12 Days 2014 Day 1 – Experiencing the Ghost Stories Dub with Others


It’s the middle of December again, which means it’s time to begin reflecting on my anime-watching experiences from 2014 as part of the multi-blogger 12 Days project, spearheaded by The Cart Driver this year.

I think this will be my 8th year I’m participating in such a thing (you can see the titles of previous-year posts from 2007 to 2012 via Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine – 2013’s list wasn’t captured unfortunately) so I should be experienced in writing posts for it but I still seem to run out of topics more than halfway through the process, mainly due to the declining amount of series I manage to finish during a calendar year. I tried to plan ahead this time around so I’m more confident that I’ll cross the figurative finish line than I might have otherwise.

One series that I watched with the SCCSAV Classics group this year was Ghost Stories. Of course, we watched the English dub done by ADV in the mid-2000’s for more humor than the Japanese track could have offered.

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Old Magazine Articles: Fred Patten on Anime for Starlog (April & May 1986)

While exploring the Internet Archive’s magazine collection earlier this month, I happened across a two-part article by Fred Patten in consecutive issues of Starlog (April 1986 #105, May 1986 #106).

The feature focused on science-fiction anime that had been translated into English as well as, in part two, mentioning “some of the most popular SF cartoons with American fans” that were only available in Japanese at the time. Notable black-and-white series from the 1960s – Astro Boy, 8th Man and Gigantor – led off part one while part two began with then-more-recent offerings like Robotech and TranZor Z (aka Mazinger Z).

The last page in part two highlighted six anime series that would all eventually get released on DVD in the US: Fist of the North Star (Discotek), Space Adventure Cobra (Nozomi), Mobile Suit Gundam (Bandai; Sunrise announced it would re-release Gundam in spring 2015 through a partnership with RightStuf), Urusei Yatsura (AnimEigo), Lupin III (Discotek) and Dirty Pair (Nozomi).

Both articles can also be found without pictures in Patten’s 2004 collection of his writings, Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews.

Catching Up On Detective Conan: Season One (Region 1)


The Detective Conan franchise has been around for almost 21 years. The manga has been serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday since January 1994, its anime adaptation has been running on Japanese television since January 1996, and there have been movies released every April since 1997.

English-dubbed episodes started airing on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block in May 2004 so US audiences have been exposed to it for a little over 10 years. (Localized episodes ran for a longer time in Germany with channel RTL II airing first-run German-dubbed episodes from April 2002 until July 2006 for a total of 333 – according to German Wikipedia, some of the specials were run as miniseries so the number of adapted Japanese episodes was 308.)

After Crunchyroll began simulcasting new episodes last month beginning with number 754, I decided I would try to catch up to them and why not start from the beginning? I had watched many of the 50 Case Closed episodes that aired on cable during its first run and saw a couple of the movies but that was years ago so I’d forgotten details of many cases, like how crimes were committed and particular culprits, that I’m now picking up on while re-watching the early episodes.

I’m planning to roughly follow an order guide from the DC Rewatch Tumblr as to when I’ll watch the movies, specials and OVAs. (For those who might not be willing to subject themselves to 700+ episodes, the Reverse Thieves wrote a couple of guides in 2010 for the first season and the franchise as a whole, the latter of which was updated earlier this month.)

As far as blogging my progress, I’m going to start off by following the season grouping convention that FUNimation used for their Region 1 DVD box sets (25-27 episodes per season set) and then after that, well… I start treading into the multitude of middle episodes that have not been officially translated into English. A couple of wikis seem to have episodes organized into seasons based on Japanese DVD releases, although some episodes on those releases are grouped out of order so I haven’t come to a decision on how to divide up the other episodes into posts yet.

I’m also planning to write about the movies when they come up in my watching order as well as the 2009 Lupin crossover TV special & the 2013 crossover movie. However, I’m considering not watching the live-action drama episodes because I saw one of the live-action specials in the past and didn’t really like it.

Now that the preface is out of the way…

~~~ Detective Conan Catch-Up Post #1 ~~~
Last episode watched: JPN #25/US #26 – The Fake Ransom Case Continue reading

Attending a Local Live Show After Finishing K-On! Season 1


Earlier this month, I completed the first season of K-On! after getting Sentai’s DVD re-release set. The last episode in that collection dealt with Houkago Tea Time (the main girls’ band) being invited to perform at a live house on New Year’s Eve with a few other bands. On Saturday night, I went to a live show at Witch Room in midtown Sacramento featuring three bands – local group DesarioTennis System and headliner Be Forest from Italy – and thought back to that episode while I was there. Continue reading

Fall 2014 Watching Update After About A Month


For the first real post on this blog’s current iteration, here’s an overall “what I’ve been watching from the new anime season” update similar to what I’ve done a couple times in the past.

Currently Watching

Gugure! Kokkuri-san (3 episodes): I didn’t know much of the show when it started but it made me laugh with its first episode and continues to have good moments as the Japanese kami characters fight over Kohina.

Hi-sCool! SeHa Girls (3 episodes): I liked both seasons of gdgd Fairies so I’m not surprised I’m watching this week-to-week, though I feel like the main attraction for many viewers – the console girls’ interactions inside Sega video games – has so far been delayed to the latter halves of two-parters with the first halves mainly being occupied with gdgd-style conversations among the three Hard Girls. Those conversational parts do have some funny moments in them so they’re not a total hindrance to the show.

I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying (4 episodes): There always seems to be at least one 3-to-5-minute series per season that I end up following and this one about a ordinary wife and her otaku husband goes by quickly. There are some sweet parts sprinkled in with the typical otaku-skewering jokes.

Parasyte (3 episodes): If you can get past the screaming OP each week, there’s a pretty good action show that doesn’t hold back much in terms of showing blood and has its protagonist (slowly) becoming more assertive.

Shirobako (2 episodes): This animation about animation production was one I hoped would be good and so far, I like the behind-the-scenes work and conflicts that it’s laying out. It’s got a bunch of terminology but that comes with the focus of the show – just like if I were watching a medical drama, I’d expect there to be some jargon to make the dialogue sound more natural.

Tribe Cool Crew (4 episodes): This Sunrise show about dancing is goofy enough for me to keep with it. Haneru’s straightforwardness has gotten a bit tiresome but the rest of the main cast keeps it fresh and Haneru in check. I don’t know how long this series will last but I’m hoping the climax doesn’t end up being the crew performing at a Jay-El concert or something easily predictable at this point.

Dropped

Denki-Gai no Honya-san (1 1/2 episodes): Soon after seeing the above frame at the start of the staff’s shopping district competition in episode 2, I stopped watching the show. I liked some of the characters and from what I heard on Twitter, episode 3 isn’t as bad as 2 was. However, I feel like I’m already watching a good amount for the amount of time I have so if I were to revisit it, it’d probably have to be after it’s finished airing.

Haven’t Tried Yet

Magic Kaito 1412: As someone somewhat familiar with Detective Conan, I figured I would give this prequel spinoff a shot but had technicial issue while playing the first episode (which I had to download since it’s not being simulcast by anyone) so I gave up for the time being.

Any of the FUNimation simulcasts: Nothing has really attracted me from their lot this season based on their premises, whether it’s the twintails one, the sequel to a series I barely started (Psycho-Pass), fantasy-action stuff (Garo & Rage of Bahamut), or the rest. I’ve heard good things about the last two I mentioned so I may try both later on.

[Archived Post] Bonus Endings

This blog post was recovered using The Internet Archive and has been backdated as part of its republication.


Remember FedEx’s 2005 Super Bowl commercial? You know, the one that gave a list of the ten things a great Super Bowl ad has? Well, after watching that ad last year, I’ve been on the lookout of bonus endings and I get excited whenever I find one. I’ve seen them in anime but also movies like X-Men 3 and even TV shows, like My Name Is Earl (though Earl’s happens while the credits roll on the bottom half of the screen).

Instances I’ve seen from the world of anime include Detective Conan, Tenshi na Konamaiki, Bleach, GitS: SAC and most recently Pani Poni Dash. Detective Conan usually has a light comedy bit similar to the “everybody laughing freeze frame” from cop shows like CHiPs. Tenshi na Konamaiki does the same except it’s shorter (30 secs-1 min). Pani Poni’s bonus ending is really short, only 10-15 seconds, but still time enough for a good visual parody.

Bleach (since episode 54) has had a mini-series called Shinigami Zukan Golden, which consists of 30-second humorous shorts that relate to the main storyline. Finally, both seasons of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex had the Tachikoma Days shorts, which had a continuing storyline following those sentient four-legged tank robots from the not so distant fictional future.

The common thread that ties these together is that they all intend to leave the audience laughing and having a good experience. They also give Japanese viewers something for sitting through the credits and not changing the channel. But, of course, the show’s fans would wait for the preview since they anxiously want to know what might happen next week.

In conclusion, omake is always good.