Loose Odds and Ends

  • As a reminder, there are no new episodes of Basquash or Fullmetal Alchemist this week because of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics. A new episode of Bakemonogatari, however, will be airing later today.
  • Speaking of Basquash, I really like the full version of the current ending song and have been listening to the newly released single all week. In contrast, I still don’t like the current Haruhi opening song and laughed when I saw how ridiculous the PV of it was. It certainly doesn’t make me think any better of Hirano Aya.
  • As much as I wanted to blog it because it’s a good series, I really can’t find the time for Sora no Manimani. School recently started again, and my final year of grad school is going to be a doozy. I would still recommend the show though (Jaalin likes it even more than I do).
  • A few people have asked me about my thoughts for the upcoming fall season, and while I haven’t done any significant research on it, my first impression was that it’s even more full of sequels than usual. There’s something like nine or ten of them out of less than thirty new shows, and it’s a shame there aren’t more completely original series. Regardless, I suspect I’ll definitely be watching Darker than BLACK, InuYasha, Railgun, and Kimi ni Todoke.
  • Just Another One Of Those Days…

  • So I found out today that I have tuberculosis. That’s one of those really scary things that you never want to hear from your doctor. Fortunately, after some testing, it was determined that I have latent tuberculosis instead of active, which means I’m not in huge danger and can’t spread it. I am, however, on antibiotics for the next several months, and I’m dead tired right now from all the running around to various clinics that I did.
  • On a more upbeat note, I was watching TBS the other day, and a commercial for Volvic FruitKiss aired with a really catchy song. I’ve never had this drink and the commercial didn’t exactly make me want some, but it did prompt me to look up the singer MiChi and the song KiSS KiSS xxx, and now it’s stuck in my head. This becomes yet another single and PV that I’m interested in, along with the Valkyria OP by HIMEKA and the current Bleach OP by SCANDAL.
  • Since the reaction to Trillian’s photography last time was so positive, here’s another image.
  • Edit: Thanks for all the messages of support – it really means a lot to me.

    Queen’s Blade Minus The Nudity Equals…?

    In the comments of Jaalin’s Queen’s Blade post, a number of people were wondering how the other channels would censor the show since AT-X was going to be the only one airing the uncensored version. Well, the first episode aired on Chiba TV today, and the answer is that they made good use of cropping, bright glow, and fog, as you can see in the images above. A poster on 2chan even made some comparison images (NSFW). It was kind of amusing just to see how much censoring had to be done for this show, but I can’t say I’m surprised. To answer my own question though, I guess the series still has a very strong voice cast, and if you can’t watch the uncensored version on AT-X, then this might be better than nothing. As for me, I could care less about the plot or the nudity, but what I am curious about is what the absolute limit that AT-X will let them show is. I suspect that it might be even more hentai-ish than just what was in the first episode given how the promo videos had tentacle monsters.

    Toradora OP in Kinetic Typography


    Here’s a cool video Patrik just showed me: Pre-Parade as done in Kinetic Typography. Some of you may remember that this guy did a video in the same style about two months ago for Suzumiya Haruhi’s introduction monologue, and this is even more impressive than that. Kinetic Typography, and YouTube videos depicting stuff done this way, have been around for a while, but it’s still great to see it being applied to an anime context and done in such a cool way.

    Concerning WHITE ALBUM

    Those of you who have been following WHITE ALBUM and have been reading my weekly writeups probably know that I haven’t been the biggest fan of the show – partly because of its style, but largely because I don’t care for most of the cast of characters. You may also have heard the announcement that WHITE ALBUM is going to be two seasons long, with the second half airing this fall. Many people saw this news and felt better about the series because it seemed to explain the deliberate pacing, and it meant that they probably weren’t going to rush an ending. For someone like myself, however, whose interest level in the show has dropped as it went on, instead of it being “Well there’s only a few more episodes, I can stick with it for that long just to see the ending,” I’m now faced with 16 more episodes of a series I’m not particularly excited about or even fond of. So I decided there wasn’t any point in me continuing with it and that my time was better spent elsewhere (like catching up with Rideback). My apologies to anyone who was following those posts and does enjoy the show – I hate dropping series, but I just can’t motivate myself to continue with this one.

    Random Musings – The State of the Blog

    On this day of Barack Obama’s inauguration (I had to stop myself from titling this post “State of the Union”), here are some notes on myself and the series I’m blogging:

  • I said last month that things should be better for me schedule-wise in this new year, but it hasn’t quite turned out that way. As some of you may know, I’m a grad student right now, and a big project recently came up for review, so I’ve been scrambling for that. That’s the reason Rideback and Soul Eater haven’t been blogged yet, though I did get some time to watch them. I’m probably going to try to continue on normally with writing up Bleach today and Toradora tomorrow and catch up on blogging those two series when I get a chance later this week.
  • Speaking of which, I’ve created a Winter 2009 Schedule page listing all the series I and Trillian will be blogging. You might notice that Tales of the Abyss, Kuroshitsuji, and Michiko to Hachin are not on the list – these series have been dropped. The latter two because Trillian is in the middle of job hunting and doesn’t have the time to cover four series, and Abyss because I had to let go of the show that I was least interested in if I wanted to pick up three new Winter 2009 shows and not kill myself.
  • Concerning Daily Doses, I do hope to restart them at some point and have been contacted by some prospective writers.
  • On a more positive note, I’ve been trying out Twitter as part of a social networking research class I’m taking, and I was surprised at how quickly I was able to create a list of friends just by importing my Gmail contacts. I also found some people I haven’t talked to or seen in a while who are apparently quite active on Twitter. Now I don’t know how much I’ll end up using this or if I’ll integrate it with the blog, but it’s been interesting to play with.
  • Random Musings – Meta-tastic

    Just a few meta items to mention before I go to bed:

  • Thanks to everyone who offered a temporary place to put images. I think we’re now set until we move to the new server.
  • Divine just returned home from Japan yesterday, so he’s still in catch-up mode for several of his shows, plus whatever new ones he’s thinking of picking up.
  • For this summer season in particular, I think it’s worth saying that just because a first episode isn’t blogged right away doesn’t mean that it’s not being considered. I’ll use World Destruction as an example. I thought the first episode was okay, did well with its strong voice cast, and had some decent story potential, but I’m not exactly leaping to blog it, especially since I’m already following SOUL EATER on Mondays and two shows on Sundays. I’d reconsider though if none of the other series airing this week that I’m interested in (Koihime Musou, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, or even the new j-drama Yasuko to Kenji) turn out to be any more compelling than World Destruction, and in that case, I’d tweak my schedule a bit so that I can fit World Destruction in. One of the problems this season (and it’s more of an issue for Divine than it is for me) is that most of the shows we’re interested in watching are stacked on a few days of the week – Wednesdays and Thursdays for example – whereas days like Tuesdays and Saturdays are unusually light. That’s why it’ll probably take a little longer than usual for us to settle into a normal blogging schedule.
  • Also, I haven’t forgotten about Daily Doses. They will return as soon as things settle down and I figure out what I want to follow. And a quick thanks to all the people who emailed me about the new ef series.
  • Image at left courtesy of ,on pixiv (account needed to access).

    Recent Downtime Update

  • If you’ve noticed a lot of downtime recently, it’s because the Random Curiosity server is getting hammered with all the traffic the new season is generating. Unfortunately, our only option is to upgrade the server, and that’ll take at least a week, if not two. For the time being, I’ve taken some measures (like getting rid of the polls) that will hopefully relieve at least some of the strain until we can make the move. If you have a fast server I can offload some images onto temporarily, please email me ASAP. Otherwise, keep your fingers crossed…
  • On that note, I should mention that the AnimeBlogger Donation Drive is still going, and they’re still about $400 short of their original goal of $1600. Money for that doesn’t help Random Curiosity’s server costs directly (this site is barely supported by ads), but it does benefit the rest of the AnimeBlogger community and helps our network admin Maestro pay for those servers.
  • Random Musings – Zettai Kareshi Edition

    If you are watching or are planning on watching the J-drama Zettai Kareshi, be sure to bring a big box of tissues for the finale. In fact, even though I knew pretty much exactly what was going to happen in the end thanks to having read the manga, I still cried when I watched it. It’s a testament to how much emotion was in the finale and how much you connect with the characters after having followed their stories for so long (which I realize you can say for a lot of series, but it was especially powerful in this instance).

    For those of you who aren’t familiar with Zettai Kareshi, it’s about a girl who gets a robot as her ideal boyfriend, and the problems and love triangle that this leads to. As I noted when I first wrote about it a few weeks ago, the series quite a lot of fun to watch. It can get a bit cheesy at times – which is hard to avoid in these kinds of drama series – but those moments were rare, and I thought they did a great job pacing the story with plot twists and cliffhangers. In retrospect, I wish I had started watching this earlier and perhaps made an attempt to blog it. Come to think of it, I really should pay more attention to drama series based on shoujo manga titles in general – I haven’t had a great record with anime adaptations, but I usually like the drama versions.

    In any case, I’m glad I took the time to watch this series because, as you can see, I ended up loving it. I’d highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good light-hearted romance. Now I’m going to go back to listening to the theme song on repeat…

    Random Musings – Raindrops on Roses

  • I’ve been listening to the Macross Frontier soundtrack, and it’s every bit as wonderful as I hoped it’d be. I’m loving the tracks What ’bout my star (both versions), Big Boys (reminds me a lot of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme), and Innocent green. Oh and the Nyan Nyan song is as cute as ever. It’s going to be hard at the end of the year deciding whether this OST is better or the true tears one is – probably this because of all the vocal music (which isn’t to say that Yoko Kanno’s instrumentals aren’t great too). And that’s assuming the next Macross Frontier OST won’t be better.
  • I also managed to scrape together some time this weekend to watch a few episodes of the currently-running drama Zettai Kareshi. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s about a girl who gets a robot as her ideal boyfriend, and the love triangle and troubles that this leads to. That might sound silly, but it’s actually really entertaining. I was curious about this adaptation because I read the manga a long time ago, and though a lot of things have changed in the story, it’s still very very good. It has that same spark that I found in the Hana Yori Dango and Yamada Tarou Monogatari dramas – the perfect mix of comedy and romance drama. It can be very funny at times (especially the actor who plays Namikiri), and the romance and drama elements are slightly over the top – just the way I like it. I wish I were blogging it, but sadly I just can’t make the time commitment for a drama series right now (though I may try to next season or the season after that). On a side note, I had the theme song of this series, Okaeri by ayaka in my head all the way until today…when I started listening to the Macross Frontier soundtrack.
  • Also in the news, the official Mai-HiME/Otome website announced a new project. No details about it other than the name and character design of the new heroine, Mao (see the link). While I do wish Sunrise would develop more new original properties, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious what this one will be like, especially since S.ifr’s first episode was better than expected. Speaking of which, the second volume of S.ifr is due out July 25th.