Da Capo II: Maya Sawai

By bluemist on December 29th, 2008

image
She’s not my favorite character in this game, but I like Maya because she actually reminds me of one of my ____ in real life. Unnecessary tidbit aside though, let me just say that Maya is almost the same as many other iinchos (class representatives) in the anime or bishoujo world. She is a tsundere meganekko. Well she’s not exactly as snobbish or strict as an iincho usually is, but she still has the spunk and the strong character. Like any strong character though, there are some vulnerabilities inside, so let me show you what she has in store for us.
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I hate siscon

By bluemist on December 19th, 2008

noooooo
I used to like siscon… but I hate it now. Because most of the time, especially this year, siscon wins, and my pick loses.

Let me count the ways (possible SPOILERS for those not watching)

true tears
This was the beginning of my frustration. After building up Noe for most of the series, some kind of wild deus ex machina led the guy back to Hiromi. Not that I hate the siscon in this one, but I hate the emoness of Hiromi. She is dark, moody, always looking sad. Noe is the light, positive, warm and fuzzy. Okay fine, I admit that in terms of story, true tears is actually well balanced. Equal opportunity was given to the two main girls, and also surprisingly a short but sweet oneshot for the third girl. But still, summing it all up, I choose the bright over the gloom.

Kimikiss
Technically still a siscon for me, because the guy calls her “Mao-neechan”. I don’t see how the guy would like Mao-neechan. It wasn’t fleshed out as much as I would have liked. Also, the shift just began out of nowhere, and in the final episode no less. In any case, as I said in my review, this anime seems open-ended enough to have some sequel, maybe college kimikiss rabu dorama is good.

Da Capo II
Well I forgot. Did he pick one here? I think it was some generic no-girl-wins anime. I played the game to death and so I had all the girl fix I needed, so I didn’t care who wins who in the anime. Besides, the ones in the running are “two” sisters, so I can never win here. Ah I know, the reason I was fawning about this anime was the lack of Nanaka. She had no arc. A whole half-season with Koko as girlfriend… and NO NANAKA ARC. Underdog Koko wins. Kotori fans lose again.

Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka
The latest addition. This is one of the worst reversals I have seen yet. The episodes are clearly aiming for my pick, the kawaii tsundere himesama Yuuhi. It had the best episode at 10, one that I myself was surprised. Usually in anime like this, girl or boy confess, then next day, tadah… they’re a school couple acting like they’ve been together for 5 years. In this one, it mirrors real-life feelings of worry. So, they said “I love yous”, now what? They don’t know how to move after this. Embarrassments. Not knowing how to act. Some things still not set. It’s cute! They really acted like a new couple madly in love but they still have some lingering worries.

But then the imouto starts to go emo over his nii-san. Out of the blue, because there was not enough focus for this kind of angle. I know the guy always mouthwaters over his sister Minato, but really, the WTF comes from the guy’s best friend (the sidekick guy). HOW DOES HE KNOW THE SISCON? He’s forcing some unneeded drama, saying “can you live without your sister”. HA? Suppose the brother has a gf, does it mean bags-a-packing separation already? Madness! Also, what the hell is the main guy… a worthless dependent? But he can cook and take care of himself even without Minato. He’s just lazy, so he depends on Minato for the chores. So I blame the sidekick too. That was out of line.

Insight (end spoilers)
There is a pattern with siscon:

Well most of the time, the imoutochan or oneesan seems eternally close to the guy. Typical setting is the unbelievable they-live-together-without-their-parents-style, and 90% of the time, they are not blood-related. Then there comes some exchange student / outsider person / some fiancee, a girl who will suddenly sneak into the guy’s life. Most of the time I tend to like the “outsider girl”, because the main guy in the anime is usually lousy, lazy, indecisive and irresponsible. 90% of harem male leads are this way. They always rely on their imouto/ane for food and house work while they idle around the house watching TV or bitching about their latest adventures with the other bishoujo girls. An outsider girl’s mission always seems to be to take the guy out of this norm. she will be an inspiration for change and an aspiration for the guy to try to be a better person. All the while the sister looks like she approves for some girls and relationships, while hiding her slowly changing feelings. After all, if you live together for some years, then some new thing comes barging in, there will be some distance slowly opening between you and your sibling. Changes. This is where the drama kicks in, because the years-old foundation will start to crumble. What will the guy choose… change? Or more of the same? (oof not election-related I hope)

Another problem with male leads like this is that they’re “too kind”. I guess kindness is what’s left after all the negative traits I mentioned earlier. That even if this guy has already established a relationship with one girl, he still acts as if he has a harem. Why not focus on your new relationship? This just gives the other girls, and most especially the sister, the wrong idea. Gah, even anime and eroge puts this error in dialogue. Many-a-bishoujo will say “You’re too kind” to the guy. The guy still looks indecisive EVEN with the decision already there. The sister gives in to the pressure, that slight light of hope that she can still “steal back” her beloved brother. And then, the limit will be reached, and so the emotions will flow…

…BAM! So I have summarized the sister viewpoint for 90% of all the bishoujo or harem anime out there. I’m starting to wear out of this. The siscon genre (genre?) needs some bright new angle soon, or else I shall cast them all to choke sakura petals.

Side note: bluemist has an imouto.

12 Days of Catchup… oof 10 days left. (about bishoujo anime)

By bluemist on December 16th, 2008

Let me start the ball rolling again, even if it’s late. The key to restarting a blog is to start talking. I’m fairly noisy over on my Twitter, so I hope it could translate into something here.

I’m trying to shift focus this time. Because honestly, the bishoujo side of things isn’t up to snuff lately. Sure, Clannad is still as good as ever… but do you remember AIR?

I don’t think even KyoAni topped their own previous creation. AIR was arguably the greatest-looking TV anime ever made, and I think (hope) many would agree. It had the stuff you’ll jizz your pants with even if you only have a 720p rip of the not-even-true-1080p Blu-ray version. But it’s not only about visuals, the story (though compressed) had a perfect pace episode-after-episode. The music was completely based on the game (and therefore faithful to the original), and the overall package is just superb. The legend of KyoAni didn’t start in Haruhi IMO, it started with this one.

Aside from the yearly almost-consistent quality bishoujo anime from Kyoto Animation (AIR, Kanon, Clannad), the quality of the “side-dishes” (I may be harsh) of this genre has somewhat degraded over the years. Well, it is a relatively recent category (it just exploded in 2003) so I’d give it more breathing space. Who knows, it may have some kind of influence that we aniblogger gaijin may not notice. Ever wonder if it (Shuffle overexposure) ever made an impact when Densha Otoko aired? Hey, those may be picture cameos, but with 20% of Japan watching that show, someone must have noticed. Right? Right? If Densha Otoko started some maid cafe boom, did it start some buying-eroge boom?

I used to make a yearly poll of the best bishoujo game/visual novel/eroge-based anime over at AnimeSuki Forums. This year, I’m not so sure if anyone’s interested. I myself have praised nothing but Clannad, and I expect the overflooding of votes for that anime since I don’t think anything else matters this year. Kimikiss was IMO great, but not for everyone. Da Capo II was really great, it was faithful to the game, but only in the latter half did it commit to its promise.

After those two anime… er… I had to check anime lists to see what else aired during the year. H2O? Anything good about that? How about Koihime Musou (wasn’t it an ero anime too?) How about Akaneiro and Chaos:Head? I think the reportedly decent ones this year are true tears (but that’s not based on the game) and ef (haven’t watched yet because I’m lame).

So that’s my bishoujo catchup. Up next… hopefully… the shoujo catchup.

Alone

By bluemist on December 8th, 2008

I’ve gone to the point where I care less what people think, and at the same time worried on what people think. It’s this impossible duality that boggles my life lately. I have this unbearable feeling that, because of so many factors, I may have forgotten an important human feeling. Hmm… that sounds Skip Beat-ish.

With my inherent weakness in dealing with people, I am unable to control the world around me. I would always think a lot. Worry a lot. Trouble myself a lot. Sometimes I wish I could read minds, because I can’t finalize my decisions on my own if I don’t have the big picture. Maybe I’m just a computer that needs input in order to give output. I can’t do anything on my own.

I am not an otaku. I don’t lock myself in my room. No matter how I wished to be alone, I am not. But in being so, I am hurting, because I’m sure that whatever I do, it would reflect to the ones close to me. If I have a tainted reputation, the reputation of my family, my friends, other people I know, may be tainted because of me. Am I thinking too outward? Or am I trying to just lose the burden on me, thinking only of myself? If I have a tainted reputation, I could care less, but still want to be happy. Me me me. Am I thinking too inward?

This blog was, to a certain extent, a vital outlet of my emotions. I was, and still am, thankful for the few views and comments. At some point, for some reason, I wanted to know more. I wanted to put faces in, meet a few bloggers in real life, look at what makes them tick. I lurk heavily on their blogs, their twitters, their sites, in the hopes of getting myself closer to them, because in the end, I am mostly alone. Even with my real friends, I feel alone. Even with myself, I feel alone. And despite my hope for closeness, I sometimes turn away with a (Shinji) hedgehog dilemma. I just hurt myself in the process.

Now I’m losing everything. Look how empty this space is. If this post won’t have comments, how would I feel? Further into darkness? The problem is not just this blog not being updated often. This blog is an extension of what is really happening in my life. I’m not “updating myself”. I’m not moving from this spot. I’m not changing. This seems comfortable. But in the end, I worry about myself. This is not about love anymore, this is about life. How, despite my desire for change, can’t just start anything that easily.

I won’t try to put on a fake mask anymore. Beyond sweet words, lol expressions, emo thoughts, whatever the season is. In the end only true feelings matter.

I am lonely.

Would you share in my loneliness?

“I fear the turning of the pages, the difference of the new. In the end, I refuse change, no matter how much I desire it”
– myself