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Dated 30 October 2017: Infini-T Force makes me want to watch more Gatchaman

Ken
Literally the only costume in this series I recognized.

I've heard Infini-T Force compared to the CG cut scenes in a video game, and I suppose it does have that quality to it, but I am a total sucker for crossovers, so here I am. It would actually help a great deal if I had any idea who any of these characters were aside from Ken from Science Ninja Team Gatchaman and Casshern from...whatever it is Casshern is from. Casshern I only know of—not know about. The rest of the characters? I have no idea. I understand that I'm supposed to recognize them, because they are all anime heroes with cultural and historical import. But, c'mon, it was a long time ago, okay.

Emi
I do like the polka-dot dresses Emi's school uses for uniforms

Through four episodes, the show is all right, with a suitable amount of action and CGI mugging by the various heroes slumming with a poor little rich girl. Speaking of which, I don't believe Emi has any corresponding analogue in any of the heroes' original shows (and it seems the villains might not either). I'm not fully convinced she has a good reason to be so nihilistic (basically suicidal, really), but I do like she caused the MacGuffin to take the form of a giant novelty pencil. I also like that she calls Ken ossan even though he's probably, like, 25, tops. (He was a teenager in the original Gatchaman anime.) I do hope more characters show up for additional crossover shenanigans, but that seems less and less likely the more they talk about all the original worlds being destroyed. It sure seems they ought to be more distraught at the death of billions, but at least Emi's house is really warm and contains plenty of avocados. Plus their host is very aerodynamic. You gotta focus on the positive side.

Dated 6 July 2016: Sansha Sanyou: I don't think that bit about three girls each having the same kanji (葉) in their names ever comes up

Youko
Youko announces her departure to her empty little apartment.

I sort of like the idea of "Cute Girls Doing Cute Things" anime, but I have such a low success rate with them that I tend to avoid such shows as a matter of general principle. I'll check in every once in a while to see if my impressions of them has changed, but I usually end up dropping these shows relatively quick. This was the case with the well regarded Kiniro Mosaic despite Karen being an appealing nutjob, and was the case with Girlfriend (Kari) despite, um, the Tange Sakura character being an appealing nutjob. It's also why I've never started Yuyushiki and why I never watched Gochūmon wa Usagi Desu ka? (Is the Order a Rabbit?) even though I'm intrigued by the one who apparently carries a pistol for some reason I don't understand.

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Dated 21 December 2015: Shomin Sample needs more Hara Yumi

Aika
Aika reminds me too much of Chiwa from Oreshura.

I would not have watched Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou ni "Shomin Sample" Toshite Gets♥Sareta Ken (Shomin Sample: I Was Abducted by an Elite All-Girls School as a Sample Commoner) except for the fact that Hara Yumi (the voice of Takane in THE iDOLM@STER and Yuuko in Tasogare Otome x Amnesia) is in it and somebody (whose trustworthiness is now shot) insisted the manga is funny. As it turns out, Hara Yumi is barely in it at all, and the anime—regardless of how the manga or light novel might be—is not funny. At best, I can merely say that it could have been a lot worse.

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Dated 8 September 2012: Status updates for the Fushigi no Umi no Nadia, Full Moon wo Sagashite, and Ai Yori Aoshi re-watching projects

Kaoru and Aoi
Aoi lap-pillows the shit out of Kaoru.

I finished re-watching Ai Yori Aoshi even though that meant going outside the one-episode-per-week framework I previously decided upon in my attempt to mimic its initial broadcast schedule from 10 years ago. This was not because Ai Yori Aoshi is so great I couldn't help myself, but rather because I was re-watching it via my old Pioneer DVDs, so it was easier to burn through a block of five episodes in a row than to fuss with disc swaps every week. I don't mean this as another sign physical media are dead, since I do still value the tangible qualities they impart, but there are certainly inconveniences associated with optical media that seem anachronistic in an ever-increasingly instant-gratification age.

Nadia
Nadia is pouting in this scene because
Jean never visits her bunk. True story.

I don't remember Nadia being such a harpy. That girl just will not stop bitching. Frankly, I am amazed Jean manages to put up with her unrelenting complaining and her hippie bullshit. Then again, maybe it's a good thing that she's so disagreeable all the time. Were it not for her acerbic personality, Jean probably wouldn't be able to keep his mind on science and aeronautics. He's at that age, y'know. And they're stuck on a boat together (and/or island sometimes). And she doesn't seem to like wearing a lot of clothes. And she's a very bendy and athletic circus acrobat. I'm just sayin'.

Madoka
I love Madoka even though she is not a cunt all the time.

Full Moon wo Sagashite? Still the best anime of all time, although I guess you wouldn't necessarily realize it at this point (episode 22). After 10 years, Full Moon wo Sagashite still remains somewhat of a difficult sell, particularly now that in many respects it not only is "old" but it sort of looks old, too. I'm not sure what it is...perhaps the lack of shiny skin? Since Full Moon wo Sagashite aired in 2002, myco (Mitsuki and Fullmoon's voice actress and singer) has released a solo album, my collage, and another album as the lead vocalist for the band Quintillion Quiz. I was able to purchase a my collage CD, but Quintillion Quiz's Mement Mori appears to only be available on iTunes. Both albums are good, but Mement Mori in particular is a steal at only eight bucks or so for the entire album. It rocks quite a bit more than myco's earlier work with the band Changin' My Life. I'm afraid I have no idea what Kana is up to these days, though....

Dated 27 February 2012: Velvet Kiss might be the first manga I've recommended

Kanoko
Kano's first appearance.

Despite blogging about anime for more than 10 years, I've only rarely discussed manga, and I don't recall ever recommending any titles—perhaps Nausicaä and Love Hina in the very early days of this blog, back when it was still hosted on Geocities. I've quietly lamented that there are far fewer manga blogs than anime blogs, but never made the effort to redress that shortage myself. Then again, when the anime blogs I follow offer manga recommendations, I've usually disagreed with the bloggers' assessments and lost interest after a few chapters.

Nitta
Nitta's job is going well.

Despite the risk of inspiring similar lackluster responses, I'd like to recommend Velvet Kiss by Harumi Chihiro as a currently ongoing adult title that has far exceeded my expectations. I say "adult title" because although genitals are never shown (or censored out), there is regular nudity and sex appears in literally every single chapter.

Kanoko
Kano is a lot nicer when she's asleep.

On its face, Velvet Kiss is a wish-fulfillment manga about a young salaryman who is blackmailed into being a petty rich girl's "friend" (read: gopher and sex slave). It works, though, because Nitta is a reasonably successful and self-assured adult who had an active sex life prior to becoming Kanoko's whipping boy. That is, he's not another school-aged Potato-kun who somehow stumbled into the sweet shit. In fact, Nitta quite openly despises servicing Kanoko. There's a lot angry sex in Velvet Kiss. If forced to describe Velvet Kiss in simple clichés, I would say it's a tsundere sex drama with the lead male taking the rare role as the tsundere.

Nitta and Kano
Try a little tenderness.

Simple clichés don't quite do Velvet Kiss justice, as its real triumph is its ability to get the reader to care about the characters. It's a triumph because none of the characters are particularly sympathetic. There is a lot of selfish behavior, treachery, manipulation, and disloyalty in Velvet Kiss, which would normally incite hostility from its readers (excepting those with soft spots for poor little rich girls), but I care enough about Kano and Nitta that I eagerly anticipate each new chapter.

Nitta and Kano
Today was a good day.

As of this post, Soba-Scans has translated all 30 chapters currently published. Additionally, Digital Manga has licensed the first two volumes. Assuming they mean to actually print volumes and not just trowel it into iPad molds, I hope to someday have a full rack of Velvet Kiss books on my manga shelves, although if I alphabetize they would be uncomfortably close to my Yotsuba&! volumes. Oh well, it can't be helped.

Dated 4 December 2009: Admitting to an anime perversion

Su, Naru, Shinobu, Motoko, and Kitsune in the Love Hina ED
This was considered pretty good quality at the time.

All right, here goes: I never skip the opening and closing credits of any episode of anime I watch. That's right, I watch every single OP and ED of every single episode, even for episodes I've already seen before. The only time I skip an OP or ED is when the encode does not include them (as with many of these old ass Love Hina first-generation digisubs that I am sort of re-watching right now).

Shimizu dancing in the rain
I admit dancing in the rain helped Shimizu win Best Girl of the Year.

Nearly every single time I've made the admission, the response has been incredulous. Yes, I know it's a very simple matter to set up a hotkey that jumps the video ahead 90 seconds (plus, better containers and, you know, actual store-bought discs permit you to chapter skip), but I don't watch every OP and ED because I'm too lazy or ignorant to skip them. I watch them every time because I consider them part of the show.

Keiichi and Belldandy in the first ED of the Aa! Megami-sama animated series
All right, I haven't bought the Ah! My Goddess series DVDs yet, okay?
At least I've purchased The Adventures of Mini-Goddess,
the OVA, the movie, and the manga already.

And since I consider OPs and EDs part of the show, how much I like or dislike an OP or ED affects how much I like the show as a whole. Disliking the Lucky Star OP is one of the reasons I've never finished watching the series. I do find Lucky Star a little boring (and I straight-up dislike Lucky Channel), but I probably would have finished watching it by now if I really liked the OP instead. Likewise, I am grateful the Macademi Wasshoi OP is horrible, because it guaranteed I would find the series not just terrible, but completely unwatchable after the first episode.

Winry
I like First Winry better even though she doesn't
have massive hips or manhands.

However, since I consider OPs and EDs "part of the show," does this mean I consider OPs and EDs canon? Well, no, although I suspect there are times we would all like to think of scenes depicted within OPs and EDs as canonical. For example, Shimizu dancing in the rain during Major season four, or the Winry's-daily-life EDs from either of the Fullmetal Alchemist series. These sequences are reasonably plausibly canon—as much so as the Aa! Megami-sama TV "date" ED which we know from the manga is canon.

George and Miyuki in the Kaze no Yojimbo OP
A bodyguard and his poor little rich girl.

What about ones like the Kaze no Yojimbo OP? Depending on your point of view, it might be nice to think those events actually happened, and from a certain perspective I can see how it's at least plausible, but I think it's more likely the scenes are pure misdirection—perhaps to divert some attention from what the show is really about. Not that OPs and EDs can't include misdirection and still be canon. Princess Tutu, I'm looking in your direction....

Ahiru
Ahiru as a duck. Unless you're ADV,
in which case it's Duck as a duck.

So what is worse? That I never skip OPs and EDs or that I care about them? Surely it's not that strange, is it? On days like these, I'm probably lucky I leave comments disabled.