Technique is More Important than Speed – Stringed Makes Excuses and Talks About Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt

Funny how that line could describe this blog. Except I have neither speed nor technique.

So guess who just recovered from a massive case of burnout? Between my last post and now I struggled to watch anything, really. But Durarara!! cured me of that. I’m only on episode 9, so I don’t have much to say on it. I have an idea for a post after I finish it that I’ll have to do a little outside research for, though. That should be good if I get off my ass and make it happen. I also still need to finish Le Chevalier D’Eon and I continue to apologize for being the most irresponsible blogger ever.

So, what’s today’s topic about? Because I’m so original, I’ll be talking about what pretty much everyone else is talking about; Panty and Stocking With Garter Belt episode 1. Maybe this time I’ll actually watch all of it as it comes out.

When I first heard the title and plot synopsis I figured it would be a typical fanservice show. Then I saw the character designs. From there I was curious. It sounded like it could be really good or really bad.

So what is Panty and Stocking? It’s Gainax’s newest anime, in which two angels who were kicked out of Heaven have to collect coins that they obtain by defeating Ghosts if they want to be accepted back into Heaven. Panty, however, is more interested in having sex with as many men as she can, and Stocking’s focus lies with desserts. Their boss, a priest by the name of Garterbelt who is a large black man with an afro, has the duty of keeping them on task. The setting is a city that lies on a fault-line between Heaven and Hell and thus gets attacked by evil spirits frequently. The show is entirely in Powerpuff Girls-esque art and animation, which is a godsend given the first monster is made out of shit and that would look nauseatingly gross in any more of a realistic style.

I mean seriously

So, how did I feel about it? So far so good. I think the pacing is a strong point here; if it’s going to be monster of the week throughout, a solid allegro pace like the first episode displays will be crucial in keeping it entertaining. The animation is quite a treat to look at, too. I often found myself neglecting to read the subtitles for a couple seconds here and there because I was too busy watching things move.
I’m also finding the characters interesting thus far. We don’t have much info on them yet, but the fact that Panty and Stocking are more interested in sex and sweets than earning their way back into Heaven is curious, and I’m hoping the series will reveal why they’re even bothering to try to get back (since I can kind of guess why they were kicked out). Also why is Garterbelt helping them? They do have some mysteries to them, which makes them entertaining past their amusing but flat personalities.

I really liked the transformation sequence

I wonder why

The only thing I’m not loving as much as others seem to be is the juxtaposition of a “cartoony” style with adult themes. That isn’t anything new or special and it’s a weak gimmick to rely on. I hope the series doesn’t end up using that as a crutch too heavily.

It will be fun to see where this goes.

Fall 2009 Update #2: Armed Librarians: Book of Bantorra and Kimi ni Todoke

What’s this? Two updates so close together! Preposterous! I’m going to actually try to keep this thing updated somewhat regularly.

The subject matter this time around is my first impressions on my other two fall 2009 series, Armed Librarians: Book of Bantorra, and Kimi ni Todoke. I’ll start with Armed Librarians, since I watched it first.

I really like the tanned girl 3

I really like the tanned girl ❤

The basic plot of Armed Librarians is a bit hard to summarize from just the first episode, because it did a lot of throwing terms at you and not explaining them. From what I could gather from ep. 1 and the preview guide, it’s something like this: The Church of Drowning in God’s Grace has a lot of power, and they are horribly immoral. They have started enslaving humans and turning them into “Bombs”, which is exactly what it sounds like. These people have pretty much given up on life. The group that opposes them are the Armed Librarians. They also guard “books”. In this series, when someone dies, their soul fossilizes and becomes a “book” that people can “read” by touching it. The Armed Librarians protect these and fight the Church.

Well, Katie, the other writer for this blog, had told me that Armed Librarians was crap, but I’d already downloaded ep. 1, so I figured I’d give it a shot anyway. She’d only gotten through the first half or so before dropping it, and I can quite honestly see why.  It was pretty depressing and pretty hard to follow for the first half, without really making you want to follow it. I can’t stand dropping something in the middle of an episode, though, so I kept going with it into the second half.

The second half got far more interesting. The first half was comprised mostly of a group of Armed Librarians on a boat trailing a ship of the Church. One of the bombs jumps overboard, and one of the Librarians goes to help him, but he explodes because that’s what bombs do. Then there’s a big bomb attack and a battle with a lot of usage of terms that aren’t explained, and a ridiculously emo scene with one of the “Meats” (which I assume are people that are being conditioned to become Bombs but aren’t Bombs yet) falling overboard as the ship sinks and not doing anything to save himself, not even grabbing onto something when he’s placed on it.

But the second half is drastically better. Stuff on the Armed Librarians’ side is actually explained, like the thing about what “books” are. And that really pretty tan girl showed up. I like her already. I don’t have much else intelligent to say about Armed Librarians, so in short, I like where it seems to be going, but I can’t say I’m sold just yet. I neither approve nor disapprove of Armed Librarians.

As for Kimi ni Todoke? I have not “d’awww!”-ed at an anime so much in the course of one episode in a LONG time, if ever.  It’s a shojo series, but a good one. The basic plot is that Sawako Kuronuma is an outcast in her school. Everyone thinks she’s creepy, can see and summon ghosts, etc. They go so far as to call her Sadako after the character from The Ring. None of this is true, though. Sawako is a sweet girl that just wants to get along with the others, but they misunderstand her. Well, all except for a boy in her class named Kazehaya. This boy makes an effort to be nice to her, and romance begins to blossom…

This is so cute. I love how believable the characters are. Even Sawako isn’t 100% isolated; she has a friend in a different class. The other students aren’t all total jerks, either. Kazehaya is nice, but not really perfect either. He’s too shy to admit that he likes Sawako, even though it’s blatantly obvious to the viewer. Good shojo is a bit of a rarity anymore, now that shojo’s Golden Age is in the past (The 70’s produced some amazing shojo manga and anime. Rose of Versailles, From Eroica With Love, etc…). Finding legitimately good, well-written shojo is a rare treat, and oh so very satisfied. Also the art style is unique and I really like it. The artwork and animation in the OP are especially gorgeous, hence why I included a video of it. I approve of Kimi ni Todoke.

Summer 2009 Anime Thoughts \\ Part 1

lolol i don’t feckin’ know.

Anyways, it’s time for Owari’s Whenever the Hell she Feels Like it Summer 2009 Anime Thoughts! I honestly doubt I’ll be able to do anything about when I post whenever I post, because I’ll post whatever I feel like posting when I feel like I should post some stuff. I’ll probably be kinda busy with IRL things around Fall 2009, so even though I’ll be keeping up with anime airing and such, I’m not sure if I’d have much to say. I could probably make ~2 posts a week if I really wanted to, I’m sure I could think of something to talk about. To be honest, though, I haven’t had anyone inside my room besides my siblings, at least not for a long time, so I started to fill it up with anime-related stuff (posters, mini-figures, wallscrolls, and the like, even some Megami posters) and all of a sudden, one of my sister’s friends is staying here for a week. Being as me and both of my sisters share a room, but one of them is away at college, she’s staying in this room.

Not that there are any other rooms in the house, why the hell do you think three girls would share a room otherwise? I don’t think I’ll be able to experience the joy of having what’s truly my own room until at least after I get out of college. If I had the money for it, I’d be sure to fill it with lots of my weeaboo/nerd stuff. I really am looking forward to living alone, and not having to be bothered about anything by anyone and just living peacefully with a job and maybe a pet or two or something like that. But, I digress.

In any case, yeah, I haven’t seen every anime this season, so if there’s a show you really like that you think I should be watching, then tell me, or something. These are just the ones I’m actively following.

Now first, and foremost, we have Umineko No Naku Koro Ni, directed by Studio DEEN. Now, I’ve read it, all four of the Question arcs, so you can’t really…uh, spoiler me. I’ve seen the preview for the first answer arc, and I kinda have a few things to say about it, but for the fear of bringing several fantastical arguments into this, I’m not going to bother.

The reason I consider this ‘first and foremost’ is not because I thought it would be the best anime this season. It’s great, but….in comparison to the visual novel, it’s pretty damn weak. As of right now, I’ve seen two episodes’ worth…and, while it does manage to instill some of the sympathy you had for all of the people involved in the shed incident, alive or dead….it only really gives you a little for George and Shannon, which is a pity. And even then, not really-people aren’t gonna feel some sorrow for some guy who wasn’t quite presented well enough for you to get to know all of his motives.

But the real thing I like about Umineko is the fact that it’s both a mystery, and at the same time, it has fantastical elements. But, at the same time, they don’t necessarily exist on the same plane, and you have to use the elements of fantasy and the few stated truths to try and put together a truth behind everything that happened on Rokkenjima. Honestly, if you really want my opinion, watching the anime’s not that much of a big deal-if I could get the readers to do one thing, it’d be to read the visual novel over watching the anime.

But the anime does have its benefits. Hell, the reason I started watching the anime was because I just wanted to see how it would be animated. But, the thing is….I’m just worried the anime’s gonna attract the kind of fans that Higurashi seemed to attract. I wouldn’t call it quite the majority, but…there was a certain portion of Higurashi fans that watched it because it was “LoL bLoOdY nD sUsPenSeY oMg!!111” or something like that. I guess you’ll find a certain amount of blood, but based off the scene of the first twilight, it’s going to be just blackish blurs anyways.

But maybe it’s just that it’s kinda lampshaded in the VN, and there’s more emphasis on “Who the hell would do this? This is terrible”…but, to be fair, the anime wasn’t that far off.

I liked both the opening and ending for this show. The ending takes…some…getting used to, but once you’re used to it, you’ll love it. And both have some interesting visuals. But I don’t think you should watch a show for the OP/ED for no reason, as I’ll emphasize with my next review.

Okay. This show…I’ll say it. It’s pretty damn bad. It’s so bad that I don’t know whether to laugh at it or to start banging my head upon a keyboard repeatedly, until all of the keys have been reduced to a fine powder. Maybe I should have done both, and then proceeded to ingest dangerous amounts of caffeine. But it’s so bad, that in a way, it’s good. Who the hell produced this? …Madhouse? Really? I guess they made Chaos;Head, so I suppose they’re capable of making anime that’s just plain bad, but…

By any reviewer standards, though, it is pretty darn bad. You’ve got the main character, who’s this typical shonen hero. As in, a total idiot who has no idea what the hell he’s doing with anything, and has APPARENTLY no inherent ability for whatever the hell it is, because I could hardly even pay attention to what was actually going on, and I just ended up laughing at how ridiculously sacreligious this show is. Seriously, there are a lot of ties-in to…Priests, fighting a mecha that’s called a Testament? And the priest is this guy with a ridiculously overmuscled chest. And the animation is so QUAAAAAAALITY that I’m not even sure how they got away with it.

No, I can’t even bother to remember any of the character names, but I have a feeling the guy’s sister is gonna show up again and be a fucking evil bitch, for whatever reason that I can’t seem to place my finger on, since she didn’t have an on-screen death. And the priest guy is gay, or at least it seems kinda like it. As are some of the bad guys. EXCEPT SOME AREN’T. But, I really can’t seem to think of anything remotely intelligent to say about this, because this is such a stupid show.

However, my main point of interest in this show is the ending theme. It probably has more yuri than the summer ’09 season, and as far as this season goes, it seems like it has more yuri than most seasons I’ve seen, so this is really saying something. But…I haven’t even seen these characters yet. And it’s incredibly unsuiting to the show. The OP is just plain terrible, though, as far as song choice goes, so I guess it actually kinda suits it, in a way.

In any case, I’d only watch this if you’re bored and you want something incredibly fucking dumb to laugh at. Otherwise, just don’t even bother with it at all. I’ll probably get bored at some point and just find it incredibly unfunny and dumb and drop it like a rock, but I thought I would do that with Akikan too, and I ended up liking that, in a way, despite finding it terrible as a show. So, hell, I don’t know, and I don’t think people’ll gain anything from reading this, except knowledge that I can’t take shows like this seriously.

Now, moving onto the next show, Kanamemo. I’d say this is a pretty likable show-it’s certainly nothing near groundbreaking, but it’s pretty damn cute. It’s animated by Feel, and I’m just looking up what they’ve animated now, and I didn’t really know what they produced bevofe that, but those are mostly things I’ve been meaning to watch, and then, on a totally different note, Da Capo, which I couldn’t be less interested in. Even for a generic harem, it always looked kinda…mediocre for that.

As to the actual plot? It just seems to be more of a setup to show the crazy interactions of six girls living together, as is common in the slice-of-life genre. But, even for a slice-of-life, it has quite a bit of yuri fanservice, which can only be seen as a good thing, at least from my perspective, ’cause I’m a pretty hopeless fangirl. (Especially between Yume and Yuuki-hell, they even kiss each other! I just hope that they don’t come up with some bullshitted reason and then try to feign heterosexuality, it’s always so disappointing when that happens.)

But even so, I think my sort of opinion, or anyone’s opinion, is somewhat useless when it comes to Kanamemo. Either you’ll like it, or you’ll find that it’s another run-of-the-mill slice-of-life anime (that was a lot of hyphens.)

So, I went on the internet, to find other people’s opinions of this series. And…I was surprised. A lot of people seem to take issue with Haruka’s behavior. Granted, a lot of these people are the kind of people who weren’t really sure what they were getting into when they were watching it, but I personally can’t be bothered by it at all. Actually, I like Haruka, even though she’s not really original, per se, being the classic drunken lolita complex 20-year-old, she’s a fun character. Although, after seeing episode 2, I do have to wonder if she even delivers papers, or if she’s supposed to just be looking after the other five young girls she’s taking care of.

But that goes into my opinion on characters’ behavior that would be fine in a show is fine in a show, and that you don’t need to apply how these people act in real life. Like, yeah, if there was someone like Haruka going around my town, collecting preteen girls and groping them in various ways and being the only guardian for these five kids who already have a job, despite illegally, because you have to be at least 15 to work even with a permit, I’d be worried about these kids too. But this is anime. It’s not real life, so I don’t think these are the kinds of things that people need to be connecting in their head. I guess this is only my opinion, though, and I know that, despite this, there are going to be people who disagree with me, so really, you can go ahwad and think whatever you want.

So now, I’m going to move on to a show that was pretty much utterly mediocre. And, that is…

Yeah, this show. It’s pretty much a relatively generic magical girl show, probably has some loli fanservice…only it’s about re-writing code. From the first episode, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be anything special, but it was mildly amusing, so unless it becomes utterly terrible I probably won’t bother dropping it. (It’s what, how long, 12 episodes? For some reason I have much less of a problem watching episodes of shows that aren’t as long even if they’re not quite so good. Not that I mind watching longer shows, but I’m less willing to do so.)

But yeah, I’m kinda interested where the whole topic of writing ‘codes’ is gonna go…what, is this girl gonna know how to rewrite the C++ holding people together? That doesn’t even really make sense, but if I could mess with stuff like that, it’d be awesome.

Still pretty generic and nothing special, though, so I’d say skip it unless you really like magical girl anime. And…as for the plot or characters, I don’t have much else to say. They’re okay, I guess…it’s hard to hate characters from one episode of introductions, though.

But, anyways, since I don’t have anything else to really say, I’ll just go on ahead to the next thing I watched…in part two. olololol. No, seriously, Stringed just told me to break it up.