cheerleaders on my mind?

Gratz to the Warriors on trouncing the Mavs. Their victory keeps alive my hopes of a Pistons-Warriors matchup… in the past year, the Tigers played the A’s in the MLB playoffs, the Wings and the Sharks are battling in the NHL playoffs right now, and the Lions followed the Raiders with the 1-2 picks in the NFL draft. Beyond odd for me, as Detroit’s my hometown, but Silicon Valley’s my current home. Oh wait, this isn’t Cheerleaders on My Mind? Damn, okay, back onto anime…


Disjointed post today since I’m writing this while half-drunk as opposed to fully-drunk. A few news items: I have a real, actual, sober, Haruhi-related post in the queue… hopefully it’ll be up tomorrow. I’m also going to drop both Nagasarete and Hayate and go back to more traditional random AoMM posts. I looked at my archives for the past three months, and I didn’t like that I was using the “[insert series] episode [#]” as a crutch and the complete and utter lack of posts like “top ten ways anime seiyuu are like strippers.”

I went to the movies last weekend and saw the theatrical trailer for Paprika. There’s a few things that caught my attention. The first is that it promotes it as “… latest eye-popping anime from Satoshi Kon…” now, I am a fanboy, but I had to Google to find out who is Satoshi Kon. I may keep track of seiyuu, but I don’t keep track of directors, unless they were involved in a flame war with 2ch, so I find it odd that Sony would use Satoshi Kon as a selling point for Paprika. Second, at no point during the preview did anyone speak a line of dialogue, which reminds me of the old Bandai and MediaBlaster DVDs from the 1998-2002 range where all the previews on those discs were just music videos with the OP music. Are they afraid that people may realize that this film is from Japan? The transforming, trippy cats and the unmistakable anime eyes aren’t tips already? I can only imagine the dialogue at Sony:

“You know what, we have this movie that appeals to hardcore anime fans, but no one is going to mistake it for Blades of Glory.”

“You’re right. Let’s try to hide the fact that it’s in Japanese.”

“Brilliant! Raises all the way around, and let’s not cut the price of the PS3.”

(Disclosure: I dumped my Sony stock, and it felt good.)

Third, at no point during the preview did we ever get even a hint of what the movie is about beyond, “More enjoyable with LSD and pot brownies.” Toss me a bone! One of my friends asked me, since I’m the Alpha Fanboy of the group, what Paprika was about, and I had no clue. Not exactly a good thing considering that I know all of the episodes that Powered Natsumi appears in. You can find the trailer here on YouTube. Let me know if it gets you excited about seeing the movie. As for me, I’m more excited about The Girl Who Conquered Time, which won my coveted Best Anime that No One Has Seen Except Garten award back in 2006.


It’s old news now, but the directors for both Lucky Star and Gurren Lagann have been replaced after episode four. Replacing directors this season seems to be like replacing coaches in the NBA. The Lucky Star move, at least, reminded of Pat Riley pushing out Stan Van Gundy (who hasn’t been seen since) during the 2005/2006 Miami Heat season. The Heat were expected to win, and it was clear that SVG was overwhelmed. I’m sure he would be a great coach someday, but the Heat need to win and win now so Riley stepped in… and they won. With Lucky Star and most of Kyoto’s shows, they are high budget affairs. You can live with crappy directing when you have a $200 an episode budget like Monster Princess, but when you have huge bills with Lucky Star, mediocore or even above average doesn’t cut it. Kyoto needs a hit. Simple as that.

With that in mind, choosing Yasuhiro Takemoto (Fumoffu director) was their only logical move. He’s by far their best funnyman, and he gives them a chance to win now. But, as the Heat found out, short term fixes are just that… and there’s always a long term price. It’s still in Kyoto’s long term interest to develop good directors, and it looks like that they just killed Hiroshi Yamamoto’s confidence with this move. Sad too as he as an up-and-comer.

(Still doesn’t fix the underlying problem. At no point when I was reading Lucky Star manga did I think it was fantastic. It’s very hard to compete with crappy source material, much like trying to win the NBA with crappy point guard.)

Takami Akai’s problems (former Gurren Lagann director) are a bit different. One can argue that it was because of that inflammatory blog post, but I think the real issue is the typical Gainax quality nosedive. It happened 20 (or 8, depending on our POV) in Eva. 19 for Kare Kano. You’re never safe with a Gainax series as to when the quality will just crash and burn like the 2006/2007 Dallas Mavericks. If the quality didn’t start sucking, people wouldn’t have read the blog, and the blog only ticked off ticked off fans even more, so it was kinda like a death spiral. Still, episode 4 is still waaaaay too early for the quality to be sucking, just like how round one is too early of an exit for a 67 win team.

Finally, I’ll end with some responses to a few recent posts…

Why no one has mentioned Initial D as a show that has done the manga justice is beyond me. – mikemil828

In the first draft for it’s not hard people, I used Initial D as an example, but I can’t forgive them for turning the movie into one two hour long chick flick with only one decent race. It’s like seeing Ouran Host Club get turned into a giant ninja mecha series by Gonzo. I decided to change my example to Keroro instead.

Eh, if you want to speak about bad anime adaptions, let’s talk Negima.
For god’s sake the manga was adapted into anime TWICE, but both times they screwed it up. – Xeifa

Absolutely right. Negima is an abomination. Then again, just because you do something twice doesn’t mean you do it right, I mean… didn’t we get two Ayu endings? Where is my Nayuki ending?!?

Oh by the way, check out Digg, there’s a full-blown riot going on about this hex 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41- 56-c5-63-56-88-c0 – PassinGass

Funny thing is that occasionally people do submit my posts to Digg. I’d love to see “top ten reasons why anime seiyuu are like strippers” be modded onto the front page. It’ll be a dream come true.

And speaking of Rie Kugimiya… “The Familiar of Zero”? WTF? Geneon, are you on crack? – quigonkenny

Nowhere as bad as “Shadow Warrior Chronicles.” I still think that Geneon should have done the right thing and called it “We Wasted Money On This Instead of Bidding On Muteki Kanban Musume.”

(What would you call Muteki Kanban Musume for the Best Buy audience? I’d go with “Onimaru Ramen” or “Muteki Kanban Musume.” I’d hate to be at Best Buy one day and see “Invincible Poster Girl.” Sounds like pr0n.)

@Jason: did I imagine it, or did you say that you studied literature? Wouldn’t it about time to heckle Romeo X Juliet? I’ve read quite a bit of Shakespeare and this show can be pretty disturbing. – Korovyov on lucky ☆ star 3

Needless to say, Gonzo has struck again. (I wrote more about R&J in my thin slicing post, so I’ll leave it until then…)

They need to make a Guilty Gear anime, and it might as well be animated as Kyoani. Aya Hirano as May? – 0kami

Mmmm… I’d actually go with Rie Kugimiya for May, Inoue Kikuko is already perfect as I-No, and anyone would be a huge upgrade for Jam. I’d cast Aya as Sol. I think that would be part genius/part lunacy. The lunacy for Aya as Sol. The genius for when I-No and Sol start swearing at each other…

Wow… wow…. you know what, that lucky star code geass thing is amazing. Now lets wait for that chick to die somehow and have konata take over lucky channel. – Chumara on five images: filler post

Konata is way overrated. She’s not even the funniest non-Lucky Channel character (that would be Miyuki or Kagami or Tsukasa). If I had to toss together an “all-overrated-loli” team, Konata would be the starting point guard.

I’m surprised you guys thought of the mushrooms as a penis when that idea never even came to my mind while watching it. The author draws the anime so cute, imo, that it’s just hard to be “horny” about it – SsK on nagasarete airantou 3

Trust me. Seeing a field of man-eating penises evoked more of a “OMFG NOOOOO!” reaction from me (same one I got when I saw Carmelo get involved in that Knicks brawl… I had ‘Melo on my fantasy team) than being horny. I save that for Ichigo Ma- nevermind.

After reading this I couldn’t help but read it.. is it wrong that I came off of it not all that disturbed?- Tim on ichi the killer

Yep… these are my readers.

23 Responses to “cheerleaders on my mind?”

  1. Satoshi Kon…… that the guy who did Millenium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers?
    Meh, he’s ok.

    Gurren Laggan, yeah the sudden drop in animation quality was really noticeble. But in truth I’m really only watching the show for Yoko moments… the design for Gurren Laggan itself really isn’t that cool.

  2. >> anyone would be a huge upgrade for Jam.

    Natsuko Kuwatani. She already did the token annoying character with high pitched voice who end his sentence with a catchphrase, Suiseiseki.
    It wouldn’t be hard for her to be as annoying yet hot when voicing Jam aru~

  3. >> Natsuko Kuwatani.

    I’m down with Kuwatani as long as we get a “Jaa, shinde?” out of her.

  4. The Paprika bone –

    Paprika is based on a novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui, who also wrote the original “Girl Who Conquered Time” novel. Anyway, Paprika is about these little devices that let people enter another person’s dream. The police want to use the devices for detective work, but before they can get government approval, some prototype devices are stolen. The main character in the movie is Dr. Atsuko Chiba, who enters the dreams of her psychiatric patients while assuming the persona of “Paprika.”

    The Satoshi Kon bone – He’s the guy behind Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent, World Apartment Horror, and the “Magnetic Rose” segment in Memories.

  5. Any thoughts on Seto no Hanayome(SnH)? Natsuko Kuwatani is Spiral-Shell Maki with “Desu”. SnH is one of the few adaptations this season in which I felt the anime enhanced the source material… so far. ^^;


  6. If the anime version of SnH improved upon the source material, it would be because gags like those are extremely good animated. I’ve become fairly attached to that show anyway.

  7. I feel as if that Paprika trailer will appear in a dream, not in a good way.

  8. meh. K isnt funny but k is h4x.

  9. And Paprika has Megumi Hayashibara ^^

  10. I imagine the Paprika trailer has no dialogue because nobody puts subtitled dialogue in a trailer. Sony may be importing Paprika as a foreign film, even if they mention the word “anime” in the trailer. Foreign films don’t get dubbed. I don’t remember if they dubbed any of their earlier Kon releases. I do remember that other studios took some heat from dub-fans for not dubbing Ghost in the Shell: Innocence.

  11. i still say you´re more addicted to LS then you wanna admit

  12. My word, you’re one ruthless man.

  13. >I’d love to see “top ten reasons why anime seiyuu are like strippers” be modded onto the front page. It’ll be a dream come true.

    You just write the article, and leave the rest to us.

  14. aw, I thought you’d like Lucky Star 4, what with the random references to other Kyoto anime. Best episode so far by me.

  15. Satoshi Kon has some degree of name recognition among cinema buffs (i.e. the target audience =). I’m a fan.

  16. >> (What would you call Muteki Kanban Musume for the Best Buy audience? I’d go with “Onimaru Ramen” or “Muteki Kanban Musume.” I’d hate to be at Best Buy one day and see “Invincible Poster Girl.” Sounds like pr0n.)

    The manga was released in the U.S. as “Noodle Fighter Miki.”

  17. And here I was expecting a joke about Satoshi Kon getting transferred…

    Anyway, I agree here with everyone who said Lucky Star was overrated. The first episode in particular just wasn’t really that much of a catcher for me.

  18. KyoAni only has 2 director anyway (they tried for 3rd, but didn’t work out as well as they thought, mostly due to fan pressure), the mecha guy(Fumoffu, TSR), and the harem guy(Air Kanon SHnY… don’t tell me SHnY is not a harem)
    i would like 石原 better for lucky star but i guess he is busy with Clannad ; ;

  19. Devices that let you enter dreams? Hints at people using the devices for evil purposes? The government being involved?

    Paprika’s starting to sound disturbingly like a movie I saw way back (yes, before some of you were born) called Dreamscape. It makes me worry when anime are taking their ideas from crappy ’80’s Dennis Quaid sci-fi flicks…

    …that *aren’t* named Innerspace.

  20. The first Negima anime was an abomination that didn’t need to be. It had bad art and animation. But it was as close an adaption to Ken Akamatsu’s manga as adaptions normally should.

    The second Negima anime had lost me after the cliched themes started repeating themselves. (And it was incomplete without one of Belldandy’s alter egoes.) Saddening.

  21. Jason,

    Have you ever considered the fact that maybe, just maybe, KyoAni replacing directors for Lucky Star was an intentional jab at Gainax? Especially with their press release that sounds suspiciously like it was cut-and-pasted from Gainax’ press release regarding Gurren-Lagann episode 4? I’ve heard that Lucky Star was done mostly on-the-fly (not planned months in advance), so this is possible.

    And yes, Satoshi Kon was (in)famous for his mindfuck movies. He’s cool.

  22. Paprika looks interesting, maybe gaijin audiences will mistake it for a Ghibli film or something. It sure looks weird as hell, so I guess that what Sony wants. At least they didn’t try to use 4-D to promote it.

    Yes, go Warriors!

  23. If Mark Ellis didn’t get his hand broken in the ALDS, I’m sure the A’s would have won at least 1 or 2 games against Detroit in the ALCS. A lot of their big innings started with stupid errors by whoever was filling in at second.

    And yes, definitely props to the Warriors! I have NEVER liked the Mavs, Mark Cuban, or Dirk Nowitzki. Personally, I’d like a Bulls-Warriors finals. I was born in Chicago and recently lived in the Bay Area. ;)

    Oh crap, this is an anime blog! :P

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