HEY GUYS I MOVED

omonomono.com

Thank you wordpress.com!

Now just need to know if it’s worth the $12 or whatever/yr for the redirect.


Power of Anime, Spring Edition

Looking at the spring season…of 2011? If just briefly. A US-centric, industry postmortem.

Someone once said that overall, the late-night anime business generally makes money. With Occult Academy due out in May, that marks the US release of all the Anime no Chikara anime. And that’s a good thing–all three shows have at least some redeeming value, demonstrating the power of anime to some degree. I’m going to assume they are making and going to make money for their licencors back home for a while yet.

This is the same power that enamored the neophytes with the new Lupin the Third anime, some of them having seen 3 or fewer hours of any other Lupin work to date. This is the same reason why Kyoto Animation’s Hyouka is not a call for tar and feathering, it is staving off 2ch otaku second-guessing those old-capitol animator lords on their high-riding horses. It is the same way that idols are going 2.5D.

Yamakan’s laughable exercise of Fractale is also due out in America. Will it sell? I know I will contribute my one out of 686 units. Along side with much of the hoard from 2010/2011, as struggling production major player Funimation slowly churn out these shows for its localized release. And in that sense I thought it is pretty representative–Nozomi got Soranowoto; Sentai nabbed Night Raid; NISA took Occult Academy. These three studios are relatively new-comers, with very different profiles. And while I can’t say anything about Sentai, there are no DBZ or FMA or One Cash Cow holding up the rest for those. There are just a variety of better selling shows and poorer selling shows. It is our future, in that while one could always say that the entertainment industry is propped up by that one hit, this does not have to be the case with this otaku-centric business model, and I think a lot of us benefit from this.

And speaking of Fractale (of Funi), a random sampling of 2011 Spring pickups also says Anohana is NISA, Madoka is Aniplex, and Gosick was Bandai and now is in limbo. I think this is a good way to slice things up, and it really shows some weird sense of market competitiveness. It’s almost like the handing-off-of batons from one generation to another–clearly, some people license the wrong shows. And on the flip side I count my lucky stars that these companies generally licensed the right shows for them.

I feel that Funimation does a good job, generally speaking, with their releases, from the marketing end. Especially with the traditional fanservice-heavy shows. I thought their push for Strike Witches was spirited; comparatively the push for AsoIku not as much, but still, it happens. But they need to quit sitting on these simulcasts and get a move on with their releases.

Ultimately, it is new and exciting new licenses that energizes the fanbase and bring in revenue.

On the bright side, right now there’s real market diversity in terms of who is selling what, and we have FUNi to thank. They’re really serving it up to that 25-75 anime fan segment and leaving most of the rest alone. Unfortunately this is also reason to concern in that not everything is available in every single way. It remains the distant Avalon, a place promised in our filesharing days.

TL;DR – We’ve come so far, but we still have much to go.

PS. Speaking of the 25-percentile, did you see those Ghibli Blu-ray Disc releases lined up for May? US domestic? I did and I’m like \(・ω・)/Let’sにゃー!


Administrivia, April 2012

Totally off topic and I almost never do these kinds of posts, but I should just put it out there so people can find this site when the time comes. By that, I mean, I am definitely moving off wordpress.com. “Definitely” because I made a breakthrough in the migration process and so it will most likely cut over soon, with or without all the lost posts.

I understand the wordpress.com login/gravitar nonsense and I don’t like it either, even if it doesn’t really bother me. The main issue as I see it is combating spam. Anyway, it’s not like I get enough comments on my blog for that to be a serious issue. Or is wordpress.com a problem–they’ve been fairly good to me. For those really good at stalking, you know I have been setting up trying to move for a long time now, basically since like, Feb 2011. I’m trying to use the anibrog tourney as a motivation and get the move done before that happens, but there’s no guarantees that it will happen before whenever the May date it is that I’m suppose to compete against Spark Blog or A Product of Wasted Time. Well, I guess we will see how much I drag my feet in terms of deciding how to do it.

This means the best way to follow and keep track of this blog is by using the domain name “omonomono.com” as per usual. Because, like, man, modern technology, why don’t I use it kkthx domain name service.

For those who doesn’t know about the several hundred blog post I lost since, it is a tough lesson but one I am more than ever prepared to practice. And so should you, everyone of you should take backup and data storage/recovery seriously. I mean, it’s a part of you, your identity, your mark on the world, your life, at stake. Joke aside, I’ll probably set up something once everything’s situated, and let you guys know what I find.

For the TL;DR crowd I’ll prep some short message when the time gets closer to moving date. And also as a result you might not see many posts in the coming couple weeks…


Wolves and Koko Puffs

When I was reading about people’s first reactions to Jormungand the animation, some compared it to Spice & Wolf. I didn’t really see the comparison being valid beyond the superficial similarity of having a strong personality of a woman in the context of the intrigue of bartering. But after 3 episodes, I see where the real similarity lies.

Koko is a wolf. In fact she is the wolf that Horo never seems to be, at least after 3 volumes of the novels. It’s how far I’ve read in Spicywolf before giving up.

By wolf I mean, perhaps, the best example of wolf that anime keeps on using: the fable of the Little Red Riding Hood. This is the human wolf–a wolf pretending to be a person in order to achieve the wolf’s wolf-y goals. Which is usually about being a wolf’s survival, or desire to eat somebody, or some such.

An example of the Little Red symbology in play is Jin-Roh. And Jin-Roh is, by all means, the best fictional depiction of what it means to be a wolf, in my humble opinion, in the context of Japanese pop culture. It’s a little more psychologically edgier than the simple “ronin” or lone wolf concept, which is more about the individualism that we Americans associate with our cultural heritage. Indeed, in order to appear wolf-like, these individuals have to exist alongside with normal human beings, and even work with them. It is very hard to act aloof and deceptive if there’s nobody close to you. It’s why the Big Bad Wolf gets to have a conversation with Little Red Riding Hood. The culture of fitting in, as it is in Japan, makes the wolf blend in to his or her environs easier. It’s the wolf’s disguise.

Koko is rather the exception in that regard. She stands out like a sore thumb at a glance. Her manic smile is clearly a sign of something is odd about this one. Some might even consider her moe, which is probably running against the grain in a Black Lagoon-like setting. Koko’s wider-than-usual mouth makes me asks why she has such a wide mouth. The childish and girly exterior betrays the calculating and pragmatic mind it carries. To that extent it is already less of a wolf-in-sheepskin as much as just a wolf (as opposed to Jin-Roh, where the “wolf” is actually a wolf pretending to be a sheep inside a wolf’s skin). She is clearly a wolf among wolves, except this wolf looks like a sheep.

Indeed, Koko, why do you have such a big mouth?

The setup is pretty nice given that we’re seeing the story developing as a relationship between Koko and Jonah. Jonah looks like a wolf, too, but I suppose we’ll get to see if Jonah only looks the look or not. For starters, he might not even rock the look that Koko does.

There’s a lot to like, for me, about Koko and Jormungand the anime. It’s great to see Iwasaki being fun to listen to again. It’s unfortunate that the radio drama cast didn’t carry over again but I’ll live. Koko’s shotacon ships also adds to that wolf-ness, don’t you think? Like, she’s gonna eat him whole? LOL. I think White Fox’s got a solid hit on their hands again.

PS. If you’ve never seen Oshii & Okiura’s masterpiece Jin-Roh, go knock yourself out on Hulu. Or import the re-release Blu-ray!


Lorejacking for Nubile Virgins

Is this a spoiler? You all know about King Author right? This is kind of like that, but spelled better. But if you’re watching Fate/Zero this is then not a spoiler.

  • Dusk maiden of Amnesia – Casper is now some hot 15-year-old grandma who likes to strip naked and hug you, but still maintains her ghastly side upon viewer’s choice. (Also, she is Takane.)
  • Nyaruko-san: Another Crawling Chaos – Nyarlathotep is now a cute alien girl trying to get inside your pants.
  • Upotte! – Assault rifles are now cute, military girls.
  • Sankarea – Is this a zombie? I mean, the tragically beautiful girl you share a secret with is now your undead girlfriend.
  • Is This a Zombie? – You became a zombie, but the necromancer who raised you from the dead is this quiet, timid and cute girl who now lives with you to take care of you. You also live with a magical girl who is more like your long-lost childhood friend, and this vampire ninja who looks like a pin-up model that part-times as a dominatrix helps you care for the home.
  • Mouretsu Pirates – Well.
  • Fate/Zero – Saber is King Arthur? “You’ve got to be kidding me” is what I would say, if it was year 2001. But to spell it out for you, man summons the kight of Britons, who is a cute if stoic girl who is bent on business and, well, in Fate/stay night, also gets in bed with the protagonist. Thankfully in Zero she just stands pretty for Archer, for the most part.

I guess I could say something about Tsuritama but that one is pretty tricky. Maybe later on it’ll reveal itself more to make this simpler a comparison.

I think if I go back every season I’ll probably find a handful of anime that follows this sort of tact where you take a existing genre trope and spin it in some weird way to make a new story that eventually gets made into an anime. It is nothing new. It’s the sort of stuff Hiroki Azuma put in his book over 13 years ago. What I want to point out is also nothing new, but is there any reason to believe that there are some people out there who likes girls like these? It’s one thing to see someone like Rea or Yuuko as attractive human beings, but I see it as otaku pandering. I mean, when confronted with the plot elements of the undead, am I suppose to be more amused with this setup? And it doesn’t have to be undead. It’s like anything (a horrific elder god from Call of Cthulhu is as good of an example as any) can turn into your moe-moe girlfriend. And in the land that is culturally animistic, that means anything from doorknobs to the parking lot can have some kind of deistic representation and that mechanism enables the possibility of a matching moe mascot to go with, well, just about anything.

All that separates from scenes from a daily life and a moe harem is corporate funding and backing.

On the bright side, a lot of the times these shows do make a big effort tying in those strange database decisions (lack of a better word) to the core narrative so it is somewhat meaningful. This is why, for example, Nyaruko-san is a reference-heavy show. Because how can you possibly work in the fact that Nyaruko is Nyarlathotep? It’s immeasurably easier to see how you can like Rea before and after her passing; it’s even written into the plot, the secret of her resurrection. On the other hand, in Yuuko’s case, I think we’re kind of given it as taken, the idea serving as the part of the mystery driving the overall story forward. But will it actually explain why Yuuko is who she is?

Is this why we were asked “Is This a Zombie?” in “Is This a Zombie”? Because, well, that show gives it to you in the title and that is it?

It’s times like this that I appreciate books by Nasu or Kyogoku because they drive at this sort of thing. And are also the biggest offenders at this sort of thing. I mean, Nasu made King Arthur into a moe-moe character. I suppose that might be not so bad compared to what went on in Fate/Extra. What am I saying? It’s horrible.

There is clearly no escape. Or rather, what do you want to see next? How can you tie the act of moe-ification to the story?

PS. Certainly, doing this with little sisters seem awfully mundane these days.


Spring 2012 TV Anime Impression, Season Preview Style

The need to write this down is greater than ever; just so I don’t keep forgetting about shows that I want to follow up on. Go, exhibitionist memo pad of a blog!

Some things to keep in mind: I ask myself the same three questions for these shows to illustrate some kind of judging-by-cover that I’m applying. There are a lot of shows I think that are good this season but I won’t even like all of them, or even half of them? I don’t know, it’s too early to say. But just because I won’t watch them or I don’t like them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either. Hopefully the three questions illustrate the idea I’m trying to get across for each shows.

Also somehow this turned out more like a season preview than anything. It makes me wonder how the hell do people do season preview blog posts without just doing mostly an info-dump and looking at who is doing what, or what is the source material. Which, is to say, kind of helpful but kind of different. As much as I think that exercise is at best a pat on the back and at worst outright misleading and harmful, massive props belong to those who do a good and thorough job of it.

Zetman
Quality anime, lots of fun, dark and …American-y? It will have its appeal, but given a tough season it is probably not going to get watched by me.
Is it good? Pretty good.
Can you eat it? Yep!
Will I? 3 eps.

Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna
I haven’t finished Michiko e Hacchin yet. Not because it’s bad, but because my interests with the show dwindled to the point, after about the 16th episode, that it became a matter of willpower in order to finish the show. I think I still have 4 or 5 eps left. It’s kind of like, listing to some girl talking about her life, ranting. Except I have no real reason to be interested in what she will say. Maybe it’s a man thing. I think at this point in Fujiko (I think it is best to call it that to avoid confusion), my problem is that if the show is going to focus on Fujiko (the character) the whole time, I’d rather go finish Michiko e Hacchin first. It really is a lot of the same, just wrapped in a different candy shell. There were some really outstanding episodes in Michiko e Hacchin, so hopefully we’ll run into the equivalent in Fujiko sooner rather than later.
Is it good? Absolutely.
Can you eat it? Got milk?
Will I? Totally on the fence on this.

Medaka Box
I might have snoozed in an episode or two. I’m with the consensus when it comes to Toyosaki’s voice. I really don’t care too much but at least the setup is kind of interesting.
Is it good? Nope.
Can you eat it? Lickity-split good.
Will I? If time permits.

Fate/Zero
Yeah, more shining, well-framed, rich-looking pretties. Enjoy your F-15s and and V-MAX.
Is it good? Game of Thrones good, minus the nudity (I always feel the irony while making this comparison).
Can you eat it? Kind of disgusting but yes.
Will I? Every Saturday morning!

Uchuu Kyoudai
This is one of the first series this season that, I think, depends on your engagement with the manga material, can give you an entirely different outlook on the anime. Key word is can. For some people it makes no difference. I’m loving the mainstream-dumbed-down, warm fuzzy feel of this show. Also, Sawashiro again?
Is it good? Pretty decent.
Can you eat it? If you like a face full of hair, but some people like it.
Will I? As a proud ex-owner of several space shuttle toys I have no excuse not to.

Saki – Episode of Side A
More Saki, but with an entirely new cast. I’m not sure at this point because the old cast has pretty good chemistry and when the tourney begin it was a flood of interesting side characters to keep things, well, interesting. We haven’t gotten far enough in Side A to make any real calls.
Is it good? Probably as good as the original, minus tacos.
Can you eat it? Again, minus tacos.
Will I? Probably.

Sankarea
It’s a cute show, the lead chick is appealing. Interesting crossover of different elements. It goes the “utena” way with thematic exploration in the character development context, which I guess can be hit or miss.
Is it good? It’s not that good.
Can you eat it? Yes.
Will I? Maybe for a while.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia
Besides being the Takane-as-a-ghost template…and Yuuko is just like a few other Yuukos out there. The Oonuma Shin connection makes it more like, wait, isn’t that Arashi? A real oujo-sama has better upbringing than the less-than-proper Yuuko here. How does x translates to “of”?
Is it good? Probably not.
Can you eat it? Somehow, but it is kind of weird.
Will I? At least for now.

Tsuritama
Nakamura’s most normal anime yet. Anchored by the high school hijinx framework it is also probably the least exciting one, but I think it’s exactly why it’s the most exciting anime this season for me. It’s liquid crack for visually-oriented database animals.
Is it good? As per usual Nakamura.
Can you eat it? You’ve been warned.
Will I? Raw? Sauteed? Simmered? Boiled? Broiled? Baked? Fried? Stir-fried? Deep-fried? Steamed? Nuked? However it takes.

Sakamichi no Apollon
I find this show overrated but when contrasted with Fujiko, I come to appreciate this style a little more. It feels like, hey, this is a shoujo manga taken seriously. Done by a guy who is probably best for his HK Blood Opera-inspired stuff. I noticed that the first two episodes have a huge gap between the way the animation and music interact with each other. The first one was super-stiff, but the second one was like a page from Hachikuro. Nice job I guess.
Is it good? Undoubtedly at this point.
Can you eat it? Yes. Delicious Yoko Kanno is delicious.
Will I? Yep.
Bonus: Just need to figure out how much of this anime is just an ad for various albums.

Polar Bear Cafe
Cute computer bears are pretty amusing but the humor just doesn’t work for me.
Is it good? Worse than Mitsudomoe. And don’t take it the wrong way–I liked Mitsudomoe. As an aside, now that could be the best setup for a Sphere anime.
Can you eat it? Just don’t eat too much.
Will I? Nope.

Kuroko no Basuke
Typical sports manga-turned-anime. Interesting protagonist being the proverbial 6th man. Except he has the figurative power turned literal! Hahaha.
Is it good? I don’t know.
Can you eat it? Maybe.
Will I? Nope.

Acchi Kocchi
Konata-level cuteness. Unfortunate I don’t have a thing for Konata. Or I should say, I kind of like her in the “I kind of like to punch her in the face” kind of way.
Is it good? Below average.
Can you eat it? I guess you can eat candy.
Will I? Probably not. But who knows?

Upotte!
The characters are anthromorphs of assault rifles; I should rather say, they are normal-looking school girls, but somehow they have attributes that relate to the firearm they are named after. And somehow they are students in an escalator school and their grades determined by the biggest ammo they can accommodate. I guess this means nobody graduates from this school. That is also probably the least weird fact to realize from this ridiculous series.
Is it good? Nope.
Can you eat it? Very well! Or as some would say, “Eat lead!”
Will I? Probably as long as there are enough humor elements to keep me laughing. I like the gun talk just enough to realize “Wow, I think I understand, just barely, what they’re saying! I am probably not a gun otaku.” Positive self-affirming stuff.

Kore ga Zombie Desuka? OF THE DEAD
Also a “continuation” from a previous work. Season 1 was a dark horse because it’s an unknown quality, and season 2 still is a dark horse, just by happenstance of who is in the running. I enjoyed the first series so I look forward to the next. Iori Nozomu owns this show pretty hard. Mousou Eu is everywhere.
Is it good? No, but you would be surprised at how good it really is.
Can you eat it? Good question.
Will I? Probably. Although I will most definitely if there’s a Sankarea crossover.
Note: Where’s your simulcast FUNi? Your google fu is entirely missing, to boot.

Queen’s Blade Rebellion
I did and only planned to watch the first episode of the third season of Queen’s Blade to see if anything outrageous happen. Not so much. Although DAT HORSE LOL. And Itoushiz pirates. And the other Sheryl Nome anime of the season.
Is it good? Nope. But it is stable and steady breastservice.
Can you eat it? Yes.
Will I? No.

Nazo no Kanojo X
I read a bunch chapters of this manga back when, it was a very nice hook but it really failed to capitalize on it I think. The manga was still pretty solid, and the anime seems like a straightforward adaptation, something that should be acceptable for most. Get over the drool thing already.
Is it good? It’s not bad, but probably not good.
Can you eat it? Probably not the best question to ask when the show is about drool swapping.
Will I? For now.

Leiji Matsumoto’s Ozma
This retro sand-submariner anime is pretty cool actually. I used to read the manga for this for the setting, like, when I was little. Don’t remember much now. But I do remember the original manga was cooler because paper books can’t talk so the whiny feeling didn’t get in the way.
Is it good? It’s kind of average.
Can you eat it? Not really but YMMV.
Will I? Probably not for now.

Sengoku Collection
It’s a good, solid moe-chara show. I think it’s like the one moe anime every season or two that does something I really like, but nobody watches it.  Also will eventually make a cheap Zombie ADV license down the road, as they tend to be invariably the case. Sencolle episode 3 featured a Mamiko x Nakahara Mai duo performance that took me back to the mid 00s. Man. On the other hand, given the setup, Rumi Ookubo isn’t going to get a lot of lines despite being the main character, isn’t she.
Is it good? I think it’s good enough!
Can you eat it? Like spider-sense-tingling candy.
Will I? As much as I can fit it.

Jormungand
If I were to recommend my RL bros an anime to watch, this would be it. If they want less crazy or less violence, it’ll probably be Apollon or Space Bros. Also, Koko “Lovely” Morishima indeed.
Is it good? Passibly.
Can you eat it? Don’t let the brass shell get in the way.
Will I? Yep.
Note: By process of elimination, this is going to be a Funimation or NISA license isn’t it. And either would make a lot of sense.

Eureka Seven Ao
Okinawa vibe is nice so far. Like any other BONES project of this sort the long haul view is the only one that makes sense, but that isn’t going to stop people from dropping it (or picking it up). It’s a nice visual treat at least. And like any other BONES original project these kids are gonna tour the world right? Ao so Bleu w.
Is it good? Ask me again in half a year.
Can you eat it? Maybe.
Will I? On the fence.

Natsuiro Kiseki
It’s not terrible, but it’s not very good. I think it can be fairly okay, iyashikei-sort-of-thing, but I don’t know if I can recommend people to wait it out, at least not with a straight face. Maybe it will surprise me down the road.
Is it good? Probably not.
Can you eat it? Kind of reminds me of Hatsukoi Limited, that Saki.
Will I? Yeah, taking the bullet for the team.

Accel World
If .hack//SIGN was like this I would have watched it.  In a way I see this as finally, these video game anime about online video games have reached a point where it doesn’t just intrigue by concept, but also by execution. I don’t know when we got there but I am not complaining. Chunibyou notwithstanding this show is fairly solid, if nothing out of the mold and nothing out of the ordinary.
Is it good? Probably not.
Can you eat it? Mmm baby back pork ribs.
Will I? Maybe, going to give it 3.

Shining Heart: Shiawase no Pan
The Tony Taka design looks fine except for their faces, which just…translate stiffly for some reason. At least Nishimata’s faces aren’t too weird looking when animated? I’m not really in a position to criticize. The anime feels awfully iyashikei-appealing, which is a good take for something like this. Itou Kanae helps to sooth the pain.
Is it good? Probably the worse Production IG anime in a while.
Can you eat it? OH YEAH BABY
Will I? Probably will give it 3 and drop.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san
Nyarlathotep has never been so cute. And you know what, I learned how to spell its name because of this show. Yes, Asumi Kana carries this show, but she didn’t just carry it, she made it hit in America. The source material is also very funny, which helps a lot when it’s faithfully translated in such a way.
Is it good? Nope!
Can you eat it? Ufufufufufufu.
Will I? LET’S NYAA

Random stuff:

Akibaranger – Hahaha, I enjoyed it, but the fact that it is live action kind of bothers me. This is so manga-ish, it might as well be.

Kuromajo-san ga Toru!What happened to these? Anyway, this is actually very fun to watch because of the straight humor it applies. It is also a great example of quality voice acting.

Yurumates 3Dei! – I kind of zoned out on the original series, but this reboot is a little more spirited.

Only Hyouka and AKB0048 left.

PS. I’ve listed 24 shows (not counting the miscellaneous/random stuff), three I dropped on one episode. If I do the 3-ep test for the rest that means in the span of maybe 4 weeks (I actually watched Ozma 1-3 back-to-back when ep3 aired) I would have watched 66 episodes of new anime. Not including the shows I’m following that are not new. It seems like a lot, but I guess that’s just how I roll…

PPS. How many sequels can you see? It’s less than 25%! THAT is why Miyako’s bowl is empty? Color me impressed. But I guess given the 1-2yr lead time, it’s about right that we’re reeling from the sequel-itis flooding from 2010-2011.

PPPS. Tsuritama > Space Bros > Slopes > Fate Zero > Bodacious ~ Jormungand ~ Nyaruko-san > Sket > Sencolle > Fujiko > Natsukise > Saki ~ Medaka ~ E7AO > Korean ~ Sankarea ~ Dusk > Ozma > Kuroko > Upotte ~ GFX > Accel > Zetman > QBS3 > Bread ~ AK > Bearbros > ??? > profit. Actually Akibaranger is pretty funny, and I normally don’t dig tokusatsu stuff. Kuromajo-san is a riot too. Maybe I will supplement the humor shows I’m planning to drop this way.


The Future Is 2.5D

Remembering Anime Boston, I thought about 2.5D. I think the context the term was used in was for Momoi’s Afilia Saga East–she’s a producer for them–a group of Akiba idols associated with the similarly named maid cafe chain. The term came up during a question at Momoi’s fan panel related to the subgenrification [btw, google result of this made-up word makes a good list of wank blogs] of otaku in Japan–I think they would have it way worse than oversea otaku, and they probably are. There are idol otaku and there are anime otaku, very different groups of people who like very different things even when from afar, they are not really that different. Among others.

Thinking about some of the fans I personally know, to put stress on the term fan (I think it best describes most of these people), it really is the case where people are fans of a lot of the same things, but for different reasons. I’m not sure if that is because of the media mix case or what, but this sludge of … things that are attractive do bridge both 2D and 3D fans, otaku, scholars, shopkeepers, other sub-genres, what have you.

I think what is more interesting about 2.5D is that there is a distinct expression for it. Seiyuu. Hatsune Miku. ClariS. AKB0048. All of these things are examples of 2.5D.

To take a big step back, the term 2.5D really comes about when we look at the otaku who likes their 2D–slang for anime/manga/game characters. Those moe figures and hugpillows, that’s a stable expression of 2D. You can shout “ore no yome” for both 2D and 3D characters, but the latter will get you more weird looks than the former, I think. As for 3D, it generally refers to real life persons, or specifically idols for idol otaku–people who like AKB48 or one of the many. They have their own code and things to do, depending on which agency they (idols and fan alike) are slaved to. Of course 3D fandom has been in development for a much longer period than 2D, so it’s a convoluted thing to sort through so I won’t really try to here. It’s when 2D collides with 3D that you get this strange 2.5D effect.

In other words, when 2D wants to do 3D, it’s 2.5D. When 3D tries to be 2D, it’s 2.5D.

Like every other otaku term that’s been around, it’s not exactly easy to define or even pin down. I think 2.5D is most akin to a feeling where there’s some kind of gap that is being broached. It’s probably vaguely related to concepts like “uncanny valley” and “AI” and “meme” and things like that, because undead Tupac is a very apt expression of 2.5D. On the other hand when you have physical manifestation of 2D (hug pillows, figures, etc) or when the 2D slots into a perfectly 3D role (eg., a virtual idol), that’s 2.5D. Actually anime is inherently 2.5D.

The bigger generalization I want to state is that 2D is limited to ideas, where as 3D is manifestation thereof. Most Japanese idols are pretty much just girls who are produced to project some kind of persona, an image. As mentioned before it is no less artificial than Hatsune Miku in a lot of ways, certainly in the ways fans interact with idols. On the other hand when your average Precure kigurumi stage show happens at an amusement park, well, that’s a real-life manifestation of cartoons.

Somehow we are infatuated when this crossover behavior happens. I don’t really know why, but I can make a few guesses. And by we I mean people like myself.

There are many other advantages too. 2.5D naturally lends itself to better marketing. It’s easy to photocopy some ads or post on facebook an idea, and image, a persona; to win fans with your 3D personality require the person being all over the place, or expensive TV broadcasting. Neither replaces the other but you need to leverage both the 2D or 3D along with the 2.5. It’s great to have a manga with a good story and great art and an eye for what makes for great manga material, but it probably will always be more popular if the anime adaptation turned out to be a blockbuster. The examples of 2.5D’s benefits are countless.

The best example, to go back to Tupac, is that ideas live forever, theoretically. Much longer than life + 70 years. Even if the 3D component is six feet under, 2D and 2.5D will live on as long as there’s enough interests in it. That alone almost guarantees that the future is 2.5D. Wait until hologram technology breaks the gates of Hades wide open–big enough for Biggie to join the chorus!


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