Digiboy’s Character Database of Love – 25. Rail Tracer & 26. Yunocchi

This is the thirteenth post in Digiboy’s Character Database of Love. I finally burned through all of the character submissions by ghostlightning and robert weizer—if you’d like to submit a character to the database as well, send me an email about it.

Continue reading

Last Call For Acadime Awards Presenters

The Acadime Awards begin in 5 days. There are still 10 positions open, so in the event that I can’t find volunteers, I’ll present those awards myself. I also want to take this opportunity to remind contributers about the awards in case they’ve forgotten (as I had for a few days lol). So far, all the write-ups I’ve received have been excellent, so I look forward to what everyone else will bring forth~

Since drmchsr0 never contacted me about his interest in writing for it, the Best Villain category is available again.

Current Confirmed Contributers: ghostlightning, taka, zzeroparticle, lolikitsune, 2D Teleidoscope, mefloraine, schneider, Chii

Write-ups that I’ve received so far: Best Fight Scene (Robot), Best ED, Best Female Character, Best Movie, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Movie

Dates I need write-ups by for other categories: Best Character Designs—Feb 5; Best Actress in a Supporting Role—Feb 6; Best Original Soundtrack—Feb 8; Best Breakthrough Performance—Feb 11; Best On-Screen Couple—Feb 14; Best Mecha Design—Feb 15 ; Best OVA For An Existing Franchise—Feb 16; Best Original OVA—Feb 21; Best Actor in a Leading Role—Feb 22; Best Actress in a Leading Role—Feb 24; Best Writing—Feb 25; Best Male Character—Feb 26; Best Series—Feb 28

Categories which do not yet have a presenter (and dates I need write-ups by):

Best Animation (Movie/OVA)—Feb 7
Best Animation (TV)—Feb 2
Best Animation Director (If you even know what this entails, then you’re my wo/man)—Feb 10
Best Art Director (same as above)—Feb 13
Best Director—Feb 18
Best Fight Scene (Human)—Feb 12
Best On-Screen Team—Feb 23
Best OP—Feb 1
Best Scene—Feb 17
Best Villain—Feb 20

I WAS NOT READY FOR THAT SHIT, MADOKA.

When writing my last post, I didn’t really get why Urobuchi Gen thought now was the time to come out about the lie of Madoka Magica. Of course, that’s because I’m an idiot who hadn’t watched the third episode.

Part of my brain is saying ,”no way, she can’t be dead—she’s in the opening theme, on the promo material…”

But the other half is saying, “SHAFT already trolled us to begin with, they’re known for changing opening themes, and everything makes sense now.”

I’d read that there was a death in this episode, but I could never have expected this. Now I really understand why they bothered with that troll—so that our expectations wouldn’t leave us prepared for this.

Now I’ve got that Shiki 19 feeling of total despair and emptiness.

This show is a masterpiece.

Update: Now that I’ve given it more thought, I really don’t trust that Mami is dead. It seems like there was way too much foreshadowing about her character to end her time in the series. DiGiKerot also pointed out that there’s a chance Madoka could wish her back to life if it’s possible.

Well, It Looks Like We Can Stop Thinking So Hard About Madoka Magica Now

At least according to the blogosphere’s biggest SHAFT expert.

Since I haven’t posted on Madoka here, I’ll explain the situation up to now. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is the latest SHAFT offering, which garnered lots of pre-release hype because of the huge combination of cult-favorite creators brought together to develop it. Link’s introduction to the team is very helpful, as is ringOtamegane’s lengthy and detailed history of everyone involved in the production, which gives a great sense of why and how these people were brought together.

Read those posts for juicy details, but the important thing to this post is that this series is directed by Team Shinbo, written by Urobuchi Gen, and scored by Kajiura Yuki. Now, Shinbo has worked on many different kinds of shows, but his work feels most at home when he does big dark gothy nightmares such as The SoulTaker and Petit Cossette (pre-SHAFT) and gets to inflict a dark tone on a series, like in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Tsukuyomi Moonphase. Petit Cossette happens to be my favorite of Shinbo’s directorial efforts, and it was also scored by Kajiura, both of which made it the purest expression of “gothic” (and “lolita”) in anime.

Urobuchi Gen meanwhile is a writer best known for his work on Nitro+ erotic visual novels, all of which are notably dark and violent. His most famous work is Saya no Uta, widely considered one of the greatest visual novels of all time, which is known for its heavy Lovecraft influence, intense scenes of rape and gore, and loli porn. Suffice it to say, Urobuchi has never written something lighthearted.

All of this is why it became confusing when the production team claimed that Madoka Magica was supposed to be a “traditional” magical girl series (see Link’s post), and that Urobuchi was trying to change his image and do something lighthearted. It only got more confusing when the show began and was clearly far darker and more sinister than a casual magical girl anime. Otou-san and I (via comments) speculated on whether the creators might’ve intended for a traditional show but just weren’t capable of it; sdshamshel, a mahou shoujo aficionado, has tried to help viewers who know that Madoka Magica is some kind of subversion, but don’t know what kind because they don’t know the genre well, understand how this show subverts classical mahou shoujo anime.

As one who champions creator’s intent in interpreting anime, I’d been curious about why this show was so blatanly subversive when the creators had so clearly stated that it wouldn’t be. According to ringOtomegane, that question has been answered: SHAFT trolled us all.

The case appears to be that SHAFT wanted to throw a curveball at audiences and purposefully made the show look like normal mahou shoujo on the previews. According to Urobuchi’s twitter, they’d intended to hide his involvement altogether, but since that proved to be impossible, they instead came up with the lie that he was trying to change his image. Urobuchi is apparently happy that he doesn’t have to keep the secret anymore.

So there you have it. Yes, they gathered my “gothic dream team” with the intent of doing something dark, yes it’s a subversion of the genre, and yes, it’s all intentional. (Apparently.)

Meanwhile, I’m planning to episodically blog this show once it’s all over.

Related: If you want to learn more about SHAFT, I highly recommend ringOtomegane’s detailed history and exploration of the studio’s personnel. It’s given me a much better idea of who does what at SHAFT.

ULTRA-IMMORTAL UVALL Episode 1 (Super Robot Wars J)

Ghostlightning hasn’t been able to shut up about Super Robot Wars J, and since I’ve also longed for one of these ridiculously awesome games to come out in English, I decided to help him build a bandwagon that I hope can get even more people. Why? Because this game is excellent for blogging.

You can read gl’s post linked above to get a basic summary of what the game is and why it’s so amazing, but the important thing to know for this post is that the game lets you name your character, mech, and attacks; and even lets you get bonuses on your three favorite franchises represented in the game. What this means is that everyone’s experience of the game will be different; each player gets to live out their own insane mecha fantasy. Sure, the story is going to be basically the same for everyone, but what really matters is that I can kill the final boss with “BAAAAKUNETSU! GODO FINGAAAA!!!,” and my brother can kill it with “BIG BANG PAAAANCHI!!!,” and gl can do it with his penis, etc.

Unlike gl, my mecha-fu isn’t that strong—I’ve heard of all the shows in this game, but most of them I haven’t seen. My three favorites are Martian Successor Nadesico, Mobile Fighter G Gundam, and Full Metal Panic, because those are the only three I’ve seen in full. (Besides that I’ve seen some of Mazinkaiser and Tekkaman Blade, but not a lot.) I’m okay with this—sure, I’d rather be playing the one where Bright Noa slaps Ikari Shinji (who wouldn’t?), but it’s more than enough that I get to have Hoshino Ruri, Gai Daigouji, Allenby Beardsley, the entire Shuffle Alliance, D-Boy, and Sagara Sousuke on one fucking ship together (just thinking about it makes my brain erode under tidal waves of fuckwin). I’m not far enough that I have these things yet, but I look forward to them.

(I didn’t take any screenshots because this post was unplanned, but I will in the future. Meanwhile, here’s a video run of the first stage in Japanese, for those who want an idea of the gameplay or want to see the awesome fights in action.)

Continue reading

How Does A Light Novel Get An Illustrator?

I promise this isn’t just filler, it’s a question that’s been bothering me and this seemed like the best place to reach for an answer.

Just how did VOFAN get attached to Bakemonogatari? http://gelbooru.com/index.php?page=post&s=list&tags=vofan

How does an illustrator get attached to a light novel? Do writers go to an artist before they try to get published, or do they meet artists through the publisher? Does the author pay the illustrator before publication, or do both the author and illustrator get paid by the publisher? And if the author does pay the illustrator beforehand, then does the illustrator make any money off of the publication? Is it usually a “professional” illustrator that works on a light novel, or someone the author found on pixiv and launched into stardom with the publication?

Besides my interest as a light novel fan, I’m also interested in this as a writer. I would really love to do some of my works in the style of light novels, so I want to know just how I should go about attaching an illustrator to my works.