Random Musings – Incoming

Just got back from school (11PM EST). One of my prototypes broke and I had to rebuilt it from scratch. *grumble grumble* Anyway, Lovely Idol, Pumpkin Scissors, and/or Tokimeki Memorial coming very soon.

Edit: Well I got two of the three. If I had gotten home six hours earlier like I had planned, then I probably would have been able to write up Tokimeki and Pumpkin Scissors. Unfortunately, it’s now 4AM and I’m dead tired, so that’s not going to happen. And given that this week is all new shows, it’s looks unlikely that I’ll ever get a chance to cover Pumpkin Scissors unless Lovely Idol and Tokimeki both are complete crap in their second episodes and I decide to pick PS up.

2nd Edit: Ok I lied. I decided to watch Pumpkin Scissors and liked it enough to post some pics. Remember, if you want me to blog a certain series, leave a comment under that first episode entry so that I don’t assume that people have no interest in whatever show because it’s got few or no comments. And now I really am going to bed b/c it’s 5AM…and I have to get up in 3 hours…

Random Musings – Laughter Is The Best Medicine

This isn’t so much a news post as just some stuff that made me laugh this week:
-The Densha Otoko Deluxe Special aired yesterday. There were some funny moments (like the end of the episode, but I won’t spoil it), but it was actually overall quite serious, though also very corny/campy at certain points. At two hours, it was a bit long, but definitely worth watching if you’re a Densha Otoko fan, especially since they brought back what appeared to be the entire cast and played all the familiar songs from the soundtrack. They updated the OP with some new shots of Mina (courtesy of GONZO), which I’ve included above. On that note, the real Mina anime that GONZO is making now has a website. Yes, if you haven’t heard, Mina, in the same fake-title-getting-a-real-animation sense as Kujibiki Unbalance, is getting an anime coming in January.
Maritan Concentration Drills is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. See Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and Exhibit C. There’s nothing like a loli spewing profusely profane Full Metal Jacket quotations to make my day. All under the guise of teaching unconventional English. 🙂
-Site’s been down a bit these past few days. Unfortunately, I can’t do anything about it except complain to Maestro or Dreamhost. Hopefully Dreamhost will improve their uptime in these coming days.

Random Musings – Cause Evangelion Re-Creations Are Sexy…

News has been circulating around about the new Evangelion films that Anime News Service has a translation for:

The title for the new film series is “Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban”, it will consist of 4 parts with the first part arriving in Japanese theaters in early summer, 2007. Staff include General Supervisor: Hideaki Anno, Director: Tsurumaki Kazuya , Character Design: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Mecha Design: Ikuto Yamashita, Animation Production: Khara (Color) Studio. The scenario of the 1st part will be written by Hideaki Anno with storyboard by Shinji Higuchi. Key points of a supposed interview which may or may not appear in the forthcoming edition of Newtype attributed to Toshimichi Ohtsuki of King Records have also been circulating. According to that information:
-The content is quite different though the time base of the story is the same as the original TV series.
– It will be a remake, however, it is not a re-creation but a “new work”.
– The approach will be different than what Tomino-san did with the Gundam Z New Translation films, there will apparantly be a large amount of new material.
– Even if the TV series has not be seen, the viewer will be able to enjoy it. Though the content becomes easy, it is not redundant to those already familiar with the series.
– The technique that purposely scatters difficult words and phrases will not be used any longer.
– As an antithesis to current animation industry segments. It is an attitude on the production side to pull the act in the age that started from Eva.

There are some sketchy pictures floating around, but I dug up some decent scans (courtesy of an uploader at ranobe.com):

What do I think? Well I wasn’t ever a huge fan of the Evangelion series, though it is one of the very first animes I’ve seen. It’ll be interesting to see what they decide to change in terms of the overall story and if the ending is radically different.

Random Musings – Jumping the Shark Edition

-For those of you who are Densha Otoko fans, there will be a 2-hour special airing at 9:00PM JST on September 23rd, 2006 called 「電車男デラックス~最後の聖戦~」 (Densha Otoko Deluxe ~The Last Crusade~). According to the first announcement from back in July, Densha Otoko is planning to marry Saori, but along comes a new rival (played by Kitamura Kazuki). It will apparently take place in Tahiti and will also feature Saori’s grandfather (played by Fujimura Shunji), along with most of the original cast (including Shiraishi Miho). I’m interested, but it’s more like cautiously optimistic. A special like this can easily turn out to be complete crap. Incidentally, Sept. 23rd is the same day as the last episode of Blood+.

-The web preview of the next episode of Zero no Tsukaima is up.
Show Images ▼

-Rumor has it that the ending song to the final episode of Fate/stay night, 「君との明日」 (Kimi to no Ashita), performed by Tainaka Sachi, will be released on November 22nd, 2006. This is based on rumblings about it on various bbs, but I haven’t seen any concrete proof yet (i.e. an Amazon.co.jp or Neowing listing or something similar). We’ll have to wait and see for more news.

-And finally, some good news and bad news. Bad news: it seems that Naakay will be unable to blog Honey and Clover II. For now, that show is in limbo because I don’t have the time to blog it myself. Good news: on the other hand, wh0sj0hngalt is signing onto the team to help out with the rest of Ouran High School Host Club.

Random Musings – Brand New Morning Edition

A few random news bits/things I have to say:
-With the release of the KamiKazo DVDs, I’m finally able to listen to the full Kamisama Kazoku OP and ED (creditless OP/ED sequences are nice too). Given that I haven’t liked a lot of the past season’s theme songs, I’m glad that I can now put on repeat some songs I really do enjoy.
-This week has been a bit frustrating in the sense that it seems like every post has someone asking about the episodes I skipped last week. For the final time: I will not be making up the episodes that aired during my break. I realize some of you folks aren’t happy with the jump in continuity, but you have to realize how much time it takes to blog everything – time which I just don’t have. The only exceptions are the series that are now being covered by the other writers.
NANA is getting a new OP next week, another Reira/OLIVIA song called Wish.
-Newsweek is running a story about the popularity of YouTube in Japan. Of particular note is the fact that it mentions The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya as an example in the final paragraph. That’s the first time I’ve seen something like that mentioned in print media.
-There are A LOT of series coming next season, so I’m starting planning early (especially since I won’t be able to take on nearly as many series this time as I normally do). Series I’ve got marked right now include (in no particular order) Sumomomo Momomo, Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro na Crescent Love, Kanon, Ayakashi Ayashi, and Death Note. That’s only a small fraction of the total number of shows, and it’s even still a bit early since some shows don’t have airdates yet. As usual, I won’t be making final decisions on what to follow until well into the next season, and I’ll likely watch the first episode of pretty much everything. Hopefully I’ll be able to write a fall preview sometime soon (I love my spreadsheets)
-Oh yea, I almost forgot (very old news): Bleach is moving to Wednesday nights come October.

Random Musings – KimiNozo Haruka

Really quick news item:
There was an announcement on the official Age Soft website about the decision to make another Kimi ga Nozomu Eien anime. This time it’s apparently going to be the “Haruka Route.” The reason I say “was” is because the announcement image (seen at right) was up on their site for reportedly only three hours before it was replaced by the Mitsuki birthday image that’s currently up. There’s no other news about it at this point, though I am hearing a lot of people wondering why they’re doing more KimiNozo before they animate MuvLuv.

Random Curiosity v4.0

Welcome to Random Curiosity version 4.0!

This site is now powered by Wordpress 2.0.4, and the theme has been changed to Water, created by The Undersigned. This is a much more minimalist theme than the previous Boredom! , but I rather like it. Some of you may recognize that the header image is Louise Françoise de La Baume Le Blanc de La Vallière from Zero no Tsukaima – specifically, it’s an image from the second novel.

But I’m sure the question on everyone’s minds is what I’m doing transforming this site after I went on my “Break.” The answer is simple: I’ve been incredibly bored. The first week of school has been relatively uneventful and so I’ve been sitting around twiddling my thumbs for most of this time. I did manage to finish Xenosaga III, and that’s partially what motivated me to work on this. That game had such a great ending that I really wanted to blog about it, but I felt like I couldn’t because I had put this site on hiatus. In retrospect, my mistake was probably thinking that it was better not to write anything at all rather than to cut back on the writing.

Anyway, I am back now, but in a limited form: I am both cutting back on what I write about and how much I write. In other words, less series and shorter entries, though it depends on the show and how much free time I have on any given day (for example I doubt my Blood+ entries will get any shorter). Some shows may just get screencaps along with a few summary points and my initial thoughts. I can’t say yet what shows I’ll still be writing about and what I won’t be; it’ll all depend on how my schedule for these next few weeks works out. In addition, I won’t be making up for everything that I missed – think of it as me literally having taken a break/vacation for the past week. And the warning here is that as the months progress, entries may or may not become sparse. Basically there are no guarantees for anything like there was before. I still really don’t know how much time I’ll need to be spending on my classes and my research work yet, but it’s probably going to be a lot. Still, the point is that I have free time right now that’s completely going to waste, and I hate sitting idly with nothing to do.

I also realized that it would probably be best for the site and my readers if I didn’t do this alone anymore. So, if you’ve wanted to write about anime and you think you have the time & motivation, then consider this an opportunity to blog on a site that has an established readership in the tens of thousands. I’m going to be a bit lenient on language skill, so if you really are a good writer with a lot of time & motivation, I won’t necessarily ask you to write about raw anime. Interested? Send me an email (see the Contact Me page). Please include a sample entry on the series of your choice: no screencaps needed, just a write-up – you could follow my format and do a summary + thoughts, or you could do something creative. Surprise me. 🙂

Random Curiosity – 1056 (END…?)

Back when I had surgery in mid-June, I had taken a few days off from blogging even after I had gotten back from the hospital. During those days, I thought a lot about what I was doing and the future of this site. It was a struggle about whether or not continuing to write was worth the time and effort.
Taking my personal life out of the equation for a second, I have to explain that for me, running a site like this has had its ups and downs. On one hand, I love introducing people to the latest and greatest bleeding-edge stuff. I’ve always said that my favorite times of the year are at the beginnings and ends of seasons. Finales are exciting because they are the culmination of so much time and emotion invested into a series, but even more exciting for me is exploring new shows and then being able to share my thoughts with a community of people. And aside from anime, I also love talking about the newest music videos or whatever crazy thing the Japanese variety shows are airing.
On the other hand, however, blogging does take a lot of time. The advice I always give to new bloggers is to not write summaries unless you’re really really motivated because there’s nothing that will kill your interest faster in blogging than that. For me personally, I didn’t mind so much because I was both highly motivated and I had plenty of time to kill. But just like everything else, there were times when I hated writing summaries (such as almost every week of Fate/stay night) and times when I just couldn’t write them fast enough because of how much I wanted to tell people what happened (the latter half of Mai-Otome is a good example of this).
However, I’m at a point now that I don’t have quite as much motivation and I definitely don’t have much time. In those days after I had my surgery, I had decided not to stop and instead to continue blogging until I went back to school. Well, today is finally that day – the first day of my final year of college. I have a lot of work ahead of me, especially since I’m going to be applying for graduate school soon. Still, that alone wouldn’t have stopped me. The truth is that I really just feel like I need to take a break from blogging. I’ve felt this way for a while now and the school factor is what made that day today.
Does this mean that I’m quitting for good? Probably not. I’ve been blogging for some four years now (not all on this site), and so I can say with almost 100% certainty that I’ll be back to doing it again eventually. But how long that “eventually” turns out to be, I don’t know. It could be a week, it could be a month, or it could be a year. I also don’t know if I’ll come back to this site, some new anime site, or even a site on a completely different topic.
What I do know is that Random Curiosity is the most successful site I’ve ever created. To put it in numbers, I’ve written 1056 posts which have gotten a total of 19,680 comments. This site averages about 18,800 visits/51,000 page views per day, and during this past July, it logged around 147,000 unique visitors, amounting to over 300GB of bandwidth used during that period. It’s thanks to Maestro that this site exists with AnimeBlogger‘s free hosting, and it’s thanks to the support of the community and thanks to readers like you that this site became this popular.
In closing, I have to say that while writing this entry, I felt the urge to scrap the entire post and rethink all of this at least three times. But for now, I really am going to take a break. And so, to each and every one of you who reads and relies on this site, I’m sorry. Who knows, maybe I’ll find myself longing to blog again when next season starts or maybe even sooner, but there’s no way I can guarantee that.
All I can say now is つづく…? (To Be Continued…?)

Random Musings – The T-Minus 8 Edition

Some quick news and updates, which you may or may not have already heard about.

  • There’s no new episode of Tsubasa Chronicle this week, nor will there be one next week because of the high school baseball championship on NHK. Episode 42 will air on August 26th.
  • Speaking of NHK, I’m dropping NHK ni Youkoso! I’m almost caught up with School Rumble, and I’d much rather write about that.
  • There’s a trailer up for Strike Witches on the official website. Click on “ITEM” on the sidebar to get the pop-up that has a link to the video. It is mostly made up of eye candy of the characters flying around in battle.
  • plamo‘s latest stop-motion Gundam videos are based on the Inukami ED, both Aice^5 and Rice^5 versions. And in case you missed it, plamo also made a Gundam version of the Chokotto Sister ED.
  • The first volume of the Mai-Otome Zwei OVA is reported to be due out on November 24th, 2006. The description says that the story will be about a meteorite falling onto the planet, but makes no mention of any specific new characters. In fact, it sounds a lot like they’re just going to be using Arika and friends (not that that’s a bad thing).
  • According to the official site, Blood+‘s second original soundtrack is due out on September 27th, 2006. The first one was so good, I can’t wait to hear the second one. I don’t know which songs they’ll be including though since all of my favorites are already on the first one.
  • Oh yea, I turned 21 years old this past week…
  • Random Musings – Shadow Warrior Chronicles and HanTsuki Drama

  • So the news of the day is that Utawarerumono got licensed by ADV, and that its English release name will be “Shadow Warrior Chronicles,” at least according to what ANN is reporting from Otakon. I usually don’t care at all about dubs or how things are done stateside, but this was just too hilarious and ridiculous a name to pass up.
    Having said that, the growing consensus seems to be that either ADV or ANN screwed up and that the English titles for Utawarerumono and the other ADV license Shin Angyo Onshi – supposedly re-titled “Blade of the Phantom Mask” – got mixed up. This would make a ton of sense, since Shin Angyo Onshi actually has “phantom soldiers” (aka. shadow warriors) and Utawarerumono actually features someone with a mask. “Blade of the Phantom Mask” still isn’t a fantastic title, but it’s not bad either. And it certainly doesn’t make me crack up like “Shadow Warrior Chronicles” does (at least in relation to Utawarerumono).
  • In other news, it seems that Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora is getting a j-drama coming in October on TV Tokyo. Rika will be played by Ishida Miku. I certainly wasn’t expecting a drama for this at all, but it’ll be interesting to see how it matches up to the novels and the anime.
    Source: Yahoo News