Another year, another order

Yesterday I received my latest shipment of anime. It’s been a while since I last made a purchase… offhand it would be Endymion last spring or winter. Actually, it was Seiken no Blacksmith in June.

I got ten items and it surprised me by arriving a bit early. As one of the items was a pre-order (Railgun S), I didn’t expect it to arrive for another week at least. Given the additional shipping costs for a destination north of the border, it didn’t make sense that they would ship it separately, although they did do that last year, even though I gave them permission to delay the shipment until the pre-order was available to ship.

So I now have Muv-Luv, Seitokai no Ichizon, the second season of Kore wa Zombie, the first season of Yahari Ore, all four seasons of Marimite, and Railgun S, which completes the Index/Railgun set for me. Only the Marimites are DVDs, the rest are all BRDs.

While I expected some of shows to be available eventually, such as (probably) Muv-Luv or Yahari Ore, I am pleasantly surprised that Ichizon made it here on blu-ray. Also, getting the complete Marimite set, even on DVD, in one fell swoop is pretty good. This order gives me both Zombie-kun seasons as well. All in all, even though I’m not feeling especially good about the anime industry, it was a treat to get these in.

Some more retail

I went to go see the movie Fury yesterday. Overall it was good but the grand finale was excessively long, etc…. The other combat scenes were pretty stunning for the most part, especially the battle with the Tiger. They did a good job of making it an intense, terrifying moment. While I’m not much of a Brad Pitt fan, I think his performance was good here.

After leaving the theatre, I wandered around in Future Shop for a bit and then left. Normally, I’d go next into HMV but I forgot all about it. I guess that part of this comes from the near absence of new anime in the store (and the complete absence of any sensibly priced anime). It was only while looking both ways while crossing the street that it came to my attention.

So after checking out another store across the street, I wandered back to HMV and had a look through it.

Back in February, it was announced that MM! would be getting released on BRD. As I’d noticed that a couple of other shows were available at retail the same month that they showed up in release notifications, I headed down to see if it was one of them. It wasn’t. Yesterday, it finally showed up, only nine months later. Added bonus… it was $85 so I won’t be buying it.

I did pick up a couple of shows on a whim however.

The first show I ever watched at all was High School Girls. I remember vaguely reading about the best way to translate the title and whoever was writing about it said it didn’t really have an obvious translation. The DVDs are called Girls’ High. They were cheap enough, at $20 so I figured it was about time. I could have bought this a while ago as it has been sitting in the racks there for some time, but I’m not especially enthused about watching it again. But for nostalgic reasons (and maybe this was amplified by a recent viewing of Steel Angel Kurumi, I dunno) I figured I couldn’t go wrong for the price.

Second show… B Gata H Kei showed up as well, on BRD, for $14.99. It was a fun enough show with Yukarin voicing Yamada and given the price, I didn’t see any point in leaving it lying there.

First shows that I’ve bought since May’s Haganai Next (given that I haven’t been able to close the RightStuf purchase).

Update: The RightStuf purchases have all gone through (just awaiting the pre-order of Railgun which should arrive later this month). As an aside, I visited HMV again a couple of weeks ago and the MM! was priced at $68. I would have bought it when I first saw it at that price but don’t need it now as I purchased it from RightStuf.

Update: Forgot to mention that I was in HMV earlier this week and noticed another show that I purchased from RightStuf last month… Hell Girl 2. Previously, they’d priced it at $60 which I felt was too much for DVDs*, especially since I felt that the first season really didn’t seem to resolve anything. Additionally, there is a third season, so just buying the one wouldn’t resolve anything anyway. So I’d always passed.

But both season 2 and 3 were on sale at RightStuf so I took a flyer on them. We’ll see how it goes. But I bring this up this show also had a crazy pricing change, going from $60 up to $85. Not sure what’s driving their pricing at HMV but it’s not inducing me to spend more money there. I haven’t been there too often of late so I don’t know if the closing of the nearby Sunrise Records is a factor.

*It’s not inherently too much since it’s a two cour season. However, it’s more than I wanted to pay especially given that if I bought season two, I may as well buy season three, which means another $60 (which also means a combined $16 in taxes). While it may well be worth it, I don’t know that even with three seasons, I’ll be satisfied. So at that price, I wasn’t willing to take a chance on DVDs, which I detest as a matter of course when subtitles are involved.

First Glance at the Fall Season

The fall 2014 season is now underway and I’ve had a chance to watch a few shows.

Alas, so far, nothing seems too exciting.

One amusing note however… I just watched the first two episodes of Ai Tenchi Muyo. While I was looking up the character list for the show, I noticed on the Wikipedia page that the show was sponsored by the city of Takahashi to boost tourism to the region.

So what was the first episode about? A guy, running through the woods because he’s late for something, whose first sight of the main female is of her panties. He doesn’t actually see her face.

What’s the second episode about? The same guy, who turns out to be a teacher at an all-girls’ school, is about to be tortured by the student council of said school.

What exactly is their hope in promoting tourism here? What are they expecting any new tourists to do?

Summer 2014 Continues its Roll-out

Well, I’ve had a chance to watch a couple more shows, of which one looks very good, two okay, one not so good.

Aldnoah.Zero looks really ambitious and is off to a rousing start. I can’t wait to see the next episode.

Sabagebu, which I keep seeing as Saggybaggy, is a bit weak, reminding me most of D-Frag. Zany characters who aren’t very interesting mixed with superficial recalcitrance, mediocre humour and some total immersion moments. I didn’t really enjoy D-Frag and I don’t expect to enjoy this.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun was mostly good. The female lead seiyuu is very new and excepting for her occasional internal histrionics is pretty good. Nozaki-kun is voiced by the very veteran Nakamura Yuuichi, currently playing Tatsuya in Mahouka but some of his past credits include Kosaka Kyousuke, Clannad’s Okazaki and Ryuu from Kimi ni Todoke.

The show had a couple of good lines, which mostly spring from the gap in their awareness of Sakura’s feelings. My favourite was when he asked her, “Do you think love could arise from this?”, and her response was, “I think trust could arise.”

Finally, there is Akame ga Kill, a high-energy, violent show which oscillates between being light-hearted and a gore-fest, and then adds some really clumsy writing. The bad people are so bad that being evil, torturing, psychopathic mass murderers isn’t enough. Sigh.

Ratings:
Aldnoah.Zero – 4
Sabagebu – 2
Gekkan Shoujo – 3
Akame ga Kill – 3

Summer 2014 has just begin

Well, I watched my first shows of the new season. So far, two shows look enjoyable to me, out of seven. Those being Tokyo Ghoul and Rail Wars.

Of the others, Glasslip is on too slow burning of a fuse. I think that the viewer should be able to make some connection to a show’s premise in the first episode. This show could have taken place anywhere. There appears to be a lot of history between the characters which might be natural in such a setting but it’s painful to watch if it’s not done well. There are too many pained expressions that only the other characters understand. Not off to a great start but that could easily change after another episode or two. Looks nice.

The second biggest show of the season must be Sword Art Online II. First episode was dreadful. Asuna looked nice. Didn’t get to see Suguha. The bulk of the show seemed to be a truly tedious discussion between Kirito and some nameless fellow that mostly consisted of lines like, “I’m leaving!”, “No, please stay!”, “I’m really leaving this time!”, “No, please stay. Have some cake.”

The biggest show of the season would have to be the remake of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal, which appears to have a 26 episode run planned. On MAL’s site, they indicate that it will air two Saturday’s a month, which is a little different. One would think that they would do that with 24 episodes but… whatever makes them happy. As an aside, MAL fails in that they actually don’t have the main character on the front page (as only four names make the front page).

One of the stories around the show is that they brought back Mitsuishi Kotono, the original seiyuu to reprise her role as Usagi, but none of the other members of the cast; Seems weird. Unfortunately for me, I can’t help but feel that they would have done better with a new seiyuu in the title role. I have watched but a handful of the original series so I might be completely imagining this but she seems to be voicing the role in exactly the same way, including what is to me, a painfully irritating voice whenever Usagi gets flustered. The show has modern visuals and modern audio but is it otherwise going to rest entirely on its laurels?

Oh yeah, I forgot about this but I have to say that I was underwhelmed by the transformation sequence.

Tokyo Ghoul is tense and dangerous and filled with anxiety. I have no clue what the full story will be but the show’s creators delivered a great first episode and I can’t wait for more.

Rail Wars looks like it should be a fun show.

Ratings:
Sailor Moon Crystal – 2
Sword Art Online II – 2
Rail Wars – 4
Glasslip – 2
Tokyo Ghoul – 4
Bakumatsu Rock – 1
Argevollen – 1

Mahouka – 3

Rating meaning:
4 – Enjoyable and look forward to the next episode
3 – Decent
2 – Bearable at current level but needs to improve
1 – Hopeless