Paperclip Millionaire – Dantalian 8 and Japan’s 1920’s Europe

The first half of Dantalian episode 8 revolves around Camilla’s quest to obtain a rare and expensive teddy bear through a sequence of trades made possible by a phantom book’s guidance. The half-episode is titled “The Straw Millionaire,” after the Japanese folk tale on which it is based (and which Camilla verbally alludes to in the episode).

Interestingly, the sequence of trades begins with a red paperclip that Camilla takes off of Huey. This is an obvious reference to the One Red Paperclip project, wherein Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald obtained a house through a series of internet trades beginning with a red paperclip—a real-life, modern enactment of the folk tale.

I learned about the red paperclip project from researching the straw millionaire story, but what caught my attention in the first place was that the last place I’d encountered this folk tale was in the JRPG Shadow Hearts Covenant. Early in the game, there’s an NPC who tells you that he became a millionaire from a series of trades beginning with a piece of straw, and then gives you one so you can try it for yourself. Throughout the game, you can make trades with NPCs which eventually lead to obtaining a secret weapon. This is noteworthy because Shadow Hearts Covenant takes place in Europe in the time after World War I—the same period and setting in which Dantalian takes place.

Why on Earth does this story come up in two different tales of 1920s Europe? It would make sense for this to happen if the Japanese folk tale had somehow achieved popularity in Europe during that period, but I can’t find any evidence to suggest this from my minimal google research. Still, it’s way too weird to be a coincidence. What gives?

The Theme of “Going Against Type” Runs Deep In Hourou Musuko

Hourou Musuko is the story of a boy who wishes he were a girl and a girl who wishes she were a boy and the cascade of drama and gender confusion surrounding themselves and their friends. It’s safe to say that I’ve never seen a gender-bender nearly as good, nor as effective and in many ways relatable. Knowing all that, this should’ve been obvious.

Horie Yui...?!

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The Bakemonogatari/Durarara Kamiya Sister Phenomenon

Just a quick post on another funny seiyuu connection I noticed.

Kamiya Hiroshi plays the voices of Araragi Koyomi in Bakemonogatari and Orihara Izaya in Durarara!!

Araragi Karen

Throughout Bakemonogatari, Araragi’s two middle-school sisters make several appearances, though they don’t end up doing much (being major characters in the later novels).

Araragi Tsukihi

The new Durarara!! OVA introduced Izaya’s twin younger sisters who likewise haven’t had much screentime yet, but are also major characters later in the novels.

Orihara Mairu

I thought it was interesting that both Kamiya Hiroshi characters had two younger sisters. Doesn’t seem like a strong connection? In both shows, the more energetic sister is played by Kitamura Eri and wears a hooded yellow jacket, while the younger/introverted sister wears green.

Orihara Kururi

How My Tastes Stand Up To The Common Fan’s

The blogosphere is funny in that if viewed exclusively, it gives a skewed perspective of public opinion. Even though there are a hell of a lot of blogs, and between them the full spectrum of opinions on a show is covered, the percentages of people holding those opinions may be opposed to real public opinion. For instance, a number of bloggers may love To Aru Majutsu no Index, but even more dislike it—in spite of the fact that in general, Index is a well-liked series, and if every anime fan was voicing their thoughts, it’d have more of a positive presence in the ‘sphere.

Art by kiriu

Individual perspective doesn’t help. I’m going to break out the statistics in a moment, but first I’ll state that none of my favorite anime are generally considered bad. The only show on my list that has a score below 7.5 on MAL is Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, which is the show I care least about insofar as feeling defensive of its quality.

But because I’m a super-big fan of a show like Canaan, its negative press in the blogosphere makes me feel like I’m part of a small minority who likes the show, when in reality, while it’s not the most popular show on my list, it’s still generally liked overall.

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When You See It, You’ll Shit Bricks – Look-Alike Roles

One of my most memorable moments as a fan came last October while watching Beyblade: Metal Fusion dubbed on Cartoon Network early one morning. The character whose image you see above, named Daidouji, was on the screen, and I joked that “he looks like he’d be played by Koyasu Takehito in the Japanese version.” Realizing that Koyasu is in everything and it might not be such a stretch, I then researched the matter and was stunned to find that he was, in fact, voiced by Koyasu.

The only thing I had to go on with this guess was the character’s appearance. Koyasu just happens to have an assload of characters that look exactly alike. Check out a few of these to see the image I had in my head when I pinned him as the voice of Daidouji.

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What Do Cardcaptor Sakura and Elfen Lied Have In Common?

</bait title>. The answer is Kanbe Mamoru, who directed Elfen Lied and was an episode director and storyboarder on 14 episodes of Cardcaptor Sakura. I’ve got a number of posts planned regarding Kanbe because his career fascinates me, but for now I want to talk about his influence on those episodes.

Kanbe worked as episode director on episodes 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 21, 25, 28, 30, 33, 37, 41, 44, and 48, and he storyboarded all of those except for forty-eight. He performed those two jobs on more episodes than any of the other episode directors (of which there are 24) or storyboarders (of which there are 23) across the 70-episode series.

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Fun With Animation Speculation

I love learning about the hands which create anime. I know a lot of names of directors, seiyuu, character designers, etc., but there are some staff positions that are harder to nail down. For instance, it’s usually hard to determine the significance of individual writers, storyboarders, or animators working on a show, especially when their catalog covers a wide spectrum of genre or quality. Sometimes, the only real way to get a handle on who does what is to find out as many specifics of their work as possible and watch them all.

Tonight, my co-blogger(*cough*) Thoughtcannon came to me with a clip that he’d cut from Dragon Crisis episode 6. It’s a brief fight scene with animation he found familiar, and he wondered if I might know the animator.

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If You Want To Diversify Your Anime Viewing, Stick To Shows With 11 or 22 Episodes

Much like the episode 8 phenomenon I pointed out some time ago, there’s something that most 11 and 22-episode shows have in common besides their odd length. At least nine times out of ten, a series with one of these rare episode counts is bound to be among the most unusual anime on TV.

I first noticed this about 22-episode anime after seeing Texhnolyze and Red Garden, two of the most unusual anime ever made, which for a long time were the only 22-episode anime I’d even heard of. The 11-episode phenomenon came to my attention after Kuuchuu Buranko and Youjohan Shinwa Takei. If you’ve seen any of the four anime I just mentioned, you’ve probably already begun to understand the significance of this phenomenon.

And these episode counts *are* exceedingly rare. Performing a MAL search of TV anime by episode count, there’s only about 1 page worth of either number out of over 100 pages. That almost every anime with 11 or 22 episodes is distinctly unique says to me that it’s being done on purpose. One common trend in the recent shows with these episode counts is belonging to the noitaminA time-slot, which is itself dedicated to unique anime; however, it is neither the case that all of the shows in this phenomenon are from that time-slot, nor that everything in that time-slot is 11 or 22 episodes long.

Here are examples of some 11 and 22-episode anime that I particularly enjoyed.

Kuuchuu Buranko (11 eps)

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Is Nakata Jouji Taking Wakamoto Norio’s Place?

Wakamoto Norio is one of the best-known and best-liked seiyuu in the Western fandom, renowned for his thunderous and booming voice that lends to unforgettable villains and comic performances, as well as for his smooth, “sober” voice that makes him one of the coolest cats around. According to ANN, he’s the 14th-most prolific Japanese seiyuu, and indeed, his name can be seen on an incredible number of cast lists, often playing joke and cameo roles that’re obviously written with the purpose of having him play the character.

A couple of years ago, it seemed like everywhere I turned, there was another Wakamoto role, but then last year that all but ceased. I can’t remember hearing Wakamoto’s voice in a single 2010 anime, and I watched quite a few of them.

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Trying To Make K-On!! Songs Easier To Sing

As I’m sure you know, I’m very passionate about karaoke (if you don’t know, please familiarize yourself with these videos~). Being as K-On!! was one of the best shows of the year and was a show about music with a number of really good opening and ending themes (even some great B-sides!), it seems like perfect karaoke material.

Or it would, were the songs not insanely difficult to sing. I pride myself on being exceptional at singing fast and complex songs—last Otakon, I did Shounen Heart, a rap song by Home Made Kazoku from Eueka Seven, almost without error (and those errors aren’t made all the time). But K-On’s music is a whole level above that.

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