About Jon

Jon is a Japanese culture enthusiast, professional pervert and roleplaying fanatic who appreciates flexible gender identities. He enjoys science fiction, Gunpla, classical music and Red Stripe.

Announcing SaiRetro

The International SaiMoe League is a lot of fun, but we here at Project Haruhi noticed that some classic anime girls didn’t make it past the nominations round. This is understandable, as SaiMoe is more focused around the last decade’s worth of anime, but we feel these oldschool beauties deserve some love too. That’s why we’ve decided to set up our very own niche version of the SaiMoe tournament.

Read more at the SaiRetro website.

First Impressions – Battle Girls: Time Paradox

These boobs be mad historical.

I’ve noticed recently that quite a few anime critics, myself included, have been using the term “generic” as if it’s some sort of foul sacrilege. We seem to have a knee-jerk negative reaction to anything that contains tropes we perceive to be common or overused. But that’s not really fair, is it? After all, trope by themselves are not bad. Even if a show uses the most well-worn cliches in existence, it can still be entertaining if they are properly executed.

Take, for example, Battle Girls, also known as Sengoku Otome. The plot is a mishmash of elements gleaned from InuYasha, Sailor Moon and Samurai Girls, but still manages to be engaging. The characters are archetypes we’ve seen a dozen times, but they’re forceful enough to be memorable. The animation is limited and cuts corners, but still delivers where it counts. This show is profusely derivative, containing absolutely nothing original. But despite this ostensible shortcoming, a whole lot of fun to watch.

The story revolves around Toyoomi Hideyoshino, who (thanks to her unusual name) is called Hideyoshi by her classmates. She’s a recidivist slacker who prefers to spend her time reading celebrity blogs and texting, despite her plummeting grades. After a particularly stern lecture from her teacher, she decides to stop by a shrine in the hope that divine intervention will help her next test score. She happens upon a strange shadowy woman casting a magical circle in the shrine, and clumsily interferes causing the spell to go haywire. The resultant magical discharge knocks her cold, and she awakens in the fedual era near a town in flames. To her disbelief, Hideyoshi is saved by two Sengoku-era war generals, Nobunaga Oda and Mitsuhide Akechi… except, for some reason, these famous historical figures have been transformed into busty women with magical powers.

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Final Impressions – Fractale

I might be stuck in a terrible anime, but at least I have this bitchin' hat.

I really wasn’t expecting much from Fractale. We’re all familiar with the grandiose claims Yamakan made at the start of the Winter season… bloviating about moe killing anime and how he was going to singlehandedly save it with his incredible new show. He even promised to retire if it performed poorly. Now that Fractale has bombed, how long do you think it will be until he starts claiming that plebian anime fans such as ourselves are incapable of appreciating the brilliance of his work? In any case, I wasn’t fooled by Yamakan’s posturing; I expected Fractale to be yet another mediocre offering from the overrated director who brought us such turds as Black Rock Shooter.

For most of the season, my prediction bore out. Fractale was an incoherent mess that failed to develop its characters or maintain a consistent tone. There were little snippets of cogent material, but they were buried under mountains of frivolous nonsense. But in the last few episodes, Fractale did something utterly terrible that transformed it from a stalled-out steam train into a full-blown derailment; it decided to play the rape card.

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Funimation Apologizes for Fansub Lawsuit, Adds HD Streaming

Funimation marketing director Lance Heiskell, who carries the self-appointed moniker of “Your Friendly Neighborhood FUNimation Marketing Director Guy,” apologized profusely via the Funimation Update Blog on Friday for his company’s recent attempt to sue fansubbers.

“Let’s face it, it was kind of a dick move.” Lance wrote. “The whole affair was just a tawdry attempt to impress the Japanese licence-holders with our firm stance against piracy. Guess THAT backfired, huh?”

The lawsuit, which sued 1337 “John Does” for downloading an episode of One Piece, was drastically neutered when a Texas judge dismissed 1336 of the defendants. Funimation chose to abandon the lawsuit a few weeks later.

Lance was candid in his opinion of the suit, openly admitting that RIAA-style legal extortion may not have been the best method of engendering good will among anime fans. “It was a bad idea from the start. I mean, suing 1337 people just because it spells out “leet”? That was unbelievably immature. We were trying to scare the fansubbers, but in the end we just made ourselves look like enormous douchebags.”

More after the break.

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Deconstructing K-ON! – The Takotsuboya Doujin Trilogy


Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

-Kurt Vonnegut

The super-saccharine moeblob slice-of-life genre received a lot of attention, both positive and negative, during the run of K-ON!. This show is the archetypal example of that genre, easily outclassing any of KyoAni’s previous works in popularity. However, despite its immense celebrity and polarizing effect on the anime fandom, I have yet to see K-ON! receive a proper deconstruction. With Madoka making literary analysis of old genres cool again, as well as the recent announcement of a “K-ON! in college” manga, I feel like this is the perfect time for moe as a genre to be scorched and refined in the crucible of deconstruction.

Alas, the only media I’ve come across that comes close to accomplishing this is the infamous Takotsuboya K-ON! doujin trilogy. From a storytelling perspective, these doujins could not be considered good. They contain the requisite awkwardly-placed sex scenes and out-of-place pervertedness that is characteristic of doujins, making suspension of disbelief impossible. But they also contain several ingenious, even brilliant insights into how the HTT girls would fit into the real world. Many of these insights are gleaned from the author’s experience as a failed mangaka who repeatedly tried anything and everything to get his work published.

Dusty and Glen believe that these doujins treated the girls too harshly, replacing the fluffy, idealistic world of the show with an equally brutal and vindictive antithesis. I, on the other hand, think any good deconstruction has to put its characters through hell, in order to scour away their veneer and reveal their true quality. But I want your opinion, friend reader. In order to spare you the ordeal of reading this admittedly substandard doujin, I will describe the fate of each character below. You tell me whether you think it represents an accurate character interpretation, or an overly grim attempt by the author to soil these much-beloved moeblobs.

More after the break.

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Old vs. New: Dragon Ball

During my recent re-watching of Lucky Star, I couldn’t help but smile when Konata sang the classic Dragon Ball Z OP “Cha-La Head-Cha-La.” But then I remembered the new Dragon Ball Kai OP “Dragon Soul,” which is sung by one of my favorite GAR artists of all time, Takayoshi Tanimoto. Now I can’t decide which song is better. Help me decide, friend reader, and I’ll stick the winning song in the next episode of Bakacast!

Which song is better?

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FUNimation’s Hypocrisy Revealed

Video in Funimation’s dubbing room as seen in America’s Greatest Otaku

Remember FUNimation, the moralist anime production company that tried to sue 1337 anonymous bittorrent users for downloading a One Piece fansub? Well, it turns out that for all their bloviating about piracy, they are nothing more than a bunch of filthy hypocrites.

The screenshot above is taken from the latest episode of America’s Greatest Otaku, Tokyopop’s attempt to emulate reality television with an anime spin. It shows a monitor in FUNimation’s dubbing studio, with episode 3 of Sora no Otoshimono playing for the benefit of the dub actors.

Keen eyes on the ANN forums quickly noticed something strange about the subtitle font being used. Turns out it’s from HorribleSub’s illegal rip of CrunchyRoll’s stream.

Sora No Otashimono, Episode 3, 08:42

The evidence here is irrefutable. Unless FUNimation went to great lengths to replicate HorribleSub’s unique font in Aegisub, there is no question that they are using illegal rips for their dubbing work. This is particularly damaging after they made such a grand show of suing thousands of people whose only offense was WATCHING FANSUBS. No question about it, FUNimation has had their ethical soapbox shattered.

More after the break.

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