Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Been A While, Let's Revolutionize the World!

After a long haul through the summer and the beginning of the semester, I hope you’re all glad to find me back and blogging again. Unfortunately  this is going to be just as sporadic as ever, especially with  my class load (the professors have conspired to give me three research papers at the same time).  I know it must be fall, as people are getting around to discussing the Ao no Exorcist finale, and from what I can tell the only worthwhile part of summer were the continuation of spring series such as Tiger and Bunny and Hanasaku Iroha (even Gosick finale’d over the summer).

As for my anime fix, I’ve caught up with Tiger and Bunny and am catching up with Hanasaku again. Nichijou is my “wake-up” show, though I haven’t watched it in a while to help wake up. Apart from these I’ve been going through Naoki Urasawa’s Monster and Revolutionary Girl Utena with my roommate. As a result there are a large number of quotes taped up around our room, though more from Utena then anything else.
Speaking of Utena, Rightstuf has a promotion going on that if you order all three limited box sets, you’ll get a reproduction of the rose ring famous in the series. I couldn’t resist, but it was well worth it. I can’t say much on the third box set as that was a preorder, but the digital remastering of the Student Council and Black Rose saga are fantastic. Reading through the booklets that come with each of the sets describes what the process entailed. For those working on the film itself they had free reign on formats: they could move from the 4:3 ratio of old televisions to the high def ration. Every part of a scene is present again, and it definitely frames certain times a lot better. When Anthy is in the garden, for example, you can see the entire garden around her. The recoloring and touchups (removing character skeletons that might have still been visible or overall brightening of a scene) also serve to enhance the original show, bringing it up to par with today’s standards of animation, yet also leaving a nostalgic feeling.

Due to higher resolution, you can see things you couldn't before, like Utena's ahoge!

They remastered the sound as well, though this is not something I can really experience in a dorm room (You’d need a Surround Sound system). They’ve added more bells to create a fuller sound, but also moved around some of the dialogue in comparison to insert sounds. One sound that is clearly added in the remastering is a sort of shimmering when Utena draws the sword from Anthy. As I watch the dub, I can’t say much for the lines that were rerecorded in the Japanese version (the dub is the same old dub as before), but apparently Utena’s seiyuu was still spot on after fifteen years.

The power of Dios that rests within me...

To some, the show itself may be a bit dated, as it did come out in the nineties shortly after Sailor Moon. But like Sailor Moon it is dear to its fans hearts. There’s so much that happens in it, and it is one of the few fencing animes I know of (if not the only fencing anime I know of). What makes it really unique is the meaning behind each of the episodes: during the School Council saga we see Utena overcome several virtuous obstacles, and in the Black Rose saga…well that’s for another time.

Look, look at how red my hair is now!

There aren’t too many things coming out in the fall I’m particularly excited for, as most are continuations of shows from last year (Squid Girl, Bakuman, Working!!). To be honest, though, there are still quite a bit of shows in summer I want to finish up that never had the chance to watch. I might take up a couple of shows, and I might just finish up my Tutu review, so stay tuned!