Friday, September 30, 2011

Squid Girl: Impressions

I recently got Media Blaster's dubbed version of Squid Girl (Shinryaku! Ika Musume) in the mail and thought I could spend an entry talking about my thoughts on the show and the dub.

The cutest world invader if there ever was one.
Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when purchasing this show.  I watched one episode subbed when it first came out and thought "You know, there is NO way this will be licensed over here.  Too much Japanese wordplay in action."  I enjoyed the episode, but forgot about the series because I did not want to get my hopes up.  Lo and behold, a few months ago Media Blasters of all licensors decide to not only release Squid Girl stateside, but also give it a dub proper.

Now as for the release itself.  Media Blasters decided to go the "split" route with the release and break off the series into two six-episode installments.  I would have preferred a complete series release, but for some odd reason I am OK with this, perhaps because of another R1 licensor whose releases I feel....well, they've been well documented.  Oddly enough, they decided to put it into two discs instead of one.  One disc holds four episodes, the other holds two.  Curious choice if you ask me.  Squid girl isn't exactly a visual masterpiece and doesn't require hi-definition to enjoy.  Everything could have been crammed into one disc, but it takes up the same space so I guess a complaint would be moot.

Squids ralph ink.  This isn't Panty and Stocking, you know.
Visually, the series is bright, vibrant, and simple.  I know most people see this as a bad point, but I actually enjoy this type of animation the most.  Sometimes I think anime is trying to move more towards animation that just doesn't feel very anime-like.  Anime, in my opinion, needs to be a simple affair, without all the full-motion, 1000 frames per second that it seems to be going towards.  There is a beauty in simplicity.

The dub cast comprises mostly of new talents.  While it would have been nice to see a cast with more familiar voices, the job does get done.  There are some rough patches and it takes a couple episodes to get used to the voices, but my ears weren't offended like they have in the past.  The dub isn't great, but it works and does get better as the series progresses.

As for the's the thing.  As I mentioned earlier, the original Japanese script depends some on wordplay, and most jokes just don't translate well.  Funimation responds to these challenges by making up their own jokes, ala Sgt. Frog and Oh! Edo Rocket, sometimes out and out saying "You know those jokes don't translate over here".  With Squid Girl they try to do their own English puns which sometimes work and sometimes don't.  Ink-vasion isn't bad, but "Con-squid-ilations" is more than a stretch.  Also, it NEVER LETS UP.  I don't think Squid Girl had more than a handful of lines that didn't involve some kind of attempt at wordplay.  So in all honesty, this series is best taken in small doses.  Its not bad, but it does get repetitive.

All that being said, I am looking forward to part two coming out soon.  I wouldn't say I'm waiting for it with baited breath like I am for other series, like Hetalia and Sgt. Frog, but I can say I wasn't completely repulsed by it.  It isn't the funniest (Or should I say 'fin'iest?) series out there, but it is cute and full of charm, so I would say at least check it out!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Animezing Blog's Future Stuff

Hello all!  Maybe Hi-nii is more appropriate.  You know, like Akira from Lucky Star?  Yes?

Anyways, as you can tell, things have been a bit slow going on here the past couple of weeks.  I just want to say that I'm hoping this will change soon.  I really love anime and I love blogging, but I do my best to not bring my personal life into this blog if it isn't anime related.

I am going to be going through some major changes in my personal life (good changes! (I hope)) here in a couple weeks and I am not entirely sure what that means in terms of this blog.  It's not going away, that's for sure, but I am uncertain if I will be able to post as often as I would like to.  Ideally, I would prefer to update multiple times a week, maybe even day, but with changes comes more responsibility and with more responsibility comes less free time to tinker on this blog.  I can't promise anything, but in a couple weeks you may be seeing a different form of updating on here, possibly.  I could be wrong and things will go as well as I want them too, but again, I cannot promise anything.  I think I will have a better idea of how things will be in a month's time.  I should be able to at least update a couple times a week, maybe three if I'm lucky. 

I'll try to crank more quality entries out the next couple of weeks that will hopefully tide you over until things settle down. 

Also, slight sidebar, I would love to have a co-author or two on this blog who can update along with me.  It could be a fun opportunity and a chance for people to see your craft as a writer or journalist.  Let me know either in comments or with email and we can go forward from there!

Monday, September 26, 2011

This Week's Watch: 9/18 - 9/24

Author's Note: Sorry for the delay, but I'm having some Internet connectivity problems the last couple of days and it doesn't seem to be an end in sight.

Last week was almost a washout as far as watching anime goes, but I finally got to watching a series on Friday and Saturday, so I can talk about that!

Soul is on the cutting edge of Kishin killing.
This isn't actually the first time I have watched Soul Eater, but it's not a re-watch either.  I started watching the series but stopped a little over half way through and either got distracted or lost interest.  The same thing happened twice with Fullmetal Alchemist, so I decided to try it out again and make it through the entire thing.  I'm about 3/4 the way through and I just can't seem to get as excited as I was at the beginning of the series.  Some series has this lull in the middle where it's either filler or not as exciting as the first or last part.  That's not to say I don't like it, but I think cutting about 10 or so episodes of this series would have been a good call.
Death the Kid uses the same weapons I favor in Counter-Strike: Source!
What I love about Soul Eater is the style.  It look like an anime with some Tim Burton influences.  The colors and animation are bright and vibrant and it is hard to look away while the show is being played.  I'm super surprised there hasn't been a TV deal with this series over here because I think it would kill, no pun intended.

So that was my week, what did you see this week?  Comment below!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Poll of the Week: Movies Vs. Series Vs. OVAs

This is a poll all about length.  How long do you enjoy your series?  Do you prefer the movie, the series, or the OVA way of telling the story?  Vote and comment below!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

This Week's Watch: 9/11 - 9/17

Another week with little anime watching.  I spent most of the week asleep or with my head in a tissue.  I did manage to watch my weekly episode of Durarara with my chat group last night, but that's it.  Not all weeks are winners, but I have a couple of promising leads for this week, I hope.

So please tell me your week was filled with more anime than mine.  PLEASE!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Poll of the Week: Averages

How many hours of anime do you watch a week, on average?  This isn't the most interesting topic, but I'm curious to see what people say.  Some weeks you get to watch a lot more than other weeks, so just make an approximation on an average.  Click away!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

This Week's Watch: 9/4 - 9/10

This was a poor week for me again.  As you can tell with my update regimen, I've been a little busy this past week and also feeling under the weather.  When I'm sick, I find it harder to watch anime, especially when you watch a series where you need to pay attention.  Even with a rewatch, I prefer to know where I am at as far as the plot goes.  This is the time of year where my head starts to bother me and I just feel like curling up and sleeping 36 hours a day, if you get my drift, but life and work do not smile on the sick.  Neither does anime, for that matter.  I glutted myself on anime last week with the anime-versary, but just was not up to watching much this week.  I do watch an online series which I would like to share with you today, though.

Most people probably remember the Pokemon anime more fondly than they remember. Like anything you enjoyed as a kid, when you rewatch something, it sometimes doesn't resonate as much over time.  Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I love that show and it was a major part of my childhood, but it seems a tad bit over the top to my adult self.  However, Pokemon was infamous for its 4kids dub, sometimes overstepping its bounds a bit too much.  One web series is out to point out the errors and logical mistakes of the series, and it is called WTF, Pokemon.  Every Saturday hosts Youko and Swordhunter break down an episode into what is called the "bottom 5" ranging from the picky to the blatantly obvious errors of the show.  It's both hilarious and informative of the changes from the video game, to the anime, to the english dub.  Check it out right now on or youtube!

What did you watch the last week?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Poll of the Week: Adaptation Choice

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, adaptations of media into anime or vice-versa, I wanted to see how you felt between these choices.  Which do you like more, when a video game is adapted into an anime, or when an anime is adapted into a video game?

I honestly don't have much of an opinion on the subject, but I'm sure some of you do.  So vote and discuss below!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Based Off the Hit Series...

Recently, Yen Press announced something that got me excited until I actually read the article.  Let me put this in a manner that can only be understood by the age-old medium of emoticons.  At first when I heard that Yen Press was going to publish Durarara, I was all:


Then I read it was the manga and not the light novels, and I was all:


Some small background.  Durarara is the epic anime series that recently was released on DVD and is currently airing on Adult Swim on Saturday night/Sunday morning.  The anime series was based off the light novels.  The manga was released after the light novels, but right before the anime.  In short, I consider the light novels to be the inspiration of the anime series and not the manga, as the manga hasn't really touched on everything the series has during the time of the airing of the anime.  So in essence, I feel the manga as more an afterthought instead of the inspiration of the anime.

This isn't the first time this has happened.  The same is with the Shakugan no Shana series.  The light novels came out, and I consider them to be the main inspiration of the anime series.  There is a manga of the series as well, but it just doesn't feel as important as the light novels, especially with a series that has so much focus on action.

Other series have this same situation.  The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Hayate the Combat Butler (The light novels being the lesser of the two in that case), Spice and Wolf, and several others have this problem.  One medium just isn't respected as much.  In all the cases, at least in my experience, that has yet to fall on the anime adaptation.  This is more of a fight between light novels and manga.  Sometimes it is based off a preference, I know, but for the most part, there is the main attraction, and then the "Did you know there is a manga of the series too?"  "Oh.  That's nice.". 

Do you understand what I am talking about?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

When a Series Comes to a Climax

Several anime features that part that really defines the series, the turning point or the portion that most people talk about.  Not every series does a climax, but some do it, and it is done effectively.  Two of my personal favorite ones are from the same creator.

From Baccano, a flamethrower!
Baccano's climax is probably my all-time favorite.  From episode 12, the next to last episode, several storylines are coming to a head, all at the second half of the episode.  It is indescribable and I don't want to spoil anything but any fan of the series will tell you this is THE reason you love the series so much, the last half of this episode.  You would be hard-pressed to find someone who didn't think that.

Celty loses her head in this episode!
From the same creator and recently aired this past Saturday on Adult Swim, Durarara's climax hits during episode 11, which I feel is the best episode of any anime released in the America's this year.  I have yet to see a scene that excites me as much.  Sure, you are not even half-way through the series, but even so, I did not feel the excitement with the other storylines like I did with this scene, proving that the best climax isn't always towards the end of the series, though it is towards the end of the first major arc of the series.

The kiss of bliss...and shame!
One last one is an unsung hero in the anime world called Oh! Edo Rocket.  Towards episode 18-20 you get to the climax of everything.  Every main plot thread comes together in perfect harmony which, again, is hard to describe without spoiling it.  But the series continues on for several more episodes after that, leading to another climax that had both major redemption and betrayal aspects.  Seriously?  How can this series not be more popular than it is?  I need to do a review over it soon.

Some series do provide some semblance of a climax, but most are minor or not really much of one at all.  I will say that when you experience one, seeing everything come together, coming to a head, and makes you writhe in anticipation for the next episode or the rest of the series, there is no feeling like that.  Most modern American shows have failed at this aspect, but I think it is essential to have a well done climax for a series to be regarded as high as they are.

Which series provides a fun climax for you?  How about the ones I mentioned?  Sound off below!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

This Week's Watch: 8/28 - 9/3

Another week has gone by and what a week of anime it was!  I have watched so many different series this week, more than I usually do, and I have a lot to talk about for future entries.  This week I tried a little bit of everything, like comedy, romance, mecha, and adventure.  Out of everything I have watched, I am forced to pick just one that stood out above the rest.  That will be difficult, but I already decided which one it is before I typed this up just so it wouldn't take me long to type it up.  And the honor goes to:

2011 Anime-versary in Review!

Just so you know, here are a full list of entries I wrote this week just for this occasion:

The beginning
Anime I enjoyed before I was into anime
School Rumble anime review
Evangelion 1.11 impressions
Some gripes from an anime fan
The series I cannot finish

Here is a list of anime I watched over the course of the week:

A few episodes of Pani Poni Dash
A few episodes of School Rumble
A few episodes of Sgt Frog
All of Genshiken
Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone
A couple episodes of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei
All of Fullmetal Panic: Brotherhood

So here we are, the final entry.  It won't be anything long or complicated, but just some things I noticed this week that I dedicated to anime.  This year's theme was "Outside your comfort zone" with new additions of Evangelion and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.  They are not the typical kinds of anime that I watch.  Usually I stick more along the lines of the first few on the list.  Comedy series or romantic comedies.  That is my vice. 
Madarame FTW!
Genshiken I have seen before, but it is a series I appreciate more and more the further I get into anime fandom.  The comedy is hit and miss, but I appreciate the slice-of-life parts of the show that make the characters shine.  I will have to do a proper review of the series sometime.

Evangelion was about what I expected as far as mecha anime goes, but it did a good enough job that I will go ahead and watch the other movies as they come out.  I haven't changed my mind about mecha anime, or ones heavily mecha-based, but I can appreciate some of the underlying themes and characterizations that the series is trying to present.
Some call it emo, I call it steampunk!
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood would probably be the surprise of the week as far as I'm concerned.  I saw the original Fullmetal Alchemist and was not too impressed.  Some parts of it was good, but some of it seemed odd, and now I know why.  The parts I found weird were deviated from the manga, not that I've read it.  This is an example of a series that should NOT have deviated from the manga.  Brotherhood surpassed the original by far in my opinion.  I actually found myself compelled to watch one episode after another, unlike the previous series which took me at least three separate occasions to finish.

As I said, I spent most of the week going outside my comfort zone and I found that some of it is actually quite fun!  There are series I know I could never get into, but I will try harder to not let my preconceived notions hinder me from at least trying a series out or research into it.  I will try to do this more as time goes on.  I may be taking some time off from anime after this, but this week was a ton of fun!

So that concludes the anime-versary 2011 festivities on here.  So now we go back to our regularly scheduled programming, possibly in progress.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Poll of the Week: Which Fullmetal is King?

This is simple really, and I bet that this will be another landslide, but which anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist do you prefer?  Old flavor Fullmetal Alchemist or newer flavor Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.  Both have their merits, I'm just curious about what others think.  Comment below!

Last week's poll, Sgt. Frog Dub or Sub had a decisive victory for the Dub.  Another, or possibly the same mysterious voter voted and I thank him or her for that. 

The Series I Cannot Finish

There is a series I am having trouble finishing.  Don't get me wrong, I actually love it.  That's actually the reason I am having a hard time finishing it, if that makes any sense at all.

This entry just may be the ramblings of a madman, so feel free to consider me a oddball.  Everyone else does!

One of the only mecha series I can stand would be one called Full Metal Panic.  I actually really love the series and the mecha parts I can usually ignore.  I feel it is more of a character story with bit and pieces of action here and there.  For those of you who don't know, Full Metal Panic is divided as of this writing into three series.  The first, simply titled Full Metal Panic, is the introductory storyline and shows off all the elements that makes the series great.  Riveting action with some war drama, mixed with horribly hilarious misunderstandings from a soldier's warped mind.  The series is 24 episodes of fun and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a little bit of everything in their entertainment.

The third series is call Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid.  I know it seems odd to call the series "The Second Raid" when it is the third series, but roll with it.  You can actually consider it the true sequel to the original Full Metal Panic as it incorporates the same elements as the first, but with less emphasis on the humor and more on angsty teen drama.  It isn't a bad series by any means, but it can be slow at times.  I only recommend it to the people who have seen the original series and wants more of the same.  It is only 13 episodes long, but it is well made, and one of my favorite box sets as far as aesthetics go.

Huh?  You had to double check and see if I mentioned the second series anywhere?  Well, I haven't, until now.  The second series is called Full Metal Panic Fumoffu.  Unlike the others, this series focuses more on the humor aspects and does not really contain any serious drama in it at all.  It is, quite simply, one of the funniest series I own.  While it helps to have a background for the series, it isn't necessary and is great fun for anyone who love humor, especially slapstick.  There is just one problem with the series.

I can't finish it.
An army of Bunta-kuns!
I wish I could explain why, at least in a way that makes sense.  It's like a kid who gets a box of chocolates for Christmas.  The kid never gets chocolate and the chocolate is of very high quality and he knows it.  He wants to save the chocolates for a special occasion.  Eat some now, and save some for later, as they are hard to come by.  Several years pass and your chocolate is...urm...growing foliage.  Or like how I have to travel at least 75 miles to get some soda that does not get sold in my area and only buy a couple dozen and try to stretch them out as long as I can, before the expiration date.  Does this make any sense to anyone?

He blew up a shoe locker.  No, I am for real.
That is how I feel about Fumoffu.  I'm afraid of finishing it and poof!  No more new stuff.  No more Full Metal Panic.  No more laughs.  Nothing new to discover.  I'm saving them for a horrible rainy day, like if I lost my job and savings, or the death of a loved one.  There they will be, to comfort me and temporarily make me forget my troubles.  I honestly don't know if I will find the series funny any more, or if the new episodes will make me laugh at all.  They may not for all I know.  I just have a feeling that I will find a time when watching those will help me.  I'm just saving them for later.  As I also said, I'm afraid of not finding anything like that again.  I mean I have all sorts of comedy anime: Sgt. Frog, Hetalia, School Rumble, Oh! Edo Rocket, Pani Poni Dash, and others, but nothing will reach the level of Fumoffu.

Has anyone else done this before?  Am I simply delusional?  Share your thoughts in the comment area below!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Some Gripes From An Anime Fan

Being a fan of anime isn't easy.  You will never find a perfect hobby.  Just give up the thought.  You may love a hobby a lot, but it will never be 100% satisfied with it.  There will always be at least one thing wrong, be it the community, source of the hobby, or financial barriers.  Anime is no different than other forms, like video games or stamp collecting.  I dare you to find a stamp collector that is completely and absolutely satisfied with their hobby.

That being said, for the most part, I am satisfied with my hobby of choice, but that doesn't mean I am oblivious to problems out there. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Evangelion 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone Impressions

One thing I wanted to do this week was go outside my comfort zone as far as anime is concerned.  I tend to stick with comedies, or romantic-comedies, or maybe some drama or slice-of-life genres.  One genre I do not really care for or pay attention to is mecha.  I will go more in to that in a future entry, but the only series I own that has to do with mecha would be Full Metal Panic, though the series does not completely focus on that.  I have tried other mecha series over the years: Vandred, Gurren Lagann, One series where I remember one of the words was Zwei, I think.  None of them appealed to me nor kept my attention.  However, over the couple of years of research, one series was brought up continually and was hotly debated by its fans: Evangelion.