Mikan Watch #89: Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara

Posted by DiGiKerot in Mikan Watch at April 16, 2014 on 7:23 pm

Leaping to the top of the queue by virtue of drawing first blood this season, from the first episode of Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara – or If Her Flag Breaks if you like English (Or Gaworare if you are worried about letter counts). It’s that thing in the top-right corner, being used as a table in the ramshackle Quest Dorm in which the male protagonist resides.

I have to admit, I’ve been spending an awful lot of time this season staring at the frontpage of Crunchyroll, finding myself not really finding all that much that I particularly feel like watching most nights of the week. I only really stuck this show on as background noise whilst I was fiddling around with something else, but it’s cute enough, I guess. I suppose I should watch No Game No Life by means of comparison, but Gaworare feels very much like a confluence of ongoing trends in the industry – it’s all very light-novel, whilst also continuing that gamification of relationships as portrayed in the likes of The World God Only Knows. Only, you know, being way more literal about this whole flag concept. Maybe I’ll watch more, maybe I won’t.

But, hey, it’s a double Bank Holiday Weekend here in the UK, so I’ve got a nice four-day break during which I can pretend that I’m actually going to catch up on checking out new shows.

Mikan Watch #88: World Conquest Zvezda Plot

Posted by DiGiKerot in Mikan Watch at April 11, 2014 on 6:59 pm

From the second to last episode, hopefully not providing any spoilers.

I had fun with Zvezda, but it’s a bit of a kooky show with an approach that is probably as off putting as it is appealing. Essentially, the show simply doesn’t give a damn about providing the audience with any kind of actual context in regards to the world in which it’s set. It’s a experience not entirely unlike watching a spin-off series without having seen the original work, or perhaps watching a slightly more coherent Tomino production.

This is to say, the show has a certain internal consistency to it, and there’s never really any indication that the characters are ever experiencing anything that doesn’t make sense to them outside of some sporadic bouts of confusion from our protagonist early on. It’s a weirdly naturalistic approach to writing for a show as conceptually out-there are Zvezda, in so much as the characters don’t really feel the need to stand around and explain things that they should already know to each other simply for the benefit of the audience.

The show does, eventually, find itself with the need to throw the viewer a narrative life-ring, lest they drown in the shows closing arc, but it’s little more than is necessary. The show still expects you to make your own assumptions and draw your own connections between things, though – it’s a curiously intelligent for a show is actually kind of dumb, even if it does end up making it easy to reach too far and make conclusions about what the show is actually about that are shortly proven completely wrong.

Also Renge-chan da best.

Mikan Watch #86: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

Posted by DiGiKerot in Mikan Watch at February 13, 2014 on 1:05 pm

From the fifth episode of second series of Chuunibyou, on the far right of Kumin’s cardboard construction. It’s no wonder that Yuuta is such a lousy competitive napper when he has been provided with such a mentally stimulating practice area.

The new Chuu2 has thus far has been fine, I guess – I enjoyed the first season more when it was being dumb than when it was indulging itself in melodrama, though that it’s being doing that to the detriment of any kind of forward momentum these last couple of episodes isn’t exactly ideal. The MoriDeko baiting of the fourth episode was cute, but it’s not like it actually went anywhere.

That being said, I hear something actually happens in yesterday’s episode, though this is where I presumably grumble about the usual lack-of-timeliness of UK-specific streaming services. Guess I’ll look forward to it sometime next week!

Mikan Watch #85: Kantai Collection

Posted by DiGiKerot in Gaming, Mikan Watch at February 12, 2014 on 6:46 pm

From the Japanese Internet game (and soon anime) otaku phenomenon Kantai Collection (or KanColle, for those who dislike typing), as the starter furniture for your office. Someone has drawn an adorable cat over one of the oranges on the box.

Mikan Watch #84: The Place Promised in our Early Days

Posted by DiGiKerot in Mikan Watch at January 31, 2014 on 10:05 pm

From the Makoto Shinkai film The Place Promised in our Early Days, on the stairs leading to (one of) our protagonists apartment in the later part of the movie. Kind of unclear a screencap, but trust me, that’s totally what those top two boxes say.

I actually spotted this back during a theatrical screening of the movie, shown as part of the Glasgow leg of last years Scotland Loves Anime festival in October, but procrastinated about posting about it because I couldn’t remember where the heck I’d put my DVD copy. It probably shouldn’t really have been much of a surprise, anyway – whilst Garden of Words proved to be more of a Ringo Box movie, and I’ve not been back to check Voices of a Distant Star, both 5cm/s and Children who Chase Long Titles sported orange-transportation devices.

I had been a little terrified about revisiting the movie, though. I’m not a particularly big fan of Shinkai’s work, I’m afraid – I enjoy most of his productions on first viewing, but upon rewatch I tend to be overwhelmed by the extremely tortured writing his work often sports. 5cm/s I found kind of unbearable upon a second viewing. With Place Promised actually being my favourite of Shinkai’s output, or at least the one I enjoyed the most at point of first encounter, I didn’t really want to ruin that – it was nice to be able to say I genuinely enjoyed at least something he’d made.

Saying that, whilst I can’t really remember any of the minutiae as to why given it was the best part of four months ago that I last saw it, I still enjoyed it well enough. All’s well that ends well, I guess!

(PS – Hi there Reddit, I guess? That sure it a lot more traffic than I’m used to… For what it’s worth, when I asked (RoD/Kamichu/Magi) director Koji Masunari about Mikan Boxes at a Welcome to the Space Show Q&A, he said it was mostly due to their commonality in Japan more than any specific memetic thing)