Since my previous post, the blog’s resource consumption has dropped within limits, winning the site a reprieve from suspension by the host and, if that happened, me giving up the hontou ni ghost. With the release of WordPress 3.6 and the renewal of web hosting in October fast approaching, let’s trot this old warhorse out for a bit and see if it’s still got legs under it.
I’ve enjoyed many of Kana Ueda’s roles, most memorably Yumi Fukuzawa in MariMite where, after much melodrama as well as mentoring (mostly by Sei-sama), she grows into a worthy Oneesama. She also portrays the most interesting range of emotions as Hayate Yagami in the Nanoha franchise, not least, her latent lechery. But she is memorable also for her minor roles. For example, the line from the above screencapped Sora no Woto scene: “If the world is ending, what are we fighting for?” (which also captures my feelings about blogging with your own domain and host but not knowing if it’s going to be there tomorrow or not) haunted me long after I finished watching the series. I was disappointed by how this was not developed at all (cf. Erica’s observation about the woeful lack of world building) but Captain Yukiko Miyaoka’s apocalyptic (rhetorical?) question, delivered with such poignancy by Ueda, still sends a chill down my spine.
I haven’t seen Ueda in many (any?) new roles so thank goodness for continuing roles like Mii Konori in the Railgun franchise and, of course, one of her biggest roles, Rin Tohsaka of the Nasuverse. The Fate franchise definitely does not suffer from a lack of world building. If anything, it is so complex and over-wrought that it verges unintentionally into the comical. The Carnival Phantasm spinoff picks up on this vein very well and has found a new revenue stream by poking fun at all these things. Rin being a child genius and hard worker is also a bit of an insufferable know-it-all (no match of Izuko Gaen though) so it was a riot to see her contortions when it came to her inability to get the BD recorder to work properly. One supposes this kind of minor hitch seems like the end of the world if, pride aside, it was your love interest who asked you for help to do this seemingly simple task. I will almost certainly marathon Prisma Illya after its TV broadcast run has concluded, also due to the Shizu-sama Doctrine with respect to Luviagelita Edelfelt (also to soothe my feelings about seeing the plum Akiha role taken away from Shizuka Itou even if arguably her voice acting profile has changed for the better such that Luvia is a more suitable role for her now).
On the other hand, methinks Girls Und Panzer struck a nice balance between over-simplification and over-wroughtness with respect to its world-making. Surprisingly, it actually attempted to answer a lot of questions about the rules and the mechanics of the tank tournaments in the two OVAs. Its greatest advantage, though, was largely from the element of surprise. I think those of us who went it with very low expectations (or even terribad expectations given the ludicrousness of the premise) came out of the experience with much more satisfaction compared to those who went in afterwards, lured by the buzz generated by the former group. My love for Garupan (such a naughty abbreviation) was consolidated by that most memorable visit to the seaside town of Ooarai, onboard the special custom Garupan train, with Kurogane and friends last winter. In this series, Ueda played the rather flaky Student Council Vice President Momo who is often too gungho but also gives into despair when under pressure. Let’s just say she’s a very emotional character but, try as I did, I couldn’t hate her even though she did remind me so much of a few former military superiors and colleagues who were, despite being hugely capable as staff officers were manifestly unsuitable for command but were promoted into command positions nonetheless because that’s the only way to climb the greasy pole. I suppose it also helped that Momo pretty much redeemed herself by the end of the series by gracefully accepting her redesignated role, letting Miho know her worries and, of course, giving it her all in protecting their school which is, for them, literally a world unto itself.