Witch Craft Works (7&8)

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Oh dear. I haven’t had such pacing and mood whiplash in a while. At first I thought the relatively slow burn was nice, but I forgot we’ve got a crazy fire witch on our hands.

Episodes 7 and 8 have highly accelerated the storytelling flow and plot structure. One second we’re wondering what the next week will hold for us when suddenly we’re worried what the fuck is going on every three minutes. I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of the school riots was. It was merely to be a side quest triggered because the old council president wanted to get back at Takamiya.. only it wasn’t exactly that. Maybe it was in the original manga.

At this point, I’m going to hold off on trying to chew the story and simply enjoy the fanservice. I still laughed when I realized Kasumi’s only joy in life, which is waking up her beloved onii-chan, is shattered with a scene of Kagari in a pink nurse outfit and ponytail “checking” Honoka’s body. Why is this shit still funny to me after all these years?

Kugimiya Rie’s performance as Chronoire is also delectable. The “old tongue” speaking style sounds silly when it’s coming from Kugyuu. Makes me realize that if it were to be localized, we’d be hearing her say stuff like “Jolly good show, old chap!” in a fancy accent. Please, make it so! I’ve also completely forgotten Asumi Kana was in this show. Sorry, Kana! Too bad you’re a side character.

Urgh. After I’ve managed to get in the habit of categorizing anime,  I’ve realized my tags are a mess. Several Japanese names in both regular and reverse orders. Needs consistency. Which I supposed is an extension of the kind qualities I look for in an anime.

Witch Craft Works (7&8)

Witch Craft Works with Opinions! (EP5)

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What is it with and J.C. Staff and Kugimiya Rie? I’m not complaining, but holy cow, these two collaborate so much that I’m guaranteed Kugyuu nearly any season of the year. Some sort of Perennial Kugyuu Effect thanks to them. I adore her character in Witch Craft Works. There’s something about a woman in a military overcoat, blouse and tie that tickles my jollies. The lab coat.. seems excessive. You can’t be a military lab research office lady. Or can you? send pics pls

I’m still intrigued about Chronoire. They’ve given her a moderate amount of mystique that I can’t help but want more. Aside from my obvious fawning over her, this latest episode suggests that her goals and plans are long-term rather than satisfying some immediate goal. I like characters who take their time, patiently and cautiously advancing their agenda. My initial impressions of Medusa was that she was supposed to be some sort of sealed monster of power. But a single episode resolving and revealing her conflict versus Honoka was a let down.

For all the silly debacles we create in the anime community over translation and editing, there’s a huge group that prefer literal translations. And then there’s the ones that provide a more liberal localization. There a big difference in tone between, “You’re up. ‘Sup, Takamiya-kun?” and “Oh, you’re awake, Takamiya-kun?” Which one do you prefer? Which one is right? At the very least, neither of these lines are incorrect. I prefer the regular (latter) response, because Medusa isn’t using any specific mannerisms, nor is it portrayed to sound as informal as the “‘sup” might intend. However, if Medusa had said it in a fruity manner, or any other manner, I would have taken a different translation, because a flat text translation response (e.g. “Oh, you’re awake, Takamiya-kun?”) wouldn’t carry the tone of the voice. Properly doing translations this way means that you don’t have to include translation notes. Well, I guess even saying “properly” is still a subjective thing. If you’re a spoony translator that doesn’t fear the beer, I suppose anything would work if the spirit of the language tastes the same. (Yay, puns.) It’s hard to say which translation I prefer. I’ve been watching both FFF and HorribleSubs without any gripes, so pick what you like. Besides, it’s been forever since we’ve gotten entire plot rewrites. I seem to always forget which anime had nearly all of its dialogue mangled to the point of no return. Must’ve been bad enough to keep locked away in my brain.

CrunchyRoll’s translations are at best, average. There’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you’re at the mercy of them to watch any shows that are left untranslated by the community. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing when a show like Saki gets eyeballs thanks to CR. All that mahjong terminology would have been a giant slow down if some fresh-pint with only a year of Japanese language study attempted to translate the series. Good thing we still have options.

And yes, I still have a grudge against Mazui’s translation note during one of the most important scenes in the Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi movie.

I’m going to start organizing shows by categories in WordPress. For the longest time I’ve been using the tag system, but it seems like it’s going to be hell when I want to specify which show I’m writing about. Talk about learning by doing. Silly when you consider almost everyone else does it that way.

Witch Craft Works with Opinions! (EP5)

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This show started off with a very, VERY normal premise. And a rather passive MC to boot. But apparently, this was setup to be a yuri anime. The main character’s very girly name simply stuck around and now we have another candidate for the swim team that was on Free! (Gay Swimming). I want to think it’s a smart move. While I have zero qualms with a yuri anime, it reduces its viewer base. Not everyone wants to put up with a yuri anime. Lord knows how many girls can enjoy other girls fawning over each other like they were noodles in a ramen package meant to be cooked together in a hot steamy embrace. Yes, girls are noodles. And guys are saltine crackers. (I’m not sure if I want to keep maintaining the joke. I might get too far into it, like mentioning squid flavo-… nevermind.)

However, there are more important things to discuss! Is it just me, or why does it seem like I simply haven’t been paying attention to the music world behind the cultural bombardment that is anime? The last time I discovered an amazing band via anime was through Mawaru Penguindrum. Coaltar of the Deepers, the guys behind the first ED of Mawaru Penguindrum ain’t a bunch of young ‘uns with an overprocessed sheen from some corporate pushers. CotD’s influences are pretty much my own background of music, which includes My Bloody Valentine.

So, as I sat in my chair waiting for the ED song to roll around for Witch Craft Works, I get blasted with an updated but nostalgic sound that’s way too similar to Peter Gabriel and Yellow Magic Orchestra.

I’m one to watch series for entirely unrelated reasons to the anime itself, and it appears it may happen again. Witch Craft Works, thank you for introducing me to Technoboys Pulcraft Green-Fund. They’re part of that modern mash up of the sound crafters and glitchers from the 80s and 90s. I’d love to mention a tiny hint of Merzbow being in the ED, but that an even more remote link that I’m not sure I could prove. In any case, TPG has an amazing groove not unlike the work coming out of this electronic music boom we’re experiencing here in the USA. Much of the electric and progressive music scene that was developed world-wide during the 80s and 90s comes through the ED (“Witch ☆ Activity”) of Witch Craft Works. That old school YMO sound is there, too. But if you’ve seen YMO perform recently, you’d be surprised at how appropriately modern their music is. (youtube link) It’s always been worth it to work backwards from current musical interests. There’s a giant mountain of treasure in that old soundscape. Give it a try and dig up something.

I enjoy the old school thumps of sine/square wave synthesizers. Harkens those crazy NES songs, like the one for Solstice. Yes, that badass song. Also, someone has a series of videos of a 2011 concert performance by Technoboys Pulcraft Green-Fund. (link)

Man. I sure was link heavy this time. Sorry if the links don’t work for you due to region blocking.

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