Shady locations lit up with noble gases. (Neon Alley)

I’m actually rather tempted to try out Neon Alley instead of Crunchyroll. Why? Because it’s dubbed content. And thanks to my About page on this site (Which I wrote.), it says all I do is watch english dubs. This is contradictory because there’s anime out there I wouldn’t be able to watch without reading subtitles, like Maria Holic.

Watching a dubbed anime is almost universally acknowledged as the worst thing you can ever do as an anime fan. Well, fuck that ideology. I don’t care if your rebuttal is that you have no problems reading a subtitle then looking back at the action, you don’t miss anything. If I personally recount any amount of times that reading a subtitle has resulted in me missing out on an integral scene or visual cue, it’s ZERO. I’m often watching anime on my computer monitor, which is large and close enough that spending any fraction of time to read a subtitle means that I’m no longer looking at the center of my screen. The counter argument never considers that the other person is just as capable as the one contesting the idea that everyone should just die because they can’t be bothered to read a line of subtitling. Sometimes the only reason is we want to listen to the voice and understand it.

So why is Neon Alley more attractive than say, watching CrunchyRoll? Personally, it’s been a UI thing. I do not like the way CrunchyRoll’s site looks nor fuctions. I have no idea what Neon Alley is going to look like. A fresh start won’t stop me from trying it out.. unless it’s just as bad as Crunchy Roll. But that’s why I’m going to try it out. Also, I’ve been lured in with the fact that Rinne no Lagrange and Tiger & Bunny are showing up on Neon Alley. I really enjoyed those shows, so I gotta hear what those are like. I believe T&B has a high chance of getting good voice acting because of the amount of characters that need to be voiced. You can’t get away with subpar performance on a show with that huge of a cast. It just won’t fly with me. If it sucks, well, dammit.

If anything goes as well as I’d like it to, Neon Alley will end up having a modicum of quality, or maybe even a high standard of production that you can’t help but realize it’s a viable way of watching your anime. I want to be optimistic. Yes, I’m trying to ignore that Naruto is on the list of shows. But hey! There’s also Death Note and Inuyasha, two shows which have respectable dubs. Who could ever forget that impeccably translated “I’ll take a potato chip, and eat it!!” scene from Death Note?

Seriously. Go check out Neon Alley. You might like it. I might like it. Your friends might like it. Facebook has nothing to do with this blockquote.

Shady locations lit up with noble gases. (Neon Alley)

Oda Nobuna’s RAMdisk, and other series.

I tried really hard to come up with a title pun for Oda Nobuna no Yabou. But then I gave up and realized the show is largely a fanservicey show, so a word that obviously alludes to giant boobs is fine. RAMdisk will no longer show up in the rest of this entry.

I also use RAMdisk to speed up Minecraft! Let’s be friends.

Oda Nobuna’s RAMdisk, and other series.

Rinne no Language

XEBEC, you’re not allowed to break this rule. You are NOT supposed to have all three heroines late for school, running and eating toast. Do you have three male characters that compliment each one? No. What do you expect us to see? All three of them bump into each other and make out later in yurilicious fashion?

oh yeah.

We’re eleven episodes into Rinne no Lagrange. It still hasn’t let up with the pace it started with, and more surprising, it’s been trying to ramp it up. Episode seven felt like a filler episode, but with a dash of Muginami character development. I like this technique a lot since it allows those short bursts backstory and exposition to settle in without having overstayed their welcome. Often I see this kind of filler/development episode just fall flat, but with the setting Rinne no Lagrange has, it just feels natural. Why would this technique seem okay when Rinne no Lagrange does it and maybe not another? If you pick a similar episode in a separate series that also involves young characters that need to overcome friendship hurdles, and an unexplained backstory (to the other characters), it is often a sequence of evenly spread out character driven flashbacks and events which I think results in the dilution of the intended effect. If the rest of the series properly sets it up, then maybe it’s not much of an issue. That much is obvious.

But the big robot genre tends to collide with this very issue — often enough that I can’t stomach watching a new one, despite having enjoyed the robot anime genre for a while now. A series that needs an entire episode of flashbacks (heaven forbid more than one) is usually a multi-cour series. When was the last time you enjoyed a full episode of exposition and flashback that was intended to push the “This is why you should care” button? I certainly don’t remember any at all because I probably dropped those series due to such pacing issues, which does not help this post reinforce the issue I’m trying to argue about. A cheap shot would be mentioning any long running shonen anime. I remember Bleach being a repeat offender of this. I think I’ve already addressed the problem however. An anime done right should not have to push that “This is why you should care” button, because the second you’re able to recognize such character and plot function, it’s failed it’s job. Caring about a character should come naturally with the flow of the story, otherwise it’ll just feel bad. Should one not care about the character, it should at least shed light on the current situation. It’s what exposition is supposed to be. The thing I’m trying to say is that backstory, is just that. It’s backstory. It’s not the main story, so don’t shove it into the spot light.

I believe that a slice of backstory should not be an entire episode. Even as an entire episode, I don’t think it should be even in multi-cour(2+ cours worth) series. A counter point might be that there surely are entire episodes made as dedicated flashback/backstory episodes that, if removed, would have greatly impacted the strength and flow of a series. I say to that, if it fit well enough that removing it would have changed the pacing significantly and any intended effects, then it’s no longer backstory.

Ask yourself after watching episode seven of Rinne no Lagrange, what was the point of Lan mishandling eels? Nothing. (Fanservice.)

I loved that eel scene with Lan. Oh god.

It’s probably evident that I’ve written this when episode seven came out. I have stuff bottled up since then, and I’ll address it once the series closes. Unless I’m severely underestimating the amount of episodes.

And the post misspelling is intentional.

Rinne no Language

It’s summer during winter. And I don’t mind.

I could have sworn I was watching Toradora. And while I was watching this episode, I thought to myself, “I’m probably right.”

Wasn’t a surprise I was. Anyone who has spent time oogling at director Tatsuyuki Nagai’s works, like Shigofumi or A Certain Scientific Railgun, would find Ano Natsu de Matteru’s art instantly recognizable. It’s that slightly stylized and blocky, but proportionate anatomy that gave it away for me. Nagai directed episodes 2, 7, and 11 of Shigofumi according to ANN. I had to put in the the effort to backtrack and rewatch those episodes since I wasn’t really aware of Nagai’s stuff until Toradora. I also found out that exact head angle in the above screencap is a good way to find the differential markers between styles. To try this out, go watch Amagami (either one, first or current season), Toradora, and Rinne no Lagrange. Keep an eye out for that particular sideways angle, away from the camera, and it completely changes how the artists have to compensate for the art style.

Amagami’s anime art style unfortunately looks like they have cardboard faces most of the time. I’m surprised I managed to stick with that series because I’m picky with what art style I’m willing to watch.. and sometimes I’m not, with exemplary series such as Akikan and Akagi. Occasionally I can spare myself from puking out my soul and intestines by briskly deleting the files from my brain and HDD. Here’s looking at you, Yoake ~ Cabbage Love.

By the way,  Tantei Opera Milky Holmes is an awesome series. I can’t believe how retardedly happy I got when I saw it on the seasonal anime previews.

I’ll end on the note that Yukari Tamura is voicing the loli on the left of the top image. It’s almost too natural for her voice — it makes me hnng everytime. It’s unfair.

After a couple of seasons of self-analysis about anime tastes, I have determined that it’s not that my standards have lowered. It’s just the range has increased by a large amount. I wonder what I watched that pushed the bottom out so far that I actually enjoy Milky Holmes. I now cannot fathom how people would hate on Milky Holmes. Is it getting across that I love that show? OH YEA.

It’s summer during winter. And I don’t mind.