Suspended Animation Dreams


UUUU by Digibro
January 28, 2012, 8:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized



Having A Look At Seiyuu Motivations (Also Known As: Yui Horie Is A Creepy Old Bat) by metalsonic700
March 9, 2010, 3:52 pm
Filed under: Horie Yui, Seiyuu, Toradora | Tags: , , , , , ,

Do me a favor and tell me how long you can stomach this video.

Not fucking long, right? I’ve loved Vanilla Salt, the first ending theme from Toradora, ever since Digital Boy used to play it all the god damn time. However, the two of us came to the consensus that the music video was a sin against all things righteous and should be blocked from our collective minds. Easy to see why: Yui Horie is fucking creepy. I always find plastic surgery unnerving and noticeable, but this is crazy. Her face looks like it’s made of fucking plastic. You can feel the sense that she either thinks that she’s cute, or wants to think it, but she is totally not. [By the way, she is a member of Kikuko Inoue‘s ‘forever 17 cult’. I’m pretty sure Kikuko Inoue is joking when she claims to still be 17. Yui Horie is less convincing.]

Leaving aside her creepiness, though, I want to take a look at her career. I rather like Yui Horie as an actress, though she can be grating at times; but hey, you’ve got a lot to go by. She’s in fucking everything, and more often than not, she’s playing a major role. When I first saw her appearing in everything on TV, I just attributed it to being a Japanese person. After all, the Japanese entertainment industry is all about output. Most of the Japanese bands I’ve heard of put out an album on a yearly basis if not even more frequently (as opposed to every 2 or 3 years as is common in the US). I just assumed that she needed that many voice acting jobs to sustain a living.

But hold on, that can’t be right. It’s not like every seiyuu is playing major roles in 4 different shows at all given times. No, I don’t think Horie quite needs this much work so much as wants it. Working as a seiyuu doesn’t strike me as a very glamorous job. Being well-known doesn’t spare you from doing bad shows, and I doubt that it gets you paid a whole lot more than other seiyuu. It’s probably accurate to say that, like anyone else, a seiyuu’s pay is directly proportional to the amount of work they do. So if one seiyuu is getting by on one or two shows a season, then it gives me reason to believe that a seiyuu who does four major roles a season is simply living an expensive lifestyle.

Plastic surgery is not necessarily cheap, but it’s quite obvious that Yui Horie gets a fuckload of it done. I wonder how many side-jobs that face cost her?

This is, of course, all speculation.



As A Kanokon Fan, That OVA Really Did Suck [Minor NSFW] by Digibro
February 27, 2010, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Anime, Kanokon, Manatsu no Daishanikusai | Tags: , , ,

I know, UltraEternalBlackout did a post about it sucking on this site already, but the post comes with a massive grain of salt when you look at how seriously UEB takes Kanokon as a whole, and how hyper-active this post is. Well, I assure you that he’s very right. The Kanokon OVA is one of those rare additions to a series that doesn’t just suck, but actually tarnishes the source material in a way. I find it rather surprising that the same director and writer of the series produced the OVA, because I honestly feel like they didn’t even understand the core series.

What I love about Kanokon is that the series is very sexually ‘open’. The characters deal immediately with the fact that the way they behave is not accepted in their surroundings, but they are in love enough not to care. In the series, it’s rather obvious that Kouta really wants to bone Chizuru. When he tells her ‘no’, it’s in the ‘no means yes’ way that Japanese women always use in bed. He doesn’t really resist her (even in the first episode he explains to the class rep that ‘it’s not like I don’t enjoy it.’) That’s what makes Kouta fun – he’s trying his hardest to not be seen as a pervert, but he IS a pervert, as all men are, so he can’t help but be drawn in (to Chizuru’s tits).

The OVA is ignorant of this. In the OVA, Kouta outright denies Chizuru’s sexual advances. He acts like he doesn’t love her, like he isn’t a pervert, but some kind of prude. I have a hard time seeing this as the same character who is fun to watch in the series.

This, I admit, was awesome.

And the OVA utterly lacks substance. Now, I’m not trying to say that the series was a shining example of substance. I’m also not going to say that the fanservice wasn’t something that the series spent a lot of time on. I’ve made a case for Strike Witches before wherein I stated that while the fanservice is ever-present, it doesn’t get in the way of the show’s plot at all, so the fault of being distracted is more on the viewer (same can be said of Queen’s Blade.) This is not true for Kanokon – there really is time taken out of the episodes for fanservice. However, there is also plot, and comedy, and other things to keep things interesting. Some episodes had fights, some had warm messages of togetherness, and some had some genuinely hilarious comedy. This OVA has none of those. It’s like a cold and calculated attempt to throw out fanservice and cash in on the series’ success.

But we don’t NEED that. There was enough fanservice in the main Kanokon series, there’s no point to rehashing it for another hour in an OVA with no substance. It would be so much more fulfilling to just watch the series over again, and have just as much fap-worthy material along with your fun plot and characters.

I think I get what this OVA was supposed to be. I’ve seen plenty of these ‘slow summer day’ episodes of anime. Kyoto Animation is the master of them, having had ones in Haruhi and in the K-On! OVA (sans summer for winter), and even in those good ones, there are still people who will say that they are worthless, reasonably. I think it’s nice to be introspective sometimes, because it lets you really recognize the show at it’s barest level and perhaps come to appreciate exactly what it is that you like about the series… but Kanokon’s OVA is not successful as a ‘slow summer day’ episode because it just isn’t Kanokon. If it had instead captured the core elements of the series that made it fun to watch, it could have been a success, but instead it is a boring and trite failure.



Follicle Talk: Grabbing Your Characters By The Hair Part 1 – Hair Color by Shance
February 17, 2010, 11:20 am
Filed under: Anime, Follicle Talk, Hair Color | Tags: , , ,

It can’t be avoided. It can’t also be helped. Sometime, someday, you’ll eventually have to categorize your anime, manga, and game characters. Sure, we can do that. But aside from the usual and generic black, can we do it – WITH HAIR? We’ll see.

This is the only time you’ll see a king being officially moe. Trust me.

Yellow

Shance: Yellow-haired characters are personifications of power. They have money, the looks, the attitude that fits their already extravagant status, and power levels that can go OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAND. They almost always get what they want, be it more riches, more power (in whatever form, be it political, or the real destructive thing you shoot out of your very own hands), or people (regardless of gender, which, of course, works if you’re a lesbian or a trap).

Prominent Examples: Sanzenin Nagi of Hayate no Gotoku, Marisa Kirisame of Touhou, Saber and Gilgamesh from Fate/Stay Night, Onizuka from Great Teacher Onizuka, Char Aznable from Gundam, Aeru from Simoun

Digiboy: At least, that’s true for some of them. On the other side of the coin, some see yellow as the calming color of placidity. Yellow can be your energetic best friend who actually manages to put effort into relaxation, and is always a blast to be around just for being so awesome.

Prominent Examples: Kirino Chiba of Bamboo Blade, Miyako of Hidamari Sketch, Triela from Gunslinger Girl, Kamikishiro Naoko from Boogiepop

Blue

Shance: Blue is usually associated with peacefulness and that amazing, silent air of maturity, which you can find on a character wearing said color on his/her hair. Blue-haired characters have that mature and sophisticated feel that even the most mundane activities become very worthwhile and enjoyable if they are the ones doing them. Of course, this means they are mostly regarded as your ideal waifus, if not your ideal parents, or elder siblings.

Prominent Examples: Sakuraba Aoi from Aoi Yori Aoshi, Mahoro from Mahoromatic, Izumi Konata from Lucky Star, Sae from Hidamari Sketch, Shinobu Maehara from Love Hina, Edmond Dantes from Gankutsuou

Digiboy: However, that calm blue can also be a symbol of insecurity. Sometimes, a character who looks blue may also spend most of their time feeling blue, or at least criminally shy. If you aren’t the most up-beat fellow yourself, stay away from some blue-haired angst-balls or you could find yourself being dragged even further down.

Prominent Examples: Ayanami Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tabitha from Zero no Tsukaima, Inamori Mikan from Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight

Asuka, Asuka, why are you so red? Are you Player 1 like they said?

Red

Shance: Ah, yes, that fiery color of the spectrum. Most of the characters that associate their hair with the color red are mostly hot-blooded, adrenaline-driven people. They don’t listen to what others say, and do what they will without any regard to what the outside world has to say to him/her. Of course, that being said, they throw the most violent of tantrums or the most devious of pranks if they get flatly rejected, belittled or humiliated.

Prominent Examples: Lina Inverse of Slayers, Shana from Shakugan no Shana Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk, Asuka Langley Sohryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vita from Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s, Amamiya Manami from Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight

Digiboy: Yeah, most red-haired characters are quite fiery, and always violent, but some of them are plum fucking crazy. We’re talking about super-powered god-modding badasses who will fuck you up before you even know what you’ve done to deserve it. These characters don’t just have red hair – their hair is STAINED red, with the blood of all the poor fools in their way.

Prominent Examples: Etna from Disgaea, Claire Stanfield from Baccano!, Revy from Black Lagoon, early Himura Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin Tsuiokuhen

OG

Green

Shance: Green-haired people are mostly the bubbly types. They’re adventurous, they’re curious, they’re lively (but not in a fiery kind of way like in the case of red-haired characters), and they get the most out of any situation that involves anything of interest. However, don’t be fooled. Some of them only have these personalities as a facade, and some of them are hurt or broken so bad, they don’t even understand themselves anymore.

Prominent Examples: Asa Shigure from SHUFFLE!, Litte Ratius from Prism Ark, Karakuri Chachamaru from Negima!, Yotsuba from Yotsuba&!, Sonozaki Shion and Sonozaki Mion from Higurashi, Lum from Urusei Yatsura

Digiboy: Some green-haired characters, though, are far from lively, and are, if anything, distant. Green hair my symbolize that the character hasn’t quite found their place in life, limboing between the platonic blue state and wishing that they could be as lively and fun as the yellows. Some green-haired characters need just a little more time to decide where they are, but in the end will come into their own as great people.

Prominent Examples: Alice Carroll from Aria, Rimone from Simoun, C.C. from Code Geass, Kochiya Sanae from Touhou, Kino from Kino no Tabi

Ladies and Gentlemen, your Izanami.

White/Silver

Shance: This type of hair color is an enigma to me, simply because the characters with this kind of hair color seem like helpless, emotionless puppets. Despite having the power to do anything for themselves, they get passed around by their overwhelming instincts or cruel masters and benefactors, as if they were pieces of a chess board serving a more higher purpose. Hence, white or silver-haired characters sport a blank, emotionless face, a sly, hard-as-stone demeanor, and possibly even cold-blooded murderous intent, all for the task at hand.

Prominent Examples: Cenes Crawford from Thunderforce V, Yin from Darker Than Black, Nero Chaos from Tsukihime, Archer and Ilyasviel Von Einsbern from Fate/Stay Night, Canaan from Canaan

Digiboy: Unless they are male. There has been a long pervading theme in anime fandom that ‘long white hair’ = bishounen. This most likely began with a combination of Rumiko Takahashi creations and a certain video game about long swords, but it has become an essential staple of bishiehood.

Prominent Examples: Inu-yasha and Sesshoumaru from Inu-Yasha, Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, Griffith from Berserk


Brown

Shance: This should be easy. Brown-haired people are straightforward, brimming with determination. Once they set their minds to a goal, they never stop until they achieve it. Of course, if they can’t, they’ll just find another way to, easy as that. Details are for later, and actions speak louder than words. Ain’t that so human a trait, you’ll feel for them?

Oh, and some, if not most of them, are voiced by Rina Satou (at least that’s what I know).

Prominent Examples: Negi Springfield from Negima!, Misaka Mikoto from To Aru Kagaku No Railgun, Yoshika Miyafuji from Strike Witches, Saki from Saki, Uehara Mutsuki from Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight, Ryuuguu Rena from Higurashi, Horo from Spice and Wolf, Kazuma from S-Cry-Ed, Suzumiya Haruhi from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, Aisaka Taiga from Toradora, Emiya Shirou of Fate/Stay Night, Amuro Ray of Gundam

Digiboy: Brown hair can also be a symbol of, well, normalcy. Maybe the character is meant to be an average Joe thrown into crazy circumstances. The brown hair, one of the few colors actually attainable by human beings, pulls the character down to relatable levels, as if you can feel the person enjoying all the excitement!

Prominent Examples: Renton Thurston from Eureka Seven, Hitotsubashi Yurie from Kamichu!, Rakka from Haibane Ranmei, Suema Kazuko from Boogiepop, Yunocchi from Hidamari Sketch, Maebara Keiichi from Higurashi, Iwakura Lain from Serial Experiments Lain


No amount of proper comprehension can describe the epicness of this picture.

Pink

Shance: Surprisingly, I think a character’s a foreigner or gaijin when he/she wears the color pink. Stranger than that, it strikes a more foreign feeling to me than blond or yellow. They have the weirdest accents,  they live in the most absurd of places (how about Hell?), they’re with the most strangest of companions, they’re way too polite (probably because Japanese think most foreigners are British), they have strange orientations with their sexuality (lesbos and traps, I’m looking at you), and they sound too serious even when joking. Of course, that tends to confuse people, especially if they’re either joking or pissed off.

Prominent Examples: Utena from Revolutionary Girl Utena, Wilhelmina Carmel of Shakugan No Shana, Louise Francoise Le Blanc De La Valliere of Zero No Tsukaima, Satori Komeiji of Touhou, Rider from Fate/Stay Night

Digiboy: Of course, by the old stand-by, pink can just represent quintessential girlishness. Pink is most often associated with little girls and their dolls and their ponies and their fruity candies, and aw, you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. These girls could be described by any number of phrases, that can more easily be summarized as ‘so she’s a girl, right?’

Prominent Examples: Hinamori Amu from Shugo Chara!, Sakura from Naruto, Ahiru from Princess Tutu, Takara Miyuki from Lucky Star, Euphemia vi Britannia from Code Geass, Naeguino Sora from Kaleido Star

Mukyuu~

Purple/Violet

Shance: I like this color. No, seriously. It’s not a matter of personal preference, but I like it simply because. People who sport this kind of hair color are the in-between of bookworms and carefree people. They have the knowledge, but lives the take-it-easy, yukkuri life. These kind of characters have the capacity to take center stage, but prefers the supporting role. It isn’t self-flagellation on their part. I repeat, it isn’t. They’re just too busy with their own matters to bother with the main story, and that’s that.

Prominent Examples: Ayase Yue from Negima!, Nagato Yuki from Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu, Matou Sakura from Fate/Stay Night, Patchouli Knowledge from Touhou, Hiiragi Kagami from Lucky Star, Daidouji Tomoyo from Card Captor Sakura

Digiboy: But sometimes, purple-haired characters can be quite headstrong. They don’t overdo it and get violent like the red-haired ones, but they have sort of a cool, collected, and yet powerfully imposing nature. These are characters who don’t just think that they won’t lose – they KNOW it.

Prominent Examples: Cornelie vi Britannia from Code Geass, Remilia Scarlet from Touhou, Misato Katsuragi from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shihouin Yoruichi from Bleach, Akito Sohma from Fruits Basket


Orange

Shance: This is a confusing color for me. Seriously, do we have to do this?

Anyways, orange is the color that lies between the sayings “thrust forward without looking back” and “look before you leap”. Orange-haired people are brash, simple-minded, or just utter annoying. They may need guidance from outside forces in order to set things straight, and eventually, they do. Most of them characters tend to go for either philosophy first, then sit in between them after enough character development.

… and they think people die when they are killed.

Prominent Examples: Kyo Sohma of Fruits Basket, Emiya Shiro of Fate/Stay Night, Kurosaki Ichigo from Bleach, Nami from One Piece, Tokiha Mai from Mai-HiME, Kuwabara Kazuma from Yu Yu Hakusho

Digiboy: I… I’m at a loss. I don’t know any more orange-haired characters. I think they are pretty much all the same o.o



Why Digiboy Should Read Sekiya Asami’s Works: Your Dog, My Sentiments by Shance

It’s been a few years since I first laid my eyes on a chapter of Sekiya Asami’s works, that being a chapter of Your Dog. Yes. Your Dog. That’s the title. Don’t even think of sporting an “Uh… what?” face on me. I don’t know how it was named, nor was the idea behind it plausible. No, really.

Does the cover convince and warn you enough that’s this is going to be a post about NOT SAFE FOR WORK material (kinda)? And no, no spoilers this time around.

The story itself makes up the majority of why you have to read it. Your Dog has a plot that tackles the human tendency to define normal as “abnormal”. It’s like a kind of curiosity that lets people experience boredom, which in turn spurs them to do things that are considered taboo. People do get tired of doing routine activities, right? But do they feel sick because of it? Do they want to stave their boredom and explore some unknown realm by doing something normal people don’t usually do? And ultimately, can it put them at peace with themselves after doing the deed?

People, we’re currently in a time where children become super-precocious by the age of four (Hanamaru *hint hint*). They do immoral things even before they hit junior high, and some people even think it’s normal, reasons notwithstanding. So does the manga do any form of justice to us by pairing a curious and bored schoolgirl with a somewhat rich, old and heartbroken man trying to satiate his sexual desires by picking up willing partners for the act? Age differences, vegetation, remorse, companionship, consent, attractions, precious things. All these, along with amorous advances, would result in the most illicit of relationships. Next thing we know, we’re questioning ourselves whether we should continue on to the next page or not.

See the age difference, see the consent, then imagine what comes after.

The buildup of emotions is enough to stir your emotional insides. The reasoning and logic the story employs are as stupid as the characters’ understanding of love and its relationships. They confuse their other feelings as love, and make good and bad decisions based on this confusion. If they can’t make any more decisions, the story then takes a neutral turn in the form of compromise. The crescendos litter here and there, focusing on one important character to another, as if telling us to feel for them even though the strong disgust from the illicit relationship is getting in the way.

By the way, money is out of the question, story-wise. I mean, it’s there, it’s given emphasis (the staple of any transaction involving sex, of course), but it never took the spotlight. More like it was shunned and ultimately ignored because of the manga’s nature, which rules out the forced implication that money makes the world go round. It’s a good move, actually, because it justified the actions of the characters all the more.

Seriously, I’m trying hard not to post any non-worksafe pics! At least commend me on this or something!

All in all, it’s good, in a bad sort of way. Shin would like this, but he’s already a lolicon bastard. Digiboy’s the next one to convince, then.



Best Trap Ever: Saitou Ayumi by Digibro
February 6, 2010, 8:22 pm
Filed under: Anime, Shion no Ou, Trap | Tags: , , ,

female ver.

I know that none of you fuckers have seen or probably even heard of Shion no Ou, a fall 2007 anime about shougi and murder that went superbly under-the-radar, because finding images of Saitou Ayumi is  harder than finding pictures of a trap character should ever be. Now, let me talk about why I think the blue-haired beauty is the best trap ever.

male ver.

I’ve always had one problem with traps and the people who love them, which is that traps are, for all intents and purposes, usually female. They tend to look like a (hot) girl, act like a girl, have a chirpy female seiyuu, and are completely gay. Now, how hard is it to fall into that trap, really? It’s not even a trap, because it’s easy to defend your sexuality when the character might as well be a female anyway. For instance, one of my favorite traps is Peppo from Gankutsou, but Peppo looks, sounds, and acts so much like a girl that I’m half-convinced she’s not even a real trap at all! The Animanachronism once made a great point that traps are only really ‘men’ insofar as the canon demands it, as if we just ignore that it’s a boy (or don’t even know) then it would be pretty hard to be called gay for finding it attractive.

female and male

Here’s where Saito Ayumi differs from the crowd. While Ayumi is believable as a girl, she is more believable as a guy. It is revealed to the viewer that Ayumi is a guy right in the middle of the first episode, even going so far as to show him with his shirt open to absolutely confirm this fact. And the truth is, while Ayumi is a pretty girl, it’s not hard to believe she’s a guy when you know it already. She isn’t very feminine, and she’s just a bit more sturdily built than most women – not to the point that you would doubt it was a woman, but just enough to not be surprised by the contrary. What’s more, Ayumi doesn’t sound like a girl. Sure, it’s a female seiyuu, but it’s Paku Fucking Romi! She’s played more young men than she has women! Paku Romi’s career is practically centered on the fact that she can convincingly play young men who actually sound male, but haven’t quite cracked their voice yet. Once again, Romi’s voice isn’t enough to make you go ‘that’s a guy’ on first site, but once you know it’s a guy, then she’s not doing a lot to convince you otherwise.

this image doesn't really do justice to his masculinity... or height.

The point is, if you still find Ayumi attractive, you have truly fallen into a trap. Ayumi is shown in male ‘form’ plenty of times, including shirtless, has a male voice, and is convincingly male even when dressed as a woman. But you know what? I’d still fall for the trap. Ayumi is a great character, which helps to give him another edge over most traps who tend to be side characters or gags. He is actually one of the most interesting characters in Shion no Ou and has a great personality that, while distinctly male, is also kind of cute in it’s own way. Ayumi would be like the ultimate ‘bridge’ trap. As I see it, most traps will convince you of your ability to ignore canon in your adoration of a character design. Ayumi is a trap that might convince you that you’re gay.

(For the record, Hideyoshi is a pretty good one for the same reasons, but he’s not as much of a solid character as Ayumi is.)



Otoyomegatari is ART and it is Spectacular by Digibro
January 27, 2010, 3:11 am
Filed under: Kaoru Mori, Manga, Otoyomegatari | Tags: , , ,

back the fuck up, that's all hand-drawn?!

I learned of Otoyomegatari yesterday from 2-D Teleidoscope, who briefly riffed about it’s plot and astounding artwork, and particularly caught my interest with the note that the series starred a married couple of a 20 year-old woman married to a 12 year-old boy. No, this isn’t a shocker or smut rag, it’s a slice-of-life story from 18th century nomadic Persia, and it is wonderful.

But there’s not a lot to say about it – the story is a slow, sweet little slice-of-life tale about a bunch of extremely likable characters. The titular wife in question is consistently full of fun surprises such as her tomboyishness, extreme marksmanship, and general dere-dere attitude, and everyone else just teems with jollyness. The only time that a violent conflict occurs (the latest translated chapter, number 8) it is a bloodless one as the opposing sides don’t want to get into a long-standing battle. The manga desperately holds onto it’s light-hearted nature, which is good, because I’d really hate to see it go!

And the wife is fucking GAR

Anyway, the manga is in many ways less like a story the artist really wanted to tell, and more like one she really wanted to draw. Artwork is far more important to this series than the story (not that the story isn’t brilliant) and when you read it, you’ll definitely be awed. The amount of detail in every single image of this manga is unfathomable. Every shot is crisp, beautiful, incredible, and looks like it took a damn eternity to draw, what with all the detail! However, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a little something that helped me appreciate the art even more.

...and moe, too!

It so happens that there are a series of videos out there that chronicle artist Kaoru Mori‘s process as she creates one of the full-page illustrations. Watching it in action is un. fucking. believable. Even with the time-skips in the video, it is easy to see that the image as a whole takes Mori-sensei less than 2 hours from blank page to completed project. Her speed is ridiculous because she draws with such an utter sureness that could only come through years of perfecting her craft. Mori-sensei literally races down the page with her hand, etching in details faster than the eye can see and creating so assuredly that one would say her imagination goes straight into her hand without second thought. The ability to draw each and every line with such speed and without a single error is near-godlike. There is only even one instance in which she pulls out a ruler, and it is to create the string on the bow that goes behind the character’s back. Everything else just appears like magic onto the page.

OMG! I can has?!

Otoyomegatari is a great manga for a number of reasons – personally, it appeals to my strange love for any kind of off-cutler marriage/relationship that actually works well, and is so much fun that it’s hard to fault with anything. However, the true reason to read it is that the artwork is like none you’ll ever see from another manga. Mori-sensei is really in a league of her own.