Archive for December 14th, 2007

Stylin’ cars and hideous hairstyles

I laughed. Next month’s cover story for Car & Driver for sure.

I managed to finish Hidamari Sketch before the second series aired (a feat that I don’t think Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei will have, if Strato keeps his pace. Admittedly, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei has been termed the most untranslatable manga/anime ever, so it’s not really something that a 24-hour speedsub can do justice to.)

On Hidamari Sketch, however, the show was quite fun. I hear that the manga isn’t too terribly thrilling, although it is licensed, however, under the name Sunshine Sketch (what), so presumably I’ll get a chance to find out for myself. The real strength of the show was in Shinbo’s “I have no budget for this show and need to find some clever way to not let that show” mentality. The way that most of the backgrounds were just stipples in the SHAPE of what they were supposed to be, and episode 12 had a great moment where the stipples of an object in the foreground were covering up the characters, but you could still see the parts that were supposed to be covered up, so it was all “what”.

In other news:

The subtitles are lying through their teeth.

Blue Drop seems to make zero sense, but Mari is so lovable that I can’t help but watch. Each episode, taken by itself, makes sense, and tells a nice story decently well, with killer music; the whole just seems kind of nonsensical. The school days aspect makes much, much more sense than Hagino trying to rebel against lesbian extradimensional beings for God knows why (theory: the reason is “I like Mari a lot can I please stay with her” to which the answer was “no”). The main reason I like Blue Drop is because the characters, on an episode by episode basis, feel kind of, well, real. Not “realistic” in that sense, but real in the sense that they’re reacting in a way that makes sense out of their own internal logic. Mari puts out a tough front but gets hurt easily–it’s a simple character, but she’s got a reason to be so vulnerable, and so it makes sense. It’s not the most fantastic anime ever, but it’s entertaining and fairly fun to watch.

Psychology has never been so creepy

Episode 7 was, for some bizarre reason, incredibly creepy. The whole psychology talk with the CT scans was like my psychology 101 class, except anime and with really creepy background music. I wasn’t terribly interested outside of seeing where everything was going, but if subsequent episodes have sequences like those last 3 minutes then I will have to sleep with the lights on for the rest of the run.

I still absolutely adore the “soundtrack” to the series, though. I hope they release a “soundtrack” so I can shove the “songs” into my playlist for random and unexpected bits of really creepy sound effects during my shuffle sessions. I especially like the clock effect; ticking clocks are always ominous, but in Ghost Hound, we’re treated to a really deep, really loud, really creepy TOCK…TOCK…TOCK which is the primary reason I want the soundtrack. It never fails to unsettle me. I’m a pretty rhythm-and-melody guy (talking as background noise just drives me nuts) so it’s kind of weirding me out to like this method of mood-generating, but I guess I’m just getting to be more of a “film nerd” (in quotes because I’ll never be able to talk about things and sound like I know what I’m talking about) and those instincts are kicking in.

Or maybe I’m just crazy. I’d believe that.


I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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a ridiculously long and only partially organized list of subjects


December 2007