Tag Archives: anime

Wherein Marianne rants about stuff you probably don’t care about

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Okay, looking back at yesterday’s post (which most of you probably also don’t really care about the majority of… >.>), I seem to be going a bit on the defensive in regards to piracy of media.  Well, I think I was.  So I’m gonna do a quick foray into plunder and booty.

Marianne’s Philosophy of Piracy:  It is the right of the creator and distributor of any media to make a profit from it.

Um, yeah, that’s it.  Really, it’s pretty simple.  There’s no real “Unless they’re a jerk” caveat to that.  You make something, you package it, you distribute it…  You have every right to make a profit.

So why am I watching fansubbed anime on youtube?  I should backtrack.

I don’t download.  I’ll fully admit the temptation is there, and it’s not just fear of the stuff lurking in torrent sites that stops me.  The mp3s I have are all either things I have paid for, be it on something like itunes or ripped from a personal CD, or songs that have been given to me personally by friends.  Not “Hey, I’ve got all my music library up on this webspace, so everyone is free to download” but “Hey, I heard this song and thought you’d like it…  Here ya go.”  Legality aside, it’s the equivalent of mixed tapes.  I also don’t forward the stuff along unless it’s also a case of “Oh, you would like this too.”  It’s personal, and if it’s something I like enough to do that, usually other things by that artist turns up on my wishlist or music library the totally legal way.

I’m the same with anime.  Beyond what’s on our DVD racks, I have two sources for watching anime online.  The first is the official route: the distributor puts it up on Hulu, or licenses it to be aired on Crunchyroll.  The second is the unofficial: youtube.

Watching things on youtube is…  inconvenient.  The quality of subbing/dubbing, because it’s done by fan groups, can be rather hit or miss.  Also, the issue remains that youtube limits video length to 10 minutes, then there is a break where you are either sent automatically to the next part (if it’s in a playlist) or hunt it down (if it’s not).  Now, inconvenience does not mean I have the right to watch stuff they may not want me to…  It’s not like it’s currency.  However, recording a tv show via tivo, or even onto video is much the same way.  The difference being the publisher has recourse to say to youtube : this is my stuff, take it down.  There’s nothing they can do about my old stack of VHS home-recorded Highlander the Series.

What they CAN do is offer quality and extras on the official versions, which they do.  But more than that, it needs to be made available first.  If it’s available, I will buy it over watching it on youtube 100% of the time.

I was first introduced to Higurashi by a friend who mentioned it was awesome and I should give it a poke.  I found it on youtube.  2 seasons, ~26 episodes each, and each of those broken into 3 parts.  No one had any real clumps available of more than a few episodes (since Youtube was taking them down almost as quickly as they appeared) and some of the fan-done subbing was completely illegible.  I loved it, even with all the strikes against it.  I saw it had been licensed to the US.  I was ecstatic.  Season 1 was for sale!  It was super expensive.  I bitched about the price.  But…  I got it.  It’s on my shelf.

I waited for them to do something about the second season.  Over a year later, I’m still waiting on that.  I would also like the license for Umineko to be released in the US so I could get that as well.

Neither is available.  I can’t pay money to get them.  I watch them on youtube/other sites.

Mostly unrelated:  Dubs vs Subs

Subs win every time.  I got into a discussion the other day with a friend about Higurashi having the worst dub in existence, and I found a side-by-side that amused the hell out of me, while also proving my point.  Warning: bad jokes, worse acting, and a good amount of blood and death.  Real fun starts about the 1:30 mark.

What Marianne’s been up to

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Other than obviously not posting here.  *cough*

Most notably, David and I hopped a flight out to visit Lori in our first non-mandatory-parental-visit kinda holiday since our honeymoon 5 years ago (shutup, it’ll be 5 years in a couple weeks).  A lot of fun was had…  We played Sims, I inflicted my singing on Matt, Lori, and their houseguests in Rockband, ate lots of bbq, and did a wee bit of gaming.  What we didn’t do is use the camera we got to use on the trip.  (d’oh!)  We also discovered that I’m apparently allergic to everything there, so next time there’s visiting, THEY are coming HERE.

And the downside, all the allergy stuff in my lungs aggrivated my asthma… So when I got back home, I felt worse and have been on a buncha meds trying to resolve the issue and NOT turn it into bronchitis.  Thanks for that.  >.>

On the home front, as I think I mentioned, Dragon Age is awesome.  Not that I’m the only person to say that, nor am I with the times since I’m playing the first, vanilla, un-DLC’d game…  But it’s awesome.  I’ve always felt that choices are interesting…  And Dragon Age has the perfect combination of choice, interesting characters, and strong story that just makes me go squee.  If only the combat did the same (Combat is seriously the thing I have to slog through to get more of the story.)  I haven’t explored it as thoroughly as some, only one full playthrough before succumbing to the siren call of the million alts.  But I’ve still many plans for things to do with it in the future.  Also, it’s got one of my most favoritest favorite things ever: the grey villain.  Seriously, villains who are so certain they’re doing the good thing, the right thing, and are following totally believable reasoning?  They make me squee.  Totally squee.  Squeefully squee.  It’s the choice that seems so easy to NOT make: why make a villain sympathetic when it’s so much easier to make them bad?  Because making them sympathetic instantly makes the story 1000 times better.  Thank you Bioware for remembering that.

Anime has been filling a lot of the rest of my time.  I’ve been on a watch/rewatch kick.  Current roster and recommendations:

Darker than Black (Season 1 subbed– on Hulu through the summer)  This was recommended to me about a year ago, actually.  David and I were poking through various sites after finishing Soranowoto and saw it on Hulu and it rang a bell.  When it was linked to me, it was to the dubbed version on Youtube, both of which were somewhat a turnoff and with the comment “Oh you like Higurashi?  You’ll love this.  It’s like Mage.”  And… It’s very much like original WoD Mage, but with an equal focus on the Technocracy/humans perspective.  The Contractors, the Reality Deviants on the show, are both treated as villains AND as the main characters.  The first episodes (as each episode is p1 and p2 of a story) made me go meh, but now as we’re about to finish the season, I’ve found I really enjoy it.  Supernatural/mystery/intrigue.  personal PG-13 rating for themes/violence.

Soranowoto (The Sound that Fills the Air) (subbed – Crunchyroll)  This was actually a winter Anime for us, but I never really got around to talking about it.  It’s a series that had several opportunities to take the easy route, but instead chose not to.  It’s set in a military base in a post-Apocolyptic world.  Due to the folklore of the town the base inhabits, all members of the unit are young girls.  It’s somewhat slice-of-life, and the characters remain likeable and friendly without ever falling into flat stereotypes.  It’s generally a light-hearted series, which it uses to strongly contrast it’s anti-war message.  (Strongly contrast like a kick in the gut… I cried like a baby through the few serious episodes.)  Slice of Life/friendship.  War occurs, violence in the background excepting a couple episodes.  personal PG for themes.

Time of Eve (subbed- Crunchyroll)  A short web-serial on the nature of humanity.  There are currently 6 episodes.  The story is incomplete, but it’s made by a one-man studio, so updates are understandably slow.  Set in a future-Tokyo where AIs are the new serving class and ubiquitously everywhere, and the opinions and restrictions society places on them.  It’s pretty, well-acted, and like Soranowoto, manages to be both lighthearted and have a deeper meaning without going flat or preachy.  Slice of Life/friendship.  personal PG for themes.

Umineko No Naku Koro Ni (fansubbed – Youtube)  I’m not here to discuss the larger issue of piracy or anything else.  However, for those who have issue, this IS pirated.  It’s not available in the US by any legal means, the version linked above is subtitled by a fan group.  All that being said, of the links presented here, this is my favorite, and my Rewatch.  07th Expansion, the creator of this series, is also behind my other most favorite, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (I’m not linking it– it’s on Hulu (or at least S1 is), but only the dubbed version.  And it’s universally regarded as the worst dub in the world) Rei/Kai.  Umineko is considered to be the spiritual sequel of Higurashi, often referenced as When They Cry 3, though the two stories have little to do with each other, excepting perhaps a few recurring characters, the repeating time theme, and some easter eggs in Umineko itself.  Set on a private island in the middle of a Typhoon, Umineko is a murder mystery.  It makes heavy use of locked-room murders and logic games in a battle to try and prove that the murders were done by magic, or by purely human means.  Also as a note, nothing is answered in this series.  Like Higurashi, it’s based off a series of computer games, two of which are yet to be released before a second season can be started.  Mystery/horror/supernatural.  This is a very dark series, without any happily ever after resolution.  Personal R for violence, gore, child abuse, and themes.