Category Archives: Kore wa Zombie Desuka?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Year in Review: N-Listing

So, the tradition continues. 12 lists of 12 things. Some are ranked, others are not. One this year is not ranked but merely numerated.

Continue reading

Last Christmas I…

Just going to toss these thoughts down before they fly away with the Spring breeze.

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? – Korean Zombie Desk Car – It’s my most enjoyable, uh, romp this season. It has just the right kind and right amount of randomness. It’s the sort of otaku show that they make every season, that has the kind of self-referential humor that pisses some cancer-speaking-people off and just annoying enough with its senseless plot to highlight that the point of this exercise is all those things otaku like about…things otaku like. Mousou Yuu! Boobs! References to Kira Kira! Of course the drama was pretty amusing that they can even pull it off, but I am not sure if it was used to the show’s benefit.

The only thing left to do is to make Korean Zombie Desk Car our version of Ankoiri Pasta Rice.

Level E – Really enjoyed the show, just as it is. It’s just retro enough, and I really like the ED for some reason.

Fractale – It’s a nice try Yamakan. The story and the composition is all “there” but it just didn’t come together. Which is probably more unusual than I would expect? How many shows like this fall flat? I think noitaminA is flushing them out.

Hourou Musuko – Best show of the season, and I didn’t even read the manga (nor do I really want to). Pretty much everything about this show is spot on, except how we had to squeeze episodes 10 and 11 together. It does have the “you don’t really need to have a vested interest about transgender issues” thing to it, but I think even that is done just right as to not alienate people unnecessarily. OP and ED are not my bag of tea but they are very well done.

Freezing – It was pretty okay except for the horrible pacing for a boobs show. I don’t get why people say the manga is good either. It feels a bit like High School of the Dead, just much less well-produced.

Infinite Stratos – This is the true moe show for this season. Half of which is because of Charlotte. The other day I karaoke’d Straight Jet, and it went down pretty smooth. It’s a quality tune. The ED, as mentioned previously, is cool ensemble stuff.

Dragon Crisis – This is the moe show for the season, and except Yukana’s character, it’s not even that moe. The one quiet girl was more WEIRDO than moe, the Kugyuu character is Yet Another Kugyuu Character and Rose isn’t setting any records there (not even sure if it sets the “most number of times Kugyuu repeat the same word per episode” record). Maruga and everyone that comes after only offer boobs, and not much else. Maybe you can make a case for furry girl but I don’t want to waste my time. Oh wait, oops, too late.

Star Driver – Save the Best Kiraboshi for Last. What he said.

Kimi ni Todoke – I like the first season more, but this one at least pays off. That said, I’m indifferent about the overall story the series covered in season 2. It doesn’t even make me RAEG like it does for some others. The thematic content, however, was pretty interesting terms of talking about communication.

Casulties: Rio, Gosick, Beelz (I should’ve just go watch Gintama), Merry, LOLOL Index.

The Other Type of Casualty: Madoka

Moe Is Dead Part N+1: Mind the Gap

It is kind of incredible that people are still unfamiliar with gap moe. Well, people meaning people who watch anime like KoreZom episode 8 or consumes whatever crap Japanese modern visual content industry pumps out day in and day out. Kind of, only because I’m talking about people who live outside of Japan and generally don’t interact beyond the great barrier of the foreign, moonrune language.

But even I know what gap moe is, and I’m just your average chump when it comes to talking about moe. So do yourself a favor and like, read about it.

On that note, KoreZom episode 8 is almost authoritative on this topic. Too bad it doesn’t have any male-type gap moe examples. Unfortunately it is still not a text book on the matter, so unless you gain a working level familiarity on the subject, it can read like a book with no words in it.

And thus this is where we proclaim gap moe’s death: there is a professionally produced anime in which a whole 20-some-odd minutes is spent to expose, explain and exemplify the various notions of gap moe. Granted they stuck in some plot material in those minutes, but it’s quite something to dedicate an episode on a single trope, to this extent. And given it was KoreZom, there was barely any plot material anyways.


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