September 30, 2009

Bakemonogatari

Best series I've seen in quite a while.  Visually it was pretty interesting, lots of experimental stuff.  But the dialog was the real star, witty both at the surface and in the subtext.

Posted by: mparker762 at 08:20 PM
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August 27, 2009

Summer 2009 Anime season...

is the worst season for anime in recent memory.  Even The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was utterly ruined by the excrable Endless Eight episode.  The one bright spot is Bakemonogatari which is shaping up to be one of the best anime series in many seasons.

 

Posted by: mparker762 at 08:10 PM
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June 22, 2008

Jeez the last two seasons of anime have really sucked...

Last season there was Clannad, Spice and Wolf and the second season of Minami-ke and that was about it - True Tears and Shigofumi were both licensed early which was just as well since Shigofumi turned boring after the incredible two-episode opener, and Goshushuu-sama Ninomiya-kun never really went anywhere.  This season there's Kurenai, The Daughter of Twenty Faces, and a bunch of craptastic fanservice vehicles.  Next season we'll be getting another season of Hidamari Sketch which I'm looking forward to, but still no word on the long-anticipated second season of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, and the fans are getting restless.

Posted by: mparker762 at 09:34 AM
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March 30, 2008

Ranma 1/2

Over at Chizumatic there's a running discussion of Ranma 1/2, particularly the old argument as to how much water it takes to change Ranma between girl and boy forms.  Personally, I'm of the opinion that it's whatever is necessary to be funny.  Anyway, here are three shots from the first episode of the first season, where we first see Ranma change form.

Ranma-chan enjoying the cold water:
ranma-chan1.jpg



Ranma-kun enjoying the hot water (hair seems dry):
ranma-kun1.jpg


Equal-opportunity fanservice...
ranma-kun2.jpg

Posted by: mparker762 at 12:00 PM | Comments (4)
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March 29, 2008

Kimikiss Pure Rouge (final)

A bit disappointing at the end.  Yeah it was nice to see Mao and Kouichi get together, but it sucked the way it happened.  It's really a shame that Yumi didn't break it off with Kouichi first since she was the one moving away.  Ah well, at least Futami's shell finally cracked all the way through, and it appears that Sakino will do fine as well.

Posted by: mparker762 at 07:00 AM
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March 28, 2008

Five Centimeters Per Second

This was directed by Shinkai Makoto, director of the acclaimed movie "The Place Promised in our Early Days".  The theme is time, distance, and growing apart.  It is haunting and profoundly sad - not weepy (though the last scene kind of knocks the stuffing out of you), just very melancholy and lonely.

Chapter one "Cherry Blossom" shows Tono Takaki as a middle schooler in love with classmate Sunohara Akari who winds up moving away with her parents, though they keep in touch with letters.  Then shortly before his parents move and take him even farther away from her, he manages to catch a train and spends the night with her huddled beneath a blanked under the snow.

Chapter two "Cosmonaut" shows him in high school, and a cute surfer-girl classmate of his named Sumita Kanae.  She is attracted to some unknown quality in him, and tries time and again to work up the courage to tell him she loves him.  Finally she realizes that this unknown quality in him is that he is always looking far into the distance, and with this comes the realization that he doesn't return her affection.  This chapter ends with her crying herself to sleep, and in a voiceover she mentions that she did this for a very long time.

Chapter three "5cm Per Second" shows him in Tokyo after college, working in a bleak job and living in a bleak apartment.  One day he passes adult Akari on the train tracks, and spins around to say something only to be blocked by a passing train.  A series of split-second images provides glimpses of the intervening years, showing how they gradually stopped writing each other, and showing Akari walking closely with another man, and preparing to get married, finding some of Takaki's old letters while packing to move, then finally as a happily married woman.  Interspersed with this are images showing just how dead inside Takaki has become, as well as flashes showing Kanae's life after Takaki graduated high school and left home.  The chapter ends as the train finally passes, and Takaki opens his mouth to call out to Akari, then realizes that he was the only one that stopped to talk.

Middle-school Akari reading one of Takaki's letters next to the cherry tree where she and Takaki would later share their first kiss:
5cm_per_sec_2.jpg


Takaki on the snowbound train on his way to see Akari:
5cm_per_sec_3.jpg


Akari waiting for Takaki at the station:
5cm_per_sec_4.jpg

First kiss:
5cm_per_sec_5.jpg


Kanae and Tono talking on their hillside:
5cm_per_sec_6.jpg


Confession, interrupted by space launch:
5cm_per_sec_7.jpg


Confession, interrupted by panic attack:
5cm_per_sec_8.jpg

Confession that never will be:
5cm_per_sec_9.jpg

Tono and Akari, almost meeting again.
5cm_per_sec_10.jpg

Kanae revisiting her and Takaki's hilltop:
5cm_per_sec_1.jpg

Posted by: mparker762 at 11:46 PM
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February 20, 2008

Kimikiss Pure Rouge

For all my disappointment with H2O, I've been comforted recently by the excellence of Kimikiss Pure Rouge.  Mao-neesan's really taking things hard, and I've been getting flashbacks of School Days, though I'm sure that's not in the cards here...


Posted by: mparker762 at 07:59 PM
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February 18, 2008

Spice and Wolf

"Spice" in the title would be Craft Lawrence, an itinerate spice/fur/whatever trader.  "Wolf" in the title would be Horo, aka Horo the Wise, a Wolf kami (animistic spirit) who's previous occupation was guardian of the fields and guarantor of good crops.  But when the church moves in, and brings with it farming technology, then the villagers no longer believe in Horo and she decides to move on.  In her human form, of course, because wolves don't have the T&A that humans do.

Horo from the intro...
Spice_and_Wolf_Horo.jpg

Villagers worshipper her in her salad days...
Spice_and_Wolf_1_1.jpg

Horo hitchhiking, and a very surprised Craft Lawrence...
Spice_and_Wolf_1_2.jpg

How the villagers can disbelieve such an attractive young wolf-girl is beyond me...
Spice_and_Wolf_1_3.jpg

Horo dressed decently.  And pretty happy by the looks of her.  I've never figured out why a wolf spirit has fox ears and tail though...  They don't have phones in this era, so we don't know if she can say "moshi".
Spice_and_Wolf_2_1.jpg

There are a lot of gorgeous scenes in this show.
Spice_and_Wolf_2_2.jpg

Horo, happy again.  Once again food is involved.
Spice_and_Wolf_3_1.jpg

The Trading Game.  This is actually the episode that got me interested in this show - in this scene they're trying to figure out if the silver content in a particular coin is trending up or down.  Horo's wolf ears help tremendously here, listening to the clinking sound they make.
Spice_and_Wolf_3_2.jpg

Posted by: mparker762 at 07:42 PM
Post contains 226 words, total size 2 kb.

H2O - Footprints in the Sand

So the big secret evil that that gets her called "Roach"? The one that causes her to get beaten to a pulp by the schoolkids?  The one that so inflamed the villagers that they came out out with torches and pitchforks to burn her ancestral home and kill her grandparents and parents?  The one they've been building up to for five episodes now?

Turns out her grandparents weren't sufficiently charitable towards the villagers.

Barf.

I'm washing my hands of this one.  Anime can be wierd and still be good (and the correlation is surprisingly high), but this is just stupid.

On the other hand, Spice and Wolf is turning out to be a lot more than just a T&A vehicle.  Episode 3 with the trading intrigues and currency manipulation really hooked me.  Hopefully it won't jump the shark like H2O did.

Posted by: mparker762 at 06:38 PM
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January 20, 2008

Shigofume Ep 1

Edit: So much for that.  Bandai Visual picked it up already.  Accd to their website they'll be charging $40 per 1 or 2 episode disk.  I'll get the first episode out of obligation, but that's it.  Shigofumi is good, but not worth those prices.

A "shigofumi" is a letter from the dead, and Fumika is the deliverygirl responsible for getting them to their destination.  Keeps the restless souls from hanging around in ghost form scaring peope, I suppose - why hang around as a disembodied spirit when you can lounge around the afterlife's pool, nibbling on sushi, and just dash off a letter that will get your message across just fine?

Fumika is a Shinigami (literally death-god) - she's Death incarnate except that unlike the stuffy old western tradition of rotting robes and a scyhe she's got snappy clothes and a talking staff, possibly because her particular job doesn't involve collecting souls.

Shigofumi_1_1.jpg

And the first episode is a doozy.  A dead man sends a letter to his oldest daughter's lover.  Only they haven't actually done the deed yet, which leads to some amusing bits where the poor guy tries to bring himself to confessing and getting the girl in bed.  There's two big twists at the end, the first one was a good one, but the second one was totally unexpected and really floored me.  Shigofumi has propelled itself to the front of the "must watch" list.

Posted by: mparker762 at 07:52 PM
Post contains 240 words, total size 2 kb.

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