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Shirobako

October 20, 2014

An anime original project by PA Works, “Shirobako” is not a silly otaku comedy like “Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken” and “Denkigai no Honya-san”, but this new show all about the anime production industry is a solid mix of comedy and drama.

Its story starts with the promise five high school friends make to each other to one day work together in the animation industry. Years later, the girls are working hard on their respective careers, with Aoi and Ema working at Musashino Animation on the anime ‘Exodus’.

Although it does not feel like a slice-of-life genre series, “Shirobako” seems to be a serious endeavor to showcase the inner workings of the anime industry, touching on all the different aspects involved in animation production such as writing, storyboards, key frames, coloring, sound effects, voice acting and much more.

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While there are plenty of serious and dramatic moments in “Shirobako”, the show nonetheless feels sufficiently light-hearted and does not come across as some stuffy documentary since it mixes in plenty of comedy and does excel at conveying the passionate feelings its various characters have for anime.

With studio PA Works at the helm, there was little doubt the quality of this series would be excellent and it also feels refreshingly different from their previous creations “Nagi no Asukara” and “Glasslip”.

Really enjoyed the first two episodes of “Shirobako” so plan on watching the rest of this show that gives fans a unique look into the anime industry, all without casting aside the typical enjoyable traits of a good anime series.

Denkigai no Honya-san

October 17, 2014

Adapted from the manga “デンキ街の本屋さん” created by Mizu Asato, “Denkigai no Honya-san” is an otaku themed comedy showcasing the daily lives of the staff working at a doujin shop.

Akin to “Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken”, this show too is a hilarious comedy featuring plenty of references to popular otaku culture as well as lots of silly situations.
Expected “Denkigai no Honya-san” to be similar to otaku centric series like “Genshiken!”, but it feels much more like a mix of workplace themed shows such as “Working!!” with plenty of ecchi undertones and a plain animation style somewhat comparable to “Hen Zemi”.

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The fictional doujin shop ‘Umanohone’ where the story takes place is said to be inspired on the real life store ‘Toranoana’. Although it is safe to assume that working life as depicted in the anime is likely far from reality, undoubtedly the long hours, repetitive tasks and customer rushes during popular releases do happen.

The characters in “Denkigai no Honya-san” are the usual selection of typical otaku types, ranging from the doujin artist, cosplay photographer to the run of the mill eroge otaku. It is regrettable that the show does not seem to be overly original, as it relies on generic characters, obvious romantic pairings and typical jokes.
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Summer dress Ayuko

October 15, 2014

With the autumn season in full swing, what best to reminisce the warm days of summer than some photos of Dollfie Dream Ayuko clad in a breezy summer halterneck dress?

Snapped these photos of Ayuko posed on a boudoir style chair with a more benign cloth pattern, this made it an ideal background that was neither too plain nor too overbearing. Lighting is all natural with the afternoon sunlight coming in from a side window filtered through curtains, though did use a reflector in some shots.

Ayuko

Purchased this halterneck dress with knit vest set from Nine9Style earlier this year, together with several other items including the red halterneck one-piece dress previously showcased Ayuko in.

Although still have the habit of snapping many pictures during such a photoshoot, have increased efforts to process and upload only those few of which I personally feel they are the best results.
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Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken

October 13, 2014

This autumn season several new anime are otaku centric. Next to “Denkigai no Honya-san”, a comedy about daily life at a large doujin bookstore and “SHIROBAKO” which revolves around those working in the anime production industry, there is “Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken”.

Adapted from the four panel manga “旦那が何を言っているかわからない件” by Shinja Cool-Kyou, this comedy anime shows us the quirky marital struggles of typical office lady Kaoru to understand her otaku husband Hajime.

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Instead of a serious approach, “Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken” is a hilarious comedy where each episode is a veritable rapid-fire of jokes, innuendo and awkward situations that Kaoru and Hajima face.

Animation by studio Seven is rather plain, but considering its episodes are not even four minutes long and it chains each joke into the next, such simple animation does not detract from enjoying this comedy. Appreciated how despite this short running time and the predictable nature of most skits, the show nonetheless conveys some depth to its main characters and their relationship.

If you are looking for a fun otaku comedy, then definitely give this show a try, it will only take up a few minutes of your time anyway. “Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken” is available on Crunchyroll.

Cross Ange

October 10, 2014

After being disappointed by “Gundam: G no Reconguista”, was rather apprehensive to watch “Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo”, considering both are created by studio Sunrise.

Unfortunately, “Cross Ange” too failed to impress me, while admittedly its first episode was not that bad, this mecha anime was alas not interesting and brings nothing novel to the genre.

The overall world setting, the robot and character designs, the core plot, it felt like they simply threw all the default tropes used in the mecha genre together in the hopes of creating a series that would sufficiently appeal to the viewers.

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Including dragons and other fantasy elements like mana, or having the main cast be a group of young girls who face brutal battles in a world that scorns them as less than human aberrations is not exactly new either but has been done before, with more success even.

Considering “Aldnoah.Zero” managed to surprise me last season by steadily improving and growing to become a remarkably good mecha show, there may still be hope for “Cross Ange”, though I highly doubt it. Even the performance of renowned voice actresses like Mizuki Nana, Kitamura Eri, Chihara Minori or Yukana may not be enough to lift this show up.

Those of you who enjoy the generic “Gundam Seed” or “Buddy Complex” Sunrise style anime may like “Cross Ange”, but it is likely to be a mediocre, forgettable mecha show of which there are a dime a dozen.

Dollfie Dream meeting with friends

October 8, 2014

Had a great time last year at a small Dollfie Dream themed meeting with the comrades from Shadonia, hence was glad we decided to hold such a gathering again this year.

Met up with fellow Dollfie Dream owners the last weekend of September, it was great to see these friends again and be able to chat with them about our respective dolls and doll photography.

Kaede, Mirai and Ayuko

Above photo of Jaybi’s Kaede, Shadonia’s Mirai and my Ayuko.

During their trip to Japan this past summer, the comrades from Shadonia gave in to temptation and acquired a Mirai Suenaga Smart Doll by Danny Choo.

Have been interested in Smart Doll, specifically how its body would compare to Dollfie Dream as Danny Choo seems to have addressed several issues that Volks bodies typically have. However, have not taken the plunge to purchase one as have plenty of dolls already.
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Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

October 6, 2014

Enjoyed the various anime series based on Type Moon’s ‘Fate’ universe, including the magical girl comedy spin-off “Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya”. However, was always more partial to “Fate/Zero” since it was a darker, grittier story with a more coherent plot compared to the original “Fate/stay night” anime which included superfluous harem moments.

Considering the visual novel it is based on is an adult game, one could forgive such harem shenanigans, “Fate/stay night” nonetheless was a mediocre show. The “Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works” movie from 2010 was much better than the first series.

When they announced that ufotable, the studio who created “Fate/Zero”, would take over from Studio Deen to create a new “Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works” anime series, knew I had to watch it.

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The opening episode was excellent in all aspects, from its splendid animation with character designs close to the original visual novel style and stunning action scenes to good pacing and plot development thanks to its double episode length.

Appreciated how this primer was truly all about Tousaka Rin, the heroine of the ‘Unlimited Blade Works’ route, they barely showed us Shiro or Saber. Wonder if they might alternate the main character view by switching between Rin and Shiro or if they will be daring enough to keep the main focus on Rin.

Am Curious how the rest of “Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works” will be and have high hopes for the rest of this season. Fans of Rin’s character are definitely in for a treat as she was well portrayed and absolutely adorable.

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