Merchants and Spices and Wolves (oh my!)

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I caught up on some anime viewing over the weekend, taking in the first five episodes of Spice and Wolf along with the first episode of Macross Frontier and the final two episodes of the Marimite OVA. I held off watching Spice and Wolf initially as I didn’t think the Kuroda Kazuya designs were a good match for the original novel’s Ayakura Juu illustrations (I think the strong resemblance to his work for Kaibutsu Oujo originally threw me off), but after watching a few episodes I warmed to his interpretation of Horo (Lawrence could still use some work, in my opinion).

I’m enjoying the show, though the addition of Chloe feels contrived to create a plot arc that fits in the 12 episodes (+1 OVA episode) it’s been allotted. I think it’s the kind of show that should be given room to breathe and expand over a good 26 episodes, and the conflict that has materialized out of nowhere feels forced – just let it flow, and feel more like the OP and ED. I’d say they’re the best of the season if I had anything to compare them too; is there anything else worth watching this season?

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Catching up on some older material I finally watched the last two installments of the five episode Marimite OVA series (nominally dubbed “season 3”). They were fun, especially episode four (gakuran Sachiko-sama banzai~!), although they didn’t quite pack the punch of some of the material in earlier seasons; I’m looking forward to the promised season four TV anime, that should bring us back into exciting territory – will Yoshino find her soeur? Will Yumi choose drill or denpa? What will become of Sachiko and Rei following their graduation? I can’t wait. :3

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Macross Frontier was gruesome, in that I shudder to imagine what dark rituals must have been performed to raise the budget necessary to pull that episode together. I haven’t seen anime that cinematic in a long time, and am having trouble believing that it’s actually a TV series… I’m sure subsequent episodes won’t be as flashy as the pilot, but man, that was all kinds of crazy awesome. I’m not convinced that squeezable, squeaky cell phones are the wave of the future, though. I’m planning a look ahead at the shows coming up this spring from a character design perspective, so I’ll be revisiting the topic of Macross F again soon.

Hard Core Vibes

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Following Zepy’s scoop over at Canned Dogs that Core Magazine was offering to send free copies of their eromanga out to blogs to review for a six month period, I said what the hell and applied. Their Megastore Comics imprint has produced a consistent line of quality releases over the past few years with a ratio of hits to misses more favorable than just about any other eromanga publisher; I don’t think it could be too painful to be obligated to review their books, and it would provide the impetus needed to continue the Eromanga Toshokan column. Here’s hoping. :3

Oretachi Utawarerumono

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A big translation release from the English language visual novel fan scene came over the weekend in the form of a full English patch for the PC DVD version of Aquaplus/Leaf’s Utawarerumono. It was produced by mirror moon, the same group that released a Tsukihime patch last year, and while listed officially as an open beta it appears to be free of serious bugs. Discussion of the release can be found here; the patch-compatible DVD version of the game can be bought here and here.

Futaket 4 Circle Applications Open

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The official site for futanari-themed doujin convention Futaket has been updated with further information on the fourth iteration of the event, scheduled to take place on May 4th. As of last Friday the planning committee is now taking online applications for circle participation, and paper applications have also been distributed to Toranoana and Melon Books stores around the country. I’m definitely planning to apply, though I had a circle space at Sunshine Creation 38 last Sunday and wasn’t able to make the event so I’m not sure how this one will fare either. orz

In a final note, HD’s server was down for several hours over the weekend for a server move. Should announce these things before they happen, but someone around here is forgetful…