I haven’t written much lately as I have been preoccupied with other things. The heating in my house is failing and it seems a good time of year to get some quotes (not today though – cold!). Also the windows could do with replacing – but did you know that double glazing has a limited life? If I’d replaced all the windows when I’d bought the house they’d all be out of guarantee by now and might need replacing again! On the street side, I still have the original windows which are 110 years old.
New anime from NHK. Judging from the characters it is meant for Japanese elementary schoolers rather than otaku, but it throws in some quite grown-up concepts in the first episode. It’s tough to take it all in, in just one viewing, but it seems the young heroine has moved to a city where there is a more advanced cyber-infrastructure, which can be viewed with a pair of viewers looking like ordinary spectacles. They have cyber-pets. If you watch closely, there is a scene where the younger sister (looking a bit like Mei in “Tototo”) drops her bag on their cyber-pet, and instead of squashing the dog, the bag just goes through it. And it seems something is going a bit wrong with the infrastructure, for there are rogue things roaming about, and holes where cyber-pets vanish.
Production values are high, as one expects with NHK, and no doubt this will be very popular.
A private enterprise manned space company is trying to develop their launchers at a base in the Solomon Islands. They keep blowing up, much to the delight of the natives who enjoy the free fireworks. The despairing engineering director decides to revert to a lower-powered but reliable booster rocket, which means that they have to cut the weight of the payload. At this point, their astronaut candidate decides he has had enough of the sadistic training regime already, and does a runner.
Enter a Japanese girl, who for reasons not yet clear, has come to the islands to look for her father. The director hits on a brainwave – why not use the pilot already tried and tested in many other anime – the petite Japanese schoolgirl?
This is a science-fiction comedy – and though some have found the storyline implausible, I find it less implausible than many more po-faced anime featuring adolescent pilots, to which we have already been subjected. It’s also quite funny and looks set to be popular.
The story of two high-school kids who would appear to be matched well enough to get together as a couple, since they are interested in the same things, enjoy the same sort of boisterous sports and even start speaking in synch. Just one problem – the girl is 170cm tall, which makes her a sort of Japanese Brigitte Nielsen, and the boy is unusually short, so that she is more than a head taller than him. And they are both self-conscious about their height, not helped by their teacher naming them after a well-known TV comedy act.
More comedy ensues as both try to solve their problem by finding another boyfriend/girlfriend. Ths is pleasant enough and really quite funny, and seems set to be popular. On the other hand, “School Rumble” covered similar ground and did it much better.
Did I write about this already? It’s now up to episode 17. A story about classical music students, in which the talented Chiaki, not lacking in self-esteem, studies piano and then switches to conducting. He gets involved with the exasperating Noda, or Nodame, a girl who could be a fine pianist if she tried a bit harder. Nodame has a flat which looks like a rubbish tip, can’t cook, and has made up her mind to be Chiaki’s wife and a kindergarten teacher, in that order.
Excellent comedy, interesting insights into the world of classical music, and some fine music, not to mention a cute heroine, make this well worth watching.