[In which I review] New anime, Winter 2012

Ikselam

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I'm loving the hell out of Mouretsu Pirates.
The thing that makes me go :D in a that-doesn't-make-any-fucking-sense way, though?
FTL solar sails.
While their solar sail is generating unrealistically immense acceleration (under a week to complete an orbit which takes them past a planet on the other side of the sun, and back to their home -- all while the interior of the ship remains at zero g apart from the officers' quarters?) I am positive that it's not meant to be their hyperdrive.
 

s/LaSH

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I'm loving the hell out of Mouretsu Pirates.

The thing that makes me go :D in a that-doesn't-make-any-fucking-sense way, though?

FTL solar sails.

It's like a super-sonic sailboat!
I'm not sure what the heck's up with the Odette II. I think they're doing an STL run through their home system, Tau Ceti; their course is analogous to doing a Mercury flyby at maximum separation, and that's only a dozen light minutes, which is taking them several days. That much is fine. I believe they also mentioned they had another drive system, but they're not using it for this voyage. That's also fine.

The fact that the Odette II has masts similar in relative size to those on a sailing ship, however, is not so fine. The sails themselves appear to be foil umbrella-shaped elements, several to a spar. And you're not catching any solar wind on an umbrella.

The most recent episode made me much happier, however. Whenever you saw the ship from the outside, she was surrounded in a sort of huge ethereal structure. Maybe that was lens flare from Tau Ceti on the sail elements, but it's possible it was a much more diffuse particle sail simply anchored to the primary masts. That would do the job. It might also be that the sails are actually just photoelectric elements and the ship runs on some sort of high-efficiency ion drive or more advanced system. I'm not sure what the limits of their field and propulsion technology might be, or whether there's any sort of FTL (interstellar war background suggests yes, but on-screen tech suggests it's not used casually).

No, the sails don't bother me any more. What bothers me is one shot where some ships are passing the Odette going the other way. This is established to be circumsolar space; anybody there should be moving at interplanetary velocity. That means thousands of kilometers per second: not visible on film velocity. But the ships just seem to be cruising past like water vessels. However, I can forgive that too; there's nothing actually saying the ships were coming the other way. The reasoning is a bit of a spoiler so:
Spoiler: Show
The Odette has just disabled a pirate ship that was coming after her in circumsolar space. The ships in question are military, headed to pick up the pirates. But if they want to match trajectories, they need to match velocities - and the pirates must still be on a ballistic trajectory very similar to the Odette's, reasonably close to the Odette. So the military ships must move at a very similar speed to the Odette, very close to the Odette. I imagine they came in behind her and matched velocities. What we're seeing is probably just a braking burn from the main drives, explaining why they're facing backwards. If they were coming in for a kill, they'd probably do a relativistic pass and be invisible on film.


So yeah. Did they do that on purpose? I don't know, but it makes sense in the paradigm the show presents.

In other words, also loving this show. Anything that can make me analyse orbital trajectory matching has enough smarts to get my attention.
 

Ikselam

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Whenever you saw the ship from the outside, she was surrounded in a sort of huge ethereal structure. Maybe that was lens flare from Tau Ceti on the sail elements, but it's possible it was a much more diffuse particle sail simply anchored to the primary masts.
When Marika deploys her "secret weapon," you can clearly see that the sails aren't the masts themselves, but the much larger, magical force-field structures projected from them. The umbrellas on the masts must be either field emitters, solar cells to power the emitters, or both.
 

Jeph

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Yeah, it's pretty clear that the actual sail is a fuckoff-huge magnetic thingamajiggy.

Ya'll're (double apostrophe!) right; it's probably not actually faster-than-light. I blame the fansub—they kept translating 砂の赤星 as "Desert of the Red Star," and even though I know damn well that they're using 星 to mean planet, here, as in "The Red Planet of Desert," I kept assuming that this meant they were cruising to another system.
 

Jhiday

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Just from reading that description, it doesn't sound terrible or anything.
It is a decent setup, but 5 episodes to get to the explanation was a bit much. Also, the silliness of the deaths doesn't help taking the series seriously.
 

ru

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It is a decent setup, but 5 episodes to get to the explanation was a bit much. Also, the silliness of the deaths doesn't help taking the series seriously.
what killed the show for me was the frequent cutaways when someone was about to say something interesting, and other instances of "plottus interruptus".
 

Ikselam

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Ya'll're (double apostrophe!) right; it's probably not actually faster-than-light. I blame the fansub—they kept translating 砂の赤星 as "Desert of the Red Star," and even though I know damn well that they're using 星 to mean planet, here, as in "The Red Planet of Desert," I kept assuming that this meant they were cruising to another system.
The translators must be following the pattern of the characters' homeworld, "Sea of the Morning Star," whose name makes even less sense in English if you render "boshi" as "planet." I figure the planets in that solar system just have unusually poetic names.
 

Wolfwood2

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The translators must be following the pattern of the characters' homeworld, "Sea of the Morning Star," whose name makes even less sense in English if you render "boshi" as "planet." I figure the planets in that solar system just have unusually poetic names.
The names don't bother me. I like that they have these poetic, gorgeous names. Especially since Sea of the Morning Star is apparently a miracle world, the most earth-like planet ever discovered.
 

Jhiday

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Gokujyo.
(6-minutes episodes)

What's it about ?

Raunchy "comedy" set in girls' high school.

This series became infamous when the network refused to air the first episode ; the producers also pulled the third one off the air due to "self-restraint". Quite frankly, it sounds more and more like a publicity stunt.

Characters

Aya, our protagonist. Self-centered, rude, abusive to her "friends", and often downright stupid, she has no redeeming features whatsoever. (Well, unless you're into huge, fake-looking melons.) Most of the series revolves around her histrionics.

Konatsu, Aya's best friend chewtoy. Innocent and pitiful, she makes for an easy target.

A few other characters show up, such as their bland third friend, the resident pervert, Aya's delinquent sisters...

Production Values

Not very good, but hey, it's a comedy, it doesn't matter. I do like a bit how Aya's face constantly changes artstyles depending on her mood.

It's obviously very fanservice-y, what with Aya constantly spilling out of her blouse or spending most of the first episode without panties on... But it does feel like the creators are just baiting the censors in a bid for controversy. (The next two episodes are way tamer, aside from a gratuitous short scene of Aya and Konatsu's butts at one point in the third.)

Overall Impression

Oh, dear. A comedy series that ain't funny. What's more to say ?

Well, that may be overstating it a bit : there are a few jokes that do work. The problem is that the show proceeds to drive every one of them into the ground with no subtlety whatsoever. Also, while Aya could work in small doses, a whole show about her (even in 6-minute shorts) just makes her unbearable. I get that we're supposed to hate her, but there's too much of her here.

Also, the censor-baiting got on my nerves after a while. Especially when it became clear that the show was way more comfortable recycling Azumanga Daioh's hiccup skit. It just feels forced.
 

nargun

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The translators must be following the pattern of the characters' homeworld, "Sea of the Morning Star," whose name makes even less sense in English if you render "boshi" as "planet." I figure the planets in that solar system just have unusually poetic names.
They do; if you check the kanji spellings [most on-scren text is romaji, but the kanji has turned up on screen once or twice, and a google search showed some more stuff], the の isn't written but implicit [海明星 and 砂赤星], like a name out of japanese mythology [eg, kusanagi no tsurugi, 草薙剣].

[there's also 石白星 and 海森星, which last hasn't I think appeared on screen [I got it on a google search] and may be a typo.
 
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