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Old 10-09-2017, 09:59 PM   #7576
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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: Yuki and I finished watching this the other night. Her first time, my second time. I enjoyed it! A solid 7/10. While it may not be a masterpiece, FMA:B is as have others have put it "the perfect starter package." Great characters, a great premise, and a pretty good story up until its final act. I'm glad to have rewatched it, and would easily recommend it to beginners and veterans alike.

Sumika Sumire: Kaisa and I finished watching the J-drama adaptation yesterday. It was good! Another 7/10, easy, though for me personally, the enjoyment factor was more like an 8/10. I prefer the manga to the J-drama, though the deviations are few and far between.

Spoiler: show
In the manga, Sumi remains as Sumire around the clock; there is no priest; and Sumire winds up with Guy A. In the J-drama, Sumi turns back into an old woman from 11pm to 1am; a priest is introduced; and Sumire winds up with Guy B.

This one is only for those who really like romance. (Although Kaisa says she isn't much into romance but she sure seemed to have as much fun as I did ... ) If you don't care for romance, I don't imagine you'll much care for this one.

One thing of note: Sumika Sumire explores the other pole of what BokuMachi attempted and then shied away from. If BokuMachi told the tale of an adult who turns back into a kid and a fellow kid falls in love with him, Sumika Sumire tells the tale of a grandma who turns back into a teenager and a fellow teenager falls in love with her. So it's the same ethical dilemma, only the genders are swapped and young adulthood is the destination rather than the starting-off point. Furthermore, the J-drama answers this dilemma one way while the manga answers it a different way. So there's something for everyone to love or to loathe!

Kimi no Na wa: I keep wanting to rewatch this, but other things keep coming up. Including two live-action movies I've rented from the library and have yet to watch. But I promise! My detailed post will be forthcoming once I rewatch this modern classic.

Kanon (2006): Yuki and I are thinking about re-watching Kanon 2006.

Guin Saga: I just finished the first episode of this 2009 anime. It's an adaptation of one of the longest-running book series of all time. (Specifically, "Guin Saga is the longest continuing single-writer's work in the world.") Kurimoto Kaoru wrote just under 130 volumes from 1979 until 2009 before succumbing to pancreatic cancer at the age of 56. The story is set in a high fantasy world and stars a warrior with superhuman strength, the body of a man, and the head of a jaguar. (They call it a mask, but he basically has a jaguar head for a head.) The jaguar-man suffers from amnesia, only remembering the words "Guin" (which he believes to be his name) and "Aurra". After meeting them in a cursed forest, Guin serves as bodyguard to the orphaned prince and princess of a conquered kingdom.

I'm not sure how much more of this I will watch, but it's an interesting homework assignment for several of you here for several reasons:
  1. Miura Kentarou of Berserk fame has gone on record stating that Guin Saga influenced his own work. Both works are famous for their length, fantasy setting, fearsome protagonists, and of course Guin Saga's author dying before she could finish the story and Berserk fans worrying about a similar fate regarding Miura.
  2. You've got a similar problem to the above with, ofc, Togashi Yoshihiro and Hunter x Hunter.
  3. Being one of the longest-running novel series of all time, weighing in at over 130 volumes (129˝ of which were all written by the same lady), it seems like it's required reading for our light novelist experts here. Add it to the list with Legend of the Galactic Heroes and Arslan Senki.
  4. The book series is so famous in Japan, the anime got Uematsu Nobuo of Final Fantasy fame to compose the soundtrack. And judging from the first episode, he didn't hold back. Quite a few lovely tunes in here.
All of that stated, from what I saw of the first episode, I wasn't, like, super wowed or anything. It seemed fine. Plot seemed 6/10 or 7/10. Animation seemed 5/10. Even the music that I just spoke favorably of, I'd only maybe give an 8/10 to. If I do watch more, it will simply be out of curiosity to see how / why this series could have received so much love its author was financed to write over 100 novels about it.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:17 AM   #7577
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If you continue on with that, I will join you once you get to Episode 12 or so. I soft dropped Guin back in 2010, but I still have all the episodes downloaded. I don't know how it ends so you have a fresh discussion partner!

WHERE I'M AT SPECIFICALLY:

Spoiler: show
Guin defeated the big Lago guy and was thinking of starting a kingdom in the desert.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:08 AM   #7578
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
If you continue on with that, I will join you once you get to Episode 12 or so. I soft dropped Guin back in 2010, but I still have all the episodes downloaded. I don't know how it ends so you have a fresh discussion partner!
I'll think about it. Currently through Episode 02 and just not seeing what's so special. It's likeable enough! I just don't see how/why it became this hundred-volume-spanning series. I feel like the biggest draws (learning Guin's past, learning Guin's future) would have to be addressed no later than sixteen books into the series or else people would give up on the franchise. At the same time, I don't see how it could continue for over a hundred volumes following those revelations.

Credit where credit is due, though: the ED theme song is enjoyable. Beautiful soprano voice.

I do wish the animation were better. Not saying the series necessarily deserves it, but a ton of Japanese apparently think that it does. It's a shame that such a beloved franchise got an anime with decent voice acting, a big-name musician to do the soundtrack ... and then crapped out on the animation. It's not bad, it's just mediocre. The direction isn't too hot either imo. A lot of bizarrely pointless cut-away shots where they show us what Rinda/Remus/Guin are looking at, and it's abso-fucking-lutely NOTHING, and then they cut back to the action. I'm left wondering if I'm missing something because my video feed is so low-resolution, but no: they're genuinely just staring off into space and the director decides we need to see what it is that their eyes are glazing over.
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:24 PM   #7579
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Guin is a fine example of a title that's aged due to the evolution of fantasy fiction since it started out. I "soft-dropped" it because while I didn't hate it, it wasn't exactly compelling enough for me to continue watching.

Slayers works similarly to me. An iconic running gag in Slayers is Lina's small chest and her insecurities about it. Small breast jokes are so omnipresent now they're annoying, never amusing. So if you hate jokes like that, Slayers gets on your nerves VERY quickly.

I feel like Guin would have been way more interesting if there was considerably less fantasy and more historical, with the only magic being Guin's leopard-headed transformation.

That's how Berserk's Golden Age managed to buffer the effects of time - aside from a single appearance by a demon from heck, and the Eclipse at the end, Golden Age feels like a historical fiction story. Similarly, Legend of the Galactic Heroes with its debate over politics and morality are themes discussed since the era of Antiquity. They're timeless because the settings are already set in stone (history) or continue to be relevant today (politics/morality).

That said, Guin Saga is so long the author's writing may have improved/degraded as the series goes on. But not reflected in the viewer's experience is how the anime is covering HUGE VOLUMES of the novel at once. At the very least, one volume per episode. So a great amount of time is passing in the real world in each 22 minute episode, and that is all time for the author to develop her style.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:36 PM   #7580
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Every time I re-watch Maria-sama ga Miteru I seem to enjoy it more than the last time.
Maria-sama ga Miteru: I was looking for a good, solid light novel candidate for my reading goals. Nothing too hard, like a Guin Saga or a Legends of the Galactic Heroes would be expected to be. Nothing too technical, like a Fate/stay night or an Overlord. And nothing too outside my interests, like an OreImo or a Haganai. It had to be something easy, accessible ... yet appealing.

That's when I remembered last night while talking to Kamen: Maria-sama ga Miteru. Sadly, the thirty-nine volume series is out of print and it doesn't look like it'll be easy to acquire a complete set. I prefer physical books to e-books, which is why torrents of light novels don't normally appeal to me. That stated, I decided to give the digital scans a go; and I recognized the opening narration of the book as mirroring Yumi's narration that opens every episode; and one thing led to another, and ...

I re-watched the entire first episode of Season 1. And HRNGHHHHHH ... it starts off innocently and slowly, then builds and builds, until finally ...! What a crescendo! What a climax! What a story! God, I love this franchise so, so much. XD It's pretty nuts how true what I've said before is: the more times I revisit MariMite, the more I fall in love with it.

Rather than re-watch the anime right now, though, I'd really rather channel this motivation towards reading the books. I'll keep you guys posted when I do this. Might be soon, might not be until early 2018.

Guin Saga: Going to soft drop this one for right now, only because I have too much on my plate right now (studies, work, and even within the narrow scope of anime watching I already have other programs vying for my time, e.g. Kanon 2006). What I saw wasn't bad and could certainly get better. But at the same time, not gonna lie, I'm ten times more excited to spend my days reading MariMite light novels than I am spending them watching something like Guin Saga.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:56 PM   #7581
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Is Guin considered a tough read? That's the first time I've heard of it, and it's sort of surprising. I'm not surprised you soft-dropped it though - I haven't deleted Guin because of the renown and influence it allegedly has, but there's a lot more interesting things out there.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:10 AM   #7582
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Is Guin considered a tough read?
That's pure surmising on my part, for both examples given there. Legends is famous for its political intrigue, whereas Guin is high fantasy. I've read neither. I've sampled neither.

For me, high fantasy presents the problem of a shitton of difficult make-believe names to keep track of. It's one thing in English, but it's something entirely different when it's in Engrish. Then there's the added problem of high fantasy vocabulary. All of the terms you take for granted that are associated with magecraft, all of the terms [...] associated with weaponry and armor, all of the terms [...] associated with medieval society ... We know many of these words thanks to the stories we've enjoyed these last fifteen years, words like "familiar" tsukaima and "curse" noroi ... But there are also many words that I don't know off the top of my head, like "cauldron", "rampart", "catapult", and "apprentice".

I'm happy to learn new words, grammar forms, and characters. But I also have my priorities and my preferences. I was explaining to AK2 the other night that, the difference between an N2 and an N1 is that an N2 is "conversationally fluent" whereas an N1 is truly fluent. And I further elaborated -- by "conversationally fluent", I mean that the speaker knows any word that we might expect a native 10-year-old child to know; whereby "truly fluent", I mean that the speaker knows each and every single word the language has to offer. True fluency, by this rigid definition, means a remarkable wealth of technical language knowledge -- knowing words like "appendectomy", "preeclampsia", "pneumothorax", and "cholecystitis", for medical starters; knowing words like "cryptocurrency", "shareholder", and "macroeconomics"; knowing words like "xenophobe", "calisthenics", and "artisanal." Words like these, we would forgive the native-born child for not knowing. But we might expect an adult claiming to be "fluent" in a language to know at least some if not all of them. (Fair enough if you want to exclude the medical jargon from the list. ) What we would not forgive a native-born child for not knowing, would be words like "beaver", "dam", "flood", and "icicle." These are examples of words I still don't know. Words which, in my opinion, disqualify me from being able to claim anything approaching "fluency".

What I'm getting at is, I want to read books that will help me learn words like "flood" and "icicle" rather than books that will ask me to learn words like "tuberculosis" and "dysentery." I'm happy to learn those words -- later! But for right now, it's priorities: learning words that any native child would know. I have to speak the language at least as well as a native child. If I can't even do that, what can I say of myself?

Maria-sama ga Miteru has a modicum of technical language in it. I have the benefit of having already studied French, so all of the Fraponais in the book gives me little to no difficulty. I have the benefit of greater familiarity with Catholic traditions than does your average Japanese reader have, so even if for me, a non-Catholic, things like "rosaries" or "Confession" seem exotic, they are not so exotic as to have to be learned; they are already learned, and I have much less to keep track of as a result than does your typical Japanese reader who is having to memorize both a new word and the new idea or concept that goes with it. But aside from these cosmetics, MariMite is fundamentally a school days anime set in a Japan that is ambiguously late 20th century -- a world both modern and familiar, and a world with fairly mundane vocabulary. The Yamayuri Council isn't talking about goblins, liches, or blood oaths (Overlord). It isn't talking about ley lines, time travel, or holy relics (Fate/stay night). Its hardest vocabulary tends to be adjectives I ought to learn -- words like "tranquil", "serene", and "delicate" -- or verbs that characterize an intermediate level of understanding -- words like "flutter", "sew; stitch; embroider", and "publish".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
I'm not surprised you soft-dropped it though - I haven't deleted Guin because of the renown and influence it allegedly has, but there's a lot more interesting things out there.
Kurimoto Kaoru wrote an average of four books a year across three decades (1979-2009, with 129 volumes in that time). That basically tells us that she took no breaks. Most light novelists appear to burn out within ten years of making their first big splash, and before they burn out they pump out an average of two to three books a year. She did more than that, for much longer.

I see only three possibilities there:
  1. She was desperately writing non-stop to pay the bills. Sure, she may have been writing crap, but it was crap that put food on the table.
  2. She was passionately writing non-stop because she loved to write. Sure, she may have been writing crap, but it was her crap and she loved it dearly.
  3. Guin Saga was hugely in demand, and this fan demand motivated her to keep working non-stop, not wanting to let the fans or her business partners down.
It's almost unheard of for a book series to resume publication after the original author dies partway through. Notable exceptions include Dune (continued by Herbert's son) and The Wheel of Time (continued by Jordan's fan and fellow novelist Brandon Sanderson). Almost always it happens only when the series is hugely popular. The fact that Guin Saga resumed publication in 2013, four years after Kurimoto's death, and the fact that in the time since then we've gotten at least three additional novels from what I can see (131, 132, and 133, with the unfinished 130 having been finished in 2009 some months after her death), that tells me that interest in the franchise hasn't completely gone away after the author's passing. If it were a dogshit series that people were just politely letting her publish because no one wants to shit on a nice lady trying to do nice things, then there'd have been no reason to continue it once she died. The very fact that they continued it ... the very fact that they've continued it three times since 2009 ... it tells me that there are people out there who want, who need, more Guin Saga.
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Old 10-30-2017, 03:13 PM   #7583
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Since last post ...
  • couldn't help myself and went ahead and re-watched all of Season 1 and the first four episodes of Season 2 of Maria-sama ga Miteru, with more assuredly on the way
  • re-watched the last episode of Himouto! Umaru-chan I had seen (08, the Christmas episode); then watched the next episode (09, the Valentine's episode); planning on polishing off the series so that I can check it off my checklist
  • placed a pre-order for the Blu-Ray+DVD combo of Kimi no Na wa on Amazon. No Prime membership and opted for the free shipping ("takes 5-8 days"), so likely won't receive mine until mid-November.
Most free time is going into studying right now, but once the exam is past I will probably dive headfirst into resuming The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on the Wii, such that I can press on to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.


In other news, the first Heaven's Feel movie came out several weeks ago. I haven't heard anyone mention it. Like, I am literally my first person to mention it since the last time I posted about it here. Is that a bad sign? Who knows. Hopefully it was good. Hopefully we'll be able to see it soon.
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Old 10-30-2017, 05:13 PM   #7584
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For my part...I'm not the biggest HF fan on the block. ^^;

That said, I've been told it's a far superior movie to the UBW one. Which is interesting because I thought UBW was supposed to be well done. How much of that actually distills down to "Sakura preference" I don't know, but FSN discussions on any platform - be it blog comments, wikia, image boards, what have you - have become quite degenerate indeed.

Though, it's not like that's uncommon. I am so sick of waifu wars, and it's in everything. Because that's anime's primary selling point these days, isn't it?
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:23 PM   #7585
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Quote:
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couldn't help myself and went ahead and re-watched all of Season 1 and the first four episodes of Season 2 of Maria-sama ga Miteru, with more assuredly on the way
I was re-watching Episodes 2, 3, and 4 whilst doing a practice exercise. Episode 3 finishes ... and Episode 4 never gets to load. Hulu has taken down all of their Maria-sama ga Miteru streams, at least for the time being. "With more assuredly on the way", WAY TO JINX IT! Hopefully it's just a temporary thing. Hopefully.
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:13 AM   #7586
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CrunchyRoll has been hacked, so don't use it (yet). Looks like it happened earlier this morning. Something about a trojan ransomware that will encrypt your entire hard drive and then redirect you to payment options to retrieve your encrypted data. For more information, try any of CrunchyRoll's presences on social media. Do not visit the site proper until we get the all clear.
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:45 AM   #7587
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FYI, Crunchyroll fixed the issue.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:50 AM   #7588
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I was already working step by step on finishing off Season 1 of Himouto! Umaru-chan, but this really fun read has got me eager to finish it for sure and to maybe check out Season 2. Seriously, though, you all should click this link and read through what they had to say, along with all the pretty pictures. I thought it was a particularly fun read, whether or not I end up agreeing with their assessment that Himouto! Umaru-chan Season 2 is A-tier or not.

(+10 for "Anime Garfield" alone. )
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:19 AM   #7589
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I dropped Umaru season two after two episodes. It was so cringy and boring that I couldn't take too much of it. (very minor episode two spoilers)
Spoiler: show
They spent around 5 minutes on a freaking skit about Umaru's ears itching.


A tier indeed....
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:48 AM   #7590
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Aww, really? ^^; That's dismaying. I'm still ... two or three episodes away from finishing S1, I think. I think I'm through 09. I don't hate any episode I watch, but something about the show is very hard to, like ... press on and watch more in one sitting. I honestly don't know what it is, as no matter what I brainstorm I can't say that the putative cause upsets me.
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:05 PM   #7591
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I liked season 1 well enough to read into the manga. If there was something I didn't like about season 1, it's how in-your-face some of it is. The way they handle Umaru's "transformation" just rubbed me the wrong way. They spent too much time on it, play this obnoxious music, and do everything they can to show you how conceited Umaru is. I think this is more bad director choices than source material issues, which is sad, because I like the director.

Season 2 took my slight frustrations from season 1, and intensified it tenfold. If this isn't what bugged you, then I don't think it'll be so bad.
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Old Yesterday, 01:38 AM   #7592
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Rurouni Kenshin Creator Nobuhiro Watsuki Charged With Child Pornography Possession
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Old Yesterday, 03:27 AM   #7593
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oh no

when the thread was titled secret passions unveiled

this isn't what we wanted

riparoo
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Old Yesterday, 03:50 AM   #7594
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oh no

when the thread was titled secret passions unveiled

this isn't what we wanted

riparoo
...

Man. Talk about a whirlwind of emotions. From dismay to laughter, just like that.

As for the news story itself, I'd like this to be one of those "Hate the artist, not the art" situations for most people. Or even better yet, "Hate the sin, not the sinner." Rurouni Kenshin, as it was explained to me by my TAs in college, was the No.1 most popular after-school animated series in the 1990s, just like how Batman: the Animated Series was for us over here. I would hate for Kenshin to be ruined for them. The story either is or is not great, and for all the reasons its fans find it to be great, regardless of whether its author is a pedophile, a rapist, a Nazi, or a murderer.

I found out about a recent example of this only tonight. PCR is one of the most important techniques in molecular biology. But the man credited with developing the technique, Dr. Kary Mullis, turns out to be ...
  • an AIDS denier
  • a climate change denier
  • a proponent of astrology
In other words? He's a wacko. This is a man who is supposed to be brilliant, who is supposed to be a role model for future biochemists ... and this great discoverer of the PCR technique, he's just some conspiracy theorist nut. But that doesn't make PCR any less amazing. Just because its discoverer is the AIDS equivalent of a neo-Nazi doesn't mean that we shouldn't be using it.
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Old Yesterday, 10:10 AM   #7595
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I broke the news to BBB about that a few days ago, but held back due to the 5ch rumour that Watsuki was planning to rat out fellow authors as a plea deal. Watsuki getting busted is small-time compared to a veritable Rogue's Gallery of famous authors and artists.

A little background. CP possession was legal in Japan until a few years ago so it's possible all but a few of these are old DVDs. It's also why, in spite of Watsuki's manga getting canned, the actual punishment - a fine, maybe a little jail - is a slap on the wrist compared to the total social and economic immolation CP possession causes everywhere else on Earth. For reference, the punishment Akagi's composer got for marijuana possession was far more destructive than Watsuki's punishment for CP!

It's no small secret that Japan as a culture has an obsession with youth/cuteness/innocence. Despite what westerners might argue, in a distilled universe where they have access to loli but not CP, I'd imagine a huge number of Japanese (both men and women) are closet pedophiles and have large indexes of such things for reference material. This is why there was such strong resistance to banning it until now, ahead of the Olympics. Where else do you think they get the anatomy for their works?

I laughed at the bust, but it's actually something to give you pause, since it's a perception change of not just one author but the entire mangaka culture.
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