Friday, October 26, 2012

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai -- Holy Places

As you would imagine, Japanese fans have been busy identifying, touring and photographing the real places used as backdrops for this new Kyoto Animation anime.

The show is not set in one particular place, but its backgrounds are based on locations in and around the city of Otsu 大津, at the south end of Lake Biwa, just northeast of Kyoto.

Here is one fan's Google Map, which I hope will continue to be filled in. Here are one blog's pages for the OP and ep1, and for eps 2-3. I hope that blogger will continue as the episodes progress. And here is another blog's compendium of scenes.

For example, here is a montage of the scenes at the end of the OP, along with a photo of a real place, the double railway bridge over the Setagawa River 瀬田川 at Ishiyama 石山, in the eastern part of Otsu:

Now here is a scene from episode one, with its real-life location on the platform at Anou Station 京阪穴太駅, northwest of Otsu:

fripSide Decade PV Features both Nao and Nanjou Yoshino

fripSide is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a CD/DVD/BD called Decade, featuring both its original vocalist Nao and its newer vocalist, Nanjou Yoshino. Release date December 5th. The short version of the PV has been released. Yoshino is the one wearing a belt:

fripSide began in 2002 as keyboardist/composer Sat and vocalist Nao. Nao left for a solo career in 2009 and seiyuu Nanjou Yoshino took her place.

fripSide Nao began doing game themes in 2007, with the OP for Koihime Musou, "Flower of Braery." fripSide Yoshino's first release was "Only My Railgun," the theme for To Aru Kagaku no Railgun. This became the group's best seller ever. fripSide went on to do a second Railgun theme ("Level 5: Judgelight"), the theme for a Hayate series ("Heaven is a Place on Earth"), and a theme for a Railgun game ("Way to Answer").

The dancing man who makes a brief appearance is eccentric comic Ruu Oshiba, who I think hosts the live show that is on the DVD/BD.

There are plenty of fripSide videos on YouTube.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Character/seiyuu pages: Psycho-Pass, Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai yo ne

Here are character/seiyuu pics and info for two more new shows. One features a performance that may be Hanazawa Kana's best. The other features a new 14-year-old seiyuu who may be something very special.

Hanazawa Kana
Psycho-pass is a police drama in the noitaminA time-slot. It is set in a future Japan in which psychological tendencies can be identified and potential criminals locked up before they commit a crime.

Our heroine, played by Hanazawa Kana, is a brilliant newly graduated police inspector who finds that the real world is a bit more complicated than she expected. The story is by Urobuchi Gen, who writes for Nitroplus and did both Madoka Magika and Fate/Zero.

I was lukewarm to the first episode, but episode 2 bowled me over. Terrific direction and storyboarding, and an amazing performance by Kana-chan, whose tone of voice just drove the episode forward. Her co-star is Seki Tomokazu, who was also at his best.

Add Ishida Akira, Sawashiro Miyuki, Nojima Kenji, Itou Shizuka, and the gravelly maturity of Arimoto Kenryuu (Patrick Zala in Gundam Seed) and you really have something -- with Sakurai Takahiro yet to come.

OniAi (Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai yo ne) is a full-on harem show featuring the long-lost bro-con sister who comes to live with her brother, the live-in manager of a residence for women. Get it? I resisted, but resistance is futile: the performances and the humour just work.