Archive for January, 2009



Explaining The Retro And Old School Visual Style Of Anime

Okay, I said I’d be gone for a couple of days, but now I’ve got to take a quick second here to explain something because twice now I’ve seen somebody mistakenly label the visual style of Munto TV as retro/old school.  I’m not trying to ridicule or anything, but I feel that I should be the one to point out that:

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lol…..this is not retro, neither is it old school.  The first Munto OVA came out in 2003 and it is less than 6 years old.  It’s artstyle makes use of the now standard computer animated drawing style and the character designs that are instantly distinguishable from the hand drawn styles of the 60’s-late 90’s and the overall visuals are very much akin to the kind we see everyday in modern anime. Continue reading ‘Explaining The Retro And Old School Visual Style Of Anime’

Munto TV (AKA Sora o Miageru Shōjo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai Holy Long Title Batman) First Impression

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This Is What They Call A Sudden Scene Transition.  You Better Get Used To These If Your Going To Watch The First Episode Of Munto

I didn’t think it was actually possible for something to pull this off, but I was simultaneously fascinated and yet bored out of my mind by this episode at the same time.  Maybe the former is the result of my natural inclination towards enjoying fantasy stories and the fact that it does seem like the show has some interesting ideas, but my god it couldn’t hold a narrative to save it’s life. 

I found the whole time I was watching it that any time I was starting to get engrossed in a scene to any degree they’d just throw something else random at me or just as randomly switch perspectives from Munto to Yumemi, or Yumemi to the Narrator.  As a result of this in the end it felt like I didn’t get anything of real substance from any of the sides of story other then a few figments of an idea about Yumemi being a Girl of Destiny and that there’s war because an energy source called Akuto is running out.  This is unfortunate, because I also could have gotten that same level of plot exposition by reading the single paragraph plot summary on ANN’s page for the first OVA.  Oh, and that also means almost zero character exposition in the first episode as well since all the time was spent introducing the cast, but none of it on giving us real insight as to their personalities and character traits.  So then….. Yoshiyuki Tomino, you can now hand over your crown for King of Sturm Und Drang plot exposition over to Munto’s director now.  Thank you kindly.

Sigh….anyway, so while I had this nagging desire that I was becoming engrossed in the whole introduction to the world of Munto, I also had an equally nagging desire to say “F*** It!” in really trying to take anything away from it at the end of the day and the latter desire eventually won out at about the 15 minute mark.  At that point my eyes sort of just glazed over while looking at all of the crazy stuff happening, trying to take in what the shows narrative would let me, until eventually the end credits rolled.  I think there might have been a “huh” at that point as I snapped back to full conciousness and wondered exactly what had just transpired.

So the stories a mess at this point, but I did come away with an appreciation for the music among other things which I found to be quite nice.  The animation was also okay, but good animation alone does not a series make and in a lot of places it could be described as simply gratuitous.  The character designs……are a mixed bag for me.  While I am delighted to be freed at the moment from what I thought was going to be an unending parade of that same style of circular facial design with a dot for a nose being used over and over and over in Kyoani’s shows, I can’t exactly say what we got was a welcome departure either since it’s equally as plain.  Overall the character designs are a little skinny for my tastes as well, and this is coming from somebody who liked CLAMP’s designs for Code Geass (The characters in Code Geass looked lanky, but Munto’s look almost emaciated), and Munto, it’s really not a detraction per se, but he just kind of looks like a rejected hero from Nippon Ichi’s Makai series of S-RPG’s.  I do however like Yumemi’s design, even if at some points her blank stare kind of creeps me out.  See the gym scene in particular.

What else…….hmmm not much I suppose.  Truthfully I don’t think there’s anything else that can really be said about this series at this point anyway until they straighten out some of the plot points and actually construct a working narrative for the show.  Time will of course be granted to Munto by me in order for this to hopefully transpire and hopefully what Skyfall tells me about the second OVA (potentially starting with episode 3) being much more structured and focused will turn out to be the case as well.

And that’s all from me for now.  If all goes well I’ll be back Tuesday to say something about the Barack Obama inauguration. 

Ali vs. Halcali (Duel of the Duos)

One of the hot topics in the past couple of days on the Animesuki Forums has been about the new Ali Project sung opening theme for Sora Kake Girl and whether the duo has shown that they are lacking in originality and the ability to refine and vary their (at this point) rather infamous style.  Both sides of the fence have given their views on the bands music from statements such as a critic’s, “Each song they do is like the same beat and off-key notes every. single. time.” and a supporters, “Quirkiness is as quirky does. And in that weird off-key manner, they do seem to have some otherworldly sense of rhythm to it”. 

The band will almost certainly continue to be a controversial one in the future when it comes to their contributions to anime music, but I figure why not present a few of their more recent contributions here and let people decide for themselves whether they are truly rehashing or if it’s all  just a part of our imagination.  Then I would like to invite comparison and contrast of Ali Project to another female duo that I have been following on and off in Halcali.  I’ve found that Halcali shares a comparative style with Ali Project in how they like to rap their lyrics (and not to mention a little in the type of wardrobe they like to wear), but that they also provide a stark contrast to Ali Project’s own style in terms of the duo performance.  I won’t offer up any more words or take any sides in this debate from here on out, but instead I will let people decide through a poll what they think of the two bands and their respective styles and whether one or the other, both, or neither are in need of an image overhaul.  Play them over each other, compare, contrast, do whatever you like…. Continue reading ‘Ali vs. Halcali (Duel of the Duos)’

Tytania Episode 13 (Goofus vs. Gallant)

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WHAT IS A MAN?!  Well After This Episode We Can Certainly It’s Not Alses

This episode I thought I would try another new summary/review scheme since like with Alses’ mask coming off at the end of this episode, everyone pretty much shows some of their true colours.  I’m pretty sure Charles Di Britannia would be disgusted if he were here to see it.  Well, I think that with this one the wheels of tragedy have finally been set in motion (and I’m not talking about stupid Lira’s death, that was just a catalyst and a blessing) and it’s time for the fall to begin.  The first step in my coverage of it comes with my Daily Show inspired look at our cast members and how our expectations of them don’t always match up to their true selves, their visible actions, and their actual capabilities.  Pretty much everybody in this episode does one impressive thing and one really dumb thing and in some cases they reveal another side of themselves, for better or worse.  Perhaps it shows that through it all they are, each and everyone of them…..human.  Anyway, let’s have a look. Continue reading ‘Tytania Episode 13 (Goofus vs. Gallant)’

Rideback First Impression

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Unnecessary Slow Motion Mounting Procedures?  This Girl’s Got Style!

Slow start eh?  Well this was the one show that I had expected to reach out and grab me from what I’ve been told, but unfortunately with this first episode it wasn’t able to do that.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t like me, it’s just that it didn’t stand out from the pack anymore than the next series this season.  I guess this is what Megazone 23 would be like if Shogo’s dancer girlfriend Yui had taken his place in discovering the Garland and then ostensibly used it to try and upset the establishment.  I’m definitely getting some Garland vibes from the Scarlet Rideback, although there’s a difference in that one is clearly a transformable mecha to be used as a weapon while the Rideback is a recreational sports and hobby machine.  Oh that and the Rideback is composed entirely of gaudy CG that looks really awkard when you see a clearly traditionally drawn Rin riding on top of it.  Yeah I was pretty much playing spot the CG in the action scene throughout the last quarter of the episode and it wasn’t much of a game. Continue reading ‘Rideback First Impression’

Tales of Abyss episode 15 ~ Natalia strikes back

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Well isn’t that the truth

Yea right on Natalia, you should have done this earlier. Now this is what I wanted to see; the gang sticking their opinions into that cold hearted bastard of a father, sheesh ^^’

Continue reading ‘Tales of Abyss episode 15 ~ Natalia strikes back’

Umineko no Naku Koro ni Translation Patch: new release, Episode 3 complete!

After quite some annoying delay due to the busy period, we managed to keep our deadline clean (well, too bad for a 2008 release).

Witch Hunt is proud to announce that the new patch for Umineko no Naku Koro ni is available!

Continue reading ‘Umineko no Naku Koro ni Translation Patch: new release, Episode 3 complete!’


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