Friday, July 29, 2011

Let's play Anime Pictionary! *Round 9*

Last round's answers:
1. Toriko (Toriko)
2. Kurapika (Hunter x Hunter)
3. Yin (Darker Than Black)

Baka Raptor won last round. He asked for a frogurt with sprinkles and potassium benzoate. I hope he finds it to be enjoyable, especially the potassium bits. ;)

Here's round nine! Good luck!

Picture 1:
The checkered thing is supposed to be his bare chest. I think he's the only character I actually gave eyes instead of dots.
Picture 2:
I was feeling uncreative.
Picture 3:
Again, the checkered thing is supposed to be abs. >.>

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bartender Anime Review

Episodes: 11
Aired: Oct 15, 2006 - Dec 31, 2006
Current MAL Score: 7.68
Current MAL Rank: 837

Short synopsis: Sasakura Ryuu is an incredibly talented bartender known for making the "Glass of the Gods." He works at a small, nondescript bar called Eden Hall. It is there that people seek this genius bartender out and find their own "Glass of the Gods" to soothe their unique problems.

Being a show about a bartender, this show obviously has a lot of alcohol references that flew past me. As such, a lot of the drinking novelty will be lost on those under 21. It's likely that if you are over 21, you will enjoy this much more than a teenage anime blogger with nothing better to do than watch an anime about drinking although the only alcohol she's ever tasted is wine and champagne. And although I may not have been able to enjoy it as much as someone over the alcohol-guzzling age of 21, I didn't feel too overwhelmed, and I did learn quite a lot about alcohol (though the legitimacy of some of the facts is questionable). 

Actually, the most entertaining thing about Bartender was the huge variety of stories customers told Ryuu. Almost every episode had a different customer with problems unique to their situation. It was Ryuu's job to provide his customer with a drink that would soothe their problems and make a solution clear. The stories were always intriguing and easily kept my interest. It was nice to see someone walk out of the bar with clarity in their life and an answer to their predicament. It was also nice to see realistic problems- the characters were fairly easy to relate to.

I really only had a few problems with the show, but they didn't really sap from my overall enjoyment or the satisfaction felt once I finished the series. It was nice to see past characters after their story had been told. but I didn't like how they were used as narrators. It was really confusing - especially at the beginning- to see characters from episodes ago relay plot points.

Also, the episodes about the "mistake of Sasakura Ryuu" were kind of confusing; mostly because his mistake, so stressed upon by the passing narrators, wasn't really explained in full, and the two episodes spent on his "mistake" kind of warped Ryuu's character. Those episodes made him look childish and immature. Well, actually, his words and actions were nothing but gracious and polite, but the older bartenders chastised him for a mistake he didn't know he made- and the audience didn't either. I couldn't tell how long ago those episodes were because Ryuu looked exactly the same, so it was a little difficult seeing how much time it took for Ryuu to be the bartender he is now. In all, those two episodes were probably the worst of the show, though they weren't totally bad. I just found myself annoyed by the somewhat arrogant customers and older bartenders.

Those are the only complaints I have, though. Bartender proved to be a wonderful series full of fascinating vignettes about passing customers and the drinks used to placate their problems. The dark Eden Hall bar, hidden in the alleyways of Tokyo, held a very sophisticated and refined aura while still managing to be homely and welcoming. A very enjoyable experience- I recommend it to anyone who likes episodical anime and/or holds an interest in bartending or cocktails.
Plot: 8/10
Music: 8/10
Ending: 6/10
Art: 6/10
Characters: 9/10
Personal Enjoyment: 9/10
Total: 46/60
Mean: 7.666... (rounded to 8 on MAL)

Other stuff
  • The live action ending theme was pretty cool. The fish swimming through the air, a real bartender making the drink mentioned in the episode, and - who I presume to be the actual  artist- singing the ending theme in the background made the it very memorable. 
  •  Why are 11 episode anime so good??
  • The reason the ending only got 6 (which is a "fine" on the MAL rating scale) was because the ending didn't really tie anything together. The old-man narrator just gives a speech on what it is to be successful bartender and the series ends. Nothing really fantastic. It's just fine. 
  • In other news, I got a B on this song. It was difficult, but very fun. :3 Just watching that video makes me want to play it again.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I marathoned Endless Eight.

Last night when I pretended I had nothing to do, I marathoned Endless Eight. It has become kind of infamous among anime fans, but for those who don't know, Endless Eight is eight consecutive episodes in the second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya where the characters are caught in an infinite time loop recounting their two week summer vacation. Yes, you've guessed it, there's eight full episodes where the same events are repeated over and over again.

Over and over and over eight times.

Eight times. 

Anyway, I had heard of this from several disappointed Haruhi fans, and I'd seen many people boast about marathoning the entire thing, turning it into some sort of challenge. Considering I have too much free time, I figured I could take this challenge, and last night seemed like the perfect time.

Before I watched it, I was kind of excited. I was thinking 'Oh, man. I can totally do this. I'm going to watch all of them and see what all the fuss is about.' I was also a bit afraid; I didn't know what levels of boredom would be reached.

And well, after surviving the eight episodes of non-stop summertime activities, I can say that it really wasn't all too bad. I can see where KyoAni was going with it and why they chose 8 episodes (when turned 8 = infinity herp). On paper, the whole idea is actually pretty good, but it just wasn't executed correctly. Each episode was almost exactly the same- the same activities and lines- but to make this "Endless Eight" really work, they should've taken a Tatami Galaxy approach. In Tatami Galaxy, each episode has the same main cast of characters, but each episode shows a different way that "Watashi" could've lived through his college years. If, in E8, they had a bit more variation between each episode, it could've been more successful.

But they didn't, and most Haruhi fans flinch when they hear of the eight monotonous episodes airing during summer of '09. From what I've seen on /a/, it was an eight weeks filled with rage and massive trolling on KyoAni's part.

Click for an enlarged rage-filled /a/
As for my personal thoughts?
I thought that the first 4 or 5 episodes were bearable; not all of the lines were the same and there was a little bit of variation, but from then on everything was mostly recycled. Every single goddamn line was used over and over. I believe these are the sole reasons I was able to make it through the eight episode marathon:
  • Tomokazu Sugita's voice. Endless hnnnnnnng-
  • My computer taking way too long to buffer and during that time, I may or may not have reread the last chapter of Breaking Dawn. -.- 
  • About half way through, I barely even registered what was going on. I simply read the subtitles, barely comprehending them, and watched the images flick by on my screen. I wasn't really bored until about episode 6. Before that, I was almost numb, not really giving a fuck about anything going on. It wasn't entertaining, but it wasn't boring either; I was lost in the middle ground.
In the end, I really think it only needed about four episodes- eight was dragging it out waaay too far. As I have said before, they could've handled it a lot differently. They didn't, though, so the The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 2 will forever be remembered for its troll-tastic endless eight episodes.

 Have you seen the endless eight? If so, what did you think of them?
I believe everyone who watched E8 deserves one. If you marathon it and post your reaction to your own blog, I will personally create one of these for you as well as link your post here.
Medal source: source
I survived Endless Eight: source

Monday, July 25, 2011

Banners for Anime Princess

Lostty over at Anime Princess has created a never-ending banner project, and I offered to create a few banners for her, and so here they are! Assuming that you're reading this lostty, if you need me to put this on photobucket or e-mail it to you or something, please let me know.
Haine from Dogs

OC I found on pixiv

Stocking from Panty & Stocking

Yin from Darker than Black
Oh, and I didn't create any of the pictures or fonts in any of the banners. I just found pictures and fonts and threw them together to create a banner. I would provide a link for the artist, but I saved most of these pictures long ago and have no idea what the source is, though if by chance, you are the artist and you stumbled onto my blog, please let me know.

My History with Anime

I heard about Nopy's project a while back and I wanted to participate, but my perpetual laziness won out in the end, and it is only now that I've decided to actually write about my super interesting past with anime.

And so here it is.
awesome Kingdom Hearts wallpaper
In sixth grade, I became really good friends with a Korean girl who had been watching anime her whole life. She somehow convinced me to unearth my brother's old Play Station 2 and Kingdom Hearts - both abandoned years ago by my older brother who traded his clunky, old PS2 for a new, shiny xBox 360. The PS2 sat quietly under the TV, collecting dust in a dark forgotten corner until my friend got me to uncover it; she thought that I would really enjoy it. 

And so I tried it out and quickly became addicted. Almost every day for the first three months of sixth grade, I came home from school and played KH (I never did finish it, though haha). It's weird because waaaay before I got into it, I remember my older brother buying it when it first came out and playing it when he was in sixth grade as well. I remember going off to Girl Scout camp (YES, I WAS AND STILL AM A GIRL SCOUT) and begging him to beat Ansem when I got back because I wanted to watch him. But he beat it anyway. Little bastard.
fucking Traverse Town
 Excuse me while I become extremely nostalgic. I remember walking around Traverse Town for, like, eight or nine hours at the beginning of the game because my Korean friend (I'll refer to her as "Yuni" from now on... I'm still good friends with her btw) told me that I had to meet Leon in the "sewers". Now, if you have played Kingdom Hearts, you know that you don't meet up with Leon in the "sewers" until after you go to Alice and Wonderland. And so here I am, frantically running around Traverse Town, looking for Leon everywhere and thinking that I can't leave until I do. I spent so much time there that I literally know Traverse Town from top to bottom. I collected almost all the postcards and stacked huge crates on top of each other to reach secret nooks and crannies. I could probably tour the town in my sleep. Oh, and that stupid Moogle didn't help either. He kept giving me these stupid riddles that made no sense at all. AND DAT TRAVERSE TOWN MUSIC. OH GOD.

Anyway, I got really into it, and at the start of winter break of that year, she had me over for her older sister's birthday party. While her sister and friends played Apples to Apples downstairs, Yuni introduced Bleach to me. Yuni doesn't really like showing her interest in anime to any of her friends, but I think she figured that since I liked Kingdom Hearts, I may also enjoy Bleach as well.
Bleach Vol. 12: The Escape (episodes 46-49)
She was obsessed with Toshiro Hitsugaya at the time and bought one of the DVDs with him on the cover. It was episodes 46-49 (the actual DVD is here). She showed me those episodes, swooning over Hitsugaya and filling me in on everyone's back stories along the way. She spoiled a lot for me, but I didn't really mind. I couldn't tell if she didn't think I would really get into it and that's why she spoiled me, or if she was just really enthusiastic about it and wanted to tell someone about her new obsession.While watching those episodes, I decided that I would start from the beginning and work my way up. (one of the first comments I made was of the sakura falling. I asked Yuni if it was snow, and she told me they were sakura petals :3)

The next day, during a rather long and monotonous christmas party, I crept off to the computer room and watched Bleach on my archaic computer (this was before I had my laptop). I also remember eating a lot of cookies that night.

Anyway, for the second half of my sixth grade year, I watched Bleach on and off. I was very sporadic about it. Sometimes I wouldn't watch any for weeks, and then suddenly I would decide to throw in a grand marathon.

I soon became hopelessly in love with the show. I was one of the new anime fans who thought that the first anime they've watched is the best only because they haven't seen any else. I'm absolutely sure that I annoyed the hell out of Yuni with my endless Bleach bantering.
The many faces of Kurosaki Ichigo

It's weird being a new anime fan and not knowing what to watch next. After I caught up to Bleach in May, I couldn't find anything to watch (very different from now- when I have too much that I need to watch). Some of the anime that I found after that in roughly chronological order were: Onegai Teacher, Toradora! (while it was airing), Karin,  D. Gray Man, Blood+, Trinity Blood, Nana, Azumanga Daioh, and Ouran.

I forgot to mention that when I was a child, I also watched Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky on VHS (VHS!), but I didn't know it was anime, so I figured it didn't really count. I also remember watching Sailor Moon, but I only really watched about ten episodes.

I always thought these things were stupid but kluxorious totally deserves one.

Oh, and internet high five to kluxorious, whose first anime was also Bleach, and for some reason can't comment on my blog (that wasn't sarcasm; she literally can't comment... Like something's wrong with Intense Debate or something).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Leavin' On a Jet Plane (One Week Hiatus)

This is going to be short and sweet. (It has to be since I still need to pack :P)

I'm heading out with the family tomorrow on a trip to Seattle, Washington. We're actually staying in Blaine, which is as far north as you can possibly get without piercing Canada. Since I had just read the Twilight novels, I kind of wanted to go to Forks just to say I had been there and gloat about it to everyone, but it's a good four hour drive that isn't particularly met with enthusiasm on my parent's part. Eh, whatever. Town doesn't look all too interesting anyway. It's just really cool to see the cities or townships where a book was placed, assuming that place is real of course. I wonder if Stephanie Meyer actually went to Forks. Probably... Didn't I say I was going to make this short and sweet?

Anyway, I'll be in Seattle until the 23rd (?), so I'll have posts up sometime after that.

I was going to put pictures in here, but the computer I'm using doesn't have any anime related stuff on it (THANKS, MAC WHO WON'T PUBLISH POSTS).

But I did find this one thing, so in lieu of the Harry Potter movies and the midnight showing that I will not be attending (;____;), please enjoy this picture in my stead:
I'll be back soon! :)

(I still need to read all the Harry Potter books...)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Way to Find Anime

I was on My Anime List recently, looking at my "plan to watch" list and contemplating what anime to watch next when I realized something. All of the anime on the list is numbered. This means that I could pick a number randomly from my mind and find an anime to watch. However, since the anime is listed in alphabetical order and the human mind isn't totally random to begin with, it would be easy to cheat or pick the same number several times. I didn't want to leave the random choice to my unreliable human mind. I needed to find something that would randomly generate numbers. Where could I find something like that?

I just searched "random number generator" on google, and the first link fulfilled my expectations quite nicely. I know that I could've easily used a calculator as well, but I'm too lazy to go dig mine up from school and this was much easier anyway.

From here, you just put the corresponding numbers into the boxes. For example, I have 476 anime on my "plan to watch" list, so in the "Min." box, I'd put 1, and in the "Max." box, I'd put 476. The random number generator will then find a number between those two.

After inputting my minimum and maximum, I got the number 322. When I go back to my "plan to watch" list, I've found that Peach Girl is 322. I've found an anime to watch! Yay! Usually, though, I like to find a few more as back-ups in case I don't want to watch Peach Girl for some reason. I could be looking for a series that is shorter, longer, or a different genre.

366. Sengoku Basara 
418. Tegami Bachi
314. Otome Youkai Zakuro
301. Nyanpire the Animation

Then, I'd just choose from one of the anime above and hope to find entertainment. :)

I recommend this method of finding anime to anyone who wants to cut down their "plan to watch" list and/or is indecisive about what to watch.

This is how I ended up watching The Epic of ZektBach. I had planned on writing a review on it, but I've been much too lazy. It was just a whole bunch of terrible, anyway.

Other crap

  • I finished Breaking Dawn... I'm kinda going to miss reading about Edward and Bella. It was such a good love story... The ending was a bit too happy, but whatever. I'm a happy person. I had no idea that all the towns she talked about in the book were actually real; Forks and La Push even have websites! 
  • If you have any book/anime recommendations that has a romance story similar to the one found in the Twilight series (doesn't have to be about vampires; just good romance), please let me know. 
  • Should get my computer back soon! Woooooo!
  • I don't know why, but this post was completely deleted on my other computer. I had to retype the whole post over again. ;____; Sorry for the inconvenience. I bet you were wondering why I had a blank post floating around. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Guilty Pleasure

My computer has been healed by my father, though he won't let me use it. Something about me being irresponsible and stuff. I think I have a better understanding of how we got the virus, and I'll try my best from now on to avoid those situations.

It's probably because the anime sites I use have pop-ups that jump out at you randomly, though I have specific settings on my firefox not to let such things happen. The only way to truly avoid such pop-ups I guess would be to watch anime on Crunchy Roll.

Ew. crunchy roll. It doesn't even deserve to be capitalized.

Anyway, I've been getting more in tune with my other hobbies that usually take the backseat to my anime watching passion. One of those hobbies that used to suck up every moment of my day before I found anime was reading. Seriously. I spent almost every waking minute of my existence with a book in hand. Even when running errands or getting toted along with my parents, I'd bring a book along with me in the car, intently devouring each story I came across. I had the highest number of minutes read in my entire fifth grade class. (Remember when you had to keep track of your reading? Most schools do that) Books spilled out of my overstuffed bookshelf, towers of novels were and still are precariously stacked among the anime DVDs in my room.

Eventually that love of reading gave way to a passion for story-telling. Sometimes I'd be so intent on a story I was creating in my mind that I would shush my parents whenever they tried to interrupt my thoughts, telling them exasperatedly, "I'm making a story!!"  I would talk to myself a lot, too. I vividly remember sitting in front of the old, yellowed refrigerator we used to have. Sitting on the cold kitchen tiles, scooting out of the way whenever my parents needed to grab something from inside, I would play with the magnets, sliding the colorful pieces over the magnetic surface, animatedly talking to myself. I did a lot of other crazy stuff, too. I never did have a legit imaginary friend, though I pretended I did.

I'm totally get off topic. Enough about my over-imaginative childhood.

The point is I used to read a lot, and after I became obsessed with anime, I found a lot less time to read. But since my computer broke, I've gone back to my reading habit, finally finishing Twilight, a book I had put off a long time ago.

At first, I kept picturing Edward as Robert Pattinson. Robert is handsome - I will admit to that - but  he doesn't really show the Edward in the book correctly. Before reading the books, I had already seen through the Eclipse movie, so I already know everything that happens, and I already had a firm grasp on who all the other characters were. Edward was cool, but I was convinced that Jacob was better off for Bella. That view totally switched around after I read through the first two books.

The problem with the movies is that they spare so many important details and descriptions. In the movie, Edward is portrayed as more cold and violent, barely showing his gentle, romantic side. Plus, they fall in love way too fast. The book takes a lot more time with the romance, steadily pushing Edward and Bella closer together until BAM they're deeply in love with eachother.

Also, in the movies, Bella is just some normal Mary-Sue. She's not interesting at all. Kristen Stewart made her lines come off awkwardly and made her seem totally inept at conversing intelligently. She's a lot more sociable and interesting in the books.

I just finished New Moon about an hour ago, and I really enjoyed it. I got pretty attached to Edward in the first book, so I was also upset to see him leave, though I already knew he would reappear. xD I thought she would quickly fall in love with Jacob, and I would absolutely hate Jacob for taking Edward's place in the time he was gone. But the author, Stephanie Meyer, did a great job of bringing Jacob and Bella closer together while still keeping the line between best friends and lovers quite distinct. She didn't rush it. Jacob developed much slower than I thought he would and Stephanie Meyer made it so I actually liked him. I'm sure Bella would've gotten into a romantic relationship if Edward hadn't returned, though I was happy that he had. :)

Okay, I know you're probably thinking, "Oh no! Nadja's got sucked into the abyss of fan-girling Twilight fans. I will never see her the same."

Well, please don't misunderstand. I do not own any Twilight t-shirts or paraphernalia. I do not obsess over Robert Patinnson or Taylor Lautner. It's just that the books are extremely romantic, and I can't help but fall in love with it. Yes, sometimes the romantics are taken over the top a little bit, especially in the later books, but it's still immensely entertaining.

I really do love a good romance, though.

Oh, and Twilight isn't the perfect book by any means. Stephanie Meyer paces her story well, but her writing is nothing extravagant. And Bella isn't the best protagonist, either. She can be whiny, annoying, selfish, and compared to all the ancient vamps around her, totally immature, but I'm easily entertained and I can't help but fall in love with the romantics.

 I know it's one of those books you either love or hate; you curse the author's lack of literary prowess or you swoon over the love story. For all the objective things I hate about it, I just can't stop reading. It's my guilty pleasure.

Anyway, I am going to start Eclipse. I guarantee it'll be finished in the next 24 hours.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Let's play Anime Pictionary! *Round 8*

Here are the answers to last round:
1. Alphonse Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist)
2. L (Death Note)
3. Kirino (OreImo)

The winner from last round was Marina of Anime B&B, which is an awesome blog and you should go read it right now.

She asked for a lemon chiffon pie, so I tried to recreate this mystifying delicacy, although I had no fucking clue what it was. I know it has "lemon" and it has "pie", but what the hell is "chiffon"? It sounds French. >.>
Anyway, on to this round!

Picture 1:

Picture 2:

Picture 3:
These may be a little more difficult to guess than in past rounds, so take your time. Like always, I try to get these up every Wednesday. "But Nadja! Today is Friday! You're two days late!" Hey. Shut up. I was planning the funeral for my computer.

Next round and answers to this one are here.

Nabari no Ou review

Episodes: 26
Aired: April 6, 2008 - September 28, 2008
Current MAL score: 7.60
Current MAL rank: 988

Short synopsis: Miharu has the power of the "Shinrabansho", said to give its user incredible strength and wisdom, but Miharu wants nothing of it. He only wants to be "normal". However, his normal everyday life is shattered when ninjas, all vying for Miharu and his abilities, drag him into the world of ninjas; otherwise known as the "Nabari world". There is one ninja named Yoite who wants to use the Shinrabansho to erase his very existence from the world. He ends up black-mailing Miharu into helping him reach that goal.  

Just warning everyone that this series has a bit of shonen ai. However, it wasn't too intensive and could be looked at as a strong friendship between two boys. If you really don't like watching anything having to do with shonen ai, then you may not enjoy the series as much, though. You'll just have to try it out to tell.

Since I was just speaking about shonen ai, I might as well start off the review with my thoughts on the main "couple". Watching as Miharu and Yoite slowly became closer, I marveled at how much the two teens were alike. They were both quiet and kept to themselves. They both didn't want to get emotionally tied to anyone or have anyone do kind things for them. They were practically reflections of the other, but  they handled things very differently. Miharu was apathetic about everything around him. If he cared for someone or something, he barely showed it. Yoite, on the other hand, was much more violent, using the kira to slowly kill himself.  They were incredibly alike, but different enough to work as a couple. I didn't quite see them that way, though. Somehow, in my eyes, they never went past "friends". In a show like this, it's all about perception. If you want to see them as butt buddies, you can. But if you're not into that kind of thing, it's easy to see them as simply friends. It reminds me of Kuroshitsuji in regard to the "could be friends, could be more, so you choose" main couple. 

Shimizu Raimei
Other than the main two guys, the show had a nice array of characters that complemented each other quite nicely. Each character was unique in their own right without outshining the main two. The writers always knew when the two MCs were getting tiring, and whenever they were, they would focus more so on the side characters and their back stories. I believe each character was properly fleshed out. In particular, I really enjoyed Raimei and Raiko as characters, especially Raiko (ohhh, that sexy voice mmm). 
Although all of the character's pasts were fleshed out satisfyingly, I found that there were a lot of questions that never received satisfactory answers. First and foremost, why did Yoite want to disappear from the earth? I understand he went through quite a lot of pain in his lifetime, but I never understood completely why he wanted to be erased. There were only a few flashbacks showing Yoite's parents telling him they wish he had never been born, but there must be more to it than that. What happened? Shaky, random flashbacks are not enough to explain one of the major plot points like this.

Another thing that never got properly answered was why everybody was so against Miharu using the Shinrabansho. The teacher, who I loved at first but got increasingly more annoying as the show went on, was a stickler for not letting Miharu use his power. It was extremely frustrating. Whenever it seemed like Miharu was finally going to unleash the Shinrabansho and show its awesome potential to the audience, the teacher always ruined it. It seemed like a total copout; the series builds up the Shinrabansho, talking about how amazingly powerful it is, but it's never actually used throughout the whole series. I never got why the teacher was so against Miharu using it, anyway. Why was it so terrible for Miharu to be using the Shinrabansho, if only to protect himself from all the selfish ninjas sneaking around?

A lot of the logic throughout the show was lost on me, especially how his mother made Miharu forget everything about the Shinrabansho and the Nabari world. I understand that she was just trying to protect him, but as long as people know that he is the Shinrabansho, people will try to hunt him down and black-mail him into using the Shinrabansho for whatever wishes they have. People will do anything to acquire his powers, so why would you leave him defenseless in such an unforgiving world? Why would you leave him there, vulnerable and powerless, as he gets kidnapped? Why wouldn't you teach him how to use the Shinrabansho to protect himself? It's inevitable that violence is going to surround the Shinrabansho, so why not teach him how to control his power so that some of the destruction and death is avoided? 

It was just a bit annoying that Miharu kept getting kidnapped or roughed up, but he couldn't do a damn thing about it. He watched as his friends were fighting to defend him, and yet he couldn't do one damn thing. He was a worthless protagonist who couldn't do shit, and it was disappointing. 

"The Bad"
The evil characters in this show are kind of odd. Rather, there isn't really any "evil" characters in the show. Almost everyone had good intentions. The line between good and evil was extremely thin, but the opposing sides continued to fight without knowing that the enemy had similar interests. Miharu actually switched sides several times, and you could never really tell who he was "with". It was very odd seeing Miharu playing both sides of the fence so easily. I do applaud this series for its realistic take on characters , though, showing that no one is truly "evil". 

There was one man who had been portrayed as evil throughout the show, and while his intentions weren't bad, they were nieve and unreasonable. He wanted to erase all of the pain and suffering in the world. He wanted to erase everyone's memories and start everything over again in a world made of peace. In my opinion, this is a terrible idea. Pain, misery, sadness, and fighting are simply inevitable. There will always be opposing viewpoints as long as humans can think for themselves, trying to stop it is pointless. Plus, how would we know happiness or how to savor it if we didn't know what sadness feels like?
"The Good"
On another note, I'd like to look at all of the aesthetics of the show. The music was fine throughout, though it was nothing really memorable. I was kind of disappointed that the OP wasn't changed halfway through because it was starting to get old. 

Despite being about ninjas, the action in the show wasn't that great. It was a bit disjointed, had awkward camera angles, and lacked flow. It wasn't terrible, but I was expecting more from a show about ninjas.

The backgrounds in this show were pretty awful. They were bland, shapeless, and looked really odd behind such detailed character art (all of the characters had nice designs, some even fappable xD)

Overall, the show had a nice aftertaste. While not amazing, it did manage to entertain me throughout its 26 episode run. It wouldn't be on the top of my recommendations list, but check it out if you're hungry for ninjas mixed realistically with the modern world and depressing teens (Yoite was depressing/depressed a good 95% of the time).

Plot: 7/10
Music: 7/10
Ending: 8/10
Art: 6/10
Characters: 8/10
Personal Enjoyment: 8/10 
Total: 44/60
Mean: 7.333... 

Other stuff
  • I thought I would be annoyed by how apathetic Miharu was, but it wasn't all that bad.
  • I bought this on DVD for $50. Not really a good idea. I almost always buy DVDs of an anime I've never watched. I never learn.  
  • MY COMPUTER BLEW UP. It got infected by this nasty Trojan that runs a fake Windows XP thing telling you that you have all these hard drive errors. It hides all of your files, and once you run its scanner, it tells you that you have to pay $20 to fix all these "critical errors" with your hard drive. Except it's all fake, and after shelling out that $20, it only gets worse. Plus, your computer is dead and they have your credit card number. Fucking extortionists. Good thing my dad was smart enough to figure it out. We're working on fixing it now, though it'll probably remain this way for a while. For now, I'm using the "family" mac. Sucks, man.
  • I fucking love German music. :3
  • I want my computer back!!!!! ;__________________;

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Toriko x One Piece special was god awful.

Alright, so here I am at 4 AM, catching up to One Piece. I had just finished up episode 491, and it had been really emotional. Luffy was finally facing the reality of what had happened to Ace, and he was breaking down into a crying mess. I almost wish I was more emotional; I would've cried and I wanted to, but tears have never come easily for me, so my eyes remained dry even as my heart ached for Luffy (not in a lustful way, obviously lol). The episode ended sorrowfully as Luffy broke down into uncontrollable sobs. Oh, my heart broke when he collapsed like that, fat tears flowing thickly down his cheeks.

After the episode was over, I was hungry for a continuation. I clicked on episode 492, and I was met by this shit:

I totally wasn't in the mood for any stupid Toriko crap, but I'm one of those anime fans who feels an obligation to complete every single damned episode in a series, despite it being totally pointless and reeking of filler.

The best part of the episode was probably One Piece.

I say that, but I'm really stretching it. Even the straw hat pirate crew, which I love with a fiery passion, seemed to reek of Toriko's shit. You know what? Scratch that. The best part of the episode was definitely Zoro who got about two minutes of screen time at best. As the sky was covered with thick Toriko smog, Zoro was the single ray of sunshine that sliced its way through the condensed air pollution. It's been a long time since I've seen Zoro; he hasn't gotten any screen time for a good twenty episodes or more, so it was refreshing to see him and hear Nakai Kazuya's badass voice coming from Zoro's badass mouth.

The worst part of the episode was Toriko.

Not just Toriko, but his crazy band of circus freaks. Before I can move on with this weird-semi review, I need to acknowledge the terrible character designs, lacking any bit of originality or coordination.

I don't mind Toriko's face or long blue hair. He could even pass as attractive if he didn't wear totally conflicting, ugly colors or be that incredibly, overly, and obnoxiously buff. He wears an orange jumpsuit. It's bad enough that it's orange, but a jumpsuit?! Now, you're just Naruto except more buff and with blue hair. His buffness also pissed me off. Most women like men to be lean, but not so much so that it seems like fucking watermelons are growing on their arms or their neck grows to be as thick as a tree trunk. Everything about Toriko's character design screams "I want to be cool!!" but it really only ends up infuriating me. Everything about his entire character design is simply ugly. 

His powers are also really lame as well. The power of "fork and knife"? Doesn't that just sound incredibly and utterly stupid? 

That's because it is.

And it's not just Toriko that has a shitty design. Look at his team mates.
This guy's design is alright. Nothing amazing or particularly noticeable. He has the ability to shoot poison out of his fingers, which sounds pretty kickass at first, but when you actually see it in action, you'll notice how infinitely retarded it is.

This guy was probably the worst. With a name like "Sunny" without an "O", he can only be a dog or an overly buff guy with cotton candy colored dreads and another blue jump suit on. A dog would've been better. Oh, wait. Toriko already has one of those, except it's wolf-like thing with orange eyes (it's not cute in any way whatsoever). Anyway, Sunny tries to be all effeminate with his high-pitched voice that goes up and down and up and down, but that just doesn't work for someone who is that buff and wears a blue jumpsuit. It sincerely looks like the creator of Toriko put about three seconds into Sunny's character design before deeming it "awesome" and barely thinking of how absolutely terrible it was.

Kotatsu Komatsu
This is Toriko's gorilla sidekick. Every time his name came up, I always thought of a kotatsu table. The latter is more interesting.

Love interest
I'm pretty sure she has a name, but it's not important. She was singled out immediately as Toriko's love interest stalker. She's obsessed with him, and as soon as she showed up, she was blabbering about how awesome Toriko is and how worried she was about him and how she wants to fuck him. Why does it seem like all female characters do in anime nowadays is fall in love? Is that all they're good for?

She has this stupid laser gun things on her wrists. She's like spider man. Not at all.

Now that I'm done ranting about the shitty character designs, I'll move onto the plot of the episode, which was equally shitty.

The whole special consists of Luffy and Toriko running around  and eating a bunch of different shit. That's basically all there is to it. Then, near the end, they decide to kill this mutant koala thing, and they do. Then, ZORO. Then, the island turns into pudding. Then, everyone leaves.

Here have some screenshots:
This just goes to show how a little goes a long way. Luffy doesn't look like he has much muscle (even though he does) and he looks infinitely better than Toriko. God, Toriko shirtless makes me want to throw up. Disgusting.
There was this part where Toriko was scratched by the koala, but instead of bleeding and getting a cut, his clothes are conveniently ripped off. That's why Toriko doesn't have a shirt on in the screenshot before this. THANKS KOALA. DX
I may decide to watch a little bit of Toriko, just to see how incredibly generic and shit-filled it is when it's not relying on One Piece to be awesome. Then again, I wanted to claw my eyes out whenever I saw one of those character designs, so it may be best for my health if I didn't give it a go.

Just so you know, I totally lost my appetite for One Piece after I watched this episode. I had been on such a roll, marathoning twelve episodes of One Piece straight, but this stupid special made me want to kill myself, so I didn't end up watching episode 493 which was almost guaranteed to be so sad, I'd be tempted to rip my heart out and throw it aggressively at the computer screen until I died or Luffy became happy again. Shit. That was a long sentence. It had, like, three commas.

It seems like all the other bloggers have forgotten about Toriko. Is anyone still watching it? If not, why did you drop it?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blatant Fan Service in Gintama

You may not want to admit it, but every single anime out there has fan service. In one way or another, the studio was thinking of the target audience and how to increase its marketability when creating the anime . Every studio is looking to increase sales and make money in the end. A lot of anime is sneaky about doing it, though. They weave their "the fans would love it if..." moments into the plot and make it so that the fan service is more difficult to see. Most good series do this. Most bad series don't know how. They just can't craft their fan service into the anime without it sticking out like a sore thumb, being totally blatant and obvious that you're supposed to like this.

This is especially evident in the routine beach episodes where the women all show off their jiggly bits while still trying to cover that little bit of nipple area. It's blatantly trying to entice the male audience and increase their marketability (buy the swimsuit version figma! Only $150!) They've just forgotten that the anime kind-of sort-of has a plot, and they end up sacrificing credibility for pleasing their fans. It shows that the anime really is one-sided and not trying to accomplish much of anything except get your money into the studio's pockets.

Gintama, however, is different. I just watched episode 166, and it included quite a lot of completely blatant fan service. It was much less offensive, though. Here's why.

1. It caters to a different audience. 
It's quite obvious that Gintoki x Hijikata is one of the most popular yaoi couples among female fans of Gintama. It's hard not to run into it when searching for Gintama fanart, and the Gintama anime has even acknowledged the couple's popularity before, joking about making a Gintama DVD cover featuring Gintoki and Hijikata kissing.
This episode, in which Gintoki and Hijikata are handcuffed together at both wrists by the sadistic Okita, is a perfect example of fan service targeted towards yaoi lovers, specifically ones who love Hijikata x Gintoki. It's a bit refreshing to see fan service that is directed towards women instead of men, because it seems that most of the time fan service is for the latter. 

2. The concept of the episode wasn't the "same old, same old."

It wasn't on the beach or anything cliche like that, instead it centered around Gintoki and Hijikata being handcuffed together and trying to catch these rebels that the Shinsengumi had been after for ages. The episode actually had a fair amount of action and comedy, making it fairly enjoyable. Being Gintama, the comedy mostly centered around Gintoki and Hijikata having to take a dump, but not knowing how to go about it when handcuffed. The result was hilarious. XD
 The action near the end of the episode was pretty kickass as well. Both men had to find a way to defeat a bunch of rebels while being handcuffed at both wrists. I'm not a fan of the Hijikata x Gintoki couple, but both men are deliciously badass, so the fight ended up being awesome.
There were parts of the episode that were completely blatant that this was yaoi fan service, though. It was pretty obvious from the start considering they were handcuffed together, but the part where Gintoki had to wrap his legs around Hijikata's waist to ride a motorcycle made it increasingly obvious.
 Not that it was a bad thing. I''m a yaoi fan, but I don't really care for Hijikata x Gintoki, and I enjoyed this episode. Not only did it make me laugh, but I was thinking "hell yeah!" as Hijikata and Gintoki teamed up and whooped everyone's asses.
Thanks, Gintama, for being able to pull off blatant fan service and not turn to crap.

Are there any other shows that you've seen that have been able to pull off blatant fan service and still be entertaining? Let me know in the comments.

Blogger vs. Wordpress

You may not have known this, but I did switch this blog over to Wordpress at one point. It's still sitting there, completely stagnant with a grand total of 0 views. I don't really plan on completely switching over. It'd be too much of a hassle to reroute everything, including my widgets, anime nano feed, and getting everyone to come to the new blog instead of this one. Oh, and the fact that most of the Youtube videos I posted got lost in the switch means I'd have to hunt them all down and put the them in the posts all over again. Way too much of a hassle. 

I did like the Wordpress feel, though. It feels a lot slicker in the new post/drafting area as well as in the commenting system. I was practically sold when I first switched over. I figured I could deal with all the mishaps of switching over. I have a lot of time on my hands. I could pull it off.

The thing that made my resolve shudder and eventually burn out completely was the extremely restricted themes on Wordpress. I don't want to pay for my blog, so the themes for my blog were very limited. I could personalize the colors and everything, but the layout was set in stone. There was no rearranging or adjusting widths like you can on Blogger. I want complete customization and the freedom to change whatever I want. Blogger is a free canvas that doesn't contain my imagination or creativity; I can do whatever the hell I want on Blogger.

The other thing that really annoyed me was how small the banner had to be. The only theme that would support my large 1,000 x 300 banners was Duster. It's not a bad theme, but there were a lot of other themes that I liked better. Those other themes would force me to cut off some of my banner, which would make it look completely disjointed and odd. To make my banners fit those sizes, I would have to edit them in Photoshop and make them smaller, and I didn't want to do that. I like my banners big.

As you can probably tell, I stuck with Blogger in the end. I just didn't have the drive to completely switch my blog over; plus, I already have all my stuff here. I'm not going to just up and move when I'm finally comfortable with my layout.

What do you guys think about this?

Marian Cross is back, bitches! (not really)

Finally! The new D. Gray Man chapter has been released (here), and it's an extra story about Allen when he first met Marian Cross. Before I get into the juicy plot bits, I just want to congratulate Marian Cross on his reappearance in the manga! He hasn't been getting that many panels ever since he disappeared, but he's back and looking even sexier than before! (Of course, this doesn't mean he's back in the current plot of DGM; I still don't know if he's dead or not, but he finally does gets some screen time panel time!) I just noticed how spoiler-y that was. Sorry.

Click on me for the enlarged, bursting with sexy version!
I even went to the trouble of creating a collage of infinite badassed-ry and sexiness. Fuck. I love it when guys put their hair in ponytails. (I apologize to any straight men who may be reading this post xD)

/end fangirl

---------------------------Spoilers ahead!!!--------------------------------

This chapter was certainly interesting. It gave a completely new perspective on the polite, kindhearted Allen Walker that I know and love. It showed how much of a monster he had been from the very beginning; the audience/readers just never knew it. 

When I first found out that he was truly a Noah, I figured Allen just never knew about it. He had lived his whole life hiding it and had never gone through the Noah transformation that everyone else had. This chapter showed that that wasn't true. He did in fact go through the Noah transformation, but he had completely forgot about it, whether it be from shock or something else entirely. It was very strange seeing a character I thought I knew so well, someone I had perceived to be so nice and lovable, to be going through so much pain and acting so rabidly. I also thought from the very beginning of the series that it'd be interesting if the order got to a Noah before the Earl did and managed to coerce him into joining them. I never imagined that the main character had done just that. 

I'm a little disappointed in the order for deeming Allen an enemy in the last chapter. He would've made an extremely powerful ally, though he could also destroy them from inside...a double-edged sword?

The chapter concluded with a cliffhanger that had me hungry for more. Of course, the chapters take a whole two fucking months to be printed, so I will probably have long forgotten about anything that happened in this chapter by the time the next one comes out. Come on, Hoshino Katsura! If you're going to release every two months, at least make the chapter longer than the standard twenty pages!! Make it a double issue! I'm begging you!!

Anyway, D. Gray Man has just become much more captivating, and I think this chapter started the beginning of the end. The manga seems fairly close to the conclusion. I just wonder how long Hoshino Katsura is planning on dragging this out...

And they better extend the anime once the manga is all done!!! 

Not from Chapter 206, but still HNNNNNG- Oh, and look at that uniform. Fucking awesome.