If you’ve watched Shana at all, you’re probably aware that she loves to eat melonpan. Well there was a song released last month called 「メロンパンのうた」 (Melonpan no Uta – The Melonpan Song) by a nine-year-old singer/songwriter girl named Yuppi. It’s an incredibly cute song with some simple lyrics that have been stuck in my head since I heard it (“there is anko in anpan, there is no melon in melonpan, there is curry in curry bread, there is no melon in melonpan”) and the video above is the PV for the song that debuted on Music On! TV’s Top 100 Countdown at #55 a couple of days ago. At least one person has already suggested that this should be Shana’s OP for next season. :D
There are some miscellaneous things this week that I think don’t warrant a full post, but are worth a mention.
Hirano Aya’s latest single NEOPHILIA, the second of her three releases on consecutive months, was actually pretty good. At least, it was pretty good in comparison to last month’s LOVE★GUN which I thought was absolutely horrendous (both the PV and the song). NEOPHILIA showcased her vocal talents a lot better, though the PV with the mannequin was a bit too creepy for my tastes. According to the official Lantis website, each single has a separate theme – the first one being CRASH!, the second being COOL & elegance, and the third being HAPPY!. With that in mind, I’m not exactly looking forward to the third single, but it might be worth a listen. It’s titled MonStAR and is due out December 5th, 2007.
Although I’m not actively watching or blogging Genshiken 2, I saw some screenshots of this week’s episode and had to take a look. They expanded on Ogiue’s fantasy from volume six of the manga into this whole boys’ love story that turned out to be way more homoerotic than anything I’ve ever seen on television, yet I couldn’t stop laughing because of how seriously it was portrayed in both theme and animation style. It’s definitely worth a watch if you have the time.
I’ve gotten literally dozens of emails this past week about blogging D.Gray-man again because it’s finally gotten back on track with the manga story, so this is something that needs to be addressed: I have no current plans to pick DGM back up, regardless of how good it currently is or isn’t. Never mind the fact that doing so would require me to drop Myself; Yourself or BLUE DROP, but after having sat through those anime original episodes, I’m just not willing to go back to it again unless it’s damn impressive. The recent episodes 55, 56, and 57 were good, but still not quite good enough for me to reconsider, especially in light of the current weekly schedule. It’s possible I’ll think about it again next season, however that’s still unlikely unless Winter 2008 has some really weak shows. For now, I’ll just stick with reading the manga.
It was officially announced yesterday that the second Vocaloid2 package (the first being the insanely popular Hatsune Miku) will be Kagamine Rin. She’ll be voiced by Shimoda Asami, who’s probably most famous for being the voice of Ami and Mami in THE IDOLM@STER game. In terms of singing, Hatsune Miku is listed as being good for Idol and dance songs, but Kagamine Rin will apparently be good at rock, pop, and even some enka. She’ll also sing at a higher tempo – 85 to 175BPM – compared to Hatsune Miku’s 70 to 150BPM. It should be interesting to listen to, and it’s a surefire bet that this’ll be a huge hit too.
mewmew has decided to drop Taiho Shichauzo Full Throttle, citing that it’s not interesting as he had originally thought it’d be, and he hopes this’ll give him more time to concentrate on Ghost Hound and Moyashimon.
Oh, and I almost forgot. I’m really looking forward to the first episode of the Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations OVA coming out next week. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Production I.G to do as good a job with it as they did with the Tsubasa movie.
Here are the August rankings – the summer shows are cranking along at full speed, and the carryovers from spring are coming through for the final stretch. Speaking of which, hasn’t the previous week been SPECTACULAR for anime? There’s been some amazing episodes across the board – it’s great to see that everything’s really kicking into gear to finish strong. As I noted last month, there was a good chance that we could have a new show at the top spot – well, that much was right, but it wasn’t the one I was expecting!
And the new king of the rankings has been crowned – School Days has gone from pretty good to being possibly the best shounen romance anime ever. Every second oozes perfection, from the gripping suspense to the overbearing guilt, from the precise fanservice to the impeccably timed insert songs. SD is the zenith in the evolving formula of shounen romance, and has set a new standard which all subsequent shows will be compared to.
GL went from being crazy good fun to being a real show that also happens to be crazy good fun. With the introduction and flawless execution of the new plot twists, not to mention a little side trip with Yoko, we’ve been thrust headfirst into a new conflict that’s every bit as intense as the first, but on a much larger scale. And what other show is this freakin’ cool? Too bad it’s almost over – can he rescue Nia in such a short time?
So how about that ending, eh? While people may have different views on how the last scene was handled, I think we can all agree that the final two eps lived up to the lofty expectations; but at the same time, didn’t really exceed them. Still, it was a fitting end to (the first season of) a crazy series, and its constant twists and OMG moments never let up. The stage has been set for the second season – how long will they make us wait?
I’m not a fan of censorship. That being said, I understand the guidelines of why it is necessary. It could be due to timeslot, target audience, content or even controversy. Why am I saying this now? It is because of the debut of Dokuro-chan 2. On the 2nd half of the episode, censorship covered a scene lasting approximately 33 seconds.
Time for the July rankings – the new summer shows have been given a couple episodes to prove themselves, and for now, here’s how they stand. Needless to say, the new season isn’t looking too strong, but there are several shows that could surprise – although I doubt they are going to displace any of the top 5. How about combining some shows, like having Kotonoha finally pop a vein, and chopping down Pink Supervisor with a string of baka baka baka USODA!
No surprises here – even after an incredible “final battle” with Lord Genome, the peaceful, time jump episode turns out to be adrenaline filled, except this time a little more of my adrenaline went to a different place after seeing grown up Darry. The new dynamics are intriguing and seem more real and developed; the characters look great and the new impending conflict is believable – something even Death Note couldn’t really pull off.
Seirei no Moribito
Get used to seeing this here, as it’s coming out of the filler episodes and back into the story. Balsa’s continued struggle to uphold her values against her warrior’s heart is not only fascinating but also inspiring. Seirei also excels in providing a constant viewpoint from a “wise” authority, whether it be the shaman, the blacksmith, or the traveling teacher – one who can really bring the depths of the characters to the surface.
You can nitpick at the Haruhi exploitation all you want, but in the end, Lucky Star continues to deliver week after week with its own unique brand of humor. One could even make the argument that the clever execution of the more elaborate references is what pushed the show to the next level. Not to mention Shiraishi’s performances, and now Akira’s “live performance” are gems in themselves.
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…
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?
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 Wikipediapages 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.