Archive for April, 2008

This entry is part 7 of 43 in the series Nanoha GamerS

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I don't know who translated this, sorry.

There's no real reason why I picked this random manga scan. Well, not so random, since I like Negima, I find Sayo pretty cute, and I am quite fascinated by the ability to spin pens (possibly since seeing Momiji Ookura in action, so to speak, in the manga version of Prism Palette). Nevertheless, this is Random in the sense that I found this page posted somewhere for no apparent reason, bereft of its fellow chapter pages, and I have no other Random images handy to go with this off-topic post. Needless to say, I shall be buying the volume whenever Del Rey sees fit to release it in English, as I have done for the seventeen volumes of Negima thus far.

Crunch time over in the set of dimensions known collectively as Real Life means that I've been taking what amounts to an enforced break from anime, and indeed all leisure activities. As of this writing, I can see the as yet unopened cases containing the long-sought Playstation 2 game discs of Okami and Final Fantasy XII. The temptation is strong, but I shall resist.

I had expected some sort of withdrawal symptoms, but oddly enough, with a bit of mental jiggling, I can transition to a veneer of Normality with a minimum of fuss, provided I am allowed to keep a small but significant amount of brain runtime to thinking about anime. Not any anime in specific, but just anime in general; tropes, concepts, and example images. The merest thought of an original character in full meganekko mode can settle my mind into hanyaa~n mode, which I seem to be able to do a good job of bottling up inside, seeing as nobody has been creeped out by my vapid expression as of yet.

At least the weekend is near, and with it some vague respite. Although judging from the pile of backlogged Obligations I have to other hobby interests, mostly in the prose-writing field, it might be a while before I can come up with anything substantial for this blog. Not, of course, that anyone might have expected differently.

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This entry is part 6 of 43 in the series Nanoha GamerS

Just a teaser image.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Kyouka attempts nekomimi-loli seduction.

I'm not entirely sure what I just watched.

Let that be a warning to you all.

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Hazumi and Hime contemplate their relationship with Takumi.

Anime News Network gives Combustible Campus Guardress a vintage of "1993 to 1994", which makes me feel a bit old. Not very old, since I wasn't even a teen back then (close, though), but old enough to know what they're talking about when they mention a pokeberu. The last time I watched this anime was about four and a half years ago, and apparently I don't have any new insights from the intervening years of anime obsession.

Hazumi "Queen of Friendly Fire" Jinno seems cut from the same cloth as Slayers's Lina Inverse, Goddess of Collateral Damage. I'm not sure what it is about non-angsty, relatively well-adjusted girls with stupid amounts of firepower that intrigues me so, but judging from the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha fandom, I'm not alone.

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Taken from the Musashi scanlation.

I've been re-reading the manga Love & Collage (shortened to AiKora; it makes sense, really) recently. A quick summary for those unfamiliar with AiKora: the main character is a Perverted Harem Male Lead who's obsessed with certain types of body parts on his "ideal girl". Through the usual plot contortions, he ends up in the presence of four (later six) of his main ideal "parts", each one Platonically perfect, except on different girls. Cue Wacky Hijinks.

Anyway, I had a long and rambling musing about how the various "parts fetishism" that are the premise of the story can be mapped well enough onto the idea of individualized moe traits, but then I lost interest in favour of the cute girls therein. Which in turn sparked off the faint rudiments of a post about how I could take a story like this and spin it out into something deeper about the niches of anime fandom and whether or not it's all justified in the search for the highest aesthetic pleasure…

… or I could just read the damn manga and enjoy it.

Why was I reading the manga? Because I wanted to immerse myself in an unrealistic and yet ultimately optimistic story featuring cute girls of various personality types just being happy, being themselves. What makes the girls cute? They have features I think are cute, like Yukari's glasses (as Kureha understands very well), or because I can imagine them to be my ideal version of "cute", such as Kirino's voice, which obviously can't come across in a visual-and-text medium.

That's about all.

Is there something to be said about how I am identifying with the protagonist and his like-minded fellows in my appreciation for "parts", however abstracted? Probably, yes; the different factions are shown to be somewhat pitiful, in an affectionate and yet cutting manner. Tread this path, the message seems to be, and you'll likely never be anything more than a pervert in the eyes of society. Despair all who enter here.

Yeah, whatever. I just want to read about Kureha's valiant efforts to convince Yukari that glasses are attractive on girls. It's lazy and shallow, but dammit, it's still fun.

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Chizuru is somewhat surprised.

If I were to be uncharitable towards viewpoints I deem alien to my own, I would make a comment that for some reason, being a gentleman is frowned upon among many anime watchers.

For example, I remember the comments about Kyon's reactions in the first chronological episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Haruhi gropes Mikuru (comedically), and then invites Kyon to do the same. Kyon refuses, in a straightforward and casual tone of voice. Almost immediately, speculation abounded that Kyon was gay. The idea that he was trying to act in a civilized manner, by not molesting a girl he'd just met for all of five minutes, had apparently not occured to the viewers in question.

Along those lines, I can understand the dislike of the average male harem comedy lead as being too indecisive, leading to a sort of treadmill plot, running in place. (We shall put aside the argument about being unrealistic for now.) It is a point well made, and I concede it. However, I do not, as yet, find much merit in the claim that the best course of action for this male lead is to start boinking all comers (pun very much unintended). It just seems a bit rude to do so when one has not actually made a final decision yet.

Now, I can see how people might be irritated by Kouta's actions in Kanokon; if he doesn't want Chizuru to go that far, that quickly, he should have just said so. But to say that he is less of a person for not taking the initiative, or taking advantage of the situation, strikes me as missing the target by an astonishing measure. I have nothing against the calls for him to make a decision, but this decision involves more than one valid course of action.

Anyway. For the most part, romantic comedies in anime, when featuring a very willing participant, tend to involve some sort of barrier to a full consummation of a relationship. This could be parental disapproval, especially parental disapproval backed by credible threats of grievous bodily violence. I don't think I've seen a barrier of the "wait until we're married" variety, but I could just be missing out.

I find myself wondering what the barrier in Kanokon is. Chizuru has made it abundantly clear that she doesn't care what taboos are set between humans and spirits, and Kouta seems too passive to protest. Unless the series relies on constant interruptions of decreasing plausibility, perhaps engineered by some deus ex machina, one would expect that Kouta would have Become A Man by the end of the first episode. Which, to be fair, the ending heavily implies.

I think I need to come up with some more unusual euphemisms. I mean, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha fandom has "befriending" to indicate "you will soon be hit by a high-powered magical doomsday blast", while all I have for this is "boink". Not that I remember where I picked it up, strangely.

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From To Heart 2: Another Days.

You may have noticed something different about the blog.

The story behind the change is that somehow, for some reason, this blog was hacked, and while I can find nothing altered as such, it was deemed best that I upgrade both my WordPress installation and my password security. After making absolutely sure that there was no upper limit on the character limit for the password, I have some confidence now that this new password will be hell to crack. Along those lines, it will also be hell to enter without typoing.

Moe Check is now running on WordPress 2.5, and since I tend to be caught up in the dizzy flurry of upgrading, I also picked up a new theme, this one called Mandigo. I have yet to truly customize it, since that would require me to limber up my miniscule talent in image editing and actual design sense, but I assure you that this will be one of my priorities in the coming days. Tomoyo shall return to the header image, never you fear.

This blog is best viewed in a resolution 1024 pixels wide. I was trying to find the best colour scheme under Mandigo's included options that best exemplified "pink", but the pinkest of the lot was listed as "purple", with the actual "pink" looking somewhat rouge. Mayhaps I perceive it differently from most other people.

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How to have Dawn-hair.

I wonder if it says something about me that the only reason I'm playing Pokemon Diamond at all is because I think Dawn (or Hikari, if you want the Japanese name) is very, very cute.

It's the hat, I think. I don't know what she's like in the actual anime, being that I don't have a source for it, but just looking at the fanart makes her seem so adorable.

Of course, I tend to treat games as a significant collection of plot and dialogue interspersed with irritating but sadly unavoidable gameplay, so this is not unusual. I suppose what I'm really looking for when I buy a game is an interactive CG movie, preferably anime-style with cute girls.

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