Et pour changer, une série dont je vais dire du bien.
Rassurez-vous il y a aussi des mecs
Tari Tari est une de ces séries dont j’ai pris le train en marche. Consacrant mon été à Muv Luv, j’ai principalement suivi Total Eclipse, qui n’a rien à voir avec Bonnie Tyler. Je suis également Kokoro Connect et Binbougami Ga, mais ici on parle de Tari Tari.
C’est si vieux que cela Japan Expo? Je me souviens quand cela ne tenait pas plus haut que la blague de bizut quand j’étais une pauvre âme sans but dans les couloirs de Jussieu. Puis, les accidents de la vie oblige, j’ai laissé passé tous ce qui était conventions, peut-être parce ce que j’avais trop honte de la dérive dans laquelle je partais.
En 2008, j’avais enfin un aperçu de ce qu’était la Japan Expo, mais c’était loin d’être impérissable.
*par respect pour mes pairs, et aussi par crainte des possibles dérives de la part d’Anonymous, j’ai évité de prendre des photos de ceux de l’anime fandom francophone que j’ai eu la chance de rencontrer, notamment Tin et Nina Wolken, ils me comprendront*
Mon regret est de n’avoir pu rencontrer voire reconnaitre Axel Terizaki, Klashikari et d’autre gars que j’ai rencontré sur twitter ou les blogs, et autres forums.
Revenons à JE. 2012, je travaille, par là j’entends boulot stable, depuis des mois, donc j’ai du fric et, ma soeur ayant passé et obtenu son bac, j’ai envisagé la possibilité d’y aller.
J’ai même rencontré un collègue de Leclerc dans la file d’attente, il se reconnaitra.
Ma soeur voulant voir autre chose, on s’est donc séparé. Puis j’ai rencontré Tin. Et je dois dire que l’expérience était largement différente de 2008. Notamment contact avec la scène amateur, rencontre avec des artistes doujins japonais, etc… Le premier burger new-yorkais de Marshall dans How I Met Your Mother, voilà la sensation qui décrit ce Japan Expo 2012. Car j’ai, grâce au guide Tin, j’ai pu gratter sous le vernis, et voir à côté de quoi les casuals passent. Et cela me redonne envie.
Mon loot JE est pourtant modeste, 189 euros dépensé en doujins, Touhou et Nanoha, commission de la gentille Kanna de Plum, une peluche Ryuk pour mon petit frère, un bonnet Totoro pour ma soeur qui m’a accompagné et un bonnet Kyuubey pour moi.
Donc merci à ceux que j’ai eu le bonheur de rencontrer. Je sais enfin ce qu’a ressenti Marshall en mangeant son premier burger à New York.
Just a Burger? Just a burger. Robin, it’s so much more than “just a burger”. I mean…that first bite—oh what heaven that first bite is! The bun like a sesame freckled breast of an angel resting gently on the ketchup and mustard below—flavors mingling in a seductive pas-de-deux And then…a pickle…the most playful little pickle! Then a slice of tomato, a leaf of lettuce and a…a patty of ground beef so exquisite; swirling in your mouth breaking apart and combining again in a fugue of sweets and savor so delightful. This is no mere sandwich of grilled meat and toasted bread, Robin: this is God…speaking to us in food.
Si, il y avait une série qui faisait parler de lui durant l’hiver 2011-2012, c’est bel et bien Another.
Le genre tout d’abord, un peu d’horreur ne fait pas de mal après tout. Quoique pour être très franc, mes expériences avec l’horreur à la Japonaise ont été peu impressionnantes. Moi, je suis plus John Carpenter, avec des classiques comme The Thing, ou d’autre perles comme Dagon (qui a très probablement inspiré Resident Evil 4). Enfin, vous voyez le genre.
Dans ma longue vie d’anime fan, et pendant cette triste période de chômage, d’oisiveté et de dépression latente que j’ai eu avant 2011, j’ai vu beaucoup de choses, bonnes, excellentes, moins bonnes et foncièrement mauvaises.
Yosuga no Sora appartient à cette dernière catégorie. C’est à dire, le navet, le nanar, la daube, et autres noms peu jouissifs.
Like many boys, back in my childhood, I was more drawn to robots and other boy things. I even started drawing robots, taking inspiration from the robots of the week in UFO Grendizer. I also had the luck to watch Space Sherif Gavan and Bioman back then, but that’s another thing.
However, when UFO Grendizer had been airing, I had to sit through episodes of Candy Candy, that I never quite liked, Versailles no Bara, that I found cool because of the rapier duels, and Minky Momo, that I liked a bit. I said a bit. Already in that day, the naked transformation scenes in Minky Momo started molding the pervert sleeping in me (a dose of Father hiding porn in Disney VHS leading to some accident did not help). One can argue that Minky Momo laid the ground for my future self as a moé enthusiasm.
Flash forward to a few years later, Little Princess, also known as Princess Sarah in France, aired alongside other magical girls shows like Magical Emi and Creamy Mami. Robotech and Saint Seiya was the rage and I happily followed those shows. Princess Sarah had grown a sentiment in me. This was not lust, and less perversion, because, you know, Sarah was in no way sexualized. Sarah cultivated in me a sentiment akin to a urge to protect the character from whatever bad things happened.
And a little after that, Kimagure Orange Road came. Madoka Ayukawa was the one reason I watched the show. Do note that in the 2000s, Motoko Aoyama, Sakaki, Matsuri Shihou, Mai Kawasumi and Mio Akiyama were among my favorite characters of this past decade. Notice a pattern in those characters?
What was the point of those paragraphs? Oh, that’s very simple. I enjoyed “boys” shows as much as the kids and teenagers belonging to the male gender in my age range did. I recognize that I drifted further away from the mecha genre since Evangelion, as I got exposed to cyberpunk and embraced heroic fantasy since I started reading books by Michael Moorcock as my definitive favorite genre (this is a story for later). However, the seeds of my enthusiasm for the moé subculture have already been planted way back in the Pinky Momo days. I had been a shounen fan primarily but I could not really say no to a few eye candy. This enthusiasm needed the right water for the seeds to grow and complete my conversion.
This happened in the early 2000s. I had few enthusiasm for the current offering of early 2000s. FMP by Gonzo was not so bad, but ought to be better. Hellsing made me rage when I got my hands over the scans of the original manga. And my first encounters with Gundam, Wing and a few UC here and there, left me with little enthusiasm toward the franchise (as much polarizing Eva was, I had a more enjoyable experience and UFO Grendizer AND Macross, as I learned more about Robotech, were definitely my favorite mechas). A show with a cult following had been lent to me by my friend, who was my only contact with anime on the intrabutt. It looked like Nikita meet conspiracy thriller. This was called Noir. Good idea, I loved the fact that it took place in France and awesome score by Kajiura. Moreover, I was utterly fascinated by the main duo, Mireille Bouquet and Kirika Yuumura.
I was drawn to that air of nobility that Mireille oozed, and also that slight vulnerability going on for Kirika. As you can see, Noir was flawed, but the duo made me willing to let them not bother me.
The fact that I could not access to Guilty Gear X2 made me search for alternatives. Zepy introduced me to doujin fighters. And I loved what I played. Glove on Fight, Queen of Hearts 2001 and Eternal Fighter Zero. Those games made me curious about the moé subculture, as I WANTED to know more about the characters who starred in those games. This was in that time that I started d/ling moé anime to see what they were about. I’ll be honest, this being the early 2000s (2002-2003 tbh), I was left disappointed with what I saw.
Then came a doujin game, with sprites that were not SDs, and having Ciel that I have known through Glove on Fight. You guessed it. This was Melty Blood. And that was a blast. Melty Blood was the turning point for me. A jaded, oldefag, got converted to moé subculture. That’s it. Type-Moon and Nasuverse are the things that turned me into a moéfag. And Touhou definitely helped sustaining the momentum. But this was not out of nowhere as you could see. Those was just the springs that nurtured the ground in which the seeds were planted.
Where do I stand now? I have explored a few classics I enjoyed back in the day, this time with proper dubbing (japanese with subs), so I could give shows like Hokuto no Ken the due respect, and sorrow over how the french executives mistreated them and disrespected the fans that were older than me when those shows aired, and all those fans could do is to lament the bad dubs or the gag dub.
So, I am a moé enthusisast, giving my classics their due respect. I cannot bring myself to completely hate those watching the Big Three, because I had been there and knew that they will eventually change. I now find myself unable look down on the moé subculture. This didn’t mean that I didn’t feel embarassed over that one guy marrying his body pillow. As a moé enthusiast, I think that people should be able to draw the line and realize when they are making monkeys of themselves. I sometimes go “mai waifu!!” like over Sakuya Izayoi or Byakuren Hijiri, but in the end I know it’s all tongue-in-cheek.
This seems to be a problem with oldefags, they looks down on moéfags, and are… just… SERIOUS. ALL THE TIME. And forgetting that anime is firstly, and mostly, just entertainment. This is my sentiment when I look at the seemingly joyless folk of a certain blog. They seems to think that there is a war, a righteous, against the moéfags, while forgetting that it is quite possible to enjoy every specter of the medium, but just that people likes one side more than the other. But this is another story, perhaps developped in another day.
tl;dr: I was not always a moéfag. In fact, I used to be one of those jaded oldfags. However, the seeds of moé love had been planted in me by Minky Momo, Little Princess, Orange Road and various magical girl shows. It only needed the right trigger to grow and convert me. This trigger is nothing less than Melty Blood.
Fitting pic since as a buddhist, I have been dragged, for some time, into taoism by mom. Credit: Ringetsumon
This first quarter of the year started out strong with Madoka setting the bar very, oh so very high, by daring to go where Nanoha itself did not dare to go. It also was a blind bet on Shaft’s part and Shaft certainly fared much better with one of its first tries on an original IP than KyoAni did years ago with Munto, does people still remember Munto TV btw?
The second quarter showed disappointment with Hidan no Aria, yes JC Staff should really be stopped to be entrusted light novel adaptations with reckless abandon. A damn shame, the whole Ariaverse IS an interesting sandbox for original characters creators or fanfic writers. I personally would have retconned Vlad as looking like an actual vampire from the lores or Hammer movies or Castlevania tbh. Denpa Onna was very nice to follow while Steins;Gate started out slow and took a while to get used to or to like. There was also Ano Hana, but later on the angst then the narm in the last episode downright pissed me off.
The third quarter had Idolmaster, a harmless yet good show. Those expecting the GRIMDARK study of the GRIMDARK world of idols complete course with couch casting and NTR could just fuck off. Then you had the pretentious Kama-sama no Memochou, that’s really the one word describing this show. Penguindrum IS a polarizing show, some will see it as THE anime of the decade, it is not so for me. Why? Because I think that Ikuhara have gone overboard with it. I liked what I have seen in Utena but what I have seen in Penguindrum did not strike the right cord with me. The likes of roriconfan can blow, I am not going to rain praise on Penguindrum just because Ikuhara did it. I did not have to like everything churned out by Tim burton, I just don’t see why I should do the same for Ikuhara. Finally the last shows of the third quarter of 2011 to me were Croisee and Usagi Drop. Croisee was a slice of life trying to see how a Japanese girl would do in late 19th Paris; but the painting of the Paris in Croisee was very far from the miserabilism I was see used to see since Emile Zola, it may not please those looking for something more ambitious, but it appealed to me. Usagi Drop was to me the winning show of Summer 2011. Yes, well over Penguindrum. Maybe because deep inside me I wanted to experience the hardship of being a father, adoptive or biological. But more importantly, this show have done it with a just tone, without excessive pandering. And steins;gate continued to gain momentum and confirmed its status around a certain episode.
Fall 2011 had Fate Zero, Ben-To and Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai. Fate Zero have yet to finish before I can fully judge it. So far, it delivered, less than Kara no Kyoukai (unfair when you know that it is comparing movies to TV series) but much better than Deen’s Stay Night. Boku wa Tomodachi could be called, for me, the Married with Children of the Harem Highschool Romcom genre. The comedy in it was crude and rude, and crass but it worked well for me. More importantly, the fanservice blended well with the series, and it looked good for most of its run, as you SHOULD expect from an entry in the genre. Not the most memorable comedy around, those for me are Excel Saga, Kimengumi and Cromartie High, but I will surely purchase the DVDs if I have the opportunity. Then Ben-to, an affectionate parody of the fighting shounen genre, but also the demonstration that one trope have overstayed its welcome. Nope, that girl don’t get a free pass because she is a lesbian, fuck you guys.
On the topic of anime, this season lacks a lot of something. Fall usually bring something good. While Summer was usually the weakest in term of offer. Summer 09 had Bakemonogatari, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and Umineko. Fall? Not so much. With the exception of Darker than Black, IF you liked the first.
I am trying to put what I feel about Endless Eight in simple words. However, I can’t. Just saying it is shit is not enough. To me, it is the same effect as watching Roland Garros tennis tournament where I bet on how long before all french players get kicked out of the tournament, before we get to the more interesting matches.
I would try to justify with, “Well, KyoAni always had pacing problems, just as Makoto arc showed.” However, the pacing issue have nothing to do about it. Laziness? Not really. I mean, while they reanimate the same scenes and revoice the same dialogues, lights, frames and general cinematography are different. With varying degrees of quality.
Whoever thought that it was a good idea to stretch of 30ish pages short story up to… eight episodes until now was very wrong. That guy deserves to be have all kind of unspeakable things done to him. It’s an idea on the level of “let’s bungee jump off the Effeil Tower! Without the bungee cord!”, or “Let’s wear the same board as Bruce Willis in Die Hard 3 in the middle of a ghetto!” You think it is a good idea because it requires sheer balls of titanium, until reality comes to hit you in the face, HARD. However, it appears that the ones behind that idea had NOT realized it, or just did the ostriche trick: stick one’s head in a hole to not confront the reality. There is a difference between productive audacity and vain audacity. Guess on which side I think Endless Eight is sitting.
As for the publicity side of the thing, I think it is on the same level as New Coke in the 1980s or the arrogant advertisement french campain for the Nintendo 64 in the mid 1990s. It promises you it is going to be a great thing, something like reinvented steel, then you see it is not the case.
It is unnecessary. What is sad about it is that I LOVED Endless Eight in its printed form. And they managed to make Sighs, my least favorite of the series, all the more desirable! And people stated that K-on! is the most cynical work by KyoAni as hard cold fact! Personally, I do see the ugly head of mercantile cynicism way more in Endless Eight.
The bottom line, screw Endless Eight, wake me up when it is over. I’ll be somewhere, doing pew pew in Eve Online.
A LOT of animated works had the pretention to deal with war, promising to deliver THE TRUTH about what war is, how people feels about it and should. However, too few of them actually succeed. The biggest offenders, under the “anti-war” clothing, actually does better at glorifying it. By choosing the pilot as archetype, it glamorize it.
As I have said, too few animated works managed to give people a taste of what war is and does, and how it affect people. Grave of the Fireflies is one of them. Waltz with Bashir is another of them. “Them” being the few.