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Dated 26 September 2007: The world is not ready for NAKED PINAFORE

With apologies to Kero-chan from Cardcaptor Sakura and Paiway from VanDread, it's time for another KARMABURN CHECK.

This installment of KARMABURN CHECK features another anime fashion staple that needs to become more popular in the real world: The PINAFORE.

Meido Tai
The Idolm@ster Xenoglossia Maid Troop revs Imber's engine.

So what is a pinafore, and how is it distinguished from an apron? Basically, a pinafore is different from an apron in that it is meant to be (more or less) a permanent part of an outfit, compared to an apron which is usually just worn while cooking or during NAKED APRON fantasies. Also, while an apron fastens with stringy ties, a pinafore has broad sections of cloth that wrap around one's back, usually tied into a bow. (Pedantic fashion mavens may argue here that pinafores are no more permanent than aprons and should really be pinned on instead of tied. Screw them.)

The best known pinafore these days is probably the one worn by Alice in the Disney movie Alice in Wonderland, although I don't recall if Alice originally had a pinafore in Lewis Carroll's books.

American McGee's Alice
American McGee's Alice.

There's also American McGee's Alice, although that Alice's pinfore is a little...different.

Dated 29 December 2007: Urge to re-watch Magikano...rising

Motto! CD cover
"Motto!" CD cover.

Listening to "Motto!" makes me want to re-watch Magikano. The show itself isn't all that good, but it does have flashes of brilliance (Cursed Cat Panties, I'm looking in your direction). Also, pinafores.

Dated 1 January 2008: Megumi > Miki

Miki
Miki.

Further proof that Megumi is better than Miki:

Megumi
Megumi.

Megumi wears a pinafore, which is clearly superior to Miki's apron.

Megumi
Sing do wah diddy.

Dated 3 January 2008: PINAFORE CHECK

Sakura
Sakura.

Despite my rhetoric, I acknowledge that pinafores are unlikely to become popular as everyday wear absent an unexpected increase in the number of maids and/or magikal girls among the general public.

Dated 26 April 2009: I dropped K-On! twice

Mio tries to wake her idiot friends
Southpaw Mio tries to wake her idiot friends.

Truth be told, I would probably enjoy K-On! were it the property of a different studio rather than Kyoto Animation. I can't help but suspect Kyoto Animation is affirmatively trying to corner the market on moe blobs. At the very least, it's pushing the retard moe agenda something fierce.

Ritsu and Mio
Mio is freakishly strong.

I can't stand K-On! because of its pandering. Not that I have anything against pandering necessarily, but K-On! pushes nauseous idioms. Let's be clear: Retard Moe is horrible. I despise Yui and Ritsu. K-On! should be about Mio and Tsumugi and the non-incapacitated members of ENOZ rocking the fuck out and maybe covering "God Gave Rock and Roll to You" in front of drunken fans.

Mio
Mio as she actually appears in the show.

Mio fan art
Mio as viewers see her.

Everyone loves Mio. She is the best character of the show. Nevertheless, I'm convinced her popularity is still inflated because viewers are suffering from Instrument Goggles. Ergo, they see her as she appears in fan art instead of as the timid and almost mousy girl in the actual show. Although I guess canonically she does still have the best rack.

Mio as a maid
Mio as a maid for no reason.

Oh, in case you were wondering, I dropped K-On! the first time after episode three because I couldn't stand Yui or Ritsu, but I grudgingly watched episode four because I wanted to know what in Hell the above picture was all about. I don't know. Maybe I'm suffering from instrument goggles too. [Update: Pinafore goggles.]

Dated 10 September 2010: Stupidity over shyness in Amagami SS episode 11, Sae part three

Sae
Turns out that's not a petticoat.

Calling Sae shy would be an understatement. This is a girl who started out being too shy to talk to herself. Lucky for Sae, the brother of her only friend appears willing to overlook that particular disability of hers if it means better opportunities for copping a first-year feel.

Sae and Junichi
She's waiting for you to drop your salute first, Potato-kun.

Through two and three-quarter Amagami SS arcs, I submit only Sex Hair had any believable chemistry with Junichi. Sae and Junichi do have more chemistry together than Morishima and Junichi did, but that's not really saying much. Their burgeoning relationship still feels very contrived.

Miya
My God, it's full of stars. At least I hope they're stars.

I guess I can kind of appreciate that Sae might develop a crush on ol' Potato-kun as he's the only person to pay attention to her, but his obliviousness to her attraction seems so implausible. It's a silly excuse to use merely to keep them apart. They couldn't come up with a better way to cockblock for three episodes?

Junichi, Sae, and Umehara
Had he rubbed the black obelisk, Junichi might
have had a 2001 moment of inspiration.

Still, Sae would be all right were it not for her squeaky K.C. voice. Her extreme meekness actually makes Junichi appear assertive for a change. It's a nice improvement to his character, even if he inexplicably does remain too stupid to bend Sae over a kotatsu.

Dated 30 July 2011: Season two of Mahoromatic isn't as good as I remember

Mahoro and Suguru
There's also a lot of nudity in Mahoromatic.

I waited too long to buy Mahoromatic DVDs, and by the time I did the beautiful art boxes were out of print and I settled on the Sentai Filmworks six-episode-per disc collection of digital artifacts. (I figured I'd buy Blu-rays eventually anyway.) Even so, I waited over a year before actually re-watching the show.

Minawa
Just stay down, Minawa.

Unfortunately, I don't care for the second season Mahoromatic as much as I initially did. I always did like the first season better, and Kawasumi Ayako is still wonderful as Mahoro, but I like Minawa no more than I initially did. Actually, I think I like Minawa even less this time around. If I remember right, Minawa is responsible for my intense dislike of dojikko "adorably clumsy" girls. Since I also hate Retard Moe (think Chii from Chobits, Stellar from Gundam SEED Destiny, and Yui from K-On!), this means I basically can't stand any scene Minawa is in. It doesn't help that this time around I'm fully aware of the Minawa-based spoilers from the end of the season. I've never forgiven her.

Dated 12 December 2011: The Infinite Stratos OVA is a harem comedy so pure you could use it for titration

Charles and Cecilia
Cake goes in here.

The IS: Infinite Stratos OVA dispenses with the robots and powered armor hijinks almost entirely in order to focus exclusively on The Only Boy in School and the girls with the best chances at doing him. Well, at least in theory. Surprising no one, I'm sure, ol' Potato-kun is completely oblivious to their charms and absolutely ignorant of their intentions. Charles, Cecilia, Laura, Rin, and Houki pile uninvited into Ichika's home one day for some wacky good times. It's not top fuel hilarity, but the OVA is a pleasant diversion that relies heavily on the characters to amuse the viewer. It's anime junk food, but it tastes all right, and it won't spoil your dinner. (Wisely, the cast is united in their opposition to British cooking.)

Charles and Laura
Why does every party end up in the kitchen?

Unfortunately, this OVA basically ensures Charles will not be 2011's Girl of the Year. She had a good start, and was understandably a fan favorite throughout the series, but the non-ending ending all but doomed her chances. The Infinite Stratos Best Girl deserved better than to be lumped into such a cliche harem comedy ending. This OVA was her opportunity to come from behind and salvage her hopes of landing the 2011 title.

Laura
That eyepatch is still funny.

It didn't happen. All the Char scenes in the Infinite Stratos OVA are all right, but nothing to distinguish her in the way most of her scenes from the series made her so popular. What the OVA does do, somewhat unexpectedly, is convince me that Ichika's best match is Laura. Her straightforward no-nonsense nature and general assertiveness complements Ichika almost perfectly because, let's face it, he's a "bottom." Good luck, Potato-kun. You're going to need it.