Robotics;Notes - Star Crossed Anime Blog : Star Crossed Anime Blog
Posted on 25 March 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews, Robotics;Notes



After the complete disaster that was Guilty Crown last year, Production IG had to make up for something. They did so with Psycho Pass, that really was one hell of a ride. As for their other 2-cour Noitamina-series this half year, Robotics;Notes… it’s a bit more difficult. And don’t get me wrong: this is in no way as bad as Guilty Crown. It’s much better, but also very difficult to judge. This series is really ambitious… it just doesn’t work.

I actually liked Robotics;Notes in its first half. It had this ambition, yet at the same time it spent a lot of time fleshing out its characters and focusing on believability. It might sound weird to see this from a series that has a large robot on its promotional material, but that’s the point: one of the subplots in this series offers a bit of a deconstruction of Giant Robot building as it takes a look some of the issues of teenagers piloting these things that most other series tend to ignore.

Then there is a subplot about solar storms, a subplot about miniature robot fighting, a subplot about an evil conspiracy, and that list goes on and on. This is what I mean by the ambition: in the first half this show balances all of these subplots together that at first sight don’t seem to have anything to do with each other. This build-up for me was the best part of this series, and it’s always a question of what this show will focus on next… in its first half.

And then its second half comes, and it’s supposed to weave all of these subplots together… and it kinda fails. A lot. In many ways. There are some things that you’d think are related to each other, which actually totally aren’t, and the ones that are related to each other are brought together in such a shoehorned way that it breaks all suspense of disbelief that it has previously built up.

The show basically tries to run through a checklist of all stories that it needs to wrap up, without any care of making them flow into each other. Because of this entire subplots are conveniently forgotten until they are relevant again without much reason. But granted, the stories that it try to tell have some good concepts and ideas behind them. the character-development also works well enough and it has still enough to make it worth watching. And then the finale comes. I have no idea what happened, but things totally go wrong. All of the build-up just gets thrown out of the window and the show turns into a cheesy mess of plot devices. Talk about a let-down.

So yeah, solid show. Bad ending. That makes it really hard for me to recommend this series, because this series doesn’t just have a bad ending, it’s got a bad ending that invalidates much of the earlier build-up. Watch this if you want a different take on Super Robots. But then again, there are enough shows that also do that.
One-Sentence Review: Robotics;Notes is a very ambitious series that juggles around all sorts of stuff, which works well in terms of build-up, but not in terms of pay-off.
Suggestions:
Bokura no
Birdy the Mighty Decode
Dennou Coil

Posted on 24 March 2013 with categories: Robotics;Notes

Well, there you have it. The ending of Robotics;Notes. Did they seriously just do that?

I really dislike these types of endings. I was hoping that they would at least put the focus on the robot battles and all, but that just came second place. No, at the first place in this episodes were the attempts to talk the big evil monster to death. This is exactly why I dislike brainwashing: you take away all free will, and it’s just vague enough to conveniently stop working at right the exact moment. After all that build-up, this sure was a big let-down.

What did the creators really want to show with this series? What was all of the build-up with the realistic looking robots good for? Why did Kimishima Kou really want to wipe out the entire earth and what kind of point would that have made for the story? I think that airing this series aside Psycho Pass was also a bad idea, because of how well that series wrapped itself up. Here we have a solid build-up that eventually just ignores everything and goes to end with a cheesy robot battle… yeah. I did not like this at all.

Judging this one is going to be hard, because by far the worst part of this series is its finale. But yeah, I keep saying that endings are really important for a reason. Perhaps not in the sense of storytelling, but they are the last thing you remember when you think back to a series. Now, when I think back to Robotics;Notes, I will think back to that cheesy ending more than the other parts. It hurts even more that in the end, it never really used its best parts to their full potential (the mecha deconstruction and all).
Rating: 2.5/8 (Lacking)

Posted on 21 March 2013 with categories: Robotics;Notes

Robotics;Notes’ penultimate episode. Its main point was a romantic confession. Why?

I think that that symbolizes my big problem with this series. And don’t get me wrong, I like its ambition. You can really see that this series set out with a mission. It wanted to do so many things, and for that, I give it credit. It just didn’t really work out. I personally really like series in which everything comes together. The more ambitious the better. Robotics;Notes started out with a ton of different side plots and topics. But I see no link between most of them. They all just feel hacked together without much glue, as if they’re about to fall apart at any minute. The confession in this episode: what was the point? Why did it have to take up such an important part right near the end? It established nothing for the rest of the series. The main characters are a couple now, but how much did that change, really?

Also, with this it’s established that the final episode will be a big robot battle. It’s here where some subplots do come together, but if I have to be honest… it does feel rather flimsy here. Like, the creators tried way too hard to set everything up like that. Everything is build up and all, but it feels like some things were done only to get to this particular conclusion. The problem is that it’s not really an interesting one: it just screams been there done that. Was it really worth that build-up? Compare this to Steins;Gate, which meticulously set up ever single one of its plot twists as it went along.

That’s the key of storytelling: balance. There is not one formula to determine what works. You can do things right and wrong, but in the end it all depends on the harmony between all its different elements, and the soft spot is different for everyone. Robotics;Notes got a lot of points for its ambition and realism, but really lost a lot of them in the plot of its second half.
Rating: 3.5/8 (Mediocre)

Posted on 14 March 2013 with categories: Robotics;Notes

So, Robotics;Notes. I really appreciated it when you claimed to try and be as realistic as possible. The fruits of that were really visible in this episode’s best parts. However… don’t pull stupid stuff like what you did in other parts of this episode. Those parts didn’t really work.

The worst one was where the life of a young child was saved by… a parrot. Seriously, I could buy the robots perfectly. It’s part of your setting. But don’t randomly introduce superbirds. That just… makes no sense whatsoever without build-up. Beyond that, there were a few plot twists that didn’t sit right with me. This more has to do with personal taste, though:

– First of all, why did Kimijima Kou find it necessary to tell everyone about his evil plans? What point does it make? He could just kill everyone and have things over with. But then again, nobody could anticipate that damned bird…
– Second of all, brainwashing. I do not like the usage of this as a plot device for having characters do things they wouldn’t do on their own. It takes away all of their free will. It’s like saying “screw our differences, I was just brainwashed and I totally agree with you!”
– Third of all: why did you have to wreck a plane for that?
– Fourth of all, why the robot? The villain here is a bit of data. The focus should be on Frau and Kaito as they use some sort of Killballad H4x0rz to get rid of him or something. Why are the robots useful?
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 5 March 2013 with categories: Robotics;Notes

Whoa, plot twists! With this episode the creators managed to turn the entire plot around. So did it work?

It did, but for some reason I did expect something more out of this series if I have to be really honest. I still can’t really grasp why, but Misa as the main villain still feels flimsy. We know hardly anything about her and why she changed, so when this episode revealed that she was the main villain along with Kimijima Kou… it just felt like something was missing. Just as how Kai blindly accepted what that guy who was obviously the villain was saying.

Still, it’s great to see everything tied together. However, I do have to wonder: why is Subaru in this series? And why is Junna in this series? And most importantly: why did they get so much airtime? When you compare their stories with the rest of the series, they feel… out of place, to the point where the main players here did not get the time they deserved to get fleshed out.
Rating: 4,5/8 (Good)

Posted on 25 February 2013 with categories: Robotics;Notes

And with this we have turned to the final arc of this series, in which we finally take a look at Aki and her sister. It brought in a sudden hint of romance as well now that Aki is in the main picture again (again, this could have been better balanced to take out the harem element because I don’t think it really contributes to much here apart from making Kai a less interesting character. That’s the downside of having a series with so many different plot threads, yet still wanting the main character to poke his nose in everything.

Still, Misa’s part in this episode is something I really liked. Kai really feels shocked by what happened to Mizuka and the creators used that well, only to move over to Misa herself, who seems to have betrayed her job or something…? The answer to that is probably something we’ll get in the next episodes. I really liked the cliff-hanger of this episode and how this showed the tension between Aki and her sister.

Lots of drama seems to have been created around Gunvarrel. This part did not work as well for me today, probably because it’s a part that has been a bit abandoned: how regular people think of Gunvarrel. It just felt too one-sided and forced at this point. I know that it has been stated before that Gunvarrel has had negative publicity, but for me it was a bit too much when everyone just walked away or when people started throwing with cans…
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 20 February 2013 with categories: Robotics;Notes

At the end of the previous episode, there was a bit of speculation about Subaru. I mean, there is the golden rule of anime: a character isn’t dead unless this is confirmed. It looked like this was another one of those cases. What happened in the end was even better, though: consequences.

Usually when a character gets hurt majorly, he takes a bit to heal up and within no time at all he’s completely fine again, as if nothing happened. Subaru indeed survives, but it’s at the cost of him losing the ability in his legs. He will feel this for the rest of his life. I keep hoping for characters to die in anime, not for the sake of them dying, but for the sake of consequences: taking risks is risky, yet characters get away with them surprisingly easy. Having risks like these built up well does amazing things for the suspense of disbelief. In any case it does for me.

This episode was a really good aftermath. The show suddenly got really dark after the previous episode, and this episode really let this sink in, and shows how easy it can be to screw up if you’re thoughtless. The characters all have their own ways of dealing with that and I really liked that. I mean, those warnings at the beginning of the episode, about the realism and stuff. They might seem superficial, but in the long run they do add up to the believability of this series.

Now, let’s talk about Noitamina for a bit. By far the biggest disappointment of the upcoming Spring Season is what will be used to fill the timeslot that has for years stood for showcasing anime to an older audience. In case you haven’t heard it yet: it’s going to have a re-run of Katanagatari. I guess that that was the price that had to be paid for having two two-cours series at the same time. But with this, I now have a much better idea of the strengths of the timeslot. Let’s have a bit of a re-cap:

– 2005 saw the start of the timeslot, and it defined itself as a mature programming block with Honey and Clover and Paradise Kiss, two series about college students.
– 2006 saw it continuing this trend, along with it branching out to other genres, most particularly horror with Ayakashi – Japanese Classic Horror.
– 2007 saw the timeslot continue to grow and establish itself as a force to be reckoned with with Nodame Cantabile, Mononoke and Moyashimon, three really strong series that really pushed boundaries all around.
– 2008 was the height of Noitamina in terms of TV-ratings, with Hakaba Kitarou and Nodame Cantabile’s second season racking up massive ratings. The formula here still was very typical for the timeslot: there was a college series, a series about working life, an adventure seris and an avant-garde series with bizarre visuals.
– 2009 saw the results of two fantastic years, and the producers were able to experiment much more, leading to some of the most unique series out there that really stand on their own. In terms of originality it was a fantastic year, but especially Eden of the East and Tokyo Magnitude stand out here. Both really well produced and transforming the timeslot into a showcase for producers to deliver things with ambition without regard for the mainstream.
– 2010 was the best year for Noitamina ever. This influence of 2009 was really noticeable here as the series got the most freedom that they’ve ever had, even allowing it to expand to two series at the same time. Sarai-ya Goyou, Yojou-han and Shiki: all three were just fantastic and would not have been possible so close within each other without it.
– Then 2011 came, and it showed that such quality could not be kept up. Fractale and Guilty Crown were… disappointing. However, what was so interesting about the timeslot is that it had a whopping eight different series. The fun there was keeping track of all of them: awaiting what series they would come up with, and how they’d fare. Sure, it didn’t always go well, but it was definitely interesting beyond belief.
– 2012 saw more experimentation after that year, making this even more exciting. It returned to its roots again with Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Moyashimon, it tried out 2 full-cour series and it even went with something as Thermae Romae to fill up an empty month. It’s because of this excitement of keeping up with everything that I managed to finish nearly every Noitamina-series to date (the only exception being Nodame Cantabile’s final season).

Based on this, I think I now have a good idea of what would be the ideal format for the timeslot: mostly easy to produce yet ambitious 11-episode series, combined with your occasional 2-cour series here and there. This keeps the timeslot fresh with every season something new to look forward to, plus it’s good for variety. The past two seasons were great in showing that the timeslot can deliver two really good two-cour series at the same time, but its price: not being able to look forward to a new noitamina-series for two seasons long, it does hurt. And I think that the tactic of using reruns, will make it lose some viewers. Silver Spoon to the rescue!
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 10 February 2013 with categories: Robotics;Notes

And with this, the focus on the robot building suddenly returns. This is what I meant by the previous episodes feeling a bit like acheckist, because I nearly forgot that that was also going on, even though it wsa the main focus of the series. They could have shown a bit more about the progress of the construction while they were doing the stories of the other characters.

Having said that though, the supercandy robot launch really was worth the wait and I really liked the moment in which the thing actually moved properly. And either way, the atmosphere of this episode was really, realyl good. Probably the best this show has been so far. The sense of impending doom worked really well for the largest part of this episode. And then “it” happened…

Just holy crap. I did not see that coming. Both of it. I did not expect this series to be such a deconstruction that it would actually tackle what would happen if such a giant robot would fall over. It also did not come to my mind that the robots going out of control also would mean that Kai’s legs would start to act funny. The ending of this episode was just amazing.

That’s the power of the build-up of this show’s first half, in which it tried to be realistic and believable without much of the drama. Because of that we now know the characters, which makes it all the more disturbing what happened. And to make things even worse there was that point in which Kai’s legs actually forced her to stand up again, hurting her spine in the process. I did not expect such a detail whatsoever in a show that so far had no blood or gore whatsoever. The impact of that single thing was much larger than, say, a show that consistently has people hurting each other.

Robotics;Notes, I applaud you.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 7 February 2013 with categories: Robotics;Notes

Last episode: Frau. This episode: Airi. It’s quite surprising what this episode all showed us, because from out of nowhere it delviers Airi’s entire backstory. Or at least the parts that don’t involve the deeper mysteries behind Kimishima Kou. We did get to see his face, though.

It wasn’t a big surprise that Airi existed in the real world. She was just too real for that. The really interesting part is why Kimishima Kou did what he did. Did he freeze Airi just because he felt sorry for her, or was there some deeper reason behind it? Also, why two Airis? What was the reason behind that? And why did Airi malfunction the way that she did here?

I do have a bit of a complaint about the past three episodes standalone, and that is that they feel a bit too much like a checklist: “okay, we’ve got one girl, now the next one’s up, and after that the next one”. It feels a bit too… scripted, for a series that aims to be so believable. But it’s not like the creators didn’t try to mix this up. I really appreciated how every episode also showed hints and answers for the other lingering plot threads in this series. When put next to each other these three episodes are a bit cheesy but they work as build-up really well.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 29 January 2013 with categories: Robotics;Notes

With this episode, it’s time to address the premise of this series: gamers saving the world. With gamers for some strange reason becoming more and more celebrities, it had it coming that there would be more series that would cater to them, resulting in creators finding more and more alaborate ways to somehow put these people in the spotlights. It’s not as bad as the typical loser, but yeah… you probably get what I mean.

Attempts so far failed for me. Kirito from Sword Art Online was just giant wish fulfillment. Accel World, from what I watched of it, looked the same. Btooom was better, but still gave the male lead way too much plot armour. With this, Robotics;Notes has given me the first gamer male lead that I actually like, and I feel is done well.

Either way this was so much better than the examples mentioned above. For one, the entire series doesn’t just revolve around Killballad, but the game is just a small part of the whole conspiracy that’s going on in this series. That means that the series doesn’t automatically revolve around the male lead, but it has to offer more than just him being good at this game. Second of all, it allowed the creators tocreate this weird mish-mash of subplots that somehow managed to link a robots, solar flares, an evil organization, an anime and brainwashing together, and actually get away with it pretty nicely. Sakurasou also has this variety of not just being based on one thing, which really helps for the diversity.

This episode had a climax for the gaming subplot. The robots can only be stopped if you manage to beat a game. It’s a completely crazy security system, but if you take into account that it was made by someone who was mentally screwed while also brainwashed… it’s still silly. And yet they pulled it off by using Kaito’s time slowing powers, which were previously established to be really intense. On top of that, some very convincing romance between him and Frau.

I usually hate love triangles for being pointless, so please: Akiho. Move on. Just… get over your crush. I know that this is unheard of in anime and all, but people can get over love. This series has intelligent writing, so make use of that.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

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Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I need to actually watch that Leiji Matsumoto stuff some day.
Anonymous3316528
Also Galaxy Express 99 I think also treated that topic.
Anonymous3316528
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't that Gate?
Anonymous3316528
Just like how Gundam made one for the Vietnam War.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A proper story dealing with isekai and immigration crisis.
Anonymous3316528
I mean they could make an allegory of the Berlin Wall.
Anonymous3316528
So Papers Please the anime?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think a romance themed isekai involving borders and beraucracy getting in the way could work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked those czech Jules verne animations.
Anonymous3316528
I suppose the work for creating assets for new settings it's why they don't do it. Most Isekai seem like they can take a tree, or a house from previous works and just change them a little.
Anonymous3316528
On second thought, that was technically the Anastasia animated movie.
Anonymous3316528
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Yeah. Just take the roadmap Bloodborne put out. It's even the perfect setting for an antihero archetype, considering these settings are about the hunt, surviving and superstition. I'll also like the Russia setting, harsh weather, espionage, travelling through train, boat and land like Jules Verne's Ivan Strogoff
Kaiser-Eoghan
That time I got reincarnated in the Soviet union.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see an anime set in Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gothic horror or industrial if only for liking the genre. I still want my anime western.
Anonymous3316528
All in all as I always say. I want new settings, steampunk, western, egyptian, chinese, space, nuclear dystopian, castaway, underwater, skyworld, gothic horror. Or any other tired trope other than european medieval fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, with the nostalgia of old games undertale went for, but without the maudlin di7alogue.
Anonymous3316528
Or something like Mad Max or the RPG series it inspired Metal Max. Maybe another one inspired by Phantasy Star.
Anonymous3316528
I got it! What if someone makes an Isekai on the vein of Earthbound or Undertale. I mean most are influenced by the standard fantasy JRPG. So why not take from the less typical ones?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just for the novelty of it, I would like to see an anime about a relationship between un-traditional/un-usual couples that we never see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe that'd be cheesy or something but they manage to form new friendship/families which allow them to put behind what they lost.
Amagi
I like semi-episodical series that have an episodical plot and a golden thread at the same time, the latter usually being more subtile or like a subplot and each episodical adventure gives the audience a few new hints or informations about the setting, characters or main plot.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't even mind a drama driven otherworld story about a depressed person trying to move on and the new world actually helping them move past that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So how about my don-quixhote anime Japan =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time there's a bunch of serious stuff, but its not clashing with the lighthearted stuff badly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite type of adventure story though are the ones where its more about the journey and hangout, sometimes the story appears here and there. And its usually centred around three goofballs with alot of chemistry.
Amagi
Sadly there never is any culture clash or culture shock either, speaking of the LN/game mechanic isekai here. The isekai people are just like the people of nowadays Japan but with swords and magic, basically. Maybe a few rituals at best.
Amagi
An isekai should be like King of Thorns despite KoT not being an actual isekai. But awakening in another world, not understanding anything, exploring, mysteries and slowly piecing things together that make the MC understand the logic of that new world a bit better while trying to integrate into the foreign culture.
Amagi
@Kaiser/Anon: I feel like that too. I love explore and isekai would be perfect for exploration and yet it's always about the MC finding his place as soon as he got teleported, he finds his crew, friends, house, power and so on.
Amagi
@Anon: You're right I watched a few scenes, the dub actually fits pretty well to Nanbaka. The series itselfs is too insane for me I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lack of journey, focuses too much on harem/romcom bits.
Amagi
I have yet to watch Voltron. The animation looks somewhat weird to me but everything else I heard about it so far sounds pretty good.
Lenlo
I welcome the essays Kaiser! Sakaki is a much more complex character than I expected, and Animosh is right that it doesnt justify his actions. I didnt mean to imply that. I do think however that Sakaki is not wrong to be angry. He is just directing it at the wrong person.
Anonymous3316315
@Kaiser-Eoghan - In what sense? In that it isn't a journey? A quest? A series of trials? The hunt of ancient treasure? Or whatever dimension hoping happens in Milk Closet?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Well said about Sakaki's character and I agree with you on it. Saves me writing an essay response now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Tangent, but I want to say something, one of the most annoying things about LNs is when they do the isekai thing, the other world almost never feels like an adventure.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I honestly wouldn't complain if it was full blown yuri or shoujo-ai.
Anonymous3316315
@Kaiser-Eoghan - A lot of series have hard ship baiting. Voltron, She Ra, Seraph of the End, Korra (which at the last second they did it). I know sometimes is a stretch like Frodo and Sam in LotR or Venom and Eddie. But other times it's that relationship in everything but name.
Kaiser-Eoghan
People seem to play up the shoujo-ai thing in Euphonium.
Anonymous3316315
@Amagi - Nanbaka has a good English dub. They knew the delivery had to be as hammy as possible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm looking forward to those Gundam NT films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't finish violet evergarden nor did I watch tsurune. In the priors case, that was something I would have seen myself liking maybe 10 years ago.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I liked Koe no kitachi aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We can call it Racing Lads.
Amagi
Okay thanks. I can deal with slow pacing as long as there is an atmosphere or good character story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Free and kaze cross over WHEN!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked how scaled back it was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I think you were asking about the new kyoani movie earlier? I can't remember if I posted about it on here what I thought, but I actually liked it more than the main Euphonium series, it stood out in its adherence to using body language, silence and movements moreso than dialogue while giving me a coming of age movie I had been asking for. Though some won't like the glacial pacing
Amagi
KazeGa is pretty damn good. It kinda feels like it actually is what Kyoani is always trying to do when they produce sport series with a male cast that are half comedy half drama. But while I often like some aspects of Kyoani shows (like the setting and themes of VEG), I never like the execution, save from the looks of course that are awesome but don't help making the content any better.
Amagi
*above
Amagi
@SuperMario: IIRC mosts Steven Universe VAs are actual singers so they should be a level about typical VAs anyway. Not sure who's voice acting for RWBY.
Amagi
But since I watch everything seasonally subs are faster and I usually don't rewatch series, otherwise a rewatch could be a good reason to watch the dubs for the second time.
Amagi
At least eng dubs got way better in general over the yers. Probably because anime is more mainstream now. Maybe I would like many of them more if I started with the dub.
SuperMario
Maybe it’s a translation issue, by that I mean usually some nuance from the native language is lost in translation. That issue can be alright if it subs, but when saying it out loud it becomes unnatural?
Amagi
Japanese VAs also talk a lot about their characters and give interviews about them, including their own interpretations or head canon stuff. Not sure if western VAs of Japanese shows do that too.
Amagi
Instead when it's a foreign show there is nothing to do but to memorize the finished lines and everything is already set in stone, so you are 100% passive and can't really view it as your or your team's work.
Amagi
I often heard that western VAs thought up some ideas that were integrated into the script. Not sure if that's the case for most cartoons of if these were exceptions, but it could be a hint that VAs are way more involved into a show and the development of their characters when it is a native show, it's kinda logical.
Amagi
Yeah, native stuff is usually better.
SuperMario
Then again, I enjoy the English VA of western cartoon like RWBY or Steven Universe so I guess it’s just a matter of original intended language for me
SuperMario
Well, I’m not a fan of dubbing either. Not that much of a dub-hater but I remember watching Monster and Cowboy Bebop in english dub before I had to switch back to Japanese voice midway through
Amagi
Still living ones I mean. But as said actual movies are usually well dubbed, so I guess it depends on how much money something generates.
Amagi
I knew a bunch of old ones but they're all dead by now. Know maybe three or so with name and face (and often don't even recognize them in movies) and another 6-10 by name only.
Amagi
@Kaiser: To be honest I never know any actors no matter how well known they are.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Is it awkward hearing a famous actor you associate too much with a certain role, voicing an anime character?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, what is the stance on professional well known film actors voicing anime movie dubs?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now....I'm sure no-one likes the animax or hong-kong English dubs =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
On fandubs, the English voice actress for Madoka Kaname was originally a youtube fandubber. Also A fandub of happy sugar lifes first episode exists.
Amagi
Didn't know that exists. Fandubbers. Hm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As in there are Russian fandubbers doing this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Because I have to really really dig for the obscure stuff I watch, sometimes I end up accidently downloading Fandubs of these films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose in the case of the hentai dubbing example, part of it and I don't watch this to come off as rascist, but the noises the Japanese voice actors make....
Amagi
When I hear "really bad dubs" it always reminds me of these old USSR dubs where one guy voices all characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even though its a semi-dead language, I am actually wondering what an anime would sound like dubbed in Irish.
Amagi
I usually also always prefer the original language with dub. Luckily, indie production movies and movies that aren't from America are often shown subbed here. Probably because it's just less work since these movies don't make much money.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although as I said 1960s dubs are horrible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't watch live action films English dubbed, especially European ones.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Good question. If there are anime where susb could actually hinder immersion. Never really thought about this.
Amagi
I mean life action movies have almost always excellent dubs no matter with western language. It's just that anime were kinda negleted for a long time. I guess Netflix dubs for anime are way better than anime dubs years ago. Especially for their original series. Watched them with subs though so not sure.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now that brings that something else, if I was to watch a hentai anime or something sensual, I might actual find it more connectable if it was in my own language.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I live in a world where neither I nor Aidan were permitted to dub the voice of the Lancer servant in fate.
Animosh
@Kaiser: yeah, I read that in the "About Our Site" thingy. It's a shame he's no longer around.
Amagi
@Kaiser: That porn thing is actually a good idea.
Amagi
Our dubs are usually pretty bad though. And I hate how they're always using the same few VAs. Most of them don't have any qualifications or anything, they're not even actors. Just some random dudes that applied for the job and you can really notice that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now heres a thing....there have been cases where hentai anime has been English dubbed using porn actors.
Amagi
@Kaiser: For whatever reason there is no Ger dub for Monster, which is a wasted opportunity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Utaprince is the only non-shit one by virtue of being absolutely shit.
Amagi
@Kaiser: never heard that before but that sounds right. I was never sure if the inability to listen without starting to daydream was an autistical thing or coincidence. I never have any concentration problems with written stuff, even if it's boring.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I can't wait for people to assume the fruits basket remake is an otome VN adaption when it airs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Just like psgels.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Funny enough those series always sell better too. Tiger and Bunny had a lot of fujo fans and non-fujo female fans that bought it whereas otome sell rather badly afaik. And the great seeling bishiboys-onlys are usually adaption of games that sell well for already having a big fanbase or because the BDs contain some game code. Like with Grandblue and the likes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I've heard that even when watching films in our own languages, we autistic people have an easier time watching stuff in our own language when subtitles in our own language are turned on.
Animosh
@Kaiser: I'm Dutch, actually! Although I live somewhere else in Europe right now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably typed way too much so its better I say something short such as: I'm on the middle ground.
Amagi
Watched it mainly on Japanese again but in that case it was really just due to my listening/concentration problem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose ambiguous bromances are a form of male fanservice.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I agree that the Dandy dub was one of the few good examples I know. The series felt quite western too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Somewhere in my head for some reason I thought you were American.
Amagi
The characters themselves also seem worse for most of the time. Maybe because there are way more pandering anime for males, so you have to be at least somewhat creative there whereas otome shows are rather rare. The fans of that will buy it no matter how bad it is.
Animosh
And in some cases dubs are clearly the better option for me. For example, I've always watched FLCL dubbed because of how much is happening on screen. But I'm so used to reading subs now that it almost never ruins my immersion in a series. Perks of being a non-native speaker I guess. I've grown up with subs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now...I wonder if Italian dubs for gunslinger girl exist, or a French dub of Chevalier d'eon or rose of versaille.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah. Bishounen shows seem to be cheaper in general. Aidan mentioned that a lot of times and I agree. It's not a preference thing (IMO). Otome and mass bishounen shows seem to be generally worse than normal harem/idol stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes a western setting a dub might work better for me.
Amagi
When Japanese was a completely foreign language to me. But the more I understood Japanese the more I prefered the original VAs. I remember that I liked the western dubs of Noir back then and when I listened to them again 10 years later I was horrified.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: A good example is that both in English and Japanese, bishounen shows don't have good voice acting.
Animosh
I think it's partly just a matter of what you're used to though. I grew up with the English dub of DBZ, and as a result I just can't stand Goku's old lady voice.
Amagi
@Aidan: Regarding the not-understanding theory I think the main reason for why I don't believe this that I was actually fine with western dubs at the beginning - around 2003 or so.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Could be. Maybe because people tend to deepen their voice when they're bored or something. So you don't notice it that much when there is a higher voice. I can't remember any female VA that sounded boring. Maybe bad, but not bored
Animosh
I tend to prefer subs too. Other than the quality of voice acting I think it can also help with suspension of disbelief. When characters speak English it becomes a lot harder to ignore how silly or cartoonish their lines can be. I have the same issue with live action adaptations. It just ruins suspension of disbelief for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And in case there's an odd accent in there somewhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Now, heres something interesting, for English language films I turn on English language subtitles, not out of hearing issues, but so I can remember names better and the dialogue sinks in better.
Amagi
The listening problem makes it impossible for me to watch youtube stuff too unless the videos are less then 5 minutes long. I am just unable to halt my own thoughts so my mind always drifts away and I miss half of the things people say.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also as a side note, does anyone else notice that with male voice actors, it can be more easier to pinpoint when they are disinterested in the material?
Kaiser-Eoghan
My preference for watching anime when marathoning, is to switch back and forth between languages. I’ll watch episode 1 in Japanese, the second in English, third in Japanese, repeat that process until I finish the show.
It gives me more to talk about and do compare and contrastings if I were to ever do up a review of my own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the subject of Japanese and English voice actors, I think in both cases, while I like the current pool of actors, new blood on both sides is something I wish would happen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Granted I still watch them in Italian, because those old 60s English dubs are horrendous.
Do I believe that screenings should offer both dubbed and subtitled screenings from anime films, yes? For the variety.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes as I said, an English voice actor can successfully camp up the material when its camp originally and that’s an improvement.
I watch A LOT of old martial arts films from the 60s and Eurocop films, all of them, especially the Italian ones, even if you watch them in Italian are post production dubbed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some dubs actually make the effort to get the accents right such as Hellsing and Baccano.
I have no problems reading subtitles (unless in some cases of very very polemical dialectical French political rant Marxist films but in that case I can always pause/rewind).
Animation allows for an easier, more comfortable dubbing process in any language due to being able to get the lip syncing right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
This is my general view on dubbing: I do not approve of censorship or elaborate changes in general to the original material.
When it comes to dubs for animated media, the older ones are generally not professional, but can be amusing, in anime cases I believe that since those 90s dubs, there have been improvements.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: The only advantage Hellsings tv version has over the ova is the music.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They actual got British accents for it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think if you're not watching something twice, then you've not watched it.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Was Hellsing especially good or bad? I can only vaguely remember the series. Think I never finished it. I am a fan of the OVA though.
Amagi
Reading is just easier than listen. It's one of the reasons why I watch way more anime than life action which is usually dubbed and therefore way harder to follow for me.
Amagi
Aside from that I think I just prefer subs on a personal level since I have a problem concentrating when it's about listening. Never could do that in university either and always read that stuff up in books.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't get to watch Hellsing dubbed in German so I'm sad now.
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