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I was watching Hanasaku Iroha when I found out that P.A. Works actually means Progressive Animation Works. It kinda blew my mind because progressive is not something I felt when I watch Hanasaku.

Anyway, that’s unimportant because the more pressing issue here is that I have live my life without actually knowing the meanings behind lots of animation studio name. I only knew about how Production I.G uses its founders initials and some other obvious one like Be-Papas with its twisted sense of English to mean growing up.

Other than that, I have no idea behind names such as BONES, Madhouse, Bee Train, J.C Staff, Satelight  and etc.

However, being an awesome hardcore anime fans like I am, I had mostly remedy that by doing some research so my elitist cred is safe for now, or not since the meaning behind a company’s name is one of the least important issue out there and only loser like me will be so anal about it.

In fact, I am such a loser that I used up 4 hours of my life reading up some inconsequential shit just because I found out that P.A Works means Progressive Animation Works from some stupid anime opening. In order to prevent you from doing the same and became a loser like me,  here’s a list of studio name’s origins I found on wikipedia.

Firstly, J.C.Staff is Japan Creative Staff, which is a fucking lie if you look at their recent outputs.

Kyoto Animation is based in Kyoto. Most animation studios are based in Tokyo so maybe they want to differentiate themselves from others.Very uninspired name.

Bee Train is the common english translation for お祭り列車(Omasturi Ressha), roughly translated as festive train or whatever that means. I am pretty sure there’s some deep symbolisms behind Omasturi Ressha but I am totally clueless about it.

Madhouse means the house of Masao Maruyama AND Osamu Dezaki,  the initials of two of the founders.

Tatsunoko Production has the double meanings of Tatsuo’s son and sea dragon. Tastuo, of course, is the founder’s name.

Mushi Productions is as obvious as Tezuka Productions so I don’t want to be an hack by telling you what it meant.

Studio 4°C, I heard of its origin during a convention. It’s referring to the temperature of the water when is in its densest state. It means that their goal is to create works that are “denser” than your normal creations. A very indirect way of saying that their shit is deep.

Toei just means film from the east. I didn’t check this but that’s the literal translation of 東映.

TMS Entertainment‘s name has some complicated shit going on with it and wikipedia didn’t help in clarifying. From what I’ve gathered, it meant Tokyo Movie Shinsha originally after a company called Kyokuichi( a fabric company) merged with Tokyo Movie Shinsha. Then due to some copyright issues, it’s renamed as TMS Entertainment in 2000. TMS is the short form of トマス(tomasu).What the hell is tomasu? I don’t know. We need someone who is more well versed to explain these complications.

Brain’s Base is formed after Ozawa Kazumitsu left TMS in 1996. I can’t find the origin of the name but I guess it pretty literal, Brain’s base is a base for animator’s brain. Stupid, I know. Pretty sure the name Artland, a studio founded by Noboru Ishiguro, follows the same school of thought.

A-1 Pictures is a company that branches out from Aniplex which in term is a subsidiary of Sony. It means Animation No.1, very smug for a company that only produced grand masterpiece like Fractale.

Gainax is derived from some obscure Tottori prefecture’s dialect of the word “Big” which gives you the “Gaina” in “Gainax”. The X is added so it sounds like a cool robot’s name. The origin given by Otaku no Video of GIANTX is hence, pretty accurate and true. Nontenki Memoir has a better explanation of this. It also has a lot of interesting origin story of Gainax like how the studio is only formed to work on Wings of Honneamise or how Yamaga actually wanted to make a series out of a obscure Gundam in the first place for their first debut film.

David Production. What a name! Is the founder’s name David? I bet you will blow your mind if you found out that David is the acronym of “Design Audio & Visual Illusion Dynamics” . I definitely blew mine because how the fuck did they come out with that?

Studio Khara derives from some greek word that means joy. Typical Anno and his pretentious bullshit.

The founders of Gonzo, Maeda, Hikuchi Shinji, Murahama and Hiroshi are originally from Gainax. Hikuchi Shinji gave the idea of the name and it was derived from the Italian word, ‘Gonzo’, which means idiot. After some clarification from someone from Japan, he told me that Hikuchi intended it as “not to be a cunning company”. Murahama thought that Gonzo is derived from the Gonzo Journalism of Hunter S. Thompson, he only knows that it means idiot later on.

HAL Film Maker is absorbed by Yumeta corporation, a subsidiary of TYO Group and is now renamed as TYO animation. I am telling you these because I have no idea what HAL or TYO means. Anntv has taken down the video of HAL Film Maker Studio Tour. I remember the president did explain the origin of their name in that video.

Studio Ghibli, from wikipedia I quote “The name Ghibli is based on the Arabic name for the sirocco, or Mediterranean wind, which the Italians used for their Saharan scouting planes in the Second World War, the idea being the studio would “blow a new wind through the Japanese anime industry”.  Blow a new wind with a grumpy old man who hates technology, yes.

S for Sapporo, A for Animate, T for Technology and E for Entertainment, clearly, Satelight follows the David Production’s school of thought in having inane initials.

Studio Deen, the name is derived from Yuusha Raideen. Hiroshi Hasegawa is doing the colouring design for Sunrise and created Studio Deen for that purpose. The direct translation of 仕上検査 is colour design, which I guess is some kind of final colouring work.

Studio Pierrot, http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/video/8668/ . It’s derive from the French word of clown, animation has lots of similarity as the makeup of a clown because you don’t see the  real face of an animated character like you don’t see the real face of  a clown. The link has all the explanation you need, watch it before they took it down like the HAL Film Maker one.

Manglobe is some Japanese mishandling  of the word Mangrove.  It has something to do with how mangrove tree grows in swamp and is strong enough to stand against the swampy land. Underneath a mangrove tree, there are lots of living things and shit like that. So their studio’s goal is to be like a mangrove tree and nurture creative original shit to continue their struggle against the swampy land.

Studio Ordet, the new studio founded by Yamakan, the talentless shithead who talked too much derived the studio name from Danish director, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Ordet. Ordet means “The World Word” in English.

BONES, the president, Minami Masahiko wanted to create anime with deep and quality content. His original word is “骨のあるアニメを作りたい” which literally translate to ‘he wants to create animation that has “bones”  ‘ hence the name BONES .

AIC is Anime International Company.Terrible name.

I can’t find the full name of Group TAC but I won’t be surprise if it is “Tokyo Animation Company”.

A.C.G.T is Animation & Computer Graphic Technology, an abbreviation as far-fetched as IWICSYI.

I have no idea why Shaft is called Shaft. I do however know that it starts up as a coloring studio.

Xebec is a ship name but I am not sure if the name is derived from there.

I guess that’s enough from now. I got all the information from their companies’ respective homepage, wikipedia and anntv. I recommend Production I.G homepage because it’s in English and has lots of interesting interviews and history of Production I.G .

The reason I am not watching Universe Siblings and other good NoitaminA  stuff is because I am storing them to marathon. I believe that’s the best way to watch shows like those. I, however, also believe that Shirokuma Cafe is a show that you need to watch weekly because it doesn’t have any continuity. Watching huge chunk of it at once will be suicidal.

Last week, I believed that Shirokuma Cafe was the best spring season show I watched, which is not a difficult feat since its competitors are stuff like Accel World. Still, I loved the shit out of it because it’s very laid back and I was grinning non stop through out the episode.

Watching Shirokuma Cafe is like watching youtube videos of panda rolling around and acting all cute. The charm of the show is that most of the characters are animals and they act like animals. Polar bear loves to crack shitty jokes because it leaves you cold. Pandas are fucking useless and lazy because they truly are. Turtle can’t be a good waitress because it’s very slow. They all have very charming animal characteristic and they provides you with interesting insights on how animals will act if they have human consciousness.

I was so stoked about it that I can’t wait for episode 2. I rewatched episode 1 like 5 times to curb my enthusiasm, Then I finally watched episode 2 and they dropped the ball.

The problem with episode 2 is that most of the animals have lost their animal characteristics and became too human-like. Now they are just a palette swap . They do shit like drink beers, view flowers and talk about gay stuff that only gay fellows in Kimi to Boku will talk about. You can make all the characters human and not much will change. They are not animals anymore, the plot doesn’t revolve around their animal characteristic, casting them as pandas and polar has no bearing anymore. It has now become K-on with animals and repeated jokes.

There are still some cool minutes of animal brilliance but I don’t think they can keep it up any longer. I hope episode 3 buck up because episode 1 is real brilliance. If not, then they should have just release the first episode as an ova and get over with it.

Oh, and I will also review Nyaruko-san and Acchi Kocchi here because why not?

This is the best scene from episode 1. I like how she articulates Bluray box. Everything else is generic. It was ok.

Acchi Kocchi was ok as well, but I can watch 15 minutes of it before I gave up.

I never understood people’s fascination with Okabe and Lelouch . I find them both to be very half assed. They can’t quite follow through what they wanted to do and they always fuck things out. On the other-hand, Toshio Ozaki from Shiki is different. He is so badass that he knew what he wanted to do within 8 episodes and what he did is thorough as shit.

Okabe always wanted to be some mad scientist but we found out halfway that he is just saying that for fun. Now look at Toshio for  a change, Okabe needs 10 more testicles to be half of what Toshio is and 20 more testicles to be as crazy as him.

Toshio is one crazy motherfucker. He is so crazy that he used ice-packs to preserve his wife’s dead body so he can do some actual practical experiment on how to kill a vampire. He is the kind of lead everyone wants in their horror movie because he gets shit done and doesn’t run away.

Normally in a horror movie, people will only find out the monster’s weakness during the last act but Toshio is too much of a badass for that. He says fuck that shit and did what everyone wanted to do – let her annoying wife die and wait for her to turn into the monster then experiment with it.  It’s also not some simple experiment like shitting in her mouth or something. It’s hardcore shit like pumping 1000 types of poison into her then stab the fucking shit out of her heart without feeling any remorse.

Ask any other characters from other anime to do that and they will hide in their room and cry. Toshio is too much of a man to cry. He doesn’t even give a shit that his wife is dead and goes on with life. In fact, he was excited with his findings and didn’t get all depress and whinny. After finding out the fact, he also didn’t do stupid shit like kids in horror movie do because he knows that no one will believe him if he just cry to his parents. He did the smartest thing by using his man charm to lure the monster out to the public and show everyone that monsters exist.

Look at that smirk I posted above, that’s the face of outsmarting your enemy and knowing you can finally kill her by putting a stake in her heart after luring her out using your man charm. Oh and his mother dies after that because other monster wanted revenge and he totally didn’t give a shit about it. It’s like oh, my mom is dead but look, it’s a blood trail! Follow it and kill more monsters! Thanks mom for leading me to monster!

Toshio Ozaki is just too badass for words to describe. It will be better if I give you examples.

If Toshio is in Madoka, he will outsmart kyubey and dissect the shit out of him because that’s exactly what he did in Shiki.

If Toshio is in Code Geass, the season will end within 12 episodes because Toshio will get shit done and not fuck things out. If a cat stole his helmet, he won’t give a shit and just rush into Norio Wakamoto’s house and kill the shit out of him.

Toshio Ozaki is so manly that he cheated death with a smirk. Now look at that grin again. Pure beauty.

Food is art, it’s the basis of survival and the craft for top rated cuisine requires talent and passion. Food is essential for society. A piece of bread in a poor man’s hand portrays deep social commentary of suffering. Cuisine requires lots of heart and a good sense of taste to appreciate. A good cuisine is open up to criticisms and interpretation in how good it tastes. Food is beautiful, noble and speaks to everyone.

This is why food is one of the truest art-form. People should take it very seriously and dissect, interpret and analyze the shit out of it.

I always lament when people are satisfied with shitty Mac Donald food. What kind of uncritical imbecile are they for not taking food seriously and understand that a top rated French Toast which cost the same is of better quality and class? Why do they like shitty Mac Donald food so much when it’s objectively shitty and stupid? Why will someone stuff shitty fatty food that give you diabetics and heart attack down their mouth?

There are no talent and redeeming quality behind Mac Donald’s food. Any 13 years old part timer with no experience in cooking can cook up a Hamburger. These Mac Donald foods are made out of cold, passionless and shit quality meat churn out in some factories from China to pander to the lowest denominator. It’s a fucking pandering machine that exploits the primitive nature of human being.

Why don’t they see that a handmade, top quality French Toast made of the best wheat grain and organic eggs are better than that shitty Hamburger? These imbeciles have no class at all and are not critical with what they are eating. They are noobs who can’t provide good and rationale reason for eating Mac Donald’s food.

As a connoisseur of good taste, I should write up long critical essay to tell you how the food you are eating is shitty and why you are a lesser human being for liking what you like. I also demand critical and logical reasons on why you like shitty food.

You suck for not taking food seriously. You are a stupid, lesser and uncritical conforming human being who is easily content with all the shitty food you eat.

Fuck You.

– By a better human being than you.

Anime vs Manga and Light Novel There are no comparison isn’t it? Anime has colour, moving pictures, sound and everything while manga and light novel are mostly static pictures and words. There is even a up and coming trend with proclamations of anime > manga using the same argument here, surely dynamic moving frames are definitely better than static picture, yes?

However, after reading the Another novel and thinking back on some of the manga I read, I realize something , anime even though has more tools in their hand, it still has restrictions that is absent in manga and novel.

Have you ever seen an anime with a first person perspective? The Another’s novel is told in the first person view but why didn’t the anime do the same?  The mystery and intrigue works so much better with a first person view because the character can only grasp and know what is in front of him. It also makes the character more believable and relate-able so why did the anime choose to deviate from it? Is it because anime doesn’t work at all with first person perspective? Or will a first person perspective just end up in a exposition mess?

List me some anime episode or long segment of film told in a first person perspective. I sure that it exists but I can’t name any off the top of my head. The only one that came to mind is something I heard of about Seraphim Call and how there’s this episode where everything is told from the perspective of a teddy bear or something. Other than that, I can’t think of any because first person perspective is very hard to capture and sustain in anime.

However, it’s very prevalent in manga and novel because their medium allows it and this is just one of the many examples of how anime lacks the literary devices that manga and novel have.

What I am saying is that, sure, manga and novels lack the free range of colour and sound but they gain the free range with literary tools. I have seen so many manga that make up a scene with just scenery shots and beautiful poems just because they are allowed to do that . It’s hard to pull that off in an anime without looking lazy.

Not only that, in terms of practicality,  light novel and manga aren’t restricted with a budget. Name one large scale complex army battle in anime. Again, there aren’t that many and most of them are done with battleship and full of static frames. There aren’t that  many sword to sword, man to man army battles like those you see in film because Anime just doesn’t have the budget for it. On the other-hand, manga has no problem with large battles since the cost of an epic grand battle is hardwork.

The budget issue is really the final blow to the guts for anime because in turs of it,  it  loses out when compared to the wide variety of range allowed in manga. Anyone can make a manga with minimum cost. Authors wouldn’t lose millions of dollar if a manga didn’t sell so they are more willing to try. What you get from this is tons of wonderful works and tons of matured adult stories that were so sparse in anime. For every Only Yestarday in anime, you will have 10 stories about adulthood and the struggle of salary man.

This is undeniable fact and the reason why you can’t compare anime and manga because they are different.

Sure, theoretically, anime can have tons of stories about salary man and pull of episodes told in a first person view but will it happen? No, because anime needs to be marketable. Art house stuff elements in anime is always a risk.

For example, there’s a reason why Planetes deviate from its source material because Planetes after volume 3 gets really meta and art house like. If you were to animate that, it will have 3 whole episodes of Hoshino, floating in space, asking questions about life and poems by Kenji Miyazawa. No one will watch an anime about that.

Manga can gets really abstract and transcendent sometimes. I have experience it so many times while reading stuff like Planetes and Asano Inio’s work.  Shit can get so introspective and transcendent, it brings you to weird places. Contextually, the stuff they wrote can be abstract and makes no sense but mentally, you feel out of this world. This sounds so goofy and corny and high on cocaine but it’s true.

It’s not something I can feel with anime because it’s too passive. Anime lacks the activeness in manga to be so engrossed that it makes you feel surreal. Passive vs active is yet another major difference between anime and manga. I find it easier to pick up manga than anime because it’s easier to get into. You are also more lenient when people stand around talking because you are the one who control the pacing, another advantage anime doesn’t have.

I can understand when people say that anime is better than manga when the anime is a page by page adaptation of the manga with some other value added scene. Surely, now the manga has nothing over anime right? In fact, I felt the same for some of the series but that’s because they are masterfully pulled off.

You will think it’s not that difficult to pull off a page by page adaptation but look at Bakuman, I don’t think it’s weird that people grade the manga so highly while thinking the anime is shit.  What happened there? Maybe because Bakuman isn’t suit for an anime because it loses its meta-quality of manga about manga? Maybe it’s because Bakuman has tons of people standing around talking and anime about people standing around talking is boring?

I guess what I am getting at with that Bakuman example is that sometimes, manga stays the best as manga and a masterful page by page adaptation like Cross Game, Black Lagoon, Major and Genshiken may just be an exception to the rule. Not to mention, sometimes, just like the Another anime, you can’t pull off the same execution found in the source materials because it’s difficult to make it works. In the end, the differences in execution make them feel like totally different work that should be assess differently even if they have the same gist.

I’ve watch some spring season cartoon to kill time. Here’s is what I have seen.

1. Accel World

Accel World has a pig playing squash and some sexual innuendo of “linking up”. It was ok.

I don’t know how people can feel so strongly about this show to plot out a 500 words post for it. Will you write a 500 words post about a bland youtube video?

2.Shibainuko-san

It’s about a dog wearing sailor uniform and act like a 14 years old girl. It has 30 second of actual content.

To relive the moment of watching this show, just look around your room for 30 second, it’ll have the same amount of effect and content you get from this show.

3.Kuro Majo-san ga Tooru!!

This show is about some girl who chanted the wrong spell and summoned Paku Romi.

I don’t know what happened next because I close the show after 3 mins. This is a 7 mins show.

4.Medaka Box

It’s Studio Gainax!

So what?

If you watch enough anime, you know that the studio of an anime doesn’t really matter; it’s the staffs behind it that matter. You are right to assume that the same studio has the same personnel so you can expect a certain something from a studio but ultimately, the focus still boils down to the personnel, not the studio.

The group who made Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann can work in Production I.G and the result will be the same because the studio is just a tool, not a creative force.

Oh and Medaka Box has Nishio Ishin.

I personally think that Nishio Ishin is a hack who can only cater to the niche otaku crowd. Place his work at a higher pedestal outside of the anime realm and it will crush and burn because no one gives a shit about self referential “subversive” dialogs on Tsundere. If you like his stuff, more power to you but I am not his target audience.

So Medaka Box. The first few minutes have enough energy for it to be watchable. Then I just couldn’t care after 4mins. I fast forwarded it and found nothing special. It has a Kamina-look alike and some ok fight scenes.

It was ok overall. People say that it will have a tone shift and became awesome afterward but can you believe people?

Nevertheless, I heard that the manga flopped badly on Shonen Jump. It nearly got canceled when it was the lowest ranking manga in the Table of Content for several weeks.

5.Lupin the Third Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna

James Bond-esque is a good way to sum up Lupin except Lupin is a morally ambiguous thief and I am not too fond of James Bond.

Lupin the III didn’t leave any good impression on me. I watched the TV series when I was 10 and I hated it. At that time, I felt like it’s anti anime because back then, anime was all about overarching storyline with a definite end. Lupin III has no end because it’s an emotionless, episodic, monster of the week hijinks.

All in all, I am very skeptical about Lupin the III because of this prejudice I have when I was 10. Many years had passed and I still can’t shake it off and this new Lupin didn’t really change my mind that much. In fact, it’s just like how I remember it: James Bond-esque Hollywood action series with lots of explosion and logic defying moments except this time, I can see all the nipples because it’s not child friendly anymore.

They just need to make this new series “monster of the week” again for all my disdain to come back. I hope they don’t since it’s only 13 episodes.

Now, I am not asking for an overarching deep story because that will make it not “Lupin” anymore but I really do hope that this time round, they have more interesting stories with actual emotions.

So yea, the first episode of Lupin didn’t blow me away; it made me more skeptical instead. I guess childhood memories die hard and this Lupin really needs to be very good for me to finally cave in and rubbish away my senseless childhood’s prejudice.

I do remember liking one of its movies so it’s not all bad memories. I can only remember the scene where Jigen fought with some bad guy who can read minds. I would like to know the name of that movie because I kinda dig it but I can’t be bothered to dig through millions of Lupin show to identify it.

6.Shirokuma Cafe

You have seen this kind of comedy before. It’s very generic and base. Place some misfits in a realistic setting and let them do their things to create a discrepancy.

However, sometimes a basic and generic concept is not that bad of an idea at all. For one, I think Shirokuma Cafe did it pretty well here. The panda is very cute and he is a slacker. I love slacker characters.

With that said, I think people wouldn’t like it as much I as did because it’s not edgy, subversive or cynical enough. Not to mention, it relies a lot on fluff and cuteness so I can’t see it blend very well with edgy intellectual elitist anime fans.

Nevertheless, this is still my favourite spring series for now because it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is genuinely fun to watch.

Now, even though I love this show but I don’t have much to say about it because I can’t quite explain comedy and I refused to do it because of its contradicting nature.

For example, on one hand, it’s easy to explain how I like edgy and smart comedy like those from George Carlin, Louis Ck, Jon Stewart, South Park and etc. They are good because they make light of very taboo and complex issues on politics, relations and religion. There are deep social commentaries and practical observations layered behind the funnies so it’s easy to deconstruct an act to point out these layers in order to make your point.

However, on the other-hand, the hardest laugh I got is from this video:

Live like a Windrammer as you Fuck

There are no justifiable reason for this to be so funny. Live like a windrammer as you fuck and MA the god are just senseless ridiculous words with no context at all. This is not smart or deep but why can’t I stop laughing? I don’t really know and before I can give you an intelligent and justifiable answer on why I think that video is hilarious, I don’t think I can talk about comedy.

You know, people love Dane Cook, Gallagher and Carrot Top for some reason and I can’t fault them no matter how much of a hack I think they are because I laugh at “live like a windrammer as you fuck.”

IWICSYI

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