:D :D :D

Sep. 6th, 2014 10:23 am
elaby: (Makoto - Earth child)
So last week, Sailor Moon Crystal wasn't on even though it was two weeks since the last episode, and there was SO MUCH SADNESS LET ME TELL YOU, but this week it was on and that makes up for it!

No spoilers, but I just have to say, for the record: NO WONKY FACES OR DUBIOUS ANIMATION FOR THE PAST TWO WHOLE EPISODES. \o/ The animators were just getting their sea legs. And after this latest one, I'm floating on a cloud of happiness <3

!!!!!!!

Aug. 25th, 2014 06:04 pm
elaby: (Usagi - Within me)
So I've been avidly keeping up with Sailor Moon Crystal, devouring each new episode when it airs, but SOMEHOW I TOTALLY MISSED THIS.

It's the official music video for Momoiro Clover's "MOON PRIDE", the Sailor Moon Crystal theme song. It's fully animated and extremely high-quality (much higher than most of the episodes). I kept seeing all of these gorgeous gifs and wondering where they came from... well, this is it.


*watches it about a skillion times*
elaby: (Rei - Eyes)
I don't think I've EVER been as excited for the premier of a TV show as I was about Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal. Sailor Moon was a huge, huge influence on me as a teenager, second only to Utena, and I still covet my ancient fansubbed tapes. Friendship, love, bravery, acceptance – its merits go on and on. The new series, which doesn't remake the old anime but is rather adapted directly from the manga, aired this Saturday, July 5, at 6 a.m. I watched it Saturday night, palpitating with joy.

Spoilers under the cut :3

Ima yo, Sailor Moon! )
elaby: (Madoka - Madoka Homura hold hands)
What better time to write an LJ post than when you're sitting at the gastroenterologist's office, having a lactose intolerance test that entails nothing more than drinking a glass of citrusy liquid and breathing into a bag every couple of hours? We were instructed to bring something to do. There are three other people in the room with me and it's DEAD SILENT.

I've been watching a couple of different anime series lately on Crunchyroll. The unfortunate thing about the evolution of my tastes is that I kind of don't want to watch any anime unless it's got queer characters and they're treated with seriousness and respect, and, uh... yeah. As you can imagine, that narrows things down considerably. The two things that I've been watching are Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son) and Sakura Trick.

Hourou Musuko is by far the higher quality of the two. I can honestly say that it's unique in terms of the anime I've ever heard of - Hourou Musuko is about a trans* girl and a trans* boy who have just entered middle school and are navigating their developing understanding of themselves. This is a purely serious show, and the characters gender identities and sexualities are treated with seriousness and respect and without exploitation, voyeurism, or comic relief. Trans* issues like the difficulty of deciding which bathroom to use and finding chest binders are touched upon if not discussed thoroughly. I honestly never thought I'd see an anime that treated trans* people like actual people who face real difficulty and oppression rather than just a silly side character played for laughs. There's even an adult trans* woman character who is an excellent role model for the younger characters - she's portrayed as just a regular woman with a regular job and a stable, loving relationship. I'm kind of blown away at how well-done this show is (and the animation is gorgeous as well). I don't know how it will end, and I fiercely hope that it's not disappointing, but so far there's been a good balance of showing the difficulties of being trans* while not making the characters out to be tragic and hopelessly doomed to unhappiness.

Sakura Trick is kind of at the other end of the spectrum, but it's also unique in some ways. It's a simple slice-of-life anime comedy with no plot to speak of. It's yuri, and that's pretty much all it is - a half hour of cute schoolgirls kissing. And kissing again. And holding hands, and then kissing some more. What's different about Sakura Trick is that the girls do kiss all the time. There's no teasing about "are they or aren't they?" like so many other yuri shows. There's less skirt-peeking pervyness. There's just girls kissing over and over in every possible situation you can think of. They don't do the "But we're both girls!" thing, either. The two main characters, Haruka and Yuu, just accept that they love each other and like to cuddle and kiss, and the only trepidation or embarrassment they have is worry that they're going to get caught kissing at school (because you should only be studying at school, not because they'll get in trouble for being gay). There's an eye-rolling amount of fanservice (boobie jiggling! Random shots of their thighs!) but it's ignorable. Every episode is complete fluff, but it's really nice to have some fluff aimed at people like me once in a while.
elaby: (Minako - SQUEE!)
Lately I've had a hankering for brainlessly entertaining girl-centric anime. Well, the brainlessness wasn't a necessary element, but complexity wasn't either. Sometimes I just want to watch cute girls being cute, and if it's got an added bonus of a compelling intelligent plot (hi there Madoka), so much the better. OMG SO, SIDE NOTE: The Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime is coming out in the US in February of next year! And I think the manga is licensed by Yen Plus, who does a fabulous job with translation in my experience. Double excitement!

Hidamari Sketch: Cute, but otherwise, a resounding meh )

YuruYuri: I can has more episodes nao? )

For your brainworming edification, the YuruYuri opening and ending songs. Note on weirdness: The quality isn't great on the opener, and (for some bizarre reason) it's "flopped" - like, somebody mirrored it so the things that happen on the left side now happen on the right, and the text is backward, etc. - but in the HD version on YouTube that's the right way around, the music timing is off. And the music timing is what makes it.



Sorry about the frame on this one. The only other version I could find is flopped too e_e WTF, I mean really. Also sorry about the lack of translation. They weren't translated in the episodes either.



One more cut - a video of the voice actresses performing the song, cosplaying their characters )
elaby: (Vocaloid - Miku singing in the rain)
I'm back from my big Anime Expo adventure :3 First time traveling by myself, flying by myself, staying in a hotel by myself... and I didn't really run into any difficulties. Onnacounta how I are a grownup, I expect. I had a blast, and it was absolutely worth it, but it was an awful lot of doing crammed into very few hours XD

LONG POST IS LONG. I'm going to break this up by cut tags so that people can skip bits if they want.

Travel, whee )

-
Arriving at the con! )

-
Vocaloid panels )

-
Cosplay watching and other things I did while waiting for the Miku concert to start )

-
Mikunopolis, aka THE CONCEEEEERRRTT )

-
Day 2 of my adventure begins - Day 3 of the con, technically - and the Copic Marker workshop )

-
Con loot, and how I amused myself before catching the shuttle back to the airport )

-
Travel II, or: the endcap )

In short, it was a fun-packed two and a half days, though somewhat surreal since I'm not used to such back-to-back activity, especially not all by myself. I'm really glad I went. I think it was an experience not to be missed :)
elaby: (Spock - Holy shit)
OMG I found the first seven episodes of Pokemon in Japanese with English subtitles! For anybody who would like a nostalgic trip down 90's anime lane... looks to me like the Russian equivalent of YouTube. It works well as long as you let the videos load.

POKEMON GETTO DA ZE!
elaby: (Madoka - Homura is badass)
I said I'd post about Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, and so I shall! Incidentally, this is the first anime I've watched as it comes out in Japan, and I have to say that I love the experience XD It's so nice to only have to wait a week between episodes instead of several months for the next DVD. Nowadays I tend to lose interest or forget about a series I liked if I have to wait for the next set of episodes to come out (sorry about that, Baccano.) Not so with Madoka; although, if I hadn't seen up to episode 3 in one sitting, I'm not sure I would have continued watching it. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is the Japanese name of the series. It translates to Magical Girl Madoka Magica ("magica" meaning "of the mage", I've read somewhere?), but, like Utena "La Fillette Revolutionnaire", the series' title has an official non-Japanese alternate title: Puella Magi Madoka Magica. I think this is Italian? And, I presume from my limited knowledge of Latinate languages, it means approximately the same thing as the Japanese.

I came across this series in an interesting way. I was on Safebooru, which is (I think) a mirror of the fanart site Danbooru, only, um, apparently not so full of pr0n. There's a list of tags on the side of each page, and while looking through Vocaloids fanart, I came upon the tag "hug". I like hugs! So I clicked on this tag just to see what cuteness might exist there. If you're familiar with this site, there are usually about... I dunno... 30 thumbnails displayed on each page. I clicked through maybe five of these pages, and 90% of the art was from Madoka Magica. Considering the pace at which I'd noticed Vocaloid art piling up on the new pages, the fact that so much art came from this one series told me it had to be popular. And if it engendered this many pictures involving hugging, I knew I had to see it.

At first glance, Madoka Magica is your standard magical girl show. The protagonist has pink hair in adorable pigtails and wears a fluffy fluffy pink dress and shiny Sakura-esque shoes in the opening. Throughout the first two episodes, I was like "Okay, here's the usual mahou shoujo beginning, girl meets magical talking animal... interesting animation choices when it comes to monster battles, but nothing too surprising." Then certain events in episode 3 had me diving behind the couch.

This is not your standard magical girl show. It reminds me of Evangelion in the same way that you'd start watching that, going "All right, mecha, big battles, girls in tight suits, oka--WHATOWMYBRAIN." Except that I'm like a zillion times more attached to the characters in Madoka. It turns all of the usual magical girl cliché's and standards upside down in quite disturbing ways, while still retaining the heart of what I love about shows like Sailor Moon. If you're looking for happy fluffy funtimes, this is not the show for you. But if you like drama and horror and unfailing love and existential crises, and you don't mind being a little traumatized (in a good way! XD) on occasion, I highly recommend Madoka Magica.

And now for the spoilers. )

@_@

Apr. 22nd, 2011 10:52 pm
elaby: (Madoka - Madoka from behind)
Just watched the final two episodes of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika. OH GOD MY BRAIN. Uh. Yeah, that's as coherent as I'm getting right now. More to come.

I went icon-hunting the other night and got a ton of Madoka icons *points for an example* BUT HOLYCRAP PLEASE BE GETTING TO SCREENCAPPING THE LAST EPISODES ICONMAKERS OF THE WORLD KTHNX - love and kisses, me.

Good LORD was that ever an anime ending. The production team must've loved Utena.
elaby: (Rei/Minako - Amore)
It's after 11:00 and I've stayed up all night watching anime! And I would be staying up even later if the next episode hadn't only aired in Japan last night. And it's probably the last episode. GIANT FREAKING CLIFFHANGER.

I'm watching Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (Magical Girl Madoka Magica, translated in the title as "Puella Magi" instead of "Magical Girl") and holy cow, this ain't your usual mahou shoujo anime. It's superficially teeth-rottingly cute, but by the third episode there's enough blood and death and decapitation and mind-bending psychological craziness that it turns the genre purposefully on its head. AND I LOVE IT. The fact that it's all about adorable girls who are besty best friends and love each other and are constantly holding hands and hugging and crying on each other has NOTHING to do with it.

I have, to date, never been watching an anime series as it comes out in Japan, so this is a new and exciting experience for me. I'm kind of glad I spoiled myself on Wikipedia as to the general gist of the show and a few "what's-really-going-on" details after watching the first three episodes, because they were weird enough that I'm not sure I would have mainlined the rest otherwise. The animation at the very beginning (there are only 10 episodes out so far) is not as good as the second half, and the battles are all done in this weird applique-like, paper cut-out style that makes me think of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". But it grows on you, and the plot is so full of OMGWTF twists that it makes up for it.

:D :D Episode 11 can be translated now plz?

Arts, etc.

Oct. 10th, 2010 03:20 pm
elaby: (LotR - Galadriel blue)
You know that Lord of the Rings meme I'd been threatening to show you all? It's ALMOST done. One more picture. But I scanned a bunch of my other drawings (mostly fan art) that I had been ignoring in my notebook in favor of the stuff for the meme.

Fandoms include Bleach, LotR, Love Mode, and Caitirin's head )

In other news, I partitioned my MacBook and I'm now running Windows as well as OS X, so I can play LOTRO with all the cool kids :3 It's wicked neat. I knew other people had both on their computers, but that never translated in my brain to something I could accomplish too XD This also means that it's now possible for me to run Vocaloid on my computer! That is, if I can figure out where one would procure a copy, and if however much it costs is within how much I'm willing to spend on something I'm just going to be fooling around with for fun. I have no idea how to write music and have no instruments, so I'd only be creating vocal tracks, and the whole program is, I assume, in Japanese. Including, you know, the menus and instructions and everything XD But if it's not too expensive, I would SO GET IT just to make Miku sing silly songs for me.
elaby: (Akio - Long live the king)
I made some Gankutsuou icons! Finally. Only four, though ^^;; This show is so freaking pretty!

01: 02: 03: 04:

01 and 02 are from episode 15, because I'm an utter sucker for the Count having maybeactuallyreal!feelings for Albert. The kanji in 03 and 04 reads hakushaku ("Count"). I managed to find the right rank of nobility under the second kanji with the reading "haku" that I looked up in my ginormous kanji dictionary! XD There were like seventeen entries for "haku" scattered throughout it so I really lucked out.

And lemme tell you what I went through to get that text XD I thought "There's no way I'll find these in my random kanji brushes, so I might as well just write them myself." So after spending a long time writing them in Photoshop *perfectionist powers activate!* they still ended up looking like kanji written by a gaijin who doesn't really use a tablet that often. So I had the brilliant idea of just switching my keyboard to hiragana and writing the word out in Pages. I did that neat little press-enter-and-convert-to-kanji thing, made the font huge, screencapped it, and plopped it into Photoshop. Much easier XD

:3 *sense of accomplishment*
elaby: (Crawford - Dark side)
I wrote this a few weeks ago, but I keep forgetting to post it XD In which I babble a metric ton about WK.

We finished watching Weiß Kreuz (Kapitel - the first series) the other night. Man, having a television in the bedroom is the awesomest thing ever! XD Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] _melisande_ and [livejournal.com profile] um_schonheit and family!

I had forgotten how absolutely wretched the animation in this series truly is. I can probably count on one hand the scenes where it's clear they said "Okay, let's dedicate three week's budget to this one!" And everything else was done with what was left over. It was so obvious from the wonky faces, the weird coloring, the jerky repetitive movements and extremely blatant attempts to avoid actually animating things - in one scene, a character is vaulting over a high bar in gym class, and all we see are her running sneakers, sky, then a still of her laying on the mat afterwards. Somebody on the production team must've liked Omi, though, because he was certainly the least maimed art-wise. Heh, it doesn't help that we've been watching Moribito and Samurai Champloo lately; Moribito has film-quality art and animation and everybody looks so slick and moves so awesomely in Samurai Champloo.

It goes without saying that WK is a slapdash angst-fest created for the sole purpose of torturing cool-looking bishounen, but I really really love it all the same XD It has such potential, good lord, although this series rarely taps into that potential. I can't say for Gluhen, because I haven't seen it, and I hear that events in the drama CDs are such that the characters all act completely different afterwards anyway. I'm not sure I'd want to see that ^^;; (Unless it meant Aya being less of a two-dimensional bastard. Sorry, Koyasu.)

[livejournal.com profile] caitirin said to me the night we watched the end that it was like the creators just kept saying "Ooh, ooh, wouldn't it be cool if--!" and they piled cool idea on top of cool idea with no regard for whether Cool Idea 254 directly contradicted Cool Idea 17 back in the third episode. I'll discuss the gaping plot holes later, but this is so true, especially considering how the Takatori family was built up as The Ultimate Evil and then virtually disappeared after the middle of the series. (Which was, of course, good for me, as it let Schwarz step into the limelight.) It was like they'd resolve things and then go "Oh crap, what now? We can't let the boys be happy! Hurry, kidnap the sister! Bring back the dead girlfriend and make her evil!"

Anyway, the last two episodes get so close to the above-mentioned potential that it's maddening. They're actually pretty good, comparatively, especially if you're partial to Schwarz. It also seems like at the last minute the production team was all "Okay, what fan contingent haven't we appeased yet? Oh, the slashers! Quick, Omi/Ken! GO!"

Omi/Ken like you wouldn't believe. )

Now, onto the important stuff: Schwarz. )
elaby: (Kirk - Reboot bang bang)
I keep doing Schwarz-related things in my free time! Translation is my new favorite time-sink.

So, I have this Weiß Kreuz artbook, Gakken Mook Animedia Special, and it's got screenshots from all of the opening and ending sequences. And all the screenshots have little captions beneath them. Because I was under the mistaken impression that figuring out what these say would give me secret insights into the characters, I've translated the ones that were under shots of Crawford and Schuldig.

Japanese and translations )
elaby: (Crawford - Dark side)
After a full day of volunteer yard work, I'm exhausted. Sure beats sitting at my desk staring at a computer, though. Today I discovered that I'm not afraid of heights! Hello, 17-foot extension ladder. Why yes, I got to know you and your friend Mr. Paint Can quite well.

For your amusement and edification, I've been listening more closely to the Schwarz Dramatic Image Album to see if I can translate parts of it. What I wouldn't give for a transcription of this, even in Japanese! I could really use some kanji so I'd be certain of the meanings of some words, at least. When sentences are particularly complicated, I've mapped out the direct word correspondence below them.

This is largely Crawford-and-Schuldig-centric (you're surprised, I know) because 1) Nagi is fairly easy to understand, 2) Farfarello doesn't talk much and when he does I've been able to figure it out without much trouble, and 3) I really couldn't care less about Colonel Amlich and company.

Transliteration and translation attempts. I'm pretty pleased with what I managed to come up with. )

My eyeballs are spinning. I really wish I could come up with something significant to end this with, but I'm far too tired XD It took me several seconds to even think of the word "significant." I didn't do all this translating tonight, of course - no brains left for that. I think it's time for bed.
elaby: (Crawford - blood)
So the other day I listened to the Weiss Kreuz Dramatic Image Album IV (part IV is the only one I own, amusingly. I bought it because it's part of the Schwarz story and it has Crawford and Schuldig's image songs). For those of you who aren't anime dorks, a dramatic image album (also called a drama CD) is like a radio play. I'd listened to this one when I bought it, of course, which was sometime probably in my first year of college, but I understand Japanese a lot better now (you know, after three years of classes instead of just what I'd picked up watching anime). Which isn't to say I always know exactly what's being said XD It's pretty easy to figure out what's going on, because the sound effects are rather self-explanatory and there's a lot of stock dialogue (as you would expect from Weiss Kreuz). You know, name-shouting and one-word imperatives and the like. But seriously, I would sit and listen to Okiayu Ryoutarou and Midorikawa Hikaru all day, no matter whether I have any idea what they're saying or not *fans self*

Ahem. Anyway. Here's the a rundown of what goes on, as far as I can tell. I was lucky enough to find a translation of the first half online today (here) and a summary of the second half (here), but I was pretty happy with what I understood on my own.

This stuff is seriously hilarious, guys. )
elaby: (Yuna - I can hear you)
Life update! Well, more of a fandom update, really. Or a "what I've been up to" update.

What I've been up to has not been writing ¬_¬ The writing has just not been happening. I'm not going to worry too much about it, though, because drawing has been happening instead. Anime and manga have staged a brain-coup, and I've also started studying Japanese again. I bought volume 2 of "Japanese in Mangaland," a textbook and workbook that teaches the Japanese language through lessons with examples from real manga (the dialogue is from real manga, but the pictures have been re-drawn due to copyright reasons, which makes it kind of fun to try to figure out what might've been going on in the original). Volume 2 covers what I covered in my end-of-second and beginning-of-third years of Japanese, so it's a refresher for the more complicated grammar points with some added stuff that I didn't learn in class. There's a volume 3 as well that I want to get when I finish this one.

Last week, I got the third volume of The Last Uniform in the mail from Japan! *armwaving* This way to translation babbling. )

A couple of weeks ago, I borrowed the first volume of Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~ from the library. It was interesting; I had been avoiding it because I figured it was one of those standard cop-out "boy gets turned into girl and makes out with girls" yuri storylines, and I was highly skeptical about its sensitivity to transgender issues. After reading it, I'm actually more impressed with the way the story handles the main character's transition than the way it portrays same-sex attraction. Lengthy thoughts, and spoilers for the first volume. )

I've also been watching (over the past month or two) the first half of the anime Romeo x Juliet. It's pretty freaking awesome, actually - and this is me: not a big fan of the play. The opening sequence was clearly designed for me personally, or at least for anyone who the Utena opening sequence sends into raptures. As [livejournal.com profile] caitirin pointed out, it's like they made a list of all the cool things from the Utena opening. Flower imagery? Check. Kickass girls in boys' clothes? Check. Swordfighting? Check. Reaching hands? Check. Gravity-defying exploding architecture? Double freaking check XD The characters are pretty cool, too. Squee, blah, spoilers. You know the drill. )

*spammity*

Jul. 25th, 2009 08:31 pm
elaby: (Hutch - Google)
So we're watching Slayers while [livejournal.com profile] caitirin crochets and I work on writing, and I just had this thought...

Midorikawa Hikaru is to meaningful wordless vocalizations in Japanese as Clive Merrison is to such in English. They need to produce something together XD [/dork]
elaby: (Minako - SQUEE!)
Man, did I ever have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

On Saturday, we ran around to a bunch of antique shops so I could look for Victorian things, and it was really a lot of fun. For all that everything else at antique shops is really expensive, old photographs are cheap. And don't take up much space, which is always a good thing. All evening we watched The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, which seriously just keeps getting more interesting, and more Princess Tutu, which is adorable and crazy and full of things that make us think of Utena and Tenshi ni Narumon (little red shoes, what?).

Sunday we did a scavenger-hunt type geocache in Portsmouth in the rain. We found all of the clues, saw bagpipers, and went to the Loaf and Ladle for lunch. The Loaf and Ladle has moved into the space where this wonderful deli I used to go to with [livejournal.com profile] coastal_spirit was up until I went to college. There were several restaurants in there in between, and they were all very much unlike Goldi's, but the Loaf and Ladle is an acceptable substitute :3 And Monday, we went to look for another geocache (which we unfortunately didn't find) and I got my new pocketwatch.

In between I played Wind Waker and on Sunday and Monday evening we had Starsky and Hutch marathons. The wonderful [livejournal.com profile] _melisande_ lent us the first season, bringer of all things awesome that she is, because [livejournal.com profile] coastal_spirit recommended the series to me. I imagine her thought process went something like this: "My daughter likes detectives. My daughter especially likes physically affectionate detectives. ...Why hasn't she seen Starsky and Hutch yet?"

Yeah, okay, I love it.

On I go )
elaby: (Gackt - alone)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] coastal_spirit, [livejournal.com profile] caitirin, and I went to the Mustard Seed, a lovely metaphysical shop, to a nearby vegan restaurant (OMG so good!), played Wii, and then watched a bunch of anime :3

We continued Ouran and started The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I was not thrilled by the first few episodes of the latter, because "pushy girl" characters like Haruhi tends to annoy me, but once the plot began to unfold, I was hooked. I can't wait to find out what's going on :3

After [livejournal.com profile] coastal_spirit went home, we watched the first DVD of Baccano!. It's incredibly good, in that "OW MY BRAIN" sort of way. It didn't hurt my brain like some anime does - Lain, for example - but because it features majorly non-linear storytelling. From what I can tell, the series (or at least the beginning of it) is about the simultaneous robbery, by three separate parties, of a train going from Chicago to New York in 1931. However, the first episode takes place mostly around the time the train arrives in New York. The next three episodes switch back and forth between ten months before, five months before, the incidents on the train, things that take place during/directly before the train is robbed in different cities, several years later, and, um, some times I haven't been able to figure out yet. It's COOL, but it's not the sort of show you can devote anything but your entire attention to. There are also about a frillion characters, and we watched the opening sequence every time because it matches everyone's names with their faces. From what I could gather, there were at least three New York Mafia families, some extraneous people who hang around with them, two groups of people who like to kill people from Chicago (no indication as of yet that they're families), some thieves, some children, some rich people, and... monsters? Also, did I mention that some of the people in these Mafia families are immortal? Yep.

It's extremely violent, but fascinating. There's also a scene of rat-brutality, which I thought I should warn my ratty-loving friends about. The animation is gorgeous and the costumes, scenery, cars, and other things that make up the setting are just as much a reason to watch the show than the plot is. The next DVD better come out soon or I'm going to forget what happened!

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