Poor China

Posted by Demian @ 7:31 pm, August 29th, 2007

Need I say more?

ARIA 3rd Season Announced

Posted by Demian @ 8:06 am, August 28th, 2007

ANN reports that ARIA will indeed have a third season made, not including the new OVA that’s going to come out soon. Junichi Sato will again be directing like he has the past seasons and the staff is mostly the same. No air date was given, but this season has been in production since spring. Best news I’ve heard in a while. Looks like they’re determined to animate every single story from the manga. More ARIA is always a great thing.

The Mental Breakdown of Minoru Shiraishi

Posted by Demian @ 8:35 pm, August 27th, 2007

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Shiraishi is appreciative of all kinds of humor.

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So many “oh gawd Tsukasa is clumsy and moe” moments this episode, from the sleeping late to when deers attack. I wasn’t the only one having indecent thoughts during that scene, right?

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EEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW……….

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OHMIGAWD IT’S INDIANS! IN ANIME! Kyoani going for the cultural diversity award.

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I liked the whole Kagami confession scene for showing Kagami as a normal girl, but I didn’t really like the emotional torment we’re forced to watch in her all for a weak joke. Honestly, I would of liked to have seen how kyoani would handle romance in Lucky Star, but I guess hoping for it to be anything more than another joke is too much. Kagami’s expressions is priceless in the end, though. Like “Oyashiro-sama, please kill this man.”

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You can’t have Kyoto without Kyoani.

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Continue to fight on, Kuroi-sensei!

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I immediately thought of John McClane when I saw rugged Shiraishi for some reason.

F**K YEAH SHIRAISHI! Finally taking the bitch DOWN! Show your manly ruggedness and fighting spirit! Take down your corporate oppressors and scream on top of their broken bodies “I AM MINORU SHIRAISHI! I AM MAN!” That’s how you do it.

Thoughts on Gurren-Lagann 22

Posted by Demian @ 9:50 pm, August 26th, 2007

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I’ll have to admit one of my prediction’s didn’t come true at all. I felt certain that despite all of Simon’s efforts the moon would still hit the earth. All the spoilers talked about “absolute despair” and “heroic failure.” If anything, Simon’s efforts were an astounding victory with no important casulties. Teach me to have more faith in hot blood against all odds. This was a great ending to this arc, but not exactly epic. The giant mugan were hardly a fitting enemy. But now that we’re in the Garlock arc, I’m expecting all kinds of epic.

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Oh shi-! They broke space!

Not to say that Arc Gurren-Lagann wasn’t all kinds of badass here. It f**king punched a whole through space! Not even Ideon did that. Blew space up maybe, but not punch through it. And the idea of a super robot piloting an even more super robot actually makes sense when you think about it. It’s also incredibly awesome. The way the parting with Nia was handled was very nice, showing that she was trying to help Simon the entire time even if she didn’t know it. I also forgot how moe her voice is. And I couldn’t help thinking when Simon said he would make close to zero into 100% of that favorite line “1% becomes 100% through courage!”

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Jack Skeleton, why are you on the moon?

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Garlock has arrived.

Couple other notes: I was getting some awesome vibes from Leeron this episode, like there’s something to him we just don’t know yet, or the writers intend for something big for him. Or maybe I’m thinking that little soliloquy in the beginning was just nice. And I’m not quite sure where Rossiu is supposed to go from here. If there was any “heroic failure” in this arc, then it was Rossiu, not Simon, who felt it. Betrayed his friends for what he felt was right only to see it all be wrong in the end. Next episode looks to be some kind of redemption for him, or at least explain his actions. That, or Simon will punch his lights out. Finally, following a few anonymous’s suggestions, I now dub the insanely huge and awesome Cathedral Terra the Garcadia. Because one can’t help think how stupid cathedral terra sounds. Doesn’t even have a “G” in its name.

ef~a tale of memories promo

Posted by Demian @ 9:39 pm, August 25th, 2007

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Well, that’s different.

My interest in the game ef is almost completely based on its awesome OP. The reasons are 1.) the OP song, Yuukyuu no Tsubasa by Hitomi Harada, is incredibly catchy, and 2.) the OP animation was done by Makoto Shinkai, so of course it looks gorgeous. Here’s the OP to show how great it looks:

Still, I’ve always wondered what the larger story of ef was about, and now it looks like I’ll get the chance with this anime. The promo itself already has me interested, with the promise of love triangles, jealousy, sex (maybe), and violin playing. Obviously the animation can’t match Makoto Shinkai’s work, but it still looks incredibly nice, as expected of Shaft. A remix of Yuukyuu no Tsubasa is used, so I’m guessing that will be the OP. Definately looking to be one of the better eroge adaptions that can stand on its own, like SHUFFLE or Kanon. So, who wants to tell me when this airs?

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And OH GOD EYEPATCH MOE GIRL IS MOE!

Series Review: The Skull Man

Posted by Demian @ 9:00 pm, August 22nd, 2007

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Story:

Ootomo City is home to rumors of a mysterious “skeleton man” that haunts the night and may also be responsible for a recent series of bizarre murders. Hayate Mikogami, a tabloid reporter and former resident of Ootomo, chooses to return to his hometown to investigate the Skull Man in hopes of a big scoop. Early on when trying to enter the city he begrudgingly befriends the young photographer Kiriko Mamiya, in town to search for her missing brother. As Hayate begins his investigation of the Skull Man, aided by the old man detective Kyoichiro Tachigi who knows more than he lets on, he soon realizes there’s much more to the Skull Man than mere rumors. Who is Kagura Tatsuo, long thought dead but who’s revenge is still alive? What is the truth behind the several powerful organizations in the city: the Byakureikai, a religious cult that has taken hold; the Ootomo Concern, the undisputed masters of the city; and the sinister Brain Gear, makers of cyborg super soldiers? As the mysteries accumulate on one another and the death toll rises, Hayato will be forced to confront a shadowed darkness from his past that now threatens the entire world, and at the center of everything is the Skull Man!

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Impressions:

Skull Man is based on the original 1970 manga of the same name created by Shotaro Ishinomori, meant as a precursor to his new Kamen Rider series. The Skull Man’s dark story of an anti-hero out for revenge quickly caught on in popularity. I can’t say the anime has anything in common with the original manga, but it still follows the tradition of the henshin hero that Ishinomori created: a vigilante that fights monsters to protect humanity, even if Skull Man is darker than most. The anime is unique in that we don’t see things from the Skull Man’s perspective, but Hayato’s, making the anime much more of a mystery series. Skull Man is all about mysteries from the start. You’re bombarded with new evidence and facts every episode and ultimately it’s up to the viewer to put everything together. There aren’t really any plot holes, but the anime doesn’t go out of the way to state things clearly.

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The animation is by Bones, so it’s pretty consistent throughout with realistic designs, though sometimes the more cartoony looks of Ishinomori’s characters shows up. The action scenes and fights were very well done, invoking the sense of fluidness and dynacism I associate with tokusatsu and henshin heroes. The music was perfect, with several haunting tracks for the many scenes of intrigue and horror. I found both the OP and ED mediocre in the beginning, but on repeated listening I have fallen in love with them.

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The Skull Man is a mixture of a modern day detective story with the supernatural and sometime bizarre world of the superhero, where everything is approached with a level of realism. It has a somewhat slow beginning, but episode three is really the first to hook you in. From there on it’s a thrill ride to the very end, especially the last few explosive episodes. Those looking for a more darker, mature anime, perhaps with a sci-fi bent, should really check Skull Man out. It’s also only thirteen episodes, so it’s not a long investment. Thematically, I would say it’s similar to Darker than Black, except with a more connected and epic plot. Would definately love to see a sequel to this in some form, which leads me to talk about the ending. Spoiler territory now.

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Spoilers:

The ending may take a little explanation for those unfamaliar with Ishinomori’s work. The final scene shows a Skull Man-possessed Hayato being turned into a cyborg by Brain Gear that looks a lot like Black Ghost, the main villian from Cyborg 009, another major Ishinomori work. You will also notice that Kiriko’s child looks like Joe Shimamura aka. Cyborg 009. In this way, Skull Man is just an elaborate prequel to Cyborg 009. It’s ironic that Hayato saves the world at the end of the Skull Man, only to be turned into Black Ghost who wants to destroy it. I would love to see this lead into a remake of Cyborg 009 headed by Bones. It’d be an interesting modern take on the story. The ending really was epic, though. The military was attacking the city, Brain Gear’s walking mecha were attacking the military, the Byakurekai monsters were attacking everyone, and there was Skull Man in the middle of it. So great. This series really needs more attention than it got.

Sayonara Yoko-Sensei

Posted by Demian @ 8:57 pm, August 21st, 2007

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If there was one thing this episode did right, it was showing how badass and awesome Yoko really is. Definately one of the better leading females in recent anime, defying the usual japanese stereotype of women. Or at least that’s how I see her. Otherwise this episode was rather fillerish, though I think there’s a reason for it. Some comments by the director have said that Yoko’s character is very important to the fourth arc, so maybe looking back this episode will seem more like foreshadowing than gratuitous, if fun, fanservice.

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Speaking of fanservice, did the ole’ Gainax Bounce seem a little more prominent here? Is this the legendary 40%? I don’t remember those things shaking that much with younger Yoko. Sure, there was a noticeable bounce, but it seemed like a bit much here. Not that I’m really complaining, just an observation.

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And Boota is still one lucky bastard. Kittan’s expression was the best during this scene.

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THE TWO PATHS BETWEEN HUMAN AND BEAST

INTERTWINE TO CREATE THE PATH OF THE SPIRAL

PIERCING THE DESTINY AS YESTERDAY’S ENEMIES

CREATING A NEW PATH TOWARDS THE FUTURE WITH THESE HANDS

THE UNION OF FATE, GURREN-LAGANN

WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE!

Just so, so awesome. Eclipses the rest of the episode. Viral finally joins the Dai-Gurren Brigade and takes his place as the pilot of Gurren. Truly epic. Next episode will see the massively huge Arc Gurren-Lagann and how badly things go to hell. I at least expect the earth to blow up. Maybe a few character deaths, hopefully just not Beamspam McPuppet or GAR Helmsman. Episode 23 is timeskip afterall.