Random Curiosity

Unsung Heroes: Joe Hisaishi & BGM Composers – Part 3


After taking a week off from writing, I realized how hard it is to rank composers for the next category. In fact, I believe it is the hardest of them all. My analysis on these musicians requires lots of research and evaluation. Nonetheless, I managed to get it done. During this process, I did find something interesting…

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July 21, 2007 at 1:21 am Comments (19)

Looking Beyond: Freedom of Expression

This inquiry has been on my mind for about a couple of weeks. In episode 22 of Nodame Cantabile, there was one scene that really made me think. It takes place where Nodame explained Chiaki her true intentions for entering the competition. Then Nodame says, “What is wrong with playing the piano freely as you like?”

It brings up this question: Do we have the right to tamper an original work in order to suit our taste?

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July 6, 2007 at 11:32 pm Comments (31)

Random Musings – Two Year Anniversary Edition

Today, the Fourth of July, happens to not only be a national holiday in the US, but it also marks the two-year anniversary of this site. I actually started writing on this blog a little earlier than that, but it wasn’t until I moved here to AnimeBlogger in July of 2005 that I consider the site to have really started. Since then, the site has accumulated 1,646 posts and 45,172 comments, and it’s gotten almost ten and a half million hits. As always, I want to thank all the readers and everyone who’s helped out with the site, and hopefully we’ll have more years of blogging to come.
Now, on to some miscellaneous newsworthy notes:

  • As you can see in the image above, the cast for the live action Mahou Sensei Negima! drama has been decided. The official site has profiles for each of the girls, and I was kind of surprised by some of the choices, stemming mostly from how the ages of the actresses range from 12 to 24 years old (for easier comparison if you don’t know their names, refer to the Wikipedia pages that list the characters in the same order). Although Asuna and Nodoka’s actresses look about right for their characters, who the heck decided that Kaede should be played by a 13 year old? Anyway, the drama starts in the fall of this year, and you can find some magazine scans of the actresses here.
  • For the guy who specially requested it, here’s the download link (mirror) for the new ED to D.Gray-man, Antoinette Blue by Kitade Nana. However, I still don’t have any plans to blog show again despite the story seeming to pick up.
  • There’s been a bunch of rumors flying about in the recent week about a one-hour CODE GEASS special that’s supposed to be airing on the night of July 28th. Although nothing about it has been confirmed, speculation is that it’s either the highly-anticipated episodes 24 and 25 or it’s a recap special. Given that that’s a week after the premiere screenings, the possibility is certainly there, but I wouldn’t get my hopes quite just yet until there’s been an official announcement. On a related note, ANIMAX’s schedules now state that they will be airing those final two episodes on August 30th and 31st. Whether or not the other channels will get broadcasts before then remains to be seen.
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    July 4, 2007 at 11:21 pm Comments (53)

    Unsung Heroes: Q & A and BGM Composers – Part 2

    I look at the comments posted in my debut column and it amazed me how much effect Kajiura Yuki has on people. The demand for Kajiura’s work to be placed in the top ranking has been petitioned to the point that maybe I should re-review my choices. Maybe I made a mistake or just maybe…just maybe, I might have gone over the line. I should give into the public opinion and just do what they consider is right.

    Or not. :P

    However, that does not mean I should do whatever I please. The readers of RC have brought up some issues that intrigued me. I feel that I am obligated to answer it. Before I list my ‘Starting Lineup’, I would like to take this moment for a little Q & A session.

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    June 30, 2007 at 1:12 pm Comments (44)

    Unsung Heroes: Introduction & BGM Composers – Part 1


    No, I’m not Omni or Patrik or Jaalin. I am Kyouya, the newest member of the Random Curiosity editorial staff. Since the latest power rankings, I have been invited to contribute here with my thoughts and opinions. I will be helping Jaalin with the monthly Power Rankings as well. I hope this writing of mine can expand some new perspectives to you.

    Now that the introduction is out of the way, I’ll get to the point. This is a new segment which I would like to call ‘Unsung Heroes.’ This column will basically give the spotlight to people, anime, or anything that may have been overlooked for its achievements. In other words, the people who work behind the shadows will get the credit here.

    This segment will open by focusing on one of the most overlooked workers in the anime industry: BGM composers.

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    June 26, 2007 at 12:20 am Comments (95)

    Random Curiosity Power Rankings – June 2007 RESEED

    Based on the responses from the initial Power Rankings post, and because I’ve watched an obscene amount of anime in the past week for the purpose of providing a better ranking, I’ve updated the rankings and descriptions for each, as well as removed/added shows. Keep in mind that I’m only doing this “reseeding” as a follow-up to the first post – just because a show might have dropped 10 spots doesn’t mean the latest ep really sucked! Subsequent power ranking posts will come about once a month!

    June 2007 Rank (LW) Title Comment
    1 (1) Gurren Lagann A great beach episode that not only elevated Nia to the Tessa stratosphere, but also had Yoko using her much-needed screen time well. Notice how Yoko looked a tad bit cuter this episode? The action remained nothing short of insanity, we saw the dramatic death of one of the prime evils, and there was even time for a haircut scene. In terms of sheer volume of enjoyment, the other shows don’t even come close to this.
    2 (4) Lucky Star What’s this…consistency? Even the dialogue-exclusive episodes are really starting to be enjoyable. Whether this has to do with the dialogue getting better (maybe), the subject matter being more interesting (not likely), or just me getting used to this group of friends (there we go), Lucky Star has really, truly, deeply become a special, special show. Episode 11 was pure love.
    3 (6) Claymore One way I evaluate anime is how badly it makes me want to read the manga after a cliffhanger – for those who haven’t done it already, this seems to be an issue that becomes more and more prevalent every week. Meanwhile, the anime is doing a great job of keeping it together and keeping it legit – somewhat of a rarity these days so far into the series!

    More after the jump….

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    June 23, 2007 at 2:33 am Comments (90)

    Server Maintenance Complete

    Sorry the server maintenance took longer than expected, it took longer than we expected for the hosting company to actually get the replacement server in place, then about 12 hours to reconfigure it. The site (and server) should be more stable now that we have the bad hardware replaced. :)

    Comments have been reopened on all posts, be sure to let us know if you encounter any problems!

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    June 15, 2007 at 7:23 pm Comments (20)

    Server Maintenance Tonight

    We will be taking down the server to do some maintenance late tonight starting at approximately 3AM Eastern Standard Time. All comments will be disabled around 9PM so that we can back up the databases before the maintenance. If everything goes well, the server should be back up and running normally sometime tomorrow (Thursday), though I’m not sure exactly when.
    Comments have now been disabled.

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    June 13, 2007 at 6:55 pm Comments (4)

    Random Curiosity Power Rankings – June 2007

    In Random Curiosity’s endless pursuit to distract you from real-world productivity, we’ve devised another way to hopefully make your summer days a little less boring. Introducing…monthly power rankings! Pachi pachi pachi.

    Those who follow sports will be familiar with these – sites like ESPN typically have weekly power rankings to track teams’ progress throughout the season. If anything, it’s just fun to compare things. The difference with the anime rankings and those in sports is that we’re trying to compare things that pretty much fall in completely different genres, and don’t even go head-to-head against each other any sort of way outside of TV ratings, which we don’t have access to nor really want to bother with, since Japanese people have strange tastes anyways (who the hell watches crayon shin-chan).

    June 2007 Rank (LW) Title Comment
    1 (1)
    Gurren Lagann Even (especially) with the unheralded loss of Kamina, GL grabs the top spot with its ability to maintain its distinct wackiness, feverish action, and likeable characters. The addition of flowery Nia to brighten up the gloom was a brilliant move – which begs the question, Yoko or Nia? Big guns are hot, but so are flower petal pupils.
    2 (2)
    Denno Coil DC is a lovable series because it dares to dream, and yet doesn’t get greedy. A great premise coupled with solid animation and upbeat action, together with an uncertain yet anticipated ending – all the makings of a great show. After a strong showing in episodes 1-3, an epic episode 4 bumps it to the second spot. Who would’ve thought, such a special show came so late in the season.
    3 (3)
    Seto no Hanayome I was a little surprised that the whole show moved to a generic school setting, but my doubts were cast aside as SetoHana keeps hitting us hard with uproarious humor and falling sakura petals, at the same time introducing several more interesting characters. Weird thing is, one of them is a Haruhi clone, the other an Akira-sama clone. Points for having the most unique beta-male character in recent memory.

    More after the jump….

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    June 13, 2007 at 2:46 am Comments (136)

    FreezeFrame: Have You Seen This?

    While we still have a few weeks before the summer shows roll around, I thought I’d take this time to backtrack on some of the spring shows that might have gone under the radar, or just plain ignored by us at Random Curiosity. If you’re not already watching them, I’m hoping I can convince you to at least give the first episode a chance – the spring season had quite an extensive list and it would be a shame to let these shows slip by.

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    June 7, 2007 at 10:01 am Comments (113)

    Random Musings – Starcraft 2 And Live-Action Negima Edition

  • I’m having a small bout of insomnia, and well, the news out of South Korea that Starcraft 2 is coming out doesn’t help put me to sleep. The only odd thing I find with all this is that the Games Radar article I linked above is exactly right about everything, but it was available in its entirety quite a bit earlier than the IGN live-blogging of the event. In any case, I grew up playing Starcraft and Warcraft games, so I’m quite excited about this, and I can’t wait to see some of the videos that Blizzard is currently showing at their Worldwide Invitational. That was fast. It’s on YouTube. The official site is up with good quality videos.
  • In other news, famous manga-ka Akamatsu Ken confirmed that his popular series Mahou Sensei Negima is getting a live-action drama. It seems that the actresses for the 31 girls of Negi’s class have been decided, and as MOON PHASE notes, they’ll probably all be child actresses and gravure idols. The first thing I thought of when I read the news was PGSM, and that didn’t exactly leave me with fond memories. I’m a bit afraid to see what Negima will look like in a live-action format (wigs all over the place I would guess and maybe a stuffed animal for Kamo-kun), but morbid curiosity compels me to follow this.
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    May 19, 2007 at 3:05 am Comments (42)

    HEY! HEY! HEY! Music Champ – Horie Yui Appearance

    Popular voice actress Horie Yui‘s newest single Days / Say cheese! placed eighth on last week’s Oricon chart, and, as I mentioned last week, she made an appearance on the HEY!HEY!HEY! MUSIC CHAMP program that aired today.

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    May 14, 2007 at 8:33 pm Comments (21)

    Random Musings – For Those Of You Wondering About Rain In The Poll…

    I normally don’t talk about non-anime related stuff, but this was too funny to resist if you know anything about Rain or popular Korean music. Time Magazine in recent years has been making a list called the Time 100 – The People Who Shape Our World. They also ran an online poll to see who people think should be #1, and the winner of that by a large margin was Rain. #2 was Stephen Colbert, and that’s what led to the above video.

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    May 13, 2007 at 4:03 pm Comments (74)

    UVERworld – endscape PV (Terra e… OP)

    UVERworld’s latest song endscape is featured as the opening of the series Terra e… which I actually ended up watching only two episodes of (and blogged just the first). Despite that, I remember how much I liked the small bits of it played in the promos and how the TV-size version didn’t quite appeal to me as much. I’m not sure if its a factor of time elapsed since the season started or just the full version being better, but I like endscape a lot more now that I’ve had a chance to listen to the entire length of the song. I still prefer Colors of the Heart overall, but this is nevertheless a good song that’s quite catchy. The PV also looks like there’s a pretty high level of production quality even though it features mostly TAKUYA∞ singing and the band playing against different backgrounds with shots of floating globes, one of which contains the sun.

    UVERworld’s seventh single endscape is set to be released on May 30th, 2007.

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    May 11, 2007 at 4:20 am Comments (18)

    Random Musings – Da Capo II Anime And Other News

  • As I’m sure many of you have already heard, the big news for today is that Da Capo II is getting an anime. In an interview published in the June edition of Comptiq (the same magazine that Lucky Star is serialized in and pimps every week), producer tororo stated among other things that he wanted the anime to be as long as possible. There’s no set air-date yet, and I haven’t paid much attention to the game since it came out about a year ago, but I’m interested in seeing how this turns out.
  • In other upcoming anime news, Kamen no Maid Guy is also getting an anime, but I suspect that most people aren’t familiar with this series. I was first introduced to the manga almost two years ago when Dom wrote about it over at MegaTokyo. To use his description, it’s “the heartwarming story of a maid-loving rich old man, his almost-of-age granddaughter Naeka, and the musclebound, shark-toothed, mask-wearing freak of a maid he assigns to protect her until her 18th birthday.” It’s very fun to read, and I hope it translates well into anime form.
  • For those of you who are watching sola, it was announced on the official production blog that the show is going to be 15 episodes total, two of which will be DVD-exclusive. The one that is to be included with DVD 4 (on sale September 25th) is going to be “packed with the charms of the characters of sola,” but they are keeping secret about the one to be included with the final DVD 5 (on sale October 26th).
  • In seiyuu news, it seems that popular voice actress Horie Yui will be appearing on HEY!HEY!HEY! MUSIC CHAMP soon. Her appearance is being filmed this Thursday, so it might air next Monday. I mention this mainly because many of you may remember how Hirano Aya generated a lot of buzz last year from appearing on the same show.
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    May 8, 2007 at 8:19 pm Comments (36)

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