Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
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Dated 9 July 2011: 2011 Girl of the Year update

Regarding my mid-year nominations for 2011's Girl of the Year, sneezl adds:

It's probably way too early to decide it yet, but I don't see anyone passing Homura for this year's GOTY. I think it ends up as clear-cut as Aoba's win....[A]ny manly tears I shed during PMMM were for Homura.

However, if Homura does end up GOTY, you might not even be able to discuss WHY she won due to TOP SECRET SPOILERS. That would be interesting.

At this time, I have to admit Homura may be my front runner, but with six months to go, anything can happen.

Dated 16 July 2011: Viewer mail: Being introduced to anime

Aaron asks:

I always wondered what first introduced you to anime. I have a theory that most anime fans can be divided up by the way they first "discovered" anime, whether they were originally sci-fi/fantasy/RPG nerds who borrowed a friend's fansubbed VHS or more recent kids who started with Adult Swim. If I had to guess, based on your preferences and the shows you talk about on the blog, I'd say you probably were somewhere between those two - maybe you saw Dominion Tank Police on the Sci-Fi channel or picked up Akira or Evangelion at Blockbuster.

I had to think about this one for a while. At first I assumed responsibility (or blame) lay with the first Japanese cartoon I saw and/or enjoyed albeit dubbed and edited for local audiences, but I can't claim any of those shows inspired an interest in anime. There were also later series and movies I identified as anime, distinguishing them from other works as an actual genre rather than a medium, but they did not lead me to seek out more anime.

The line in the sand.

If I had to identify a turning point after which I deliberately sought out more anime for anime's sake, I would have to name the early scene in Princess Mononoke when Kaya rather unexpectedly pulls a machete on an adversary. THAT WAS AWESOME. It was then I realized I was watching a different kind of movie—one that did not follow the normal conventions I expected. From that moment on, I made a conscious effort to explore what else anime had to offer. That's probably what turned it into a hobby instead of something I occasionally watched.

Additionally, the very first anime-related blog post I can remember is about Princess Mononoke. I should dig that out of the archives someday.

Dated 18 November 2011: Carnival Phantasm episode eight inspires Saber rematch against Fate/zero

I actually left out a whole lot of Sabers.

Aaron writes:

I don’t know if you've watched it since that blog post where you say Carnival Phantasm doesn’t have enough Saber, but ep 8 is all about her.

Saber and Rin
I bet secretly Rin wants to wear it.

Actually, I had not seen it yet at the time, but I've watched it now. As expected, episode eight is pretty awesome. I think I do need to put Carnival Phantasm Saber ahead of Unlimited Blade Works Saber. Hell, I'll move her ahead of Fate/zero Saber if the latter ends up spending most of the season with a useless thumb panda hand, even if she is a snappy dresser.

Akiha, Hisui, Ciel, Kohaku, Arcueid, Saber, Ilya, Rin, Taiga, and Sakura
Needs more of this sort of thing.

Great outfits are a TYPE-MOON staple, it seems. (Yes, I'm including the extended universe and derivative works.) Rin's red sweater over black zettai ryouiki, Arcueid's white turtleneck with long purple skirt, girl Shiki's red leather jacket with a kimono, Karen Ortensia's Strike Witches uniform, Sion's seifuku (I think that's what it is anyway), Phantas-Moon's low-back battle costume, and basically everything about Kaleido Ruby (except the cat ears) are all winners.

Dated 21 December 2011: Something that bugs me about this last Idolmaster arc ~or~ The Idolm@ster TV and Neon Genesis Evangelion are the same show

Haruka and Miki
Miki, the sound voice of reason, lectures Haruka.

The Idolm@ster TV has been pretty good with its attention to detail. However, I'm a bit confused about one seemingly obvious aspect about the current arc that doesn't make sense. Unless I missed something, everyone gets together for a party on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. In the subsequent episodes, they struggle to coordinate their schedules so that they can practice together for their New Year's live performance. This concert is on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, right? Well, there is only one week between Christmas and New Year's. It sure seems like a lot of days go by as practice after practice gets canceled or postponed, and then a lot more days during which Haruka is mired in her deep, blue funk. It sure seems a lot of stuff happens in the course of one week, and we haven't even gotten to New Year's yet. If you can point out an error or misunderstanding on my part or otherwise clear things up, send me a telegram.

[Update: That was fast. So the live performance is not on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.]

@Evirus The New Year's Live isn't in New Year's Eve; it's supposed to be an homage to the RL New Year's Live:

Haruka and two conflicting calendars.

However, I am inclined to believe this incongruity is intentional. Calendars appear in numerous scenes in episode 23 as Haruka strives to get the group back together. Curiously, these calendars are not all in agreement. One shows January 2012, but another shows November 2012. At least two display January 2013. Kotori's desk calendar remains unchanged both before and after Christmas, but the month shown does not match any likely possibilities.

Azusa, Makoto, Yukiho, Chihaya, and Haruka
Don't you girls have any chairs? Metal folding chairs?

There is a simple answer that explains both the unusually long month and these dueling calendars—one that other people have surely surmised already: Haruka has initiated Third Impact. Yes, Idolm@ster Instrumentality has begun. Just as Shinji anguished over his chance to re-create his world into a form less painful (Love Eva), Haruka holds the future in her hands. Haruhi help us all. On the other hand, when they get around to making The End of Idolm@ster ~Air/My Purest Love for Honey~ it is going to kick all ass.

Dated 12 May 2012: Eliminated from the Aniblog Tourney

Aniblog Tourney results
(I think I received the majority of the last 250 votes though.)

I've been eliminated from this year's Aniblog Tourney. Although the contest was not as lopsided as my first Aniblog Tourney loss, a contributing factor to both defeats was likely my staunch refusal to self-promote for it or for the blog in general. I have been updating this blog alone since approximately 1999. I have never included any advertising (except for the compulsory Geocities ones before I started paying for hosting. And despite moving the blog to WordPress in 2006, I've never enabled comments, an omission that perplexes some readers. As Ani-nouto can attest, some readers find blogs with disabled comments hostile and anti-social. However, I've nearly always posted contact information, and there's even a Twitter button available. Nobody ever uses the Twitter button, but I do get viewer mail on occasion.

The most recent letter comes from from Doomguin who writes:

I don't know if you've seen [Princess Princess] or heard of it or not, but the show is by Studio Deen, and it's about a boy, Toru Kouno, transfers to an all-boys high school, and after some odd treatment, is convinced to become one of the school's, now three, "Princesses". It turns out that because it is an all-boys school, it has become a tradition to select the students who are bishonen, and have them dress up a girls to keep the female-starved student body's morale up.

It has all the makings of a BL, but isn't and has a lot of fun with that fact. I recommend it if you have not seen it before, and I think it also falls into that little niche of shows that people don't generally think of (or have heard of, for that matter), and didn't get a lot of attention, but still good and enjoyable.

I have, in fact, heard of Princess Princess, but despite Doomguin's recommendation, I don't think I'll be watching it. Miracle Train aside, it doesn't sound like the sort of show I usually watch.

[Update: Yes, I'm messing with the CSS. Yes, it looks like ass. Yes, I'll probably lose interest before actually fixing anything, leaving the entire site in a terrible state, just as I've all but abandoned efforts to integrate the pre-2006 reviews on the left column into the WordPress categories on the right. No, I can't believe people still maximize browsers in this day and age. No, I haven't tested this at all in any version of Internet Explorer.]

Dated 30 May 2012: I acquired some more shelves in a game of chance, and some more viewer mail too (through wholly legitimate channels)

I bet these discs will still be unorganized months from now.

In semi-related news, I'm partially responsible for at least one more To Heart purchase in addition to my own. Brendan writes:

...your recent comparison of Idolm@ster (which I haven't seen) with the original To Heart (which I also haven't seen – yet) was instrumental in my otherwise blind purchase of the To Heart box from Nozomi. Likewise, following the blog and flipping through the archives have led me to a number of shows of varying popularity which I might not otherwise have bothered to research or dig up – chiefly Figure 17 (was sold by the piano solo in episode 4 – I now own two copies, and the show is easily in my personal top five), but also Nanaka 6/17 (bought blind), Piano (bought blind)(may also have been influenced by the AMV "The Most Exciting Thing, Ever, In the Entire Universe"), Pita-Ten, Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo, Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight (would totally buy, having seen it), B Gata H Kei, Chu-Bra, and maybe a couple of others. For all of these, I am grateful to you (even Chu-Bra).

I really need to merge the old archives with the "new" WordPress stuff. This is getting ridiculous. It's been like six years.

Dated 17 January 2013: Initial impressions of the winter 2013 season

If you haven't seen this by now...

This is a little earlier than I typically like to post initial impressions for a new season, since I consider it premature to make assumptions about shows after only a couple of episodes. However, I'm already more or less familiar with most of the shows I'm following this season because they are either continuations or adaptations of things I've read. Only Vividred Operation and Love Live! School Idol Project remain unknowns at this point.


Dated 24 March 2013: In re Google Reader's replacement

halfadeckshort writes:

One alternative since you're already paying for web hosting might be Fever...but you do have to purchase the software. I've got an instance up and running and it works (for me) as well as reader did, though it's not quite as friendly for older archived material (but I use Pocket for that). I'm sure that someone is going to step in to fill the Reader gap, but if you don't want to leave it to chance Fever is an alternative that won't open you up to ad spam / subscription fees. Just thought I'd mention that and the fact that I love the bonus content you provide.

I don't think I want to implement my own server-side solution at this point. I'm reasonably satisfied with Akregator thus far. I'll probably want the ability to sync read articles across multiple computers again eventually, but this is all right for now.