Archive for the ‘Anime’ Category

Kuragehime: the barriers of reality

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

I’ve never wavered when I said the anime to watch this fall season is Kuragehime, even when people were saying that Panty and Stocking was the fall show. After seeing the first episode, I really think I’m right. People have already mentioned its similarity with Kimi ni Todoke, although in contrast to that this possesses a more realistic bent: there may be iridescent facial expressions, but there isn’t a plethora of sparkles and bubbles that characterize the shoujo genre. Instead of a reticent and misunderstood yet beautiful lady, there’s Tsukimi, who’s great at drawing, yet is not quite as beautiful. She isn’t as socially disconnected as Sawako is (explained by her understanding that the social beings, ‘princesses,’ are just altogether from a different world as she is), but she seems to be just as nice. [If you guys have ever heard of Janis Ian’s At 17, I recommend you listen to it. I think it’s more apt as OP than Chatmonchy’s song. The video is below.]

[I learned the truth at seventeen: that love was meant for beauty queens … ]

Like Sawako, however, she is quite reclusive: she is a lover of jellyfish, and she is quite lucky to be with persons with focused, passionate interests (read: otaku). They all look like social misfits, with Tsukimi being the least abnormal-looking among them. She nevertheless struggles with the normal social rigors people face in their daily lives: going to a popular spot (Shibuya) is a chore for her. Life normally went on until she saw an Aurelia jellyfish admixed with spotted jellies: knowing that the substances that Aurelia secrete usually kill spotted jellies fast, she tried to rectify the situation but failed due to her nature. She was helped by someone who seemed to be a beautiful princess, but in reality was a handsome transvestite.

I’m not fond of doing summaries. I can honestly say, however, that it was the most interesting first episode among the anime I have seen aired this season, and it caters to me particularly: it is focused on characters that are both unique and open to development; it represents the beauty and sadness of reality; and it values character interactions.

I don’t think Tsukimi is an ugly girl. When someone mentioned that Kuragehime was the mongrel of Ugly Betty and Kimi ni Todoke, I think he was more in the right than in the wrong: I frankly don’t think Tsukimi is an ugly girl, although she has to deal with societal withdrawal and issues of letting go. Among the different boarders of their fangirl apartment, she’s the one who looks the most decent among them. I think she could even be pretty, and the transvestite will probably help her in that journey to self-acceptance in the same vein that she will help him accept him and the rest of the boarders for who they are. I’m not saying she’s going to be a fashion model, but her mother was pretty attractive.

She isn't bad-looking.

She isn't bad-looking.

I can’t wait for the next episode: this may not be rife with symbolism like Tatami Galaxy, but even from just the first episode its emotional thrust is palpable, and that’s really just what I need. I didn’t like the OP as much as their Shangri-la ED from Hataraki Man, but it was decent. The ED by Sambomaster was awesome.

Seikimatsu Occult Academy: a snapshot of humanity

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

I was and am unimpressed with most of the anime offerings this season. Among the shows I do follow, however, I think Occult Academy is one of the more entertaining series. There is little that is novel in this series: Maya is just another permutation of the tsun archetype, but it helps that she is empowered as a woman and is proactive as well. She is not someone most people would like, but she is someone most would respect.

She smiles in this scene.

She smiles in this scene.

One cannot deny the coarseness of her character: she is often violent and feisty. Yet it also cannot be denied that she has strength of character, plodding on her quest for truth despite the different obstacles laid out on her path. I have caught up with the latest episode, and I can say that the story became fluctuant when it no longer focused on Maya. To use a recent analogy, Maya is highly comparable with Evelyn Salt in the eponymous Salt: both are creative flights-of-fancy, but both are very entertaining primarily because both are carried by the strength of their corresponding female leads. Removing the focus on the central character would have made the examples mentioned both bores: Salt was smart enough to obviate this, but Occult Academy wasn’t. I think this was one of the major reasons that I thought the past three episodes were weak compared to the explosive and extremely enjoyable beginning. Instead of focusing on the tribulations of Maya towards her discovery of Nostradamus’s Key, it focused on characters like Bunmei and Kozue. The two are interesting, but it’s very difficult to emotionally connect with someone who is the sublimation of cowardice, and an apotheosis of stupidity.

I think most of Maya’s anger and vexations are justified: Bunmei really is a coward; he is also a self-aggrandizing bastard as he pursues the love of Mikaze. By displacing the focus from an admirable adolescent struggling with her father’s death and the impending end of the world, to a conceited coward whose only concern is himself, the series I feel went away from what made the viewers empathetic toward it in the first place. Most people can appreciate perseverance in the face of difficult odds; on the other hand, most people also hate overblown cowardice.

What a human scene.

What a human scene.

One of the best scenes of the show is that candid scene with Maya and the cellphone of Bunmei. Beneath all that forthrightness and doggedness still lay a teenager who wanted to look good and who liked to take pictures of herself. After her triumph against the supernatural during the first episode, it was still a nice glimpse into Maya for the viewers: one is reminded that while her visage reflects her knowledge and bitterness towards the occult and that while she is smart beyond her years, she is still a young woman. I loved that snapshot of humanity, because it colored Maya’s character a bit more.

The Tatami Galaxy: and I love her

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

I have been silent for nearly a month, and this is because I have been focusing on our researches and on finishing Gundam ZZ. With that said, I think that silence ought to be broken only when one has something to say.

I have just finished watching the first episode of Tatami Galaxy (Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei), and I must say that I’m very impressed with its first episode. I won’t adjudge the series this early, seeing that doing that has failed me in the past, but I have always been a fan of both well-written bildungsroman and moral redemption, and this series is shaping up to be both this early on. It’s ostensibly a tale of someone who is lovelorn and takes it out on other people’s happiness, but at the same time it seems to be a tale of self-transcendence because of love. This trope (I’m pertaining to the former) is relatively common in literature, especially in classic literature (Wuthering Heights comes to mind), but it hasn’t been explored as much in anime series, or rather, hasn’t been focused much on.

At some time in our lives we have all been lovelorn, only it’s not always people who have broken our hearts. Sometimes, our favorite pet died; sometimes the friends we need at the critical mass of our lives aren’t there; sometimes it’s our own parents who have left us alone; and sometimes, it’s someone of the opposite sex that we have grown to treasure and love who do not love us back. There are loves that people lose because of their inaction, indecision, or both: this series makes us privy to the life of someone plagued with this ailment because of constant failure in the realm of love. The woman of his dreams is already right there, in front of him, and yet he cannot act because he is afraid.

That had been the story of my life.

I’m sorry …

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

I made another mistake in misjudging Key adaptations.

I’ve watched the first episode of CLANNAD, and it was nothing short of awesome. To the people who persuaded me to watch the first season of CLANNAD, thank you.

I’m liking KyoAni even more … FFFFF.

Gundam 00 S2 – 01: Awesomeness.

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

I won’t give any summaries, but that was a most wonderful first episode. It was already chock-full of action and mecha battles, and the conflicts were already forming. I was absolutely enthralled with the struggle of Louise as regards her driving the mecha; I was also enthralled with the manliness of Setsuna.

She's cute!

She's cute!

In a nutshell, Saji was placed in a prison colony (?) [I don’t know much Japanese.] where Gundam Exia was also located. In a mission of stealth, Setsuna sought to retrieve the Gundam. There were hitches, however, namely A-LAWS. Louise was part of the invading A-LAWS force, yet it seems she still struggles with live battle. I believe she only forces herself to prove something to herself, but from what I’ve seen, she still has a hard time dealing with killing.

Setsuna is almost defeated, with parts of his Gundam being torn with the A-LAWS’ attacks, but Tieria comes and saves the day, with wonderful and beautiful fighting. After being rescued, Saji pieces the puzzle together and realize that Setsuna is a Gundam meister. He then blames Setsuna, not knowing it was that bitch Nena who killed Louise’s family and Ali who killed his sister. Tieria approaches Saji afterward and tells him that he should be thankful to Setsuna for saving him.

What an awesome first episode. It totally drove my withdrawal for Geass out.

P.S. The OP by UVERworld is just so damn awesome.

P.P.S. For the TV-size mp3 of the OP, click here.

On trolling, shipping, and living

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

You must forgive me for my excursions into the world of ‘fansubbing (and subsequently trolling):’ the past weeks have been crammed with deadlines and requirements to be submitted that I didn’t want to even think about anime. I haven’t exactly turned my back on anime; I am still quite the avid fan of it, but it has had taken a back seat to my academic responsibilities. I’m not even killing myself studying: on the contrary, I just performed whatever was necessary of me so that I could be one step closer to graduation. Do not take it as laziness, however: I have had sleepless nights just to prepare for the examinations (I just had three). What I meant was that while I could have done a lot better with my studying, I did what I could in the time that remained. As could be expected, I (think I) didn’t perform well in two of those exams: I had to prioritize a subject, and I prioritized physics. Aside from being my forte, physics has also the most gravity as regards my weighted grade this semester. I’m hoping that I don’t get atrocious scores for the other two subjects, but I did study enough to avoid failure in the worst possible way.

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Our supposed logo for Houseki, if only it didn’t offset the audio
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「Houseki」 OVA released: the best OVA this year

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

We, the people of Bejeweled, are dedicated to popularizing anime that have been unfairly overshadowed by its more popular peers. Our aim is to produce the highest QUALITY subs in the fastest amount of time while subbing only the overlooked series.

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Our first project, Houseki, was initially released last June. Due to the popularity of current series, however, it has been widely ignored. As a team, we planned to put a stop to that, and thus we decided on subbing it.

Bejeweled is a dedicated team of expert translators and encoders from all around the world. We only seek QUALITY in everything that we do: this is evidenced by this, our very first release. Since we recognized that not everyone is fluent in English, we have also decided to sub the OVA in Russian, German, and French for the viewers’ convenience. And also because we recognized that not everyone can use torrents, we also have decided to post direct download links as well as the customary torrent links.

We aim to please.

We welcome any comments from you and are inviting you to join in our channel any time. 🙂

Houseki

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Your face when watching Houseki.

Houseki is the tale of a sorceress with a highly unique weapon. She possesses a powerful beast that is rare and can breathe fire. Before we spoil too much, however, we shall leave you with the overwhelmingly positive reaction by critics:

“Bhavlina is hot!” –RyanA

“… listening to that awesome dub!” – nekosasu

“The best anime ever made. Period.” -Anonymous

” … I’m not a cowfucker anymore … ” –IcyStorm

Direct Download

Rapidshare Link

Torrents

Torrent Link 1
Torrent Link 2

The best anime you never saw … !

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

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Even CC approves!

RyanA, Anja, and I have talked about subbing an anime series not many people have heard of yet; we pooled our resources and we decided to pick up Jewels. Jewels is an OVA about three vignettes: one is about a princess; the other is about a demon girl and her trusty dragon; and the last one is about a demon king. It has a wonderful mix of horror and comedy; it also has a wonderful aura of fantasy. Before I spoil the story, however, you should go and watch the HIGH QUALITY trailer! It’s only at 29 MB; in addition to direct downloads, Ryan is also hosting and torrenting the OVA. Download now!

Direct Downloads

http://rapidshare.com/files/145005728/_mike__Jewels_-_01__5H1TR3A7_.mp4.html

Torrents

http://www.nyaatorrents.org/?page=torrentinfo&tid=32421
http://tokyotosho.com/details.php?id=158748

THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE CODE GEASS R2 ENDING

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

YEAH
The prognosticators were correct!

In congratulation, in gratefulness and in appreciation

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

The Blogger’s Choice Awards have come out, and I am so glad. I won Gold in the Most Thought-Provoking Category! WOOHOO! 😀 I couldn’t have done this without the votes of fellow bloggers (who I’ve coerced in some way or another), and I am grateful for their votes and their support. Thank you, my fellow bloggers and my readers.

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While I fell short in the People’s Choice Awards (finishing second), I also thank those who have voted for me there. Make no mistake, Jeff deserves the honor, and I give my congratulations to him. Good work, old fellow! 😀

  • 11. Most Thought-Provoking Blog
  • Cruel Angel Theses (http://omaemo.dasaku.net/) 14.0% (101)
  • Omonomono (http://omonomono.com/) 6.4% (46)
  • Hop Step Jump (http://anime.jefflawson.net/) 19.9% (144)
  • Anime|Otaku (http://animeotaku.animeblogger.net/) 17.3% (125)
  • The Animanachronism (http://animanachronism.wordpress.com/) 4.4% (32)
  • TOTAL 62.0% 448 (723)

Statistics were graciously provided by AkaiWolf after the People’s Choice Awards have been released. Thanks!

This post is also dedicated to my online friends that have also won awards: congratulations, Michael, for winning Best Satire Blog. And yes, just like what you’ve said, you didn’t lose! 🙂

Congratulations, Daniel, for being the only blogger having fingers (and different awards) in three different pies! Daniel won Gold in Best Editorial Blog, Silver in Best Rookie Blog, and Bronze in the Most Thought-Provoking Blog categories. He’s the only one who did it among all bloggers. ^_^

Congratulations, Impz, for leading THAT to a dominating Best Team Blog Gold medal. Congratulations, Extrange, for winning Silver in Best Manga Blog.

Congratulations, totali, for winning Silver in Best Episodic Summary Blog! /me touches totali

Congratulations, DrmChsr0, for winning Bronze in Best Drama Blog! I VOTED FOR YOU WOOHOO!

And, finally, to everyone else who won, congratulations as well. 😀