Friday, September 20, 2013

Kin'youbi Mosaic: 9/20/13 Weekend With God Edition

I'm posting this week's ramblings early, in that it's technically not Friday yet here (though it probably will be by the time anyone gets to read this), but yes, it's the Weekly Ramblings.

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Here’s a bit of news from last week that I somehow forgot about: Tokyo has won the bid to host the 2020 Olympics! This of course is interesting news just from a news perspective, but as this is an anime blog, how this affects the world of anime is the question to ask here. Will we see more sports anime as the event gets closer? Will moe sports girls become the mascot for the event? (Fun fact: Doraemon was a representative mascot for when Tokyo was pulling for its bid.) Will Tetsuo awaken to his psychic powers and destroy Tokyo the year before? (It is interesting how Akira predicted the Tokyo 2020 Olympics way back in the early 1980s…)

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Subtitled-only Blu-rays has long been something most US anime companies did not do. Companies like Viz and Funimation dubbed everything and refused to release anything if they could not profit from it with a dub. Sentai Filmworks developed a policy where they would only release on Blu-ray titles that they would dub, since the price of producing Blu-rays was much higher and they felt only popular shows (that would also mean they were dub-worthy) would make up the difference. The high production cost has even kept a company like Nozomi Entertainment from doing Blu-ray releases. Currently, the two major companies that have sub-only Blu-rays on the market are NIS America (and they have a lot of them) and Aniplex of America (not counting their import releases, they released sub-only Blu-rays of Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari).

However, more and more companies are starting to try out sub-only Blu-rays. Earlier, I mentioned that Sentai will be experimenting with this format for a couple of titles in December. Now, also planned for December, Funimation will also try releasing their own sub-only Blu-ray/DVD release (I’m not counting their Ghost in the Shell: Arise import release, which they do plan to release a dubbed domestic version of anyways). The most notable thing in this case is that with this release, Funimation is officially breaking their “dub everything or don’t sell it” policy, which has already stirred up the extremist dub fans, but which is a move I definitely support, as I did with Sentai’s sub-only Blu-rays.

The title in question is OniAi, short for Onii-chan dakedo Ai sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne! That is Japanese for “As Long As There’s Love, It Doesn’t Matter If He’s My Brother, Right?” …yeah, it’s an incest comedy. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and most of the first episode is pretty amusing with the brother rebuffing his sister’s advances, but then other girls come in and turn the show into a harem, at which point the show devolves into a rather bland harem show, which I could not get past the second episode of. (It’s also a very fanservice-heavy show.)

Still, if you are a fan of the show, I definitely encourage you to buy Funimation’s  Blu-ray/DVD release, even if there’s no dub for it. The release itself comes with an artbox and has a significantly cheaper ARP of $50 (compared to $70 for a similar release with a dub). More importantly, this could mean more home video releases of shows that might not otherwise get one (I’m looking at you, Minami-ke).

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With a handful of shows having already finished, I’ve decided to watch my way through one more of this season’s shows: the sacrilegiously named Sunday Without God (Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi). The show presents a fantasy world where because God “abandoned the world”, the dead do not die properly, but instead continue on as if they were alive (albeit not without potential issues), and can only move on to the afterlife with the help of a Gravekeeper. The show works quite well as a speculative world, exploring the ways the world works and how morality might change accordingly.

That said, the main reason I'm loving this show a lot is because of its main character, Ai. She is adorable, headstrong, kind, has just the right amount of spunk, and can be quite contemplative, and in many ways I feel like I am learning about the world alongside her. If the show itself is otherwise solid but not spectacular as a fantasy work, Ai really helps make the show memorable.

Ai is love. Art by

けむけむ.


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Anyways, the reason I'm posting this early is because I'll be gone this weekend on a church retreat, during which I have no Internet access. I like to use this particular yearly retreat as a time to abstain from various electronics; the only electronics I use would be my phone (for contact purposes) and the Bible on my Kindle. It's a nice change of pace, and it's something I actually rather look forward to.

As for missing some episodes of anime... eh, I can catch up with all of that when I get back home Sunday afternoon.

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