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Archive for the ‘rant’ Category

What would you call a fansub group that purposefully subbed only the first episode of a show and released it? I don’t mean that their members quit, or that they got busy with other stuff, or that they couldn’t get the next episode — I mean they decided just to do the first episode only, no matter how cool or lame the show ended up being? Ok, now what would you call a fansub group that pulled this stunt again? And then twenty more times with no end in sight? Then, to top it off, you go to their site and they have a quote that reads like the quote over Auschwitz (“work will make you free”)?

I’d call them the most annoying fansub group in the world. I wish Tokyo Toshokan would let you filter by posters so I’d never have to see their antics again.

ARR subs, you suck.

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For the last month at least, NyaaTorrents has been running softcore porn ads for one online marketplace of Japanese anime`-related stuff. Because most of the people who submit torrents to Tokyo Toshokan upload their torrents to Nyaa, I figured that I was stuck. I don’t use Firefox, but I do use a proxy server, and I got tired of cringing every time I visited the site, so I started blocking ads. What really tipped the scales, though, was the behavior of the site owner. In a recent chat, someone asked politely for him to stop running the ads. He told them no and then told the person to just deal with it. I myself registered for an account just to point out that Nyaa is pushing softcore pornography. The figurines of women with exposed breasts is porn; the figurines of characters touching themselves in obviously sexual manners is porn. This isn’t artistic stuff and there’s no way to take it any other way. So Nyaa is purposefully pushing porn. The question is why, and why be such a jerk about it? Well, here’s another bit of information. I’ve also inquired of ad rates on Nyaa, thinking I could throw a banner ad or two up for some of my anime-related projects. I was stunned by how expensive it was. Nyaa is raking in the bucks from pushing porn. Others tried to legitimize it, but the basic situation is that the owner has made a decision to exploit women for the sake of financial gain.

I’m blocking ads from Nyaa, so there’s no way he can make money off me. I’d gladly use any other torrent host, but Tokyo Toshokan is about the only fansubbed anime listing site that I can stand and most of the groups seem to rely on Nyaa. Sigh.

We really should all come together and stop using Nyaa.

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In four words: What The Heck Happened? I’ve never reviewed an individual episode before now, and I’m only reviewing this one now because it’s so violently different from the rest of the series — as if the main characters had become pod people.

SPOILERS AHEAD! SPOILERS AHEAD! SPOILERS AHEAD! SPOILERS AHEAD!

First of all, Tennouji-san falls apart in the competition; that is unlikely, but the reason for her so doing is completely unbelievable. What happens is that Henri-sensei fakes emotional closeness with Francois, the leader of the main French team to throw Tennouji-san off her guard.

*Moment of stunned silence*

That’s right. The guy whom both she and Amano had been looking up to the whole time treats her heart like it was trash. Then he shows up and insults her more and insults Amano as well! His cruel grin says it all.

Then, you have the crazy scoring of Tennouji’s team in the competition itself. Their final score was — get this: ZERO ACROSS THE BOARD. I can see them getting half the score of Francois’ team, but nothing? Seriously?

Then, to top it all off, after the confrontation with Henri, both Tennouji and Amano are back to normal within minutes, ready to go for it against Francois’ team.

I’m just stunned, I guess. In the past, the emotions were handled with a lot of care and concern; they were honest, delicate, and real — but this, this is like a freakin’ soap opera, where the characters are one person one day and someone else the next.

What The Heck Happened?

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While I was never a huge fan of K-On!, I did enjoy most of season one. Some episodes were good, others were lame, and there was a subplot that I hated (you can guess which one), but on the whole, the series worked. There was something endearing in the struggles of a group of high-school girls learning music, even if the music aspect took a back-burner too often. Probably the best episode of that season was the special after-season one, where the girls performed live at a get-together with other bands.

Season two is nothing like season one. I can say this after three episodes because it’s that bad. Here’s how they killed K-On:

  1. Reduce the mentality of the series from high school to junior high. K-On now is Pretty Cure.
  2. Shrink the size of the characters, which de-emphasizes their physically distinguishing characteristics. Everyone looks the same now.
  3. Remove all personality from the characters, so they all ACT like each other, too. Ritsu’s edge is gone. Mio’s shyness is history. Asan-yan’s respect for Ritsu as senpai is forgotten. It’s basically pod people city.
  4. Slow the pace to glacial and get rid of all plot. This is a big one, because K-ON! didn’t have much to sacrifice in the plot department and now that’s gone, too.
  5. Amp up the super-cuteness and bleed out the touches of intelligent humor. There’s still humor. It’s just weak, unfunny, flat and dead.

Was this simply rushed to capitalize on the popularity of the franchise? It sure feels like it. All they had to do to make it successful was keep things going as they were. Instead they dumbed it down, sparkled it up, and made it as generic as possible.

Welcome to the graveyard, K-On!

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The more I hang around the anime` world, the more that the crazy stuff jumps out at me. At first, everything was crazy in a different way, in a cool “ohmigosh I’ve never seen anything like it” way, but I don’t mean crazy like that. I mean crazy like senseless. Here’s what I mean:

  • Fansub Group Fail. I don’t care if a FSG doesn’t complete a series or puts in snarky comments from time to time, but purposefully submitting fake subs is FSG Fail. Coalguys takes the cake for this one. See this post.
  • Anime` Fail. I’ve talked about how anime`s will often break apart like a cheap spaceship upon reentry so many times that it makes my fingers hurt just thinking about it.
  • Torrent Fail. This is a new one that I’m seeing more and more often. While I recognize that most people have 100-mb DSL/Cable, I’m at loss to explain the necessity or even the usefulness of mondo torrent files. I’m talking 1 GB at a minimum, and I’ve seen up to 20 GB. In my lifetime, I’ve downloaded one such file, which was the early episodes of D-Gray Man, and I think it took me a week to complete. If it was 20 GB, I’d probably still be downloading it. Why people, why? Do you really have a T3 piped into your home? Not everyone lives in the big state college computer lab, you know!

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It’s not very cool to rag on fansub groups openly, but I’ve had it. I suffered through Coalguys’ K-ON subs last year mostly because they were the fastest, but their subs got rougher and lamer. Now I see what they’ve done to K-ON season two and it makes me want to smash stuff and hurt people — and I’m not even a hardcore fan.

Simply put, they ran K-ON through the sewer. So now the girls use terms like “f**king b*tch”? It’s possible that the series has different writers, but that much of a change I find very, very unlikely. What’s much more possible is Coalguys’ addiction to profanity, sloppy translation, and general inaccuracy. Now the other unrealistic thing is that when the girls aren’t using gutter language, they sound like a parody of Christians! They’re not attending a private Christian school that I could ever tell, so the sudden change is also a result of poor translation or some stupid stunt. And the opening theme song suffers from the same thing — although that’s so obvious that it must be a stupid stunt. Finally, the contemporary American political expressions are equally and massively out-of-place. All this adds up to one giant disrespect of the series; I’d even go so far as to call it a rape.

This particular FS is not above this sort of attention-seeking behavior, if you remember episode 10 from the first season. Then, the main guy released a crude home video of him ragging off on wannabe otakus. They’ve been thrown off at least one hosting site, too.

I don’t know who else is doing this series, but it’s gotta be better than their effort.

In short, Coalguys SUCKS and I will never watch another one of their subs.

Update: Apparently Fuwa subs is the work of the same loser or group of losers. Their sub contains doubtful profanities and racial epithets. They suck too.

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The Anime` Blahs

One of the big problems with anime` is that series start strong and then enter the land of suck pretty quickly. So every time you start a new series, you’re preparing yourself for the worst. Eventually this wears you down and that’s where I’m at: kinda tired of anime` as a whole.

I’m officially sick of seeing every fourth character in a show end up gay or lesbian (here’s looking at you Vampire Knight, Ga-Rez-Zero, K-On, and so on). I’m also tired of seeing the same stock characters reappear in every show (for example, the spazzy photographer chick), the same lack of foreshadowing in almost every show, and the mindless thinking that different settings and cool animation can atone for lame plots, boring characters, no theme, and a lack of emotion.

So where does that leave me? Watching Onegai My Melody, knowing that it will end in a few short weeks as it hits episode 52, sitting on my hands for Honobono to finish up Hime-chan’s Ribbon, and hoping against hope that they don’t screw up Pandora Hearts.

What else is there to watch? The mecha stuff never interested me. Sports animes likewise bore me to tears (Prince of Tennis = yuck). Anime`s based on video games usually suck big time (Valkyria Chronicles, for instance). So what’s left? Pervy hentai junk or stuff aimed at middle-schoolers (Pretty Cure)?

I’ve got the anime` blahs.

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