Category Archives: Rants n’ Ramblings

Fanime 2016 – Experience and Haul

Rider Henshin!

Rider Henshin!

This post is coming a bitsorta… uh, this post came too late. Fanime was over a month ago, and unlike other years, Fanime 2016 was kind of meh for me. Being surrounded by anime is always a pretty cool deal and the gaming room is always fun, but nothing really amazingly notable happened this year. For one, I didn’t manage to get Matsukaze Masaya’s autograph two days in a row, which was really disappointing, especially because I brought my Shenmue II box specifically for that. Last year I managed to get Nonaka Ai’s autograph! I didn’t particularly care much for the featured Japanese musical guest nor the dub voice actors/actresses enough to go to their autograph sessions.

The con was pretty anal about security this year. Maybe it’s a pervert control problem, I dunno. But unlike other years, they closed pretty much the entire convention center to outsiders besides the first floor/entrance (where it’s just cosplayers and high-as-fuck misfits gathering) and the hotels. Which sucks, because a lot of the fun shenanigans happened when my other friends who are too cheap to buy badges of their own mess come to hang out and mess around the con, and sometimes lending badges to friends who wanted to go into the dealer’s hall/arcade/whatever without inconveniencing everyone else. Another thing to note is the new issuing of “trigger warnings” for the con. Completely idiotic – apparently my generation of morons don’t know how PTSD actually works.

Also, of course, the year where we decide to get our badges directly at the convention center is the year where it decides to be fucking LineCon again. Last few years we’ve been getting our badges at the DoubleTree, which takes (at the most) 15 to 20 minutes, leaving the rest of Thursday for us to do whatever the hell wed want. All of those years, badge pickup at the convention center has purportedly been snappy as fuck. What even happened this year?

I guess one notable event that happened was outside the con on Sunday night, where two of my friends got shitfaced (one more than the other), and being the most sober out of the group, I had to make sure we all got back to the hotel room safely. We met some cool strangers that night, was pretty cool. Anyways, given how much of a downgrade Fanime 2016 was compared to Fanime 2015 overall, I suppose the obvious choices next year are either giving the con another chance or going to Anime Expo instead, depending on how tight my budget is.

I didn’t buy much this year, but I did get some pretty sweet stuff. And the cosplays are always cool, there seemed to be less Shingeki no Kyoujin and Kill la Kill cosplays this year compared to [insert random schoolgirl character] cosplay. I ain’t complaining. I took a ton of photos, but of course I’ll only share some.

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「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Shirou doesn’t care if his body is made of swords

I HAVE NO REGRETS

Alright, let’s talk about English dubs.

I don’t talk about dubs much, mostly because I haven’t seriously watched one since Samurai Champloo‘s (amazing) dub. I don’t even bother playing Japanese video games with English audio either (nowadays I don’t really play localized JRPG’s that lack a dual audio option). I do like a few of them, but in general… I just don’t really care for them. Unless they veer into alternate adaptation territory (which hasn’t happened that much after the 90’s), it’s not like I have a deep hatred for them or anything. I just tend to find the typical voice performances and overall Japanese-to-English script mediocre. But I do get curious every now and then and check them out for kicks.

Continue reading 「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Shirou doesn’t care if his body is made of swords

「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Akiba’s Trip 2 and “weaboos”

Marvelous USA (a.k.a. XSEED) is one of the only localization companies I trust nowadays when it comes to Japanese video games. I particularly commend them for respecting the target audience of the niche games they bring over and paying no heed to our western culture’s increasingly incessant need for political correctness.

Their localization of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed was far from perfect (considering the use of internet slang/memes in Potsuri/Pitter, the game’s parody of 2ch, it’s understandable), but it’s good at getting the point across for the most part. When the game was released in NA during the later part of 2014, many overly-sensitive Politically Correct Babies criticized one Pitter user’s use of the word “trap”, which was used in place of the Japanese version’s use of the slang “nekama”net okama, which is essentially a guy pretending to be a girl online. I swear, humanity as a species of primates are losing their backbones just as we lost our tails – if fictional insults (if even considered one, really) used by a fictional internet asshole are to become a source of massive controversy and offense, I’m worried about where millennials will take our society next. We already had that one asswipe causing a shitstorm over a white woman’s hand being featured on Super Mario Maker. Freakin’ putrid.

It’s a fictional depiction of the internet, which is not a nice place in real life either. If people are easily offended by words in fiction without processing the context, intent, and tone of the usage, and confusing it with outright slander, they’re better off staying under the shelter of their parents’ roofs for everyone’s own good (eh, maybe not their parents’ own good).

It’s gotten to the point where it seems people value Politically Correct censorship over an accurate translation, which to be honest, the trap translation is. They could have also used something worse that actually is intentionally transphobic, like “tranny” or something. Although, it’s not like the babies will stop complaining either way. Anyways, the only big problem I had with XSEED’s localization (besides the horrid English dub that’s nullified with dual audio anyway) was this:

Continue reading 「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Akiba’s Trip 2 and “weaboos”

「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Syaoran the Bestie

Great boxset, terrible subtitles

When Nippon Ichi Software America released their premium edition of the Cardcaptor Sakura Blu-ray collection in 2014, I was obviously the happiest person on Earth finally being able to own the definitive viewing experience of possibly one the cutest anime series in existence, at an affordable price. And everything was almost perfect, especially the video transfer. It’s exactly the same as the Japanese release.

But there’s one thing that went wrong with this release: the subtitles. Now, it’s no secret that NISA translations are really, really bad. True to form, the subtitles are pretty iffy here and there. Naturally, it’s not a bad as Nelvana’s retool hackjob of a dub “Cardcaptors” back in the early 2000’s, which was quite frankly the devil’s incarnate. In comparison, iffy subtitles are incredibly minor and a godsend. But there’s one translation flub present in this release that is rather bothersome. And that is, Sakura calling Syaoran her “bestie”.

Continue reading 「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Syaoran the Bestie

「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

Great game, terrible localization

Alright, I love the crap out of the Atelier series. Old school JRPG gameplay with adorable characters designed by awesome Japanese artists such as Mel and Hidari, and alchemy management with some minor VN elements thrown in here and there? I’m game, definitely better than your annual soulless first-person shooter series. And I totally appreciate the fact that more and more of the games are getting localized and that it’s becoming a trend. But holy shit, even though the localization’s been getting better ever since Koei Tecmo took over from NISA, it’s not really saying much because the quality control still leaves a lot to be desired. It’s bearable for most of the games, but a lot more noticeable with Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, the game being riddled with mistranslations, bad typography, and inconsistencies with previous games.

Continue reading 「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

Why would you censor an M-rated game?

Amakura Twins, Best Characters

Image Credit: Hiten from Pixiv

Happy Halloween, everybody! Ever since I’ve outgrown the tradition of dressing up in a spooky costume and going doorbell-to-doorbell asking for candy, I’ve instead made a new tradition for myself where I marathon spooky video games; my favorite among them being Japanese horror games such as Zero, better known as Fatal Frame in the west, designed by Koei Tecmo (Tecmo before the merge).

Last year’s (belated) Halloween post was about my fondness for survival horror games like Zero, expressing my wish for the newest installment of the series being localized after missing out on two games on a region locked console. To my excitement, it was due for localization this Halloween season! But unfortunately, the western publishers, Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe decided it would be a good idea to censor certain costumes in this M-rated game for adults, treating them like children who can’t handle such content.

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Oversensitive people shouldn’t indulge in creative media, ever

OH GOD, NO, RIN

Rin’s look of disgust.

Get your hands off her!

Shinji being a sicko.

AW, HELL YEAH!

The justice served by Lancer (and more).

Fuck ANN

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?

Continue reading Oversensitive people shouldn’t indulge in creative media, ever

RE: Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 18 – 「Rin’s contract with Saber」

Time to forge a contract with a better mage

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.

VS.

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)

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 18 – Dropping the ball

I actually prefer the original CG to this

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.

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Prequels, Sequels, Originals: Knowing the Difference

Put yo thinking caps on

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.

Continue reading this post, mongrels

Cancerous Ship Girls Rant: The Expansion

I have been tainted. Now I will never marry.

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

KA~N~KO~RE! Kantai Collection TVアニメ 始まります! (Rant incoming)

Shoukaku is greatness

SHIP GIRLS

(EDIT: Oh lord, just read this)

Just a small rant before I get into my first impressions of the first episode, because I’m easily annoyed by the anime(-only) fandom. I’m writing this in bed while the flu kills my body, so it might not be as coherent or friendly as I’d like it to be, but whatever.

Continue reading KA~N~KO~RE! Kantai Collection TVアニメ 始まります! (Rant incoming)

Franchise Rant: Possibly the worst MANGA anniversary out there (Yuu☆gi☆ou/”Yu-Gi-Oh!” King film)

Black Magician Girl Best M&W

Best M&W

Recently, there’s been quite a few revivals of my favorite old school weeb Japanese franchises, mostly connected to special anniversaries. To name a few, Cardcaptor Sakura (North American license rescued, new merchandise and artwork celebrating CLAMP’s 25th anniversary), Digimon Adventure (upcoming Digimon Adventure tri.), Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon Crystal), Dragon Ball (30th anniversary = various goodies), etc.

I’m in a pretty happy place right now – most of the anniversaries are proving to be sweet, but there’s one anniversary that I’m particularly dissatisfied with. A shounen gambling manga series called, 遊☆戯☆王 Yuu☆gi☆ou by Takahashi Kazuki, otherwise probably translated as “The☆Game☆King” or “King☆of☆Games” (but nonsensically rendered as “Yu-Gi-Oh!” in the west, which you’re all familiar with for being popular snark bait) is receiving rather shoddy anniversary treatment, at least for the people who have actually… well, read the original manga (all 36 volumes, not just the first seven).

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Happy Belated Halloween! (Project Zero/Fatal Frame)

Hot girls getting killed by crazy ghost girls that used to be hot girls

Big giant NO

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! Though more than a day late, I felt compelled to honor the horror festivities we had this season using this humble little Japanophile blog of mine in some way or another. Rather than diving into some bizzarro horror manga by the likes of Itou Junji and such, I’ve decided to ramble a bit about one of my favorite Japanese survival horror video game series that I find myself playing every October: 零 (Zero), otherwise known as Project Zero in Europe and Fatal Frame in the United States.

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Concerned moms against anime

CHINESE CARTOONS

The best satirical Facebook page ever

Japanese entertainment is fun to partake in and is a pretty fun hobby overall. And as you all know, I’m totally big on being passionate about your hobbies. I mean, damn, I wouldn’t have created this blog if I wasn’t. But remember, at the end of the day, hobbies are just hobbies. If you can’t take a moment to sit down and laugh at your own expense, and get extremely bothered by jokes, then it’s seriously time for you to dial back on how much you take your hobbies seriously.

This page is the perfect example of “all in good fun”: parody of an overly religious nut of a mother posting misinterpreted/stupid shit about anime and how evil it is. It’s simply hilarious.

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Americanization is stupid, especially if it’s for kids

Ships only eat jelly-filled doughnuts

Image Credit: 芹野いつき from Pixiv

Americanization in imported media should have been a practice that we’ve abandoned long ago. Sure, we get stubborn folks like Capcom who insist on relocating series like Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) from Japan to Los Angeles and digging a deeper hole for themselves as the series progresses, but for the most part nowadays, especially in anime, you hardly see downright stupid crap like calling onigiri “jelly-filled doughnuts” as if western children have no idea what a ball of rice is (hint: ‘MURICANS HAVE RICE FIELDS TOO)… right?

Unfortunately for today, the practice of shielding our children from other cultures still persists in some anime aimed at the kodomoshounen crowd that we manage to bring over here, though thankfully it’s a lot less than what we got several years ago. We have the unfortunate 4Kids titles (we can never, ever talk sense into old guys who think they know what kids like), and some other titles sprinkled here and there by companies that really don’t have much respect for anime as a cultural form of foreign animation, other than as a marketing vehicle towards kids. It was worse back during the 90s and early 2000s, when my (and many others’) beloved Cardcaptor Sakura got chopped up into the putrid Cardcaptors.

You’d think Doraemon, a very iconic JAPANESE anime/manga that gained popularity all over the world as such, would be able to remain Japanese when it’s finally able to make its way to the United States and be able to escape that sort of xenophobic treatment. Haha, yeah. right.

Continue reading Americanization is stupid, especially if it’s for kids

Parents Television Council Targets Adult Swim (RANT)

Round of applause for actual parenting... oh wait

Round of applause for actual parenting… oh wait

Parents Television Council, a pro-censorship advocate group, who are known to hysterically bombard attacks on television shows they deem inappropriate for children, has taken the liberty of targeting their latest attacks on Cartoon Network’s adult programming block, Adult Swim (known for its comparatively more adult-orientated programming, which includes some live-action programs as well as minimally-censored anime series like Space Dandy) for moving its 9PM start time to 8 PM.

*sigh*

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Pupa 01 – Why, Studio DEEN?!

Good thing this is censored! Durrr

I’m very saddened that one of my most anticipated anime horror series turned out to be a big disappointment. The premise of the source material sounded interesting and creepy enough, and it’s a horror story that definitely has promise. But the adaptation turned out to be way too short. Four minutes per episode? Please. It felt like so much of the plot was missing because of the short length – and I was right, I checked out the first chapter of the manga and there’s so much more exposition and substance to the plot compared to this four-minute first episode. Honestly, the way the sequences of events played in the anime, it honestly gives the viewer a “what the fuck just happened?” reaction instead of being legitimately and psychologically horrified. It’s such a damn shame.

Not only that, but they could have made up for it with at least the shock value… but much of the shock value was lost because it’s censored for TV. Why couldn’t they have made this an OVA, or an online stream, instead? This was a real kick in the ass after the October 2013 delay (I really wanted a scary anime for Halloween, dammit!).

I’m honestly just going to read the manga from here on out (I was hoping for an anime that was on-par with the source material so I could watch the horror in motion). Unlike particular anime fans, when the source material is available to me, I will check it out if there’s a chance that it’s reasonably different – it’s the true essence of the story, after all. It’s not fair to an artist if they get criticized for someone else chopping up their paintings, for instance. I will continue to watch the anime, but I probably won’t be blogging much about it (instead, I’ll probably do more of the manga). It’s such a shame – the music and animation are really atmospheric, but the length just ruins it. Why, Studio DEEN? There’s nothing wrong with anime shorts, but the premise of Pupa was *not* made to be a short.

The use of review scores for anime and others

Pretty much what I'm currently focused on right now, btw

Image Credit: p-suke from Pixiv

…and why I don’t use them.

Now, if you’ve managed to follow my blog since its conception (congratulations for putting up with my nonsense), you’ll notice that whenever I do overviews of an entire anime series (like Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Mirai Nikki, the latter of which I’m ashamed for even enjoying), you’ll notice that unlike review sites like THEM Anime Reviews, Anime-Planet, the anime portion of IGN, etc., I don’t end off my reviews by giving these series some form of a review score, be it stars or numbers.

Why is this? Well, to be frank, it’s because I believe the concept of giving out review scores is the most idiotic and counterproductive thing in the realm of proper critique. Review scores are something reviewers in general, let alone anime bloggers, shouldn’t use. At all.

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Yuruyuri: Happy Go Lily Blu-ray Season 1 Premium Edition (Review) + Pro NISA rant

Akarrrriiiiiin~!

AKARI~N!

は~い! ゆるゆり始まるよ!

Greetings from college and relentless gaming – I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving a few days ago. If you follow my Twitter, you’ll know that I recently acquired NISA‘s Blu-Ray release of Yuru Yuri season 1 on RightStuf (about three weeks ago?). Thank god I have a PS3 now, for I now have the luxury of enjoying my daily dose of “Akari~n!” in 1080p Blu-ray (no matter how abysmal her presence is). Tales of Xillia, Tales of Graces f, THE iDOLM@STER, watching Yuru Yuri, and trophy whoring back-to-back? Yup, I’m the worst person in the world for wanting these more than a healthy gaming PC with a Blu-ray player.

Anywho, as a person who has our lovable ignored side-character protagonist with hair-buns as my Twitter image and my Gravatar, it’s pretty self-explanatory about how I feel about the series itself. If you like an endearing slice-of-life with an innocent dash of yuri thrown in, then go for it! The question I’m tackling here, though, is: was this release worth the money?

Continue reading Yuruyuri: Happy Go Lily Blu-ray Season 1 Premium Edition (Review) + Pro NISA rant