Rain 89, ghosts from the past, 1st half

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La franchise Pretty Rhythm et le phénomène KING OF PRISM

Tout le monde connait Your Name de Shinkai Makoto, mais il existe un autre film entré dans l’histoire en 2016: KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm. Pretty Rhythm étant mon anime préféré de cette décennie, il fallait bien que j’y consacre un article en Français un jour. Et quitte à le faire, autant le faire bien et tout expliquer, tout en divulgâchant le moins possible. En espérant un jour une sortie Française ou au moins une projection des films lors d’une convention.

KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm (officiellement abrégé en Kinpri), est un film issu de la franchise Pretty Rhythm, sorti au Japon le 10 Janvier 2016 avec une programmation dans 14 cinémas seulement. Bien que la franchise Pretty Rhythm vise pour audience les petites filles, Kinpri cible les personnes plus âgées et les aficionados de BL. Le film n’a pas eu beaucoup de succès à sa sortie, et au bout de 3 semaine il  n’était plus que dans 9 cinémas. Le staff s’attendait au pire. Pourtant, il a fini par vendre plus de 800 million de yen de tickets, en Mai 2016 le film était programmé dans plus de 100 cinémas à travers le Japon, et il est resté dans les salles de cinémas pendant 9 mois. Tout ça grâce au bouche à oreille des fans de Pretty Rhythm extrêmement motivés sur Twitter, et les 応援上映/ouenjouei/Cheer Screenings/Séances à encouragements: des séances où il est possible de venir en cosplay, d’utiliser des glowstick, de chanter ou encore répondre aux répliques des personnages, parfois à certains moments sous-titrés spécialement faits pour. La dernière diffusion dans le cinéma où le film avait fait sa première, le Shinjuku Wald Nine, fut le 2 Septembre 2016, sachant que le film était déjà sorti en disque depuis le 17 juin. Le film est aussi sorti en Corée du Sud le 11 Août 2016,  et a battu le record Sud Coréen du film d’animation resté le plus longtemps programmé au cinéma, record détenu précédemment par le film Love Live! The School Idol Movie!.
Une suite, KING OF PRISM –PRIDE the HERO-(Kinpri2 ou Kinpra) fut annoncé le 11 Septembre 2016 et est sortie au cinéma le 10 Juin 2017, simultanément au Japon et en Corée du Sud.

Tout ça, c’est les uniques infos que l’on peut lire sur Kinpri sur la majorité des sites d’anime, même japonais(MantanWeb, etc). La franchise Pretty Rhythm n’ayant pas eu de grand succès avant Kinpri, la plupart des sites n’ont jamais vraiment suivit son actualité avant ça, à part les grosses annonces du genre l’annonce d’une nouvelle saison. Cependant, le film a un background beaucoup plus complexe qu’il n’y parait, et a connu une production extrêmement difficile. L’audience cible a t’elle réellement changée entre Pretty Rhythm et Kinpri?  Qu’est ce qui s’est passé pour que le film rencontre un tel succès au fil du temps? Y’a des skates sur le visuel, du coup c’est pas juste Yuri on Ice mais avec des idols et des clones de Shinji & Kaworu?

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Kiratto Pri☆chan 3-4

Time goes too fast, we’re already at episode 4. Also I get the feeling I spent too much time on this, will try to make next posts shorter. Need to make choices to do other things too. Like that Pretty Series history thing that I started in September 2017 and still haven’t finished lol. Still haven’t translated anything related to Kinpri 2 too.

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Persona5A 4

Still the same as usual, though a bit less rushed. Like every episode so far, they’re doing a very good job rewriting the story to fit an anime’s pace. Tae’s intro was good. Munehisa’s too though he didn’t even talk for now. They also established the fact their physical abilities and the items they bring get enhanced in the other world. Despite skipping straight to the treasure in episode 3 after just a bit of exploration, they actually showed more of the dungeon this time too.

I think the negotiation scene was the best thing so far they replicated from the game, since it doesn’t need much animation. The Persona getting into Joker’s mask effect was even cooler than the game too, and this is the first time I can say this so far. Fusing during the boss battle didn’t surprise me, as “gameplay changes” like that are very frequent in game to anime adaptation like that. In fact, while they understood they need to take tons of liberties with the story, they don’t take enough with the gameplay elements, hence why the battles look so boring.

Most of the boss fight scene was really bland just like the other fights so far. And with lots of weird stuff like Kamoshida shooting his super attack right near the party instead of right on them. Because obviously it would mean they died if something like that hit them directly, as there’s no HP here. They could have just made them run around or try to seek cover or something, instead of just standing waiting for their turn like if it was a turn based game.

It’s just my own theory but I think the fights are boring because the anime was too soon compared to the game release. The anime staff didn’t get the time to get to know the game better and imagine cool ways to make it into an anime. And I mean before actually working on the anime. Persona 4 isn’t even 5% as cool as Persona 5, and yet the fights in its anime adaptation were fine and cool because the staff had more time for the game to get ingrained in their lives, as the anime happened years after. I think that’s what the problem is, and not whether the animators on P5 are good or not. Obviously though, they had schedule problems as they only finished the OP animation now.

The first half is kinda bland but the second half of it is really cool with stuff like that super cool Sae scene.

The most shocking thing is how they’re bringing out the fact that everything so far is a flashback from some current present with Goro saying he found out about Joker and his pals. Despite how they’ve already established what we see is a flashback during Joker’s interrogation by Sae, like in the game. It feels really weird and overly complicated just to shove in more Goro, which I find hilarious. They’re trying really really hard with the fanservice. Anyone who didn’t play the game would have no idea what the hell that scene. Are we gonna get Goro flashforwards now instead of the Sae Joker interrogation?

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Kiratto Pri☆chan 1-2

It’s the first episodes of a new series so there’s tons of new info and it’s really fun to write about it. Next posts will probably be shorter, unless the series turn out really good and there’s things to write about every week. If it becomes bad or better to watch in batches like PriPara, I’ll try to keep blogging it in batches of episodes.

As you should already know, Prichan is the new thing succeeding Pripara, so you don’t need to have seen Pretty Rhythm or PriPara to watch Prichan.

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Persona5A 3

The story changes are good and make sense but everything happens way too fast. They even skipped the OP. Though I think they might do it like a few anime in the past and only show the OP at the start of an arc to gain as much time as possible. There’s no jikai directly included in the show too except for the pics in the ED.

I could swear they just copypasted part of the game’s cutscene but I’m too lazy to check. Really happy they showed one of the best side characters, Mika. I hope to see her again.

Like, Joker is typing but his hand isn’t moving. I still I think the main problem isn’t that it’s rushed but that’s they’re trying way too hard with the fanservice. Well, this time it wasn’t as much as episode 2.  Goro didn’t show up too, unless I missed him. They try to reproduce the game’s aesthetics, but they didn’t have as much time or whatever, and it never looks as good. The phone looks bad, the fast forward effect looks bad, etc..

EDIT Oh I did miss Goro in the subway, that was a pretty good scene with him.

I used to think in the anime they’d say flat out Kamoshida sexually abused Shiho but they didn’t. The moment when Joker and Ryuji realize it during their confrontation with Kamoshida isn’t in anymore so it’s slightly less obvious for the play/viewer, though it’s still really obvious and there’s other hints now like showing more of Kamoshida’s true colors.

They did a better AOA animation this time, having the good idea to show everyone before and after. The fight still looked just as incredibly boring and weirdly static as in episode 2 though. One of the main problems is they cling too much to the game mechanics and want at all costs to show the enemies getting “down”.

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Pretty Museum, new Pretty All Friends story info

Like I said on Twitter, there’s a Pretty Museum event which started at Tokyo’s anime center on April 21, will last till May 13 2018. It’s a museum like event showing all kinds of things about the Pretty Series. Pretty Rhythm, PriPara, KING OF PRISM, and Kiratto Pri ☆chan. They show non credit OP&ED, making of, storyboards, designs etc.

Most Yakuzas in Tokyo went there the 1st day and put pics on Twitter. Emu san posted lotsof pics. Early design PP pics too, which IIRC some of which were already in a PP book. I love PP but not as much as PR, and I’m not rich so I’m not buying the PP books.
Note that the Pretty Series explanation in the event includes KING OF PRISM in it. I could swear before they would consider it in but implicitly, only saying Pretty Rhythm is part of it, and the KING OF PRISM is part of Pretty Rhythm. Nice they changed that.
They definitely know what Pretty All Friends will be, (either a movie, a tv anime, a game, a drama CD like thing, a novel or even just goods) as that kind of thing is planned long in advance, but seems they still won’t tell us anything. The only thing we know about PAF so far is it’s a very good merchandising way to sell goods of all Pretty Series together. The cosmetics goods they released at thestart of April at Prism Stone shops are pretty popular.

However Pretty Museum also has a Pretty All Friends corner, with a “new” visual. It’s the same as before except they added each girl’s mascot. The mascots have been redesigned.

uruoisan was saying how they don’t like it how Rabichi is actually cute now, made me laugh a lot. The AD mascots  were ugly on purpose after all.

They also published story text for Pretty All Friends.

Pretty All Friends story intro text:

“Prism Stone Shop!! The only shop where every girls’ dreams and latest fashion gathers. When they arrived at Prism Stone one day, its atmosphere seemed different…Turns out it was a special day!! Under the effect of the Rainbow Bridge, multiple worlds’ Prism Stone Shops have merged!!  Multiple girls are guided by the Rainbow Bridge and are brought together: Aira, Mia, Naru, Laala and Yui. Inside the shop, they meet with Akaii Meganee who tells them the following: You girls are the chosen Pretty Friends! Travelling using the Rainbow Bridge, you will do live shows in many different worlds to collect Sparkle and gather your friends. Doing this, I want you girls to revive the All Friends Coord currently sleeping in the country of singing and dancing,  Pretty Prism Paradise. The girls are excited hearing about a legendary coord. Following Aira’s suggestion, they decide to take up the team name  “Pretty All Friends”. Boarding the “NEW Prism Trailer”, they embark on a tour across various worlds to gather the Sparkle and meet new friends. Thus starts the adventure of the legendary dream team.”

“Episode 1 ” text:

“The first place the “Pretty All Friends” team arrived at is the Mascot Graveyard. The mascots there all seemed to be depressed and lifeless…
“What’s going on, these mascots aren’t sparkling at all!”, “They lack dreaminess” Mia and Yui shared their thoughts. Suddenly, they started to recognize familiar figures… Shocked, they realize that their own mascots were in the Mascot Graveyard!! The girls ask them what happened. It seems that the mascots wanted to follow them in their tour, but lost their way and out of all places ended up in the Mascot Graveyard . This place sucks up the Sparkle inside the mascots, so they became unable to leave. In order to make everyone happy again, the All Friends decide to do their first live show of their tour. Needless to say, the song they chose as their first song is  “You May Dream” . Reinvigorated, the mascots decide to travel with the girls, like they always did. Now, let’s go look for the next Sparkle!!”

Impressions: Being the first heroine, Aira is the leader it seems. It’s funny they wrote it in such a childish way (I tried to reflect this in my translation) because another thing we know about PAF so far is it’s aiming the adults and people who were fan of Pretty Rhythm and PriPara who grew up. That’s why they released the cosmetics goods. And if you compare with their anime designs, each heroines look a bit older in the PAF visual. In a sense PAF is what I always dreamed about, and what I thought the PR All Star Selection tv anime would be about when it was announced. Though I want it to include Kinpri and Prichan, basically everyone. And make Akaii Meganee the final boss who actually tricked them.

As you should know, Rainbow Bridge is what you see Rinne on in RL and what they use to travel between worlds. Coo’s trailer in RLKinpri is the “Prism Stone trailer”, so I guess they travel in something similar. And they’ll drive it on the Rainbow Bridge. It’s like Magic Bus. I hope the “you’re gonna meet more friends” part means more characters will appear.

At first it seems it’s going to be a “let’s recover the sparkle” type of story for the nth time, like they did in one of the movies or what they did with the PriPara Switch game’s OG story with Mirai. But then turns out it’s a story on how they all became something similar to the Rinne system. Except they’re not Rinnes. They also seem to be the real characters and not virtual copies like Saints was supposed to be. “Supposed to be”, as you should already know, this isn’t true anymore, Aira Mia Naru appeared in IPP so the Saints did not turn out to be virtual. Like PR director said, that was just his idea and the PP anime did something else than his metaplot in the Pretty Rhythm&PriPara movie .

It’s really well thought too. At first I was wondering why the mascots were in the graveyard since only mascots who failed something end up there. They got lost and ended there unwillingly.

While it’s reusing many lore elements they talked about in Pretty Rhythm (Rainbow Bridge, Mascot’s Graveyard etc) PAF’s background may also turn out to be completely new and unrelated background to past series. Akaii Meganee mentions a world called “Pretty Prism Paradise” which isn’t “Prism World”. Until now despite being multiple parallel universes: ADMF, RLKinpri, PriPara, they were all connected by the same “Prism World”. Anyway it’s too early to tell for now. And they probably won’t elaborate on it much in the end anyway, so while I find it a bit interesting, it’s kinda useless speculating.

It’s really fun though. Even if they just publish the story in text form in events like that. It can also be taken as a meta story with all the past heroines trying to get everything back and get their own new anime or movie or whatever greenlighted at the end.

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Full Metal Panic! IV 2, Obari does the OP animation’s storyboard

Was really good. The OP animation too was surprisingly much better than anything I imagined; When I saw Sousuke turn his head toward the light I immediately thought “wow this is Obari as hell”.

Turns out he really did make the OP’s storyboard. I don’t think I’ll ever become a sakuga aficionados who recognizes tons of animators like SakugaBlog people do, but I’m happy I can recognize anything Obari when I see it. Though it’s not a huge achievements as his quirks are really easy to see if you’ve already watched things he did.

Car chase would have been cooler if it was handrawn but it’s not like it was bad either. They did a really good job for this episode and it was much less rushed than I imagined. I used to think Gatou would rewrite the story to remove Speck to take less time. Completely forgot that Clouseau line too, he really is the best. Can’t wait for next week.

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Full Metal Panic! IV 1

Good French.

It’s always amazing how good Japanese voice actors are and how everyone sounds the same 13 years later. Most of them did voice their characters on these past years’ SRW games etc too, so they surely had the time to get back into it. There was the Very Merry Xmas arc adapted into a Youtube drama CD too. Meaning it’ll get skipped here.

FMP IV is supposed to be 12 episodes, but according to the staff list they revealed, episode 7 will still be in the Namsak arc. They can’t skip the notTchernobyl arc which comes later as it’s way too important and reveals the secrets of FMP. Taking this into account, it’s actually impossible FMP IV adapts till the end. Which is weird as SPOILER: the Invisible Victory subtitle refers to the final battle. Gatou is writing all the scripts so maybe he rewrote the whole story to make it fit but then again I don’t think it’s possible. I think the most logical choice is they’ll announce a Invisible Victory Final movie at the end of the 12th episode.

The sad people who skipped Fumoffu when watching the series thinking it’s just “extra dumb things” must be eating their Savages now.

I really liked the episode. I’m not bothered by CG too, though I hope they handle the mecha action well in the upcoming episodes. Some people in the comment section of the ANN article I linked above said the staff listed is very good so I’m looking forward to it. I’m not a sakuga aficionados so I didn’t bother checking myself.

Maybe it’s just my imagination but even if Horiuchi is still the chara designer, I get the feeling the faces are more “Xebec” like now? Again I’m not an animation aficionados so I may be saying dumb things.

I think the one thing that can be called a flaw in this first episode is how the dialogue scenes are presented in a really bland way. Except for a few camera changes. There’s some good ideas like the very short focus on Kaname’s lips at some point of the confrontation with Leonard,  but most of the dialogues feel like watching a low budget RPG’s cutscenes (See Ni no Kuni 2)

As I already explained when FMP IV got announced in 2015, while I’m extremely happy Gatou maanged to convince the bastards at Kadokawa to make more anime of a mostly finished product, I was actually not that hyped at first. Over the years my FMP hunger got satiated with Sigma and with SRW. And FMP IV won’t have a scene with Sousuke calling Ranka a slut, or going “hey I don’t debate during decisive battles I’m not a Gundam pilot”. More Clouseau is still good though as he’s one of my favorite characters ever, looking forward to more Fowler Sugita too. And KUDAN MIRA.

I also wonder why they credited Sigma. Though I guess it’s normal to also credit the manga adaptation along with the original novel and I’m just thinking too much. I actually still haven’t read the LN fully, so I’m not sure if Sigma had differences with it besides the TSR only elements which they reworked again (Bruno being a woman etc). Maybe there will be Sigma only things in IV.

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Sega announces Shenmue 1&2 HD and a new Sakura Taisen game

On Dualshockers
Sakura Taisen details

I’m surprised this was the first announcement of Megadrive Mini because I could swear I actually saw a Japanese site talk about it some days ago, and it wasn’t on April 1st so I don’t think it was a joke. Article was titled something like “Sega gets back into the hardware business” only to reveal they’re actually talking about a Megadrive Mini. Maybe it was supposed to be a leak, or a joke article which later came true. It had like 10k RTs too.

I actually like most remasters. True, it’s better to see new games, and depending on when they get released it can feel like you “wasted” time playing the original version. If a remaster or port with new content gets released only a few years later, it sucks. I know I’m happy I haven’t played Shining Resonance when I see Shining Resonance Refrain is coming out(Actually I’m happy I never played Shining Resonance period, its a good small budget game but there’s much better games to spend time on.) That’s also why I did a single 100% coop run of P5 and haven’t done a new game +, in case they announce a enhanced version.But remasters are cool. It makes it easier to replay games, and make them discover to kids in your family. Assuming you have the money to buy them.

Anyway, first off about Shenmue. I’m a huge Shenmue fan. It’s the first game we got on Dreamcast along with a demo CD, when I was in last years of elementary. It’s the game that broadened my English knowledge after learning the basics with stuff like Wonder Boy 3, Slayers, Kare Kano, Pokemon, ALTTP or FF6. I used to know every line in the game. When I first played Shenmue 2 in 2002 or so, I already knew there would never be a sequel so I was quite disheartened when I reached the end. I clung to hope over the years but by 2009 or something I completely gave up seeing the end of Shenmue in this lifetime. Last time I replayed Shenmue1&2 was in 2006 or something, I had heard about the duck race/medals subquest and the russian? girl bonus fight etc on the net, something I had never discovered, so decided to redo both games just to do it.
I remember thinking Yu Suzuki should just release a novel & reading an interview where he said he doesn’t want to. When Shenmue 3 actually got announced, I was really happy but at the same time full of doubt. My crave for Shenmue 3 just disappeared over the years. I didn’t back the kickstarter either, though that’s mostly because my favorite game journalists (RIP Nolife) convinced me it was weird. Plus there’s the fact that even this 3rd episode won’t be the end of the story. If 3 doesn’t sell we’ll just get back to square one, and sadly I don’t think it’ll sell.

I’ll probably get Shenmue 1&2 on PC though. At least that way I can replay it without worrying about the PAL dreacmast’s horrible lens dying.

Everyone on the net says Shenmue is a cult game, but once 1&2HD is out I doubt most people will actually buy it. In late 2000 or so when more and more games got out of Japan, I used to think the era of myths from the 90(it was even before too but I was born then) with people assuming a japan only game they saw in a magazine is automatically a masterpiece, would be over. Over the years I think this actually became way worse.  I don’t think most people who praise Shenmue or Sakura Taisen on the net actually played them, and I don’t think most of them will actually spend money to buy these news ones.

Most people won’t buy Shenmue once they see some popular reviewers or streamers call it boring. I myself often call Ryu ga Gotoku the successor of Shenmue, but both series are strongly different. In Yakuza, you always have action and billions of things to do anytime. Shenmue is a slow paced detective like game where you need to question tons of people and do a lot of backtracking in small areas (compared to today’s standards), with most fights being QTE only, and with only a few “free battle” fights where you’ll get to play Virtua Figther. While extremely slow paced and with a lot of time to do side things, your time is also restricted during many arcs of the games, with stuff like the forklift race and work in the 3rd CD of Shenmue 1, or all the part time jobs and later book training every morning during a big part of Shenmue 2. (Book training and sakura petal catching training which I had completely mastered last time I replayed it)

As for Sakura Taisen, I myself am one of those “fake” fans. I’ve known the series since I was a kid. It’s knowledge of Sakura Taisen and Sega AM7/Overworks which made me interested in Eternal Arcadia after seeing its trailer on Ruliweb, and later on Senjou no Valkyria. I watched all the anime versions too. But I actually never played a single game, except Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2. In my opinion very few people on the English side of the net who praise Sakura Taisen actually ever played any of the games, not even 5. Things are better on the french side though, not counting me. Maybe I’m pessimistic but I think the new Sakura Taisen will only sell well in Japan where it has always been popular with stuff like the musicals. ST5 released in 2005 in Japan but they’ve maintained the license since then. They recently did LINE stamps too(which I put as OP pic). Sakura Taisen got many apparitions over the years in tons of stuff. Its characters were in Projet x Zone. In collabs with huge mobage like Grandad Fantasy. It was added to SRW for the first time in 2017, though in the SRW mobage, and they just added Paris Kagekidan on April 2018. There was the Sakura Taisen Kanadegumi spinoff manga too, with a girl being the main character& an all male team. And there was a mobage as well, which the Sakura pic above is from, which closed some time ago.

Even if they release some kind of 1-5 compilation,(which would be a must buy if it’s done well, including stuff like the anime sequences from the saturn version of 1&2) I don’t think it’ll sell outside Japan. I think it’ll be the same problem as Shenmue. And again, most people will say it’s boring, discovering most of the games are like a VN.

If there’s new characters, I’m really looking forward to which seiyuu they’ll pick. And if they’ll restart live shows/musical again.

Maybe I’ll end up getting Shenmue 3 anyway. I hope you’ll be able to transfer your save from Shenmue 1&2 HD. I still have my Dreamcast VMs too.

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