I haven’t made an update in a while and I feel kind of bad about it, so here’s a short one about autumn anime that I took under strong consideration, my experience in manga translation so far, and the death of the internet as we know it.
Gundam Tekketsu has been a blast. Some people have said the violence was a bit self-serving, I think in the current political climate on the internet the sort of display of brutality was sorely needed. I was a little bit disappointed that the Hitler mustache guy got the evil stereotype treatment, as it seems Okada has a grudge against old people this season. Todo could’ve been a bro. What was surprising was that the two super robot fights managed to avoid beam weapons. The pile-driver was amazing, the axe was cool-looking as well. Not super useful against the former, but still!
I wasn’t convinced by Sakurako-san. The show is one large serving of Hokkaido tourism promotion and another large serving of two obnoxious protagonists whose archetypal designs are making them patronize each other to nauseating effect. The mystery with the supposedly suicidal hiking lady was so obvious, I was just waiting for Sakurako to roll her eyes and say, “Look you guys, she didn’t kill herself.” Will be skipping this one.
One-Punch Man has been surprisingly entertaining. I’m genuinely curious what the plan is considering Saitama’s strength. The puns were great. Situational comedy plus god-tier animation spells winner.
Another show that caught me by surprise was Lance N’ Masques. Light-novel trope-driven moe isn’t my thing, but Makio’s smile is simply captivating. I’d even go so far as to say the show’s quality suffers proportionally to the amount of screen time Makio gets each episode. There was a little bit of feminist banter on the topic of Makio’s choice to become a lady instead of a hero. That the setup provoked such a reaction I see more as a definitive proof that feminist pop culture criticism has gone full circle and is looking to make another round. Please, stop. It’s a silly cartoon with a cute 6-year-old loli.
Subete ga F ni Naru is another one of those dramas that are designed to shock and awe general audiences. Locked room mysteries have been pretty bad in anime and the way this one is set up feels unnatural. Saikawa and Nishinosono stopping by late at night to get a piece of some mystery action was pretty bizarre as well. Like, why would a facility that boasts itself with an air-gapped network just randomly let strangers in and open up a maximum-security prison cell right in front of them? Don’t they have a security protocol in place? I’m still curious how the mystery will resolve itself, so I’ll keep watching. I have a theory on how “Magata” got murdered, but if that turns out to be the case, I don’t know what’s entertaining anymore.
Last one is the new Utawarerumono series. Whereas the old show was based in Japan, the new show is supposedly located in far-eastern Russia or perhaps Mongolia. Chinese designs along with the cold climate gave it a very refreshing fantasy feel. I don’t mind Haku, but all of the heroines so far have been great. Fujoshi princess trope seems to have become a trend, first in GATE, now here. I started watching the series with the expectation of getting more of the same old Utawarerumono. Even though at its core the new show is very similar to the previous one, it’s got enough original substance that it doesn’t turn me off. The only thing that’s severely lacking in comparison with the old show is the animation budget. Or maybe it’s all being spent on animating animal extremities.
So that was my fall season review. The other thing I want to address is Baby Steps manga translations. As you’re probably aware, I picked up the series in Japanese from where the scanlations left off and started casually translating it. I’ve noticed that people are either blind, since I didn’t make a separate blog post about publishing chapter 251, or they simply don’t care about these translations. Chapter 251 hasn’t got more than 7 (seven!) clicks originating from this blog, a steep drop from chapter 250’s numbers. I said I would translate more if I noted sustained interest, but apparently there isn’t much. Now, before you ask, I’ll do the next one when I feel like it, but couple the discouraging numbers with the boatload of real-life stuff that I have to deal with, I feel like I’m in no rush to do them.
The other possibility for such low numbers is that people gave these a shot and realized they wanted the whole scanlation deal. Sure, I feel you guys, but I still haven’t seen anyone take these and make their own. If you know how to use Photoshop, please, go right ahead and do that. I’ll be more encouraged to do my part over the weekends as well.
For the end, I want to say something regarding politics and the internet. Today, EU Parliament passed amendments to some telecommunications law that effectively paved the way for killing the internet as we know it. Net neutrality in EU is gone.
Most people have just heard the news, whereas some of us have been listening about this doomsday for over a year. We’ve campaigned both on-line as well as off-line against it. We put effort into informing people. Alas, all in vain.
As much as I like my country’s MEPs, who have overwhelmingly voted for net neutrality, and as much as I hate the lobbyists and dumb politicians for making it happen, I’m angry at the little people as well. I’d say, in 99% cases that I’ve talked to, people either didn’t really know what was at stake or they simply didn’t care. Ultimately, it’s the lack of caring and possibly even a negative sentiment toward technical stuff that got us into this place. The new EU directives will be next to impossible to fight against on state level and even harder to restore net neutrality in EU.
This is where I say a big Fuck You to every EU citizen who treated this topic half-heartedly. I’m sure you’ll be bitching and moaning when ISPs start throttling your torrents. Or when you’ll want to open an internet-based business but soon realized your competitor is hogging all internet bandwidth, leaving no room for business growth.
We deserved this one.