Archive for November, 2008

Kurohime: love and redemption

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

I visited OneManga on a whim, chanced upon Kurohime, and read it also on a whim. It’s been a month or so since I have been as engrossed as I have in any medium. The start of the manga wasn’t too impressive; in fact, both the art and the starting premise somewhat remind me of Claymore: a life of a child was rescued by a powerful and older lady, and this impresses upon him so much that he attempts to follow the path of justice’s warrior. Raki somewhat ended up like this.

Kurohime and her different forms

Kurohime and her different forms

In his quest (after ten years) he finally discovers the woman who he has pledged love, devotion, and his life to. She has, however, changed: as punishment for trying to battle the gods, she is cursed to live without the memory of what happened ten years ago, and without love as well. It is only when she will discover true love by herself that she will become the powerful magician of ten years ago. Without this love, however, she will forever remain an adult in a child’s body.

Her name is Kurohime, and there is much reason to dislike her. Her attitude is that of the basest form of utilitarianism: she tries to manipulate people until they serve their purpose, and then she throws them out. One would often wonder why Zero (the male protagonist) accompanies a bitch like her and still remains to serve her with compassion, love and sacrifice. But he does, and such was Kurohime’s impression upon him ten years ago that he decides to live in righteousness and justice.

Having said that, the manga is indeed shounen. Unlike shounen, however, quite a lot has already happened within just the 19 chapters available scanlated. I won’t spoil what happens, but the plot reminds me of Gurren Lagann, with the nobility of people, the transforming power of love, and the enemies becoming progressively harder and harder. It’s not Monster or written by Naoki Urasawa, but it has a surprising amount of depth for a shounen series. It’s also extremely entertaining, with a fair share of well-structured women. 🙂

P.S. I will be gone for a few days: I will participate being immersed among the marginalized of society. I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it there. I’ll see you then. 😀

Hataw Hanep Hero 2008: the biggest anime convention in the Philippines

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

I haven’t made much progress with regard to my anime watching. I have been doing my thesis for the past few days, and I also started reviewing for the medical admission test which is three weeks from now.

There weren't any good manga in the convention :c

There weren't any good manga in the convention :c

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Please help me with fansub recommendations.

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

I need your help.

It’s the first time I am following quite a few series as compared to my regular one or two per season, and I need your help in choosing the best fansubs possible. Because of this vacillation in choosing fansub groups, the only series I have been able to follow for the past few weeks were ToraDora! and Tentai Senshi Sunred (which is the anime I tout, in all seriousness, to be the best of this season).

Because of this I only have one episode of Casshern Sins, three of Kurozuka, two of Mouryou no Hako, two of Yozakura Quartet, one of Kemeko DX, one of Hakushaku to Yousei, four of Gundam 00 S2, two of Ga Rei Zero, one of Michiko to Hatchin, and one of Bihada Ichizoku. All in all those are twelve series I’m paying attention to, and with all the attention on Kannagi I may pick up one more.

The thing is, I am unfamiliar with most of the fansub groups who release subbed episodes of most of these shows. Gundam 00 S2 is practically the only show where I know Menclave is the best. I’m currently sticking with [sudo] for Michiko to Hatchin as I loved their Darker than Black subs, but I wonder if I should pick up other groups.

For the rest of the shows, which subs do you recommend?

I’m sticking with AOne for Yozakura Quartet as their releases have been of consistent quality for these past years; I have doubts as to whether I’d choose Shinsen for Casshern Sins; I’m currently sticking with Ureshii for Kurozuka, unless someone recommends Shinsen-Subs (and I have quite a lot of doubt as regards Shinsen as a group); I don’t know which group to follow for Kemeko, and I also don’t know which group to follow for Ga Rei, but I’m currently with Deculture and sMi respectively.

I also wouldn’t mind being recommended other anime to watch, as long as you guys could hook me into them. 🙂

Thanks.

Toradora – 06: Has Ami really fallen in love with Ryuuji?

Friday, November 14th, 2008

I never lost respect for J.C. Staff ever since they did Shingetsutan Tsukihime and Honey and Clover. As with most studios, they have had their own failures and missteps with regard to quality anime, but two of their anime belong to my top three, and that must mean something. I almost forgot, however, with their releases of Zero no Tsukaima and Shakugan no Shana. The two are by no means bad anime series, but I don’t think they’re good, or at least in the possession of that lasting quality that series like Honey and Clover will possess in the years to come.

A broken beauty

A broken beauty

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Anime in the Philippines [one of many possible parts]

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

It’s time for a local (in terms of being about the state of anime here in the Philippines) post.

There's a lot more where that came from. :)

There's a lot more where that came from. 🙂

ABC5 is one of the few channels that air on free local television. It’s not the most popular channel in the Philippines (I’m guessing that that belongs to ABS-CBN right now judging from the budget they allot on their shows as compared to GMA), but it is quite pivotal in the dissemination or at least the rethinking of what is anime.

It’s the first time in local television that series like Code Geass, Noein, and Mai Hime are aired on primetime spots: in the bigger channels, or at least in the more popular ones, their primetime shows more often than not local drama series. Anime is barely given a mention, let alone aired.

It has recently changed with the barrage of decent to good anime (that do not cater only to kids) that ABC5 airs. While their dubbing remains to be wanting, the fact that they air anime during primetime slots and anime that do not only cater to children will at least initiate the thinking, even if only among few Filipinos, that anime isn’t merely for kids but for adults as well. I believe it’s a good start.

The dubs are, however, amusing, if anything. Shirley sounds like a man, and the voice actor of Lelouch doesn’t manage to portray Lelouch’s antics well. I’d argue that it’s the limits of the language, however, more than the dub itself: Tagalog is pretty much a language which attempts to waste as many words as possible in the statement of a simple idea. The very first episode was a reminder of Lelouch’s ideals, however: his principle that only those who are prepared to die can be the only ones that should kill appears here.

A friend of mine who watched the dub with me and who also was not quite acquainted with Code Geass remarked that CC was a very beautiful woman. I was reminded of the reason why I abhorred Lelouch dying so much: sooner or later, Lelouch will remain to be just another memory to her. I’m still hoping that something happened between them before he passed away, because otherwise it would be simply too tragic. 🙁

The lack of updates

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Today is the last day of our semestral break for this year. Because my days of being able to read freely were dwindling, I sought to read as much as I could the previous week (thus the lack of updates). It has become a ritual during the past years; I don’t think anything is bad with attempting to expound the horizons of one’s mind, however.

One wishes there <em>really</em> were a book like that.

One wishes there really were a book like that.

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Love against friendship: a short reflection

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Ever since I started visiting /a/, I always thought that the series that one often saw were pretty bad series. Code Geass R2 was pretty bad; I believe there is also a rule in /a/ that states that /a/ only talks about bad series. Perhaps that was why I tried to avoid ToraDora at first: there were a few curmudgeons who spammed ToraDora all over the front page, and as a result I was dissuaded from watching it (although I already had seen the first two episodes unsubbed).

I just wish they won't fuck this up.

I just wish they won't fuck this up.

That was an error in judgment. ToraDora, at least for me, is a very enjoyable series; and despite its flaws, it really has a good probability of success especially if it will follow the unique developments of its light novels. However, since there’s simply too much material and too much occurrences, I can only hope that the writers of the anime series are people competent enough to not fuck up the series. They have been doing a very good job so far, but there still is a high chance of failure sooner or later.

SPOILERS:
What’s great about ToraDora is that it’s more than just one guy and a harem. I’m sure a lot of romantic comedies have done that, but it’s only with ToraDora that friendship is an ideal that is placed above love (at least with recent romantic comedies). As a representative example of a romantic comedy, yes, the three girls do fall in love with Ryuuji. But Taiga, despite having discovered her true emotions as regards Ryuuji eventually, breaks her heart in trying to pair up Minorin and Ryuuji. On her part, Minorin rejects Ryuuji despite liking him a lot (even confessing to him later, as well) because she also wants Taiga to be happy.

Their friendship just warmed my heart, and reminded me of Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru) which happens to be my most favorite Ghibli film. To stifle one’s love for the sake of friendship is, while painful, quite admirable: in Ocean Waves the protagonist defers his love for his friend’s (love) because he wanted his friend to be happy despite him practically killing his own.

I just hope J.C. Staff won’t mess ToraDora up.