He ain't so tough

(all vacation entries)
Laputa Robot Soldier at Studio Ghibli Museum, MitakaLaputa robot soldier at Studio Ghibli Museum, Mitaka


(all vacation entries)

One of the highlights of a visit to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka is the chance to see an original short animated film produced to their high standards. Currently, it’s Hoshi wo katta hi, a story that becomes only slightly less incomprehensible if you can pick out some of the Japanese dialog.

If you go there while it’s still running, there are two things you should know. First, it’s based on the surrealist paintings of Naohisa Inoue, specifically his Iblard fantasy world. It doesn’t make a lot of sense because it’s, well, surreal.

Second, in the final scene (spoiler warning):


Dear fansub "typesetters",

The purpose of subtitles is communication. This is particularly true of song lyrics, where “karaoke animation” is intended to help people sing the words at the correct time. This means using crisp, high-contrast fonts, and visually indicating the current word in a way that makes it possible to read the entire line.

This does not mean setting them in a hot pink cheesy fat-face font and then exploding each word as it’s sung, leaving behind only a low-contrast pink-on-pink version that’s basically invisible. It also does not mean spinning words that are repeated more than once. It doesn’t matter if the song is called “peach-colored unrequited love” and the entire set of the video is pink. In fact, that just makes it worse.

You are not an artist. You are a tagger, and your work should be scrubbed from the video with the same vigor that a business owner scrubs bad graffiti from the side of her store.

Momoiro mojibake

[and I’ve ordered the DVD so I can watch a high-quality version of the video that doesn’t include your “contribution”. I’m doing this despite your efforts, not because of them; don’t pat yourself on the back and think you accomplished something for the artist]

Youtube version without fansub here. Street-legal Aya here.

Measured in Rushunas?

Steven has declared a unit of measurement. Sometime during the blur that was my vacation in Japan, I found something that I think measures up:

Asu no Yoichi

In addition to her high-school uniform, she enjoys busting out of a yukata, a miko outfit, frilly western dresses, and lacy lingerie. She’s the oldest of four sisters, and their Parents Are Traveling Abroad. And Our Hero has just moved in with them, having been Sent Down From The Mountains by his father to Become Stronger in the ways of the samurai.

She’s his new teacher.

Less than an hour after moving in, he manages to get into a Compromising Position with all three of her younger sisters at the same time.

Second sister is a bleached-blonde modern girl who’s sensitive about her small bust. Third sister is a sexually aggressive busty meganekko Gal doujin manga artist and junior high-school student. Fourth sister is a fourth-grader, who doesn’t appear to be a harem loli, fortunately, even if she does get dragged into the Wacky Hijinks.

Seiyuu station...

The Yurikamome line is short, and its elevated train cars are completely automated. And the announcements at each station are voiced by anime voice actors. First column, first row: Masumi Asano. First column, second row: Maria Yamamoto. Fourth column, third row: Mikako Takahashi.

Blazing Knocked-up Classmates

For quite a while now, a fair percentage of tv anime series have been based on porn games, sometimes scaled down into a simple harem comedy, sometimes left raunchy. I’m thinking that this one (NSFW! NSFW!) will end up going straight to DVD, with no attempt at a tv-safe version.

Anime producers have managed to tone down “screw the schoolgirl” stories before, but when the declared bust sizes range from A to P Q and a number of them are equipped with 母乳, well, I don’t think it’s destined for television.

[and, yes, it comes from a company called SQUEEZ (NSFW! NSFW!)]

[I think the title 炎の孕ませ同級生 should actually be translated as “inflamed knock-me-up classmates”. By the way, the subtitle makes it clear that you’re supposed to impregnate all of them, which means that the 母乳 is just there to add a bit of flavor to some of the sex scenes.]

[no, after waking up, it’s not the imperative -mase, it’s the stem of the causative -maseru, so “knock-them-up”]

[Update: the promo videos (1, 2, NSFW! NSFW!) are hilariously awful. As are the theme song lyrics.]

[Update: Apparently you’ve got your work cut out for you…


Rosario + Vampire

So, there’s an upcoming tv anime series based on the manga Rosario + Vampire, and they’ve put up a promo site that makes it look like a fan-service comedy with schoolgirl vampire hunters. This has a certain Buffy-esque appeal to it.

Except that I own one volume of the manga, and it’s filled with blood and murder. Also fan-servicey schoolgirl vampire hunters, but the bad guys aren’t at all cute, and neither is what they do to their many victims.

Even if they tone that down for the anime, I don’t think I’ll be looking forward to this one.

Dear Negi,

[Update: nice trailer]

In the commercial for your upcoming live-action show, you say “I’ll use my magic to make my students happy”. Having read the comic, I’ve got to tell you, it ain’t your magic they’re after.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”