First, No Game No Life. I don't quite remember why we started watching this. I guess we had some extra time, and we figured why not? And now we like it a lot, although it could stand to do with less fan service. It's about a brother and sister who are super geniuses or something, and they can beat anybody at any game you can think of (not sure about sports; they haven't come up), and they get transported to a magical world where everyone is bound by the rules of the games. It's kind of hard to explain, so if you want it to make any more sense than that, you're going to have to watch it. And I can guarantee it's good, because we're continuing to watch it despite a complete lack of our favorite male voice actors. (So far there's only one guy in the regular cast at all, and we have no idea what else his voice actor has been in.)
Anyway, we like it because the games are all really clever, and it's really interesting to see how the main characters win them. And it's pretty funny, too. We have a little bit of a hard time with it, though, because there's soooo much information sometimes, and we have a weird thing about subtitles. We usually read them if they're there, but sometimes we think, "Subtitles are stupid!" (or when we're not bitter at everything, "We really shouldn't rely on subtitles all the time--how do we ever expect to be able to speak Japanese with real people at this rate!") so we stop reading them. But then there are some series where we have no choice but to read them because they keep using lots of words we don't know, or they talk really fast about expositiony concepts, or they use really long sentences...
But when that happens, sometimes we don't realize until it's too late, and most of the time, the translation is such that the first part of the sentence and the last part of the sentence are switched around in the subtitles. So when we're trying to listen and read the subtitles, and the lines are such that it takes a second to process both the Japanese and the English...we end up not getting anything. So there are a lot of games in No Game No Life that have us go, "I have no idea how they just won that, but I'm pretty sure it was awesome."
Then there was the shiritori game, which made it even worse! because the translator wanted the English words in the game to connect just like the Japanese words...so they ended up with all kinds of bizarre translations for things, like "eye fuel" for "akari (light)." That was extremely hard to follow. We wonder if it was easier for people who didn't know any Japanese at all.
And now let's talk about Captain Earth. This one I know why we started watching--we were watching our Saturday anime, and when it came time to watch Nisekoi...there wasn't a new episode. Apparently the last one we saw was the last episode. Go figure. So, since we now had an empty anime time slot, and a friend on Facebook had mentioned Captain Earth, claiming it was the only new anime of the season that she liked, and since the character designs looked kind of cute, we figured why not.
So then the main character started narrating, and we were like, "We should have started watching this sooner." Right away, it had one of our favorite voice actors! And! apparently he had a friend that he would be reunited with soon. So now we were eager to find out who played him. The episode kept teasing us--showing him at a younger age (when he was played by a girl), showing him unconscious (but we could still hear him breathing, which meant his voice actor was around to record at least one line), etc. So since the episode kept reminding us he was there, our minds were at work trying to guess ahead of time who played him. Then we remembered that the friend who mentioned the series on Facebook is a huge fan of Levi from Attack on Titan, which is either a result or the cause of her tendency to only think an anime is worthwhile if Hiroshi Kamiya is in it. Finally the kid started talking, and sure enough. And thus KAmiYU was reunited in another anime series.
In other cute casting choices, the two bad guys who seem to be a couple are played by Kenichi Suzumura and Maaya Sakamoto, who are married in real life!
The other thing the episode kept doing was remind us of Stardriver. The series was like Stardriver meets...something. I forgot what it was. But the point is, when the credits came up (there was no opening sequence for the first episode), we knew for the first time that the series was done by the same writer/director team as Stardriver, and Ouran High School Host Club.
I guess a summary would be helpful. It's like Stardriver meets something that we forgot. A kid is mysteriously drawn to an island where he ends up piloting a robot in space. And his dad is played by Sephiroth and Kougaiji tries to control all the children with these headsets that make their brains hurt if they try to leave. And there's a girl who was asleep in a miniature blitzball sphere, and she woke up...and there's a gun that's alive or something? You see how terrible we are at summaries? And there are pink- and blue-haired people (just one of each) from space that are attacking(?) the earth. We don't know if they're really attacking--they're just flying in their space robots to earth, and being stopped by the earth space robots. We've only seen two episodes so far. Maybe we'll change that tonight, but we're more likely to play The World Ends With You.
And finally, we've been watching Sailor Moon on Hulu. It's a blast from the past in more ways than one! We're watching the old episodes that got us hooked on the series (only we didn't discover its regular timeslot until Nephrite was around, so we're actually not there yet, but it's still the first batch of episodes that we watched over and over and over), and I don't know why, but when we play it on Hulu, it goes without subtitles (this is probably a very good thing, because if there were subtitles, we would be overly critical of them).
And that's a blast from the past because when we couldn't get any more new episodes (this was before Cartoon Network picked it up, so we didn't even have the end of Sailor Moon R), our friend found out how to get videos via the internet...and they didn't have subtitles, either! Only back then, we had no idea what they were saying, so it was kind of like watching WALL-E--we could tell it was good, but we couldn't watch it for too long because our brains start to check out if there's no intelligible dialogue to keep us engaged.
So basically our only complaint about the Sailor Moon / Hulu arrangement is that when we started watching Sailor Moon back in the day, we got one new episode a weekday--five episodes a week. Now we only get two! So we're like, "What's up with that? Is it a translation time problem? Because we can totally help you with that!" Oh well. We'll just have to make do with all our other myriad forms of entertainment.
Today I'm thankful for Page not staying on the keyboard the whole time we were working, getting to buy chocolate pretzels at the store, having the ingredients to make peanut butter sandwiches sort of like the ones they sell at Disneyland candy shops, having lots of fun anime to watch, and remembering how much we like The World Ends With You.