it, just need to get into the mood? Already bought the LINE sticker pack so I guess I’m committed.

Yorimoi – You can gather 200k retweet and hitch a ride to Antarctica. Compared to getting those RTs, this anime about going to Antarctica is belabored. In a way this show is very well put together but the framing device is grating and the characters don’t work for me. The oddball chemistry is just odd, not charming. Say what you will for this cast, I think they could’ve changed a few of them to make it better overall.

Koizumi Loves Ramen – Good for the ramen trivia. Just waiting to see how many spots I’ve been that they will visit in the show? The best thing so far is how real the food combinations and process is. We need like, practical details. A bit like the Tantan gyoza hotpot from Yurucamp, except it’s more likely that the info presented in Koizumi-san to be useful to those of us who get to go to Japan.

Citrus – It’s terrible in the ways I expected, so it’s rather fun. I’m enjoying the pretty lame drama, admittedly, mainly because the characters are fun. I really like Yukiyo in this. If not for the recent event in Theater Days I’d say this is one of her best performances yet.

Slow Start – It’s OK I guess. Have enough healing power to keep going. Believe it or not that one little gag about sister juice helped me keep going, until the episode where the main character shares her institutional trauma with her flat neighbor. That episode was legit interesting and worthwhile.

Kokkoku – I guess it’s different. I like the character designs (natch).

Card Captor Sakura – It’s got the right stuff going I guess, tho this Shaoran ship is a tad thick. Hisakawa going nuts as Kero has been the highlight so far.

Takunomi – Promising, but the mass market drinks is a little bit too thick. “Soul food” shows aplenty this season, so the only standout about Takunomi is the seiyuu cast and cute, young adults who can drink legally…

Grancrest – It seems okay if they keep this pace, which leaves little time to do anything else other breaking your neck (as in, neck-breaking pace)? I don’t mind if the series have these characters who are unyieldingly aggressive at executing their agenda as long as the charm is there.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens – Something different I guess, and not terrible. The first two episodes make a compelling introduction.

Death march – LOL this is bad, but okay I’ll keep with it. A lot of small-font overlay text in this show that are actually a bit important. It’s hard to read so I don’t bother, but there’s a Let’s-Play quality to this adaptation which makes it different than most.

Maerchen Maedchen – LOL this is also kind of bad, but the main chara is attractive in a weird way I wonder why… Oh, because the main chara is just like Yuriko from Million Live. A bit like how Ichigo in Darlifra is also like Yuriko from Million Live (iincho version).

Toji no Miko – Could be a lot worse, so far it’s OK? Cute girls with swords is an OK schtick. The real winner in this show is the fugitive gambit, and it works quite well. Better than Haifuri, LOL.

KoiAme – Really solid show. Sakugabooru does a decent job spelling out the directional approach, which is relatively rare for them, LOL. Usually sakuga bros talk about sakuga and not so much the cinematography stuff. No opinion on the 45yo being chased by a 17yo, other than it doesn’t really bother me.

Beatless – I should watch this show. More people should watch this show. But I guess it’s not great for the jaded, seasonal thin-slicing crowd. I did watch two episodes, and I would watch more if it was easy.

Others:

Gd Mens – They are okay I guess. It takes a bit for the humor to really come out and for the chemistry to gel so I’ll give it time.

In conclusion, this season I’m observing one other objective identifier to qualify how good a show is at keeping my attention: how long it takes for me to remember the names of the main cast after a few days since last viewing. Other than this new metric, there has been “which ones do I watch first after a trip overseas” and “which ones do I want to watch the most,” which are probably equally effective as a metric as any.