Strike Witches: First Impression (or, What horror has Gonzo Wrought?)

Strike Witches logoOK, since BOST TV actually allowed PC sized downloads of their series, I thought I would check out the first episode of Strike Witches. Now I kind of wish I didn’t as both my ears and eyes may never be the same again.

First off, the best way to describe Strike Witches is probably Sky Girls meets Moetan meets a dash of Kanokon.

First, the Sky Girls part: loli opposed to war is lured by cool military gadgets into fighting for humanity against evil invaders of some type.

Next, the Moetan part: Blatant loli fanservice. A lot of it. Apparently they’ve living in a time where pants of any kind are banned for all women except seniors. And I mean that. All women wear only panties or bloomers (with optional pantyhose or thigh-highs) below the waste. I’m guessing whomever rules the world at the time is a hard-core pedo.

Finally, the Kanokon part: apparently whenever the girls activate their magic, they sprout something that looks like a fox ears and tail. Not sure why yet, but it probably has something to do with trying to pander to every fetish known to man. I wouldn’t best against some lovey-dovey twin sister pair showing up or something at some point either.

I just had to face palm multiple times as the only battle sequence that was in the first episode had more panty close-up shots than actual shots of the battle, I think.

Oh yeah, and the acting and writing is horrible. And I mean horrible.

While this is a first impression, it may be a last impression as well as I would be hard pressed to put down over $30 to watch this series. It’s almost bad enough that I spent the $3 that I did.

I’m sure the loli and fanservice fans will eat up this series, but I can already tell that this would easily be a contender for worst series of the year if I kept watching it.

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ADV Update: It ain't lookin good for Kanon, NHK, et. al.

It’s hard to tell how much trouble ADV is in, but apparently ADV has had a falling out with their licensing parter Sojitz which, from the sound of it, effectively makes the four titles announced yesterday technically unlicensed for the time being.

The fact that the ADV rep at their Sneak Peak panel talked about how he hoped whomever ended up distributing those titles used the same voice cast was especially foreboding, since it seemed clear that the “whomever” may or may not be ADV Films.

They said they were still working on 23 different licenses, so it doesn’t sound like the company is necessarily in as dire straights as some people have feared, but as I said earlier, this definitely can’t help them.

Anime Expo Industry Panel Schedule

OK, I know AX has already started, and I’m not there in LA (whaaa! It’s my goal in life to, at least once in my life, make the cross-country trip to AX), but in any case, here is the schedule for the industry panels there:

July 4th

11:00am – 12:00pm: Aurora Publishing
12:00 – 1:00pm: Viz Media
12:00 – 1:00pm: Honneamise (aka Bandai Visual)
1:00 – 2:30pm: Dark Horse
3:00 – 4:00pm: Nozomi/Right Stuf International
4:00 – 5:00pm: Bandai Entertainment
4:00 – 5:00pm: ADV Films
5:00 – 6:00pm: Digital Manga

July 5th

10:00 – 11:00am: TokyoPop
11:00am – 12:00pm: Go! Comi
3:30 – 4:30pm: Funimation
3:30 – 4:30pm: Broccoli International
5:00 – 6:00pm: ImaginAsian
5:30 – 6:30pm: Kadokawa USA
5:30 – 6:30pm: CMX

And there are other industry sponsored panels (though not necessarily Q&A panels about the companies themselves) at other times – especially on July 3rd.

And, of course, I apologize if I missed any industry panels.

P.S.:

Uh, oh yeah, those times are almost certainly Pacific Time, so add 3 hours to the time if you’re on the east coast like me.

Strike Witches: Crunchyroll vs. BOST TV Round 2!

In the first round of the Crunchyroll vs. BOST TV battles, it seems to me that Crunchyroll had a clear advantage over BOST TV. While BOST had a better quality stream of the video, you had to pay to see it while, at the same time, you could “donate” as little as $0.01 to download a PC resolution video from Crunchyroll while such a download wasn’t even available from BOST.

However, that has changed now with Strike Witches, with Crunchyroll now giving options to download the episode for $3 or for $5 (you get an added animated badge plus ipod and psp versions if you pay the extra $2).

Meanwhile, they may get more competition from BOST TV this time around, as BOST TV not only offers a better stream of the episode, unless Crunchyroll has improved theirs (though their stream is still free as far as I’m aware), but BOST is offering a PC-sized download for 150 bost points or, conviently, also just about $3 ($2.99 to be exact, I think, though you don’t get any badges or anything with it).

The primary reason I stopped using BOST for Tower of Druaga was the lack of a quality download, and I didn’t feel like putting down $2 to watch it streamed at BOST and then put down another $1 or $2 at Crunchyroll so I could download it. This time, with the better download and an equal price with Crunchyroll, I can feel better sticking to BOST, who I think is much more worthy of my money than Crunchyroll is.

BOST release is a .mp4 file in H.264 at 872×480 resolution while I assume Crunchyroll’s is once again offering a .avi file in Xvid at 854×480 or similar resolution.

Now for the bad news: ADV releases 'Suspended Indefinitely' …again

I hope this thing doesn’t go on 4 or 5 month cycles or whatever. From Robert’s Anime Corner blog:

I just got the word this morning from ADV that the following new releases have been ‘suspended indefinitely’:

Shattered Angels , Vol #2 DVD
Shattered Angels , Vol #2 DVD w Art Box
Kanon, Vol #6 DVD
Tokyo Majin, Vol #4 DVD
Welcome to NHK, Vol #5, 5th Conspiracy DVD

I did not inquire about releases out past 7/8. This is just a quick post, and I’m currently working to get some clarification on what’s going on.

Oh, damn it to hell that Kanon 6 is on the list. And I would agree with Robert on this point:

The ‘deer in the headlights’ deal we went through back in February isn’t going to cut it this time.

Especially since it appears to be yet another licensing problem. Apparently this only applies to new releases (Robert says they’re still getting shipments of the new box set releases, for example), but that is obviously still not good for ADV.

Funimation rescues When They Cry, Shakugan no Shana, Fate/Stay Night, plus others

In what can be filed under the “it’s about nut-#$%#@ing time” category, Funimation has announced that they are producing and distributing some of Geneon’s more popular series, including:

  • Black Lagoon (both seasons)
  • Elemental Gelade
  • Ergo Proxy
  • Fate/Stay Night
  • Hellsing Ultimate
  • Kamichu
  • Karin
  • Kyo kara Maoh! (2nd season only)
  • The Law of Ueki
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (being released as Lyrical Nanoha)
  • Paradise Kiss
  • Rozen Maiden (both seasons)
  • Shakugan no Shana (released as just Shana by Geneon)
  • Shonen Onmyouji
  • The Story of Saiunkoku
  • When They Cry – Higurashi
  • Zero no Tsukaima (being released as the Familiar of Zero)
  • plus the live-action Ninja Vixens

Luckily for myself, I bought up the entire Shana series when Geneon shut down, but many of these other series I just haven’t gotten to yet. Most of these titles were the obvious choices to be picked up as well.

Also, apparently Geneon still holds the actual licenses to these series, but Funimation is going to do all the dirty work for them, including producing and distributing them.

The first titles are scheduled to start their release in Late Summer.

However, this brings up an interesting question…does this mean Geneon may appear on the licensing market again, but will just use Funimation to distribute, kind of in the mold of Kadowaka USA? That had been a possibility floated all along. I think it’s too early to know whether that is the case, however.

Added thought:

If I may, two glaring omissions to this list to me (which doesn’t impact me because I already have both series) are Haibane Renmei and Fushigi Yugi.  Just though I’d say that.