Monthly Archive for May, 2009

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[Ascaloth] K-ON!, Episode 8

A new school year has arrived, it’s time for a new beginning. It almost seems like yesterday when the girls were worrying about the survival of the recently-revived Light Music Club, and now they’ve already set their minds to expanding their dreams. Which, of course, means it’s time to trawl for new recruits amongst the new first-years of Sakura High, competing with the rest of the more established clubs for attention. Which, in fact, is not unlike the current situation of the series itself; though Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody has become the talking point of the week, K-ON! continues to strive for its share of viewership against its immensely popular predecessor with the introduction of a new character. And though many including myself are still basking in the afterglow of the return of the SOS Brigade, I, for one, am not going to deal the Sakura High Light Music Club the ignominy of being forgotten. There’s no SHnY or K-ON; there’s SHnY and K-ON. A KyoAni two-for-one deal; what could be better?

K-ON!, Episode 8.

And Mio, being the designated tsundere/tsukkomi of the Four Girl Band, suffers the same fate of her archetype-sister in Lucky Star in being separated from the rest of the cast at the start of the new year. I haven’t seen enough of the likes of Lucky Star and K-ON to be absolutely sure, but it seems as if being isolated from the cast is the standard karma for characters who fulfil the tsundere/tsukkomi role. Can others help me confirm?

Whenever I see Ui-chan doing things like this for Yui, I can’t help wondering whether she sometimes feel like she’s doing this.

Something isn’t quite right here. We all know Mio is chronically shy and all, but why exactly is she having trouble making friends in a new class even if she doesn’t know anyone? I mean, the girl’s already got her own fanclub; surely there must be one or two who would love to initiate a conversation with her, even if only because they were there to see her rice bowl, if you know what I mean.

I officially have no idea what goes on in Sawa-chan’s noggin.

Azusa’s quite a bit different from her manga version. In the manga, she initially comes across as something of an eager beaver; here, she’s become somewhat more restrained, even pensive if I might say so myself. I don’t know why KyoAni’s decided to portray her this way, but it’s going to take some getting used to.

Meido K-On Bu? Can I say YES fast enough?

KyoAni-physics at work; skirts will almost always just manage to preserve the modesty of the wearer against all common sense. This must be the work of some kind of magic or sufficiently advanced technology that always seem to be present in the worlds that KyoAni brings to life. And it must be particularly powerful magic or advanced technology indeed, if when even the magical/technological KyoAni skirt isn’t enough to preserve the wearer’s modesty by its own means, it’ll call upon some kind of illusion or holograph that causes others to see a rice bowl. Suffice to say, there must be a lot of frustrated upskirt voyeurs in KyoAni worlds.

This is why you give girls like Yui only jobs like serving tap water or collecting tickets. You can put the girl in the meidofuku, but you can’t always put the meido in the girl.

Black stockings! White apron! And, a meido hair band! Moé moé, kyun~!

MugiVision is highly contagious. Please use with caution.

It sounds good on paper, but a meido band isn’t all that practical after all.

It’s particularly amusing how Mugi-chan sees everyone else complaining about the impracticality of the meidofuku in playing their instruments, and in a classic case of Kotomi-logic, decides she should do the same and tries too hard to invent a similar gripe, all to no avail. It’s fine if you can’t totally synch with your bandmates, Mugi-chan, but we love you for the effort anyway. ^_^

The girls’ lack of motivation to practise and propensity to get sidetracked by cake comes back to bite them in the rear; they’re simply put, an utter fiasco. Their organization is all but thrown to the dogs, and they can’t ever seem to do things properly. And yet somehow, they can step up their game one level when it comes to the crunch. I think a lot of semi-pro musicians are making themselves taller about now if they’re seeing this.

Yui simply defines a whole new level in "useless". It’s almost as if I can put a collar on her, occasionally give her her guitar to play around with, but otherwise have her do stuff completely unrelated to music for the most part…..erm. Was I thinking aloud there? >_>

Iyada

Iyada

Iyada

You know, Sawa-chan in the manga was pretty cool; her antics are a little too reminiscent of Oharuhi-sama, and otherwise she’s the typical Christmas Cake, but otherwise it works pretty well. In the anime, though….she’s just a little disturbing, to put it mildly. The way she does things in the manga is pretty much the same as is portrayed in the anime, but while it’s all good fun in the former, it almost feels as if her antics are barely tolerated in the latter only because the girls need her name as advisor on the club application form. I feel kinda sad for her the way she is portrayed here.


And finally, the thing that many were griping about being missing from last week’s Episode 6′s Fuwa Fuwa Time finally appears in this week’s My Love is a Staple; an actual concert scene with the girls playing their instruments for real, instead of the MTV montage we got last week. The whole sequence was definitely still nowhere near Live Alive, but I particularly liked how they showed that the contingency of covering for your band members is literally a split-second decision, just as it would be in a real-life situation.

And the effort of the girls has borne at least one fruit, in the form of a new applicant for the club, who was impressed after listening to their live concert. And now we are five.

How will Azusa-chan, the prospective newest member, adjust to the unusually slack pace of the Light Music Club she is about to join? And how will she deal with the idiosyncrasies of the members of the club, much less the borderline-insane teacher serving less as an advisor than as the club’s chief cos-rapist? Whatever troubles she might face in adjusting to the K-On Club, one thing can be sure; she will not be left wanting for cake. Until then, we’ll get to see next week what happens when four becomes five.

Ascaloth, out.

[Ascaloth] Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (2009), Episode 8: Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody

The moment has finally arrived. After 3 long years of having their collective expectations raised only to be dashed, of being teased repeatedly and mercilessly with magazine covers and online announcements which all seem to lead nowhere in the end, the Faith Keepers of the original KyoAni otaku phenomenon have finally had their long vigil rewarded; with the first ever episode of the much-awaited new animated material of the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise. Though the endless trolling of the Evil Corporation which holds the rights to the Testament have critically sapped the morale of Her followers all this while, so much so that many have sought solace in the minor goddesses while developing a fatally pessimistic outlook on the fate of the long-withheld promise, the return of the True Goddess have been greeted with much rapture by Her long-suffering followers all over the world, each of whom are rediscovering their Faith anew. Once more unto the fray; let’s participate once again in what started it all 3 years ago, as we enter long-denied new territory in the Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (2009), Episode 8: Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody.

How long has it been since we saw the rest of the SOS Brigade going about their business? Hard to believe it’s been a while since we saw the inside of this clubroom. It feels almost as if 3 years ago was…yesterday.

And Haruhi Herself comes busting in with a new idea out of the blue, just like it has always been. Oh, how we have missed you, Oharuhi-sama.


"What about the Special Theory of Relativity?"

I suppose it has been rendered obsolescent by the Special Theory of Haruhi-vity.

No Ambition.

Yes We Can!

Mr. Japan Universe. WARUDO PIISU~!

Pragmatism Rules The Day

Things that only a Goddess can wish for.

How many of us have had a turning point in our lives that we think back to every now and then? How many of us can point to a moment or a memory in our lives, and say "yes, this is where I decided on the path I am on right now"? Too many of us just go through life without reflecting on what made us what we are today. It pays to look forward, but it also pays to never forget one’s roots.

Kinsoku Jikou Desu~!

For some reason, I am reminded of FMP!’s Tessa when Mikuru went komarimasu. I wonder why that is.

Lucky bastard. I RAEGed.

On another note, one moment Mikuru was in her meidofuku in the clubroom, the next she was in her normal school uniform 3 years ago. I wonder how long she put Kyon to sleep? It’s entirely probable that she changed in the club room while Kyon was asleep in the same room, which would make this the second (or first) time this has happened. Huh. Maybe the guy’s not quite so lucky after all.

Actually, I take that back. Lucky bastard.

TIME PARADOX

Asahina Mikuru (Big) is a sneaky one. Not only does she pull Kyon all the way back to 3 years ago to have him run time errands on her behalf, she also offers him a reward where technically she doesn’t have to give up anything since she technically wouldn’t know about it. I wonder how she managed to wise up the way she did; I’m not entirely convinced that repeated cos-rapings has anything to do with it.

Loli Haruhi is <3. She sure hasn’t changed from 3 years ago….in mind, at least. In body? Well, I suppose she has become a lot more delicious ….

"Kyon, have you heard that Haruhi drew strange symbols around the courtyard when she was in middle school?"
"Yeah, actually, that was me. orz."


"Do you believe in aliens?"
"I guess so."

And so a bespectacled girl joined the Literature Club of North High just as it was about to be abolished.


"How about time travellers?"
"I wouldn’t be surprised."

And so a 2nd-year girl from the Calligraphy Club was found daydreaming in her classroom.


"And espers?"
"They’re everywhere, I’d say."

And so a mysterious transfer student with a winning smile arrived at North High.


"And sliders?"
"Haven’t met them yet."

And so….there are no sliders. Yet.

"I am Smith. John Smith."
"Is that supposed to make me swoon or something?"

If "John Smith" told her about a person in North High who did things like her, I wonder if Haruhi entered North High, not just in the faint expectation of uncovering the identity of "John Smith", but also of the person he told her about….not knowing the truth of what he said?

To be frank, if I had to listen to Mikuru’s panicked voice for an extended period of time, I imagine I would soon develop a chronic migraine, too.

Nagato Yuki, from 3 years ago.

And Nagato Yuki, from the "present day"; which can be recognized from the moment she forsakes her spectacles. Which brings up the question; if she synchronized with the future such that she is one with her megane-less self, how come it’s back to megane Yuki when Kyon first meets her in the Literature Club room? Maybe the whole synchronization thing is like Temporary Data Entity Files or something, which is lost once Yuki "reboots" or something of that sort.

Just sleep? What a waste. It would have been the perfect situation, if you know what I mean.

3 years later, and if we look closely at this scene, we can actually see Yuki’s eyes ever-so-slightly wavering. It’s very subtle, but it is noticable if you look out for it. Now why is it wavering, that’s another question altogether. How has her experiences with the SOS Brigade changed our stoic humanoid interface?

It’s hard not to pity Mikuru just a slight bit, for out of all the Brigade members, her job is arguably the most thankless. Not only does she have to deal with being forced into the worst indignities by Haruhi, she also gets almost played around with by the superiors she reports to, with no clue whatsoever what her tasks are supposed to accomplish. In fact, that sounds just like….being in the military. Heh. Ah….bad times, bad times.

And so ends the story about the significance of Tanabata to Haruhi, as she reminiscences about the mysterious John Smith whose face she could never properly see in the darkness of that Tanabata night 3 years ago. For it is also that moment that drew her to attend North High, despite having the ability to attend a far better school; now what would happen should she learn the truth? Well…..only God Knows.

ILLEGAL MOVE

And to cap things off as Kyon regards the wilful Queen he’s stuck dealing with, on behalf of my fellow Haruhiists, I have this to say: Fuck you, Kadokawa. Fuck you for stringing us along for three long years. Fuck you for making a habit of raising our expectations, only to repeatedly dump on us at the end. Fuck you for doing things like "cancelling" the sequel, leaking images on Newtype, and even making a show of insisting the 2009 run is a mere rerun. Daitai ne~

…………………….

…………………….

You know what? I give up. Just bring on the rest of the new material in a timely fashion, and we’re cool.


As the 2009 run is supposedly airing in a chronological order instead of the scrambled order which marked the 2006 run, it will be approximately 4 more weeks before we’ll get to see any new material….but if and when it comes, I will be there to cover it. For now, stay tuned for the Revival of Haruhi Suzumiya, as THE phenomenon of 2006 makes a comeback 3 years onwards in 2009.

Ascaloth of RIUVA, out.