September Anime Roundup

August | September | October 

This anime season is drawing to a cl0se with a number of shows flighting their final episodes this week. Some were memorable, many were not. I had 3 favourites that I looked forward to:  

Kageki Shoujo!!  (Opera Girl!) has kept me entertained the whole season with the drama around Watanabe, Sarasa who is the antithesis of what the stuffy school is about. And while she does not always feature as the main character she really makes a positive contribution to the lives of those around her.  I hope that they make another 12 episodes as I would hate for this show to become forgotten in the past like so many other good ones.  My final verdict? 10/10 because it was enjoyable inspite of grumpy-kun, a bully and lots and lots of overinflated egos. MAL Rates it 7,55 and reading between the lines there probably wont be a 2nd season. 

Peach Boy Riverside did itself no favours by starting the series at episode 4!  And I really hoped that it would get better but sadly it just plodded along and never really became great.  Unfortunately it was a let down because I really did enjoy parts of it but I felt it just did not deliver.   Rated it a 5 and MAL rates it a 6.32. 

I had high hopes for Tantei wa Mou, Shindeiru.  (the Detective is Already Dead!) but frankly the show is as dead as the detective.  The only merit it had was the character design for Siesta but story/art and everything else was weak.  I think the only reason that I stayed the course was to see Siesta and that was all because frankly the story was made no sense and was not worth the effort. My rating is 3 and MAL rates it  6,61. I have no idea why. No second season needed. Move along.

I also had high hopes for the vampire show Vanitas no Karte  but I found it confusing and the only saving grace was the artwork; backgrounds were beautiful and overall it was visually impressive but the story was meaningless. I suspect that the show would work better as a binge watch though. The wait between episodes made things a bit more difficult when it came to following the story. A 2nd season has been mentioned and I will probably binge rewatch the first before starting the 2nd. My rating is 5 and MAL rates it 7.97.

Bokutachi no Remake (Remake our life) was great and I am sorry that it was only a 12 episode show (13 if you count the recap).  The show worked well for me and I liked most things about it (except episode 6a),  I hope it manages a 2nd season but it really depends on how the show ends.  The final episode was disappointing in many aspect and was almost a cliff hanger. Quite a few surprises too, but I rate the series 9 while MAL rates it 7,70. It does not seem that there will be a 2nd season but there may be an OVA, which is a pity because I felt it was worthy of continuation.

Shinigami Bocchan to Kuro Maid  was a fun series with a reasonably simple plot about the boy that kills everything he touches and the maid that takes care of him. The artwork was simple and the story was enjoyable although parts of it were really just filler. It seems as if it is up for a 2nd season too  and I will definitely be watching it.  I rated it a 7 while MAL rates it 7.54. It was quite a popular series with anime fans too, and I suspect that was because of Alice the maid. 

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S  is also flying off into the sunset next week and while the series was quite funny I really felt it was lacking in the story department. Some of the episodes were weak and really added nothing to the story at all.  It was watchable but I really did not feel that it was a great. I rate it 6 because it really did not meet my expectations except in the artwork department. MAL rates it 8,52 but that is probably because of all the big boob brigade 🙂  

Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta…X  also ended this week. This was the follow onto the series that I briefly reviewed in July.  Sadly this iteration did not reach the same level as the prequel did although I did enjoy watching Katarina Claes and all her antics. The problem was that realistically there was nothing new to tell storywise as she had cleared all those flags of doom in the previous season!  A 3rd season and a movie have all been touted but frankly they may end up weak. My rating is 6 with MAL rating it 7,36. 

Fumetsu no Anata e (To Your Eternity), started way back in April and has been dragging along since then, finally finishing at the end of August.  The story revolved around a nameless entity that came to Earth that was able to take the shape of those around that have “a strong impetus”. That is pretty much what it was about as well as the lives of those  encounters or whose form he can take on if they die. The story held a lot of promise and some of the arcs were great but at times it was agony to watch. I did enjoy some of the characters though but Fushi  was really wishy-washy. I rated it 7 but MAL has it rated 8.50 with it at 110th in the rankings. A second season is in the offing too but I really hope it wakes up a bit more. 

Watches from previous seasons:

One of the gems that I did manage to watch this past month was both seasons of Akagami no Shirayukihime (Snow White with the Red Hair).

The story is about a young red haired herbalist that flees from the kingdom where she lives after being claimed as a concubine by the resident idle prince. 

She encounters the 2nd prince of the new kingdom where she moves to, and they become friends. She then joins the court as an apprentice herbalist and her adventures follow. It was a nice relaxing watch with good artwork, excellent character development and an overall good story.  Our heroine Shirayuki is thoroughly likable and popular with most of those that she encounters. I rated the 1st season 7 and MAL rates it 7.70. 

And that more or less concludes my roundup for this month. As things stand now I have watched 872 shows and dropped 132. My average rating is 6.86.  The one funny thing that I noticed on one forum was that there were all these people posting that had joined MAL between 2019 and now, while here I was with my join date 2008! ugh, I am feeling old. 

DRW 2021. Created 23/09/2021. All views expressed are mine and reflect no official views or opinions. Characters are copyright to their respective copyright holders.  

Posted in Anime and Manga, Hobbies and Interests, Personal, Retrospective | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on September Anime Roundup

Five at a Time

One of my favourite pieces of Union-Castle memorabilia is the famous 5 ships poster that they used to such good effect. It is one of those posters that leaves you asking “how did they do that?

Front to back: Windsor, Pendennis, Edinburgh Castle, SA Vaal and SA Oranje

Nowadays everybody would shout “Photoshop” but back when this gem was created it did not exist. Somebody created it from single images of the ships or groupings of them. The giveaways are the wakes and the sun that shines on the Pendennis but not the Windsor. I suspect that the Vaal and Oranje may have been photographed together but I could be wrong. There was also no way that all five ships would be in the same port at the same time, at least two would be in the opposite hemisphere at any given moment. Besides, bringing 5 large ships so closely together at one point is a recipe for disaster.

I have always wanted to reproduce this image using my 1/1250 waterline ships but did not have the SA Vaal to complete the image with. That has now changed and theoretically I have all the ships although my Edinburgh has the original mast configuration as opposed to the configuration that the Oranje has. Before I got all fancy I decided to see what could be done using a simple blue background and gathered the ships and plonked them down more or less where I felt they should go. The result was not great so I reshuffled them again, bringing them closer together. The big problem was that of depth of field, if I photographed too close the camera focused on the Windsor leaving the Vaal and Oranje out of focus. I had printed out the image and then tried to position the ships according to how they were on the page.

The problem with that was that the paper was now in the way! it did however tell me that I really needed to space them closer together and get much lower at the same time. I removed the paper and tried again.

That’s better, although I am still sitting with the focusing issue and I need to get much lower too. The next stage is to reprint the image onto A3 and then try placing the ships on the larger page and do this on a table where I can get much lower down. I was using the floor this time around so my next attempt will hopefully be better. I am also going to try my cellphone camera instead of my stills camera. It may just deal with the focusing better than the stills does. I am not 100% finished with this yet, but am glad that I am able to make a start at getting the image reproduced. 

The original is amazing though, when I saw it all those years ago I was dumbstruck but it took many years to get a copy of that iconic poster. The RMS St Helena used to have a large copy of it in the one stair tower and each time I went below deck I used to ask myself “How did they do that?”

Update 19/09/2021

I have been thinking about this project a lot over the past few days and tried a few other things today. Here are a few of them:

I think this one got the ships right but the background was wrong. I need to move away from a corner and go for a straight line horizon like the image above.

I also tried a different mode on my camera which seemed to help with the depth of field issues. I also tried the cellphone and I do not like what came out; the camera gave overall better results.  I also tried a different “sea” as you can see…  I liked how this one came out but the background was iffy. I messed with clone brushing and this one was really close to what I am trying to achieve. Now all I need is consistent light, a reprinted  “sea” and more patience. 

DRW © 2021. Created 12/09/2021

Posted in Cruiseships, Heritage, Hobbies and Interests, Personal, Photo Essay, Retrospective, Ships, South Africa, Southampton, Transportation, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Five at a Time