Wow the blog has been getting a lot of posts lately
Well, there's a lot of stuff to post about!
But no Best of 2011 posts, eh?
Given that it's August uh, they're like... laughably untimely at this point
Uhhhhhhhhh LET'S JUST TALK ABOUT ANIME.
I'm really confused about where this show is going. I made a guess at the structure of it last time I talked about it and I think that it might be accurate, but it's all happening way faster than I thought it would. Androphobia girl had like two lines total last episode, they spent the first half doing a bit of a "preview" on "likely to win da kokorokon nect" girl and in the second half they just solved "I'm pretty sure this is the best girl"'s problem. And it looks like next episode winning girl is gonna have the final dramatic breakdown so uh what happens for the seven episodes after that? I have no idea. Anyways people are way more interested in the uh lewd secrets in this episode. Is this gonna be a trend in anime now? Suddenly things are made way more explicit to spice things up? I dunno what I think about that but it does seem like I'll see these scenes posted on /a/ all day every day until the next episode, at least. I guess it is a sort of interesting subject what with the body swapping thing, but they seem to be moving away from that even as a gimmick, let alone a substantial plot point, like, this episode hardly had any of those shenanigans. We'll see. I'm enjoying it, at least.
I'm on episode 20 of this now, just finished the qualifier tournament arc. Really really enjoying this. Moe slice-of-life characterization with shonen sensibilities towards pacing and structure. Does that sound like the worst of both worlds? Or the best? I mean if you try to judge it objectively yeah the pacing is a cashgrab, flashbacks everywhere, animation quality varies, characters are like cloyingly moe, so throughly redeemed at every turn just because they can't have anyone's favorite be "mean", they throw out every shonen cliche, mahjong really is a pretty silly game to have a show about... and yet? I love it! Oh man, so good. I really do think they do some stuff really well, like, when they took the shonen structure, they managed to retain the intensity, the viewer involvement. All the character arcs are quite nice, even if they're cliched as hell. And some of the scenes are so badass man like when Mihoko opened her eyes and they made computer noises and she could figure out everyone's hand and uh when she comes in to console Kana during the final match and saying something about "I can't find the words, so can I just stay here with you?" that's like, that's magical. I think Mihoko is my favorite character. And the match with Momoko, I loved how they never showed her "hand perspective" or had her inner narrative or anything like they'd done with all the other characters, so you actually did forget about her, just like the characters did! That was done well. Every character is pretty fantastic, though. The idea of shonen power-level undercurrents makes them all so interesting and they allow themselves a real range of archetypes, like Arcana Heart almost.
I think right now my top five favorites are like:
Can't wait for the nationals!!
This show is kinda... weird. I dunno. It's quite nicely paced, exciting things and character development always seem to be happening but it also seems like it could keep up this tempo through the whole series, which is what I'm worried about re: Kokoro Connect. I like the characters and the premise. What's weird to me is that, I dunno, a lot of the plot elements just seem kinda bizarre. I can't really put my finger on it. The whole plot with the older band was pretty surreal at times, as is the entire character of Weis, but he's awesome so that's okay. I think the real test of this show will come when they move past Wakana's big dramatic breakthrough, like, when that resolves and she starts singing again, which I'm sure will happen... will they keep pushing that until the end, or is she going to be resolved and the other characters will get a more definite arc? Either way the pacing could get all messed up, which is bad.
Episode 4 was pretty good, pretty standard. Good student council action. I hear that Sakurako is now causing a bit of a schism in the fanbase between people who like her and people who find her too bratty. I can agree she was pretty dang greedy in that episode... Ayano's gas mask was pretty moe. Board game was great too, and the little plot with Chinatsu's scarf carrying over was nice. The jokes with the modification to the clock were alright but not really what I watch the show for. WHAT I WATCH THE SHOW FOR IS EPISODE 5, oh man, WHAT AN EPISODE. You might just be like "well it's okay for Akari fans" (are there people who aren't Akari fans?) but we also got some really good Kyouko adventures, some great stuff of Sakurako and Himawari, a great Kaede scene, some good Yui and Kyouko scenes, some nice video game jokes. Oh, but yeah, the centerpiece is obviously Akari, and why shouldn't she be? Akari is just dominating all the other LazyLillies now in terms of moe. The bus scene is basically a thesis in this dynamic new archetype of "misfortune moe". Akari is really approaching miracle of the universe tier. But when are we gonna actually see Akane for more than a few frames??
Second prelims are never very interesting so I won't say much about those. Nothing really surprised me in them. Kinda disappointed that Yuuko and Hakase didn't do better but Nano winning was good. Glad that Yumi did well, too, and that Hiro made it through convincingly.
Anyways the more exciting thing is that group draws have happened, so even though the actual matches are far away we can make some predictions for the first round.
I'm gonna bold the one I think will win and italicize the one I want to win.
Himari Takakura @ Mawaru Penguindrum
Saki Miyanaga @ Saki
Maho Misawa @ Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Nanako Dojima @ Persona 4
Illyasviel Von Einzbern @ Fate/Stay Night
Moko Tsuiki @ Saki
Yoshinoya @ Hidamari Sketch
Nako Oshimizu @ Hanasaku Iroha
Mero Furuya @ Sankarea
Maria Takayama @ Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai
Remon Yamano @ Ano Natsu De Matteru
Miyuki Tsubakino @ Saki
Masamune Usami @ Mayo Chiki!
Lingyin Huang @ Infinite Stratos
Mahiru Inami @ Working!
Miya Tachibana @ Amagami SS
Kiyomi Sakura @ Squid Girl
Kobato Hasegawa @ Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai
Riko Yasufuku @ Saki
Tiffania Westwood @ Zero's Familiar
Yuuki Kataoka @ Saki
Rika Shiguma @ Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai
Asia Argento @ High School DxD
Ghutatan @ Haiyore! Nyarlko-san
Tsukasa Ayatsuji @ Amagami SS
Reika Aoki @ Smile Pretty Cure!
Raika Oda @ Papa No Iukoto O Kikinasai!
Cecilia Alcott @ Infinite Stratos
Crea Dolosera@ Aquarion Evol
Saki Mizukoshi @ Natsuiro Kiseki
Yuno Gasai @ Future Diary
Koromo Amae @ Saki
Charlotte E Yeager @ Strike Witches
Lynette Bishop @ Strike Witches
(This is a pretty crazy group)
Aoi Ogiyama @ Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Miki Hoshii @ The Idolmaster
Tomoka Minato @ Ro-Kyu-Bu!
(Miki could actually get through if the Ro-Kyu-Bu faction can't coordinate.
So yeah probably... Saki and Koromo in group finals... wow, that's perfect.
Yuka Hanaki @ Natsuiro Kiseki
Tomo Asama @ Horizon In The Middle Of Nowhere
Shino Amakusa @ Seitokai Yakuindomo
(This is like the weakest group ever)
Komaki Jindai @ Saki
Iori Minase @ The Idolmaster
Mio Naganohara @ Nichijou
Shinobu Oshino @ Ghostory
Ayame Shaga @ Ben-To
Shirayuki Hotogi @ Hidan No Aria
Nori @ Hidamari Sketch
Chris Yukine @ Senki Zesshou Symphogear
Sae @ Hidamari Sketch
(This group is just too cruel...)
Hanyuu @ When They Cry
Kanade Suzutsuki @ Mayo Chiki!
Isumi Saginomiya @ Hayate The Combat Butler
Toki Onjouji @ Saki
Tsumiki Miniwa @ Acchi Kocchi
Airi Sena @ Mashiroiro Symphony ~The Colour Of Lovers~
Yuno @ Hidamari Sketch
Sakurako Oomuro @ Yuru Yuri
Azusa Nakano @ K-On!
(This group is just horrible. What a travesty...)
Run @ A Channel
Ritsu Tainaka @ K-On!
Ami Kawashima @ Toradora!
Izumi Segawa @ Hayate The Combat Butler
Akari Akaza @ Yuru Yuri
Taeko Hiramatsu @ Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka?
Mei Misaki @ Another
Rias Gremory @ High School DxD
Ayano Sugiura @ Yuru Yuri
Yozora Mikazuki @ Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai
Chihaya Ayase @ Chihayafuru
Nazuna @ Hidamari Sketch
(Maybe being overly optimistic, but the elevens seem to hate Yozora)
Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke @ Strike Witches
Mako Someya @ Saki
Ichika Takatsuki @ Ano Natsu De Matteru
Group finals are likely to be... I dunno, Azusa and Akari? I dunno. I hope Akari wins...
Shizuno Takakamo @ Saki
Rise Matsumoto @ Yuru Yuri
Kyouko Toshinou @ Yuru Yuri
Kokoro Akechi @ Detective Opera Milky Holmes
Hare Menjou @ Guilty Crown
Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen @ Strike Witches
(Everyone here has a chance, though, this'll be interesting)
Cthugha @ Haiyore! Nyarlko-san
Francesca Lucchini @ Strike Witches
Chinatsu Yoshikawa @ Yuru Yuri
Maria @ Hayate The Combat Butler
Maon Sakurada @ Tamayura
Laura Bodewig @ Infinite Stratos
Fuu Sawatari @ Tamayura
Kanon Nakagawa @ The World God Only Knows
Norie Okazaki @ Tamayura
Yuuka Morigaki @ Saki
Hisa Takei @ Saki
Sae Nakata @ Amagami SS
Awai Oohashi @ Saki
Astarotte Ygvar @ Astarotte's Toy!
Mami Futami @ The Idolmaster
Sherlock Shellingford @ Detective Opera Milky Holmes
Mayuri Shiina @ Steins;Gate
Asuha Tohara @ Astarotte's Toy!
Kaoru Hanawa @ Tamayura
Ringo Oginome @ Mawaru Penguindrum
Professor Shinonome @ Nichijou
Sen Yarizui @ Ben-To
Suruga Kanbaru @ Ghostory
Ui Hirasawa @ K-On!
Yune @ Ikoku Meiro No Croisee
Sonya @ Kill Me Baby
Erica Hartmann @ Strike Witches
Yayoi Kise @ Smile Pretty Cure!
Gruier Serenity @ Bodacious Space Pirates
Ai Haibara @ Detective Conan
Group C isn't particularly strong at all, really... I hope Kyouko makes it out, I think she and Yayoi are probably going to hit finals.
Houki Shinonono @ Infinite Stratos
Rinko Tamaki @ Natsuiro Kiseki
Harue Akado @ Saki
Chihaya Kisaragi @ The Idolmaster
Hibiki Tachibana @ Senki Zesshou Symphogear
Koneko Toujou @ High School DxD
Henriette Mystere @ Detective Opera Milky Holmes
Suzu Hagimura @ Seitokai Yakuindomo
Hajime Kunihiro @ Saki
Hinata Hakamada @ Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Unused character @ Kill Me Baby
Perinne Clostermann @ Strike Witches
Tamao Kurei @ Haiyore! Nyarlko-san
Hibino Shiba @ Kamisama Dolls
Sana Inui @ Mashiroiro Symphony ~The Colour Of Lovers~
Ayumi Tokita @ Squid Girl
Kurisu Makise @ Steins;Gate
Mihoko Fukuji @ Saki
Teru Miyanaga @ Saki
Madoka Kyouno @ Rinne No Lagrange
Tomoki Sawamura @ Saki
Hiroe Atago @ Saki
Utao Kuga @ Kamisama Dolls
Nagi Sanzenin @ Hayate The Combat Butler
Gertrud Barkhorn @ Strike Witches
Yasuna Oribe @ Kill Me Baby
Sakurako Gibbard @ Saki
Louise De La Valliere @ Zero's Familiar
Yuuko Shionji @ Kamisama No Memochou
Kei Arakawa @ Saki
Karuta Roromiya @ Inu X Boku SS
Makoto Kikuchi @ The Idolmaster
Fear Kubrick @ C Cubed
Agiri Goshiki @ Kill Me Baby
Touka Ryuumonbuchi @ Saki
Saber @ Fate/Stay Night
(Nasuverse alliance may prove me wrong here though)
Probably Nagi and Mihoko will make it out here? I'd be okay with that.
Chiaki Kurihara @ Bodacious Space Pirates
Cordelia Glauca @ Detective Opera Milky Holmes
Sakuno Uryuu @ Mashiroiro Symphony ~The Colour Of Lovers~
Erio Touwa @ Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko
Yumi Kajiki @ Saki
Hiro @ Hidamari Sketch
Kaori Senou @ Saki
Yunoha Thrul @ Aquarion Evol
Kurumi Hazuki @ Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel
Yayoi Takatsuki @ The Idolmaster
Nao Midorikawa @ Smile Pretty Cure!
Chie Satonaka @ Persona 4
Atsumi Miyagawa @ Recorder & Randsell
Sanae Nagatsuki @ Squid Girl
Yuuko Aioi @ Nichijou
Yachiyo Todoroki @ Working!
Hinagiku Katsura @ Hayate The Combat Butler
Sanya V Litvyak @ Strike Witches
Ringo @ Daily Lives Of High School Boys
Hibiki Ganaha @ The Idolmaster
Natsumi Aizawa @ Natsuiro Kiseki
Rin Tousaka @ Fate/Stay Night
Yurin L'Ciel @ Mobile Suit Gundam Age
Sukoya Kokaji @ Saki
Mix @ Aquarion Evol
Chitose Ikeda @ Yuru Yuri
Charlotte Dunois @ Infinite Stratos
Hatsumi Usuzumi @ Saki
Arata Sagimori @ Saki
Yuu Matsumi @ Saki
(lol triple Saki)
Erika Kurumi @ Heartcatch Pretty Cure
Taiga Aisaka @ Toradora!
Literature Girl @ Daily Lives Of High School Boys
Haruka L Morishima @ Amagami SS
Ayumu Nishizawa @ Hayate The Combat Butler
Yui Hirasawa @ K-On!
Eh I dunno with this group either. Hinagiku and Yui probably.
Ryuuko Mifune @ Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko
Hercule Barton @ Detective Opera Milky Holmes
Horizon Ariadust @ Horizon In The Middle Of Nowhere
Seraphim @ Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka?
Yae Kobashiri @ Saki
Hatsuse Okahashi @ Saki
Irisviel Von Einzbern @ Fate/Stay Night
Riko Mine @ Hidan No Aria
Yui Funami @ Yuru Yuri
Ranko Saouji @ Sankarea
Kirame Hanada @ Saki
Kasumi Iwato @ Saki
Kanna Tanigawa @ Ano Natsu De Matteru
Mikoto Urabe @ Mysterious Girlfriend X
Karen Araragi @ Ghostory
(This will be a "nail biter")
Haruka Amami @ The Idolmaster
Satomi Kanbara @ Saki
Ohana Matsumae @ Hanasaku Iroha
Kuro Matsumi @ Saki
Sara Eguchi @ Saki
Subaru Konoe @ Mayo Chiki!
Mayu Morita @ Morita-san Wa Mukuchi
Nadeko Sengoku @ Ghostory
Nyarlathotep @ Haiyore! Nyarlko-san
Haruna @ Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka?
Tsumugi Kotobuki @ K-On!
Ryuuka Shimizudani @ Saki
(This'll be close too, but I think Mugi's got it.)
Yukari Hirai @ Shakugan No Shana
Eru Chitanda @ Hyouka
Dantalian @ Dantalian No Shoka
Yoshika Miyafuji @ Strike Witches
Ririchiyo Shirakiin @ Inu X Boku SS
Tooru @ A Channel
Miyako @ Hidamari Sketch
Takane Shijou @ The Idolmaster
Yuuko Kanoe @ Dusk Maiden Of Amnesia
Probably... Chitanda and Kuro Matsumi?
Momoko Touyoko @ Saki
Mayoi Hachikuji @ Ghostory
Yukiho Hagiwara @ The Idolmaster
(This one will be crazy. At the end I'll explain why I'm now sorta underrating the Sakis.)
Nodoka Haramura @ Saki
Ami Futami @ The Idolmaster
Mio Kitahara @ Ano Natsu De Matteru
Ai Nanasaki @ Amagami SS
Saku Touyama @ Detective Opera Milky Holmes
Sawako Yamanaka @ K-On!
(Hooray for Sawa-chan!)
Laffinty Fin E Ld Si @ Rinne No Lagrange
Miyuki Hoshizora @ Smile Pretty Cure!
Hina Takanashi @ Papa No Iukoto O Kikinasai!
Rihoko Sakurai @ Amagami SS
Angelina Nanatsu Sewell @ Mashiroiro Symphony ~The Colour Of Lovers~
Aria H Kanzaki @ Hidan No Aria
Hitagi Senjougahara @ Ghostory
Kouko Fukuyo @ Saki
Suzuha Amane @ Steins;Gate
Mio Sakamoto @ Strike Witches
Nao Takanashi @ Onii-chan No Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara Ne!
Kotori Otonashi @ The Idolmaster
(Mio has a shot if the Strike Witches fanbase can make some coordinated power play)
Rise Kujikawa @ Persona 4
Habara @ Daily Lives Of High School Boys
Aoi Yamada @ Working!
Rea Sanka @ Sankarea
Tsukihi Araragi @ Ghostory
Siesta @ Zero's Familiar
Yuniko Kouzuki @ Accel World
Ako Atarashi @ Saki
Rena Ryuuguu @ When They Cry
Squid Girl @ Squid Girl
Yuuko @ A Channel
Sakuya Aizawa @ Hayate The Combat Butler
Minami Shimada @ Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu
Akane Hino @ Smile Pretty Cure!
Mael Strom @ Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka?
Probably like... Nodoka and Squid Girl here, or maybe Yamada.
Airi Kashii @ Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Tsubasa Hanekawa @ Ghostory
Hecate @ Shakugan No Shana
Minko Tsurugi @ Hanasaku Iroha
Kirie Kanoe @ Dusk Maiden Of Amnesia
Shouko Kirishima @ Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu
Mayaka Ibara @ Hyouka
Poplar Taneshima @ Working!
Miu Takanashi @ Papa No Iukoto O Kikinasai!
Shana @ Shakugan No Shana
Izumi Akazawa @ Another
Mizuki Himeji @ Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu
Ritsuko Akizuki @ The Idolmaster
Hiroko Funakubo @ Saki
Snow Black @ Accel World
Nano Shinonome @ Nichijou
Ako Shirabe @ Suite Pretty Cure
Henrietta De Tristain @ Zero's Familiar
Mio Akiyama @ K-On!
Nagi @ A Channel
Saki Nagatsuka @ Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Uta Mihirogi @ Saki
Ayumi Takahara @ The World God Only Knows
Rika Furude @ When They Cry
Azusa Miura @ The Idolmaster
Nazuna Takanashi @ Working!
Sora Takanashi @ Papa No Iukoto O Kikinasai!
Elucia De Lute Irma @ The World God Only Knows
Kana Ikeda @ Saki
Eucliwood Hellscythe @ Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka?
Yukimura Kusunoki @ Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai
Minori Kushieda @ Toradora!
Marika Katou @ Bodacious Space Pirates
Miu Amaha @ Mashiroiro Symphony ~The Colour Of Lovers~
Sena Kashiwazaki @ Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai
Himawari Furutani @ Yuru Yuri
Mio and Poplar will likely do well here, as will Meat. Probably Meat and Mio in the finals?
Hey how'd you choose which one you liked best when you hadn't seen any of the shows involved?
I just went based on how moe they looked.
So how will Saki do in the tournament proper?
Probably worse but not much worse. See the thing with prelims is that since you can vote for multiple characters, a lot of people who like Saki alright just threw votes at what ever Saki characters were involved. But now that people actually have to like Saki like explicitly the most of all three characters, I think they're gonna run out of steam. Not to mention the anti-Saki crowd that I'm sure exists. We'll see, though, I certainly wish the show well because I've been really enjoying it.
Anyways this is long enough now