If you’re looking for a good writeup of the domestic (U.S. that is) anime distribution business, you might want to take a peek at the recent Fortune article, “It’s… Profitmón!”. Despite the somewhat-cutesy title, the article evenhandedly covers such topics as fansubbing, staying in touch with your company’s fanbase, embracing new distribution channels, and keeping the overhead low to maximise those profit margins. Say what you will about ADV’s output, one can’t fault them for putting forth the effort to remain a successful and respectable company.
It’s a good read for any anime fan, especially those of us who believe in the fansubbing scene’s power to direct distributors to good product.
After two screencap-less recaps, I’m back in the swing of things with a mindblowing twenty-six screenies! Hey, there’s a lot to love in this episode, so I’m sharing the love as much as possible.
This episode seems to get the ball rolling on at least some part of the main series plot. We get much-needed character development (and backstory) on Mashiro, and some butt-kicking action from Arika. Several new mysteries are revealed, two of which involve cameos. Best of all, we actually move the Arika/Mashiro partnership forward in a meaningful fashion. It’s not that they’re best buddies at the end of the half-hour, but we get progress. I’m absolutely delighted with this episode!
The teaser sequence consists largely of a combination flashback and dream sequence during which we learn a lot about what kind of child Mashiro was, and that she’s known all along about the fact that she may in fact not be the true princess/queen. It’s amusing, then sad, and includes her first meeting with Nagi, who makes a point of needling her about her questionable lineage.
Rounding out the first half-dozen episodes, we’re treated to what may be the most absurd episode in this series, let alone Mai HiME. I won’t bore you with a scene-by-scene recitation of the show (man, what got into me last night?) but will try to cover the highlights… such as they are. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very funny episode, but it’s also quite over-the-top and more than a bit naughty.
We start with Arika agonizing over how to go about the business of writing her weekly letter to the mysterious benefactor; this correspondence is apparently one of the conditions of her support. Erstin tries to help, while Nina makes a typically cutting remark. It’s when Arika pokes Nina in the ribs in mild retaliation that she makes quite the discovery: Nina’s ticklish! And hilarity ensues. Interesting bit for this scene: Arika may be taking it as a challenge that Nina doesn’t smile very often.
Well, it was bound to happen. I slipped and didn’t get a recap out for an entire week. I’ll make up for that with back-to-back reviews, tonight and tomorrow… but without screencaps. Don’t worry. In the case of this episode, if you’ve seen one girl in a Guarderobe school uniform, you’ve seen ‘em all.
This episode is, by and large, all about the misplaced uniform from the end of last episode. During an unannounced visit to the school by the still-in-town King Nagi and his right-hand man, Sergei Wong, Shizuru pulls Natsuki away from tour-guide duty with urgent news: A school uniform has been found, torn up and badly repaired, for sale at a shop that specializes in Otome paraphernalia. This is very much against school rules, and guess who’s the only girl missing a uniform? Arika-chan, of course! Could this be the “She’ll soon be destroyed” that Nao spoke of?
“Getting to know you… getting to know all about you…” This week leads off with a hilarious cameo as well as the last bit of action we’ll see for a little while. For the most part we’re treated to the inevitable process of easing Arika into school life. (Don’t look at me like that. If you think that’s a spoiler, you’re crazy. Premise of the show, wot?) Anyway, most of today’s screencaps are from the teaser sequence, ’cause there’s very little to work with once the initial excitement dies down. I don’t mean that as a harsh criticism of the episode, mind you. This is all necessary stuff, and it manages to be entertaining and intriguing at least as often as it’s trite and silly. I’m more than okay with how this one turned out…
As seen last time, the fight between Shizuru and our mystery party-crasher creates an explosion of some sort. This causes the wrecked aircraft to teeter and fall. Who should come to the aid of the people below but Arika!