Posts Tagged ‘kyoto animation’
My Ordinary Life Eps 1-13
Two anime for the price of one!
In this incredibly surreal comedy from Kyoto Animation, the gloves of comedy are off! On one side of town, there is a seemingly normal high school attended by Mio and her best friends Mai and Yuko. Filling their daily lives with insanity, within the first 13 episodes there will be deer wrestling, a plot to overthrow a king, a camping trip from hell and the more mundane forgetting of homework, fights with friends and keeping BL manga drawings a secret at all costs.
On the other side of town lies the Shinonome Laboratory where a loli professor has invented her own robot Nano. Constantly fitting her with new and consistently pointless updates and features, the pair live together with their talking cat Sakamoto dealing with every day situations including the consequences of the professor’s inventions, snacking and how to kill a bug trapped under a cup.
Good and the Bad
I had such a difficult time when it came to write the story synopsis for this series because really, how are you supposed to describe this one? In the latest outing from Kyoto Animation, the gods of comedy are smiling gracefully on this series as every episodes pulls out the stops and unleashes a tidal wave of sight gags, overreactions and set ups that will last for entire minutes on end just to get the audience laughing. From where I’m sitting, they’ve succeeded.
What I found so hilarious about My Ordinary Life is its willingness to go the extra mile to get the laugh. To be a fan of this series, audiences are going to have to get used to one thing very quickly and that is incredibly long set ups. Ranging anywhere from 30 seconds to 8 minutes, most of this series is when its in a period of setting up whatever joke its going for. Once you get to that moment however, sometimes you’re going to find that your moment is actually just an illusion that was never coming to begin with. The absence of a punch line is the punch line and I couldn’t help but laugh every time.
When this series is on its mark however (particularly throughout the Hakese/Nano scenes), the comedy in this series is a rain of gold down upon your brain. Going to extreme lengths, My Ordinary Life will never stop with the incredible reaction gags and physical comedy which pits woman on man, man on psychic medium or even principal on deer.
What shocked me the most about My Ordinary Life is the incredibly strong musical score that goes along with this series. From deep dramatic tones to more whimsical horns, the orchestra behind this series really does an amazing job of playing up each scene to epic proportions and when you have incredible reaction gags like this series does, having a background score that can play it up to 11 is always a good thing.
This is the surreal comedy of the year that should have everyone laughing. While a good sense of patience is required for this one, there is little else standing in the way of anyone having a good time with this series. This is another comedy gem!
I’m a bit late to this party again but Crunchyroll has announced recently through a press release that the entire second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has been added to their site! The sequel to the original series was the long awaited darling of 2009. That is until fans realized that most of the airing was a rehash of the original episode with 13 new episodes sprinkled in along the way (that is if you’re counting the Endless Eight arc as separate episodes).
So if you’re one of the few out there who haven’t watched this series, now is your chance. Like other series, the series is available in its entirety to premium users in Americas, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Turkey, Sweden, the Middle East and Africa. Members with a free account will be able to watch 4 episodes right away with another 4 being added every Friday afterwards until completed.
Regardless of how you feel about the series or the way its been released in the past, there’s no arguing how inescapably popular it is. Though I have to admit that I’ve yet to actually watch this series. I know, I know but I just never got around to watching season 1 and so this season just kind of blew past me as well. Though now that both seasons are waiting for me to stop procrastinating and devote a few nights to crossing this off my list hopefully I can change that in the near future.
Full press release below the cut
Despite so much good stuff being released for the format and how cheap they have gotten, I still haven’t gotten a Blu ray player for myself. I don’t even own an HD TV. For THIS though… I could see myself giving up a lot of things (including small bits of my body) to raise the funds capable of creating an otaku haven worthy of screening this release.
Yes, the big news has finally hit. The otaku comedy that has been keeping fans giggling over Choco Cornets since 2008, Lucky Star, will finally be getting its own Blu ray release later this year in Japan. Which is fine for fans in Japan since they can buy it easily. But what does this have to do with those of us living in the western hemisphere? Well, this box set might not be targeting fans here specifically but you can still be comforted in that even if they can’t see us, Japan knows that we’re there and want us to be happy. Set to be released on May 27th, the Blu ray box set will feature all 24 TV episodes (no OVA included sadly) with full Japanese AND English voice tracks and subtitles.
If that’s not enough for you, 400 minutes worth of extras have also been listed including a 2009 live event Lucky Star in Budokan: Anata no Tame Dakara on 2 discs, notable scenes from the OVA, Lucky Channel in Shin Tokyo Circuit and a compacted version of the Lucky Star live action racing series released last year (which featured the cast members having go cart races – yeah, I didn’t bother to watch either). And what would you expect to pay for these 7 discs of wonderfulness? $4.75? $47.50? Yeah, try closer to $475 (Protip: CDJapan has it listed for $450 if $25 makes any difference to you). But surely Kagami in beautiful, high definition is worth that much isn’t she?
Speaking of which, can I borrow $475 from someone? I promise that I will totally coughprobablynotcough pay you back with coughabsolutelyzerocough interest!
At Izumicon and on the Anime on DVD forums today, David Williams from Sentai Filmworks had some interesting things to say about fan favorite moe drama that I still don’t get Clannad. Thanks to the fan response and the many requests from those same fans, Clannad will be getting a couple of new spring releases. First off, the sequel series Clannad After Story will be getting a re-release in April with a full English dub track. Like previous releases, if you’ve already purchased the subtitle only version a trade in program will be announced in the near future so that you don’t miss out.
Oh but that’s not all! Also announced at the panel, Sentai Filmworks let fans know that they have acquired the Clannad movie and will be releasing it on DVD in March. As with the After Story news, this release will also have a full English dub.
This is pretty awesome news for those who liked Clannad. Not only have they gotten both seasons but now they will be getting the movie, all with full English dubs. In this era, it sure feels like that’s about as close to a jackpot that fans can get these days. Though the rest of us who weren’t as impressed with Clannad will patiently wait for other news to flitter past us, like maybe a Kaichou wa Maid sama DVD release date perhaps?
You know what I like? Polls and rankings. I couldn’t tell you why but I find it endlessly fascinating to find out what viewers in Japan and elsewhere are looking forward to or what was the best series of a given series. Speaking of which, Dengeki Online has released the results of their quarterly online poll revealing what fans enjoyed over the summer (compared to what they were expecting) and the titles which were the most anticipated of the fall. In the summer category, there were few surprises:
(# in brackets indicate anticipation rank)
1. K-ON!! 
2. Seitokai Yakuindomo 
3. High School of the Dead 
4. Mitsudomoe 
5. Sengoku Basara 2 
6. Strike Witches 2 
7. Occult Academy 
8. Legend of the Legendary Heroes 
9. Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi 
10. Nurarihyon no Mago 
11. Giant Killing [Not Ranked]
12. Amagami SS 
13. Black Butler II 
14. Seikirei ~ Pure Engagement ~ 
15. Rainbow [Not Ranked]
Not surprisingly, K-ON!! stayed strong on the top of the chart but beyond that there were some wild changes. Two series (Rainbow and Giant Killing) managed to sneak their way onto the list after being nowhere to be seen originally. Additionally four series completely dropped off after being initially listed: Digimon Xros Wars , Shiki , Asobi ni Iku yo  and Blessing of the Campanella .
What surprised me about this quarter were some of the bigger changes from expectation to result: Seitokai Yakuindomo and Mitsudomoe jumped UP 7 ranks while Strike Witches 2, Seikirei, Amagami SS and Ookami san all dropped 7 ranks. Beyond the two new additions to the list, the biggest jump from anticipation to reality belongs to High School of the Dead which jumped up a whopping 10 ranks.
So what are Dengeki Readers looking forward to watching for the fall season?
1. A Certain Magical Index II
2. My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute
4. Squid Girl
5. Star Driver
6. Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge
7. Sore no Otoshimono: Forte
8. Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector
9. Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
10. The World God Only Knows
11. Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
12. Letter Bee Reverse
13. Togainu no Chi
14. Hakuouki Season 2
15. Yosuga no Sora
16. Iron Man
17. Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls
18. Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
20. Motto To Love Ru
Can’t disagree with most of those rankings though I might have placed My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute and Squid Girl a bit higher while dropping Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru and Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt completely off the list. Like all the way to the top but that’s just me. What about you? Agree with the rankings? Wildly disagree?
<Via Dengeki Online>
At the end of the second bonus episode of K-ON Season 2, a special announcement went up announcing that a full length K-ON movie would be released. The announcement was made official with a graphic going up on the series website The movie came as a surprise to everyone including at least one of the voice actresses but this is still quite happy news for the legions of fans who weren’t quite ready to let this series go.
I’m excited for this but of course my pessimistic side is a little concerned as well. Season 2 was already jumping the shark by stretching out into 26 episodes, will there be enough story to fill an entire movie? Luckily my other side has already jumped up to smother the first side with a pillow so I can go back to my happy moe place.
I never thought I’d say this but thank you Kyoto Animation for doing at least a little something during the slow news week!
Tachumaru Zukan SD : A series will launch in October which re-imagines various franchises created by Tatsunoko Productions through the 70’s and 80’s as SD characters combined with cute animals. Animation will be produced by Tatsunoko Productions (Casshern Sins, Gatchaman, Ogan Senshi Gold Raitan) and the official website features three characters which will be featured in the series. – This was the only new anime to get announced this week. Wow I can’t wait for the new season to get here if it means more than just this gets announced.
Linebarrels of Iron : I’m including this in the new anime section but no one actually knows if the series will be getting a new anime. In the October issue of Champion Red, it was announced that Linebarrels of Iron will be taking part in a big project which will be revealed next month. New anime? OVA? Manga series? Your guess is as good as mine.
IN OTHER NEWS
Kyoto Animation Wants New Anime : Kyoto Animation knows that new anime ideas need to be brought to the surface and it’s going to make it happen damn it! The studio (possibly delirious from K-ON cash) has launched a new original project initiative section on their website. The idea is that the studio will choose a theme which creators at the studio will then turn into their own anime ideas. Fans will get to vote on which ideas they like the best and want to see developed. The first theme to be chosen: KyoAni Sisters (stories about four sisters).
Additionally, Kyoto Animation has also announced the return of their Kyoto Animation awards which allows fans to submit their own ideas in novel, manga and scenario categories. Winners will get to have their ideas maybe, possibly turned into a real project if the studio feels like it along with a cash prize. Last year the studio held the contest only to announce in April that NO winners whatsoever were to be chosen.
Surprisingly no one complained (at least loudly enough for it to be made public) but KyoAni are still covering their asses in the rules this year by stating clearly: there is no guarantee that a grand prize winner will be chosen and the studio will hold the copyright on any winning idea. If you still want to take your chances at winning a couple of thousand dollars and see your creative work turned into something (providing the judges don’t think it, you know, sucks), you can read all about it on the official website.
Titan Rain Out, Stereoscopic In : At a general stockholder meeting, the parent company of Production I.G and Xebec; IG Port, revealed that their upcoming anime project Titan Rain has been canceled due to delays. Storm Lion, a company in Singapore collaborating on the project, will shoulder the costs of the cancelation. In the same meeting they also announced that will be working on a large scale children’s movie using stereoscopic 3D animation. – And they also recently opened a pizza joint in their building so hey, good news all around!
BACK AT HOME
Blassreiter Complete Collection – 11/2 (49.98)
Oh! Edo Rocket Season 1, Part 1 – 11/2 (49.98)
Oh! Edo Rocket Season 1, Part 2 – 11/2 (49.98)
Gunslinger Girl II: Teatrino [Viridian] – 11/2 (39.98)
Tsubasa, Reservoir Chronicles Season 2 [Viridian] – 11/9 (49.98)
Comic Party Revolution Complete Series [SAVE] – 11/9 (19.98)
Initial D Stage 1, Part 2 – 11/16 (29.98)
Sekirei Complete Series – 11/23 (49.98)
Girls Bravo Complete Series – 11/23 (49.98)
Kaleido Star Season 1 Collection – 11/23 (39.98)
Armitage III Movie Collection – 11/23 (29.98)
Birdy the Mighty: Decode Part 2 – 11/30 (59.98)
So, does this help your holiday shopping? Lots of titles will be coming out around Black Friday for fans to pick up for cheap (I personally push you towards Kaleido Star but that’s just me).
Fans on both sides of the US received a bit of excitement this week when US theatrical premieres and screenings were announced for both the dark sci-fi King of Thorn and the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movies this week. In the east, the Japan Society has announced the lineup for their Japan Cuts Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema taking place the first half of July in New York. Among the 20 films listed in the press release, the US premiere for the sci-fi thriller King of Thorn will be taking place on July 11th at 6pm. To get the more up to date information on tickets and venues, visit the official website. The futuristic thriller spent 2009 in the film festival circuit before opening in Japan on May 1st and getting largely ignored in theaters.
Meanwhile, for those of us on the other coast and can’t make it to New York the US premiere of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya has been announced for June 24th at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 theater in LA. Unlike the previously mentioned film, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya was released to Japanese theaters in Feb. and managed to pull in the equivalent of over $7 million US in eight weeks. I’m sure there are conclusions we can draw from this but I’ll allow you to come up with your own.
The movie will be shown in its original Japanese with appearances from the English dub cast (which would make more sense if they were premiering the dub but whatever), Cristina Vee and prizes being offered to fans and cosplayers from Bandai, Yen Press and Crunchyroll. Tickets went on sale yesterday and so if you plan on attending this event I suggest you contact the theater and get yourself set up early. The movie had its first US premiere in San Francisco starting May 21st lasting through this weekend at the Viz Cinema.
So I live too far away from both of these places to plan on attending. Though if I had the choice I’d much rather find a way to get to New York to see King of Thorn. Man, they get to have all the fun on the east coast! Oh wait… no they don’t.
Updated: Corrected info re: Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya US premiere. Apologies for the error.
Over the weekend, the latest issue of Shonen Jump announced that Kyoto Animation would be adapting the 4 panel gag manga, Nichijou, into an anime. And once again, that was it. No word on when or how the anime would be released, just that it would be. Luckily, a notice was sent to retailers just a few hours later with a bit of additional information. It’s still not entirely clear on if Nichijou will be getting a full TV adaptation but it will at least be getting an OAD which will ship with Vol. 6 of the manga in January 2011.
Listening to reactions over the weekend, it seems like most people are on board for this though many question Kyoto Animation’s ability to a surreal slice of life comedy with flat, round character designs into marketable moe bait. To which I reply: Lucky Star and K-ON.
That isn’t to say that I didn’t finish and enjoy the first season to some extent. I actually did finish the entire first season and sat through every story arc that is had to offer. I took in Tomoya’s painful confession in the rain, Fuko’s quest to give her carvings to everyone in school, Kotomi’s struggle with being alone and Kyou struggling to come to terms with her feelings. And every so often Clannad would do something dramatic and make my mood inch dangerously close to touched… moved even. Most of the time though, I found myself giggling at the most inappropriate times and eventually leaving the series with a very mediocre eh feeling.
And it all starts with that first scene in the rain. Tomoya and Nagisa are together, the atmosphere is grey, the music swells and Tomoya makes his big confession and I laughed. A lot. Because the moment felt so incredibly over the top to me that I couldn’t take it seriously. Perhaps this soured me on whatever else Clannad wanted to show me but I’d rather not admit just how far I got into this series before it dawned on me that I wasn’t watching satire. When everyone gathered and Fuko got her wish, it would be hard for anyone to not feel the happiness pouring out of the scene. The moment is almost perfect and everything is going great, but then the series shifts back into its previous patterns and I would be right back aboard the SS Laughing at the Wrong Moments.
I’d like to think that I haven’t become an entirely heartless person in the last couple of years. There are still plenty of series that I can go to and know that I will still be able to have a genuine emotional experience from it. I still love watching anime melodrama and so perhaps this was just my one off series. I’ve already concluded that watching Clannad: After Story will probably not be in my best interests. I might end up watching this series again someday when I’ve entered a new phase of my life and see if the journey of Kotomi’s teddy bear ever comes across as amazing as every character wants you to believe it is. But for now, Clannad is another series in the list of titles that leave me baffled. Others may rave about this as the peak of Kyoto Animation’s forays into moe melodrama but instead I’m left staring and wondering what little detail in the big picture am I not seeing.