Thursday, December 6, 2012

I wish I could make a separate page just for blog posts.

This sounds silly, but I don't really like doing a whole bunch of what are essentially diary entries in between actual game posts.  But I also don't like there being whole months where I don't post anything.

This wasn't an issue when I was back in high school and had all the time in the world to sit around playing games and writing, but that's not how it is any more; it's tough to dedicate an entire evening to sitting down and writing a decent post.  Moreover, part of why I made this blog was to express thoughts on games and the industry as they came to me, which is more difficult when I'm limiting myself to big writeups.

So in short, everything is 'effed I guess.

Anyway.  Due to bandwidth constraints I'm abstaining from anime until early next year.  I'm finished with Nichijou and Amagami, just about done with Hyouka, and powering through Star Driver when I can.  They're all great shows.

Nichijou is not only just simply entertaining, but it's well-produced.  The animation is great, the music is generally good, and the voice acting really delivers.  I suppose it's a good example of where the resources can go when they're not being put towards making any sort of long-running narrative (though the anime is an adaptation, so that might be a moot point anyway).

Solid gold, baby!

Amagami SS+ is more Amagami.  I really really enjoyed Amagami SS, and Amagami+ is basically an epilogue for each route.  Since they've already established a relationship between Junichi and the girl, there's no pressure to have any development and they can instead just focus on how their relationship has panned out.  I'm undecided on who had the best story.  It was great to see Rihoko finally get her due, since she got the short end of the stick in by a long shot in the main series (she's the only one who fails to end up going steady with Junichi by the end of her arc).  There's also another Miya arc, but it's not so much a Miya arc as it is a girls-only fanservice episode.  But yeah, Amagami SS+ is great if you're down for more Amagami.  I really wish they had released Amagami (the visual novel) on PC.  I would have thought having two anime series would have gotten them enough publicity to consider re-releasing the game (as VNs get re-released quite often, especially higher profile ones), but alas the game remains PS2-only.  I don't even need it to get translated; I'd be willing to work through it as an exercise in polishing my Japanese.  But currently the only way to play it for me is to emulate the PS2 version, which seems like jumping through a lot of hoops.

Best girl.
Hyouka is...weird.  If nothing else, it's incredibly well-produced, like Nichijou (Kyoto Animation really does seem to take pride in their releases).  It's extremely well animated, with surprisingly good cinematography for an animated TV show and expressive movement.  The dialogue is consistently engaging and the show is decently paced, which is more than I can say for most anime that I've seen in the past couple years.  It's a textbook example of how to make an anime that just glimmers with production value.

The odd thing though is that it's not some sort of high-action plot.  It's basically a slice of life show with a bit of light mystery here and there.  Almost none of the mysteries are really that compelling, but I sometimes wonder if that's the point.  The mysteries are usually very mundane in nature, typically based off of everyday mysteries that we all encounter and typically dismiss.  Like one mystery is why some library book has, over the past five consecutive weeks, been checked out on Friday but promptly returned by the end of the day.  Another one has the main character theorizing on the story behind an announcement made over the intercom at school summoning someone to the principal's office.  It's a peculiar show that would not have worked if it wasn't so well executed.  But it's interesting to watch, nonetheless.

Anyone whose seen Star Driver would understand when I say that there's really only one word to describe it, and that is "fabulous."  The show is silly, yet it takes itself just seriously enough to make you wonder if it isn't somehow a commentary on the medium.  I don't think I'm going to give it that much credit, but it is a very interesting show.  The reason why I find this show so...curious, begins with its protagonist Takuto, otherwise known as the "Ginga Bishounen"......or "Galactic Pretty Boy."  Yes, that is what they call him.  Let that sink in for a moment.

There's just so much about this show that is just so odd and wacky, but at the same time, not only do they take it seriously, but they use this backdrop as a vehicle for some legitimate themes, like cheating in relationships and family strife.  And it doesn't hurt that the actual mech battles are usually fantastic, albeit brief.  Like Gurren Lagann, Star Driver kind of feels like a super robot show for the modern era.

So that's what I've been watching.  I've already got my next shows lined up.  I'm gonna see about starting MS Gundam Zeta (either that Victory), and I'm also probably going to blow through Gunsmith Cats and Ano Natsu de Matteru.  For romance, probably Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate.  It looks mediocre to be totally honest, but I'll give it a shot.  The real star for me though, will be Binbougami Ga!  Fuck, that show looks hilarious.  I can't wait.  If it's as awesome as it looks, hell I'll start reading the manga.

I was actually going to talk about what games I've been playing, but then this turned into a huge anime post.  Oh well.

There's a review for Hitman Absolution coming...sometime later.

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