The year 2012

the end of the world

Whew, guess we are lucky enough to witness the new years eve of 2012 at all, because according to the mayan calendar the world is supposed to end on 21st december – well, maybe we got a second chance, who knows.

Anyway – hello and welcome to my annual Anime retrospective view. Tonight, I will summarize the Anime highlights of the year 2012, both the good stuff and the bad stuff.

This year was unfortunately a year full of disappointments and wasted potentials. There was ONE particular anime which caused both a massive hype and massive hate and thus have created a civil war among fans like we never have seen before. The never ending flaming between the fanbase and the hatebase was probably one of the most polarizing incidents in the anime community of this year.

But before we get to the main dish, I shall start chronologically from the spring Anime season.

Let’s start with awarding the anime series, who had really good potential at the beginning but failed to live up its expectation in the end.

The Losers of 2012

Mouretsu Pirates

Ah, Mouretsu pirates. I really really wish I could appreciate you more. Because the premise sounded awesome (at least on the paper): Cute girls in space doing motherfucking space pirating with epic spaceship fights and badass action scenes? HELL YEAH! Unfortunately, Mouretsu had none of that in the first 7 episodes. The build-up took way too long time and the awful slow pacing turned the beginning of this series into a borefest. And there were way too much slice-of-life shenaningans instead of some… actual “piracy action” like… boarding a cargo ship or just engaging in some space fights. I liked the characters though, but my patience grew thin during episode 6 since NOTHING happens, and eventually, I ragequit in episode 7. Too bad, space pirates, you could have been awesome.

Nisemonogatari

Alright, at this point I just realized I grew tired of Nisioisin’s nonsense dialogues which drags on and on with no actual content. Nisemonogatari is basically pure fanservice pandering under the disguise of being “artsy” and “innovative”. It didn’t even pretended to have a plot, but still, I expected a bit more as a “sequel” of Bakemonogtari, (which was okay in my book) Instead, I got a  pure fanservice spinoff, which I quickly grew tired of. And no, the tooth-brushing scene was not “hot”, it was disgusting.

Another

Another also got the award for “most stupid plot resolving” and most hillarious unintentional comedy. Basically, it could have been the first good horror series for years, but the more the story progresses, the more stupid the characters behave. Still, one of my favorite female character of this year is Misaki Mei. This is a prime example of “really cool character stuck in an awful show”. What a pity. And hasn’t it been for the hillarious pie threads on /a/, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the series as much as now.

Sankarea

Fuck the final eipsode. Fuck that stupid bunny costume scene. Fuck this anime. Next.

Eureka Seven AO

Why are you doing this to me, Studio bones. Why do you always fail in sequels. Eureka Seven AO basically defiled the good reputation of the original Eureka Seven. The plot was going nowhere, everything was unneccessary complicated and the monster of the week episodes was a real turn-off. But the final nail on the coffin was Truth. I hate him. I hate hate hate hate hate this stupid character, he is overpowered, annoying, arrogant, and basically served no other purpose than being the designated asshole villain, and annoying us viewers with his stupid hax powers. Way to go to ruin a well established series, Bones.

Tari Tari

I love slice of life, but Tari tari was the most forgettable slice of life series I’ve ever watched. If I had to choose a word to summarize Tari Tari, it would be “bland”. Yes, that’s it. Tari Tari was just average, none of the characters really stood out, and their background story was not really engaging. All in all, it was really forgettable.

Kokoro Connect

Kokoro Connect had a really strong start with solid characters but unfortunately it developed into one of the worst examples of forced drama this year. The body transfer arc in the beginning was quite amusing to watch, but then, that scene happened, where Iori jumped from that bridge. NO THAT’S JUST A CHEAP PLOT DEVICE TO INTRODUCE DRAMA. The worst part was, when everyone was crying about Iori, because she is going to die soon and suddenly – the master puppeteer appeared and said “lol just joking, hope u lernd ur lesson, lel”. FUCK YOU, that’s predictable, ridiculous and manipulative. Just… NO.

Chuunibyou demo koi ga shitai!

Unfortunately, I also have to include Chuunibyou in this list. My main complaint about this series is the direction it went. If it would stay a light hearted comedy like in the beginning, I’d liked it more. But the drama part in the latter four episodes never worked with me, and the final episode was really bad. I mean, everything was leading the conclusion, that Rikka would finally accept the reality and stop with the chuuni antics but then – they decided to disregard everything with a “nope, let’s return to status quo” and finished the story with a bland “you are what you are” afterword. Meh. It could have been so much better. Basically, read this post, because he has pointed out most of my complaints.

K

K get the award for “greatest wasted potential of year 2012” because both the characterisation and the (non-existing) plot was a clusterfuck. I am still crying about all those wasted animations and the wasted awesome soundtrack on this piece of pretentious crap.

With that, we’ll proceed to award the highlights of this year. The Anime series, who have delivered many enjoyable moments, here are

The Winners of 2012

Danshi koukosei no Nichijou

The spiritual successor of nichijou. The antics of the four teenage boys and their (mis)adventures are really hillarious, and it never got boring. This is a truly good example of a well made comedy AND parody, where it don’t pander the audience too much.

Natsuiro Kiseki

I still don’t understand why this series is so underappreciated among the anime community. It has a really solid cast, and the episodes are really entertaining. It even has a bittersweet conclusion. Definitely one of the most underrated series this year.

Accel World

Many people were turned off by the fat and BETA protagonist Harayuki (it doesn’t help either he was voiced by the same VA than Ouma Shu), but I still kept watching Accel World to see how it will develop. And boy, it delivered. The second half was really good, with many exciting battles and plottwists, especially Scarlet Rain and Ash BROller were very cool side characters. Along with the very good soundtrack, this is one of the series, I’d love to have a sequel.

Hyouka

This is one of the most pleasant surprises this year. It had a really really slow start, but in the end, the series has fleshed out the four main characters perfectly. I especially liked the subtle progression of the relationship between Oreki and Chitanda. Everything felt really natural. In fact, I think Hyouka is Kyoani’s most mature work, with excellent characterisation, absolute beautiful animation and next to zero pandering. If you are watching this series for the bland “mysteries” and not for the character development between Oreki and Chitanda, then you’re missing the point of the entire series.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

I initially ignored this series because I despise the shoujo and romance genre, since it’s always a mix of misunderstandings, love triangles, comic relief characters, BUBBLES AND SPARKLES, overused blushing, internal conflicts with annoying monologues, NTR bullshit etc etc… which always lead to frustration. But I gave it a chance, since many people recommended me this series and surprisingly, I really liked Tonari. The main reason was why I liked it so much was the self-confident and strong female lead character Mizutani. My only concern is the question whether it will get a second season since the anime ended without any conclusion. Anyway, with this series, I have regained some faith in the shoujo genre again.

Still, Yamaken >>> Haru.

Girls und Panzer

Cute girls doing cute things: Tank edition, but done right. I am not a tank expert, but you really have to admire the effort the makers have put into the show. Authentic tank models, really exciting Tank battles with actualy use of strategy, tank cafe’s, tank-themed bentos, the sterotypes of the different countries presenting the tanks, the katyusha song, basically, the entire anime revolves around tanks. If you have dismissed this show because of the silly premise, then you’re missing out one of the most entertaining shows this year. PANZER VOR!

And now, the special award, for creating the biggest shitstorm, the loudest debates in the anime community, the anime who made the word “hatebase” popular again, the award for

EPIC FAIL of 2012

goes toooooo…

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Sword Art Online!

Holy shit dude. Sword art online. I am loss of words. I mean, how can a series fuck up that badly in story telling and characterisation? How can a series waste so much potential? How can this awful series even have fans?

[warning, incoming flaming and foul language, and yes, I took Sword Art Online way too seriously. Regard this as an emotional outburst of a really frustrated watcher. You have been warned.]

This Anime has one of the worst writing I’ve ever seen. Kirito is an painfully obvious self-insert and wish fullfillment character, who is overpowered as fuck and constantly have plot H4x powers pulled out of his ass to save the day, while Asuna is an annoying Tsundere, who is also perfect and has no flaws, and serving no other purpose than pandering to all those lonely basement dwellers, who are looking for a perfect and pure Waifu.

And these two are the main characters. Goddamnit.

Anyway, here are 10 reasons why Sword Art Online sucks. (I dropped SAO in episode 14 and I heard, it even get worse from there)

1. The constant use of deus ex machina and the huge amount of logical flaws in the series. But the worst case of all occured in episode 14. Why was Kirito able to stab Heathcliff despite being dead, why can Asuna free herself from the paralysis, what was the fucking reason Kayaba implanted a death mechanism in a virtual reality game? Because he was BORED? Why can Kirito defy logic? Oh, that’s right, it’s shitty writing and because he has PLOT armor and because he is JESUS. Fuck this episode 14.

2. The pacing. What the fuck. So, in the first episode, the player were still in level 1 and one episode later they are already in level 46, what the hell? How can you skip so much time? Also, we have 6 episodes of side stories in the 14 episode aincrad arc, and they served NOTHING for the plot progression. Also: “Oh hi, my name’s Kirito, I am badass” “Hi, i am Asuna and I am a useless slut” *later* “you saved my life, I love you kirito” “yeah.. let’s marry”” “okay” – that’s NOT how romance work, it needs progression and exploration you dumb fucks.

3. Every girl Kirito meets for the first time want to suck his dick because Kirito is SO badass. Well done, SAO for including a genre I really hate: A shitty Harem. Oh and before they fall in love in him, Kirito always have to save their sorry ass, because all women characters are FUCKING USELESS – talk about misogyny here.

4. The really blatant asshots and forced fanservice like constantly showing off characters in their undergarments. Including a ridiculous tentacle rape scene. VERY TASTEFUL INDEED.

5. The annoying cliches like “Asuna jumping in front of the person she wanted to protect and take the killing blow instead” – FUCK NO, THIS IS OUTDATED AS FUCK, YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS.

6. The extremely boring fights. Every time when I thought “Ooooh, now that’s going to be an interesting battle”, Kirito always curbstomp battle the enemy, because he ALWAYS conveniently has a skill which will defeat the enemy in seconds. HOW EXCITING.

7. Actually having a decent 1st episode and tricking us viewers to believe it’s going to be good. Fuck you for crushing my high hopes.

8. The “bad guys” (Kuradeel) are ridiculous and stupid as fuck. “HURR I AM EVIL BECAUSE I AM EVIL. LOOK AT ME TORTURING YOUR FAVORITE WAIFU, YES HATE ME BWAHAHAHA BECAUSE I SERVE NO OTHER PURPOSE THAN BEING A SCAPEGOAT” Seriously, what the actual fuck was the author thinking. It’s like a fanfiction written by an 15 year old.

9. Two years worth of semen made a glopping noise as it flowed endlessly into Asuna.

10. The obnoxious fanbase, who constantly claims that “the Light novel explained it better” – well FUCK YOU, because I don’t want to read the shitty Light Novel to have me explain why there’s so much bullshit going on.

I can rage on and on, but I have enough of this shit. I hate this anime and it fucking sucks and it sucking fucks and I don’t wanna talk about it.

Worst of all, Sword art online attracted an extreme amount of “casual” anime fans including many video gamers, and they all jumped on the bandwagon to worship this anime as the second coming of jesus, because they can “relate to the characters and its MMORPG setting and because Kirito is soooo badass”.

This is the new Twilight of Anime. Hyped by blind fanboys beyond hell, and panned by critics, who believes in their superior anime taste.

And now, after letting out some steam, the time has come, for the most important event.

Ladies and Gentleman,

the award for the

Best Anime of the year 2012

goes toooooo…

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AKB0048!

Now, before everyone of you scream “wait, what is this series? I never heard of it” – I can assure you, I have also neglected the series back then in the spring anime season.

But AKB0048 has ended up as the greatest surprise of the year. I expected absolutely nothing from this, because everyone thought it would only serve as a cheap device to promote the real life idol group AKB48.

Instead, AKB0048 turned out to be everything I love about anime: It was entertainment at its finest. It didn’t try to be thought provoking, it didn’t try to be a brainless comedy, it didn’t try to be too overdramatic, but instead, it gave us a perfect blend of space opera, music, mecha, slice of life and drama in a really imaginative sci-fi setting with a ridiculous premise (entertainment is FORBIDDEN in the whole galaxy) – and it actually worked. I mean, Hypergalactic space Idols fighting Space nazis with the power of MUSIC and FRIENDSHIP on flying platforms with MICSABERS, how awesome is that? Yes, it’s a bit silly sometimes, but its brilliant cast of characters, its awesome insert songs, its colorful sci-fi setting and it’s perfect balance of action and drama delivered one of the most FUN experiences this year.

Hell, after watching this series, I even got interested into the real life AKB48 and listened to their music, and watched their videos (AKBINGO!) and also became a fan of them. (my Oshimen is Takamina btw). It’s really amazing, how much I grew to love AKB48 through this anime.

1342966818046This anime also wins the award for best insert song (BEGINNER in episode 3), best background art (just look at those artworks), best episode (ep. 13 and the epic concert) , best Opening (Kibou ni tsuite)best soundtrack (the medley is awesome) best side-character (Takamina) and the most badass moment (see pic). If you still haven’t watched this series yet – then go and watch it now or you’ll miss all the FUN. Besides, the second season is starting in only a few days.

Allright, this would wrap up my year with the Anime in 2012, and there are still many potentially good series left, I haven’t watched yet (Jinrui, Fate zero), but I am glad, that I haven’t lost interest in Anime yet despite being busy in the music conservatorium.

Anyway I am really excited for the year 2013, since it will deliver many long-awaited sequels and continuations.

Last but not least, here are my Youtube Stats for the year 2012.

For the year 2012, I got:

2,598,940 video views with a total of 4,144,489 views

316,265 views on my most popular video, Bios (Guilty Crown)

11,502 new subscribers with a total of 17,678 subscribers

22 new sheets

1 new fanpage on facebook,

1 major audio upgrade and finally

ONE BIG THANK YOU

for your support this year. I wouldn’t have come this far, without your feedback.

Thank you for every comment,

thank you for every like/dislike, and

thank you for watching my videos and downloading my sheet.

I also want to thank Tehishter for being a fellow Anime piano transcriber (we really should talk more about Anime, lol) and also CastlevaniaPro93, for convincing me watching AKB0048 and mastering the audio tracks.

With that said, I wish you, my dear readers, a really happy and successfull new year and let’s hope, our love for Anime will never fade.

See you in year 2013!

sleepy chan

Animenz

[ EDIT: ]

https://animenz.wordpress.com/2012/annual-report/

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

I have a (facebook) fanpage now

The Ask me everything page will not longer be supported.

Please post all your question on the fanpage, I’ll answer them more effectively.
Thanks.

This does not mean this blog is not active anymore, I’ll still update all my new sheets and videos on this blog primarily and the “first impressions” post for the fall season 2012 is coming soon.

Btw, I added a new page, a new how to transcribe page.

It’s basically the copy of the Esoragoto OP post, I thought it might be helpful for the people to use this page as a template.

Thank you for your attention.

SOON…

[Microphone] 2 x Rode NT-5 Matched Pair

[Microphone stand] 2 x Millenium MS 2003

[Microphone cable] 2 x 10-meter

[USB audio interface] M-AUDIO Fast Track Pro

[Digital Audio Workstation] Avid Pro Tools 10

[Laptop] HP Pavilion g6 15.6”

[Piano] Steinway & Sons Model A Grand Piano

[Performer] Animenz (this is my actual Facebook photo btw)

Coming in fall 2012…

ZOOM H2’s last job (Tari Tari ED 2 – Kokoro no Senritsu)

Sawa is the best girl

Finally found some time to upload my transcription of Kokoro no Senritsu, I finished the sheet weeks ago and couldn’t find some time to upload it on youtube. But now, the job is done.

Kokoro no Senritsu is a really beautiful insert song (and also used as ED in episode 2 of Tari Tari), which I instantly fell in love with. I decided to play it slightly slower than the original, because it sounds more peacefully and relaxed. And the best of all, it’s fairly easy to play. This is one instance where the less is more principle is particularly applicable.

Aside from that, this is also an official “goodbye” to my good ol’ ZOOM H2 Handy Recorder. (the one I’ve been using since the Magia transcription)

Just a few days ago, I finally gathered enough money to buy a better microphone!

And guess who made it possible.

It was you.

You awesome people.

I have recieved a total amount of 340 € worth of donation, and with my own 100€ I’m adding in, it’s enough money to buy my long-awaited Rode NT5 matched pair micophone!

It’s… like a dream came true.

Th-thank you .. so much… everyone

You are the reason why I still have faith in humanity.

Thank you,

thank you for your support! ;___;

(*cough* if you still want to support my works, errm.. donation is still open ^^)

-= Download the sheet and midi file here =-

[Kokoro no Senritsu]         (difficulty: easy)

See you in fall season again!

Animenz

Just testing out something (AKB0048 Opening – Kibou ni Tsuite)

Hello everyone!

No, it’s not summer season 2012 yet, but I wanted to test out something.

I basically want you readers to decide which audio recording you prefer:

Pic related, the ZOOM H2 recorder

A) The (subpar) recording from my ZOOM H2 recorder when I play the grand piano, since I can’t afford any better microphone because I don’t have the money or

This is the one I own btw

B) a digital recording from my Kawai CA 63, where you can finally hear the bass clearly.

Initially I wanted to play a piano piece from Chopin to let you decide which one is better, but then I changed my mind and transcribed the OP of AKB0048 instead.

Why? Because AKB0048 has ascended to my third-favorite show of the season. I expected some boring idol show with a huge uninspired cast but instead we got the NO FUN POLICE, idols battles in space, post-traumatic-stress-disorder-suffering, a MECHA-ITASHA, plenty of good soundtracks – and fantastic backgrounds.

I love the details in background, awesome man, awesome.

So here it is: the transcription of AKB0048‘s Opening – Kibou ni Tsuite.

It’s a really catchy song and I often sing along when the OP starts.

-= Download the sheet and the midi file here =-

[Kibou ni Tsuite]     (difficulty: average)

Now, it’s up to you to decide, which recording you prefer: the grand piano one or the digital one. Vote here:

Some public announcement

I miss my old channel background image ;__;

Don’t worry, I’m not closing my blog or anything, I just wanted to inform you that I have been featured in an interview with SUTORAIKU, a Japanese pop culture online community. It’s definitely worth a read for some of you, especially if you want to learn more about the history behind my passion for anime and piano covers.

Here is the the link to the interview.

Well, that’s all I wanted to say.

I’ll update my blog again as soon as the summer anime season begins!

Animenz

EDIT:

I have just noticed something, when I have watched the latest Eureka seven AO episode…

MOTHER OF GOD

An attempt to explain my transcribing procedure (Sankarea OP – Esoragoto)

Hello everyone! Today I’ll explain how I transcribe anime music. And in order to do this, I’ll show you an example of my transcribing process.

(if you only want the Sankarea OP – Esoragoto sheets: just jump to the bottom of this page)

How to transcribe (anime) music – a guide by Animenz

Requirements:

  1. an absolute pitch or at least a relative pitch
  2. a notation software (there are some free notation software you can download, but the really good ones are commercial, so you have to buy it. Or pirate it…)
  3. a piano or keyboard
  4. and last but not least an ounce of inspiration and creativity

To start with the transcription, you naturally have to listen to the music piece you want to transcribe. Most TV-size openings/endings are short (roughly 1-2 minutes), so listen to it at least five times to grasp the basics of the music.

The first thing I notate is the melody. But before I start with this, I have to name my sheet and provide some information about the piece like key signature, time signature, and tempo. Just make use of your ears if you want to determine key signature etc. To determine the tempo, use a metronom. For the rest: google.

It should look like this:

Then I’ll proceed with writing down the melody. Most j-pop music have a typical Cross-rhythm with lots of dotted notes.

Notice that the first note is a upbeat. So you have to add an upbeat-bar.

As soon as I have finished the basic melody, I add the chords. Simply listen to the piece and figure out which tone is the bass. In this case, it has only basic chords like D-major, G-major, b-minor, A-major and e-minor. I usually notate triads.

Proceed like that with the whole sheet and – congratulations! You have finished a basic sheet of your piece. But of course I am far from being satisfied yet with this sheet.

Therefore, I have a  four sacred principles I always comply with. They are called variation, details, transitions and original ending.

1. Variation

I always use many different accompaniments for the left hand in order to make the sheet more interesting. Usually, my accompaniments adapts original rhythm of the music piece.

For example, here are my six different accompaniments of the d-major chord (in order of appearance)

It’s only six of countless possibilities

I also vary the melody in the right hand. Usually I make use of additional octaves or thirds. Or simply paraphrase the melody.

2. Details

My transcriptions always include some “details”, or in other words –  melodies which is played in the background.

For example, the very beginning of the piece Esoragoto starts with the voice, a d-major chord played by a guitar… and a very high pitched melody in the background played by a synthesizer. In order to play this “second voice” I have to relocate the right-hand melody into left hand but one problem remains, however:

The red framed chord is impossible to play and if you use an arpeggio it sounds strange. So my only option is to modify the second voice a little bit. The goal is to create an alternative which should be both playble and similar to the original.

3. Transitions

I often add some transitions between passages. Usually I write transitions if a musical theme is changing. (for example if the chorus begins) Or if there’s a change in the key signature (for example, d-major changes to c-sharp major).

I also tend to write short transitions between very long notes to fill in the gap (usually a whole note).

In Esogaroto, I wrote a short transition before the the first verse repeats…

… and a short transition before the chorus begins:

In my opinion, transitions makes the music flow better, but that’s probably a matter of taste.

4. Original Ending

 This is the only principle that does not always have to be present. Since I mainly transcribe TV-sized OP/ED, the music sometimes ends abruptly or it don’t end on a tonic chord. There are different ways to handle this: Either you add a entirely “new” ending or you just “reuse” some parts of your sheet. For example, here is the original ending (TV-size opening)

It’s not a big problem though if you would leave it like that, but I prefer to end it in tonic in order to give the impression the music has finished.

In this case, I simply reused the beginning of Esogaroto and made only minimal changes  to create a alternate ending.

Alright everyone, that’s enough for today (I have spend four hours captioning and writing this post and I am really tired now).

Thank you for your attention, and I hope after reading this post, you get a better insight in the working methods of me.

Animenz

-= Download the sheet and the midi file here =-

[Esoragoto]       (difficulty: average)

Finally…. I….. can… rest… now……. zzzzZZZZZ…