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Singapore’s First Anime? GG.

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I seriously have mixed feelings about Gacha=Gacha, what is allegedly Singapore’s first anime. In the first place, what is anime? If the standard one is used, it is "animation from Japan or by Japanese staff". See, if a bunch of Americans draw a cartoon with anime-style character designs, is it then considered an anime? Some say yes, others reject it. It’s the same argument that manga has.

Going beyond this pedantic, relatively unimportant point that most people seem to go in circles about, I watched episode 1 of the show, a 2 minute long episode. I did not have high hopes, but neither did I expect too little. Surely a developed first world country (in terms of infrastructure at least) would be able to churn out something viewable right? Alas, good things in Singapore are always government-linked and Gacha=Gacha is sadly not, being the brainchild of 77 Star Pte Ltd, a Japanese company which has set up shop here.

We have previously scooped what their seiyuu courses were like. Now, how does the anime fare?

First off, the website is horrible. Design aside, the amount of typos is huge and more obvious than diarrhea in your teacup. Look at "Infortion", "Tokyo Aination Tour", "Biog". But sure, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

I clicked on the Play button, and the OP began. I thought my computer was lagging. Nope, just a low frame rate. How low? Even lower than the amateur stop motion photography on youtube. Every single action in the OP was jerky. The fonts for the credits are also horrible. Come on, surely choosing a nicer font is a mere finger flick away!

The character designs are alright. Slightly SD with a clean (read: simple) appearance, the four main characters are each quite recognisable. The lead, a Japanese named Asuka, looks cute. And to complement her, we have the token multi-culturalism that always seems to be touted whenever Singapore is involved, even when America and the UK are far more multi-cultural at least in the big cities. 3 side characters, one Malay Otaku, one Chinese vainpot and 1 halfling Eurasian.

The vainpot reminds me of a minimalist Sumire from Sakura Wars. Tip: Cross breeding a French with a Chinese does not get you a blonde blue eyed as eye colour though a polygenic trait, is still considered recessive. Then again, expecting reality in anime is like shouting at the screen when 5 hot harem girls chase a short arse - futile.

As for the plot, the only question I have is "What plot?" The girl, Asuka, packs, leaves home, goes to airport, boards plane, can’t lift her luggage into the top cabin, chooses fish for dinner, arrives in Singapore, meets 3 of her friends (how on Earth do they know each other? flashbacks in future eps??) and the ED rolls in. There is much that can be done in a short 2-3 minutes, so it is not an excuse, particularly when stuff like choosing FUCKING FISSSSHH gets 10 seconds of time. At least introduce us to the imminent alien invaders…. there are right? And I don’t get what the last 10 seconds was about. Weird noises and a camera pan up = ??? Malay Otaku stuffing French Halfling’s mouth? With a brown cylinderical object?

The animation is erm better than the OP. Remember that show from Japan done entirely on Flash? Well, that one looks far far better. Gacha Gacha (GG lol) looks like power point at times, and seriously an embarrassment to the local animation/design industry, which is actually quite skilled with a few tertiary institutions devoted to animation and design.

Furthermore I don’t think this is the first anime here as many polytechnic and uni students doing animation majors will have done anime-style films for their final year projects. I recall one of my colleagues back in Army News mentioning that the best work of his year was some guy who made an anime episode with content almost Macross like. Need to track that down and verify authencity.

Finally, we have the seiyuu work. Or in this case, the voice actresses. The lead Asuka is actually quite good. By quite good I mean she sounds like a B-grade seiyuu, and better than Soul Eater’s Maka. Her English is also far far better than 99 percent of the actual Japanese seiyuu so I think that’s a strong positive. She is Singaporean, which would explain why her English is better than Japanese people.

The Malay otaku has only 2 lines or so, but 50 percent of that is in Japanese while the other line is English. I must say her Japanese seems impeccable and her English is fine too. Quite good.

The vainpot is terrible. She has this awful bimbotic tone (maybe it’s intentional), the same tone that Asian girls who are looking to snag caucasian boyfriends always use. She does sound authentically Chinese, which might be easy if you’re authentically Chinese.

The halfling sounds erm Malay. A check of the credits proves my conjecture correct. It’s certainly not easy ridding your natural accent and adopting a stage accent.

But of course, each of them had only a couple of lines so we can’t judge them yet. Oops, just did.

There are pros and cons to being Singaporean, when you’re an actor. You generally know two or more languages fluently. But the downside is we don’t master them well and end up using a mish mash of the 2-3 we possess. This is a problem because the government also regulates that broadcast media be done in perfect grammar. This results in even professional actors and actresses memorising their lines word for word and then chanting them like a sutra, sounding really artificial in the process. In the old days, they used voice actors on TV dramas! They got people who can’t act but can speak good to read lines while those who could act in person but can’t speak just lip sync to the camera.

The Singaporean accent is one which is universally looked down upon, because it sounds quite bad. Even the dumbasses in HK, Taiwan and other similar countries who can’t speak English laugh at our English, which is quite the case of pot-kettle-black. What went wrong?

Anyway, I would certainly see more episodes of GG for nationalistic pride, and maybe to see what aspects of the culture here are incorporated.

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10 Responses to “Singapore’s First Anime? GG.”  

  1. 1 Kaioshin Sama 58 comments

    Kyoani should just set up shop over with you guys and start producing anime targeted to Singapore. They seem insanely popular over yonder.

    In fact, it sounds like an episode of Lucky Star, except based on only the unfortunate time waste parts. It’s even got the Lucky Star, “We’re 18 but look about 12 at oldest” thing going on.

    Anyway, you’re a good sport TJ_Han.

  2. 2 The Sojourner 29 comments

    Yeah. It was some singer who commented that the Singapore accent is bad.

  3. 3 The Sojourner 29 comments

    I forgot to mention it was a Taiwanese singer but I cannot recall the name.

  4. 4 Nano 49 comments

    no la, it was a group of them

    but the one that said the most was some taiwanese guy

  5. 5 LianYL 605 comments

    You referring to Wu Qi Xian?

  6. 6 wr 4 comments

    Asuka’s Japanese sounds like a Singaporean who can speak good Japanese.. which is ok but just makes her less convincing.. And the anime looks like an educational kids cartoon for primary school kids… the kind they make you watch during assembly or something. Especially with the English. -_-

  7. 7 hanibunny 1 comment

    Sorry, this is a bit of a bizarre comment, but geez, that Malay character…looks exactly like me. It’s really creepy.

  8. 8 The Sojourner 29 comments

    Wu Qi Xian is a Singaporean singer based at Taiwan right? I do not think he is the one.

    Anyway I loled when the KMT was addressing the press in English shortly after winning the presidential election. Oh the irony.

  9. 9 Soph 4 comments

    Am I the only person alive who is sick of seeing things named Gacha Gacha? The random punctuation inserts don’t help nullify the bitter pain. I realize it is a phrase, but this shit is bananas.

    All of the characters seem to be poor stereotypes. None of their descriptions make me feel they will proceed to any meaningful development. Even the story description from the site makes me feel dirty. Hackneyed, overplayed and something only fit for a middle school student’s pet project. Shoddy animation aside, I would be happy to watch if it seemed like any good amount of writing would prop it up.

    Slap in the LS OVA and a few more Strawberry Marshmellow rips and this thing just has no place.

    Maybe future episodes will reveal some great master plan to rip away the mediocrity?

    PS: Why does her star change places on her head depending on perspective? Low grade artists make me cry.

  10. 10 LianYL 605 comments

    In my knowledge, the only Taiwanese who criticised Singapore is Li Ao 李敖。 But he isn’t a singer and Wu Qi Xian 巫启贤 is Malaysian.

Do not use any < and > for your own sake. It will end the comment there and then. Also, there is an automatic IQ filter which weeds out comments made by those who accidentally got transported from the stone age.

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