RDrake’s anime roamings

Odex vs Sgfanboys round 2?
January 4, 2007, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Anime, General Schtuff, Rants

Oh joy. It seems that the rumors that the gahmen wants to clamp down on us fansub downloaders are getting serious. It’s a good thing Odex is giving us a heads up warning first.

lolicontrol, tedfox,

I suppose this sort of thing makes for high tension and dorama amongst the anime elite. Yes, it’s probably bad news to the casual anime fans. How much positive light can this bring? It certaily does not equate to more sales for Odex Pte Ltd.

First off. The impression I’m getting is that people don’t buy from odex not because they can download it off the net but because it just isn’t a good enough product on it’s own to be worth the money. Stopping people from downloading does not necessarily equate to more sales for odex. I think I really will laugh when the laws kick in, Blue Max (which sells Naruto and Full Metal Panic) experiences a spike in sales (especially cos Naruto subs are still ongoing), while Odex gets hardly any net difference in turnover. I said it before. This can only be improved by Odex itself improving the goods. You have to make people want to buy, not force them to.

Secondly. People are forgetting that there the causeway effect. Anime isn’t exclusive to Singapore. If free anime is going to be illegal here, there’s always cheap legal anime across the causeway for those who don’t mind the much lower quality. Again, it’s a matter of attracting customers with quality over quantity, I guess. I do admit though, that the Malaysians have their advantages. Though I usually buy my anime from Odex, the Malaysians won me over with a couple of plus points. One, their unbelievably cheap prices, and two, I could buy stuff that I’m not legally allowed to in Singapore. I still don’t see how Melody of Oblivion passed the Muslim Malaysian censors as general but hit Singaporean shelves as NC16. If the Malaysians cut some parts, at least I didn’t notice. The overall effect was still good, and that was what counted.

Already two points why banning downloads will have little positive effect on Odex. Do we have a third? Sure. People forget about anime altogether. This I think is going to be pretty drastic, but I’m pretty sure that it’s the most likely path for roughly 50% or so of the anime community here. (Or worse…) Given that most anime fans are pretty young, or worse, without income, having to buy means that they would rather forget everything altogether. Very unhealthy for everyone involved, except for the gahmen who then have one less thing to regulate…

Sigh. Looks like a bumpy road ahead for all true anime fans. Bunker down people.

Personally, I think that I’ll be hit with a moderate blow. I’m not adverse to buying my anime unlike some people I know (I’m not pointing fingers, seriously.) I do buy good stuff. What I’m unhappy about is that not all the good stuff gets sold. Also new releases like the standard Bittorrent fare from TokyoToshokan and Animesuki. It means that there’s going to be a drastic reorganisation of anime blogging in Singapore. No more episode reviews… ok. No more reviews of the latest anime to hit the world? Now the horror…

Don’t worry. Take a wait and see attitude first. Perhaps they will only chase those people who STUPIDLY download stuff that’s already on sale here. Truth be told though, people like tj_han and Tsubaki will easily survive anime downloader purges. Such is the extent of their specialisation. Me? Wait and see. I definitely won’t abandon my faithfull readers though.


NHK ni Youkouso ended…NOOO!
December 26, 2006, 7:19 pm
Filed under: Anime

And that’s all…NHK ni Youkouso ended on episode 24 barely a few days ago. Strangely enough, this would be the first time I followed a series actively from the start to the end.

NOOOO! Without a Satou Tatsuhiro around to laugh at I’m going to feel lousy!

OK, fine, I won’t because I’m confident enough about myself…

It is, though, quite interesting the way NHK chose to develop it’s characters. It’s worth talking about a little here while I stave off post-final episode anxiety. Unlike most other anime, there was not one character emotionally strong and stable. Not a single one.

Many would argue that Misaki was the strong one because of her role in picking up Satou’s low down spirits. Sure, she did that for most of the series, but she broke down not just spectacularly in at the end, but here and there, her facade faded somewhat too. Like when she went to rescue Satou from the suicide party.

And Satou is a Very interesting main character. It’s not exactly uncommon to have main characters who are dug out from the trash bin to save the world, but having one who wallows in the dirt throughout almost the whole series is quite rare. Not to mention that Satou’s antics are really funny. They made NHK into a show revolving around a clown, except from a social standpoint.

Yes, secondary characters. Basically this group comprises Yamazaki, Hitomi/Senpai, and Iincyo (Satou’s ex-class president). All of them actually develop in tandem, not exactly at the same time, but along the same lines. It’s not evident from the start because while they can be featured together, the show develops them seperately. Simply put, while Yamazaki stars in episodes about the Pyramid Scheme, he’s not truly being developed and brought out the way Iincyo is.
While they make for a good show, they aren’t the main deal. The three of them are simply a house of cards built around Satou. Strange, eh? Three sufferers of social problems depend upon a fourth, worse guy to bring out their best…OMG! It’s almost as if the show is espousing the philosophy of people looking down on others for self-confidence…

So just how important was Satou to the whole show then? Pretty much everything seems to revolve around him now. Even his household items speaking to him is simply his inner mind finding itself a method of manifesting itself.
Now…FOR A CENTRAL CHARACTER, HE DEVELOPED FRIGGIN SLOWLY! It actually came to a point where I considered it possible for the show to end with Satou remaining a hikki for life, lol. Sure, he could go places by himself every now and then, but he still fails miserably at feeling at ease in society. Only when he had absolutely no choice but to change for the better did he do so. Come to think of it, most of us are like that…

Ok, feeling a little better. Thankfully, NHK ni Youkouso ended off very well. I don’t feel as upset that it ended as some other shows make me feel. Why? Perhaps it’s in the simple details, but NHK really doesn’t need to end off spectacularly. It’s main strength lies in the fact that it portrays absolute, normal reality, even if from a fringe, extreme end of society. As a result, it doesn’t need to tie up as many ends since people aren’t going to need big imaginations to tie them up themselves. What happens next isn’t somewhat we need to slog to figure out.

I suppose that rounds off a spectacular series. I ❤ GONZO for making this! Will write up a review sooner or later.

ODEX: Emotion or Pragmatism
December 3, 2006, 12:11 am
Filed under: Anime, General Schtuff

Ok, got it confirmed now. ODEX somehow muscled its way into Chuang Yi’s bazaar and set up their own sale inside.One box ten dollars. Already a bargain. 7 for $50. Unbeatable price. We’ve all got to go down now!

Ok, now to the commentary. I know very well how everyone has been ranting about ODEX recently, and not just because of copyright issues…

Tsubaki, drm, tedfox.

Ok, so yes, ODEX is bad because of this, and because of that. Anyone who has bought stuff from ODEX, and doubtless many who haven’t probably know how much ODEX simply sucks at what it does tries to do. Just go to tsubaki’s rant, or even drm’s…I don’t think I need to repeat what they’ve said.

What I’m really going to say here will probably earn me a few knocks though. It’s going to sound like social studies.

Be pragmatic. We learn in school that pragmatism is one part of good governance. Well, it’s certainly applicable here. Pragmatism says that it’s okay to buy from ODEX so long as you can live with the quality flaws. Pragmatism says that this is because

One, a monopoly is a monopoly. Even if it’s bad, we’ve pretty much nowhere else to buy anime…

Two, cheap is cheap. ODEX sale at Chuang Yi’s bazaar is case in point. Beat that price. I quote tsubaki, who ranted against ODEX himself: It’s even more cheaper (sic) than pirated VCDs.

Be pragmatic. Don’t fill yourself with emotional rhetoric of anti-ODEX hate. Rhetoric will get you nowhere. Just look at Malaysia…

And yes, practise what you preach. Between my friend and I, I think we’ve bought 30 or more boxsets from ODEX. Yes, we share the cost, but still…

See, the latest episode of Code Geass actually says a little about this. Emotions cloud your judgement.

Suzaku did just that and suceeded in carrying out his part of the rescue attempt while…

Cornelia, struggling with Euphemia’s capture, was previously unable to act against the hoteljackers.

Mainline standard with a twist?
November 30, 2006, 2:24 pm
Filed under: Anime, D-Grayman

Today I talk about D.Gray-Man. I know it’s kinda late in already, nine episodes as of now, but I had problems, so shoot me…

When I first heard that this was going to come out, well, I was slightly disorientated. The manga has been pretty much begging me to read it at the shop, but I kept dismissing it…Well, anyway, the release of the anime got me going and I read the first four books of the manga.

Won’t go over that too much since it’s not today’s focus, but yea, it seemed good enough to make an anime out of, and that was before episode one hit the net.

Now to go on with the anime, well, I’ve watched till episode eight to date, not enough time to do episode nine yet. I’ll try not to compare the anime to the manga too much, but that, really, is tricky. The anime, for most part, sticks to the manga, just switches the timings, and things like that around. This is both good and bad. Bad in that there’s always the possibility that manga readers get turned off when the anime screws up something in the manga that was just so great. The good part? Well, if things go right, there’ll be no filler episodes. (HAHAHA! To all those stuck with Naruto and Bleach fillers…). Such is the amount of drag there is on manga chapters, they’ll need all the time they can get to actually finish following the manga…that’s not too bad too…

Well, to start off, I’ll assume that most people already watch it, and thus shouldn’t have a need for me to put up a storyline, so I’ll skip that. What the manga excelled in this storyline area was that it put together quite some emo-ish charged scenes (not negatively), that stirs up alot of the readers emotions. (There I go, I thought I said I wouldn’t do that…). The anime isn’t quite so adept at this, it just can’t seem to pull it off as well. (I said as well, it can do it, just personally not as well as the manga. Thus first timers to the show aren’t affected). Allen Walker gets degenerated to just yet another Shounen main character if the full extent of his feelings aren’t made true, and that is just sad…

Character design? Nice. It seems that everyone is pretty much wearing gothic uniforms, the building castle they live in is all black…And yea, they’re the good guys, though the baddies aren’t much different in their tuxedoes and fancy dress…

Overall animation quality is…moderate, I guess. It’s not too shabby, but compared to stuff like Haruhi, yea, you get the point…

A very much outstanding factor for the show though, would be it’s choice of OP and ED. Just about everywhere I go, people are saying that Innocent Sorrow by Abingdon Boys School and Snow Kiss by Nirgilis are their top two OP/ED picks for the season. Just to note, if you think the TV size version of Innocent Sorrow is good, the full version of it, well, kicks ass…

Well, more to come on this great anime soon. And no, it’s not just another shounen. For one, I don’t expect it to drag like Bleach and Naruto…

This is SO wrong…or maybe It’s just me…
November 25, 2006, 11:49 pm
Filed under: Anime, Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan

First impressions of Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan? Easy…It’s less of impression with this anime, more like an imprint, or worse.

To start off, a brief overview of things, as far as I can go with what I’ve seen so far. Sakura (he’s a boy), is a normal middle school student. One day, an angel, Dokuro-chan, (complete with halo) pops up in his room. The true reason for her existence is a mystery (until episode 3…), but she seems to enjoy making life hard for Sakura. She also follows Sakura to school, enrolling there. Now the problem is, angels seem to be particularly aligned with violence, no matter how cute, seductive, whatever they happen to be…

I can’t quite get the main point of this anime…It could be for the violence and gore, but there’s not enough of it. There’s also the fanservice, but no big deal either, not enough to build a whole series upon. In the end, it probably boils down to this series being a comedy. Sitcom would be more accurate. A bloody, sexy sitcom, but regardless, I laughed my way through the episodes…

Well, now for a few interesting little points I’ve noticed…

Ok, point number one. This is one FRIGGIN bloody anime. No exactly violent, but BLOODY. Quote aurabolt: The main character bleeds more from mindless violence than from nosebleeds.

Examples of just how bloody…

I think you will agree. Of course, these shots were taken from the very start of it. Yes, it gets worse further in…gosh, so much blood,…musn’t think, afraid of blood…

Point number two. The producers tried out an interesting new method. Using the standard 25++ minute episode timing, they stuffed two episodes into your 25 minutes. Basically, the whole series is made out of 12.5 minute mini stories. This goes quite some way to making me think of the series as a sitcom. Don’t worry about complicated downloads though, every two episodes are bunched into one.

Point number three. I’ve heard about Sumomo mo Momomo pushing some limits or something. Ok, fine, but what about this one. FOR GOODNESS SAKE, THE OP IS A CHIBIFIED ADVERTISMENT FOR S&M!!!OMG!!!

And now, the rant…As the title goes, THIS IS SO WRONG! To put things in perspective, the characters are second year middle schoolers, which is approximately…how old? Not enough, right? So why in the world are we getting violence, blood, gore, fanservice in one neat little bundle with lolis? Ok, fine, that is a rhetorical question…

But look here, just how many serieses are there that combine super kawaii characters with a cheerful bloodletting attitude. That is so not moe…

Up to speed…
November 25, 2006, 11:19 pm
Filed under: Anime, Web

In  a blink of an eye, it’s the middle of November already…people in America have finished off their Thanksgiving turkeys, no doubt. Not surprising, I guess, given that the first half was mainly exams…exams suck, avoid them if possible.

Ok, the main purpose of this post is to keep track of what exactly I have been, am, and will be going to watch this month…Also, a minor list of what I’ll be writeing up here. That’s the good part about not doing episode reviews, you can almost plan out what you’ll be writing…

November anime line-up for RDrake: (Note, these are, as of this point, listed in order of anticipation…ok, in rough groups, I hate such ranking…)

1. NHK ni Youkouso
2. D.Gray-man
3. Code Geass – Hangakyu no Lelouch
4. Red Garden
6. Soukyou no Strain
7. Sentou Yousei Yukikaze
8. Pumpkin Scissors
9. Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto (I actually typed that out without a reference, lol.)
10. Le Chevalier D’eon
11. Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan
12. Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte Z
13. Ghost Hunt

Correction. I just realized that there being so many anime this month, there is no real ranking amongst them all…I’ld go crazy…

1. Yoake mae yori ruriiro na
2. Bartender
3. Gundam Seed Stargazer (finished)

Plans for RDrake’s anime roamings?
1. Get up at least two more renders here.
2. Buy another figurine during the holidays and take some decent photos. (Both are longshots, though…)
3. First impression write-ups for any series in the first list I have not yet already written up. (Basically, just about everything…lol…lot’s of work…)
4. Laze about and do nothing…

Well, due to the need for orderliness, anything else that could have been said here will be put off until an appropriate post arises, this one will be mostly those lists…

Hiatus? Maybe…
October 6, 2006, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Anime, D-Grayman, Manga, Rants, Shin Angyo Onshin, Web

Eh, yes, I might not be around for a while. So maybe I won’t be putting up any new posts, until mid-November maybe. Could be gone awhile. all because of the exam, see.

In other news. I want to rant against the Indonesians…Just give me a line or two, won’t take long. CAN’T YOU GUYS DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE HAZE?!!! I INTEND TO KEEP AS MANY OF MY BRAIN CELLS AS POSSIBLE! DON’T KILL THEM WITH YOUR GIANT BONFIRES!!

In any case, I’ve been going through quite a bit of manga recently. I’ve taken the time to go through almost 10 books of Shin Angyo Onshin. Mistake. Do not read Shin Angyo Onshin when you are tittering into depression. It’s not exactly very happy a series. It was just so emotional, and not just because certain people die and all that. It’s one big bandwagon of disillusionment in a country fallen into chaos…But enough of that. I want to read more before going on.

Also, in response to the latest hype over the new D-Grayman anime, I went over to the bookshop to read the manga. It caught my eye before, but not enough until now. Well, what can I say. It’s WAY better than Bleach at least. The art can get slightly messy, especially during action scenes, but that’s very well made up for by the sheer emotional play inside (which was sorely lacking in Bleach…). Also, it also pawns Bleach thanks to this simple equation. Linali>Orihime. Don’t kill me for that…