Anime conventions are something I look forward to every year now. I might go to Anime Expo someday, but for now, Fanime is the best local alternative and I honestly never regret it.
I was extra pumped this year ever since FanimeCon 2015 announced that Nonaka Ai would be attending the con as a guest. Holy heck, first time since 2012 that a Japanese voice actor/actress attended this convention! I missed out on Aizawa Mai the first time I went to FanimeCon, and Momoi Haruko stopped going to the convention before I even started attending the con as a full-weekend member (I forgot why she stopped going…). No offense to the English voice actors, but unless you’re Kenvin Conroy (who does not do voices in anime) or Steve Blum, I’m only going to care about meeting the vocal talents that hail from the country where Japanese entertainment originates from. Where my Sawashiro Miyuki at?!
Well, anyway, here are some highlights of my experiences at FanimeCon 2015: the good, the bad, and the weird.
Image Credit: みつき
Last year, I didn’t take any cosplay photos because the con was overrun with Kek la Kek and Shingeki no Kyoujin cosplayers. Fortunately for this year, the amount of Ryuuko and Giants died down and I was able to witness a lot more variety of cosplays. Still, I was usually rushing around with my friends elsewhere so didn’t get too many chances to take snapshots of amazing costume work, but I did manage to squeeze in some photography.
Image Credit: さこ from Pixiv
Alright, I’m back from Fanime 2015. Unfortunately, I’ve come back to a horde of school projects I’ve neglected in favor of my special once-a-year geek-fest, so for now I’ll just go over the merch I spent my moolah on this year and share the rest of my Fanime 2015 experience later.
Rin’s look of disgust.
Shinji being a sicko.
The justice served by Lancer (and more).
This was from an ANN review of episode 19 of Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works, and no, I’m not going to link to it. If you really want to read that review, look it up yourself, although I suggest not to. I’m not helping these clowns get revenue by linking to them on my blog.
What, so basically “bad guys shouldn’t do bad things because bad things are bad”? Shinji, who is clearly a sicko and desires Rin, should have baked her a batch of cookies instead?
Afternoon News: Sexy Red Man attempts convoluted suicide plan
After a surprisingly weak performance last week, Ufotable manages to pull somewhat of a saving throw with this episode.
I do have minor qualms with what happened this week, but for the most part, I’m extremely satisfied by Ufotable’s efforts.
Something I forgot to mention in my original post: The difference between Ufotable’s fresh Rin!Saber and Saber’s other appearances with Ufotable’s famous blue auras is miniscule to the power surge she had in the visual novel.
Let me give it to you straight: I love Ufotable’s animation. With Ufotable’s talents, they could have easily showed the true extent of how much of a nightmare Saber is at her full potential the minute Rin became her source of mana, but they didn’t. Even though they’ve done quite a bit to impress me so far, they didn’t really do this scene any justice and it’s a damned shame.
Although, despite all that, they managed to do one thing right. And that is: Saber’s ponytail. Now that is excellent. (y)
I must say… this is the first episode where I’ve been truly, utterly disappointed in Ufotable. Everything about this Unlimited Blade Works episode was just a giant step down from how awesome it could have been.
Experiencing these scenes before, only done better, probably contributed to my disappointment. But it’s not like a lot of my expectations were impossible to pull off within the medium of animation. Ufotable blew my mind with almost everything before this, and to fall short when they’re just getting into the best parts of the route is kind of depressing.
I’m glad that Ufotable picked the best answers to Lancer’s questions for the absolute best Rin reactions. Jeez, it’s almost impossible for me to go back to Rin’s old VN design. Ufotable managed made her 10x cuter than she already was. I was iffy on it at first, but now I’m sold.
I swear, this adaptation feels like it’s been 50% action, with the other 50% being Rin making cute faces. (Not really, but that doesn’t sound like a bad deal either.)
Ufotable’s been doing a great job of making me like the Unlimited Blade Works anime better than the visual novel, although the soundtrack could still be a bit more… verbose. I’m scared of how underwhelming the other particular songs are going to be remixed by Fukasawa.
Well, anyway, onto the rain of praise (and otherwise – Ufotable isn’t perfect after all, gasp).
The following contains spoilers for people who have not read the original visual novel or any of its translations. I repeat! The following contains spoilers for people who have not read the original visual novel or any of its translations.
I am not responsible if you ruin the story for yourself.
Please be gentle ;_;7
Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works second season aired over a dozen hours ago in Japan, but I only just watched it a couple of hours ago. 780p encodes are all this terrible computer can handle. /sadface
Anyways, I wasn’t disappointed by what I saw. But that can be attributed to me already having experienced Unlimited Blade Works through the VN and just wanting to see it done faithfully by talented animators. It’s Ufotable, so it doesn’t take much to satisfy in that regard, but I wonder if the hype was worth it for people who only ever watch anime? That was a pretty killer wait and the hypetrain was like over 100,000,000km. Well, whatever.
Gigantic franchises with multiple iterations often have newcomers thinking to themselves, “Where exactly do I start?”
Usually, folks assume that every franchise that contain iterations that fall into the same in-universe “timeline” require them to start at the very beginning of its chronology. And usually, all it ends up being is one big incorrect assumption.
I realize that it’s already April 2nd in Japan, but since it’s still Sakura’s birthday/CLAMP Day here at least, I should get off my lazy bum and continue with these posts!
Now that our little detour in Hong Kong is over and done with, the second season blogging of Cardcaptor Sakura is finally underway. Whereas the first season is pretty hefty (35 episodes!), this is actually relatively short – it’s just comprised of the very tail-end of the Clow Card arc, and let’s just say that the second season of CCS is as “long” as one average anime series (one cour, 11~12 episodes).
The SOS Brigade will be entering a baseball tournament!
Sup everyone! We’re entering one of the first volumes that comprise of “short” stories. In terms of this book, we have four:
- The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody
- Mysterique Sign
- Remote Island Syndrome
The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya, the short story that this entire volume is named after, is sort of a filler. It’s a funny chapter about the SOS Brigade’s attempt at baseball, but nevertheless it’s really weak compared to the other Suzumiya Haruhi arcs, mostly because nothing truly jaw-dropping happens. It’s kind of justified though, since the chapter itself is actually the pilot of the series that was published two months in The Sneaker before The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya ever came out. So it’s only natural that the most we get from this story are very basic showcases of the cast’s personalities and nothing really spectacular. Also, just in case you were wondering, yes – it’s exactly the same as the anime.
Danger draws near combat waitress Mikuru!
We’re onto the second Suzumiya Haruhi novel now in my series of light novel posts, and I’m still dying to get through all of the adapted stuff so I can talk about material that has yet to become an anime and will probably never become an anime (;_;).
The second novel is the making of the SOS Brigade’s amateur film, “The Adventures of Asahina Mikuru”. You’ve probably seen it in the anime, and of course, it’s not much different.
I have no interests in ordinary humans.
If you guys have been following this blog since my early high school days (back when I had a sense of humor. 2006? 2007? Man, I don’t even know how long I’ve been around in the anime blogosphere anymore), you may know that not only am I the biggest Cardcaptor Sakura geek out there, but I’m also a gigantic Haruiist. It’s the closest thing I have to a religion besides maybe my strange fascination with Buddhism.
Well, anyways. There’s scarcely ever any new material for Suzumiya Haruhi nowadays. Tanigawa Nagaru hasn’t written a new novel in over three years. Kadokawa hasn’t issued any new anime adaptations by Kyoto Animation because he hasn’t written a new novel in over three years. I’m definitely going to watch the The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan anime adaptation when it airs, but it… just isn’t the same.
The only thing that remotely satisfies my cravings is re-reading the light novels and re-watching the anime. So… here I am. Might as well write about it.
-I am the bone of my sword-
-Steel is my body and fire is my blood-
-I have created over a thousand blades-
-Unknown to Death-
-Nor known to Life-
-Have withstood pain to create many weapons-
-Yet, these hands will never hold anything-
-So as I pray, UNLIMITED BLADE WORKS-
Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works is, hands down, the best anime adaptation I’ve seen of anything non-manga, period. It sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.
ufotable really outdid themselves here. Ever since their Fate/Zero adaptation, the studio’s really become Type-Moon’s little pet animation studio. For good reason, too. I don’t know if the animated openings for the original visual novel and its Réalta Nua PS2 port were done by Studio DEEN or some other company, but it was really easy to tell that Type-Moon switched to ufotable for the Réalta Nua openings on the Vita version. That distinct animation style, that quality…
There’s really talented staff working at that animation studio, and it shows. The only other anime I’ve followed from ufotable were just OVAs and movies, such as their Tales of Symphonia and Kara no Kyoukai adaptations, which are naturally some high-quality stuff when it comes to animation. But the animation for Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works, a *TV series*, feels like it’s almost about the same quality. In fact, bits and pieces manage to seem just a bit more polished than even their Tales of OVAs or their openings for the Tales of games in general. Dayum, son…
If the banner change hasn’t tipped you off, I’ve been on a Fate/ kick lately.
Of all the big franchises to get hit by the so-called “dirty secondary” syndrome, I believe the Fate/ series is one that genuinely gets hit pretty hard by it. I’m not going to lie, I sound like a giant snobby prick for even using the term “dirty secondary”, but in Adaptation Land, if you’re one to actually care about media besides animation/movies enough venture into what’s often used as source material, you’ll find that the term often holds… well, some painful truth to it.
Although in Fate/stay night’s case, I blame it a little more on Studio DEEN than the fans themselves. Regardless, it’s utterly depressing seeing diehard fans of the Fate/Zero anime write off the original Fate/stay night as being inferior because of the DEEN anime and movie. I suppose ufotable’s new Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works anime is fixing that divide somewhat, but it’s still there to a certain degree mainly because UBW is only 1/3rd of the full experience. Plus, there are secondaries who recommend newcomers to start with F/Z, skip the Fate route – by this, they mean the DEEN anime – then watch the UBW anime (according to them, “the definitive adaptation”; it’s good, but not definitive – it’s only one route), and then after that, watch the upcoming Heaven’s Feel movie… and I’m like “no, that’s wrong, please stop for the sake of your own experience.”
While I did enjoy Fate/Zero and what it had to offer as a spin of the Fourth Holy Grail War, which was constantly and vaguely mentioned in F/sn, it’s merely a prequel at the end of the day (note: different from preceding work) meant as an expansion to an even greater tale that people are unfortunately diluting their own experience of. F/Z spoils more of F/sn than the latter does for the former, and I wish more people that are thinking of getting into the franchise had that in mind, instead of getting fed a bunch of crap from, well, dirty secondaries.
With the context and details that weren’t present in any of Studio DEEN’s animated adaptations, the visual novel is certainly one hell of a ride, even with the shoddy English fan-translation desecrating the Nasutext. I’m 21 now and dislike using the word “epic” to describe, well, anything. But here I find it the word extremely fitting, because it is fucking epic.
I mean, okay, as much as I loved it, it was far from perfect. Like the onslaught of info-dumps, diarrhea of the mouth, cooking scenes that make you hungry, etc. Art-wise, Réalta Nua PSVita should have updated the art to match Takeuchi’s current style. But the pros definitely outweigh the cons of Fate/stay night. Nasu’s world-building is excellent, so as a person who appreciates that kind of imagination in High Fantasy stories such as this, it’s no wonder that I enjoyed it so much.
Alright, enough with my unnecessarily long preambles, and onto the review!
Most people probably got it during the midnight release yesterday and are currently enjoying their hunts as I type this. If I wasn’t so tight on cash right now, I would also be playing MH4U on that sweet limited edition New 3DS right now – maybe Majora’s Mask 3D as well.
…In all seriousness though, I keep forgetting that today is Valentine’s Day, a holiday that’s probably a favorite amongst various chocolate and confectionery industries. If you’re enjoying Valentine’s Day with that special someone, I hope you’re having a great one. But remember: everyday could be Valentine’s Day if you really love them that much. 😉 And if you’re single and Valentine’s Day gets you down the dumps for whatever reason, keep that in mind too. You have plenty of time to find that special someone (heck, today could be that day), and until then, it’s not like being single really hinders any day from being fun. So throw those complaints out the window, smile, and don’t be that guy.
Midterms are over and I’ll be back to frequently posting about weeb stuff, real soon. Have a great day, everyone!
Image Credit: 蒼天空 from Pixiv
…Illness when writing that mess aside, I don’t think it needed to be any clearer for comprehension.
I was going to do another Cardcaptor Sakura post or a Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works post, but in light of certain reactions to my previous Kantai Collection post from denizens of the anime community’s infamous cesspool (I say “the”, but in actuality, there are quite a few of them – pick your poison) repeatedly missing the point, I feel the need to clarify more than a few things for others who might also misunderstand the context.
(The real reason is mostly because cramming for midterms in college sucks, and I’m finding an excuse to procrastinate and letting out stress.)
Continue reading Cancerous Ship Girls Rant: The Expansion…