Fractale (Winter 2011 NoitaminA Series)

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Re: Fractale

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Postby Xard » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:59 pm

Well, I'm trying to steer the topic back to its proper course from all these tangents but I guess this post can't be helped...

View Original Postsymbv wrote:The artstyle and the subject matter of HM may not be for everyone. But I give credit to HM precisely because of that. On the other, Fractale seemed to a bit too nostalgic thinking (at least for now).


I loved Hourou Musuko and art played big part in that love but weird scifi adventure stuff Fractale depicts plays to my tastes better.



View Original Postsymbv wrote:Shaft does not always go that far. The last season they did Soredemo Machi ha Matteiru. Shaft did not put fan service or overblown Shaft style art on it, although it still has enough Shaft touches to get fans of the original manga complain about it. I have not read the manga, but I have enjoyed the anime pretty much. The background artstyle, use of lighting, choice of angles, use of some "supernatural" (or apparently so) original episodes, seem to work in the anime (ok, I must admit that Josephine the racoon is pretty annoying). The OP/ED is a beauty to behold (and listen).


I watched Soremachi and thought it was decent. SHAFT's stuff was derailment for the most part however, in my opinion. While I really like Shinbo's style as is usual with directors strongly influenced by Anno's visual style I'm not überfan of his - he doesn't weild the weaponry of crazy camera angles, extreme fisheye lens, punctuated editing etc. with same grace someone like Ishihara does - not to mention Anno himself. In general his "style" - while seemingly complex and initially very wowing - is also extremely repetitive and unnyanced: having seen couple of Shinbo shows just prior Soremachi I was getting seriously annoyed by out of place shinboisms everywhere - especially since it was so damn predictable. I could predict editing of some scenes many cuts ahead which was extremely annoying because it's the same formula over and over again. Similarly extreme camera angles and general "hyperity" of direction I feel often took away from the series and didn't add anything. I read some chapters of manga for a test about halfway through series and in general I liked it better: SHAFT's touches really didn't bring anything worthwhile to it. The raccoon was also extremely obnoxious and easily the worst addition. Furthermore SHAFT managed to squeeze in one or two completely unneeded fanservice scenes that were out of place from original's tone.

Of course OP/ED were fantastic: this is one rule SHAFT and Shinbo never seems to break, even if rest of the show is really bad. Anyway, Soremachi is decent and I didn't hate it but it's example of when I did not like SHAFT at all.

I'm also happy Katanagatari wasn't done by SHAFT and Shinbo. The approach was refreshing and unique in terms of art without going at all "SHAFT".

Anyway, Madoka has been reminding me why I dig SHAFT once again, after a while. Shinbo's directing is also damn good; he has calmed down considerably in comparison to normal, art designs are expertly used etc.


View Original Postsymbv wrote:Miyazaki just made those pursuit and fight scene look so effortless. He may not be the best when it comes to blow-for-blow battle, but for a pursuit scene like the one in Fractale, Miyazaki just nailed it.


I rewatched Laputa today in BD quality (I'll propably order the Japanese BD release immeaditly after I get BD player, it has english and even finnish subs on it) and was reminded of this once again. Honestly speaking I can't think of better action director in anime overall. Miyazaki doesn't do full blown action scenes often but when he does results are phenomenal and pretty much perfect (Mononoke Hime and Porco Rosso's aerial combbat are state of art filmmaking). Oshii is also fantastic whenever he wants to do action, but that's quire rare.


View Original Postsymbv wrote:I have read some Miyazaki's writing but not this book. There is an English translation?


yeah, it's pretty new. Great stuff. Seven Samurai/Kagemusha comparison just came quickly early on as starting point for his general musings that make up bulk of essay


View Original Postsymbv wrote:Wow, Kannagi seems much more interesting than the manga... perhaps because the AMV picked the parts that anime did best -- astounding actions and editing. Yes, fan services from the viewpoint of roaches is brilliant (must have come from the old trick of using a dog's or cat's viewpoint)


I finished it just before Fractale started; I wanted to get a feel of Yamakan's directing. I was very positively surprised. It's about as fluff and empty contentswise as it can be but the execution was excellent, occasionally fantastic. I was very impressed with Yamakan's directing and the animation A1 Pictures put out pretty much through the series (I don't remember a single notable drop of quality, albeit of course some scenes and eps are better animated than others). I was especially impressed by his editing and versatility. My top picks would propably be episode 7 and episode 10. Episode 7 is just perfect in every way from editing to animation. Lots of playing around with points of view (in fact the bug cam is from ep 7) ec. whereas episode 10 showed that he can also utilize very different camera and editing styles to perfectly synch with content. Those static long shots of wavering karaoke performances were nearly painful watch due to the way Yamakan lingered on scenes - and then we had HHY levels of editing and choreography chops in one particular performance.

It was good series and it's problems seemed to stem from the source material, not from adaptation.


View Original Postsymbv wrote:This is the harsh reality of current anime. This is not just Fractale. Shows that are perfectly fine for day time audience, like Tegami Bachi, Ika Musume and Kimi ni Todoke all could only live in midnight time slots. I think only Bakuman has a real good time at 18:00 Saturday but that is NHK....


it's real pity because to be perfectly honest I think most of Japanese live action television is absolutely terrible. I think current system of tv anime production has some huge pitfalls and problems that should be addressed properly for betterment of all parties from customers to studios. This is one of them and a big one.


View Original Postsymbv wrote:Some more anime websites, thanks Xard. It was only last week did I learn the existence of 4chan (when someone asked what is /a/ in this forum). I could not see how people can navigate around those image dumps. No discussion could last longer than 1 day it seems.


Long running discussion usually form strings of threads and when one reaches its post limit next one is made with "part 3", "part 10" or whatever added behind it. 4chan should be fairly similar to 2chan in that it has shitloads of trolls, crap and the general level of discussion is low. But it can be dangerously addictive and there are good discussions now and then.



View Original Postsymbv wrote:Well.... it is actually much better than I thought.


Shitkaku (as it is called) is good for schlock and weird shit that doesn't really count as genuine news and as such is not to be found from anywhere else. Itss flaws are too commonly unreliable quality of actual news reporting, the ridiculous biases and often questionable tone of writings and the fact most of the content isn't worth much, which is pretty critical for a "news site". Typical day on Sankaku Complex goes something like: gallery posts of fanservice in show X ep X, random gallery of cosplay/artist/whatever, pictures of some new figurine, news post about Japanese hating chinese or vice versa, translating and copypastain' crap from "2chan" and then passing them off as news etc.

You can tell the guy running the site can't stand Aya Hirano, for example. He also delights in postin' all sort of jingoist right wing crap from Japan so readers can express their disapproval and more often than not the tone is a bit racist towards koreans or chinese. Most of the actual news are about people raping stuff, people having sex with minors, "scandalous news" about low prices of schoolgirl prostitution, Fritzl type sick shit etc. Shitkaku is also very adept at projecting picture of all Japanese otaku as crazy, creepy stalkers and generally miserable.

It's ok site as long as one approaches all written there with skepticism and keeps in mind many of the "news" come from sites like 2chan aka reliable as hell material.

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Postby toe mash » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:05 pm

Man, I'm really digging the OP. I put it on my phone and watched it in glorious HD like 15 times till I had to get off.

We could always use more anime OPs that aren't "teenage boy running across screen", "mega milk bouncing around", "birds flying off the screen", "zoom on MC's eye" or perhaps "tough looking character turning around with a menacing look on his face".


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Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:30 am

View Original PostEvaCub wrote:eliminates unauthorized videos of the anime on the Internet
Might as well say "and also achieve world peace".
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Postby symbv » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:17 am

View Original PostEvaCub wrote:The North American anime distributor Funimation has informed ANN that the Fractale Production Committee — the Japanese copyright holders of the Fractale television anime series — has forced the company to halt its simulcast of Fractale after only one episode.

Isn't this going to make pirating of the series worse?


No comment. This is a losing battle on piracy anyway, but then I can see where they come from. However, if only one anime is doing that, it will just be picked on as the party-spoiler. I do not see an easy way out of the balance of copyright vs piracy and spreading the joy of anime to broader audience (while ensuring returns from those people), so I would like to refrain from commenting further.
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Postby Xard » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:21 am

View Original Postsymbv wrote:No comment. This is a losing battle on piracy anyway, but then I can see where they come from. However, if only one anime is doing that, it will just be picked on as the party-spoiler. I do not see an easy way out of the balance of copyright vs piracy and spreading the joy of anime to broader audience (while ensuring returns from those people), so I would like to refrain from commenting further.


But this doesn't make any sense. Funimation's stream is entirely legit and has nothing to do with illegal copies spreadin' around the internet. I also find it ludicruous that they seem to think Funi has any notable influence on spread of information across the web. When Japanese sites like 2chan maintain their own downloads sections one must wonder about their priorities.

In any case this is meaningless act and one that doesn't even make sense. Fansubbers sub over tv recordings, not Funi streams

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Postby symbv » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:29 am

View Original PostXard wrote:But this doesn't make any sense. Funimation's stream is entirely legit and has nothing to do with illegal copies spreadin' around the internet.


Funimation is fully legit? I did not know... Anyway, I tried several times to try to check what is out there (www.funimation.com right?) but I always got time-out error so I could not confirm.

But I agree that just stopping one site would not stop the piracy. That is why I said it is a losing war. And if funimation is fully legit, then I am not sure what is the negotiation details between funimation and fractale copyright holders. I am not sure the full story is out.

By the way, if it is fully legit, then what are the "unauthorized videos"? Not really legit? Or ambiguous part in the contract between Funimation and Fractale side? And if the file sharing or streaming part of the site is not legal, then we cannot say it is fully legit, and we go back to my original argument (and I said No Comment)
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Postby Xard » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:48 am

View Original Postsymbv wrote:Funimation is fully legit? I did not know...


Funimation is big american licensor so obviously they wouldn't stream stuff illegally; bad business.

View Original Postsymbv wrote:By the way, if it is fully legit, then what are the "unauthorized videos"? Not really legit? Or ambiguous part in the contract between Funimation and Fractale side?


Simple. Some guys from Japan record episode, put it up on web, then fansubbers get the raws and subtitle them.

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Postby symbv » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:54 am

View Original PostXard wrote: Simple. Some guys from Japan record episode, put it up on web, then fansubbers get the raws and subtitle them.


I can understand that part, but how does this action got associated with Funimation? As I could not access the website, I need someone to tell me how those fansub end up connected to Funimation (and now chased by Fractale people)
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Postby Ornette » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:11 am

View Original Postsymbv wrote:I can understand that part, but how does this action got associated with Funimation? As I could not access the website, I need someone to tell me how those fansub end up connected to Funimation (and now chased by Fractale people)

The only way they're connected to Funimation is the fansub is in English, and Funimation licensed the show for English distribution. Simulcast means it is streamed (by ANN via Funimation, legally) at the same time it is broadcast in Japan. Some people, not related to Funimation, are stealing Funimation's stream (which has English subtitles) and releasing them via their own means (download websites like megaupload or torrents). They want Funimation to stop these people, which they obviously can't. The wording of the statement makes it seem like they want Funimation to stop all the illegal distribution, including the people who are uploading encodes from the Japanese broadcast, and the people who take these encodes and fansub them, which again, Funimation obviously can't.

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Postby symbv » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:29 am

View Original PostOrnette wrote:The wording of the statement makes it seem like they want Funimation to stop all the illegal distribution, including the people who are uploading encodes from the Japanese broadcast, and the people who take these encodes and fansub them, which again, Funimation obviously can't.


Thanks Ornette for explaining. This is the part that I have some doubt -- Do the Fractale production really thinks Funimation can stop all the illegal distribution? Do they think Funimation can really prevent fansub which according to Ornette is not really available on Funimation website? Maybe not, so is there actually more story behind?

Even if we put that away, I still see why anime studio see a threat because we are talking about the availability of English-subtitled material at the same time as the Japanese broadcast, and there is a good possibility that the stream would be stolen, stored and shared around later for perpetuity. Again it is a losing war (want to stress this again) because stopping people from saving the Funimation stream is just like plugging a tiny hole when the ship is sinking.
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Postby Ornette » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:57 am

I'm not saying that Fractale production think Funimation can stop all illegal distribution, just that the wording sounds like that's what they mean. I'm guessing they mean just the distribution of the simulcast stream (which is still kind of unreasonable). There's more discussion specifically about that in the link (to the forum thread about it).

The stream isn't on Funimation's site, it was streamed from ANN (Anime News Network) who has video offerings for streaming U.S. licensed shows.

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fractale ep.2

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Postby symbv » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:31 am

Just finished watching Episode 2. It covers manga chapter 3,4. As predicted, Hanazawa Kana really steals the show!! (and I can forget about the Phyrne seiyuu for a while which is very good) Her character is so catchy and her special ability is.... Animation quality is top-notched. The artwork for irish countryside as well as townscape is breathtakingly beautiful. On the other hand, since I never found the baka in Nadia very funny, those baka in Fractale did not work so much for me :-p But it is good to hear Index to do this kind of baka role :-) And we do have some extra revelation about Doppel... Still do not think it is much of a breakthrough, but I will enjoy hearing Kuroneko (yes yes yes) and Index, and watching the beautiful landscape, in particuarly the dusk scenes ;-) Still wish the melody of the prayer song could be changed...

NESSA !!!!!!!!!

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though I would prefer this Nessa even more......
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Omake -- Fractale not only takes from Laputa, Nadia and Conan. They got the real Nausicca there too (don't look if you don't want to be spoiled!)
SPOILER: Show

And older Nausicaa showed her presence. Hear! Hear!


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Postby Oz » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:54 am

Episode 2 was awesome. Too bad it has to live in Madoka's gigantic grimdark shadow. Glorious NESSA, great direction, glorious NESSA, magnificent background art, glorious NESSA, silly Grandis II and glorious NESSA.
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Postby Xard » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:39 pm

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NESSA NESSA NESSA NESSA NESSA NESSA NESSA

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"NESSA WA FUSHIGI NEEE"

"ATAMA DOOOOZO"


oh god :huggles:

Despite best efforts of Kobayashi and Grandis Gang Mk. II Hanazawa's phenomenal Nessa steals the whole show.

Now I really liked her in the manga already but damn, it was no preparation at all for the maelstorm of energy and joy she was on screen. The amount of personality she shows off merely by the way she moves trumps over vast majority of anime characters. We're talking about Ghibli and Hosoda levels of attention to body language here. Combination with Hanazawa's gorgeous voice is sublime.

I loved this episode even more than the first one. It's hard not to when the whole episode is dominated by someone as adorable as Nessa. ^_^

Grandis Gang Mk. II is even dumber than their predecessor and just as funny, depiction of setting is deepened in well thought out manner and lots of development is gracefully packed in one episode (it even managed to go past manga chapters released so far, in the end). Fractale is starting to remind me of Future Boy Conan in how much it manages to fit in one episode without messing up pacing or muddling the storytelling in the least. Artistry continues to be top notch.

All in all, great second episode. Some differences to manga, for example the final dinner scene with parents is handled differently and Clain doesn't have huge emotional outburst. I think more subtle handling was better and more in line with Clain's character :)

*******

I really must praise series's artistry, animation and production values in general. Animation quality is top notch throughough and especially character animation is exceptionally nuanced and very well thought out. It's just as good as in Kannagi but I'd say overall Fractale looks even better. Music is also good (too bad Kajiura's music for Madoka steals all the thunder for this season as both this and HR have beautiful pieces) and A1 Pictures's trademark, gorgeous backgrounds, might be the best thing about it all. Altogether Yamakan's works continue to impress me with technical virtues. Everything I've seen from Haruhi's famous ED to Black Rock Shooter is top level animation.

Based on what we've got I'm going to give A to Yamakan's directing so far. Pacing is spot on (of course screenplay by talented Mari Okada helps here), attention to detail notable and editing and framing top notch as is to be expected from him.

What I really feel is worth pointing out is how cinematically scenes are composed and "shot": the form gives off air of silver screen and I think this would work out beautifully in widescreen format. All scenes are carefully constructed and the spot on framings are in general dynamically composed* which is rare and extremely refreshing to see in tv anime. This also means that strange "lenses" or angles are not used much but when they are they're used well. Physical "acting" of characters (Nessa in particular) is another great strenght Yamakan seems to apply to all of his works and Fractale is not exception. He has some talented character animators working under him. :)

(well, as Ordet was established by ex-KyoAni employees that isn't much of a surprise)

*as Fractale is anime I mean framing that emphasizes character positions, movement and layers of action - perhaps best seen in this beautiful shot - which is very Miyazakiesque style of filmmaking and stands in opposition to style using intricate editing patterns and unique camera angles a la Anno or series of highly ornate, nearly still frames a la Dezaki. In addition to Miyazaki's films Hosoda's style in Summer Wars is another fantastic example.


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Very cinematic. I loved music the music in the scene where Clain was running, btw.


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Grandis Gang mk. II = win :lol:

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yandere Grand Priestess? :hohum:

View Original Postsymbv wrote:though I would prefer this Nessa even more......


Meh. As much as I liked the initial designs I'm happy with the ones used in anime and Nessa comes off better. This picture here is good example, as much as I love Hidari's art I think Nessa is way too "sexualized" in this pic, considering her character.

View Original Postsymbv wrote:Omake -- Fractale not only takes from Laputa, Nadia and Conan. They got the real Nausicca there too (don't look if you don't want to be spoiled!)
SPOILER: Show

And older Nausicaa showed her presence. Hear! Hear!


Image


I...really don't see the resemblance.

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Postby symbv » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:51 pm

View Original PostXard wrote: Meh. As much as I liked the initial designs I'm happy with the ones used in anime and Nessa comes off better. This picture here is good example, as much as I love Hidari's art I think Nessa is way too "sexualized" in this pic,
considering her character.


Perhaps I should have made myself clearer. I was not talking about her pose but I would prefer Nessa has purple hair and the look/dress of the original design. After 2 episodes my opinion has not changed for either Phryne or Nessa's character design. The only reason I can see for changing the design is to make them look more nostalgic.

By the way, so far the reaction from Japanese anime fandom is split. Many did not like the dominance of Nessa for most of the episode and nothing much seemed to happen except for her antics. And many did not like the Nessa character being so high tension and super active all around. Some questioned whether such obviously moe character is what Yamakan needs to renew the genre of boy-meet-girl scifi adventure. But most agree that Nessa (and Hanazawa) is very kawaii, and the artwork is super high quality.

View Original PostXard wrote: I...really don't see the resemblance.


Got you!! :leekspin: Check the seiyuu list in the ED credit and come back to me later... :cool:
Last edited by symbv on Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:59 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby gwern » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:51 pm

View Original PostOz wrote:Episode 2 was awesome. Too bad it has to live in Madoka's gigantic grimdark shadow. Glorious NESSA, great direction, glorious NESSA, magnificent background art, glorious NESSA, silly Grandis II and glorious NESSA.


For some reason, after all those screenshots, I wound up reading that as 'delicious LOLI, great direction, delicious LOLI, magnificent background art, delicious LOLI, ...'

I must be a bad person.

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Postby Xard » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:02 pm

View Original Postsymbv wrote:Perhaps I should have made myself clearer. I was not talking about her pose but I would prefer Nessa has purple hair and the look/dress of the original design. After 2 episodes my opinion has not changed for either Phryne or Nessa's character design. The only reason I can see of changing the design is to make them look more nostalgic.


Ah, yes. I think Phryne's hair was changed in order to make her look more like Nausicaa - Nessa was changed to colour closer to brown in order to keep the connection between two. That's my theory, anyway.

View Original Postsymbv wrote:By the way, so far the reaction from Japanese anime fandom is split. Many did not like the dominance of Nessa for most of the episode and nothing much seemed to happen except for her antics. And many did not like the Nessa character being so high tension and super active all around. Some questioned whether such obviously moe character is what Yamakan needs to renew the genre of boy-meet-girl scifi adventure. But most agree that Nessa (and Hanazawa) is very kawaii, and the artwork is super high quality.


Relationship between Nessa and Clain was established and Clain came to accept real human contact/family at the expense of boundless freedom - this dilemma was center of the episode (during the running scene Clain realized he was no better than his parents and came to reject their empty way of life - and immeaditly afterwards Nessa came running to him! This is especially seen in the way Clain is able to touch her again and in the way his attitude to her smile changed). Not only that, the "big bro" was introduced and Nessa's uniqueness as a doppel was explored (most of her antics displayed the effect she had on other doppels etc.). There was a lot happening.

That said, I find that reaction surprising from Japanese. I might expect it from some westerners but moe loving, K-ON worshipping Japanese (sorry the exaggaration)? Huuuuuuh :D

View Original Postsymbv wrote:Got you!! Check the seiyuu list in the ED credit and came back to me later...


Unfortunately I can't read Japanese. But if she is Nausicaa's seyuu I didn't recognize her! If it is...damn, it must be 100% intentional :think:

View Original Postgwern wrote:For some reason, after all those screenshots, I wound up reading that as 'delicious LOLI, great direction, delicious LOLI, magnificent background art, delicious LOLI, ...'

I must be a bad person.


yes, yes you are. Or then the weight of anime fandom is getting on you. I had to distance myself from /a/ to finally stop thinking of everything in terms of loli etc.

I still am unable to not see randoseru first and foremost as fetish object though I am returning to sanity with my mental schemas. Alas, such is the thick shadow 4chan casts on things

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Postby symbv » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:13 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:There was a lot happening.


I think the perception was that people seem to remember only Nessa's antics and the main theme did not strike as clear to some watchers. I see points from both side -- quite a lot of things did happen but perhaps more could have happened, and I do see an attempt to give Nessa as much screen time as possible for us to "moe" over her character..

View Original PostXard wrote: That said, I find that reaction surprising from Japanese. I might expect it from some westerners but moe loving, K-ON worshipping Japanese (sorry the exaggaration)? Huuuuuuh :D


Not all Japanese are moe-addicts you know :) Japanese have a much higher tolerance (or demand) for moe, yes, but that does not mean that they want moe at every turn. I think the way Yamakan raised expectation that he is trying a new approach to the genre further shaped the fans' expectation and demand for moe. So when moe did show up, and in such energetic form, some actually felt the urge to reject it.

View Original PostXard wrote: Unfortunately I can't read Japanese. But if she is Nausicaa's seyuu I didn't recognize her! If it is...damn, it must be 100% intentional :think:


Yes, Moran is voiced by Shimamoto Sumi, who voiced Nausicaa 26 years ago. That's why I gave the hint "Hear Hear" in my description :cool: As for 100% intentional -- this is exactly what the Japanese fans are saying. They think Yamakan is aiming too close to be like Ghibli. Some joked that whether he made this as an entry exam project for a post in Ghibli :lol:
I never thought I would come back to Evangelion after EoE,
But I discovered Re-Take (or it found me?) and
now here I am.
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Asuka FAN FOREVER
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