The final K-ON!! episode announced that a film will be produced. I can’t say I’m surprised, but I am somewhat disappointed. Do we really need this?
KyoAni has done it again: they gave us a repetitive and boring second season that didn’t live up to the first, just like Haruhi, and then tried to win back our favor with a film announcement. Bah! Why waste our time and money with a subpar TV anime season when KyoAni can give us better material on the big screen? MERCHANDISE is the answer. It’s all for one and one-thousand yen for a Mio doll.
Is this the future of anime? Do the studios care about nothing but merchandise and ticket sales? Substance, story and plotline don’t matter anymore? I certainly hope not… but given what I’ve seen lately, it’s hard to be optimistic.
I’ve said on the podcast that K-ON! had all the material to do a third season, provided it focused on the light music club and its new members. Will this film be about Yui and company, or the new band under Azusa’s tutelage? Will the girls finally realize their dream of playing at Budokan, or just sit around drinking tea? If this just winds up being more of the same pointless filler we got for much of the second season, they just shouldn’t bother making this film at all.
Here’s to the K-ON!!! movie. I hope you live up to the hype.
With the second season of K-ON!! in the can, many of us are already starved for more peppy after-school music. Aki Toyosaki, who is the voice artist of the character Yui Hirasawa, has released two singles over the past year, which is old news. However, Minako Kotobuki who plays Tsumugi is releasing a solo of her own. This I find rather surprising. Since I don’t think Minako’s done a solo, in the series that is, it will be interesting to hear what she sounds like without the other four members of H.T.T. The links listed below the photos will take you to CD Japan where you can hear forty-five second previews of the songs that Aki and Minako are releasing.
We’ve got a new co-host this week! We call him Glen, but you might better know him as Nagato, a long-lost friend and one of the original founding members of Project Haruhi. With him by our side, we start off by discussing Oxford’s hilarious and misdirected attempts to understand anime culture. After that, Chris gets all nostalgic about his very first manga, Love Hina. Finally, we move on to this week’s anime reviews.
WARNING! If you are the kind of fan who blindly worships any anime he enjoys, you might want to go elsewhere. We don’t hesitate to criticize these shows in the snarkiest fashion possible, which means a certain degree of intelligent and critical thought is required to fully appreciate our reviews. If you’re going to accuse us of being haters or trolls merely because we didn’t like one of your favorite shows, just don’t bother. I’m sure a site like Sankaku Complex or 4chan would be more amicable to your tastes.
Have we mentioned breasts yet? We have? Okay, just making sure. It seems like a pretty good way to get a bunch of listeners.
Anyway, we start of this week’s podcast by talking about the most popular anime and video game names Japanese parents give their kids. Though we each had different favorites, we all agreed that it would be super awkward to name your daughter after a character you own a wallscroll of.
Now that I’m back from my vacation, I can finally inject some much-needed silliness (and bromance) into the podcast with Sengoku Basara 2. There’s no news for this week, so you might notice that all that pent up discussion energy causes us to GET SERIOUS about…well…every show we talk about. So if you decide to listen, I hope you like arguments about world-building theory. Otherwise, you’ll need LOTS OF LUCK to make it through.
Here I was hoping Aya was on the road to normalizing her career, but that notion seems to be in my dreams. In reality, her career is becoming a large looming uncontrollable nightmare. Her recent revelations about her love life have caused quite a stir among her fans, creating lots of unnecessary and ultimately harmful drama. How Aya is coping with this is something we’d all like to know.
Could we be living in the last days of anime? One industry insider seems to think so.
This article featured on ANN is from an interview with writer Dai Sato, credited with writing episodes for Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell. He paints a rather grim picture picture of the decline and death of anime within the next few decades.
Sato dismissed the idea of “Cool Japan” and complained that much of the in-between animation work in anime is outsourced to people in other countries, who may not be aware of or invested in the work itself. Similar to director Hayao Miyazaki, Sato criticized politicians and other who promoted the image of Cool Japan for their own purposes. Sato also decried series that were more about escape than about confronting real problems, and proclaimed that the anime industry in Japan is a “super establishment system” rather than a creative force, focused more on characters and on merchandise. He suggested that manga was “the last hold out,” and that if manga was lost then anime would not last without it.
While this reflects one person’s opinion, there are others who think the industry is growing. However given the subpar offerings for the summer 2010 season I can understand the reasoning behind Dai Sato’s statements.
Fame is a strange bedfellow: some handle it as if it were part of life, and for others it becomes a daunting pillar which they spend their entire life trying to stand upon. Aya Hirano burst on to the world stage a mere four years ago at the age of 18 when she voiced Haruhi. Since that time she’s moved on to a singing career, reprized her Haruhi role several times, was Konata’s voice in Lucky Star and has been searching for her real self in real life.
What is real life you ask? It is that life not on the stage, nor in the studio, those nights sitting in front of a mirror trying desperately to figure out what to do next. There are usually thoughts of “Who am I?” or “How did I manage to get into this dilemma?”
It is the opinion of this writer that Ms. Hirano is suffering a massive identity crisis. Her sudden unexplained illness, canceling of appearances, and hair loss all point to this. Furthermore, the rather garish appearance of her latest album (pictured above) in which she’s adopted yet another unnatural hair color after she promised she would return her hair to its natural color (black), seems to support this conclusion.