It's a cold, processed, almost colorless world, but people still reach out to one another in My Teenage Romantic Comedy is SNAFU 2.

It’s a cold, processed, almost colorless world, but people still reach out to one another in “My Teenage Romantic Comedy is SNAFU 2”.

When word came that Yanagi Nagi was going to work with Round Table for the OP to the second season of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru, I was pretty excited to hear the results. Nagi has a great voice, and Round Table is an awesome band, but they need a vocalist for people to realize what they can do. They did a great number backing Maaya Nakamoto a few years back, but their big hits are back in the “featuring Nino” period.

I also like the visual treatment, that features a limited palette and a lot of graphic textures. The following two images show how the graphic treatment and limited palette is used in contrast to periodic moments that might represent those times in Hikigaya’s life when people manage to crack through the stony facade he has constructed.

BEFORE: Hikigaya's desaturated, cold life is about to be interrupted.

BEFORE: Hikigaya’s desaturated, cold life is about to be interrupted.

AFTER: the brief moment when Hikigaya connects with another person, bring warmth and color into his life.

AFTER: the brief moment when Hikigaya connects with another person, bring warmth and color into his life.

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Largo taking out a tank in Valkyria Chronicles.

Largo taking out a tank in Valkyria Chronicles.

Although I don’t blog here a lot, I continue to enjoy Anime, and check in on the many great aniblogging sites that are out there. One of the sites I check often is LuRa’s Anime Blog. Lucretia and Raven (with the occasional help of some friends) blog about several shows, but they also have an ongoing Song of the Week series.  I love many things about anime, including the music, so I love checking out the song of the week, either to hear an old fave again, or to learn about something new.

I listen to a lot of anime and J-Pop as well, so I occasionally link to music videos in my Twitter stream, but the tenacity with which Lu and Ra keep posting on their blog, despite being busy with exams (and all things life) inspired me to put up a song here for y’all.

I selected the second ED to Valkyria Chronicles. This was a show based upon a game that I really enjoyed. It had some substance to the themes, lots of characters to whom I grew attached, and most of all some killer game-play. The series moved off the PS3, unfortunately, so I only ever got to play the first installment. The anime adaption was interesting, and the second ED provided that emotional space to digest some of the more intense things that occur.

The song is sung by Hikari Inoue, and is named “Hitotsu no Negai” (My only wish).

These very sad eyes reflect the sky,
without understanding those words,
I simply counted the stars.

I hope you enjoy it!

Space Dandy stakes his claim.

Space Dandy stakes his claim.

The first episode of Space Dandy turned out to be mostly silliness. As I said in my season preview, this show just doesn’t look like it is going to have the heft that you might expect from Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop).

“X Jigen e Youkoso” by Etsuko Yakushimaru

Meanwhile the Ending theme, sung by Etsuko Yakushimaru was actually quite pleasant, although not as attention-grabbing as her work on, say Mawaru PenguinDrum.

Ayesha eagerly whips out a flask of flammable liquid she made back in the workshop.

Ayesha eagerly whips out a flask of flammable liquid she made back in the workshop.

Atelier Ayesha: Alchemist of the Ground of Dusk is a JRPG that was released in the USA in March 2013 for the PS3. The main character is an alchemist who is searching for a way to rescue her younger sister. Along the way, the player will meet new friends, collect flowers, and make their own bombs. The storyline is a bit over-cute at times, but the game play is quite good, if you enjoy crafting and turn-based combat. The graphics are very good as well.

The rest of this post is a sampling of the fine music you will hear while playing the game.

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Aoi Yuuki: moe of the grotesque.

Aoi Yuuki: moe of the grotesque.

Aoi Yuuki has released, Meriba, her 2nd album. Many know her as a tremendously talented seiyuu, whose vocal range gives her the ability to play all kinds of characters. Personally I think her best role was Toshiko Tatsuno in Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, because the role of the very unstable Tatsuno (aka Tattsuntsun) gave her the opportunity to use so much of her range.

Popon-pon_2

Aoi Yuuki with pink machine gun.

When Aoi Yuuki used that surprising range on earlier work (notably on the track “Night Parade” from her first album, and “Incertitude”, a Gosick character song), the effect was something like Kate Bush, a wildly dramatic, and very expressive performance. For her second album, Yuuki has reigned the dramatics in, and the material is more predictable. I rather like “Popon .. pon!”, and “Sanctuary Alice”, but the album doesn’t have the impact of her first album. If provided the right material, she could do some very interesting work.

I’ve only found a link for a partial video for “Popon .. pon”, but here it is.

A show that so far has simple ideas, but a strong design sense.

A show that so far has simple ideas, but a strong design sense.

This post is based on watching the first three episodes of Amnesia. The show has a very strong design sense; it is also clearly based on an otome game. Although (as with any otome-sourced anime) the show is largely an excuse to get a girl into a situation where she needs to interact with a bunch of guys, Amnesia actually manages to establish itself as a Mystery. Our nameless heroine doesn’t know how she relates to those around her, and her attachment to reality is demonstrated to be thin, right from the start. Instead of just presenting the story as the mystery of who she is and/or what happened to cause her to lose her memories, inexplicable, even supernatural, elements are added in ways that make little sense (but maybe in a good way?).

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“Linda” stumbles onto just one of the many mysteries awaiting the girls on Akabaster.

AKB0048 episode 5 didn’t have any of the battle action (or even song and dance routines) we have come to expect from this series, but what it did deliver are several bizarre mysteries that continue the world-building, as well as deepening the story.  First I comment on the incredible scenery of Akabaster, the AKB0048 home planet, then I look at the following mysteries: 1) Tomochin, 2) the Center, and 3) Quadruple-S.

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