Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Bye Bye Blogger

Well, for those who don't know (or don't care but came here anyways), I'm moving off this sad excuse of a blogging platform Blogger to join Randall's harem/host club in all their Wordpress glory. Yay, me? Anyways remember to come find me and my incoherent ramblings at from now on :D

Byebee and whatnot.

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Monday, 19 May 2008

All that Gender Confusion... And the aftermath

Gender stereotypes 4tL

Talk about things being blown out of proportion... (Just as planned...) So the all-girl's round robin thing has not only successfully garnered a hell lot of female(?) support, but a lot of uh, everything else as well (lulz)

Oh, like I'm one to talk (I've yet to go above self-linking and probably never will)

Anyways, since that post got an obscene amount of comments (OMG, more than 10! The tears cannot stop flowing T.T), I'm branching out here to write up some 'meaningful' replies and settle this whole issue here once and for all (so that I can go back to my 'usual' blogging 'schedule'. Yes, look forward for more man-love posts :P *oh there goes the readership*)

Queer Eyed Straight Guy said...

I can't believe I read through the whole thing hoping you'd reveal your gender.


ps I know Nagato's real gender (:

issa-sa says: Oh, Shin, you are just too easy... XD (I'll trade you Nagato's secret for better buldge-concealing panties, you sick-ass. The eye surgery bill is going to YOU)

Taiyaki said...

Oh, so you're a trap! =P

usagijen said...

lulz. so are you a trap, issa?!

issa-sa says: Like we need another one around these parts?

Lupus said...

Yeah, gender shouldn't matter. We all know there are no girls on the internet anyway, right?

Off-topic, but since you mentioned pageviews, I suggest you move off blogger if you want to get any. It's ESPECIALLY HIGHLY recommended if you want to get comments, because everyone and their pet godzilla hates Blogger's captcha.

issa-sa says: Yes, the current Blogger is probably a poor choice in terms of functionality aesthetics and whatever else being a hald decent blogger requires. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wished that the commenting interface was more user friendly (I certainly wish I could edit my own respond comments because I'm a lousy typist) amongst other issues. Of course it's still possible to implement all the 'cool blog stuff' into a Blogger blog, just that it'll take a certain amount of know-how which I currently do not possess nor have the time to learnup right now. The most I can do is copy and paste random bits of code into my template like I did to get the 'continue reading' function on my posts, and even then it's still not very pleasing to the eye and gives me a hell lot of trouble when I publish posts sometimes T.T

However there's a chance I won't have to bother with all those troubles for long. As Randall hints in his comment,

Randall Fitzgerald said...

.... Also, don't worry. You won't be my only non-gender identifying blogger at dasaku. :D

[issa-sa:] ...yes I've also sold myself applied to join the dasaku network - because what better way to reaffirm this blog's sad status than with 'worthless' plastered onto it - literally! Also, if you've noticed, this is now officially the place where "Nothing is Incredible!" (Thanks to whoever it was in Yukan blog who came up with the description which I'm stealing =P - though I do wonder what exactly is being implied here... cos I sure know for a fact that Iim not making anything remotely incredible out of nothing here... -_-" ). Anyways, thanks to Randall for giving Tondemo Nothing the greenlight =D and if all goes well there'll be a new domain for me to tinker about with (and hopefully not a boatload of Wordpress issues to go with it)

Anonymous said...

Actually, yuri is for both girls and guys. Yuri Hime, the prominent yuri manga magazine, has only a 30% male readership. This statistics was mentioned in some interview. They made a special sister magazine, "Yuri Hime S," that's specially targeted to males (indicating that the main one isn't).

Erica Friedman said...

Okazu, while definitely by a woman, isn't manga focused, its just that there's more Yuri manga than anime. I also review Live-Action and novels, where they intersect Yuri.

issa-sa says: I probably came off as too general (Sorry, Erica if you found that I misrepresented your blog in any way). Actually the yuri for guys and yaoi for girls thing is rather rubbish imho, especially in the case of yuri which I've found to have a broader appeal since it has more roots to the emotional, while BL has a tendency to teh smex for the sake of pleasing the rabid fujoshi smex. There'll always be exceptions of course, but... another time.

And now to the real meat of this post:

Randall Fitzgerald said...

It is meant to be a big sack of elitist horseshit, just like all things that attempt to seperate one group out into another.

As a prime example, show me a single instance of a female blogger not being respected on the same terms as a male blogger in the community? Of all the women I host, I can't think of a single one who is thought of as less important that any given male blogger. "Sticking together" is stupid because no one is trying to divide the female bloggers. They're not a fucking minority.

issa-sa says: Poor Randall's receiving all the flack for smelling the potential 'elitism' :P

I seriously doubt anyone with any sense these days would want to start a group with elitism in mind, though I do think that we should be wary of that worst case scenario-like possibility of it turning out to be like that. Also I don't think this all-female collaboration was borne out of necessity for shelter, we've since advanced past the dark ages of women oppression thanks to efforts like Saiunkoku's Kou Shuurei (there I go mixing fiction and reality again...), certainly so in anime blogging where as Randall points out, there never was a dark age for women to begin with (minus that ABC April Fool's fiasco)

But really, girls got to do what girls got to do XD I don't believe 'sticking together to protect ourselves from the nasty boys' or "Guys Suck, let's band together to slice off those e-p3n0rS!!" were any of the original intentions of this endeavour. Girls may prefer to stick with 'their own kind' to discuss things relevant to themselves, as do guys, so guys start one of your own while Nagato and I decide which side to join!

Also there sure has been a hell lot of gal bloggers who've responded to the call, doubtless a good portion of them not exactly familiar names to most of us readers. Why there was probably a time back no too long ago that if you were asked to name 3 female bloggers your answer would probably be something along the lines of "Hinano, Hinano, and err... Hinano?" (no offence to everyone else, that was how my own narrow view of the blogosphere used to be) So in a way it's great that this round-robin calls some attention to the small time (gal) bloggers of our community. Now if we can have a "Small-time Male and Unidentified Bloggers of the Rebellion"...

usagijen said...

well this 'movement' is not meant to set this elitist distinction between guys and girls, it just so happens that there's no virtual community which unites female bloggers together at the moment (unlike the guys who have their #ab channel), so they can talk about a wide range of topics, especially certain topics which they'd rather discuss among fellow girls. I mean, won't it be better to discuss things like "women's bias against so and so", with fellow women? something like that...

blissmo said...

Between you and me, I'm not so into the all girls thing since i dont mind about the gender issue thing. hey, most of my time guys talk to me about "guy stuff" and i just normally play along cos thats wat i do... ...and ive always thought that guys are better than girls most of the time, which is probably a bad thing cos everyone lives in equality?

issa-sa says: In real life especially, there are subjects that girls will only speak of to girls and guys to fellow guys (well, if they can help it). Only a major dickhead of a guy would walk into a room full of females and announced "I JUST HAD THE BEST WET DREAM!" and not even the worst bimbos would want to describe their 'once a month experiences' intimately with a pack of hungry wolves (XD) as crude examples. The round-robin may very well serve as a 'slumber party' type gathering of gal anime bloggers who may be tired of 'playing along' with 'guy stuff' since that's what you have to do to fit in in this otakusphere.

Nagato said...

Hmm well, I was inclined to label you as female. I guess that's unfair since I've taken pains to avoid being labelled myself. xP

@ Shin: Ha, you wish! >_>

issa-sa says: No worries ;D (And for the record, I thought you were a guy... and that Shin is a girl masquerading as a guy masquerading as a newhalf =P)

blissmo said...

...but i also originally thought u were a girl!

issa-sa says: What's stopping you from continuing?


Wait. Crap! Issa is a male?! I thought it was one of those cute girls who has a raspy voice that sounds like a male... I jest. I knew.

issa-sa says: If I was a girl In real life, I'm really like Ogiue (with worse hair). Or I could just be saying that to get a fan.

lanie-emon said...

All of this is making me dizzy, lol. Oh well, got nothing against the female blogger circle, really.

issa-sa says: Ditto on both points.

Caitlin said...

It keeps eating my comment :(

But I'm sure someone will come up with the female version of circlejerk soon.

issa-sa says: Why am I thinking Dango Daikazoku's circle of dangos...

Os said...

You know, with all these posts, I dont know whether to take this seriously or not. I've been thinking the entire time: "No one's really stopping you for chiming in with the rest of the ladies anyways. I could post on the same subject if I wanted..."

Fight the power... brother?

issa-sa says: Nothing is going to stop the rest of the blogosphere who aren't officially part of the round-robin from posting on the same topics when it eventually comes to it, in fact this will most certainly happen since ideas are scarce nowadays knowing this blogosphere =P I'm sure that there was zero intention of excluding bloggers not in the round robin from posting their own opinions -in fact the opposite should be true- once the ladies have something to say about something, that should prompt everyone else to give their 2 cents. That's Spiral Power at work for you!

And last but not least...
Marmot said...



issa-sa says: If there's anyone who did sign up for the round-robin who isn't 'what you claim you are', then I suggest you pull out quickly lest Marmot finds out you've been tainting her orgy XD Shin will gladly accept you though ;)

Finally, I do believe that it shouldn't really matter what the blogger's gender is (unless he/she writes in a way hat calls attention to it in a relevant fashion. And as Sasa says, we're all either internet guys or internet girls online, so that 'gender' should be the one that you pay attention to if you really must), so long as the material and writing style appeals to the reader, that's as fine a job as a blogger can do really ;)

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Sunday, 18 May 2008

As if things weren't confusing enough... (A tribute to my fail)

So I was reading Marmot(the 'real' one)'s 'ragerant' (she's since made friends with Marmoset or whatever it is the guy had to change his nick to) on how someone had -unintentionally- used her nickname while she was MIA a while back, and it reminded me of once upon a time...

(warning: this post contains epic fail. Turn back while you still can)

...when I started using My Anime List to keep track of everything I've watched/think I've watched - I probably have a ton of misleading entries in there right now, like how I've 'completed' watching stuff like Ranma 1/2, but that can't actually be possible since I watched it on TV back when it was showing on AXN as religiously as I could, but out of that whopping 161 episodes MAL states I'm sure there's a large number I managed to miss due to conflicting schedules with real life (which is why one should either record shows they mean to watch on TV or just stick to the internet).

*ahem* Back to my point, this must have been some time before I started blogging proper again, and back then my MAL username was something totally different (and now that I think about it, totally insipid *gags*). Eventually of course, I had to make the change to 'issa-sa' to match my ambiguous blogging persona, so I went to my options tab in my account to do so, only...

Apparently, I was too late because someone else has already used it.

Damn. I would've go into tsuntsun-like rage rant about it (WTF, you mean there's someone else whose watched Animal Yokocho and is as enraptured as I am about it to want to impersonate a panda???), but it seems since I was the slow one in this case, so it would just make myself out to be a sore loser...

(Btw, I think I'll stop doing rage posts because that would be too stereotypically female Marmot does them so much better XD)

So instead I settled for plain old 'issa' *yawns*. Fickle-minded as I was, a month later (since MAL only allows you to change your nick once a month) I tried "issasa" instead, but that just sounded like a rubbish marriage between issa and sasa (Sorry Sasa! XP). I need my hyphen, damnit!

Finally today, I sunk to an all-time low decided to stalk the person and make him/her give up the name (in a reasonable manner of course)... So a quick search on MAL revealed...

...that I seem to have a ridiculously high 'compatibility' in terms of shows we watch with a person who until then I assumed to be a complete stranger... *smells a rat* My first suspicion was that this was probably a secret account my sibling back home set up without my knowing, since we pretty much watch the same shows together with little exceptions (and we're both in the few people I can count on one hand who've seen Animal Yokocho), and a quick glance through issa-sa(clone)'s list reveals that INDEED I've watched pretty much everything on the list - but the possibility of it being my sibling's seems decidedly low since there was stuff like Saiunkoku Monogatari and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha there which I know for sure he she ("That's classified information!" *winks*) has not (and would not be caught dead) watching... Which can only mean...

That the account is probably mine and I've totally forgotten about it, ORZ

Indeed signing out and signing in again as issa-sa (with a different password that I had to take a few guesses at) revealed that the owner of the account is none other than myself from who knows how long back then. *smacks head on wall repeatedly before making myself grow taller* Either this proves once and for all my own air-headedness *needs to lay off America's Next Top Model* or I've yet to be medically certified to be schizophrenic... (The latter would of course explain why I'm often at two minds about things and how I can contradict myself halfway through my own posts -_-")

Err, anyways, I've switched names again on my current MAL account to issa-sa while my old doppelganger is just clone_issa-sa (har-har). If anyone wants an extra MAL account (what the hell for, I can't imagine), feel free to contact me and I'll gladly purge my old list and hand this one over to ya. You know, if you ever wanted to impersonate someone over MAL for real -_-"

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Saturday, 17 May 2008

Wait, so CAN I or can I NOT join the Rebellion?

A while back usagijen posted on Kure-nai about a scene that launched me into a mini rage-filled comment (similar to my recent one on Toshokan Sensou 6). Now, what was interesting to me was her eventual response to it:

YEA, I GO... girl?

The funny thing is, I don't ever recall discussing my gender over the blogosphere since one of the things I naively tend to think is that it really shouldn't matter what ones chromosomes are when it comes to discussing the animu and whatnot. You know, besides determining what type of stereotypes you're expected to conform to/break of course. So being a male blogger probably means you have "fap fap fap" plastered on a good number of your posts, while being female probably means fangirl rage is a typical recurrence on yours. (Hence why usagijen automatically assumed - correctly?- that I'm a girl) But seriously, do any of these 'distinctions' matter really?

Oh wait, silly me, apparently they do.

So there’s this all female blogger round-robin thing going on, with the purpose of strengthening sisterly bonds with all the female bloggers out there in this crassly male dominated otakusphere. Spearheaded by itsubun, sasa, and usagijen, it is in hopes that all bloggers of the fairer gender consider being a part of this endeavour to emasculate the blogosphere once and or all!. Personally, I do like the idea of the Female Bloggers of the Rebellion because I tend to have a raving feminist streak myself (plus this collaboration would have almost zero chances of being termed a 'circlejerk' XD )

In fact, I'm quite eager to join myself, why usagijen has even stated in a comment that she hopes I’ll hop on the bandwagon:

And honestly, I'd be honoured to... but there’s one problem, jen:

How sure are you that I’m qualified gender-wise?

Just for fun
(warning: everything I've said thus far has been truthful, but I give no such guarantee for anything from this point onwards), here are some points to consider:

1) This is how my bookshelf (well, the part of it that’s actually holding books now) looks like currently. Since I’m a frugal bastard (bitch?), besides the crack English book which I got from my friends (really, it's a hoot XD), everything you see there I got at second hand bookstores/flea markets or got free from the recycling centre etc. which explains the incompleteness of the sets (NANA’s still ongoing, of course, but it's going to take me a while to read these 15 volumes anyhow).

(And ohbtw, saving up for the entire Fruits Basket manga series next)

2) A teaser for posts to come:

-The Magic of Siscon Hatsunejima
-So I finally finished watching… Kyou Kara Maou (Seasons 1 & 2)
-So I finally got round to watching: Aka-chan to Boku
-An Overdue Overview on OoFuri
-There's something about Watarase Jun...
-Mizuki Nana and Why Allison & Lillia is Awesome
-Allison & Lillia and Why Mizuki Nana is Awesome
-Why Everyone Should Watch Animal Yokocho

Btw, only one of those was made up for the sake of this post

3) The actual Issa on Animal Yokocho is male.

Well, at least I think he is. It’s hard to tell with animals that don’t wear pants.

4) I watched true tears and Clannad because they had cute girls and girls love cute things!!

(I watched Air because it had dinosaurs.)

5) Read the first (and then the second) point of this post on Furu Anime Panikku. Now consider the (sad) truth that this blog has never gained more than 200 views in a day before T_T

If it's also a matter of interest, the most viewed posts on this blog so far:
Surprise, surprise...

If you subscribe to the yuri is for guys and yaoi for girls stereotype, then note that both Nagato and I blog Junjou Romantica (Taiyaki too, while I'm at it. I've stopped doing it on a regular basis though, and Are-Are gets more hits than I'll ever hope to achieve). Is that an 'ahah' enough for you? But let's add this blog and this blog into the equation (though they're manga focused). See, the bigger picture?

(Also, let's not forget a TRUE MAN who dares to do hardcore MAN ON MAN posts XD)

7) Finally (and probably the only most useful point): Why would I even bother with this post if was actually a girl? ;D

Confused? So am I.

(Perhaps like Nagato, I’m really just reluctant to participate in something that might ruin the 'mystery' of my true gender in real life… Why, half my regular readers (all two of you) will probably never come here ever again once they find out that I’m actually...)

In conclusion, let’s just say that there’s a part of me that’s very ready to join the round-robin thingy, but part of me that’s very afraid of Hinano’s (and now their fearsome gatekeeper blissmo XD) threat against those attempting to infiltrate the sisterhood XD Now as far as I can gather, the gender-confused do not seem welcome in the group currently (bummer), but whatever you girls decide to write on in the future, don’t be surprised if this little panda starts ripping you all off following suit to add my own 2 cents’ worth on the subject(s) - since I always seem to be at a loss at what to write that isn’t these lame crack posts anyways =P

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Den Den Town Revisited

So last weekend was my second visit to Osaka's otaku heaven, Den Den Town. *ignores the scoffing from those who've been to Akihabara* Purpose? Bored out of my wits on campus To seek out that Giant Gundam shop I can't believe I missed during my first visit (several weeks before). Not that I'm an actual Giant Robot fan or anything, I just had this nagging question in my mind which needed answering: HOW did I miss something so huge the first time around when the place is hardly a few streets long?

By walking on the wrong side of the street that's how ORZ. After asking someone and eventually finding the place, I realized that I had indeed passed by the shop previously... Only you can only see the ginormous billboard from the opposite side of the road *smacks forehead* My (non-otaku) friend who was accompanying me through the rain (the day I chose to go happened to be one of the lousiest in terms of weather) was slightly 'disappointed' because I 'somehow' gave him the impression that we were going to see a real-sized-god-knows-how-tall actual Gundam model towering over the surrounding buildings... (Okay, I admit I sort of had that some illusion in my mind ORZ)

Anyways, some fuzzy handphone pics to make this post seem like it actually has content!

For the fanboys.

Again for the fanboys (sorry fangirls, the BL shots I had turned out to be too fugly)

Obligatory maid pic (Yes, it's a terrible picture that seems to have a random stranger as the focus instead and you can hardly see the hardworking meidos, boo-hoo)

This place neither has melonpan nor that many books (Okay it has a whole 2 floors, since the upper floors were under renovation or something). Yet another one of the many places in this country you can browse for 'wholesome' 'literary and artistic works' while being surrounded by people staring intently at 2D boobies and the latest episodes of whatever's showing this season blaring down at you.

Too blur to actually make out the Minori (not to be confused with Minorin) autographs there. Remind me to actually bring out a camera next time... -_-"

And finally... My sad excuse of the day's 'stash' (and probably the actual reason I made this post :P) - 図書館危機 (Toshokan Kiki: Library CRISIS, like how awesome is that??), the third book in the Toshokan Sensou novel series snagged at a second-hand bookstore for half price (Yes, I'm a pitiful scrooge). It's in pretty good condition really - minus some discolouration on the jacket which I'm willing to overlook. But you know what would make this purchase even more awesome? If I could actually read it without having to look up half the words in each line -_-"

That, and if I actually had the first 2 books in my possession... (total and utter ORZ). Watch out usagijen, I'll catch up to you... Some day!

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Toshokan Sensou 6: No Laughing Matter

Doujou Atsushi is officially my favourite guy character this season. Sorry, Kogarashi :P

If I really had to summarize this episode, it would be along the lines of:

Iku and Komaki have to bring a [very important sci-fi?] book back to the library. They get attacked by the Media Communists along the way, and have to play hide and seek with them villains for a while. Iku and Komaki talk a lot and say a lot of things I can hardly understand. Komaki is shot in the leg. Iku starts shouting angrily at the guy who fired the shot only I haven’t a clue as to what she actually said (well, she was really really angry). They run and hide again. While Iku bandages Komaki’s wound, he laughs his signature laugh. Iku asks “How can you laugh in such a situation?” to which he responds with a flashback of how 'old Doujou’ once acted as Iku did. Back then a kid snuck into the library grounds, and some heartless and idiotic guard Media Communist asshole AIMED HIS GUN AT THE KID AND SHOT. WTFH???!!! The kid wasn’t hurt since the shot actually hit the ground near him, but BOY was old Doujou MAD, so he went effing berserk at them effing guards.

Nice ass? XD

Guns are for chumps!

Fortunately Genda and the rest of the Task Force crew also had some sense and joined in the fray to beat the crap out of those !@%&@$^ers. TAKE THAT YOU FREAKIN MINDLESS BASTARDS *ahem* After hiding the book on a train, Iku and Komaki give themselves up to them Communists (!$@#@$^*$). Doujou and Tezuka come in to rescue them. Fortunately, the Communists give up their plan to retrieve the book for some reason I didn’t catch. Doujou ALMOST goes berserk again with the head Communist when he saw Komaki’s wound, but he manages to control himself this time (while still retaining his inner GAR) - Komaki tells Iku to take notes. On the way back, Doujou realizes that Tezuka probably had something to do with whatever reason it was the Communists gave up, but again I don’t know what and why since my Japanese listening skills still suck. Iku reaches home to find a ronery Shibasaki asleep after leaving her 99 a bunch of calls on her phone. “Changes” (which is such an awesome ED song =D) starts playing…

So yes, I will have to watch the subs when they come out. Not that I mind at all :P (I do apologize to anyone who expected an actual usable summary, my raw watching skills are painfully inadequate for Toshokan Sensou, which is why I’ve been avoiding doing any sort of summary for all the previous episodes.) As usual, Impz is picking up the slack on the summary end so I'll point you over to THAT direction.

However, I do want to ask: What the hell is wrong with society in this season’s shows? How could you bully an obaa-san on a train? How can you even CONSIDER pointing a gun at a child? How could you go off to study in another country and not communicate with your bloody boyfriend for a whole bloody year and still come back and expect the buttsecks?? That entire scene with the guard slowly raising his gun at the child’s back REALLY made my blood reach yet another boiling point this season, how could he even CONSIDER doing that to a child, even if he was ‘just’ meaning to scare him by shooting at the ground beside him, that was just plain WRONG. I’m not even in the mood to properly rationalize the situation, the way I see it, Doujou was perfectly justified in laying the smack on that bloody effing goon – why if I were him I’d take that gun of his and stuff it up wherever I can find on his body and- !%@$%^@#(&&(#@^(&#&(*#&%)!&*# GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Besides the indignancy I felt towards the Media !@&^#ers, I fully enjoyed watching old Doujou’s acting on impulse and doing what he knows is right on instinct even if it’s not the most ‘mature’ way of settling things. Of course Genda stole a lot of the show when he joined in the fray (XD), but I’m definitely partial towards the Prince Doujou right now, and the point of that story was how old Doujou was very much like the present Iku, and it brings back the point from a few episodes ago of how he sees himself in Iku, so much so that he’s rabu rabu constantly concerned about her actions. Now we see that old Doujou has developed into his current (*coughs*Princely) self, while Iku too has been showing progress in her character without sacrificing her righteous nature - by extrapolation, it should only make sense that Iku follows the path Doujou has paved (and that the two will FINALLY get together?), so again, another great episode with the promise of more to come!

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Thursday, 15 May 2008

Happosai, is that you?

Posted beside the elevator of my dorm. If it's not legible from my fuzzy handphone pic, the notice reads:

Robbery of underwear occurred on 14th May on the 5th floor at Dorm 1.
Please watch out with your laundry and take out them after finishing wash soon.
Thank you for you cooperation.


The 5th floor's fully female, of course. I don't know whether to laugh or facepalm when I read that (and that has nothing to do with the Engrish, it's the first thing I made myself get used to here), since rumours were circulating about the day before about a 下着泥簿 (shitagi dorobou : underwear thief) - which has incidentally become the dorm's most favourite phrase now, lol. Apparently our dorm supervisor even had to make an announcement abut it via intercom to the entire dorm (but I was out at the time so I didn't get to hear it).

Also apparently, the same thing has already happened before recently - on the fully male 4th floor (XD) I guess the guys just didn't want to make as much of a fuss about it, lol ;P

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Kure-nai The Musical : Shinkurou's Harem

Tsk, those who labeled Kure-nai as a lolicon show are WRONG - THIS IS HAREM!!!

Yayoi is ronery no more (She doesn't seem very excited about the yuri prospects though)

Possibly the best episode of anime (and also possibly the most ear-grating XD) I've watched this week. A sure sign of a comedy show's awesomeness is when it makes me ROTFLMAO more than the average Code Geass episode, and Kure-nai 6 certainly did that for me - certainly I laughed out loud more than I did for the most recent ep of Code Geass, which is most certainly no easy task (Ooops, wrong link :P)... But wait, Kure-nai's not actually a comedy, is it?

Obviously the episode was mean to take us viewers by surprise, but despite spoiling myself as to the nature of the episode (I had the same expression as Yayoi's in the above pic when I read 'Kure-nai' and 'musical' in the same sentence - 'Musical' in particular makes me think Prince of Tennis of the atrociously out-of-place-character-bursting-into-song moments in Red Garden automatically, which is definitely NOT a good thing. But I guess this must be some kind of redemption for the shared director of both series, his way of saying "See, I CAN do musicals after all!" (Wait, he's only listed as the ep 8 singing director for Red Garden but not for Kure-nai, so maybe this has nothing to do with him after all)

Who would've thought that Yuuno would be the slut XD

Additional points for having Sawashiro Miyuki coach Shintani Ryoko in singing (Hey, maybe she can help Gotou Yuuko next), the scene where Yuuno first opened her mouth and started 'singing' totally slayed me XD Shintani Ryoko did an excellent job with the faux terrible pitching (well, at least I hope she as faking it, I know her singing isn't great or anything, but I actually like the ED song for Kure-nai) and single-handedly brought the entire cast's already abysmal singing efforts down to a whole new level of "ARGH!!! MY EARS!!!"

Yamie: You want to make this an EIGHTsome now???

Too bad that there wasn't an actual musical stage for them to perform in the end (I would've liked to see them at least TRY to get Yamie out of her so-called mourning clothes, LOL) and that the actual musical portion in the episode turned out to be slightly disturbing, though in a thoroughly amusing kind of way as opposed to a Red Garden WHHHYYY??? way (the animation along with the singing suddenly descended into bad dub territory, and the 'dance moves' seemed like some homage to RG's zombies). As filler as this episode turned out to be, it still had the Kure-nai trademark A+ character interaction and banter that we've been seeing throughout the series so far. In any case, an awesome 'interlude' in before what I expect to be the more serious parts of the series to kick in.

Finally, for kicks ;D (The actual full episode had at least twice more lulz though XD)

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Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Ahah! / Hayate no Gotoku Shiritori / Really?

*Edit: A big apology for how this post seemingly appeared 2-3 times on Nano, it was me publishing copies of this post over and over again because for some reason I couldn't edit it after publishing it for the first time...

Thanks to this blog post which I am openly ripping off (minus the Code Geass fanservice) I now know the 'secret' behind the seemingly random eyecatches of that blasted Combat Butler show. So it's really a series long game of shiritori huh? (You know, that Japanese word game where each player has to think of a word starting with the last syllable of the word before - see School Rumble or Galaxy Angels for other ridiculous but less elaborate ways of incorporating it into anime)

If you have a Nico Video account, feel free to watch the 9-minute video to relive all that eyecatch wonder in compressed form (and be prepared to have that eyecatch music stuck in your head for the rest of the day).

And I thought they were just spouting random lines to make even more old school anime references that I would never hope to get... Unfortunately, even after finding out this much, it's still hasn't convinced me that Hayate is the best thing in comedy since freshly baked bread, I'm probably one of the few so called 'comedy fans' that never really found the show as side-splittingly hilarious as everyone else did maybe because I have a prejudice against Kugimiya Rie voiced tsundere lolis except on the rare occasion I actually got a reference (Revolutionary Girl Hinagiku!!). That being said, I don't think even Maria, Hinagiku or Isumi (the 3 characters in the show I can tolerate) will convince me to watch that second season.

And in return for being a total post thief (please don't sue me ZeoiNagePotato), I'll just pimp out The Legend of Zunderella (which I just found today ORZ) which is a much better looking Blogspot (*collective gasp of disdain from all you Wordpress users*) blog than mine, so you should visit it for more of ZeoiNagePotato's posts on Tanaka Rie and such =P (And please, keep snappy comments like "Oh great, just what we need, another Singaporean blogger" to a minimum - no offence meant XD)

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Monday, 12 May 2008

Himitsu ~The Revelation that my brain is being picked at by the show I'm watching (shouldn't it be the other way round?)~

Oh yea, this show is all SRS BSNS

So I've finally caught up to the subs of Himitsu (a lowly 3 episodes anyways), and I suppose having the twist of the American President Assassination Arc (Okay, so I made that title up, but you can tell how important it was by how every first letter was capitalized!) spoiled by someone in the wide blogosphere (usagijen merely 'hinted' at it in her post, but what a big hint it turned out to be) somehow diminished the "ZOMG WTF YOU CAN'T BE SRS" factor and along with it the mystery of the arc. But my 'problem' with Himitsu really lies elsewhere...

Err, if by 'good-looking' you mean all girly and fish-lip-ey, then yea -_-"

I will agree on the most part that Himitsu is [meant to be] an emotionally deep show which in today's shallow pool of fanservice orientated and angsty teen dramas automatically gains this show a 'good if not great' status (assuming you're actually bothering to watch this besides your usual fanservice extravaganzas and teen angst). A show featuring a team of crime investigators literally picking through the brains of murder victims to solve crimes is just begging to be picked at and analyzed by, isn't it? It's the kind of show that's not only aimed at getting its viewers to start thinking by proposing your run-of-the-mill non-run-of-the-mill topics (*gasps siscon* *gasps BL... nyeh, wrong season to be surprised by that*) - plus it's a mystery show, so it has to be intelligent, amiright?

Sure, smart, intelligent, but not necessarily witty.

What these few episodes have shown me is that everything the show proposes, it proposes mostly through its main protagonist Aoki. Being a newcomer to his job and the 'sensitivities' that come with picking the secrets of the dead from their minds, he is often at odds with himself over the moral issues that come with the job, on several occasions being too quick to voice out these concerns to the chagrin of his co-workers. Of course, being viewers we also get a direct view of Aoki's monologues and thought processes as well, which combined with the brain picking element of the show, make this a thought-provoking show indeed.

But wait, isn't a thought-provoking show supposed to freely get the viewers to think for themselves on such issues that it proposes? Not that this is some definitive definition of what a 'deep' show should be like, but personally I am slightly disappointed that whatever 'revelations' that I feel I'm supposed to have when watching Himitsu aren't exactly revelations when they're been hand picked by the writers and fed to me via a somewhat morally confused protagonist and his often cheesy lines... Compare this to the train scene in Kure-nai where we're given a situation worth pondering about and both sides of the argument from Shinkurou and Murasaki, where we're neither told who is right or who is wrong and left to our own views on the situation. In Himitsu, we get a case and situation, and Aoki's thoughts of "This isn't right, this can't be right, can't we let the dead sleep in peace, can't we, can't we?" The result is a somewhat raw look at whatever issue we have at hand besides the usual brain picking morality ones that I somehow wish was displayed in a more refined manner (Hey, kind of reminds me of my blog posts OTL).

And yea, I have a low tolerance for cheesy lines unless it's in a show that I can't take seriously anyways in which case they're great fun to laugh at - only I'm pretty sure Himitsu wasn't made to make me laugh, and it would seem utterly disrespectful to try to cast this well-meaning show in that respect. Most of the lines so far have been blunt and unconvincing if not downright cheesily bad at some points, which make me grit my teeth in order to suppress them cynical remarks about the script.

Add to that the fact that despite Seki Tomokazu's presence in the cast I feel that his performance as Maki is somewhat flat and lacking that charisma I've grown to expect from him (but a facet of Maki's personality is to be silently strong so I'll excuse that for now) that I find watching Himitsu a bit of a 'chore'. Sure its a 'solid' show so far, but despite rants that this show is getting much less attention that it deserves, I can certainly see why Kaiba and Kure-nai steal the attention from it on the 'deeper' end of this season's scale (well, besides the fact that this show lacks funky art and lolis).

Despite all that, will Himitsu stay on my watchlist? Well if the subs come out at a competent enough pace, perhaps... I was quite nonplussed by the end of ep 3, but they just had to throw in that juicy little twist regarding Maki that practically guarantees me checking out episode 4 at least... Curiosity and the cat in me -_-" Hopefully the show works better when the mystery aspect is able to fully deliver the shocks, since the clumsy 'thought provoking' aspects are not working for me right now.

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Sunday, 11 May 2008

A Happy Mothers Day - From Toshokan Sensou!

Brawn Before Brains XD

There's a lot to like about this episode (unless you're just into the gun-toting aspects of this show), most notedly how everyone chipped in to help Iku distract her parents from the dangerous aspects of her job without her having to ask them (well, Shibasaki had to be offered a good meal, but I would have done the same. What are friends for? :P) Guess it once more shows us the 'princely' of the guys on the show (And yes, I did notice that Iku's dad drinks that Prince beer this time around)

Shibasaki to the rescue (again)! The scene made me think of Mint and her costume fetish XD

"Call me 'otousan' " *winks*

Also, it just happens to be that second Sunday of May, so here's a shout-out to my dearest mom back home - HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! (Then again, I'll probably have to be as desperate as Iku to hide the existence of this blog from my own parents, so I'll just have to send that message through other means, lol) This goes out to all moms out there too, especially those who watch anime (Is there such a demographic?) And not forgetting those in anime as well, who are always wishing the best for their offspring like their real life counterparts (though the means by which they go round displaying it is by far more entertaining - think Itazura na Kiss and Kyouran Kazoku Nikki)

Iku's mom is the rather over-concerned type, the kind that fusses over their children choosing less orthodox and sometimes risky paths in life. It doesn't gel too well with Iku's somewhat brash and headstrong personality and her insistence in joining the Library Task Force, but I guess it's some sort of stereotype for daughters not to have the best relationships with their moms (or conversely, have ridiculously good 'BFF'-like ones). Though Iku's mom was later than her dad (never underestimate a man who drinks PRINCE!) in fully realizing the scope of their daughter's wishes and accepting them, to her credit we do see by the end of the ep that the romantic streak of Iku's is something she shared by mother and daughter - just see her instant delight upon hearing of her daughter's Prince Charming story ;P In the end Iku realizes that opening up to her parents earlier on would have been the right thing to do, as they turned out to be more understanding of their child than what she gives them credit for - which is often the case in real life.

It kinda reminds me of the time I 'dropped the bombshell' on my own parents about my wanting to study in Japan ("Of all places???" was what their reaction was along the lines of) - something they never saw coming despite knowing well enough that I waste most of my life away spend a lot of my time watching anime XD. Though they were rather against it at first, mostly because it seemed to them like one of my infamously spur of the moment impulse driven decisions - and concerning that 'all important' education no less - so I did have to show that I did actually put some thought into this (ZOMG SRSLY??). The rest is, as they say, history :D

(I'll probably have even more trouble convincing readers of this blog that it's NOT* because of anime that I'm actually here, so I won't even try =P

*Okay fine, not SOLELY... ;P I still have a personal wish to watch Mizuki Nana perform live to fulfill! A little too late for that this year though... Or is it...?)

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Anime Nodame doesn't have to stay a hikikomori anymore - Europe here she comes!

Hell YEA, finally a sequel this year I can actually look forward to!

Of course being away for 'just' a day from the blogosphere naturally makes me reporting the news of a

rather late, but what the heck s'not like I have much else to blog about currently.

Makes me wish I tried for that overpriced Nodame phonestrap gachapon the other day... Oh wells.

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Thursday, 8 May 2008

Kurenai 5: Try this lockjaw prevention exercise!

Is that shounen I hear??

Who needs Kawasumi Ayako and Noto Mamiko when you have Sawashiro Miyuki and Shintani Ryoko loving :P

You know I wish I had something relatively intelligent to say about Kure-nai since it's really a series that deserves that much in a post instead of my crack irrelevant ramblings, but...

Am I the only one who was totally creeped out by the fact that they probably used the minimum number of frames possible for Tamaki the entire time she was talking with her face close to Shinkurou's? (Okay so she did make one extra movement - shifting her face closer still to Shinkurou's at one point, only her profile remained exactly the same -_-") It's made even obvious when Shinkurou was constantly moving (away from her) and his facial expressions were way more animated (not exhibited well by my choice of screenshots -_-")
during the scene, while it only seemed that Tamaki could only just manage to execute that incredibly complex process of moving her lower jaw up and down as her voice actress spouts her choice inappropriate lines at Shinkurou...

Maybe she's just worried that she hasn't gotten a tetanus shot.

Yet another "Is it just me, or..." moment from yours truly. Bear with me, I have 12 pages of kanji to write and rewrite as Maths homework at the moment... ORZ Now if you were looking for something wordier and analytical about Kure-nai to chew on, look no further than the newly revived Epic Win (a post which thankfully quelled my horrid suspicions that Guff and Orion had once again gone MIA after announcing that they are, indeed, alive and well quite a while ago...).

P.S. A major apology to Yayoi for not including her on this list a while back (I'd slot her in at number 3 since her scenes with the cat were all pretty cute XD).

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Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Minami-ke:Okawari : Going, going...

You know, going off to study in a foreign country can be quite saddening...

(Well, sad for the unhouse-trained members of the family you leave behind perhaps)

Minami-ke: Okawari (which aired last season for anyone who forgot, and yes I realize this post is probably only relevant to myself who took until yesterday to finish the series) is literally a second helping of sorts to last year's successfully hilarious slice-of-life comedy Minami-ke. On one hand, we got back most of what we already loved in the first series (Mako-chan's gender confusion, Hosaka's self delusionsbeing Hosaka, Kana being BOSS, the Bible Black SRS BSNS faces, and have I mentioned Mako-cakes?). On the other, with the studio change came other bits of extras (new hair colours, creepy blacked out faces, Fuyuki... Yea, Fuyuki) and for all the extra toppings Asread added, some may have found that this second helping pales in comparison to its predecessor.

Of course the first series had the advantage of being a sleeper hit of sorts that did admirably well without relying on high expectations which this sequel probably came with. Asread did manage to tap into the key LOL elements of the first season and played them out for more laughs - poor Mako-chan being the most severly unspared :P, but along with it came their own original additions to the story, probably in the hopes of making the series 'their own'... Only they didn't do much in increasing the appeal of the series - Fuyuki's presence in the story ended up being less apparent than those unseen faces in the background.

Until the episode he left that is.

I was rather surprised that despite the decidedly low impact Fuyuki had on the actual story (oh wait, what story? Fine, maybe I was just disappointed that he was hardly 'broken' to begin with/by the end - unlike us readers of Derailed), his eventual exit was handled in such a subtly sombre fashion (underneath all the Sports Festival hijinx going on) that despite some part of my mind going "*yawns* Is he gone yet? Oh, finally", I was actually impressed that a Minami-ke with comedy as its main forte could pull off something that's vaguely touching (or was meant to be).

Of course, this kind of 'sap' in comedy does occur elsewhere (like a a gazillion times in Ranma 1/2 and once or twice in Galaxy Angels where they didn't really work. In comparison Gintama has managed to pull some of these surprisingly well - damn, I just remembered I missed the conclusion of the current Shinsengumi uproar arc!), but is often very jarring to the comedic aspect of the show. But it's less of a case with slice-of-life comedies like Minami-ke or Azumanga Daioh.

And what they did in the last episode, having KANA actually thinking of 'sending off' Haruka with a smile (fine, only Kana would think of that and execute it the way she did - or rather got all her minions to) leading to the eventual true tears segment (to use another season-old joke).

I dunno if it's me actually being away from home that's doing this to me *sniffs*, but that usual "ACK, SAP ALERT" gag reflex the cynical me would usually have didn't come on at all. Yea, you could see from a mile away that Chiaki would break down first, followed by KANA before Haruka reveals that she's not going anywhere, but there was that genuine aspect of sadness at the prospect of Haruka leaving her sisters to go abroad (actually, it's a rather horrifying aspect now that I think about it, how Chiaki and Kana would survive I don't know) coupled with the fact that the show is ending. All in all, despite it being a somewhat cliche slice-of-life type finale, it was again played out well by Asread (the inserted first ED song was a nice touch - again borrowing from the success of the first series).

Actually it's my second time this far away from home pursuing that 'necessary' yet incredibly tiresome asset called an education, so for my family and friends back home as well as myself, there's not so much to be as sappy about this second time around -_-"

Final verdict? Okawari did offer a good amount of laughs to balance out whatever else Asread put in that you might want to complain about - so it neither falls into the category of sequels that suck nor those which greatly surpass their originals. Yet another 'solid' comedy series overall, for the lack of a more interesting description.

Now if you excuse me, I've got to go book a ticket to San Fransisco, I here there's this new place that's just opened that serves the best pasta...

P.S. Happy 21st to Shin over at atalude (And a Happy Birthday too to everyone else who seems to have been born on this same day) Get your cake before Kana does =P

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