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Tidbits on Apollon – 03

I haven’t updated for some time although I tried to because I just had difficulty coming up with the right string of words to convey how I feel. But I just wanted to write how I felt, because I think Sakamichi no Apollon deserves it. At heart, Apollon is a romance show, but it’s different because it’s a romance show that’s directed by one of the greatest anime directors ever.

Within the dynamics of unrequited love Shininchiro Watanabe constructed a series that also puts the characters forward not only in their romance but in their growth as people. Only the greatest romance series could do so with consistency, as Honey and Clover did. In that sense the second episode served as an intermezzo for the third and first episodes. The third episode was simply beautiful to watch because it was borne of selfishness that is one of the hallmarks of true love.

It was only when it was too late that Kaoru realized Ritsuko’s fondness for Sentaro, that he had realized how much he had hurt her. What he had done in the ending was to confess in his own nerdy way, that he liked Ritsuko and not Yurika, and it was great to watch.


It’s also not hard to love a series whose lead character reminds you of yourself.

Madoka: of temporal recursions and noble hearts

It would probably take me a dozen posts and perhaps some tens of thousands of words were I to try and dissect the entire Madoka series. It is a series rife not only with symbolism, but also with meaning that to try and encompass it to a single post would be a sacrilege and a disrespect to its greatness. Other pundits of anime have also spoken volubly on it that I have no desire to reiterate what a lot of them have already said.

I have been almost three years removed from any meaningful study of philosophy or literature that I cannot write intelligently about literary theories any longer. I have also never properly tackled the concept of deconstruction so I cannot give any rational comment on Derrida and Foucault. As much as I would like to analyze the series in those lenses, I have been inundated with only medicine these past few years. Instead, I would like to merely recall and expound on certain points that have resonated within me as I was watching the series.

From a helpless girl who was always saved ...

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Two sides of a different coin: the Spectra of writing

This write-up is not remotely related to anime. But then, as I’ve already paid for my hosting dues, I think I should be given a bit more free rein in the topics I’d like to broach. Although I will never say that I lost my love for anime, I have to admit that my mind has been weighed upon by things rather removed from anime. These two write-ups are relatively polished drafts of mine that address certain thoughts that have pressed upon me over the course of the past month. I’ve had a lot more drafts, but these two seem to be the better ones.

I wrote the two articles on the same topic but tried to be light-hearted in one, and grave in the other. I’m not sure whether this made the intended effect, but publishing it somewhere (anywhere!) would at least give me some closure regarding it. I’m sometimes consumed in the things I’ve overly passionate about, and if I didn’t put an end on it I would probably give ten more renditions on the same topic (not that I haven’t already written ten different renditions).

I hope you guys enjoy this artistic experiment. If not, then forgive me. I do know I’m repeating myself. ๐Ÿ˜› Read the rest of this entry ยป

Looking for more suggestions

I haven’t watched any anime lately. It’s quite sad because I’ve had to chase a failed test, so I had to study a lot more than I usually do. I’ll just have to wait for the ending of Mawaru Penguindrum before I continue with it, seeing as I still haven’t watched past the third episode all this time. I was initially planning to write an end-of-the-year post, but it seems I can’t even do that with the dearth of anime I’ve seen this year. I’ve still seen a considerable amount, but I wonder if I have anything to write home about other than Steins;Gate. Madoka’s still on my backburner, and I haven’t really watched a series other than Raimuiro Senkitan in a month. That’ll change when I come back home, however.

What other anime should I marathon, or watch? After the batch of Mawaru Penguindrum arrives, I’ll download it, and I have Usagi Drop waiting for the Christmas break, which is quite near. Any suggestions? I have about a week to download and obtain series that seem to be notable this year, and I have about two weeks to make sense of everything and organize a top five list of anime for 2011.

P.S. I really realized I’ve gotten a good deal older when the people I know marry and get pregnant on purpose. haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

Physics and Steins;Gate: some initial impressions

At first glance, people may be very mistaken about Steins;Gate. After all, it has a 3:1 ratio of ladies to men (considering that Ruka’s actuations are heavily feminine despite her sex). I’ve been among those people who have prejudged the series to be little more than fluff, as I have read about what happened to Chaos;Head. I didn’t expect anything, and I still don’t, despite countless reviews and ratings probably proving me otherwise.

I have to see and adjudge for myself before jumping to conclusions, after all. I knew it was something quite palpably good even when I followed its earlier episodes as they aired because they held the technical aspects of the show in high accord. While the physics is of course, lacking, what was presented in the show was not incorrect, at least based on my previous physics subjects. Time travel is, at this point, a parascience rather than a true science, and Kurisu’s objections were not unfounded.

Yes, please be my professor.

I may be wrong, however, seeing that it’s been years since my last physics subject. Credit must, however, be given to the show because of its attention to detail: case in point would be the possibility of time travel is black holes could be synthesized at will. While I can’t present the specific publication, I have read about that in the past. The problem with this hypothesis is that, of course, black holes can’t be made perfunctorily: they can’t be made from out of the blue. It’s these small things that heighten my enjoyment of the show alongside the highly attractive Kurisu Makise.

I was also impressed with the commentary of Titor (and seemingly the enactment of time travel in the series) on how people could actually meet themselves in the past because the one coming from the future is actually on a different world line. It somehow reminded me of the Schrodinger’s Cat phenomenon, that one can never really know whether the cat is alive or dead in the different universes unless one opens the sealed pillbox. Since I’m not knowledgeable at quantum physics, I hope people can explain this idea to me.

On a tangential note, I loved the idea of time-travel that The Prestige held: there was something symbolic in Hugh Jackman’s character killing his clone just to execute his trick well. His teleportation came at the cost of his soul.

I may write about characters who have situations oddly similar to Okarin’s. Seeing that I’m just in the earlier parts, that will have to wait until later on. ๐Ÿ™‚

Otome Youkai Zakuro: first impressions

Technically, the last true season of the year has begun. While it doesn’t seem to be as impressive as the offerings of the spring season, there are quite a few anime that I have decided to give chances to, and one of them is Otome Youkai Zakuro.

The production values for the first episode were awesome. Let's see how far this quality gets.

The production values for the first episode were awesome. Let's see how far this quality gets.

As I expected nothing whatsoever from the anime, I was pleasantly surprised by its first episode. While I was expecting violence from the blurb on the Fall charts, it was actually relatively peaceful, as it dealt with the interchange and coping of humans with their youkai counterparts. I do believe that people who are quite fond of action will be turned off by this series, because it is essentially another slice-of-life show about the struggles of a growing interspecies relationship between the main characters.

Well, I liked that. It was very different from what I imagined it would be, but with seemingly top-notch production values and lovable protagonists the series would be a very good way to waste one’s time. It probably won’t provide much food for thought, but its first episode was a delight to watch and the interactions between beast and human were just priceless. Whether it shifts into high gear with palpable tragedy (unlikely) or just breeze its way through maybe three hours of the viewer’s life, it’s something innocuous and may even be precious later on. Essays probably won’t be made on its content, but it will make some people smile.

I certainly did. ๐Ÿ™‚

General thoughts on Darker than Black

When Darker than Black was announced, I was among those who jumped into the bandwagon. I just knew it was going to be a good show even if I didn’t know what it was about yet. When it aired, I was awed and amazed by the smoothness of the protagonist, and I vowed to finish watching it. Circumstances, however, prevented me from doing so: at the time, my laptop was technologically antediluvian, and I wasn’t able to properly view the releases by [sudo], which were, sadly, only in high quality.

I waited for a while and tried a second time to watch the show. I was able to reach a little further (I was able to watch fifteen episodes this time, but to my dismay I had a lack of disk space and I couldn’t delete anything). Yet again I had to postpone my enjoyment of it. Finally, a few months ago my aunt bought me a laptop that remains to be cutting edge. It possesses a decent processor, and it has a lot of RAM and HD space: finally, it was something enough for me to be able to watch and enjoy anime properly. Having recollected about Darker than Black I sought to watch it, and I finished doing so the previous week. I thought the ending was great, and while there were some middling moments in the series, the action was finely crafted and I was sympathetic to the protagonist Hei. The ending was quite bittersweet and made me recall the ending of Evangelion (as they were very similar): Hei was given a choice to either be with his loved ones (contractors) but sacrifice a significant part of humanity in the process, or to choose both humans and contractors but to lose the only things in his life that he ever valued, namely Pai, Amber, and the real stars he had always wanted to see. He chose the latter, and while it was a painful choice (not only emotionally scarring, but also physically enervating, as he now has to run from both contractors and humans), it was a most noble choice.

I was thus both happy and wary of the current season airing: I had already read the manga (which serves as the bridge between the first and the second season), and a most remarkable loss was that of Yin. She was no longer in the second season, and Hei was far from the Chinese Electric Dark Knight he was in the first season: on the contrary, his physical qualities reflected a broken man. I did not want to watch the show because I did not want to entertain the possibility of Yin having died, but my curiosity and affection for Hei got the better of me. So I watched.

A lot of new characters were introduced and the most notable among them (perhaps because she is the heroine of the second season) is Suou. Contrary to the kind and meek Li and the highly efficient (and clean-cut) Hei of the first season was a desperate, alcoholic, and nomadic Hei. His demeanor was also as rough as his looks, and I could only assume that it was because there was also none of Yin to be seen: he has slapped and beaten Suou up, although I would argue that these were merited. He never hit her just because he wanted to: there was always reason behind his violence, just like the first season.

I was glad that Mao eventually resurfaced. I was even more glad when Yin was finally confirmed to be alive, and that she had transcended even her past self. From what could be seen in the sixth episode, she exhibits contractor-like powers in addition to the seemingly unlimited range of her observer spirit. It was also clearly evident that Suou has developed feelings a lot more than mere hatred for Hei: I would even argue that it was a jealousy not quite yet because of love, but nearing there. A lot was revealed in the sixth episoode: I just wish that, at the end of it all, Hei will get his happy ending with Yin, because I firmly believe he deserves it.

Toradora 10: hopefully an intensive analysis

I was never fond of lengthy posts, but forgive me for this length as I have tons to say about the episode. Here goes.

A few months ago, I had difficulty not talking about Code Geass. The series was fabulous; it had a lot of mishaps that were made funny by their superfluity; and I rooted for an ending that never came to be (it was one of the few reasons why I still kept on watching the series).

This time, I have a difficulty not talking about ToraDora!. The reasons as to why, however, are extremely different: I kept on watching Code Geass R2 because I expected another improbable tragedy befalling Lelouch, but I keep on watching ToraDora! because after a long while a series has rekindled intense emotions I have only felt when I was watching Honey and Clover two years ago.

Between one and zero

Between one and zero

The tenth installment of this series remains to be as fresh, as intelligent, and as emotional as the episodes that directly preceded it. As viewers, we are not only introduced more to the true emotions that Ami harbors and also to the reality beneath Minori’s mask, even if only a glimpse. As what I did for the previous episodes of ToraDora!, I will no longer summarize the episode but posit my own perceptions and reactions as regards the occurrences I deem to be important this time around. Read the rest of this entry ยป

Code Geass R2 – 25: So is Lelouch dead or not?

Now, I didn’t originally think of this, but it made a lot of sense to me when I pieced the puzzle together with the help of /a/nons’ perceptions.

My take is that Lelouch is alive.

The most obvious reason would be CC calling to Lelouch in the closing scene of the episode. As we can assume CC to be still sane, she must be talking to someone, and that someone would most probably be the driver of the cart: Lelouch would have to be alive.

Second, however, and this is where the others have thought things through, Lelouch is alive because he got his dad’s code. He beckoned the World of C to lend him its powers, and he took Charles’s code before Charles passed on. The reason why Lelouch still has his Geass is because he didn’t take the Code from the same person who gave him his Geass: he took his Geass from CC, and he took his Code from Charles. Thus, he now possesses both immortality and a Geass. This is also a reason that the title is Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.

To further corroborate this, however, remember that when Nunnally held Lelouch’s hand he transferred his memories to her. CC also did it when Lelouch touched her accidentally back then, so it could be assumed that people with Codes are indeliberate telepaths. This leaves us with both immortals traversing the world for the rest of eternity.

It’s a great end, friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. Ending line of CC translated by bibi: “Geass is the power of kings, it will isolate you… well, I guess thats a little wrong… eh, Lelouch”

P.P.S. Additional evidence, courtesy of `Nergal and 4chan:

1. Charles grabbed Lelouch with his right hand, which had the Geass sigil.
2. Lelouch needed the fully evolved Geass to transfer a code.
3. The code doesn’t appear to activate until someone dies. Hence, why C.C. was wounded when she first inherited her code. Same happened with Charles in the World of C.
4. When Lelouch touched Nunnally, Nunnally got a flash of his memories. This ONLY happens when a high potential Geass user touches someone with the fully evolved Geass.
5. The title of the series is “R2”, which is similar to how “C.C” is pronounced. So Lelouch would be “R.R.” which is Engrish (I presume) for L.L., Lelouch Lamprouge.
6. When C.C. is talking on the wagon, she says “the power of Geass brings loneliness…that’s not quite right is it, Lelouch?” and nods her head in the direction of the wagon driver.

P.P.P.S More evidence, courtesy of an intelligent anon from 4chan:

Orange knew of Lelouche’s and Suzaku’s plan and helped them out by ordering his men not to fire on Zero, he even smiled when Zerozaku jumped on his shoulder.

Now would Orange, a man who devoted himself entirely to Lelouche and threw away everything without a second thought be OK with a plan where the sole person he wants to protect in life is actually killed? The answer to that is NO, not even if Lelouche ordered him to accept the plan: he would not go along with it and would protect him with his life. There is only one way that Orange would be OK with a plan like that and thats if he knew about Lelouche’s immortality, which I assume he did as he worked with V.V. in the Geass research base. Orange was OK with this plan as he knew Lelouche would come to no harm and would be able to start a new peaceful life with the woman he loves in a world which he himself had made peaceful.

Even at the end, we see Orange on his orange plantation, completely content with the way things have panned out, he definitely could not be that happy had Lelouche actually died.

There it is, firm evidence of Lelouche’s immortality if the scene with C.C. and the cart driver wasn’t painfully obvious enough.

(I corrected a few spelling errors and run-ons, but preserved the original thought. It’s also quite convincing, if you ask me.)

[Code Geass R2 – 22] Evaluating the kiss

I had borne through the twenty-second episode yesterday with a jolly mood brought about by an inebriation to alcohol. In Code Geass R2, alcohol is always the answer. Of course I was disappointed: I believe most people were. So as not to be simply driven by the democratic feeling, however, I watched the episode once more. My general perception hadn’t changed: the episode remains to be full of bullshit, but at least it was another entertaining distraction.

This was my ‘Don’t tase me bro’ face.
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