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Old 2009-12-21, 04:01   Link #2161
Willen
Aoba Tsukishima
 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Spoiler for Episode 38:
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Old 2009-12-21, 04:10   Link #2162
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This one isn't with the newer encoder so CoreAVC should be fine. The problem's either not enough CPU (full CPU usage) or bad encode. What time is the stutter?

Oh, and reinstalling CCCP might have led it to set the h264 decoder to the non-multithreaded ffdshow one. There's a checkbox for ffmpegmt in the newer CCCP setting dialog.
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Old 2009-12-21, 04:19   Link #2163
MeoTwister5
Komrades of Kitamura Kou
 
 
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I don't think it's a bad encode it just seems to stutter during the high animation sections. Just so happens that there are some videos my Core Media doesn't agree with. Might not be a CPU issue either because I've managed to play larger files flawlessly that were also 720. Managed to get it to play somewhere decent after switching to ffmpeg-mt and cropping it down to 4/3.

That said.... damn this episode tried it's best to sell KouxAkane and AzumaxAoba, ok maybe not so much A/A but definitely K/A. That first little trinket for Akaishi would have at least mixed the signals but hey they focused on Kou getting one too at the end.

It was a good episode but... probably one of my least liked episodes of the series. It felt too in-your-face especially with KouxAkane. It's not that I find that possibility horrible, it's just that it felt like the episode was mostly there to sell this idea.
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Old 2009-12-21, 05:13   Link #2164
Pellissier
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I think this is where the story is taking the point of no return, romance-wise. It's something that needed to be done, seen the recent period of relative stalling. After the Kou-Aoba "reconciliation" and Akane's apparition, not much really happened aside the Valentine episode that showed who likes who but in a psychological way, now actions are following.

I mean, up to the point of Aoba's injury there were no way that things could move between her and Kou. What we got until then is that Aoba likes Kou but is in denial, Kou probably likes Aoba in the romantic way too but Akane and his own wingmen are making his life more complicated than it was.

My expectation is that Kou and Aoba must experience a period of cold communication and detachment to actually understand how much they're important for each other. We've seen in this episode how Aoba for two times said "maybe I've underestimated him" which apparently was meant from a baseball point of view, but more realistically was her inner self politely expressing uneasiness and unhappiness with the new turn of events (Kou dating Akane).
On the other hand Kou has had time for reflection, and we got a peek of his thoughts, a particular pairing he thought he apparently wouldn't mind but more realistically he's not really fond of. So while the two of them were particularly distant this time, I think their relationship grew a little bit. If this reaches the point in which they will miss this or that moment spent with the other, then they will probably come closer to the truth. As much as not pleasurable for a Kou x Aoba supporter like I am, I approve this development.

A word for Akane, I'm not entirely sure she's fallen for Kou or she's ready to become involved with him in a romantic way. She's a very smart and thoughtful girl, in the past episode she approved the fact that Aoba and Kou have been knowing each other for a long time (with all that follows). In episode 38, I think she immediately realized Kou wasn't a Kabuki fan at all, so something should have gone in her mind, not to the point of thinking someone was trying to pull the strings, but at least to realize something wasn't right.

When Kou was talking of Akane with Akaishi, I felt a lot of melancholy. Akane represents the present and the future, she can probably replace some of the pieces Wakaba left void when she passed away. But she cannot be a complete replacement. First big clue we've seen in this episode, her past. Kou and Wakaba grew together, spend all the time together, knew all the same places and same persons. Now, with Akane, everything regarding the past doesn't match.
I only say go figure how much the lack of a shared past must be important when comparing Akane with a girl whom all that is left are the memories from the past. So sad yet inevitable.

Azuma has become from cautios from proactive but I think he's still being fair. Seeing how (apparently) well things are going for Kou with Akane, summing that to his existing sense of guilt for injuring Aoba + the sort of feelings he claimed to have for her, he took the chance to make his first (and second) step. But he's well aware of the whole situation and I think that, if in a near future things should change and Kou and Aoba would approach each other again, he might also retreat.
By the way, it seemed quite evident to me that Aoba was pushing herself towards Azuma with some of her blatantly dishonest behaviours. In order to "flee" from Kou, of course. If this continues, I figure Azuma should be smart enough to realize it quite soon.

Anyone else felt like the new eyecatch (Kou and Aoba watching each other with a white cross on a black background) kind of felt like a big "Rejected!" ? Talk about blatant. ^^
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Old 2009-12-21, 05:57   Link #2165
MeoTwister5
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Quote:
My expectation is that Kou and Aoba must experience a period of cold communication and detachment to actually understand how much they're important for each other. We've seen in this episode how Aoba for two times said "maybe I've underestimated him" which apparently was meant from a baseball point of view, but more realistically was her inner self politely expressing uneasiness and unhappiness with the new turn of events (Kou dating Akane).
On the other hand Kou has had time for reflection, and we got a peek of his thoughts, a particular pairing he thought he apparently wouldn't mind but more realistically he's not really fond of. So while the two of them were particularly distant this time, I think their relationship grew a little bit. If this reaches the point in which they will miss this or that moment spent with the other, then they will probably come closer to the truth. As much as not pleasurable for a Kou x Aoba supporter like I am, I approve this development.
You don't know what you got until you say goodbye.

Well this is a classic romantic plot device that can really go either way. Episode 38 had already bent backwards enough to make absolutely sure no one knows what's going to happen next. Sure it tried so very hard to toss a wrench into the CGS Kouoba but hey, no voyage is interesting if it's just from point A to point B. The problem is that again it's a double edged sword; it will either be the writer's blessing or the writer's boon. From everything I've ever seen on the use of this there's no middle ground: you'll either do it right or you'll do it wrong. If this is really what Adachi-sama intends to do, he has on his plate a challenge that many other writers have failed to accomplish.

As for the distance well... distance can only do two things: it can make the heart grow fonder... or it can make the heart forget.

Quote:
A word for Akane, I'm not entirely sure she's fallen for Kou or she's ready to become involved with him in a romantic way. She's a very smart and thoughtful girl, in the past episode she approved the fact that Aoba and Kou have been knowing each other for a long time (with all that follows). In episode 38, I think she immediately realized Kou wasn't a Kabuki fan at all, so something should have gone in her mind, not to the point of thinking someone was trying to pull the strings, but at least to realize something wasn't right.
The kicker for this was the end, by giving Kou the same trinket she gave Akaishi she sort of puts them on a level field. Why did she give both of them that? For Akaishi, was it thanks for the tickets or something more? For Kou, was it for putting up with the Kabuki show or something more? An enigma, it is. She clearly knows just how close K and A are, but that gesture at the end further muddles for me just who she "probably" fancies. I'm sure she acknowledges both Akaishi and Kou, and I'm definitely sure Akaishi has an attraction to her that probably now goes beyond a mere Wakaba lookalike, but does she show any genuine interest to either men?

Gah!

Quote:
When Kou was talking of Akane with Akaishi, I felt a lot of melancholy. Akane represents the present and the future, she can probably replace some of the pieces Wakaba left void when she passed away. But she cannot be a complete replacement. First big clue we've seen in this episode, her past. Kou and Wakaba grew together, spend all the time together, knew all the same places and same persons. Now, with Akane, everything regarding the past doesn't match.
I only say go figure how much the lack of a shared past must be important when comparing Akane with a girl whom all that is left are the memories from the past. So sad yet inevitable.
If she truly had some sort of feeling that she's obligated as a replacement I'm sure she would have done it much earlier. This brings into play another scene of contention: Introducing Kou to her old neighborhood. If anything I would assume that it was Akane who wanted to visit. She probably didn't have to bring him along but she did anyway. It may just be some sort of innocent side-scene for the show, but very few things in this story can be written of as unimportant. She may not have had a shared past with Kou, but she could at least introduce him to hers. A plan in action? Perhaps!

Quote:
Azuma has become from cautios from proactive but I think he's still being fair. Seeing how (apparently) well things are going for Kou with Akane, summing that to his existing sense of guilt for injuring Aoba + the sort of feelings he claimed to have for her, he took the chance to make his first (and second) step. But he's well aware of the whole situation and I think that, if in a near future things should change and Kou and Aoba would approach each other again, he might also retreat.
By the way, it seemed quite evident to me that Aoba was pushing herself towards Azuma with some of her blatantly dishonest behaviours. In order to "flee" from Kou, of course. If this continues, I figure Azuma should be smart enough to realize it quite soon.

Anyone else felt like the new eyecatch (Kou and Aoba watching each other with a white cross on a black background) kind of felt like a big "Rejected!" ? Talk about blatant. ^^
I actually feel bad for Azuma. He's sort of being used as Aoba's escape vehicle. In contrast I believe that he's fully aware that he's being used, and that in any other situation Aoba wouldn't have bothered to pair up with him. In that sense he's willingly letting himself be the vehicle of Aoba's mental defenses, perhaps as the result of his own guilt for injuring her.
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Old 2009-12-21, 08:55   Link #2166
Sackett
Cross Game - I need more
 
 
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Wonderful analysis both of you.

My main response though is emotional: Kou isn't happy.

Kou isn't happy. I could endure Kou/Akane if Kou was happy but Kou isn't happy.

Kou deserves to be happy, dammit!

Why did you have to jack it up Akaishi? Why couldn't you be patient and let Kou work it out on his own?

I feel sorry for Azuma, since I think Aoba is using him a little- but he knew what he was getting into.

But dang it... Kou deserves better then this.
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Old 2009-12-21, 09:13   Link #2167
MeoTwister5
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Age: 29
At this point Kou is sort of like Tomoya from Clannad, except the shit that's raining down on Kou isn't plainly obvious. They both struggle to find some sense and happiness despite what life is throwing at them but they just can't seem to get it.

Tomoya got the answer taken from him in the most brutal way imaginable, just as he thought he finally had it (I don't wanna go there ), while Kou has the answer in front of him but he just can't seem to grasp it, just when he thought he'd finally reach it.

I may actually need to reevaluate my rating for episode 38.
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Old 2009-12-21, 11:25   Link #2168
Guardian Enzo
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Don't suggest this going the Clannad route, even in jest. The last thing CG needs it to turn into a melodrama.
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Old 2009-12-21, 11:27   Link #2169
Nosauz
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If you think about though, akane is a really strong person, willing to possibly sacrifice her "self" if she so chooses to be with kou. If that were the case then she would always be the girl that reminds him of wakaba, and in the end the love story is focusing on the interactions of the people within the show. Although the animation seems to play up the romance it's quite obvious that in the scene where aoba talks about Kou's date, she's unhappy and unwilling to look at azuma until she has mustered her strength, where as kou is a little more accepting with akaishi playing cupid, but again his distance from her showing him her life is a good indication that he also isn't willing to accept akane as the replacement for wakaba. At this point I just wish mizuki played a more prominent role in aoba's reverse harem.
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Old 2009-12-21, 11:58   Link #2170
Guardian Enzo
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If Adachi - no question a genius of dramatic "slow-build" and subtlety in writing and character development - has a weakness, IMO it's his penchant for extreme coincidence. Sometimes he does tend to prop his plots up with a little deux ex machina, and the introduction of Akane has felt like that to me from the beginning. I certainly recognize her ingenious nature as a device to nudge the main plot forward, but it feels a bit false to me.
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Old 2009-12-21, 12:22   Link #2171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pellissier View Post

Anyone else felt like the new eyecatch (Kou and Aoba watching each other with a white cross on a black background) kind of felt like a big "Rejected!" ? Talk about blatant. ^^
Cross Game!
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Old 2009-12-21, 18:25   Link #2172
The Rumblefish
Hurray for Takako Shimura
 
 
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Quote:
his penchant for extreme coincidence.
At this point I would even argue it's his modus operandi. He made fun of it a few times in some of his works.

I have the frustrating feeling that I cannot contribute to meaningful discussions here anymore (such as the couple of great posts above). It's becoming pretty much impossible for me to speculate genuinely with people who have not read the manga. And I almost made a big mistake a few days ago; I thought the glove kit happened the first time Azuma visited Aoba and almost commented "hmm they took that nice scene out, weird".

Anyhow, I think this episode did a great job at presenting just how great characters Azuma and Akaishi are. The camera angles, animations and voice actors were perfect. On the other hand, the anime version squandered the subtlety of some scenes away.

I guess both Senda's song and Aoba's gunshot quote are references to famous works/songs. Does anyone know what exactly is referenced in each case?

Still patiently waiting for an announcement of the soundtrack's release...
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Old 2009-12-21, 18:30   Link #2173
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I guess both Senda's song and Aoba's gunshot quote are references to famous works/songs. Does anyone know what exactly is referenced in each case?
Senda is singing the Cross Game ED song. I don't know if the gunshot scene is anything particular.
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Old 2009-12-21, 18:48   Link #2174
Theowne
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This was a nice episode. In particular I liked the way they handled the scene where Kou recounts visiting Akane's hometown. I've complained about how the treatment of Akane (by Akaishi and those observing him) as Wakaba reincarnated was being portrayed in an almost touching way that I thought was wrong. Actually, there was a scene like that here too, where Akaishi says he likes Wakaba's smile best when she's with Kou. But it's touched upon later when Kou is mentioning how different everything about Akane's childhood is. It's pretty clear that Akane's differences are being felt more than her similarities to Wakaba, for Kou, at least. Whatever role Akaishi ends up playing, hopefully he can a similarly full realization of this.....

I agree with what someone said earlier, that this is basically the "point of no return" in the story, the interactions between the main characters from here will probably have romantic underpinnings for the most part.
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Old 2009-12-21, 19:36   Link #2175
The Rumblefish
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Ansalem: thanks, I was expecting something along those lines. That will teach me for always skipping the ED as fast as possible to catch the preview.

[edit] ↓ Thanks as well!

Last edited by The Rumblefish; 2009-12-21 at 20:01.
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Old 2009-12-21, 19:52   Link #2176
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The gunshot quote is from Golgo 13.
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Old 2009-12-21, 20:16   Link #2177
leongsh
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Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
But it's touched upon later when Kou is mentioning how different everything about Akane's childhood is. It's pretty clear that Akane's differences are being felt more than her similarities to Wakaba, for Kou, at least. Whatever role Akaishi ends up playing, hopefully he can a similarly full realization of this.....
Kou isn't voicing it out for himself when he was with Akaishi. He's purposely informing Akaishi that Akane is a different person. He's subtlely turning Akaishi's efforts to pair Akane and him up into one in which he is nudging Akaishi towards Akane. Yet, Akaishi's comment about Wakaba's smile has gotten him to look closer at Akane.

Just when you thought that Akane is taking a firmer liking to Akaishi by getting Kou to pass that little handmade keychain caricature to Akaishi (and Kou was then happy in thinking that she only made 1 and it was for Akaishi), Akanie makes one as well for Kou and a more detailed one at that. Akane has also taken a liking to him too

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
I agree with what someone said earlier, that this is basically the "point of no return" in the story, the interactions between the main characters from here will probably have romantic underpinnings for the most part.
Yup, it is. The Rubicon has been crossed. It's time certain people explore what their true feelings are.
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Old 2009-12-21, 21:45   Link #2178
MeoTwister5
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Don't suggest this going the Clannad route, even in jest. The last thing CG needs it to turn into a melodrama.
I wouldn't dream of it. Both are fine shows but are far too different beasts.
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Old 2009-12-21, 21:50   Link #2179
Nosauz
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seriously, crying game versus adachi... truly two different beasts, lets never speak of this again.
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Old 2009-12-21, 22:03   Link #2180
Guardian Enzo
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While that wasn't a strong ep by this show's lofty standards, I didn't end up hating it as much as I expected. There was no real diminishing of the feeling of wrongness whenever Kou is with Akane. She's not a character so much as a plot device, which makes her inherently one of the weaker elements of the series - yet she is playing a vital part. Azuma/Aoba, OTOH, was more disturbingly right - though Aoba's overcompensating politeness and cheerfulness gives her away. Azuma certainly is a naughty boy for taking credit for the glove maintenance kit.

Akaishi is really starting to piss me off. His meddling has gotten rather annoying and pathetic, when anyone can see what he really wants. Kou clearly isn't happy with developments as they stand, but in it's way it's easy for him to be with Akane - familiar and safe in a tantalizing way. He knows it's wrong and he can't be happy with her because he does and his integrity won't allow it, yet Akaishi keeps pushing and you can see his will to push back wavering. It's rather sad, really, to see such a good-hearted and otherwise strong young man at war with himself and miserable when what he wants is always within his grasp.

As has been said, I think we're at the nexus, the center of all things. There's no more freebies - everything now has consequences, and if there's no real movement in the next few eps all of this slow build will begin to transition into manipulation of the audience. I trust Adachi not to let that happen, but I'll certainly be nervous in anticipation as things play out.
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