Category Archives: anime research

Love that Girl: Houki Shinonono

Love that girl is a column by the mangatron where he talks about all the things he likes about a particular girl. Infinite Stratos’ Houki gets looked at in this interview of the mangatron.

Happy birthday, Houki! From mangatron, your one and only

Q: Well what have we here?

A: It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Houki, but my love for her isn’t so shallow just because she’s a lead girl, or a ponytail, or a tsundere. There’s more to her, and this probably isn’t just about her, but her character type.

Q: Okay, let’s see if we got this right. You like her because she’s a ponytail, a tsundere, has a green ribbon early on, and that lovely Voice Actress of hers. Did we miss something?

A: Yeah, apparently this has a lot to do with her tsundere character type. Maybe it’s unique to her, but it’s undeniable tsundere’s are generally like this: they show a lot of emotion. Houki really put it on throughout the series, which was also one of the driving reasons for me to watch that series to the end. I like to call her the “Incomparable girl of I.S.”, for a good reason: she quite literally displays nearly all the emotions a human can have. Let me go in-depth. (note: I may have studied human psychology, but I care not to go scientific in terms, but rather call it how you see her)

Happiness: yes, this girl born with a face that she thinks is normal for an irate person, Houki has a smile on her face sometimes…. sadly, it’s mostly at the expense of a certain guy. One reason why I wouldn’t mind shipping Shirley and the guy, if only so I can have Houki to myself XD

She’s happy she has power. Now, she has to watch Captain America come Jully 22nd on why that power is so important…

Sadness: Well, it’s fair to say that everyone on planet earth has been sad at least during one point in their life. I’m not going to go into my life, but Houki does get sad too. Sadly enough, it’s easy to say she won’t show this emotion to anyone else besides that certain guy…

 I wished he hadn’t woken up, so that I could have her to myself…

Anger: Oh this is easy. Occasionally tossed into the “tsun” part of tsundere, Houki seems to get angry quite easily. Of course, it’s not so difficult to see who’s the source of her anger, most of the time.

   Houki walks in during taping for a hentai anime…

Laughter: Laughter is the best medicine, or however that saying goes. I believe it too, and so does Houki. Well, it wasn’t like she was sick or something, but yeah, surprisingly enough, she did laugh at least once (episode 02).

No, she’s not using a vibr- *get’s kicked in the gut*

Concern: Ah, I love it when a girl is concerned about me. Shows she cares enough to spend her time thinking about the guy, oh no here we go it’s that certain guy again…

I love it when a girl plays with her hair.

Embarrassment: I love this part about girls, and maybe that’s why a lot of romance stories has the guy “bullying” the girl he likes (some kind of stereotype or something, the same way a girl beats on the guy she likes). I’m not saying I’ve done that to girls before… er, another nice part of tsundere’s of late is that transition of Anger-Embarressment-Violence, something I enjoy seeing, which… probably has a lot to do with my M tendencies…

What is she hiding? I must see it!

Tired of Life: I’m probably venturing way off course here, or maybe I’ve got a screw loose somewhere, but yeah, even Houki has had her moment of despair. That part where Novalogic games had the hilarious suicide notification if a player frags themselves, or something right…

  Houki aint Houki with no ponytail!

Tears of Tia-.. never mind: See, this is why I love tsundere’s. Emo much? But that’s what makes them so human; the various emotions, if written properly, can give the character a very strong place in the hearts of readers/viewers, and Houki has shed tears. I can see it now, when she and I do it for the first time, and- *gets an Akatsuki blade to the head*

  Cry me a river Houki, if I have hurt thee, allow me to take responsibility

As you can see, aside from basic stuff of her, like her sharpness of her voice, or surprise, or her cold shoulders, Houki has displayed quite a bit of emotion, making her quite believable in a lot of senses, and probably why the tsundere is so common these days, because really, would a girl like her show these kind of emotions to anyone besides her love interest? We got the picture that Houki was a cold person once Ichi left her life, and she kind of opened up when the guy came back in.

Q: Wow, the reason why other types of girls can’t compare to tsundere’s, eh?

A: Yes. Say for example the deadpan type of girl. Could you recall a time when they laughed in a non-smirking manner? What about the happy go lucky airhead? Ever seen her get really angry? Or the serious girl, one who hardly moves those facial muscles. Let’s look at Cecilia. Can you ever see this girl as angry as Houki? Or Shirley even. Much less Laura, who you won’t always see her happy or crying (maybe that’s because she so soldier…) This is why I’m not too pleased with some viewers these days who don’t like tsundere’s, either they’ve been spoiled or they just can’t seem to appreciate what a tsundere brings to the table, this of course supposing the tsundere was written well enough.

Q: Do you think Houki was portrayed well in the Anime?

A: Well, as of this moment I still have not read the novel parts of what the Anime covered, so I cannot give a fair assessment, especially since I consider the novel Houki to be the more accurate portrayal that the author intended. So basing an opinion of her character is something I cannot do 100%, as I may have enjoyed the Anime Houki, but that’s only half the story, ja.

Q: So obviously, we covered why you like the tsundere side of Houki: because of her various emotions. That can’t be all, right?

A: Sure, there’s more. There was something amusing about Houki that some viewers found entertaining, such as Houki’s various faces. I may have listed the emotions she employed, but she had the face to go with those emotions too. This is why the tsundere isn’t such a one sided character, as they usually have a lot of emotion on their face too.

  Look at those two, they were made for each other, with matching faces and all that!

Q: It’s no surprise though, that you’re a big fan of her regular face.

A: Oh yeah, I love a scowling girl. It fills my mind with thoughts, you know, like what is she thinking? Is she mad at me? Did I do something wrong? And then there it is, the part about a tsundere that is also enjoyable: seeing her angry or so, is paying the price to finally see that deredere of her. And in my opinion, that’s one of the reasons why I love tsundere’s; of course, if written properly, going through their tsuntsun and then being rewarded with their deredere, is a really fun experience to me. Of course, I can’t say that’s something one should do in real life… 

Some examples of scowling girls with tsundere’ish tendencies

Q: You wanted to say something about her hair?

A: Of course, I love ponytails. But Houki’s got that, which branches into twintails. The first girl I can remember in a long time that brings the best of both worlds!

Q: We haven’t seen you this excited for an Anime girl since Hyakka Ryoran’s Naoe Kanetsugu.

A: It’s probably not so hard to see, but a lot of my enjoyment of an anime goes into the girls. I don’t know what it is, maybe I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve seen a lot of types of stories, now I kind of make it a more enjoyable viewing experience to see how a certain character goes with that story. My reasons for watching Anime may not be so noble, but I won’t deny it, I watch it for the girls 90% of the time. There’s also the part where Houki’s VA played another Shino, for Seitokai Yakuindomo, another of my favorite series.

Q: You know, originally you were going to make a wall of text while you went Houki ranting. And then you decided to put it in a podcast. What happened?

A: Well that has a lot to do with my health, actually. Around the time when the series was finishing it’s broadcast run, I wanted to do a wall of text of these words on why I love Houki. But then I thought maybe my radio show will pick up steam and I can make it a feature for that. Of course, after the series ended, my run in with second hand smoke eventually shelved the idea due to my affected throat, which is why this blog post was done in an interview style because this is actually a transcript of that proposed podcasty thing.

Q: Oh, so it’s not a coincidence you decided to post this on her birthday.

A: You know I hate coincidence. What, are you trying to single me out? Put me on the spot? Are yous makin fun ah me?

Q: No I meant,-

A: You’re fired. *bang*

This interview has been prematurely ended due to the deleted host

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My H Crab watches Hyakka Ryoran 06

 Well well, having my mind blown by the awesomeness that is Hyakka Ryoran episode 06, I think it’s time I post this. Here we have my pet H Crab taking in the sight that is episode 06, in yet another of my bizarre research attempts. Some things to note:

-Unfortunately I can’t post more about my many other Crabs, I hope everyone understands.
-I also don’t want to post how much of them I have because, I mean, these guys are no secret where I live (how difficult is it to see a foreigner with pet hermit crabs? lol), and it would be very easy for someone in this country to pinpoint 2 and 2 together on who the mangatron really is. These “precautions” are a part of why I don’t do social networking, so I’d like to ask please don’t post these elsewhere 😡
-Damn why did everybody have to know about my crabs?  “Hey man, what you got there?” Oh, it’s just some crabs. “Cool, can I see?” lol I really love my new pets, having personally found more than 50 (thumb sized ones) during my “vacation” at the beach. They’re so funny all the time, some of them would stare at one another twiddling their nose antlers, communicating who knows what.

Anyways, the meat of this research is, what did the crab like about episode 06. It’s a rather funny result, as you can see below.

The crab was set on the keyboard of my laptop, and during the Naoe fantasy, it starts to walk around. I tried to set it back to viewing, but it remained uninterested in Naoe-chan’s fantasy lol.

You’ll probably notice the crab is now on my right hand. That’s because he had previously pinched me (yeah it hurt), so I decided to use my right hand to hold and (gasp) left hand to snap away. Little rant: why the hell are most, if not all of these camera’s right-handed only? You know how difficult it was to take pictures with my left hand? XD So I hope you can forgive the lame focus the camera took of the screen, and not of the crab lol

Anyways, you can see above that the crab started taking note that an anime was playing, and during the fight at the end he remained interested in it. (take note of the scenes onscreen) It sat there for awhile until my hand got tired of holding him up XD

So there we have it. The silly crab didn’t like Naoe-chan’s fantasy but it likes it some action 😉 Now, back to some Company of Heroes! (lawl V1 strike)

I know, it’s lame. Here I am trying to overclock my brain on an RTS when I haven’t even honorably buried my retired-in-good-condition laptop. I should really get back to drawing, though my wrist still hurts (I am able to play (some) games because I finally stopped using a trackball and a conventional mouse doesn’t involve me bending my wrist. Cast works best with a mouse 2 times smaller than my hand lol)

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Weekly Research: July 11-17

This week’s research: That ass.

Interestingly enough, this week’s episodes were being such an ass. In fact, all of the episodes for the 8 series that I’m following had quite an assload of ass occupying a large part of the screen’s real estate (the ass being the focal point for about 1 second or more, no freeze frame). Coincidence? Since I’m on a vendetta against coincidence, I think not. If you’re an ass guy, and if you like them girls, and you love them butts and you cannot lie, then this was your week. My my, this is the first time in my life I typed an assload of “ass” in a post…. XD

 Give your take below in comments (open to anyone, anonymous or Google account)

Final Approach: Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou

Final Approach is a column by the mangatron as he approaches an just-concluded anime for his final word. That, and, the anime “Final Approach” was a nice, half-half series (It was a 13 minute episode, 13 episode series that was the first (or second) half of Princess Hour in 2004, the other half being “W Wish”)

So, with the end of the broadcast run for Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou, I thought it’s time I posted my final thoughts on this series. (these thoughts will try to be spoiler free as much as possible, in the weird hope that it would be somewhat of a review. Yes, it may look weird too, given my not too healthy state my body has become of late)

First off, how my whole involvement came to be. I first heard of Dai Maou as a manga, of course after coming off that nearly 3 year tour with death, manga was something I needed to catch up on. Interesting school life manga in the first volume, and it was from the manga description on list sites that I found out it was based on a novel. So I naturally thought “oh, if it got a manga version, surely an anime version is possible”. You can probably imagine that half-surprised look on my face when two novel->manga->anime adaptions came out in the same season.

Fast forward towards the end of the Winter Anime season, I made no secret in the Chu-Bra and Omamori Himari threads at the Animesuki forum to declare my intention to invade the Dai Maou once Winter season is over. What a interesting 3 months that followed since.

Dai Maou starts off in the usual way of showing viewers what’s in store for them for the basic premise of the series. As the episode comes to a close, one would naturally think this would go the way of a romantic school comedy harem centered around the impending bad luck of our lead male who just so happens to have the eventual future to become a Demon King.

Yes, this series’ first airing is censored.

But that was never meant to be. Some people declared Harem, others called Soga Keena an airhead (probably rightfully so), but this series wasted no time in getting into the main segment of part 1 of the series. In which this series made romance take a back seat, along with half of school life, but brought on full on comedy with Korone’s arrival. This is where the first half of the story sets up the part where we get a change in the future following the end of episode 05, which set up the second half of the story, which some agree didn’t really carry the “drive” of the first half, with episode 07 not helping things at all.

But in my view? I didn’t call Keena an airhead :p, and episode 02 made me think that in some weird way, we may not actually get to see some things (my very first Dai Maou 4koma lol). It was with the appearance of Keena where my theorizing began to take shape, and of course once my Eiko arrived things got way out of control and my takeover of the Animesuki thread was unstoppable. As the series went on, and my theories pouring in at one point in nearly every post I made, one would think this series could be really epic in the direction it’s headed. But alas, for someone like me, I already felt the tingling down my spine of a previous experience where I theorized a game to death (Luminous Arc 2) which eventually led me to realize, the only way that happened (my theorizing) was because something didn’t go right in the progression of the story. For LA2, it had too simple of a storytelling for a story which could have been grand had it been worked on properly, and Dai Maou started to take shape in that regard once episode 06 started its second half.

Admit it, you want to cry tears of joy being an Teruya Eiko fan.

For Dai Maou, it’s greatest asset was also at times its downfall: its pacing. On the one hand, it carried its basic premise quite well (Sai Akuto is labeled the Demon King), and on the other hand they introduced some story elements that, really, it could have done without and took a route some other elements took and just “be mentioned”. This is where the pacing, while good for it’s basic premise, didn’t go so well when said unneeded story elements came into view. Not to mention that with a ED that screams harem, it went so off mission with that, that one of the harem candidates got as much as 2 episodes only where she really shined. The 1st one made it look like she went way ahead of the harem, and the 2nd one was purely action and nothing else. This series also had quite a lot of cliffhanger-brickwall-ending episodes, which to me, in recent times, was the most I’ve ever seen for a series as long as this (12 episodes). It also didn’t help that the second half of Stargate Universe Season 01 returned to the airwaves around the same time of Dai Maou’s start, bringing with it some cliffhangers of its own (which were somewhat more bearable than Dai Maou’s).

The following may have the occasional spoiler or two. Recommend watching entire series to proceed reading below.

Cliffhangers weren’t really a problem, though, it was the waiting for the next episode which seemingly seemed more bothersome. Although, that’s not to say some cliffhangers were great, one has to wonder couldn’t they have at least ended it in a way that isn’t so sudden, like have a narration end it like “I soon realized,… we are not alone.” Nice end huh? XD Ok, I digress. Still though, cliffhangers aren’t fun to wait for the next episode, as Stargate Universe pulled the biggest cliffhanger I have seen in recent days, with an episode ending in such a suspense, the next episode didn’t arrive until almost half a year later.

The real problem probably lies not in the pacing, but rather the placement of scenes that somewhat produced a confused approach to an episode’s content. Something similar occurred in Omamori Himari where a battle was interrupted by a bath scene. A bath scene. Maybe some people wouldn’t have minded having a little fanservice thrown in, but it was in the middle of a rather nicely animated fight that didn’t transition well into the bath scene due in no small part to the music’s inability to climacticaly enhance the transition, although it did resume very nicely. Still though, placing the bath scene in there kind of ruined the fight for me, and Dai Maou had it’s own share of oddly placed scenes (probably most notable was the Constant Academy’s headmaster being in two different places for no reason at all), maybe Keena’s egg caper too, and Lily’s totally forgotten kiss to Sai. Alas though, those did not break the series, but just made something to bicker about 😛

One of my most favorite scenes (yes, it wasn’t censored at all)

Probably more so of my disappointments in this series largely has to do with what wasn’t seen, than what was. I’ll get to that later in the “cons” part of my post. For now though, let’s start with Pros and Cons as to my preception of this series:

–The pacing meant there was going to be a no-bs ride down a straightaway.
–All of the harem candidates, and then some, had Zettai Ryouiki.
–My Eiko-chan. XD
–The continued use of medicinal guns. Imagine what a sniper rifle in this series can do: long-range morphine! 😛
–Characters not following their sterotypical forefathers/foremothers was a nice change for once.
–Voice actors and actresses did a tremendous job with their respective characters, where most of the time they defined the characters as how I eventually came to think of them as.
–A nice soundtrack complemented most scenes with feeling, not overly blaring to ones ears.
–With an ending that starts all over again, the series remains open for another season.
–(the PROs section will remain open until I can remember what else was nice)

–Having lived in an area surrounded by movie studios, and having studied a bit of film making, and having watched a great deal of Hollywood movies, I always believed the screenplay decides what scene goes where and how well one can flow a combination of action and drama. With this series sharing 2 screenwriters over just 12 episodes, I have to wonder if budget, time constraints, or both, played a part in a 12 episode series having 2 screenwriters. If this was a 24 episode series, I can understand, but it’s just 12 episodes…
–Some characters didn’t have enough screen time or much of an effect on the overall progress of the series.
–Probably the biggest con here being, as I mentioned earlier the placing/creation of some scenes that for the most part, viewers could have done without.
–Mister X is surprisingly not supposed to be here, as I wasn’t annoyed by him 😛
–Etou Fujiko went from dead serious to a dead end joke. The manga places her in a darker light, where one can only hope she doesn’t become a joke there as well.
–Lily was… nowhere to be found. Some say Hiroshi should have taken her spot in the ED >__> but I think they should have broken protocol and made the ED a four person harem candidacy. It’s not like killing sterotypes was new to this series, right?
–Not enough episodes 😛
–Not enough of my Eiko 😀
–Of all the people to apparently die in this series, they instead chose Peterhausen to be quite possibly the only thing significant to die in this series. Some even escaped death, but not the poor, red-eyes brown dragon…
–With an ending that starts all over again having accomplished nothing in poor Sai’s life as far as the world is concerned, the series may be a train wreck should a second season not be greenlit. Or rather, the story process isn’t going to be winning over any purists of great storytelling.

Like the view? Too bad that serious look in her eyes was gone by the start of episode 06.

So perhaps the meat of this ridiculously long post is here, where I’ll explain some of my beefs with this series, with that all to familiar beef I had with LA2.

–The showing of content that we could have done without
There were some things in this series that we saw that we either never saw again, or found an acceptably official explanation of. For example, the woman at the very start of episode 01. It’s just the start of the series and of course that brought about some questions, theories and speculation as to Who (this woman was), How (this woman knew what she knows), and Why (place Sai into hiding away from what appears to be pursuers). You can probably throw in Lily’s kiss in episode 05, which instantly sparked cries of “She’s way ahead of the pack!” or “Lily FTW” XD or something like that, which, the kiss works well if this series was a harem, but it wasn’t [that kind], and it ended up giving false hope, which in turn leads to just plain disappointment.

The woman in question. Yes, she is floating.

Then there’s Korone’s head honcho’s, in the beginning of episode 06. Seeing them gave off quite the “ooh, here’s one of those corrupt organizations of the government”, which, not only that, but the alluded corrupted organizations the series made implications of,  where it would seem like “oh, these big wigs of Korone might be the baddies of this series”, where after its all said and done, those big wigs were nothing but a memory, and a very questionable memory at that. These are the same big wigs Lily says to work for, which apparently, by series end we have no idea if she’s still working for them or not, which by then during this war they took a back seat… In this 12 episode series, they shouldn’t have been shown [the way that they were], especially when they had their eyes censored “secure line” style.

I’d also like to talk about the sword of Sohaya. In a way, my opinion is that this sword’s appearance was rather useless, as it only served to fuel the masses again into the whole “WTF love power?” mode. Sure, I was right in that she was only going to use it against Eiko, but after it’s been all said and done… it’s significance was rather weak. We already knew she had the hots for Sai, so we didn’t really need to see this grand scene of her realization of her feelings, not to mention as the series ends this has very little effect on its continuation, as well as, during that scene, Sai was apparently present nearby, but he remained off screen and pretty much still oblivious to this girl screaming her declaration. Or maybe this whole rant is because I’m not really a Junko fan… >_> or maybe I’m just having it hard to believe a god would give a sword off to someone that can only be used when they’re in love. As a weapon to be used for, well, killing, isn’t that kind of like a contradiction…

A really big question mark in this series is Keena’s Egg Caper scene of episode 08. Face it, there was no logic applied to it, and no matter what theory I came up with it still ended up with a “Bad move, Keena”. This is probably the only scene everyone can agree on, that it made no sense and only helped to show Keena is, at times, rather stupid. We could also probably make this section a place of Keena Question Marks, where the next question is, just how does Keena access the Fujiko Secret Room, which as we see earlier in the series the door to that room is opened via some open sesami mumbo jumbo(yes I did mean “sesami”). So I would ask, how in the world does Keena open this door, which a simple unofficial answer would be she spies on people. Peeper, stalker, whatever it is, it just adds to Keena’s shortcomings. And while we’re at it… how does the blind “Fujiko Oniisan” see things, when he is “eyes wide shut”…

There’s also a missed potential where Torii Mitsuko mentioned how Sai’s school life would be tough in that there would be students out for his life. Well, it only happened twice, and both times it wasn’t of their own volition, one they were threatened by Fujiko, and the other, was a failed attempt led by Junko. The manga works on this element for a bit, which if this series went 24 episodes, it would have worked if they had went with the core story, romance, and Sai’s school life. During all that a fast pace could have been kept intact, with every character getting ample screen time.

Since this is about the things seen and not seen, maybe I’ll just add a little rant about Torii Mitsuko (the Necromancer/Shaman teacher). The only character to have enough speaking lines in this series that got a 4 straight episode shaft, we never did get to see her zombie love in action. I had wished they made Keizou Teruya’s revival due in part because of her, which would have gave some additional sense into his sudden return instead of the typical “Terminator Daddy” that instead became his tagline. But we’re instead left to assume Keizou has some Korone parts…

Then there’s the CIMO8, or as I like to call them, Simon5. 2V, Rubbers and Mister X. They’re still around when the series ends, but they left such a convoluted tale behind. Mister X, apparently somewhere in jail, Rubbers, who seems to still be running around without an upper body, and 2V, who left behind the most ominous words of the 3, that if this series doesn’t get a second season, 2V will be amongst the villians who were quite important and were never dealt with, instead tossed aside to the back of the story somewhere hidden from view.

Overall, though, my enjoyment level remained peaked at maximum well throughout the series, up until the final episode, where one bad day/week after another led me to shut down major brain functions for non-essential duties. The following is, but not limited to, my interest of the series:

–It was yet another 12 episode series, which seems popular of late, with the only more-than-12 series that I recently followed was To Aru Kagaku no Railgun. I certainly enjoy these 12 episode series if merely because I get to finish a series in half the time a 24 ep series does (after all, having been away from anime for almost 3 years, I was in need of some anime, and I don’t think it would have been funny if I was bombarded with several 24 ep series that were somewhat standard before my 3 year disappearance.). I wonder what happened to those 13 minute episode series…
–It’s no secret that apparently my first and foremost reason for watching anime is for the girls, heh even in real life I enjoy observing girls, perhaps rather I’m a celebrator of girls’ beauty. Then there’s of course my figures… and that mass amount of Hatsune Miku pics I have 😛 Dai Maou continues to entertain me with a nice feature set of girls who most of the time, destroy the stereotypes that at a glance one would place on them. We have a tsundere who broke all tsundere protocols in the very first ep by not engaging in a successful “go and die, pervert” that several tsunderes have exhibited in some form or way like that. We have the big booby girl who somehow doesn’t even realize she’s got the assets, we have an airhead’ish girl who apparently has been doing some smart things, we have a student council president who apparently doesn’t go around policing the place like a certain other prez does in another series airing in the same season, and we are introduced to a robot girl who somehow manages to only exhibit as much as 2 of a human’s emotions. So yeah, certainly a nice bunch of girls that appeal to several types of viewers. By the way my favorite is mysteriously not mentioned above >___>
–With a series that displays a few story fragments here and there, at some point an explanation was needed for some viewers, and I lent my hands to type out a few of what I believe happened. While some were somewhat of a joke, others were compelling enough and brought about some sense of understanding, but alas, it is merely my thought on the subject and not an official explanation. My theories were also brought in to somehow shed light onto certain story elements, but some of those, too, were not reflected upon in the series so they forever shall remain a theory. Certainly, not once did I feel like wasting my time typing out those long posts of theories and speculation, if merely because I enjoy hyperthreading my brain at maximum more so than anything in this world, not only does it make me feel alive, but it’s something I enjoy more than anything in this world and every little subject that I can overclock my brain to, is a welcome sight to me.
–The pacing of this series was actually a welcome sight to me, which is probably because of previous experiences of slowly paced series of old. Of course being somewhat of a psychic that I am (I wonder if people who over-use their brains a lot become this way >_>), I did see this series not having the grand finale it could have, which my psychic abilities were probably supplemented by the existence of an ongoing novel and manga, which history showed me adapations with ongoing source materials don’t always end up with their own grand end to it’s own story, which of course wasn’t helped any more so with the previous season’s Omamori Himari. I guess you can take this as I didn’t find the ending impressive, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t “OOOH! Best ending evar!(of the season)” material to throw in my list of “great conclusions to a storied run” list. This means, of course, that the Dai Maou anime is not at fault, rather I believe with an ongoing source material of these kind of things, it was meant to be [open-ended].
–Of course, I found this series amusing enough to do a few 4koma manga combining my weird thinking process with art, and the result was a hilarious start. My favorites in an order of good to least good: Fujiko’s, Lily’s, then Keena’s. Another relation to LA2, I had always wanted to do some 4koma’s for a series, but my sickness ended my LA2 run, which is why I am happy to have at least done 3 for Dai Maou. Thanks to all the readers of my 4koma!
–Taking a back seat in my devotion to Dai Maou was photochops, where I chopped up a couple of scenes into photoshop, which was about just 2. Guess the pacing was too fast for me to chop up 😛
–Most especially special during Dai Maou’s broadcast run was how often I used my smartphone to browse the forums and reply to posts. While it is an unorthodox method of accessing the internet for something like this, it has its moments sometimes such as faster page loading than on a computer, as well as a somewhat faster speed overall without being re-routed to page compression proxies of this ridiculous wireless carrier I use. Of course the cons are that my typing speed is highly dependent on my thumbs only, which was still fast but not as fast as on my laptop, there was also the occasional text editor closing itself sometimes losing a few post edits, as well as, lack of javascripting made me somewhat avoid posts with spoiler tags. Still, better than not posting at all, all thanks to my laptop being inaccessible due to it running uninterruptable operations. My phone is an HTC built, Palm Treo750 with a “EU” motherboard, Windows Mobile 6.1 tacoman of XDA-developers version, Opera Mini 5 through the December 03 2008 Jbed Java Machine. The program “Made Text Editor” contributed greatly to my backing up of text files that were used to post at the Animesuki forums.
–Deserving it’s own space, probably the defining moment in my enthusiastical enjoyment of Dai Maou, was my sudden overbearing love for Teruya Eiko after episode 04 ended its broadcast. After years of food poisoning, the only other green colored, tied hair girl to grasp my attention is Hatsune Miku, and to see my Eiko was a long time coming. So much so that I went way overboard than most viewers who simply liked a girl, I plastered Eiko among any of my devices that can set wallpaper, I dreamed from time to time of how a leg lock would feel, I even suggested at one point she was a part of the good guys. All of a sudden a cold chill ran down my spine; I hope it’s not another 2-3 years before the next green-haired beauty comes along. I certainly am not looking forward to getting sick to pass the time till that time comes around.
–Now I know some people found Mister X annoying, but I actually found him amusing. Perhaps the real reason being that I saw him before, in which I am the only known person at Animesuki to make the connection between him and Full Metal Panic Fumoffu’s Sameshima The Cook. Sure, I may have typo’ed his name, but you gotta admit, that was like 6-7 years ago, and I’m not one to remember male names that well, seeing as how I remember a girls’ name a heck of a lot better. Shouldn’t we all? 😛 at least I remembered he was a cook…

Mister X and Sameshima respectively

–One thing I found… “amusing” XD about Lily, was her scarf. I made note how it looks like somthing the “Fujiko Nii-san” wore, but what amused me more was that I have seen something similar (small girl big scarf) recently before. That of course being the Kure-nai manga, and the girl in question is the Guillotine (Kirishima Kirihiko). My my that’s a lot of i’s…. I think though Kirihiko is more amusing to me, mainly because swimsuit + big scarf = the best warm-looking outfit for a girl XD (manga chapter 21), which is something Dai Maou’s episode 06 failed to bring to the table.

Kirishima Kirihiko

Many more things to entertain me, but alas this post has gone on far enough. So now, my closing words. The Dai Maou novel brought to the world a romantic school comedy, but the anime shed all that and tossed it aside like dead skin, and went all story, with a couple of short moments of school comedy (I’ll say, they really weren’t pushing the romance in this series), but the last nail on the coffin was all about the story, which in my opinion appeared fragmented throughout the way, and really not fitting of 12 episodes. Sure, you’ll find it weird when I say the pacing worked for this series, but that’s because the series has become such a simple plot, that for 12 episodes they didn’t need to stray from this fragmented storytelling. But that’s the downside these days, lately there have been a few series destroyed by not conveying its message properly, with general opinion being the weak storytelling writers have been bringing out(which could explain some series being a “based on ___” kind, with not many original stories from studio’s themselves). It’s no secret the Dai Maou production staff were going to compress a novelization into 12 episodes, and that to me was the start of their one-sided approach.

The game Max Payne 2 (PC) would explain it more better than I can (one of my favorite games). I’ll quote Max Payne, and his words about Vladimir Lem:

“There are no choices. Nothing but a straight line.”

“The illusion comes afterwards, when you ask “why me?” and ‘what if?’ When you look back, see the branches, like a pruned bonsai tree, or a forked lightning.”

“If you had done something differently, it wouldn’t be you, it would be someone else looking back, asking a different set of questions.”

Let’s work my magic here. For Dai Maou, there were no choices [for the staff]. Nothing but a straight line [using the novel as a base]. The illusion came afterwards [to us viewers], when the series was all said and done, where we’ll always ask “Why [did it end up that way?]” or ‘what if the series did ____’. When we look back, we see the story branch [out into other potential paths], from that straight stick of a novel based story. If this series had been done differently [like more episodes, or slower pace], it wouldn’t be me, it would be someone else asking a different set of questions like “why was it slower?” [if they had went at a slower pace], or “they could have done ___”.

Ultimately, this series could only please a certain group of individuals, alas, it will not appeal to everyone, nor will it please everyone. bouken from the Crazy’s manga shoutbox said this, quote “…anticlimatic and there’s a lot of unanswered answer, beh they must’ve though anyone watching the anime have read the novel >.>” Which is interesting, because I always felt when watching Dai Maou like “is something missing here?”, where if I wanted to know more I would have to read the novel or something. If you asked me though, I’ll say the pacing went great for this series, but it’s story left much to be desired. The general consensus among some is “turn off your brain for a bit”, but if all series tried to be great in that we’ll all have to turn off our brains for a bit, is this to say anime nowadays is supposed to be for zombies? I want to please my mind too, not turn it off!

The Riddler showed us a shut-down brain while watching TV is no good. (Batman Forever)

My Final Approach? I enjoyed this series for the things other than it’s story (like my 4koma’s, the theorizing and speculating, convos with Animesuki forum members, etc), and what a fun ride it was. And not once did I shut down my brain entirely.

I actually went… web surfing!

So, I’ve spent some time going around checking my sources to see what changed since ep 11 arrived and left. I found some interesting stuff, ja.

–Eh, first up. Did we all see the cover for the OST yet? For those who didn’t:

 Look at that happy family. Papa Sai, Mama Keena, with their children Lily, Junko and Korone, as well as Sai’s in-laws Fujiko and Hiroshi. Ah, perfect day… :heh:

–Hmm, remember when I showed everyone that time when the main page locked the images for Yuri/Yuuko and Bouchizo? Well, they unlocked them now. Remember folks, you saw it here first :heh:

–So that uh, cover for the OST, I cam across that by mistake. Honest:heh: what I really didn’t expect to find, was… the cast list. Well this was at my source, for some odd reason I never looked too deeply at ANN’s cast page, but… I guess that long time question of mine is answered. Fujiko nii-sama’s name is…. Fujiko Brother. No seriously, I had to double take to make sure lol :heh:

–I saw some numbers, which I assumed to be tv ratings and/or viewer ratings or some ranking of Dai Maou. It’s been 3 years since I last did this, ok, so I’m not going to quote anything because I’m not sure, but the numbers looked great, and something else, looking at a chart, there was a sudden rise around when ep 08 aired. Huh, wonder what that was about…

–I wasn’t going after novel spoilers mind you, so this is a “don’t ask, don’t tell” moment. Anyways:heh:, I came across some rather detailed info concerning the production so far up to ep 11. First let’s start with screenplay (which I know controls how the episode went). It seems that 1 person(I don’t have names, sorry, tough day:p) worked on the screenplays for eps 01 to 05(see where I’m heading?). This person’s notable works include the 1st season of Zero no Tsukaima, Letter Bee, as well as Sekirei 1 and 2. Next, ep 06-07 screenplays were done by 1 other person, whose notable works include Letter Bee as well, Zettai Karen Children and To Aru Majutsu Index. Notice a pattern yet? Ok, let’s continue, ep 08 was done again by the one who worked on eps 01-05, and eps 09-11 were done by the one who worked on 06-07.

Now what I’m getting at, is that I believe it’s a common work ethic(I spent 7-8 years in the heart of studio land in L.A., CA) that the screenplay comes first before anything else(pre-production). Everyone remembers the flow of eps 1-5, 6-7, and 8, and 9-11, right? Let me run it down real quick: eps 1-5 had a nice build-up arc to the story, ep 06-07 had some questionable content and a abrupt cliffhanger, ep 08 returned to the roots of ep 02 for a bit, then things sped up from 9-11 to where we are today. So, now we know how this series went fast when it did and when it made sense when it needed to :heh: make of this what you will. My verdict? I’m interested to see how Sekirei 2 will turn out, see if there are any memorable’s from this series.

–Anyways, this series went through a number of Directors and Animation Directors of which I can’t really set my foot on it. How does one fit almost 4 Ani Directors for one ep? Or does this explain that strange feeling I had when watching ep 11? :heh:

–I did mention I visited the main site, right? Yeah… I think there’s a new radio show…

–Uhm… what else is there… uh, mark your calendars for June 18? :heh:

That’ll will be a half empty weekend without some Stargate…

Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou research series 01 part 3: episode 11

Other little details:

–(My) Eiko just might run head first into things, in her attempt to
look like a hero and take the Blade of Sohaya, it might very well be
used against her.
–In continuation of my previous post, Brave was never destined to
fight against the Maou and defeat him, so Heroshi, being the only
other sane person who knows about Keena's assassination attempt, might
go and help Sai (after Sai changes direction; ie once Keena True
Ending Ver comes into play)
–One likely scenario has Korone administering her Medicine Guns on
Yuri, to banish the monster stuff in her. But with Korone non-existant
in ep 10, this seems unlikely, since I'm leaning more towards Sai
helping out Yuri.
–I'm still thinking about Torii Mitsuko, and just what is she doing
during all this. While I would continue my joke and say Torii might be
Bouchirou's sister or relative, I'm leaning more towards her doing
something for once, with an earlier speculation of mine being she'll
re-activate Korone. But I digress. For all we know she'll probably
continue her “I was never there” appearance rate.
–Lily, well, what can I say. It's amusing her Student Council members
were nowhere to be seen in ep 10, perhaps she tied them up and locked
them away, or we may never see them again. It appears Lily does not
agree with Sai (most likely his “I don't like the system, so I'll
change it” dreams) so we can factor her actions being tied to either
of the two scenario's I painted above. Having her solo her operations
in an attempt to slap some sense into Sai, or for the other scenario
she'll team up with everyone. Hmm…
–I had that earlier theory that Bouchirou planned Keena's
assassination attempt and so this making him one of the gods. But
that's stretching it a bit, but it's clear he and Sai don't see eye to
eye, and for him to be the final boss, well, currently it looks like
he's basically acting in a “best interests” mode, and that it's all
protocol with what he's doing, simply for the sake of the continued
[peaceful] life of society. So far there hasn't been anything to
indicate he has [evil] ambitions, with my two-faced description above
being, his personal face may very well be determined by what Keena
does here on out.
–Continuing my research into episode patterns, episode 11, if
following standard pattern operating procedure, looks to have the
episode start with a scene of the past. Of course they might start
with a continuation of the present, but it'll ruin a perfectly good
opportunity to show some insight into Keena's mysteries. As far as I
can tell, though, is that the only flashback worth visiting is the
truth behind the dove, or Keena's view of the past. Good chance here
to answer some questions.

Well, I think this is it for now. After all, I need some sleep…

Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou research series 01 part 2

So to continue the Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou research, let's focus on
what episode 11 would be like.

It's apparent Keena is starting to awaken, no doubt her birthday is
already progressing into half a day by now. Speaking of which, these
characters haven't gotten much sleep the past few hours.

With Keena embracing her destiny, it would just about mean Bouchirou
will carry out his plan, which is for some reason to destroy the Maou.
Thinking about it, they've never gone into detail why it is he went
against the previous Maou. As we currently know, that previous Maou
didn't like the system of Title Declaration, so he goes against that
system. Cue the “guy goes on a evil rampage and so we must stop him”

Maybe Bouchirou is being a saint in that he thinks that “if it aint
broke, don't fix it” of today's society. And so he'll carry it upon
himself to safeguard this “system” so as to continue a life without
“war”. At least, this is the kind of motive for him that makes sense
considered what we've seen so far. But, that's never the case now is
it? Apparently, he already had his plan in motion to acquire Keena for
his plan to defeat the Maou, but this doesn't look like the path of a
saint, but rather of someone who has their own agenda.

Granted, not everything in Dai Maou has ever gone according to
history, but what we can only work with is, either the novels or what
the anime has presented to us so far. Now I'm a person who treats
anime separate from their sources, if any. While I could simply look
for novel spoilers somewhere in this world, the fact remains the anime
shows very little detail when you compare a book to 20+ minutes of
audio. Now as it stands, by what's presented to us, Bouchirou has two
sides to his face: his government face, the official face that
everyone knows about but doesn't talk about, and his personal face,
the face that drives his actions into doing what everyone thinks he's
doing. So let's see here, his government face says “I've got to
destroy the Maou before he destroys the world.” While his personal
face most likely says “I'm the only one who can do it, so I've got to
do it no matter what.”

I'm going to go on a limb here and be completely straight up, this
series may very well take the route of Sai being the bad guy here.
Maybe Sai is going about this whole thing the wrong way, in that
violence isn't exactly the answer to everything. and so, perhaps
everyone will attempt to save him before he is lost down the path of
darkness of which he can never return from. Cue Keena carrying out her
promise to save Sai when he needs it.

The other scenario that makes sense is where Sai isn't looking at the
bigger picture. The bigger picture being, Keena, the containment
vessel of the gods that she is, was never fond of Sai going about
killing. So the one here who may need saving might be Keena, after
having absorbed the gods, they (the gods) may not be too happy with
this whole control thing, or rather they probably don't like being
contained. So, to follow Harem Standard Operating Procedure, let's
have everyone support the male lead (Sai) as he races to save Keena
before it's too late. Yeah….okay…

Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou Research, series 01

So… lousy week, actually. Lots of ruination and developments
affecting my performance in real life, my anime life has taken a
backseat yet again. Memories of 3 years ago are resurfacing…

Back to it though, the start of my Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou research
posts, meine gott meine gott, how much I could have done if I had the
time. Ahem, my real-life escapades aside, let's tackle something first
from episode 10. Part 01 of my II no DM research.

We learn from this episode that it was the headmaster and Bouchirou
that had a hand in the previous Maou's demise. This means it actually
clears up something interesting:

1. The legend of Brave defeating the Maou, was just that, a legend.
2. Because Peterhausen did not recognize Brave, this confirms that
legend/D-13 was created after the previous Maou's demise.

From this I believe D-13 was created after Sai went missing as a baby,
without him under surveillance D-13 was probably the plan B to take
care of the Maou when he arises later on. What is interesting though,
with D-13 having been created after the previous Maou bought the farm,
the Yatagarasu calling out Hiroshi as a hero would then seem more and
more like the setup I have been theorizing about a few weeks ago. Or
perhaps the yatagarasu is the headmasters' way of knowing ahead of
time where the chess pieces of Bouchirou's next game will be. Of
course, this will probably be a detail we will never see…

The next part I'd like to talk about, is when it is known the source
for controlling the monsters is within the school. Huh huh, one might
simply think it's Fujiko, but what if… it's actually Keena? Far as I
can tell there remains nothing else in the school basements other than
Peterhausen, so that would leave Keena, or… those weird
lights-in-a-circle. Let's see if I can make this Keena theory

–Keena's special.
–Let's pretend Fujiko didn't really have control of the monsters, but
rather they just happened to be heading there to “assist her”.
–There's still that egg debalce from ep 08.
–As well as her having some sort of attraction to some of the animals
related to monsters (demon dog, cucumber).

There is of course some things to consider about this theory, like her
not up to war and killing, and being sort of a saint, it's kind of
hard to see her having something to do with monsters.

My take on episode 11, has it as Keena being the deciding factor
between headmaster, Sai and Bouchirou. This isn't about Sai killing
gods, but about Keena not liking the idea of Sai being a killer. Keena
is going to save Sai, and the only possibilities of saving him are:

1. If he is about to kill someone.
2. If he's about to get himself killed.
3. If someone's going to kill him.

I'll say, #1 seems highly likely given the alluded hints of Keena not
wanting Sai to kill someone.

Part 2 of research will continue in a moment.

(Anime research by The mangatron is a feature of his blog where he
puts his mind to the history of anime, and how that history affects
the present, and ultimately future projects in the days ahead.)