Tag Archives: touhou project

[12 Days of Anime] Day 10 – My anime design principle


Hatsune Miku

I am not a good artist and neither a good designer. However from a ‘real’ audience point of view, I know honestly what I like and it is not something that what others told me to like or what to hate. If I were to design my own anime characters I’d follow these design principle:

“Design and decoration must seduce, shape, and more importantly, evoke an emotional response.”

That’s it, it must be able to ‘seduce’, something lovely to the eyes, pleasing to look at. Anything that’s opposite to this would be deemed as ugly. How do I measure it? Well for me if the look alone is enough to seduce without the help of the plot/story to support it then it’s won already. I’d take keion for example, where there are cases where people fall in love with the characters even without/before watching the anime. Miku Hatsune, the Vocaloid doesn’t even have a fixed personality to begin with, other than being a 16 year-old girl as touted by the developer/creator, still managed to become a world-class “pop star”. Her derivative, known as Black Rock Shooter is also doing very well. Not to mention the female characters from the bullet-hell shooting game Touhou Project (all of them) also have thousands of fans worldwide. If you ask me to show the example of “ugly” character then I have not much to say as I normally don’t watch/follow what I hate. After all isn’t that what fans have always told the ‘haters’? I mean the popular saying “If you don’t like it, don’t watch!” However stumbling upon hateable stuff in inevitable or impossible. That said, I hate the design of Panty & Stocking (the anime). In fact I think most people like it because it has the anime to support the design. I don’t think the some people who love it now would love it if it was from some American cartoon that carries different name/title and different story.

Of course design alone is not enough if we’re talking about anime in general. That’s why I always insist that anime has to have proper plot/storyline to accompany the characters. After all characters are designed for the sake of the plot, not the other way round, where you could design a character to look like in any way you wanted it to be solely based on the plot given to you but there’s no way telling what kind of plot from a character design alone. This is what I meant by “emotional response”. For me the genuine emotional response can only be triggered by the story. It doesn’t matter how bad the drawing is. It also doesn’t matter how bad the animation is. If it is enough to evoke an emotional response in you than it already won half of the battle. I maybe biased in this and I could be wrong too but again the one who is being entertained here is me and this is why how the character look and in what story they’re in is important to me. Otherwise I would not find them that entertaining. For any anime to entertain me, it has to do the above without fail. With that said, I do admit that my No. 1 favorite character, Mami-san (and the rest of Madoka Magica characters) is badly drawn and I even criticized it in my post here. Also I never liked SHAFT anime studio to begin with but the story and my emotional response towards it saved Madoka Magica from being dropped/hated in my watchlist. Yes I am extremely picky but regardless how picky I am it doesn’t concern anybody.

Français : Chibi de Miku Hatsune.
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[12 Days of Anime] Day 4 – Music in anime


When it comes to audio entertainment I’m always go to anime first. While most people would use the radio (both online or “offline”/on-air radio) for music discovery, I use anime instead. I treat anime like a music discovery tool in a similar way people treat the radio. It is because to me music discovered from anime is like music of “the chosen one”. There must be something special about it that it became the OP/ED/BGM of an anime. In other words, listening to anime music is like listening to something of special value, a value that is usually missing from randomly discovered music in radio.
Anime maybe my default music discovery tool but it is not the only one. There are at least 3 other sources for my music, namely games (eroge/visual novel included), Jdrama and not to forget doujin music circles. That said if I were to make a ranking anime has always be at the top, followed by the rest. I hardly take recommendations because I can’t simply accept it. For me music has to be good not only for my ears but also “good” in terms of being used in anime.
So how did some music that didn’t come from the above sources ended up in my collection anyway? Well, if you look carefully they are either classics, music from the yesteryear, nostalgic music from my distant past that I’ll always be fond of (like the vintage rock in the 70’s & 80’s). Even if you still managed to find newer/recent non-anime/games/jdrama/doujin music in my collection, again look carefully and you’ll find they’re sung by the same artists who sing for some of the sources above.
Recently anime music has become less interesting to me. I don’t think I’m the one who have changed, it must be the anime. Although I listen to many kinds of music I usually tend to pick Jrock over Jpop, as well as classical orchestra and new age music (that includes Gregorian and Celtic too). I think the most recent “good” orchestra music I’ve heard is “Mini Ika Musume na Hibi” from Ika Musume Season 1 OST. That was years after the last one, which is “Ailes Grise” from the anime Haibane Renmei. I wish more anime could have orchestra music too, at least as the BGM piece if not as the OP/ED.
When it comes to composer though I like Yuki Kajiura‘s works very much. Her works, accompanied by the awesome voices from her “FictionJunction” project and the girl band “Kalafina” really add extra powerful touches to her music. To be honest so far she is the only composer in the world that I like all of her creations. Even for other composers, there’s always at least one of their works that I can’t stand listening for long.
Speaking about my favorite music and the composer, of course it would be unfair without me mentioning my favorite singer/musician too. I like it when Hanazawa-san sings for anime but not all of her song sounds good to my ears. The same also true for my other favorite female artist, KOKIA. She has super awesome voice but I’m not ‘compatible’ with all her songs. That is why I rarely purchase a whole album of any artist. BTW I can’t mention Miku Hatsune here though since her songs and music really depends on the composer behind her, not herself. For musician/band/circle I mostly listen to music from IOSYS, supercell (just to name a few) because of their relationship with anime fandom in general (not necessarily have direct connection to anime but they have some affinity or association with anything anime-ish, including the Touhou Project).
Before I end this let me tell you I don’t stick to a certain artist/genre when it comes to music though I may have a tendency towards classical orchestra music as I’ve mentioned earlier. I only follow the song/music. Therefore if the music sounds good enough to my ears, and it comes from the sources I mentioned above I’d most likely grab it and I don’t care who’s behind it. The only reason I’d care about the artist behind it is to allow me to look for more works from that artist.

[IMAGE] Touhou girls


touhougirls

Nothing, just want to share the image I extracted and ‘stitched’ from the Touhou OVA 1. I know this is an extremely overdue job that should have been done last year but better late than never (I’m not obliged to do this to begin with so it does not matter when I post it. What important is I like Touhou, that’s all). Now when will the OVA 2 come out?