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Hiatari Ryoukou: an underrated masterpiece

I first heard of Hiatari Ryoukou! back in 2006. I had just ended my first year in university, and its first few episodes were released by MJN. I had never heard of Mitsuru Adachi before, but I read its synopsis and was impressed by that enough to try its first few episodes.

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Despite its dated animation (it was originally aired last 1987), I was hooked. I was hooked because the series relied on crisp characterization and sparkling dialogue to make up for its characters’ lack of facial expressions. I liked the frank and upfront nature of its main characters, and I absolutely loved the subtlety in their dialogue. Sadly, MJN subbed only up to the eighth episode.

I never forgot about Hiatari Ryoukou, however. I had been much impressed with its first eight episodes that I looked up Mitsuru Adachi and religiously watched his anime series (except H2, because I heard it was bad). Touch was good, while Cross Game is one of my favorites. I kept on waiting, however, for future Hiatari Ryoukou releases.

I recently resumed my anime watching after I did away with my review and board exams. To my surprise, I discovered that HR had been subbed by ray=out until the 24th episode! I started from the first episode (having last watched the series back in 2006), and I grew to appreciate the series even more. The dialogue between the different characters was absolutely scintillating in its subtlety and suggestion – and that’s just from the first twelve episodes.

Though people are more familiar with Adachi’s later works (except Touch, which had preceded this series), there is a reason why the few who have watched this series feel strongly positive about it. In contrast to his other series that I’ve seen, this has less focus on the sport baseball. This series places more emphasis on its characters’ interactions, and that is why one should watch this with proper focus. Adachi masterfully illustrates and presents to us the slow conversion of Kishimoto Kasumi toward the charms of the equally confident and equally cheeky Takasugi Yuusaku.

And unlike more modern series, its major characters aren’t evil. They are determined to win the person they love, but they are upfront and frank with regard to their actions. For example, Keiko, a character besotted with Yuusaku, reminds the protagonists that Kasumi has a boyfriend whenever the two of them would seem to cross the line. Yet she does this matter-of-factly and without malice. Yuusaku, who is also interested in Kasumi, tries his best to take care of her but never crosses the line: in one episode, he even offered to take Kasumi’s pictures to send to her boyfriend.

I like this series because it is a throwback to the time when love was not adulterated, and when competition between prospective lovers wasn’t a vipers’ tangle. The main characters are sincere with their feelings, and show their love in their own special ways, but never undermine the emotions of others. That’s why I pray that more people should watch it.

It is that good.

(Also, please support ray=out! They’re currently searching for competent QC staff to help finish the series. They also accept donations. 🙂 )

The Tatami Galaxy (Yojo-han Shinwa Taikei) – 11: the best anime of 2010

I woke up at three in the morning in the hope of finding a subbed translation of the final episode. I was actually weighing for and against procurement of its raw: while I would know how it would end grossly, I wouldn’t understand what would occur in the first place and the element of surprise would no longer be present when I would finally be watching it with translations. I actually relented a little bit, but stopped when I saw how beautifully they transformed the ED into the OP. I had to be watching while understanding it, because by that point (when I realized that the ED was just that important) my body just felt electric. This show deserved to be watched with full understanding and concentration, and I wasn’t going to disrespect that.

How they probably looked as freshmen

How they probably looked as freshmen

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Bakemonogatari: a celebration of life with ghosts and spirits

I have been highly productive with regard to anime. After waiting about a day reflecting on the second season of Gundam 00, I decided to start viewing (on just a whim) Bakemonogatari. I could not stop watching it, and I realized that it was among the best anime this year has offer. I loved it not because it was trailblazing or totally original like Mononoke; I loved it because aside from its story (which was entertaining enough) it was also stylistically both unique and pleasant. While it borrowed concepts from Mononoke (I thought this was evident enough as I went through the series), xxxHolic and Requiem from the Darkness, it still was original and witty enough to be an excellent watch for this year.

I also loved how the subplots (the different oddities encountered and the person suffering them) contributed to the development of the characters. One can see how Hitagi grows from a callous and totally cold woman to someone who has learned to care for another, but it is a testament to the greatness of the series that Hitagi does not become perfect: she is still verbally abusive and offensive at times, but she usually more than makes up for it with her kind words. There is a similar development among the others featured in the series, with Mayoi, Kanbaru, and Nadeko, who have changed directly or tangentially because of Koyomi’s involvement with them.

Unlike Mononoke, however, the series is of a lighter tone. It still got bloody quite a few times, but the presence of the amusing wordplay, the allusions to memes and other series (the one I found most notable were allusions to Doraemon and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei) contributed to a more jocular series.

I laughed out loud when I saw this. This is quintessential 4chan.

I laughed out loud when I saw this. This is quintessential 4chan.

Finally, the TV ending of the series (of course one knows that there are still three episodes left) was a great culmination of the series. It could be seen that Hitagi has finally opened herself up not merely because she was rid of the oddity that befell her, but because she has truly fallen in love for the first time with our lovable and heroic protagonist. Even if one ended with the 12th episode, one could see that the series has come full circle: it started with Hitagi, and it ended with her as well. From an ice queen she has become transformed into a human, and she has become (despite all her quirks and idiosyncrasies) a woman who loved with all her heart. The emotional aspect of Bakemonogatari (aside from its interesting stories) gives it humanity. It does not dwell on man’s evil but cherishes life, love, and forgiveness, and this gives it an advantage other horror series don’t really possess. 🙂

It hasn’t been the best anime I have ever seen, but I can say that it ranks among the best. In my own, personal ranking it’s probably a 9.25/10.

What did you guys think of Bakemonogatari? Is it utter pretension, or a work of art?

Toradora 18: from retrogression to forward action

There is absolutely nothing that is difficult to understand in this episode. What happened could not be attributed to any astrological occurrence; neither could it be attributed to simple coincidence. There were a few happenstances, but the episode was purely one of deliberate action. I pertain to action not with the general connotation of violence; I pertain to action with the property of intention.

She doesn't blush.

She doesn't blush.

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Toradora 16: Transcendent friendship

I’m getting nearer and nearer to conclusively (and without hesitation) placing ToraDora as one of the best series of 2009. As much as I love rooting for Ami, episode 16 was a reminder that as a story and as a character study ToraDora is both moving and pathos-invoking. Many revelations abounded the episode, both implicit and explicit. Taiga discovered that Kitamura loved Sumire; Sumire realized her love for Kitamura, with Taiga’s violent help; Minori is subtly exposed by Ami as having feelings beyond friendship for Ryuuji; Ami was also hurt, and the reason why is still a mystery for me. Read the rest of this entry »

CODE GEASS R2 – 25: YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

SPOILERS AHEAD HURR DURR
OKAY GUYS I’M IN TOTAL FANBOY MODE RIGHT NOW SO I’LL USE CAPS ALL THE WAY

– SUZAKU AND KALLEN FIGHT AND SUZAKU BEATS KALLEN BUT SHE’S RESCUED BY GINO.
– LELOUCH GEASSES NUNNALLY AND HE GETS THE KEY BACK BUT NOT BEFORE SAYING SORRY TO HER AND SAYING HE LOVES HER
– NUNNALLY IS BUTTHURT SO SHE CHASES LELOUCH
– LATER ON, SUZAKU AND LELOUCH TALK
– CC PRAYS FOR LELOUCH SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE
– LELOUCH WANTS SUZAKU TO BECOME ZERO AND HE DOES
– SUZAKU AS ZERO STABS LELOUCH
– ALL HAIL ZERO ETC.
– LELOUCH SHOWS THE DEATH TEMPLATE AND ‘DIES’
– NUNNALLY CRIES OVER HIM
– VILLETTA AND OUGI MARRY
– VILLETTA IS NOTICEABLY PREGNANT ALREADY
– ORANGE AND ANYA BECOME ORANGE FARMERS
– NUNNALLY IS THE NEW RULER I THINK, I’M NOT REALLY SURE
– IN THE END A MAN DRIVES A CARRIAGE
– CC IS AT THE BACK, LOOKING HOT AND LOOKING RURAL
– THEN SHE IS ALL SMILES
– THE EPISODE ENDS WITH HER SAYING SOMETHING AND THEN
– ‘NEE, LELOUCH?’

CC X LULU END YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

OKAY R2 IS ONE OF THE BEST SERIES FOR ME RIGHT NOW NOT BECAUSE IT’S GREAT BUT BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME.

Kallen should die

I absolutely, absolutely loved that episode. It was also very good. Yes, that came from me.

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YES. ABSOLUTELY. AT FULL FORCE.

Although it still stretched my suspension of disbelief quite far … I actually forgot what I was going to say. All I want to say is that I absolutely, absolutely loved the time between CC and Lelouch, and I’m glad that after 48 episodes the two have finally confessed to one another. I d’awwwwwwwwwwwwwwed; I clapped; I laughed: those were one of the best scenes I saw in R2. Oh, and I don’t mind if Kallen dies now. Not only was she blinded by her fervor, she also cockblocked Lelouch and CC! She was the only eyesore in this episode.

「Houseki」 OVA released: the best OVA this year

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 … !

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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