Spring Recommendation: Tsugumomo

Aside from Natsume Yuujinchou, Tsugumomo is the only other anime I have been following studiously week in and week out. With a new studio Zero-G helming the production, I was unsure what to expect. But with the catchy theme songs, especially the ED, I was immediately hooked to watch more. That is why I believe that having strong theme songs inevitably makes an anime much nicer than it really is sometimes. Music is important, and theme songs are important. Tsugumomo uses a classic approach of having an upbeat OP and a slightly melancholic ED which is a tried and tested formula that works by keeping people watching.

If I were to only say that Tsugumomo was only good for its theme songs, I would be doing it a huge injustice because as you watch, you develop strong attachments to the main characters. 12 episodes is definitely too little for a manga that has been serialising for over 10 years. Surely, there is sufficient material for more, but sometimes, having too many episodes for the sake of it becomes slow and torturous. Watching Tsugumomo, you can tell that this is a carefully written anime that you can hardly spot any unnecessary scenes. The pacing is just impeccable. The anime reminded me a bit of Kaze no Stigma, Shakugan no Shana and even Inuyasha.

Aside from the pacing, what makes Tsugumomo so good is that it has everything in it. It is an action genre with fantastic action scenes, but it also leaves sufficient time for ecchi when it is appropriate without interfering and taking the spotlight away from the story. It has drama at appropriate times for you to develop an attachment to the characters. Finally, it has comedy all around. This is definitely an anime that anybody can watch, regardless of whether you are a particular fan of a certain genre. It is very mainstream, except for the ecchi, and easy to get into it. So if you are looking for a fun anime that has great action and good chemistry between the male and female leads, this is the anime for you.

TL;DR: Tsugumomo is an anime that has very good pacing despite having the tall order of reconciling multiple genres together in action, comedy, ecchi, drama, and finally, it has very good theme songs. Watch it and you will not regret.

Regarding NyaaTorrents

Never thought I would get to see or even say this, but Nyaa is down and most likely gone for good. I am unsure why they did not bother looking for another domain, but I guess what we can all learn from this is the same as you would in any investment strategy: never park all your goods in one basket. If something happens, you can still rely on other baskets. This is called diversification, and turning anime piracy into a monopoly only makes it easier for the authorities to get rid of the root and with it goes everything. Fortunately, Oyatsu has members who were wise enough to foresee this happening, therefore we have Minglong as our primary tracker aside from Nyaa. Till this day, Minglong has never gone down ever, at least not that I have known. Aside from having zero seeds, you could still grab our releases on Minglong, not that I am implying anybody still watches our releases or even know we exist. Alternatively, there are still a few torrent index libraries such as Animetosho and Tokyo Toshokan, the latter, still going strong after so many years.

In any case, even if torrents are dead (due to excessive reliance on Nyaa), the IRC community is strong and will continue to be strong because it is tougher to eliminate releases through the IRC unlike through bittorrent. The IRC community was the old way of getting releases and sort of forces fans to interact with the fansubbers while downloading releases. It does not require seeds unlike torrents, so getting old releases should not be a problem so long as the XDCC bot still hosts the releases. Additionally, it also allows fans to gather at one channel and interact, talking about the anime they like. This community spirit is noticeably on the decline due to the convenience of torrent. Perhaps, without Nyaa, this would encourage more fans to return to the traditional IRC XDCC mode of downloads. But I would be naive to think that because torrents are still well and alive, even if Nyaa is not. Pretty soon, an alternative will come up, and everything will be back to normal.

Fuuka

In the past, I used to be really excited about romance anime, but in recent years, I have become increasingly jaded because most romance anime tend not to have any conclusive endings. So when there is a romance anime, especially when the source material is still ongoing, I am skeptical because I think the purpose of the anime is to promote the source material such as the manga. In the case of Fuuka, I approached it with caution because the manga is still ongoing, and the animation is handled by Diomedea, which in my knowledge, had never handled a romance genre before.

However, after completing the entire anime, I realized I was wrong to be skeptical. Fuuka would be the exemplary example of how I would want a romance anime to go about. The pacing was very well done, given the short number of episodes. While the characters were not really developed, especially the band members, I felt the studio managed to allow viewers to relate to them despite only spending so little time on the band members. Praise has to be given to the studio for the writing. Finally, what is most important is that the anime had a conclusive ending. It deviated from the manga, and can be said to be an original work after a certain episode. Compared to previous adaptations of Seo Kouji sensei’s works, I felt Fuuka is the best followed by Suzuka and finally Kimi no Iru Machi. I guess it is probably because I am older now, I am no longer that impressed by Fuuka, so I may not be giving it more credit than it should. But I can definitely say that if you want a romance anime to watch that reflects a cliche that has not been seen in a long time, Fuuka is one that brings back the formula of a classic love triangle and a school anime back. Who says that cliche anime cannot be good? It can, if it is done right.

TL;DR: Go and watch Fuuka if you are itching to watch a romance school anime that has a conclusive ending and contains a cliche love triangle.

Haven’t you heard?

Spring has one of the strongest line-ups I have seen in recent years. There are many shows that have great potential, but I have not gotten to them yet because I am still stuck with Winter anime, in particular, finishing G-Tekketsu.

But I have heard about Sakamoto and gave it a try. It is now my must watch every week. It is freaking hilarious. You have to take my word for it, because I am such a serious person, not many comedy gets my stamp of approval. But this one really does. Go watch it and it will surely brighten up your sour day.

One Punch Man

Wow, based on someone’s recommendation, I watched One Punch Man. Initially, I thought it was just another one of those over the top shonen anime where it is about protecting your “nakama” and all the shallow nonsense.

I was wrong. It is anything but.

After watching a few more episodes, I realized the series is more than that. It is about Saitama, a plain looking, skinny and bald young man who is literally and actually the strongest person in the world. He has never met an opponent where he cannot defeat with one punch. However, his strength and ease of defeating others make others deem him as cheating compounded with the fact that he looks weak. As such, he saves the humanity and other heroes at crucial moments without getting any credit for it. It is truly the concept of an unsung hero.

We also see the ugly side of humanity with the tussle even within the realm of heroes where they jockey for power and rankings. Additionally, the show also touches on deeper topics underneath its humorous facade. Particularly, the topic of the convenient truth, with human beings, being insecure creatures we are, only choosing to believe in things that we feel would fit our notions of truth. This is ironically, and most of the time, always not the truth.

In all, just shows that we should not judge too early or go into something with preconceived notions. Likewise with interpersonal relations too. We should never have prejudice for it will cloud our judgment.

Autumn

I have been so busy with school now that I am into my final few years. It is really hard to believe that just a few years ago, I was busy spending my life all day on anime and worst, trying to translate it for people who do not give a damn. Actually, that might be slightly unfair to generalize all the fans as people who do not care. I guess the fans these days do not appreciate, but a few years ago, there were fans that actually faithfully waited for fansubs, only to be let down again and again by groups like us. That was when they decided to give up on fansubs altogether. Nostalgic times…

I am not even sure I am posting on the blog these days. I do not think anybody actually cares about what I post, but I was feeling nostalgic and slightly lonely after some dreadful revision for my finals, so I decided to just write out some stuff. Apparently, writing is therapeutic because it helps in introspection and reflection. I also realized that because I have not been writing for a long time, as I no longer fansub now, my command of English is inferior to how it was before. So ironically, while I think fansubbing probably robbed me of the best years of my life, it still benefited me. It improved my English language as well as my Japanese.

Anyway, I have always touted Fall anime season to be where rare gems of good anime can still be found. It seems like the Fall selection has been deteriorating as with all the anime in recent years. But I did watch a few episodes here and there, and if you have followed some of the kinds of anime I have translated in the past, you would be familiar with the kinds of anime I look for. If you still have faith in my selection, I shall offer a few titles that I believe are worth your time watching, if you are finding it tough to decide, given the number of disposable anime these days. Rakudai Kishi is a great show using a classic tsundere. I thought I would never see this kind of anime again because it is deemed as cliche, but I guess like trends, what comes around goes around, and what was in vogue will come back to be in vogue again. Besides tsundere, Rakudai Kishi is directed by Shin Onuma, who usually emphasizes the deeper aspects of anime. So if you are like me, into deeper and emotional stuff, Rakudai is a good anime to watch. Shin Onuma was the director of Ef A Tale of Memories, an anime that still ranks on my all time favorites. It aired back in 2007, almost 8 years ago… Guess I am getting old…. The second recommendation I am going to make is Iron Blooded Orphans. This is one of the better Gundam anime since Gundam 00. What is even better is that you do not have to be a Gundam geek to be able to bask in the hype of this anime. It quite easy to relate to, given that Mari Okada is helming the scripts.

Well, I have said my piece, and it feels good writing after a long time. Here is hoping anime gets better!

TL;DR: Rakudai Kishi and G-Tekketsu are the better few anime this season which I feel are worth watching.

‘Sup

I surprised even myself when I actually finished an anime after so long… Actually, not that long, the last was Parasyte maybe a year ago or so.

I managed to finish Arslan Senki, so go watch it if you think you still want to give anime a chance. The show is about a boy’s quest to become King alongside his trusted aides, and to take back his kingdom. If you like tsundere girls who cross dresses as boys, there is Etoile in the show and I have taken quite a liking to her despite her being a classic tsundere. Other than that, the anime is pretty serious and talks about relevant themes such as the fact that there are no right or wrong in war. It is mostly started due to difference in ideologies, beliefs and even religion. It is sad, but with humanity, there will be war. History has shown that it will never go away unless there is a greater evil which could unite humanity. Otherwise, our insecurities breed suspicion and discontent among even our fellow mankind.

The Joke continues…

Just a note, the person posting this is not ZY.

sm2345, the master troll and joker, refusing to drop or give any accountability of the previous incomplete projects, attempts to start another new one.

The joke is to see how many episodes actually pan out before he gets tired of it, but yet refuses to acknowledge that and insists he will finish it. You are free to put up a wager on the comments, whether it gets moderated or not, is really beyond my control. For those who genuinely think this troll will deliver, please save your souls from his blasphemy.

The show he is doing will be done by probably CR and another group. Avoid Oyatsu like a plague.

-fomite