Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Sticks and Stones Will Break Their Bones?

Feed me.

Err, in case you missed the point of my last post.

Nabari no Ou:

Note that he's got Miharu's entire arm in one grip
How do those legs support anything?

From now on, when it comes to this part in the OP, I'll pause, lift a finger between my eyes and the screen - and watch Kouichi disappear.

Nice legs.

Imagine if Raimei mentions the word 'diet'. I can't.

Yea... those must be some really thick clothes he's wearing...

Special A:


I think I've rattled on about the noodle wrestlers of this show enough.

Of course, if you were to properly compare the weights of the Nabari no Ou cast and the Special A cast, you'd have to first remove all hidden ninja weapons from Kouichi et al, and exclude Tadashi from the S.A. group just to be fair since he actually eats.

So much for my crack post -_-"

Continue reading...

A question weighing on my mind right now...

If you had the main cast of Nabari no Ou on one hand, and the main cast of Special A on the other... which would be heavier?

Continue reading...

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Spring 2008 (Not-Exactly-)Bishoujo Rankings

I was about to do yet another post continuing the trend of my previous 2 ones in a continuous bid to alienate male readers from this blog, but it seems that someone else has beaten me to the chase. So instead of a 'Spring 2008 Princely Rankings' of sorts like I initially planned, here's something else to highlight the obvious lack of goggly-eyed moe-incarnates from Kyoto Animation in a season of plain-looking-girls-next-door and where feminism would rule if not for Kanokon and To-LoveRU! (there are still a smattering of bishoujo around, but they're mostly from the shoujo animes and are being outnumbered by the manservice machines of Code Geass alone)

11) Crystal Blaze girls (Crystal Blaze) - Only applies to the girl with the scratchy voice really. I might have remembered their names if I was still watching this.

Blurry and hastily cropped screenshots aren't doing them any favours

10) Jinko and... Satomi, was it? (Itazura na Kiss) - What's this, side characters that don't steal the thunder from the main characters at all? *coughsSpecialAcoughs* Well in the next episode they (and the rest of the F class) seem to be getting a bit more attention, so I'll forgive them for now for not being on par as Nobu and gang in Lovely Complex.

9) Amachi Nanako (Himitsu) - Who? I just remember Nonaka Ai voicing her :P If I hadn't started watching Himitsu and realized that Maki was actually a guy (and voiced by Seki Tomokazu no less OTL), she would be here instead.

8) Midarezaki Gekka (Kyouran Kazoku Nikki) - She's 'voiced' by Satou Rina, so she counts?

7) Irie's Mom (Itazura na Kiss) - Not at all MILF material (thankfully), but her schemey-ness in bringing Kotoko and Irie together is pure win. (Plus points for cross-dressing the bugger as a kid XD)

6) Miderazaki Hyouka (Kyouran Kazoku Nikki) - Oh, it's a trap? (Just needed an excuse to put more KKN characters in so that I can finally remember all their names!)

6) Maka Alban (Soul Eater) - Can't say much about her since I've not watched past the 1st episode (despite it being on a convenient time slot on TV for me on Mondays... If only I wasn't busy watching anime everywhere else but my room -_-"). On the list for being a female protagonist on a shounen show, but isn't higher up because I'm not a fan of her seiyuu (though some praise her flat-ness as fitting the character *shrugs*).

So sue me for reusing pics, she's only had one scene so far -_-"

5) Nina (Code Geass) - R2 has made her look years older really. Probably the only female on Code Geass who could qualify for this list (post table hump anyways, and only if you're not into the meganekko-psycho-stalker thing)

4) Ahmey (Tower of Druaga) - More GAR than moe, but then again we had a bunch of Claymores in Saimoe last year too (Ahmey isn't Claymore-class yet, though). At least she's not one of the air-headed/bitchy/loli female characters in the show.

3) Midarezaki Kyouka (Kyouran Kazoku Nikki) - I'm not sure what megalomaniac cat girls do for feminism, but she makes a surprisingly 'good' (if unconventional) mother for a very unconventional family.

I just couldn't bring myself to crop Shibasaki from the pic

2) Kasahara Iku (Toshokan Sensou) - Tomboy 4tw? A lot of Toshokan Sensou is about Iku being beaten down by the harshness of the Library Task Force Doujo who really just cares too much about her :P and how she has to eventually rise above all that - but almost always after a lecture from Shibasaki only, and thanks to the OP sequence we see her shed tears at least once per episode so far. Hence, she's not a Kou Shuurei (Saiunkoku) in terms of being a feminist beacon in anime just yet. Hopefully the next episode where she has to protect against the Media Communists on her own sees her showing her true stuff (Princes be damned!). Plus points for protecting books =P

And finally...

The pigtails make me think Yumi from Marimite... Perhaps that's why I first thought it could be Ueda Kana voicing her instead of Mizuki Nana -_-"

1) Aihara Kotoko (Itazura na Kiss) - Perhaps if Itazura na Kiss didn't look as 'retro shoujo' as it did, Kotoko would be considered a bishoujo no contest. But what I absolutely love about her character (and why she's my number one female character this season) is that even in terms of anime characters, she may be rather plain looking somewhat plain acting, yet her human qualities more than redeem her. Sure she's head over heels in love with the biggest jerk in anime male leads since the last one Hirakawa Daisuke voiced, but she's not blinded by that fact alone and acknowledges it as it is. Early on she understands the futility of her situation after being rejected by Irie, and despite acting for the best by trying to move on, she later acknowledges the fact that it's not going to be that easy to forget about a crush you live under the same roof with. What I really love though, is how Kotoko refuses to just be a doormat to Irie's douchebag personality and does manage in her slightly clumsy way to still hold her own and put him in his place. She's human to me in the way that she's neither very mature (as her homework habits show) nor too flawed a character, making her an easily understandable character and a major factor to the appeal of the show (Also, Mizuki Nana =P)

Well that turned out to be more fun than I expected, maybe I should do these lame excuses for gimmick posts more often XD.

Continue reading...

Monday, 28 April 2008

Toshokan Sensou 3 : Am I blind or what?

I watched the raw for Toshokan Sensou 3 yesterday at least twice and though each time my brain duly noted the brand of the beer Doujou was drinking without much registration since it wasn't a pun on any actual real life brand as you'd usually find in anime (my personal favourite, Kyouya's Pineapple laptop in Ouran XD). I still can't believe that after my last post on Prince Charmings it still takes a comment on Impz's blog to note me of the possible significance of the damned drink, *smacks forehead* Whether or not it's a hint/confirmation of Doujou's actual status in the story is still up to speculation at this point, but you have to commend whomever's idea it was to slip the Prince motif all so clearly in front of us (and yet I still missed it - and this is why regular sleeping patterns are so important OTL). And usagijen's deep frying of Toshokan Sensou has ignited the Doujou X Iku shipper flame in me and has further increased my intentions of purchasing the source material the next time I see them novels manga (Japanese reading skills still not up to par) in a store! There goes the monies... T.T

P.S. This episode has people dying over books. And this is why Library Wars is SRS BSNSS!

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Sunday, 27 April 2008

Junjou Romantica 3: Someday My Prince Will Come (Oh god that just sounds awfully wrong!)

I'm trying to keep this post short, since I'm starting to feel guilty as the only person in the 'study' room currently not actually studying (Okay, so I have my Physics book and electronic dictionary on the table, but neither of them are open -_-" Also reading 5 pages for homework has never been this difficult to me thanks to the horror that is kanji...)

Anyways, since I can't think of anything else to blog about right now and having taken up usagijen's raw watching advice and applying it on... Junjou Romantica of all things last night (instead of watching more Toshokan Sensou raw, I watched the sub of episode one instead, lol. Saiunkoku Monogatari was on TV too last night, but I've watched the episode before and keeping up with the dialogue when there's no pause button is difficult enough in a show that's not set in an ancient China-like setting -_-"), I might as well toss up another JR post since those seem to receive the most comments

This scene totally cracked me up with the cheesy line Nowaki used :"Hiro-san wa boku wo moratta!" (I'll be taking my man toy Hiro now if you don't mind) XD

Side note: Hiroki's voiced by Kentarou Itou and Nowaki by Nobutoshi Canna. For those like me before this who have no idea who these people are (and aren't likely to remember anyways), Nobutashi Canna also did Ryuuya in Air (for the fanboys) and Fushigi Yuugi's Tasuki (for the old school fangirls) as well as Saiunkoku's Tei Yuushun (which one was that again?). Kentarou Itou is La Corda's Tsuchiura (green haired soccer pianist-kun, but the fangirls know that), Saiunkoku's Ensei (possibly the only anime character I know who appears with and without facial hair at different times in the series) and for the fanboys(? I don't think so...) Soul Link's Shuhei (*urgh Soul Link*)

Anyways, there's one point about episode 3 that's bugging me a little (and no, it's not the compulsory buttsecks. Seriously though, if there's at least one buttsecks episode per episode, then like those guy friends I have who shamelessly proclaim to be desensitized to porn after after watching so much of it, I have a feeling that the same thing will happen to me with regards to 'subtext' by the end of JR -_-"). A ridiculously common feature of most BL stories is that it has to take extraordinary or downright ridiculous circumstances to get the guys to actually start loving/hating (love/hate being another common factor) on each other (See Gravitation) The current arc of JR exhibits this trend more than the previous one (though since this one doesn't start with raeping and leaves the subtext till after the romancing, its slightly more 'palatable' -_-").

With Hiroki and Nowaki, it takes a rocket (Hinano just had to turn it into p3n!s pump, LOL) and one look at Hiroki's sad-because-I-was-raepd-by-a-guy-who-pretended-I-was-someone-totally-else face before Nowaki decides that he's 'fallen in love with Hiroki at first sight' and wants to make him happy. A little too convenient, don't you think?

It kinda got me thinking about 'Prince Charming' syndrome in anime, where the (usually) female (that part doesn't apply in BL, obviously) protagonist yearns for that gangly Prince to come save her from her bitterly unromantic life. What I always find interesting is the different ways this theme has been played out in different show. Like in Utena and more recently Toshokan Sensou, the female leads decide after first encounters with their certain 'Prince Charmings' to not just sit around waiting and pining, but to go ahead and emulate their princes in a bid to become closer with the often mysterious entity that is the 'Prince'. Probably just as fantastical, but it's nice to know that they're putting some sort of effort into it rather than moping about in a park waiting for some random projectile to fall at their feet -_-" (Not as significant, the OP song to Rozen Maiden Traumend, Seishoujo Ryouiki has the line "I don't believe in a prince on a white horse". Makes me think of the new Code Geass OP sequence..)

But this deal about things happening conveniently to bring together couples is of course just a detail of fiction being fiction for the sake of a story. And BL is mostly catering to the imaginative fangirl crowd as opposed to actual guys who like guys (homo/bi/tri, what have you) anyways, so realism can go straight out the window in the hopes of bringing out that inner "KYAA, that was SOOO sweet!!! *hearts*" reaction in the viewer.

There's nothing wrong with all that I suppose. But I do wonder if one day perhaps we'll have a WTF BL show featuring a non-bishie male lead who spends his time in gay bars stalking prey... *shudders*

And one final point: Who sends flowers to a florist???

So much for a short post -_-"

Continue reading...

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Can't think of a more interesting way to say "Random Spring Season Update"

It's suddenly become a weekly tradition for us not to get back to our dorms till 5 or 6 in the morning on Saturday mornings after staying up all of Friday night doing inane activities like... Not watching/blogging anime. Yes, I have screwed up priorities, blame it on the lack of sleep and the overdose of fried chicken I had today. First and last time I'm 'indulging' in that rip off that is 'KFC's all you can eat for one hour at only 1320yen' nearby. And no, I'm not having Pizza BHut any time soon either. Since I've not posted for a few days, and I don't have much concrete material on any one series to constitute a proper post, here's a random update post for which I failed to come up with a witty title to (as always).

After wildly random and immensely entertaining 2nd episodes, Kyouran Kazoku Nikki and Kamen no Maid Guy (yes, Kamen no Maid Guy. And for the record, I actually loved watching Magikano, so there :P) enter my watchlist at number 6 and 7 respectively, displacing everything from Nabari no Ou downwards downwards still and at more risk of being dropped. Which brings me too...

Special A still sucks may just be the first shoujo series I'll ever drop. Even if the first few jokes of the 3rd episode were actually funny, and Hikari doesn't look as anorexic anymore, it's still too WTF when her skinny limbs are able to destroy kitchen utensils -_-" And the cannonball onigiri joke was only funny in Keroro Gunsou. Right now it feels like I'll only be able to like Special A if they got rid of Hikari and Kei (and especially the student council guy)... which would make the show rather meaningless, wouldn't it? Though speaking of actually dropping series...

Huh? Cry-blah?

Dropping Crystal Blaze after second episode (where I literally zoned out halfway, but that was because it was late and I was tired). psgels assures us it's a solid show, and I kinda believe so... but if my guess is right, even if I do continue watching, it'll just end up being one of those shows where I go 'well I guess that was okay' in the end before forgetting that I've ever watched it in the first place. On the other hand...

I may actually continue watching Kaiba and Himitsu instead. Need subs though. And speaking of subs...

Toshokan Sensou has finally been subbed! *!!!Goes to rewatch episode!!!* Those who haven't caught a glimpse of it, go do so, NOW. Also...

Junjou Romantica has finally been subbed! *...nyeh, prefers snarky NicoVideo comments* Let's talk about something more interesting....

Itazura na Kiss, Code Geass, Allison to Lillia remain very much entertaining for their own individual reasons (which seem wildly divergent from one another, especially when it comes to Code Geass XD). I really should remind myself to watch Nabari no Ou and Tower of Druaga every week though... Probably not a good sign that I'm starting to forget about them already. But it happens when the awesome-r series stick to mind, like...

Kure-nai. I suppose any show that's able to make me feel some sort of emotion besides reducing me to laughter (intentionally or not) at a character must be good to some extent. I was totally with Murasaki over the Shinkurou being a doormat in the subway train thing. (on the other hand, I can totally understand why Shinkurou didn't fight back, but I was still furious at how low he forced himself to sink!) The last time I felt genuinely furious at an anime character was at Hachimaki in Planetes after he goes Jupiter. It's totally different from being absolutely appalled at a character like Shinji in Evangelion to the extent that it reduces the enjoyment of a show. Feeling both angry at a certain character's behavior and angry for the other characters who have to put up with it - in poor Murasaki's case, being rebuked and then lectured about society's rules in a way Mawari from Seto no Hanayome could never hope to achieve - isn't something that occurs too often with me, and having character conflict within the show that I can actually connect to, even if it brings out a form of negative emotion in me, and is something I'm actually grateful for. (Hey, this whole paragraph should've gotten its own post -_-"). And finally...

Penguin no Mondai (not to be confused with that other Penguin Musume show which I haven't/won't watch) is probably the most wildly inappropriate 'kids' entertainment' I've watched, ever. Okay, maybe I'm the only one who was fooled into thinking it's children's entertainment... And am I the only one who's watched this? Maybe I'm hallucinating...

I need to get some sleep now. The panda eyes I'm getting in real life or hardly becoming.

Continue reading...

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Chi's Sweet Home and Other Short Shorts

Chi is not pleased that I left him out of my first impression posts...

Chi's Sweet Home was actually the first first episode I watched of the Spring season but that was back home when I was still busy freaking out packing to come all the way here and my then stressed anime starved mind needed that 3 minutes of fuzziness that only a show about a kitten could bring. I kind of forgot about it once I arrived here in Osaka though, but after sifting through so many series this season, I think it's about time I watch more of Chi and his fuzzy 'adventures'. It's the perfect way to chill out after a long day of seemingly endless lessons -_-" Seriously, you must be an extreme cat hater to not feel you day brighten up at least a little bit after watching Chi :P He's like a smaller snarkier version of the incredibly adorable Grey from Sketchbook (Another must watch for cat-lovers. Personally, I don't have a preference between cats or dogs. Or kappas =P).

But if cats aren't your thing (or penguins) and and you have like 5 minutes to burn without anything to do or watch, here's a couple of 'short short' titles you could consider:

Kappa no Kaikata or How to Raise a Water Imp is a short short in that each episode is only 4 episodes long but there's 26 of them so you could technically finish the series in under 2 hours of you wanted to. It's about a guy who decides to get a water imp (kappa) as a pet, which may sound bizzare to us since these duck-billed turtle-shelled creatures (remember Pani Poni Dash?) don't actually exist (or do they...?). But in the realm of the show, which is your otherwise average modern-day Japan, they're the new hottest pets since... whatever the last hottest pet in Japan was. Basically it's 26 episodes of 'Watashi's (so ANN refers to him. The main human character doesn't have a name) forays into taking care of his new pet Kaatan, who turns out to be quite a handful (feeding kappas horseradish seems to be a very bad idea...). Other recurring characters include various other kappa owners and their kappas who do pet-owner-like stuff like dress up their kappas in human clothes, take them out for walks/swims, use them as replacement family members, etc.

The show kind of ends on a "uh-oh, this may turn serious" note, but it turns out to be a "eh? that's it?" ending. Still as a whole, Kappa no Kaikata is a fairly entertaining light hearted watch. The stories are fairly episodic save for a few 'story arcs' like the one about the humanoid kappa 'Hercules' who can glare the sh*t out of anyone (lol). And yes, before you ask about the pic, all of the human characters in the show are literally faceless - possibly to put the focus on the kappas instead of their owners. It's an... interesting gimmick to say the least (about as mildly disturbing as blackened out faces in Minami-ke: Okawari), and at any rate a cost saving one (which is probably why it's been employed it in Itazura na Kiss -_-").

Also at 4 minutes per episode (but only 16 of them) is the over the top and slightly NSFW Ippatsu Kiki Musume. The show is about a China musume Kunyan who has a penchant for getting herself into ridiculous life-threatening situations and the absurdly unpractical (though they try to cast it as perfectly feasible) methods that she is forced to employ to escape out of them. Oh, and she is often naked/becomes naked in said situations. For instance the episode where she slips in her bath tub and her hair gets sucked into the drainhole such that her head is stuck underwater and she almost drowns. Or when a conveniently parked truck traps her in a phone booth on a hot sunny day and she is forced to strip to stay alive in the oven-like cramped space. Unorthodox and not really recommended methods of averting disasters from the show include making a tissue paper rope ladder to escape out of a tall building and using a condom water balloon to put out a fire (no joke, there's actually a 'live action' portion in the episode where they demonstrate how to make one, lol).

Of course the show's not meant to be taken seriously at all, and is really quite hilarious in a warped kind of way (the narrator often tries to put real life physics into the equation whenever Kunyan assesses the situation, wtf). The art is crud of course and I'm not sure why they wanted to waste their budget on a blah OP sequence at all, but if you're looking for someone to laugh at/pity for a good hour or so, Kunyan may be a 'safe' bet (warning for partial frontal nudity).

Even in peril out at sea, Misato-bunny (bottom right, voiced by Mitsuishi Kotono) still looks good XD

Now if you have a little more time to spare, like say 12 minutes, there's always Zenryoku Usagi (which I can't believe I'm still pimping out XD). Okay, so it's probably the kiddiest show of the lot ignoring Chi's Sweet Home, but it's still a pretty lulz show with good clean humour (with a slight tendency towards violence XD)... But if you're too busy laughing at bouncy boobies and fox girls (or MAID GUYS. GAR!!) then nevermind...


The last title I'd recommend is probably the only actual 'short short'. At only 6 minutes and the one 'episode', Ame to Shoujo to Watashi no Tegami is actually a worthwhile freelance work by an independent CG artist about an aspiring writer who writes a love letter and... Well, saying anymore would spoil things, lol. The art may not be BONES or Madhouse or KyotoAnimation, but for a one person job it looks pretty good and rather funky in a good way, and the story may be short, but still cleverly amusing in its own way. A feel good way to spend 6 minutes if anything =P

Well, that's it for short shorts that I can think of off the top of my head for now. Save for Ippatsu Kiki Musume (which is mostly mindless humour XD), they're all good examples of how a show's entertainment value isn't always in proportion to its running length, and they all make the most of the short time span per episode, which is always preferable to dawdling about for a god part of 24 minutes without getting anywhere (I'm thinking of you... err... can't remember the last show I dropped for being too filler-ish).

Continue reading...

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Testing Testing (Oh, and the Anime Blog Awards)

For some reason, my previous post isn't appearing on AnimeNano. So I'm posting this substance-less excuse of a post to see if it's something wrong with the post (did I say something wrong?) or I just have crud karma.

Okay fine, just so that there is some content of some sort, I'll repost that last part about the Anime Blog Awards:

In other news, nominations for The Anime Blog Awards are closing... today? Okay, so I'm rather slow on the uptake. If anyone with an anime blog who hasn't nominated and wants to, you better do it quick since every vote nomination counts/your one vote nomination could tip things in your favourite blogger's favour, etc (or just because it's your obligation as a citizenblogger of the community and that's how democracy works!). If my own nominations didn't turn out to mirror the common denominators of just about every category (except in the 'Most Influential' category where I just tossed in my then personal favourite blogs :P), I'd probably do one of those "why I nominated so-and-so" posts.

So what are you waiting for? Go nominate! That is all.

Edit: Okay, this is WEIRD, I posted this yesterday (22nd) and it JUST appeared on AnimeNano today (23rd)- almost 24 hours later... What's going on here????

Edit again: Oh... looks like the 'problem's been fixed... I guess it is due to my forgetting to change the time zone settings for this blog after all... OTL

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The Trouble with Watching Too Much Anime and Having Japanese Teachers

Despite what it seems, this is going to be a gimmick post :P

So our weekly class schedules have more or less been fixed, and though I'm pretty free to blog on Mondays since I only have class till 12, the rest of the days classes go on till 4, 5, or 6 *shudders*. And 90 minute periods of classes aren't the most conducive when you're as sleep deprived as I am (okay, so maybe we shouldn't have gone for karaoke till 5 in the morning the other day... -_-").

Every day starts out with 3 hours of Japanese SP ('Sentence Patterns') classes where I get to catch up with that boatload of grammar I neglected god knows how long ago, and on Tuesdays we get back to back Japanese Culture and Conversation classes. Ironically, the Conversation class is the only one so far where our sensei speaks to us mostly in English -_-" Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays we have our other 'compulsory subjects' that we need to enter uni. For us Science majors that's Physics, Maths and Chemistry *groans* while Arts majors do Politics and Economics, History and Mathematics (for Business and Economics majors). Future doctors and those doing anything Bio related are probably studying in Tokyo right now (not that I'm jealous of their higher living expenses proximity to Shinjuku and Akihabara or anything... We have Umeda and Den Den Town here=P).

Anyways, point of this post? (Besides making up for the probably lack of substantial posts over the coming days) You know how sometimes when you hear a name you automatically associate it with a fictional character you've seen/read somewhere or perhaps some famous celebrity? (I've not met any Britneys but I do know an Elvis, :P) Take for example, Mickey, or Donald. Okay maybe they're not as common names nowadays post-Disney. What about anime characters then? Of course back home where I seldom met anyone with a Japanese name, it's never been a 'problem', but now...

Today we got our class placement results for Chemistry. Till now, I'm not exactly sure how they're splitting the Iries from the Kotokos and I'll probably not know till those classes start. What concerned me more, was the name of the teacher for our class. What would those who've watched Moyashimon think if they found out that their Chemistry (or Microbiology XD) class was going to be taught by one Hasegawa-sensei? My first thoughts...

OH SHI- (I think most have seen the rest of this infamous (one of many XD) scene in Moyashimon :P If not, do yoursef a favour and go watch it NOW)

Uh-oh... Not looking forward to those lab lessons...

It turns out of course that I need not worry. This Hasegawa sensei's a guy. *phew?* (An Itsuki sensei would've been awesome though :P)

I'll ignore Physics for now since it's not my favourite subject (far from it really) and it seems devoid of anything for my anime addled mind to chew on right now. As for Mathematics, we've not gotten our placements yet since they're still busy giving us bloody placement tests for 3 weeks. WTH, it's like they're more concerned about testing us instead of teaching us when we've not even started classes! Gah.

I took a look at the list possible teachers for Maths though, and I've got to say, I'd be more miffed about all the drawn out testing - if I wasn't too busy being amused at the prospect of ending up in a class thought by a certain Hosaka-sensei...

Talk about 気持ち悪い... (For the full picture...)


Fortunately (or not? XD), after seeing Hosaka sensei first hand, I'm 'glad' to report that he's light years away from what we've seen in Minami-ke. Though, now that I think of it, if you put some glasses on Hosaka senpai, ruffled up his hair more, buttoned up his shirt, and age him a bit, the resemblance is sort of there... OH SHI-

Please don't hurt me 'cos my kanji sucks >.<

And while I'm at it, I might as well mention that we get a different teacher for our S.A. SP classes each day (why? Maybe they're overstaffed *shrugs*). Mondays we're taught by Abe-sensei, lolz. No prize for guessing who popped in my mind instantly. Though our Abe sensei's really quite a funny guy, he's a bit nit picky about how we write our kanji (in fact, the only one of our 5 teachers that is, when they're not marking our kanji tests of course). At least he doesn't fly into rages over my misproportioned characters, thankfully, but then again I've not given him the "Please don't hurt me" look every time I'm asked to go up on the mound board to write something... yet.

Last but not least, each of us foreign students gets a student tutor (usually a local student who's actually studying in Osaka University) to help us with our language and university life here on campus. While I've not met mine yet, (our first meeting is scheduled for Thursday) our class adviser has given us details concerning our tutors in class today, and the one thing I do know about the guy is his name:

_____ Youhei
(I can't just give out a person's family name when I've not even met him, can I?)

Err... Needless to say, I can't wait for our meeting this Thursday... OTL

(Names used in this post been changed to protect their privacy. Oh wait, they haven't. But I guess it's okay when I only reveal half their names? Anyways the rest of it is mostly products of my delusional mind anyhow ;P)

In other news, nominations for The Anime Blog Awards are closing... today? Okay, so I'm rather slow on the uptake. If anyone with an anime blog who hasn't nominated and wants to, you better do it quick since every vote nomination counts/your one vote nomination could tip things in your favourite blogger's favour, etc (or just because it's your obligation as a citizenblogger of the community and that's how democracy works!). If my own nominations didn't turn out to mirror the common denominators of just about every category (except in the 'Most Influential' category where I just tossed in my then personal favourite blogs :P), I'd probably do one of those "why I nominated so-and-so" posts. But instead, you got this :P

Continue reading...

Monday, 21 April 2008

Spring 2008 Ep 2 Impressions - Because ANYONE can do 1st Episode Impressions :P

The following are 9 of the shows I'm definitely following this season... well, that 'definitely' applies more to the series further down the list (I kinda ranked them from "Nyeh" to "!!!!" based on 2 episodes) while the first few are at some sort of risk of being dropped. It's not a complete watchlist yet since I've not gotten to episode 2 of some of the other shows I intend to, but for a start here goes:

9. S.A. (Not very Special Anorexics) - Needs more TajimaTadashi
Honestly disappointed at how mediocre Special A is turning out to be. Atrocious OP btw, it makes Koi no Mikuru Densetsu sound like the pinnacle of anime music (I'm neither a Mikuru fan nor one who actually believes this). The comic timing isn't very good, the jokes feel rather stale already (most of the entertainment value is riding on the side characters of the S.A. class anyhow) and I don't really care for Kei and Hikari - their relationship is starting to look like an inferior KareKano (an unfair comparison seeing that KareKano's first 2 episodes were real good). Perhaps this feeling of disappointment can be attributed to how well it's shoujo counterpart this season is doing in comparison, but if S.A. can't stand on its own soon, I see no reason to continue watching aside from some form of 'shoujo loyalty' on my part.

8. Junjou Romantica - Obligatory 'a new challenger appears' + passionate 'subtext' episode.
So Junjou Romantica is travelling down the path of generic yaoi - and I'm following for the ride? Usami's such a possessive bitch while Misaki's seiyuu (Sakurai Takahiro) just makes the show seem like Kyou Kara Maou all over again (thankfully, Usami isn't even close to being as annoying as Wolfram is *urgh*), but the show still manages to stay absolutely hilarious (partly because of the Nico video comments. There was one that went : "You just realized this is BL???"). Like how everyone in uni avoids Misaki because they're somehow well informed about the fact that the person sending him to classes is a famous BL author (they must all be jealous closet fans XD). There is 'subtext' involved of course, but I'm willing to tolerate it if it comes after the romancing.

And yes, the OP is actually good (which puts this ahead of S.A. -_-"), and not in the cheesily gay-tastic way that Gakuen Heaven's was, LOL.

7. Tower of Druaga - Generic RPG adventure plot twists
Well, the hilarity of the first episode has been replaced by a somewhat generic RPG adventure story (Tip : If you're ever an eye-witness to a successful assassination, clear out of the way before someone points the finger at you *smacks forehead*) but thankfully that doesn't mean the show has gotten bad in any way. The characters have been revealed to be a rather interesting bunch after all (and not in the "I'm going back to my village to get married!" kind of way XD) so despite the fact that it's no longer anything like ep1, I'll still be watching this to see how it develops to the end.

And yes, while I'm at it, the OP sequence is my favourite this season =P

6. Nabari no Ou - Why should we care if you don't?
Again, another show I probably would pass on if not for the funny (as opposed to laughable) characters. And again, thank goodness Kugimiya Rie is voicing Rokujou, since otherwise there'd be a high chance she'd voice the blonde twintails girl -_-" Rokujou may be the 'king of apathy' but his sneaky devil antics make him more likeable than an annoying 'shounen' lead. The only thing I don't like so much is that the characters here are almost on the anorexic level of S.A., but I suppose ninjas need the speed and agility whereas pro wrestlers... Gah, why pro wrestlers at all S.A., why???

5. Allison & Lillia - Cosplay time?
Episode 2 of Allison to Lillia (though when does the 'Lillia' part come in?) has affirmed my liking of the show. When they crash landed into enemy territory it started feeling like Crest of the Stars again (just substitute Kawasumi Ayako's cool and spicy Lafiel with the equally awesome Mizuki Nana's Allison). Like Crest, I'm not in the show so much for the setting (since war sucks, but there you go) and more for the interaction between the leads (Crest of the Stars had some of the best banter and lines ever) but I do want to know where this adventure of Allison and Will's will (getting tongue-tied :S) be taking them.

Also the episode eyecatch is just plain adorable =P

Guess who's back...

You know, I could try thinking of purely sensible reasons to why I absolutely love watching Code Geass (Hmm... kick ass mechas, intriguing character depth, ZOMGWTFBBQ plot twists, CLAMP's gorgeous noodle bishie designs? *stiffles laughter*), but I'd rather just tune in every week and tune off my brain and LMAO at every new cheesy 'development' they throw at us, even if it is all recycled plots devices from the first season. (As to how shut off my brain is while watching, I'm probably the only person dense enough not to guess it was Rollo in that new fangled 'my mecha is better than yours!' Knightmare)

And though I'm curious as to what's become of Nunally, I really demand to know why Lloyd and Cecil are nowhere in sight still when even psycho Nina's made an appearance!

3. Itazura na Kiss - Nice BoatPics
Story and character wise, Itazura na Kiss doesn't attempt to be more complex than it should be, which is why it's succeeding remarkably well. Or maybe it seems that way since it's a more entertaining show than 'Special' A has been (come on anorexics, you better be proving this post wrong soon!). Kotoko and Irie may not be as 'aesthetically appealing' as Hikari and Kei (who should audition for Top Model not pro-wrestling!)but it just shows that even in a visual medium such as anime that substance takes precedence over looks (or should, at any rate). Everyone acts in an acceptably believable fashion which makes them likable, except Irie and his brother who are your token jerks, but that's a given. And I wish I never found out that that was once Itou Makoto's voice we're hearing since it's giving me the urge to go sharpen knives when I hear Irie talk now... Thankfully Mizuki Nana's (yes, it's really her!) Kotoko cancels that out =P

Also, real moms cross-dress their children! Just look at Yuri in Kyou Kara Maou XD

Probably one of the more misleading images to portray why this show is good.

2. Kure-nai - Don't worry, you're not a pedophile if you like this show after all... Well, not necessarily anyways.
I loved how episode 2 confirms that despite her lavish upbringing, Murasaki is in no way an annoyingly spoilt brat that at first glance one may expect her to be. Sure, she may not be a Chagum yet in terms of actual maturity, but she knows to take note of her own mistakes and act to correct them in her own child-like innocent (but not childish) way. Sawashiro Miyuki's portrayal of Shinkurou is also my favourite male character voiced by a female seiyuu this season :P (who would've though Kugimiya Rie would be 2nd?) The casual caring interaction between the two is of course one of the highlights of this show, and this somehow flows along with the darker more mysterious elements of the show. Definitely a keeper.

1. Toshokan Sensou - WHERE ARE THE SUBS????
Despite the fact that I felt mostly lost watching the first episode raw, I still ventured on to the 2nd when the lack of subs started leaving me in despair. It just shows I act on blind faith that Library Wars is just that awesome! Episode 2 was much easier to comprehend once you get the situation about the Media Communists (that's what I call them :P) and the Library Task Force (come on, you don't have to be a total book nerd to find that awesome!) and even when the banter gets technical, the gist of it still comes across. And though they're still bickering every episode, Doujo and Iku's relationship is actually developing in a positive direction (He's untsundere man enough to praise and support her) unlike... (okay, that's enough bashing S.A., it's only 2 episodes in after all -_-"). The surprise confession by Tezuka at the end though, throws an interesting wrench into the works. Thanks to Impz for the much needed summaries of course. Hopefully as the weeks progress my own Japanese comprehension skills improve enough to watch the raws competently (or subs finally get released!)

From my First Impression posts, there are certainly other show I'd like to follow this season, and if my schedule permits it I'll follow through with all of them. Otherwise, depending on how their 2nd/3rd episodes fare, I may have to switch out some of the series here with them and stick to under 10 series this time around. Wait, that's still a rather large number isn't it? Err... well, it's all for the sake of improving my Japanese, I guess!

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