Hero Academia Season 2: It’s not the budget

Anime culture is fast forwarding towards becoming a worldwide phenomenon. With the recent surge of fans in the west, this industry has found itself in high demand and bolstering fandom throughout the world. This is also the reason there are a high toll of anime being broadcasted every season, to cater to the demands of fans. But it also becomes a bane as artists, writers, directors, and basically entire studios are caught up in a whirlwind of hectic production schedules, conflicts, time restraints, and, unfortunately, low pay to chug out one show after another.
The vast majority of long running animes suffer because of such a schedule as new episodes must be made on a weekly basis, and this conundrum offers no respite for the artists as they have to constantly be working to meet the end goals of the week. The worst case scenarios are where an anime doesn’t air a new episode that week, and at best the quality suffers. The small respite a studio gains from this hectic scenario is when its production starts way ahead of time and hence the creative team finds the time to polish its product as much as possible before it starts airing, the case being made here is of ‘My Hero Academia Season 2”. In no way was the first season bad, the animation quality for most if not all fight scenes was exceptional and quite fluid, and showed passion in the work, but what was apparent however, was the amount of static animation for the rest of the show’s smaller scenes, (still shots of characters, showing little or no movements except lips and such etc.). And these small scenes were quite more expressive and showy in the second season. That comes down to the time available to the studio staff and head animator to do the touch ups before the episode has aired.
Making anime is a lengthy process and that is why it takes a lot of time for a quality anime to air, one season after another. The fact that the season 2 of Hero Academia is so well polished is because the studio had revealed that they were ahead of schedule during production. Production for the season’s 7th episode was in production back in January, 3 whole months before the season was due to start airing.
Studios are divided into production units and that’s how anime productions are managed. Which brings us to the studio in question, Bones. The studio responsible for shows like Kekkai Sensen, FullMetal Alchemist, and, as apparent, My Hero Academia. The reason, for mentioning this is to understand how the studio managed to gain such an advantage in production quality and time. And disregarding the average viewer’s perception of budget increase, which it isn’t as there has been no significant change in budget for this new season. The actual value to an anime can be attributed to proper time management, because it’s arguably one of the most, if not the most, important asset for a studio to have. It doesn’t matter if you have great talented animators in the studio if they don’t have the time to make the anime good.
Coming back to the studio, the way the studio bones is structured is in a way of subdivisions. There are 4 divisions within the studio (A, B, C, and D) which produce different animes in its pipeline within a season, with separate producers, directors, head animators, and a separate team of freelance animators. Season 1 of Hero Academia was in the pipeline of studio A, which was already producing the second season of another show at the time (Noragami). And hence there was little time for the division to properly give time to the show. The result was still great at the most important moments, but not quite stellar in comparison to others.
Now, after its airing, the studio was scheduled to put forward another sequel to another anime, during which time it would have been impossible to produce both that, and Hero Academia, the anime was shifter to another studio, which had no anime at the time of this in its pipeline. Hence, the amount of time available for the studio to make it was increased dramatically, and therefore we have gotten such a stellar anime so far.
The industry is vast, the artists overburdened, but they are still trudging along making anime we know and love.

The Last Ashra

Almost 1400 years ago, Muslims were blessed with Ramadhan, a month better than all other months of the year, a month that 1.5 billion Muslims all across the globe practice with great devotion. This month has such great importance in our religion that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to prepare for it a month before it even began. The month as referred to in Ahadith is divided into three parts known as Ashra, the first one being of Rehmat (Blessings), the second one being of Maghfirat (mercy) and the final being of Aag se Nijaat (riddance from fire). The first two Ashra have passed and those of us were fortunate enough to witness them and have made them worthwhile should thank Allah as much as we could. Now with the start of the final Ashra, which is probably the most important 10 days of this most important month of the year, we should do all that is in our power to make use of it as much as we can. The importance of this Ashra can be explained with just one fact that it holds the Lailat ul Qadr (Night of Decree), then night on which the Quran descended upon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), a night better than a 1000 nights, and probably Allah’s biggest gift to the Muslim Ummah. This night is so holds such importance that all sins of a man practicing Ibadah on this night will be forgiven and one who practices these last 10 days of the Holy Ramadhan will be freed from the fires of hell as promised by Allah (SWT). This night of decree as per Ahadith is to be searched in the odd nights i.e. 21, 23, 25, 27, and 29 of the last Ashra, with 25, 27, and 29 being most prominent. But this is not just it, the last Ashra still holds one more night, which we tend to forget most, the night of reward, Lailat ul Jaizah, the night before Eid-ul-Fitr, where Allah promises to reward the Muslims for all their deeds in this holy month. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Whoever stands in worship in the night before the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when other hearts will” such is the importance of this night. We should all start now if we haven’t, or put even more efforts in if we have being practicing Ramadhan as it should be practiced, because this Ashra is what we call a make-or-break time of the year for us. In the end I would just like to mention the fact that yes Allah’s mercy and blessings are at their peak in this month, yes blessings are poured from the sky like rain in this month, but there is just one thing that is worrisome and that is what if we fail to do what was expected of us, even in this month.
I’d like to end it by quoting a Hadith about this, Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, ascended the pulpit and he said, “Amin” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, you ascended the pulpit and said amin.” The Prophet said, “Verily, Gabriel came to me and he said: Whoever reaches the month of Ramadan and he is not forgiven, then he will enter Hellfire and Allah will cast him far away, so say amin. I said amin.” May Allah have mercy upon us and give us the strength to please Allah as He is to be pleased.

Personality Transition in Ramadan, are we actually fasting?

Ramadan is a month which teaches patience and tolerance but the scorching heat wave in Karachi is testing the tolerance level of the people
For people like me it is easy to write then to feel all the problems the masses have to face every day. The only entertainment these days is the Ramzan Transmission on various channels which is much larger than life. However this also turned out be unacceptable, when recently an incident happened on screen in a TV show where an anchor lost his temper and started bashing a young debater. That’s probably because he was fed up with the electricity breakdown schedule or may be the increased prices of food items (particularly in Ramzan) or to an extent to push the ratings high, the anchor ended up making this into a planted script!
So my only apprehension is, are we fasting? Or we are in FAST track??
All I can suggest to people of my city, to keep their rage under control and understand the true meaning of this month i.e. patience and forbearance. Be composed and stay calm because that is what this month is all about!

Happy Fasting!

Ramadan Transmissions

Ramadan has arrived and everyone in the town is excited about it. It is the time of the year when TV addicts become very excited about all the happenings of the TV world.
Those who never get a chance to watch TV were looking forward to Ramadan transmission which is a complete package of entertainment, guidance and learning.
Be it an Islamic learning session or a philanthropic segment, a charity or engagement of people in DUA, these transmissions show the real brotherhood, patience and unity from Sehar till Iftar.
Apart from that the flowing river of Gifts in game shows also attracts a huge number of audiences which seems to be a never ending affair.
This time the shows are going bigger and better. TV One, Bol, ATV, ARY and many other TV channels are hosting this huge transmission but this year the biggest and most happening transmission is from GEO TV, which is hosted by Nauman Ejaz and Bushra Ansari for the very first time. But that’s not all, the biggest attraction this year are the cricket tycoons, Wasim Akhtar and Shoaib Akhtar along with the new stand-up comedian in town, Syed Shafaat Ali as a co-host and many more Islamic scholars.
This transmission is a proud presentation of Team NJ Media, under the direction of M.Nadeem J, who has been the pioneer of huge transmissions and entertainment programs. The creative and post production aspect of Team NJ Media has always been a cornerstone which differentiates their programs from others.
There are many segments in this show which include, naat khuani, quiz, charity, art competition and the BIGGEST game show of TV history.
This time Team NJ Media has made sure that the transmissions should provide core knowledge and learning of Islam and enlight people about the true meaning of Ramadan.

Let the Show Begin

It’s all happening here, right now at the Team NJ Media house, in the last 4 weeks this production has created a charisma on the screen for the viewers to get entertained or simply just entertainment. The Team NJ media creative team, director’s cut; editor’s choice and the animation had been beautifully packaged to keeping the viewers glued to their screens.
From the most stylish awards to the corporate desk Team NJ Media had the camera’s rolling. It’s just not this while the heads where in Karachi the super duper team was simultaneously shooting in Gilgit and Lahore for the PFDC Fashion week and the most inspiring education show “Ichamp” Telenor
Of course we just don’t stop here; Team NJ Media is now on the floor with Dil Dil Ramzan transmission as one of the biggest show in the country!
So here we are on the band wagon delivering the best to your screen…..

Live it up in STYLE

Promising a great welcome to the year twenty seventeen, kick off this Lawn Season with Ruffles and Laces; Bows and Ties. All in the summery hues of pastel pinks, baby blues and dove whites, you are sure to look your chic best in a breezy kurta paired with flapper pants. For the added feminine touch with a defined sexy underlining, get your hands on a belted kimono or a fringed poncho shirt from Rema and Shehrbano’s subtle and flirty summer collection. As the perfect complement to your shabby, chic style file, chokered necklines can instantly up your style game by several notches ~ paired with bootcut pants and you’re a sure head turner wherever you go. To cool down in this scorching heat, fuse in muted floral prints with contemporary geometric designed patterns to create a delightful combo; easy breezy lemon-y bright. Check out Daaman to help you get there! Aham! For all your off shoulder , cold skoulder’ moods, center, left and right, let your inner diva shine in loosely structured sleeves and solid tones, as you effortlessly put on your ‘Don’t mess with me’ swag attitude.

The Handmaid`s Tale

Try not to binge watch

An emotional rollercoaster, Hulu show, the handmaid’s tale should be on everyone’s must watch TV-show list this summer.

Adapted from the book by Margaret Atwood, Handmaid’s tale is set in dystopian world where fertile women have no control over their bodies. The book was written in 1985, during an era where United States was going through a wave of different issues regarding AIDs, LGBTQ community or anti abortion. You would think the times have changed, United States as a nation has progressed, where women have more power on what the want and need. But the nightmares from the book lives on. Similar to shows like ‘Black Mirror’ or ‘Mr. Robot’ the parallels from reality to fiction can not be ignored.

One more reason to watch is Elizabeth Moss from Mad Men, who plays Offred a borrowed name which means nothing more than a womb, a baby making machine slave, who does what her commander and his barren wife wants. With a plain long red uniform representing menstrual blood and childbirth along with bonnet hiding her face her life involves around just shopping with another maid because they cannot travel alone and taking part in the ‘Ceremony’. Ceremony is a ritual, borrowed from the biblical story of Bilhah and Rachel, that mentions that when ovulating the maid lies on the bed, between the knees of commander’s wife while he performs intercourse with her without making eye-contact. Throughout the show you hear Moss’s real thoughts, her insights and flashbacks from her past life and when the government was falling apart everything was being blamed on the terrorists instead of addressing the main issues.

If you think, a non US citizen wouldn’t know or relate to the story, you are wrong. Women all around the world have participated or spoken out on feminism. Women in Pakistan have fought to get their equal rights. Fatimah Ali Jinnah founded the All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA) in 1949, aiming to further the moral, social and economic standing of women across the country. Then came the 1980’s, General Zia-ul-Haq’s controversial implementation of the Hudood Ordinance which asked rape victims to present four eye-witnesses for their claim to be accepted. The Women’s Action Forum (WMA) was established in September 1981, lobbying and advocating on behalf of women without the resources to do it themselves. The forum included women from all spheres who spoke against the government in the media, protested on the streets, conducted educational campaigns in schools and devised the famous ‘Men, money, mullahs and military’ slogan.

Set in a near future that looks like the 1600s with Republic of Gilead, which is what part of the United States (New England, roughly) has become after a fertility crisis and a theocratic coup where women are forced to live under the patriarchy. Because the maids cannot openly say what they feel like, Reed Morano the director helms this project in a way that demonstrates a true vision of Atwood's material, with every eye movement or hand gesture, you can sense the fear or helplessness within these women. Cinematography that strips away glamor and you won’t recognize another gem in show, Alexis Bledel who played sweet little Rory Gilmore in Gilmore Girls. Here she plays Ofglen who in her previous life was gay and unlike other gay members in the community who were reduced to Colonies working under radioactive environment she was forgiven by the authorities because she can reproduce.

With chilling storyline and visuals that will give you goose bumps throughout. It’s a story that normalizes the abnormal. Before starting, prepare yourself for mental distress because it’s too REAL and relevant within each of our worlds. Make sure to watch it every week instead of binging it all together.

Film Festival and Pakistan

Recently a private channel hosted a Film Festival, highlighting the impact of the foreign movies on the local cinemagoers and especially the new Pakistani Cinema. The film festival had more than 400 submissions and almost 20 odd films were then nominated for award presentation.

The film festival showcased international and national 17 movies, and the most prominent movies which were recognized and acknowledged. Somehow I felt that the most movies were from the parallel cinema and commercially did not do well. Among the Pakistani movies, Mah e Mir and Songs from Lahore by Sharmeen Chinoy were appreciated by all.

The revival of the film industry in Pakistan has opened avenues for many young and talented artists and film makers, by giving them an opportunity to compete on an international film platform. The exhibitors and distributors feel that the showing of foreign films have played a vital role for bring people back to the cinema houses.
Every week a new movie is released, with private previews and celebrity shows. The trend of watching movies in Pakistan has also evolved with increasing number of local and international movies now being show in the cinemas.
Nevertheless the only set back point which I feel is the lack of latest cinema houses / high definition screens.
Hosting such film festivals is a great initiative to build a positive yet a professional recognition. Pakistan’s television is one of the largest industry in South Asia and the quality of production facilities are of high quality and standards.

Pakistan music industry

Luckily, Pakistan has been a country that experienced the best in music always. Music has been in the genes of this soil. Be it sufi music, pop, rock or contemporary, Pakistan has always been in the top charts, the music and the artists here have gained fine recognition for themselves globally. Musicians, composers, singers have been working enthusiastically to keep this industry alive & not to any surprises they have achieved what they dreamed.
Seeing from the past, music was in the veins of this land and has always made its way to its listeners. Pakistan holds the acknowledgement of introducing some very versatile singers and this soil has produced magnificent artists who not only acclaimed themselves as singers but devoted their music towards this industry. Where Madam Noor Jahan offered her voice to the borders and motivated the Jawans to fight, there Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan took Pakistani music to another level and gained fame internationally.

Pop, rock and jazz music made this industry grow and in 80’s Pakistan experienced a completely new era of music with The Hassan siblings (Zohaib Hassan/Nazia Hassan) who became the trendsetters in pop music. This young lad and lady were contagious with their music. People all over the world were Disco Deewane on their tunes. The rhythms and tunes have never faded and decade by decade Pakistan has always made its presence in music industry with new ideas, innovations and bold elements.

Qawwalis, Qaul & taranas, Folk, Qafis, are conquered by Pakistani Artists. No matter how the situation may go around politically for Pakistan, but music industry is a ray of hope for all the Sureelay listeners always. We might not have healthy relations with our borders but music on this end has always spread its arms and has welcomed with love. The musical projects that are very prominent are creating history and adding up to the betterment and progress to Sur industry. Pakistani film music has also been a treat to its listeners no matter whether it was Maala singing her love songs or Naseebo’s bold hits, listeners have always looked up and appreciated the Sangeet
From Alam Lohar to Maai Dhaai the folklore and the folk music are in good hands. Despite of the fact that Pakistan lacks in solid musical trainings to upcoming singers, this industry has never failed its prominence. All genres of music are covered by Pakistani artists. We can surely say that from the past all the way to the future it shows that this industry has borne and will bear great accomplishments for it.

PAS-Honoring the advertising and marketing industry

PAS (Pakistan Advertisers Society) is the biggest and premium Advertising, Marketing and Media Industry in Pakistan. PAS honors the most effective pieces of marketing and advertising communications. This year, the PAS awards were held at Karachi Expo center on 15th April 2017, and TeamNJmedia was the official TV production house.

The PAS awards honor the untiring efforts of the advertising and media companies who work hard to create a unique and entertaining segment for the audiences.

The award ceremony was an entertaining and energized evening which was attended by the top-notch companies of Pakistan including banks, multinationals, advertising agencies, and many well-known celebrities from film TV and Fashion.

The show was hosted by Ahmed Ali Akbar who is a well-known director, actor and model. He boosted the energy of the show by his witty comments about advertising companies, telemarketing comic act and delightful hosting. Later on the evening was sparked by the humorous and amusing performances by the Khawatoonz, Junaid Akram, and Taimoor Salahuddin.

Noori and Sara Haider rocked the audience; the beautiful Nosheen took over the stage by her dazzling performance on “Dostea” song.

There were numerous nominations for awards in different fields including Agriculture, Construction, Automotive, Banking, Food, Culinary, Beverages, Textile and Fashion, Cosmetics, Home care, Health care, Telecommunication, Public Services, and Media Innovation. The most prominent categories were, Campaign for good, Season`s Special, Passion for Pakistan, Best Nationality Originated campaign, Campaign of the year and Top Brand 2016.
Coca Cola, Mobilink, Telenor, Interwood, Unilever won awards in different categories along with Habib Bank ltd., who won the award for Top Brand 2016.

Mr. Anwar H. Rammal CEO of Asiatic advertising Pakistan won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The biggest names of the multinational Mr.Aly Mustansir (Chairperson, PAS) Ms.Shazia Syed (Chairperson and Chief Executive Unilever Pakistan), Mr.Fouad Husain (CEO Group M), Mr. Aamir Ahsan (CFO, Nurpur) Mr. Sarmad Ali Khan (Director Marketing, Jang Group), Mr.Naveed Asghar (CMO, HBL), Mr.Raheel Pasha (Director, Unilever Pakistan), Mr.Atif Bajwa (President and CEO, Bank Alfalah) Mr.Imran Aslam (President GEO TV Network), Mr. Qamar Abbas (Executive Director PAS), Mr.Saqib Zia (General secretary, PAS) and the biggest names of entertainment industry Ms.Atiqa Odho, Ms.Shaista Lodhi, Ms.Moomal Shaikh, Mr.Jami Mehmood, Ms.Nadia Hussain, Mr.Tapu Javeri and many others attended the show.

Team NJ media under the supervision of the Director Mr.Nadeem J who pulled out all the efforts to direct a well-managed and smooth show. The show will be broadcasted on TV but it has already created hype because of the live feeds on all social media networks.

Team NJ media is the only production house in Pakistan who is engaged with the biggest entertainment ventures in capturing the events as live from the start to the final look on screen.