Well, I wasn’t gonna watch Hanasaku Iroha but now I guess I’ve got no choice

Chiaki Omigawa plays one of the main characters.



I didn’t think I’d be able to stomach this show after watching the first episode. The entire premise by which Ohana is carted off to the old hag’s ryokan was not believable. The whole thing with the boyfriend kid confessing in the first episode just as she’s about to leave town was also a bit off-putting, but I can see how perhaps further developments could make it work. In any case, I wasn’t particularly interested in watching more after seeing the first episode.

But then I realised that the reason that Minko character sounded an awful lot like Chiaki Omigawa was because it was, in fact, her playing the voice. She’s not a dojikko in this show, so that’s too bad, but she can make tsundere work too. Minko does seem to fail at all of her chores though, which provides plenty of opportunities to hear her curt, businesslike apologies, which is nice, I suppose. That’s a type of clumsiness, at least.

Now I’ve really got no choice but to watch the rest of the series, even if it’s garbage.



I'm sorry my Cammy cosplay does not please you


I should just quit watching everything that’s not on noitamina

But that would be unfair, I suppose. But c’mon, noitamina had Ayakashi, Mononoke, Moyashimon, Kuuchuu Buranko, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Eden of the East, Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei, and Kuragehime. That’s a good track record of shows I’ve enjoyed. Other noitamina shows may have been great, but I haven’t seen them, so I can’t comment. That means, however, that I’ve never disliked a noitamina show (although I’ve enjoyed certain of the above shows quite a bit more than others)

I’m not going to go ahead and write extensively about what I liked about these shows, since I’m not introspective or smart enough to pinpoint why I like what I like, but Hourou Musuko and Fractale are probably my favourite shows this season. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika or whatever it’s called is also looking pretty good and has succeeded in keeping my attention for the first two episodes with its bizarre artwork and cutesy magical girl protagonist, but outside of that, the only other show that I haven’t dropped yet is Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne, but I may drop it anyway, since I haven’t seen the second episode yet. The first one didn’t have much of any newness to add to the wincest paradigm and barely kept my interest. Everything else is rubbish/boring like Infinite Stratos and Beelzebub or has value only as fap anime, such as 95% of Freezing. If it’s not in either one of those categories, then I either haven’t seen it yet or I concluded it was garbage and dropped it before even watching a single episode.

I may drop Level E and Dragon Crisis, but I will at least wait until I watch the second episodes of these series. Level E had a couple good laughs though, at least.

But everything about Hourou Musuko seemed nice. Cute, meek protagonist, cute shota friend of protagonist with best teddy bear evar, beautiful watercolorish artwork, great character designs and voice acting as well as remarkably fluid animation that makes the viewer feel like he or she is watching real people move about, rather than cartoon characters on a screen. All wonderful. Very gentle treatment of the subject matter, which I can’t really comment on seeing as I don’t read manga or light novels, so I’m experiencing this story for the first time.

As for Fractale, to employ an overused method of succinctly summarizing one’s reactions, at first I was like “wtf?”, then I was like “lol”, then I was like “Fractale FTW!” and then at the end of the first episode I was like “wtf?” again.

Again bearing in mind that I choose which anime to watch based on how much I like the image on the AniDB page for the show, rather than on any knowledge of content matter, all I knew about the show before watching it was that it took place in some kind of futuristic setting. I certainly didn’t think it would take place back in the Old Country! The protagonist, despite his smart lederhosen-inspired getup, lives in what the viewer must be meant to take for none other than the hilly landscapes of Éire.

After establishing that we’re in rural Ireland, the protagonist, Clain, sets off on his bicycle to go to some kind of yard sale, accompanied by his best friend, who appears to be a bottle of Coca-Cola.

There’s a lot to like here, such as Clain’s parents who look like they came right out of that Catherine video game,

And AIRSHIPS! Anything that reminds me of Skies of Arcadia or Final Fantasy IX gets bonus points on my scorecard:

Finally, to put the icing on the metaphorical cake, the final element in the winning combination that is Fractale: rubbing a medicinal salve on a mysterious bishoujo’s back who fell from the sky whilst riding a flying machine,

Don't know if want...

Yes, want...



The credit ending sequence gives us another glimpse of that beautiful Irish scenery:

I don’t want to speak too soon, since for all I know the remaining episodes may consist of Vanna White and Fabio as Lear and Cordelia, respectively, but these are the types of shows which, were they to see BD release, would certainly end up on my shelf if I also won the lottery beforehand. It’s not that I don’t have respect for IP; it’s that I only have respect for IP that I like.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica: I’m very impressed

…by the presence of a weasel mascot!
weasel mascot

Unlike that casino show though, I think there’s more to appreciate here than just the weasel, such as Madoka’s fluffy, pink elephant, bunny thing.

I won’t drop this show yet. I will at least watch until I grow bored. This episode was not boring. It reminded me of playing LSD: Dream Emulator for Playstation, complete with mustachioed tumbleweeds.

I just watched “Aoi Hana” and I have one major gripe

But first some background information.

It’s the day after the New Year so I had all the time in the world to pursue my various recreational interests. I was in a shoujo-ai type of mood today, so I first finished watching Sasameki Koto, which I had began watching again yesterday after stalling on it since I watched the first few episodes when it was initially airing. It was all right. In fact, it was pretty decent.

kazama ushiokazama ushio

When I was a little kid and we had two kittens, I always had this fear that I would kill one or both of them by hugging it too hard and breaking its neck or spine or something. You know the feeling: that one where something is cute to the extent that you need to squeeze it harder than you really ought to and its brains come out through the eye sockets, which are empty because the eyes already popped because of the immense pressure caused by the hug? Well, that’s what’s going on with that Kazama Ushio character. The achievement of that effect on the viewer means the art directors, casting people for voice actors, writers and, of course, Takamoto Megumi, the voice actor herself, did a real bang-up job there. Cheers to pushing the envelope on cutesy, huggable characters. Who knows how far we can go?

I did find myself growing bored occasionally. I liked Akemiya the trap though.

So I went ahead and watched Aoi Hana, expecting more or less a similarly structured deal. That is, a yuri harem type of setting with generic high school girl archetypes (i.e. sporty girl, bungaku girl, miko, etc…). That’s more or less what I got, so I have no complaints there.

The problem, and maybe I’m crazy here, is that I thought that the main voice actor who played Manjoume Fumi could not possibly have been a worse fit for the role.
aoi hanaaoi hanaaoi hanaaoi hana

She sounded more like one of those meek, princessy type characters. The tall partner in these yuri deals are supposed to have a much, much deeper and even-toned voice. Everybody knows that. Like Utena. The short one is supposed to be the more timid one. Granted, the Fumi character was hella meek, but she never once appears like a character with such a high and whiny voice. Tall characters are simply not supposed to sound like that.

There have been plenty of successful meek, tall characters who have not had squeaky, whiny voices in anime history. Just look at Sakaki.


Much less do meganekko have voices like that! Every time she spoke I cringed. And not so much because I thought the CV was doing a bad job or anything, it’s just that the voice so completely clashed with the character and the body language assigned to her.

This really ruined my day. Thanks a lot, Mr. Casting Director for stealing away my smile. Now how will I get it back?

It’s perfectly natural to have a crush on a fictional character

…but there’s a very fundamental problem with such one-sided love affairs that never occurred to me before today: unless you’re in love with HAL 9000, there’s a real human voice actor somehow entangled in your sick crush.

I came to the conclusion somewhere around the end of season 1 of Arakawa Under the Bridge that I was, like, majorly in love with P-ko. I’d only seen two shows that I knew of at the time in which Chiaki Omigawa had played a prominent character, P-ko from Arakawa Under the Bridge being one of them and the other being what’s-her-face from Seitokai Yakuindomo. At that point, I didn’t see the conflict, since I don’t go for sporty-types; I mainly like klutzy-types.

Mitsuba MutsumiP-koHotori Arashiyama

But watching Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru forced me to realise a strikingly basic flaw in my thinking; how do I know whether I am in love with the klutzy characters or the voice itself? Or is it a combination of the two factors? I don’t like the idea of being in love with a voice. On the other hand, I don’t have any strong objections to being in love with a fictional character. As I said, that, at least, is perfectly normal.

In order for that to work though, I need to ignore the rather glaring coincidence that the two characters this season whose klutziness continues to prove irresistibly alluring are both played by none other than Chiaki Omigawa.

It’s troubling to think that the voice actor plays any part in this sad inequality, since for all I know, Chiaki Omigawa could be a cannibal, or even worse: not clumsy. To the viewer, she’s just a name and I don’t like the idea of being in love with a living actor.

Still, it’s hard to ignore the coincidence. Maybe she should play some unappealing class representative-type characters soon so that I can prove to myself that it’s the clumsy characters I like, not the actor(s) who play them.

Also, I hit 4.0MB/s upload speed briefly the other day. Fibre optics is great.