October 26, 2006

Lovedol episode 4

Surprise, another update! Instead of doing something useful like study for my midterm, I've decided to do something completely useless like watch Lovely Idol 4 instead. This show is slowly corrupting me. I started watching this thing primarily as a Momoi fan but even though she barely gets any lines, I still find myself glued to this series. After bashing the OP in my episode 1 post, now I'm unable to skip it. I watch through everything start to finish and enjoy it, looped animation and all. It seems every week I am looking forward to the next episode more and more. The further I disparage it the stronger my urge is to watch. Oh what's going on??

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And it is: Episode 4 is a Ruri episode! This is good because pending Mai's story arc, the cheerful and clever Ruri has pretty much become my favorite character. As I've mentioned during my Canvas 2 rants, historically I've hated the "oniichan's girl" angle when played up to ridiculous levels, although recently with Maika and Ruri I'm starting to worry if I've been covertly infected by the dreaded siscon (No, it's just the seiyuu. Really!). Anyway, Ruri shows up unannounced during a meeting between Tomohiro and some director. Ruri claims she showed up with an umbrella because the weather forecast predicted rain, but in a clearly calculated move, she only brought a single set so they have to walk together. Tomohiro doesn't react kindly to this of course, because he's a big jerk >:(..

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The director invites them to go watch a recording session for a CD drama based on some magical girl show. The offer is further extended when they decide to bring everyone next time for a group learning experience. The group gets very excited about the possibility that they might have a chance to dub some lines. They rehearse the script together for a while. Ruri says she really would love to do the voice for the dog. Everyone thinks she is joking, but Ruri says she believes in the importance of the character and it turns out, she plays the character very well. During the rehearsal everyone is impressed by her "wau wau." Ruri's character song plays in the background during this scene, and Sakai Kanako does a pretty good job of singing the whole thing in Ruri's voice without sounding unnatural.

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Yet behind all the laughs, not all is well. There are some hints that Ruri is holding back her ambitions for her brother. Tomohiro, not being completely blind picks up on this, but then proceeds to do nothing about it. The next day, he comes down with a bad cold, clearly karma for being so inconsiderate. But now he can't take the idols to the recording session! What to do?

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No matter, Ruri declares herself the manager for the day and takes the group anyway. Big sister manager (I still haven't caught her name) has some harsh words for the sick Tomohiro, but Ruri defends him to the death. The manager says Ruri is still acting childish and the two get into an argument. Friction flares up as the idols take their seats for the recording.

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One of the actors Yukimi shows off several moe voice variation while reading the lines. However, the idols notice a bit of a problem: nothing she's saying is on their scripts. It turns out Ruri got the wrong script book. Sufficiently embarassed, Ruri becomes a lot more docile. It seems big sister was right about her. More and more people start to notice Ruri hiding her feelings.

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Eventually the idols chance to do some acting comes. They are requested to record the voice for the dog, the one role Ruri really wanted to do. Surprisingly, she refuses saying she must attend to her manager duties. The rest of the idols give lackluster performances, especially Miu (now established by this and the last episode to be the stupid one in the group) who makes a cat sound instead.

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Big sister senses decides she needs to take action, so she decides to drill her with a bit of tough love. Much insulting later, Ruri decides she's going to try out after all. Looks like big sis was looking out for her best interests after all. Immediately after, Tomohiro rushes to the door, only to get leg barred for having such horrible timing.

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The recording is a success. Everyone is stunned by Ruri's perfect sound effect and she gets cheers all around. At the end of the day, Tomohiro shows that despite his incompetence in all areas, he retains the uncanny ability to make his former idols really really like him. Just like the idol we saw in episode 2, this girl really cares about him too. Yukimi here was waiting for him to show up the whole time, and she does a cute routine with the stuffed doll asking him not to forget about her.

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After this, Ruri and Tomohiro go home together. Ruri announces she will no longer aim to be a manager and that she will follow her desires to be an idol instead. They agree this is the best decision. Don't worry, the screenshot isn't what it looks like.

Posted by Paranda at 11:16 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2006

Lovedol episode 3

Boy these posts just keep getting later and later don't they? Pretty soon there will be no point to do this at all since the english fansubs will have caught up to me.

Screencaps and summary follow. I'm going to try this "thumbnailing with links to full images" thing that everyone else seems to do, since the old way created unbearably long pages with lots of vertical scrolling.

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Ruri, having spoken directly to the president, is now part of the team. Despite being completely ignorant of her abilities (no audition, no compatibility interviews, etc.) the members are quick to accept her for some silly reason: she had the courage to confront someone like the company president directly. They celebrate a bit before discussing their next step on how to eventually debut.

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Ruri asks everyone about their ambitions. Most of them have no real goal so the answers are pretty vague. They just want to be idols through whatever means necessary. Hina's motivation has a little more substance, since she's fueled by a burning desire to be on the same stage as the "oneesama" she admires to an obsessive level. Ruri herself says she wants to help her brother by being a manager, which everyone finds a little strange. Meanwhile, Sakaki broods over the previous day's events in her large single room in downtown Tokyo that she pays for with her lucrative job playing guitar for pocket change. Tomohiro's words had a large impact on her emotions, and she is struggling over whether or not to take him up on his offer. The next day, Tomohiro and Hina meet at a cafe with Chocolat, a pair of older (fake twin?) idols that Hina highly respects.

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Everyone tags along with Hina to the cafe, doing various embarassing things such as ordering the entire stock of cake, or in Miu's case, showing an inability to grasp the difference between "shitsuji" (butler) and "hitsuji" (sheep). Near the end of the conversation, Chocolat says they will be holding a "Secret Live" event later that night, and Tomohiro requests that the third generation girls come as observers. Elsewhere,, Sakaki is still thinking hard over her options and staring at Tomohiro's business card. IS SHE READY TO JOIN?

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NO! TRASHED! One of Sakaki's many talents aside from singing is the ability to crumple tiny business cards into a ball almost the same size! But when it seems like she's mader her decision and all is lost, Sakaki opens the tote bag she received in episode 2 to find: tickets to the the live Chocolat concert! Waitaminute, didn't Tomohiro just find out about that concert from those girls a few minutes ago? I guess we can't let a silly thing like continuity get in the way.

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Ah but disaster strikes at the concert site. Miss Super Experienced Manager, who was revealed this episode as Tomohiro's older sister (or maybe he was just saying that as a sign of respect so she wouldn't practice any more wrestling moves on him), has forgotten the maid costumes. There isn't enough time to run back and get everything ready before the concert starts, so quickly a substitute plan is hatched. The 3rd generation idols will do a bit of singing while Chocolat waits for their butler to race back and get the costumes. Surely these hardcore otaku won't notice the difference.

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But they're still incomplete with only five people. Tomohiro realizes he must go out and find Sakaki. The look of determination on his face suggests he would not be above using force, however illegal, if necessary. Conveniently, Sakaki saves herself an abudction as she has also decided to come see this concert.

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Without a missing a beat, the six girls are rushed on stage in front of a cynical Moe T-shirt wearing crowd to perform "LoveLoveLove no Sei na no yo," which happens to be the ending theme to this show. Impressively, the episode has a separate concert version for this scene instead of just being lazy and resampling the ED theme. The nerds react to this bait & switch with initial scorn, but warm up to the performance within moments. By the end of the song, everyone is cheering. In addition to card crumpling, another one of Sakaki's many talents is magically knowing all the words and dance moves to a song she has never heard or practiced in her life.

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They manage to impress the fans so much that even after Chocolat returned with their costumes and took over, the group was invited back to meet with the audience. Sakaki is a little confused by the welcoming arms of her peers but she accepts, thereby implicitly joining the group. As they leave for the stage, Ruri sticks her head back in and cheerfully beams "Now we have six."

This episode was kind of stupid just because of all the plot holes with Sakaki. Is this supposed to be the resolution or something? We didn't find out at all what the heck was making her hate singing so much, or why she overcame it so quickly. So she had a good feeling while singing on stage with the other girls...hey, who cares if you were just randomly pulled into a performance right after being invited as an attendee right? Absolutely NO suspicions at all directed to the manager who was trying to recruit you for weeks? OK Sakaki. I suppose the upside is we now get to see the smiling Sakaki promised to us in the OP/ED instead of the moody gloomy one. It's still a shame we didn't get to see more to her personality. What was supposed to be her big turning point lasted about 2 seconds and one line of monologue from Sakunyan. Next episode is hopefully better.

Posted by Paranda at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2006

Sakakibara Yui pumps out two excellent singles same day

Yui!
Sakakibara Yui is rapidly climbing to fame this season with voice roles and songs in two bishoujo anime. People are already starting to take notice, and the dual CD releases today will only gain her more fans. Too much? Dilution? No way. Both releases feature Yui-nyan at her best, each containing one upbeat cutesy song (super addictive; I've been playing them all day) plus one other slower track showcasing her wider singing range.

Purchase Links:
Magical Generation
Again

Tip: Beautiful Day is amazing. Listen to it, love it.

Posted by Paranda at 11:32 PM | Comments (3)

October 17, 2006

My trip to the NYSE

This week I took a trip to the New York Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in the United States measured by market cap and one of the last great exchanges with a trading floor. Although it has been closed to visitors indefinitely for some time now, one of my professors through his various connections was cool enough to arrange a special visit for 20 interested students where we would be allowed to observe the day's trading activities from the members gallery, and ask questions to one of the directors there. Cameras allowed as long as there was no flash, so I took a few pictures.
NYSE photos
NYSE photos
This is Wall Street in downtown NYC. The building with the big flag is the NYSE. It is surrounded by many stern looking armored guards with automatic weapons which I decided, for my own health, not to capture on camera. We had to get ID verification twice, additional photos taken, and get questioned at two checkpoints before getting our clearance badges printed.

NYSE photos
NYSE photos
I was the second person in, so I had to wait in the lobby for quite a while. That wait lasted almost half an hour. Now I understood why the professor limited attendance to only the first twenty students that signed up.

NYSE photos
Finally we were escorted to the largest of the five trading floors. The NYSE has changed a lot since movies depicted it in the 90s and 80s. Due to the merger with ArcaEx, NYSE became a hybrid market, maintaining both the floor exchange system as well as an electronic system. It's not as frantic on the floor since the majority of transactions are now done electronically or routed straight to the specialist, but massive orders are still occasionally walked over. Supposedly, only 5% of all orders are walked over now. As technology continues to roll out, the director estimated that soon, the floor itself may not even be needed. But even as he predicts the death of the floor, and with much of the horrible shouting and running reduced by technology, the place still seems pretty packed, and LOUD. I can only imagine how bad it must get when big news hits, or how it was before they put in the new system.

NYSE photos
Here is a ticker. They are obsolete these days and are only mounted for atmosphere, since almost all the brokers have their own computers and handheld devices to check whatever info they may need.

NYSE photos
This is a trading post. Each post has certain stocks listed at it where the trade is executed. For special orders, typically very large ones, the brokers actually have to walk over to the posts where they meet with a specialist of whatever stock they wish to trade. The specialist keeps an order book which facilitates the orders between other brokers, helping make sure the process is fair and at the best price.

NYSE photos
These are the booths that line the walls of the floor. This is where the floor traders get their orders from their firms or outside brokers so they can bring it over to the specialist. Much of it is done through handhelds now, but before they set up an electronic network when the brokers got their orders by phone, they all had to physically run out to the floor and engage the specialists face to face.

NYSE photos
One of the coolest parts of the floor is really above it. Everything runs up through an elaborate wiring and pipe system suspended overhead.

Posted by Paranda at 4:36 PM | Comments (1)

October 16, 2006

Lovedol episode 2

This is a bit late since I had a project due over the weekend, but I finally watched episode 2. Lovedol isn't so bad when it doesn't have 10 minute pans of pointless idol characters. I had fun this time, although there wasn't nearly enough Momoi. And surprisingly...Sakai Kanako. She has done so well in this episode and the last episode I can't help myself...I'm starting to REALLY like her voice now. I still don't recommend it yet though, unless you're a voice fan. There are plenty of better shows to waste time on, such as Kanon or Deathnote or hell, even Happiness! (Yui-nyan ahhhhh).

Anyway, Lovedol is now being subbed by a group called WinD. They've done a pretty good job on the first episode, so that is a good option if you ever feel like you need to shorten your life a little by watching this show.

Screencaps and summary follows:

Lovedol 2 screencaps
Lovedol 2 screencaps
Episode 2 starts off with Tomohiro agonizing over Mizuki's rejection of his idol offer. Well what's the logical thing to do when the talent you're trying to scout ignores you? Follow her around and take photos of her of course. Stalking is a form of flattery you know. Ruri is keeping him company yet somehow unaware of how creepy this is. I have to mention her though, because usually I'm not a big fan of this kind of character, yet I can't help liking her a lot. It must be Sakai Kanako. She has really been impressing me with her role in this show now. She steals every scene she's in, which I'd say is pretty good for a newbie like her when going against the rest of this cast.

Lovedol 2 screencaps
Although he is getting frustrated with his constant failures, whenever he watches the idols pratice so hard yet remain unable to debut, the guilt of his inability reinvigorates his will to pursue Mizuki.

Lovedol 2 screencaps
Naturally, this leads to more tension. There are some songs sung by Mizuki again...very nice songs. Nogawa is a strong singer, and has been the only one with the opportunity to show this off so far.

Although Mizuki tries to ignore Tomohiro at first, he stalks her everywhere. Mizuki gets fed up with the unwanted attention and she finally speaks back to him with some harsh words. It turns out she doesn't think too highly of the idol business. Even though Tomohiro claims he wants to show her music to the world, she believes the recording industry is motivated only by greed and just wants to sell CDs and make money.

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Tomohiro can't take a hint. He still follows her around. How does he get away with this? ARREST THAT MAN OFFICER!

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Now even the ever-tolerant Ruri is worried about his obsessive behavior.

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Tomohiro realizes he probably isn't going to make any progress doing what he's doing, so he calls in a friend for guidance.

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It turns out this friend is actually Yuuki Touko (Kuwatani Natsuko) in disguise. Touko is a successful idol that he used to manage. Although she is pretty famous now, it seems she still remembers Tomohiro very fondly and is flattered that he called her for a meeting.

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Meanwhile, the idol-eggs, having also sensed Tomohiro's distress in the past few days, decide they should take things into their own hands. They hatch a plan in the shower to make friends with Mizuki so that she might join them more easily.

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But they each fail just as miserably. Not one of them has ever heard of the art of subtlety it seems. There is a fun scene here where Minorin shows her wilder voice as she forgets her primary mission and just rants on about her oneesama.

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In the end, they get caught by Tomohiro and abort the plan. Touko is a little disappointed when she finds out Tomohiro only met with her because he wants to hear her opinion on Mizuki (it seems like she likes him very much and was hoping for the reason to be a bit more scandalous). She recalls her own start as an idol. Although her mother was also an idol, Tomohiro did not become her manager for this reason. He felt she had conveyed her own sense of personality and he wanted to help her prove she was her own person - a legitimate idol not just because her mother was an idol. Through this discussion, Tomohiro realizes he was looking at Mizuki's situation a little too naively. Mizuki claimed she hated singing, but she also had something hidden she badly wanted to show through her singing. She wanted to be heard.

Lovedol 2 screencaps
Before they can discuss any further, Touko's current manager barges in, breaks up the meeting, and shoos everyone home. When asked how she discovered their location, she responds that she keeps very close tabs on Touko and knows her movements at all times. Looks like Touko is kept on a leash by that woman. Before leaving, Touko tells Tomohiro again that he can call her for a favor at any time.

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Armed with a new outlook, Tomohiro tries again to talk to Mizuki. Only this time, instead of trying to recruit her, he tells a story about himself and how he was tricked into being a manager by his sister. Yet after it was too late, he realized he did not regret it one bit. hile he had no talent himself, he could bring out the talent of others and share it with the world. From the looks of it, he has many many successes in this regard.

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Tomohiro says he's not just interested in signing her to a label. He became a manager because he really wants to help people, and this time he wants to help her. He knows through her singing that she has a hatred in her heart, and while he doesn't know what it is, he wants to help share her burden and get rid of this so she can sing without it.

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This time, Mizuki actually smiles. She says Tomohiro is an interesting person, and the first manager to act differently from the others. Step one has been completed. Later at the studio, the president announces a new addition to the third generation group. Everyone thinks perhaps it is Mizuki...

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but surprise, it's RURI! Ahhh...I love Ruri.

And that's the end of episode 2. I'm going to mention something that I hadn't yet realized back when I wrote the summary for episode 1: Nakahara Mai's singing in this is ridiculously good, possibly even beating out Nogawa. That's how good it is. This is especially surprising to me because Mai-tan's singing has been okayish for most other releases. Her last full length album was kind of a disappointment, and especially more of a disappointment now that I've heard her short solo in this. I previously only ordered Momoi's Lovedol character CD, but damn if Mai is going to sound like this I might have to get her's also.

Posted by Paranda at 7:03 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2006

XP-tan, Eruru, Fate

The trio arrives. Amenbo's reputation sqeaks by to live another day.
xptan.jpg

Posted by Paranda at 9:22 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2006

Momoi Haruko no Radio Update

Ever since URAMOMOI ended there was a void in broadcasting that needed to be filled. Well Momoi is finally back on the radio, internet radio this time that can be downloaded from Anista.tv so no need to go scour P2P sites for rips.

The first episode kicks off with a small clip of her new song - Saigo no Rock, which is the opening for her upcoming release DVD Drama - Haruko Update.

She talks a bit about this DVD release. It's a dramatized autobiography of sorts, and will include coverage of her early career in TV, radio, internet, etc. starting from even when she was still in school (she says when she was 16), and her semi-idol status.

At 8:50, we get to hear a lengthier preview of Saigo no Rock. Initial impressions are good. She has some really impressive vocals at certain parts, and the chorus is catchy. CHA-CHA will be stuck in my head for days. It's still her new sound though, consistent to what she put out on her last album, so I don't really understand why she pushed her recent event as "Moe wa Rock da." I was secretly hoping for a throwback to her cutesy singing, but I fear she has abandoned the art of "moe song." I suppose I shouldn't jump to conclusions like that though. I said that the same about KOTOKO and then she pulled a fast one and came out with Mighty Heart. And this song is pretty good anyway so I'm not complaining.

The guest today was Takayama Saki who is playing Momoi on the DVD. Her voice is pretty shaky so I'm not sure how the hell she fits the role of the great MOMOI, but who knows...that pic on the Anista.tv does make her look pretty close to the real one :P. Anyway she talks a bit about herself, like her ranking in a beauty contest back in 02 and some other stuff when she gets interviewed, and stays for the entire 40 minutes of the show for discussion.

The following seiyuu were advertised between breaks, in this order: Sakai Kanako, Satou Rina, Nabatame Hitomi

Posted by Paranda at 12:21 PM | Comments (1)

October 10, 2006

Amenbo's service has seriously deteriorated lately

I don't know what has happened with Amenbo.com. Last year, they were the only store to stock Windows ME-tan figures, and they used to be a pretty good service. However, in the last six months they've screwed up so many times now I'll probably ditch them. They need to fire their shipment processing interns or something.

In June, I ordered a Shuffle Kaede figure from them. Instead they sent me Nerine. I let that slide since Nerine was only slightly cheaper than Kaede and I planned on getting her later anyway, but that was the first hint of problems to come and I probably should have paid attention to the warning signs. I ended up getting Kaede for $40 at Otakon since she was sold out on most online stores.

In August, I placed an order for 6 figures with EMS shipping and paid immediately after with Paypal, as I have always done. For a week I kept getting payment requests in the mail. After 10+ emails to their inquiries department with my payment confirmation number trying to show them I had ALREADY paid. As the weeks passed and the paypal dispute deadline came around, I threatened to retract my payment, so they finally confirm and ship. Except they shipped to a completely wrong address in the wrong state. My package ended up somewhere in the Midwest; I live on the East Coast. Another 10+ emails and another 1 weeks later, they finally resend to the right address. There was no "Sorry we screwed up so badly" consolation coupon. At the very least they should have reimbursed my EMS shipping costs. This month delay essentially negated the EXPRESS part of EMS. Oh well, I got what I wanted and I was too tired to bitch any further.

At this point, I should have decided to stop using them, but hey I had racked up $30 worth of points with them in the past and I thought it would be unlikely they messed up again on my account. I mean it was just by chance right? Sheer bad luck combined with bad timing right? So I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. Seeking to avoid the paypal confirmation disaster, I ordered 3 figures and paid with credit card this time so they could charge me directly. Everything seemed normal when they confirmed shipping only a day later on October 6th and sent me a tracking number. Since EMS typically arrives in 3-4 days, I decided check on the shipping status of my item today.

"Your item number is not found. Confirm your item number and ask at your local post office."

I copied and pasted my tracking number a few times and even typed it in manually to make sure there wasn't some sort of character glitch. Nothing. So Amenbo sent me a fake tracking number? Where the hell is my package?

I've just sent Amenbo.com another inquiry. This is basically the last straw. If it turns into the 10+ email with week-long delay nightmare like last time, I guess I'm through with them for good, even if I do have to sacrifice those shopper points (I can't use them yet).

By contrast, HLJ, Hobby Search, and CDJapan have never screwed up my orders so far. Amenbo is the first one I've run into problems with. Normally I wouldn't care as long as they get things sorted out eventually, but I figure the frequency of the mistakes here are too high to be just regular bad luck. Maybe I sent too many complaints last time so they blacklisted my account to get intentionally shitty service, or maybe they just have zero quality control with regards to order processing. Who knows, but here's just a warning to others who might use Amenbo for their figure collecting purposes.

Updated: I got a response back fairly quickly this time. Turns out they had set up my shipment but during packing procedures they noticed my Windows XP-tan box was pretty damaged so they cancelled the shipping to replace it. I got my new tracking number and all is fine now.

Posted by Paranda at 1:07 PM | Comments (0)

October 8, 2006

Lovedol episode 1

Oh yes, it's finally out. And yes it's pretty bad. Luckily, I've insulated myself by lowering my standards specifically for this show, and now that I'm done putting myself at the mercy of episode one, I'll pre-emptively say that despite its horrible animation budget and disappointing start, the show may prove to be "watchable" at the very least. However, my specific recommendation: skip episode one and just read this summary. I'll let you know when it's safe to come out.

Next, screencaps and commentary:
Lovedol screencaps
It is immediately obvious that the animation for this series is incredibly low budget. As you may have read on seiyuu3, they did indeed reuse animation for the opening scene, and it's so horribly obvious in length and execution that anyone would have noticed it. It's a bad way to start a series, but let's face it..nobody who's watching this thing wasn't already planning to watch it solely for voice acting from the start. When you bill it under a cast like this, the need for making a good first impression on animation quality goes out the window. Still, I wish they had gone the route of some shows by simply discarding the opening for the first episode altogether until they could scramble enough scenes together to make a clip-based opener fused with what they had here. Oh well, at least what little was animated was kind of cute and..um...the lack of any sort of moving background means it's potentially good gif material? No probably not.

Lovedol screencaps
By the way, the OP theme by Nogawa Sakura is disappointing. I have no complaints with her singing itself and the tune is fairly catchy, but it's overly simple, as if the composer threw all the notes together on a pad in under five minutes and then hired a student arranger. I suppose I was hoping for something of perhaps.."Motto" quality? This sure ain't Magikano.

Lovedol screencaps
Lovedol screencaps
Anyway, it only gets worse, not better. The first ten minutes of the show actually consists of 90% still images slowly panned from left to right behind a "digitize" filter and laboriously introduces us to each of the twelve pre-existing idols. Yes, you will slowly pan through three or four images of every single girl shown on stage here. Considering the show isn't even about them, the amount of time dedicated to doing this is absurd. Interestingly, the song they sang here in my opinion was actually better than the OP. Sadly, there wasn't nearly enough of it to offset the sheer boringness of waiting the scene out.

Lovedol screencaps
After that mighty test of patience, one of the idols Yui (voiced by Nogawa) announces to the fans that she has some important news...

The debut of four new idols, in order of appearance

Lovedol screencaps
GOTO YUKO! Oops, I mean Nekoya Miu. She likes making cat sounds and pawing. Goto's voice here is pretty good.

Lovedol screencaps
MOMOI HALKO!!! er...Nonomiya Mai. She has way too few lines to get any sort of analysis going on yet, but I must do my duty as a Momoist and use what I can. She sounds a little stiff, but I think that is intentional. Mai seems like a cynical character who makes blunt observations. will be interesting hearing Momoi play a stoic role like this. Her episode will come...and I can't wait.

Lovedol screencaps
CHIHARA MINORI! Um...Hojo Hina. Boy she sure is quiet. Minorin is using her soft voice.

Lovedol screencaps
NAKAHARA MAI! No, Kiryu Kotoha, another quiet girl. Mai-tan sounds pretty standard here but that's ok, I love her voice in any state.

Lovedol screencaps
So what's the announcement? Well girls, your big debut has just been postponed :V

Lovedol screencaps
The manager, who also organized the last 2 generations of idols for his company Sweetfish Productions, realizes he just got screwed and hurries to demand an explanation from the president. Apparently she feels the idol group is still lacking something, but, in a typical "I'm much better than you" fashion, allows him to go figure that part out himself.

Lovedol screencaps
Of course, manager Fujisawa Tomohiro here has absolutely no idea what it is. The president has conveniently sped away in her black car to let him alone crush the dreams of his lovely idols.

Lovedol screencaps
The next day, Tomohiro thinks about the president's words before he is interrupted by his little sister Ruri (voice by Sakai Kanako). Ruri is quite a cheerful personality, and Sakai Kanako is surprisingly good at bringing this out. I liked her so much, this scene was actually fun to watch. Some people have applied the "oniichan complex" to her but I don't think that's the case based on what I've seen. Acually Minorin's character Hina is probably one with the oneesama complex.

Lovedol screencaps
Ruri ventures an insightful guess that since all the past generations of idols had six people, the third generation still needs to find two more girls before it can be considered complete. Tomohiro dismisses this theory, but Ruri, always looking out for her big brother, secretly heads out to the agency to meet with the president later presumably to sign up as the fifth person.

Lovedol screencaps
After meeting with his idols for the day at practice, while heading home from the studio Tomohiro sees a girl (Sakaki Mizuki, voiced also by Nogawa) walking by while humming to herself. She sets up shop on a street corner and sings some more. Nogawa performs both tunes pretty well, and this is when I realize happily there is probably going to be a lot of singing in this show. After she's finished, Tomohiro in a decidely creepy stalkerish way, follows her into a park and confronts her. He says she has potential and asks if she would like to sign under his company. Little did he know, Sakaki is very EMO and has issues.

Lovedol screencaps
"I hate singing." Offer refused.

And there's our cliffhanger. Six girls who will become the next generation of Lovedols. So...pretty bad right? Well here's what made up for the whole damn episode:
Lovedol screencaps
No I don't mean "the ending" as in "har har, it's over." THIS should have been the OP dammit. The theme is catchy as hell, and there was actually some animation going on. Someone must have gotten them switched up! It makes me happy that this is the song they've chosen to cover on all of the character CDs. No wonder. If you missed the link to the OP, here it is again, it also contains the ED so you can compare. http://www.avexmovie.jp/lineup/lovedol/song.html

Next episode previews has a pretty nice sounding line from Momoi, but it looks like there may be some fan service which is good or bad depending on your viewpoint.

Final Impressions: Episode 1 is junk, but as a series, it has potential to go somewhere. Maybe nowhere high, but probably on the level of an average anime based on an erogame or something similar. I've definitely seen better, but I've also seen worse. Plus if you're into these particular seiyuu, you'll probably at least enjoy it for the songs they seem to throw in randomly. That's our security blanket we can use when/if this show crashes and burns (then again it is possible to just wait for the character CDs to come out without watching the show). I wouldn't admit to watching it in real life that's for sure.

Posted by Paranda at 6:29 AM | Comments (2)

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