Summer 2011 Season Preview: IdolM@ster

Synopsis: “The arduous struggle of the 13 girls from Talent Production 765 who dream of one day becoming idols in the competitive Japanese entertainment industry.”

Thoughts: Who knew an anime adaption about a video game where you have to turn girls into idols could turn out to be an interesting show.  Is it going to be the best show of the season?  I do not know, but going at the path it is now there is a good chance that it could be a top five show.  Looking at the picture above you can see that this is a moe show.  With the many, a moe shows that exists today finding one that takes a new look at the genre is always refreshing.

The first episode is done in the style of documentary.  The camera operator asks the girls a question (which appears in subtitles) about being an idol or why they want to be an idol and the girls answer to the best of their abilities.  What makes this interesting to watch is it shows that the behind the PR perfected looks and responses the girls are supposed to give when they have their idol face on, that being an idol is not as easy as it may appear to be.  One of the girls is asked if the two and half hour train ride she has to take is hard, but she gives a cheerful response saying that it doesn’t bother her and that she gets to either listen to music or study up on her profession.  The show attempts to give the girls some personality outside of being an idol and in to an extent give the girls a three dimensional personalities.

Production wise the show looks amazing.  A lot of attention was given to the girls character designs while they are moe and are simple, if you pay attention to how the girls move you will notice that a lot of attention was given to body movements.  Even the background art looks good as well.

The appeal that IdolM@ster has to anime fans may be limited.  Those who cannot stand moe shows or game based adaptions will most likely want to pass on this one.  For those who stick around and decide to give the show a watch will get a pretty looking and almost deconstructed look into the world of being an idol.

Score 4/5

Summer 2011 First Impressions: Yuru Yuri

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Synopsis: “The shoujo-ai series is about a group of school girl aged friends who end up taking over a tea ceremony room in the school that’s no longer used and form their own club, an “amusement club” as you may say.”

Thoughts: Similar to last season’s slice of life show A Channel but now with yuri elements instead of implied yuri elements.  Of course having yuri elements does not make a show that does just about nothing to set itself apart from other moe slice of life shows any better.  Yuru Yuri’s first episode is introduces the main four girls who go to an all-girls middle school.  Nothing in this first episode of this show really stands out.  The character designs are generic moe and are forgettable.  The music is generic and forgettable.  In fact, most of what is present in the first episode is forgettable.

Of course, there are some good elements to this show.  While this is a slice of life show, there is comedy involved too and the comedy is quite funny.  I have never seen a show do a bit on what makes someone noticeable and make it funny at the same time.  The cast is also likeable as well, which is important for any moe or slice of life show.

The first episode of Yuru Yuri does not do much to set it apart from other shows in the genre.  Those who like moe shows or even slice of life shows should give the first episode a watch to determine if they want to keep watching it or not.  Those looking for something deeper look elsewhere.

Score 2 out of 5

Yuru Yuri is streaming on Crunchyroll

The Sexual Harassment of Haruhi Suzumiya or Now I Get It!

As the song goes: She's got the whooooole world ..... in her hand. Somehow, this does NOT reassure me. Credit: Noizi Ito, Kyoto Animation

 

The Sexual Harassment of Haruhi Suzumiya or Now I Get It!

Perhaps I’m a bit slow on the uptake. Heck, sometimes it takes a looong time before I figure something out.

Some time ago I wrote a three part article The Head Trip of Haruhi Suzumiya. In the first part I mentioned how taken aback I was over some scenes in episodes 01, 02 & 03. I still hold to the same reservations but now I more fully understand as to what it’s about.

I originally thought it had to do with some kind of wierd Japanese sexual humor. I now see they were nothing more than satiric pokes at the anime trope known as moe’. It’s nothing more than the title characters’ way (Being the pushy, inconsiderate ASS she can be.) of pointing out some of the Mikuru characters’ moe’ aspects. In this case, cute, tiny, and uh ….. generous secondary female characteristics. Still, it could have been handled differently (Being as I’m from Ohio & not ohayo, I like my women real & of legal age.).

While Mikuru is moe’, Haruhi is definitely Moe Howard!

Article copyright © 3-24-2011 Jay Agan

This article originally published at http://jaysteevee.blogspot.com/

Here are some Haruhi goodies I found on You Tube:

While our anime marketers usually leave the opening/closing numbers alone, it seems the Russians like to re-dub them in their own language.

Here’s the Russian version of God Knows.

These are in Russian with “gratuitous” English in order to preserve their Japanese character (Eyes cross, brain siezes up.).

Here’s a couple unrelated ones for the opening/closing of the second season. Quite funny as seemingly no editing was needed. They just “fell in” on their own.

K-On! is one of those girly little animes I know absolutely nothing about. As a child of the Cold War, if anyone told me 20 years ago I’d be chuckling over something to do with the Soviet anthem, I’d have told him he was nuts!

Here’s an Azumanga one you’ve probably seen before.