Fubuki seems to be a naturally happy person. Seeing as how the reality the ship-girls of Kantai Collection is to serve a military purpose, I normally scoff at such weird juxtaposition of happy MC, and gritty realities/setting. I imagine I’ve seen enough anime to be really annoyed by these things, but apparently I’m just eating up Fubuki’s performance as an MC. She’s got a calmer charm than some high-energy girls, yet as we can see in the above screenshot, she’s still just as loopy as the production team needs her to be. This scene is especially awesome because there’s such an obscene amount of happiness that Fubuki simply can’t contain. Mutsuki quietly sitting there while Fubuki is going happy-helicopter on us, is a fun contrast to that.
There’s something that always happens during these sorts of anime, which has become the Strike Witches Syndrome to me. You’ll take that first episode, and
eat it with a silly cadence, say or think, “I’m going to enjoy this!” while jokingly motioning your arm in a pseudo-enthused fashion. Then you sit there genuinely thinking “I enjoying this.” after several episodes. Shows like Kantai Collection can’t normally command the mood in a domineering fashion as Kino’s Journey or Steins;Gate do. Yet even those two shows have managed to control their own flow, and inject their own forms of humor and mood changers without leaving their genres entirely. With that said, I believe Kantai Collection has found its own method of changing the pace, despite the awkward seriousness that occasionally pops up. The show isn’t serious serious, however. Come on. Anthropomorphized ships. Girls with sailor uniforms and steel rigging to hold mini-weapons of military grade destruction.
I believe it’s simply trying to paying its due for having moe ship-girls right next to a war backdrop. (The major conflict is quickly approaching, so let’s hope it doesn’t jump the crust.) It’s not the serious you think you need, but it’s there in a form Kantai Collection can deal with. And it’s with Fubuki leading the charge.
I don’t think I’ve grown so fond of an MC so quickly, but here I am cheering her on. If Fubuki is happy, I am happy.
Yes, I have to admit I’ve been bandwagon’ed into the Fubuki leveling
train ship. Hey! At least I had her before the anime started. Yes, I am playing the game. But that was because of danbooru. I blame them. I regret nothing.
Almost as if to make up for the 5.5 recap episode, this week’s Mädchen und Panzer was absolutely awesome. It was a delectable sandwich of tank battle and story development. More than half of episode 6 was closing out the battle. I’m not sure if I want to say that it takes 2 weeks, or however much time they had for episode 6, to bring such shows to higher ranks of awesomeness. Mädchen und Panzer has been a strong series from the start. Many people were quick to dismiss a show based on the initial concept of “Let’s combine moé girls with tanks. Trust me, it’ll do well.” But let’s not forget that our own preconceptions on what makes a good series good often backfires. I have made this mistake repeatedly, although more often with the shows that take themselves more seriously. Yet I have always come away with good impressions with silly shows like Mädchen und Panzer.
The last time I said “I’m gonna like this!” sarcastically, it switched over to a genuine “.. I like this.” This occurred during the first season of Strike Witches. It continues to happen with shows like Sword Art Online. (Yes, I had pegged SAO as a show that might not be very good before I saw any amount of the show itself.) Admittedly, this happens mostly when I’m reading a summary. Need to get into the habit of ignoring the pre-emptive impressions that surrounds most series before they even air.
I really appreciate the cannon fire sounds. They’re absolutely vicious. That it’s mixed so that it sounds like it’s clipping is a nice touch. Sometimes it’s a bit weird watching anything with tanks firing, and it sounds so pristine and smooth, you’d think these tanks were 1000 meters away. Also, hurray for Hirano Aya. Her performance as Alisa was entertaining. I’ve forgotten how amusing it is to listen to a screaming Aya — it’s on par with Misato Fukuen’s crazy howling. Here’s hoping Hirano-san can grab more voice acting jobs, since I truly do enjoy her voice.
Aside from episode 5.5, the pacing for Mädchen und Panzer is great. There’s a little bit of downtime, plenty of action, small but effective doses of character development, and the moé aspect often feels completely absent, thanks to fitting militaristic music. Really, the largest dose of moé comes in the form of the ED sequence with a miniature tank bobbing around like a plush toy as it advances down a road.
It’s been a while since I’ve used it, but here ya go, the Planes and Pants rating.
These things share two things in common. I can’t get enough of either of them, and there’s people who complain about how it looks.
Skyrim is getting a glut of informational write-ups on how to make the game look “better”. Admittedly, there’s a couple of instances of wishing the visual fidelity was questionable. I don’t always have a problem with how it looks. It would be extremely nitpicky of me to squish my character’s face against a rock slab and declare, “This kind of texture resolution is unacceptable!”. Quite frankly, I’m happy that it already feels less buggy than I anticipated. Some faggots think it’s incredibly buggy and broken with no recourse available to salvage what’s left of the game. Lucky for us they’re a relatively small minority (but still louder than ever). I think it’s a great game and it’d be a huge disservice to the game if your only reason not to play it was because someone else told you it was buggy. Besides, the game does eventually get fixed via official patches or through fan created fixes.
Haganai, otherwise known as Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai, has our male protagonist luckily not in Nordic skivvies. In fact, he looks rather dashing if you look at the top image. That is if you know nothing about Japanese culture and their silly nomenclature for guys who have lived 30 years and not experienced the warmth of a lover.
Actually, I’m not sure if there are people who complain about Haganai’s look. The show has taken a few dips in the art, but nothing nearly as notorious as some parts in the second season of Minami-ke. Oddly enough, there was one episode that had an entire segment that was decidedly animated by a highly skilled someone, and now the name escapes me. Perhaps I’ll rewatch that season to provide screencaps of the horrendous and the beautiful.
I’m personally rather happy to hear Misato Fukuen voicing Rika. Her role as Miyafuji Yoshika in Strike Witches was great, and puts her voice to great effect in Rika’s debut episode. Rika screaming “UNIVERSE!!!” was hilarious, and somehow arousing. I can gush about Marina Inoue and Kanae Itou too, but that’ll take up another entry.
Almost approaching 400 words, so I’ll shut up and save it for later.
Gertrud Barkhorn, what are you doing in my Infinite Stratos? You’re supposed to be making that Strike Witches movie!
And this post was intended to be a short as possible, but I also can’t help but notice the art style not very far from looking like Strike Witches. If we’re lucky, it’ll have that military flair we’ve missed last season.. just with a bit more janky gender harem humor. At least, I don’t recall any series last season that was military themed. Okay, so I guess I’m a little relieved that even IS will have a Gertrud clone.
And for the little seiyuu fanboy in me, Yukana is voicing a loud, blonde British character named Cecilia Alcott, which is not in the screen cap. But more importantly, I’m dying to know who the Gertrud clone is. There’s also that girl in the pajama-like get up, to the left. Please be cliché to the point that I’ll fall in love with you. The lass to the right sounds so familiar, I should be able to name her seiyuu, but it’s just not coming to me.
Other bloggers have probably already mentioned the rather nifty intro sequence (that seemed really expensive to produce..), being a relatively nice balance between 3DCG and 2D. It tells us we’re watching a mecha anime, but I’d like for them to save their money before the animation goes out like a clay pigeon: destined to either get shot into small pieces, or fall to the earth. (Hint: Both are bad.)
No image will ever depict my happiness about the announcement of a movie for Strike Witches, and the second season of Maria+Holic.
Okay, yes there is:
elated chen by morino hon