in which it is Sunday in Japan in Spring

The cherry blossoms are blooming in full force and folk are making merry in the boulevards, celebrating the simple joy of the moment with boxes of warm sake in hand. This probably accounts for the dearth of Moon Phase updates today.

  • [EROGE] G.J? has updated their Shichinin no Online Gamers page with information about two more characters: the protagonist and the improbably proportioned Minase Anko. It is a happy universe where the laws of physics allow such a figure to exist.
  • [EROGE] In a similarly large-breasted vein we have Onedari Milky-Pai, to be released on 4/22. This doesn’t quite make the cut for me in terms of designs or consistent artistic quality, but if milk is your thing it’s probably worth checking out.
  • [ANIME] The official Blood TV site has been updated, thankfully removing the hideous lo-fi heartbeat sound from the main page.

Anime’s answer to Sin City?

I watched the first episode of Speed Grapher yesterday. The “Gonzo effect” was in evidence in a rather ham-handed approach to the narrative, and a pessimist would say that the enhanced sex and violence grit factor of the show is there to offset lack of a significant plot. As far as that goes, Speed Grapher is looking more interesting after one episode than say, Elfen Lied did, and I’ll be happy to give it the additional few episodes to establish itself that it certainly needs. The animation is solid and not ostentatious like so many recent Gonzo productions, although a bit fast and loose with details on a couple of the character designs that take away some of their appeal. The thing that initially drew me to the show was the design of the female lead, and from the next episode preview it seems that she’ll be left pretty much in line with the concept art, which is all I can reasonably ask for.

If I were to chart a trend in Gonzo’s recent works it would be that the production house tries to thrive on the exotic, both visually and narratively. This works well when they have talent like Murata Range as the basis of their artistic direction, less well in other efforts (not to knock Hakua Ugetsu’s Bakuten designs, of course). Visually it seems that Speed Grapher has discovered another happy medium in Gonzo’s quest, but can the same be said for the narrative? Time will tell, as will this site, most likely.