Skipping over a bunch of new season stuff in favor of getting to some other new season stuff I can actually talk about. Don't have much to say about Gingitsune. It's perfectly acceptable but nothing I care about. I won't be watching any of this season's sequels, save for Teekyu 3, due to never watching or completing any of the previous seasons. So no Keroppi's Basketball or Valvrave or Hajime no Ippo or Pie Brain or Beatles White Album: Hard Day's Night Harder.
Also, no Gundam Model Builder You Will Buy More Toys Consumer Lackey, because Gundam sucks.
Also Also, I'll post about all the noitaminA stuff in the next post. Spoiler: That stuff was kinda awesome.
NON NON BIYORI
You know what I hate most about anime? It isn't moe girls. It isn't talking around the plot. It isn't shitty action choreography and cinematography. It's cats playing pianos.
These "people do nothing in a small town because small towns fucking suck" anime series almost always have a soundtrack consisting of someone slapping a piano key every now and then. This shit sounds like someone took their cat, tossed some cat treats on the ivories, and recorded whatever came out of the piano as the cat pranced around the keys eating said treats. There's probably some music studio over in South Korea where they do all of the actual animation for these series that specializes in this sort of mass-produced music. They have a bunch of cats caged up, and when one of the anime companies says "We need cat piano music," they let the cat out and place a few scraps of food on the piano below its cage. Then, once they get whatever they need- which is usually just a few keystrokes- they swish the cat back into its cage with a broom.
That's what you're supporting if you like Non Non Biyori. You're supporting sweatshop conditions for cats.
I guess stuff happened in this show, but I wouldn't know because I was put into a coma once the cat piano music ceased. I only recently awoke, thus explaining the lateness of this post.
I wasn't really expecting anything out of this one. All the stuff I read ahead of time said it was about cycling, something I really don't care about one way or the other, so I didn't really intend to watch it in the first place. Then I saw peeps saying it was decent or whatever, so I gave it a try.
Yep, it's pretty decent.
I like the main kid. He's an awkward nerd, but he isn't a mopey, whiny, self-loathing nerd. He isn't that girl from Watamote, whose awkwardness gets funneled into passive-aggressive rage towards people who simply don't know she exists. He's goofy and embarasses himself, but he can laugh it off. I can relate to this kid's awkwardness way more than I can with characters like Watamote's lead.
The gags work, the pacing is good, and all in all I enjoyed this thing. I have no idea if I'll keep at it, since the cycling angle is something that doesn't really interest me, but for now I'm digging the overall vibe of this show. I'll keep at it for another episode or two to see how things play out.
ARPEGGIO SOMETHINGSOMETHING BOAT LOOKS LIKE A LADY
Submarine and boat CG: Pretty acceptable.
Character CG: Barf.
The thing with CG is that you have to swing to the extremes for it to be tolerable. You can be ultra-cheap and stilted and primitive-looking and you'll have a certain sort of charm. Look at Popee or that ancient CG used in old music videos- that shit has an appealing aesthetic. It might not be technically appealing, but it has style. Then you have the other end of the spectrum with theatrical stuff like Pixar or whatever. That shit looks good. Usually.
But yeah, the middle ground of 3D computer animation is a wasteland of apocalyptic mediocrity. You can get away with background details or big mechanical shit with that level of computer stuff, but the actual character designs just aren't gonna translate into something with this level of budget. You aren't gonna get the variety of facial expressions that are sorely needed when it comes to 3D animated characters. With 2D stuff, you just need some clever tricks with the ways the eyes and mouths are drawn. We're talking about a few simple pen strokes. With 3D, yeah, you need some real minute detailing that you just aren't gonna get from a TV anime.
That said, Arpeggio ain't bad. It starts us in the middle of the action with boats and submarines blowing up stuff. There's a neat scenario, what with the seas being dominated by some invading force and telecommunications between nations all but destroyed. It's the world right before the ultimate collapse of society- it's more Mad Max than The Road Warrior, and that's something we don't always see. We usually see the world well after the fall, so getting this angle where the world could rein itself in and save everything is pretty cool.
But really? Boats and submarines with AIs that take the form of girls? I can get anthropomorphizing the AIs. I can get that some of the would appear as women or girls or whatever. But all of them? Were all of these boats programmed by alien/dimensional/whatever otaku computer tech nerds or something? There wasn't a single person on the development team that was more interested in a dude AI or a cat AI or a flatworm AI? So you're saying everyone who made these boats had the same narrow fetish?
Lame, man. Lame. Wherever these boats come from, their nerds are lame.