Posted on 30 April 2006 with categories: Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~



Whoa… that was just incredible… I expected the last episode to be of the same scale of the second one, but the way it turned out, I never saw coming. Bake Neko definatly has earned itself a spot on my list of most memorable stories. I’m encouraging everyone to at least take a look at it. You don’t nessecarily have to see episode 1-8 in order to enjoy Bake Neko, Ayakashi is just a combination of three individual stories which have nothing to do with each other.

This episode consists out of two parts: the Makoto being found out, and the Kotowari being found out. My favourite moment is when we get to see our first glimpse of the Kotowari. You SO DO NOT see that coming! I like the way that we’re completely kept oblivious about it until that moment, then everything suddenly becomes clear. You’ll understand when you see it.

Overall, Bake Neko was just total awesomeness. Starting from begin to end, this is a story that’s just totally incredible. I’ll probably have the review up tomorrow. It’s a bit too late for that now.

Posted on with categories: Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~



Okay, now I know what happened to the “horror”-part of Ayakashi ~ Japanese Classic Horror: they saved all of it for the last two episodes (yes, for some reason, Bake Neko consists of three episodes, instead of the usual four). For one of the first times ever, an anime managed to actually scare me. Not much, but still… Needless to say that I absolutely loved this episode.

I would try to give a summary of this episode, but I feel like I won’t be able to. So many different things happened all at once, this was just a roller-coaster ride from one scene to another. If the third episode doesn’t disappoint, then Bake Neko will easily be the best out of the three stories presented in Ayakashi.

Another thing I loved is the attention paid to exorcism. Our medicine seller uses finally a bit more than just the basics in order to get rid of this demon. The line of salt, the flying scales that would tell the demon’s location, the paper seals which would show signs whenever Bake Neko was near it, it all made sense once you saw it in action. The dialogue also was a major plus of this episode, ranging from the characters going berserk to the bickering between the bodyguard and the medicine seller and from the desperate characters to the calm characters. Speaking of characters, these also were great. Each of them seems to be unique in some way, and for some reason, all are interesting to watch, especially the uncle freaked me out, as he seemed to be extremely happy when the demon arrived, in a scary way.

The artwork, the more I look at it, the more I actually like it. It’s really something different, for both the characters as the background.

Posted on with categories: xxxHolic



The art is a strange thing in this anime. At one time, it looks very crisp, at other times, it looks messed up. The main characters look very good, though the side-characters, which only appear one episode could have been done much better. The animation, especially the supernatural looks great at some times, though it’s horrible at other times.

Anyway, this episode was about fortunetellers, fake ones and real ones. Yuuko decides to take Watanuki to one of them, but later it appears that she’s a fake one. She only tells you what you want to hear, instead of what you want to know. She uses common knowlegde and guessing in order gain the victim’s trust and tries to make it believable. And true, that’s how most fortunetellers run their businesses, although some people refuse to admit it. I’ve even heard of fortunetellers that tell the exact same story over and over again, without anyone noticing it.

Fake fortunetelling, by the way, seems to be a sensitive subject of Yuuko. For the first time, we see her dead-serious, instead of her usual cheerful, playful or explaining personality. She then takes him to a real fortuneteller, using an interesting technique of conjuring a hankerchief into a butterfly, which flies to its target, in this case, the fortuneteller. She indeed has no need of information from Watanuki, except for his name, perhaps, and she does tell him things only a person who knows him would know, and leaves a big impression on Watanuki.

I have to say that I enjoyed watching this anime. It follows the same pattern as Mushishi and Jigoku Shoujo, as in one story every week, though it’s more focused on the main characters than those two were.

Posted on with categories: The Third



Honoka heads to the person she was supposed to meet in the first place. It’s a guy and his daugher, and apparently, the three share a very tight bond. The entire episode was again mostly meant as an introduction. We get to see some more sides of Honoka, including a ticked-off side and a motherly side. We also learn that she’s already seventeen years old, which does explain her behavior and reasons a bit more.

We also meet up with an important-looking guy, apparently a member of the third, who makes decisions on planetary level. How he is aquainted with Honoka remains a mystery, though. My guess is that he’ll be some major bad guy in the future.

So far, the only thing The Third has been doing is building up. I suspect that this will continue for a couple of more episodes. Still I’m curious about the final results of this.

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

First of all: Woo! 200th post!!

Second of all, this is another one of my end-of-the-month-summaries. I’m going to do this slightly different than last time, and hopefully a bit more organized. Where last time was just a list of lists with some occasional ranking lists, I’m going to turn this month into a list of only ranking lists.
(more…)

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

These all feature an episode in which a female tries to do her best. The first two fail horribly, though the last one succeeds.

Inukami

Okay, I think we’ve identified the worst anime of the season. And I thought Joshikousei was bad. Seriously, stay away from this anime. Far, far away. It’s that bad.

Love Get Chu

I was hoping that this would become something very insprirational. Well, my guess was wrong. There’s nothing exceptional with this anime. Just an ignorant little girl who wants to become a seijuu and happens to have a very strong voice. She’ll probably make it to some of the best seijuu ever, and live happily ever after with the guy she happened to meet in this episode. The side-characters also are one cliché after another.

Tsubasa Chronicle 2nd Season

Aah, I missed this. It really is just as good as the previous season. The music is the same awesomeness as before, with a couple of extra tunes added. This time, the feather is the grand prize for a racing event. The racing vehicles are some kind of flying-chibi-cars, not optimally aerodinamic at all, but somehow, they manage to fly. This episode is about the qualification for the final race, as only ten people may enter it. I can’t say anything but the fact that I loved this race. All of our four main characters enter. Kurogane and Fye both manage to come in first, Sakura still has difficulties driving her flying car, and Syaoran has engine problems. The two of them do manage to get the ninth and tenth place, though. Even though this was totally predictable, I really liked it. Especially when you consider the humor thrown in, and the fact that someone’s cheating in order to win the feather. I’m expecting a lot of goodness from this.

Posted on 29 April 2006 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

For the quick first impressions, I’m always trying to find a small similarity between the three. It doesn’t always work, though. Just as with these three. I think the closest resemblance would be that each of the first episodes focuses around a female, instead of a male, but that isn’t really something extraordinary… But who cares! Good Witch of the West is finally fansubbed!

Witchblade

My, my! I never would have thought an anime like this would have good points! Okay, the main character’s designs are hugely fanservice-oriented, there are a lot of fast action-scenes, but holy god, the mother-daughter story was just too sad to see. We have this mother and daughter, who are fleeing for the Child Support Agency, which plans to separate the two of them. Both of them really want to be with each other, so when they are eventually separated, both parties become desperate to see each other again. That part was beautiful, although I’ll probably hate the parts which have nothing to do with this relationship.

Glass no Kantai

Apparently, this started airing recently as well. It’s a science-fiction series, with huge 18th century influences. Space has been filled with air, for some strange and unknown reason, and large battles between lots of big space-ships. This anime will probably about the leaders behind large-scale wars, with some ethics involved. The graphics look great. The CG to coordinate all of the different battleships on the battlefield also has been done pretty impressively. The theme is also fairly nice, though the story and the characters have yet to impress me. I don’t know if I have enough motivation to keep watching this.

Good Witch of the West – Astraea Testament

Woohoo! It’s just as good as I imagined! For one, the art looks truly beautiful. It can even challenge Tales of Phantasia if this keeps going on, which is a very remarkable feat, especially if you realize that Tales of Phantasia was an OVA, while this is just a tv-series. Anyway, the characters, the story, the dialogue, the music, everything is full of potential. It’s also a very nice addition that our main character is a fan of fairytales. We’re still bothered by a couple of common clichés (the larges one being our main character being member of the royal family), though. But I’m happy that they are using them right now, instead of at the end of the series. Yes, I’m looking at you, Esther. I think that with this, my top three of the spring season consists of Good Witch of the West, .Hack//Roots and Higurashi No Naku Koro ni. I’m really dying to see the next episode of each of these three.

Posted on with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari



I have no idea why I decided to pick up the raws for this anime. In fact, I have no friggin idea why I decided to pick up a raw in the first place. The only japanese I know is that which I unconciously picked up from two years of anime-watching. I think I’m just going to blame impatience. I’ve been waiting for this show for a while, and still no fansub group decided to pick it up.

Anyway, this is what I managed to understand: we have a girl, named Siurei (I think that’s how you spell it, please correct me if I’m wrong) who works as a grade-school teacher. She also plays a japanese violin-like instrument, I forgot its name for a bit, with which she tries to get a job. She plays horrible, so she isn’t much of a success. Afterwards, she complains to her boyfriend/friend/future boyfriend/servant/brother/whatever (whose name is apparently Seiran) about how she has to live in poverty all the time, that she hates being poor, et cetera.

When the two of them get home, they are visited by a strange old man, who has an offer for Siurei: she has to work for him, in excange for a fairly large amount of money. If I had to take a guess… it would either be five thousand, or five hundred Ryu, as the man holds up five fingers when he says the amount. Siurei is so stunned by this, that she accepts.

There are some catches to this, though. I still haven’t figured out which, but they aren’t pretty. Anyway, once appointed, it seems to me that she aquired quite an important function, as everyone seems to respect her and is in awe of her. A small girl, probably named Kourin, comes to bring her tea. She trips and falls, spilling tea all over her. Siurei comforts her. I guess that we will see this girl more often.

We then switch to two bishounen, one seriously annoying the other, to the point of yelling. Then Siurei comes across them, the three introduce themselves, and she brings them some lunch. Aparently, there’s only one thing that she can make, though she seems to be very good in this. She then takes some kind of book and leaves.

We then switch to Siurei in a small forest of sakura, awed by the beauty of them. She then meets up with another bishounen, and instantly begins to feel something for him. When she asks for his name, he gives a fake one, as it appears to be identical with one of the two bishounen featured earlier. She lets him have some of her lunch, and then she leaves. The screen zooms out, we see a couple of old men talking and the episode ends.

I think that Saiunkoku Monogatari has lots of potential. After all, its total amount of episodes consists of 39, and the first episode already features a lot of progress. I also like the art, it’s one of the cleanest I’ve yet to see, not to mention the great costumes. It doesn’t beat Tales of Phantasia, though. The music also is very fitting, it conists of ancient japanese musical instruments, which play about half of the episode. A bit too little, though, but it could have been done a lot worse.

Posted on 27 April 2006 with categories: Ergo Proxy



Where the previous episodes had a lot of Vincent and a bit of Lil, this episode has a lot of Lil and a bit of Vincent. The two are separated once more, and each have their own story in this episode. I’ll start with Lil.

She’s able to recover, and once she gains conciousness, she leaves her hospital-bed, looking for answers. She looks beautiful without her make-up, by the way. Anyway, she avoids a couple of doctors, while Dedars notices what she’s doing. The two meet each other in the nursery-room. In this room, all the people are born, and artificially raised to be perfect citizens. This was an interesting surprise for me. I knew that Romdeau was focused on total control, but I never realized that the control would be this total. People are truly raised to be perfect citizens, no more. Dedars is willing to tell Lil everything he knows, but before that, she’ll have to face her grandfather. When she does, he just doesn’t respond to her at all. I’m wondering whether this old guy really is the mastermind behind Romdeau, or that he’s just controlled by the statue-like things right next to him. Anyway, when she gets back to Dedars, he shows her a couple of things. First of all: Iggy. It seems he’s making a come-back, this time without being monitored by the police, as Dedars installed something nice in order to prevent it. Second, some info about Proxy, or more precisely: Monad Proxy. It seems that it’s not a bad thing after all. It served as some kind of power source for the humans, taken from Moskou. I’ll just wait a couple of episodes before declaring it along with the good guys, though. But just like Lil, I’m really interested. I want to know what it means. The creators did a fine job in this. Anyway, Lil says some things about her motivation, and then some infected auto-raves enter, trying to kill our two protagonists. The fun thing is: Raul sent them. He’s using the cogito-virus as a weapon to get rid of Lil. She manages to shoot all of the incoming autoraves, though one manages to slice her. Hard. We don’t see what happens to her afterwards. All we see is Dedars making up a death notice for Lil. This is fake, of course, but I do want to know what happened to her.

Vincent, meanwhile, spends the episode flying to his city of birth: Moskou. This was really interesting to see. His companions don’t survive the trip, and he gives them an honorful burial. Eventually, he ends up alone with Pino. This also means that the entire population of Outer-Romdeau is dead now. Nobody has survived. That’s not the first thing you’d expect after episode 4. Anyway, he spends most of the time monologueing about the harships of the journey and his loneliness. Pino’s an autorave, so she doesn’t count. She has a very small part in this episode, by the way. Though, the fulfills this part nicely.

It seems that the next couple of episodes will be revolving around Moskou. Lil will probably also be heading there, and she’ll probably arrive around episode nine. Episode eight will probably involve Vincent arriving in Moskou. About the episode: I really liked it. The dialogue between Lil and Dedars was just superb.

Posted on with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni



Not as good as the previous two episodes, though this one still managed to amaze me. We continue the morning after the last episode. Keiichi wakes up, and suddenly doesn’t feel like going to school, so he calls in sick. He goes to the hospital, and on the way back, he runs into Oishi who invites him to lunch.

During this lunch, Oishi reveals some more interesting things about Keiichi’s friends. They all have something to do with one of the victims. If it weren’t for me not being able to remember all of their names, I’d list who had a relationship with who. Furthermore, Rena apparently had a little ‘fun’ on her previous school, before she transferred, including a baseball bat and all of the windows in the school.

For some reason, Keiichi now is the one in most danger, even though the festival’s almost a year away. That night, Keiichi gets paid a visit by Rena and Mion, who bring him a couple of ohagi. Then, they turn into creepy-mode again. The impact just wasn’t as good as the previous episode in which Rena went berserk. In there, Keiichi was a bit pushy and wanted to know something of her, and got totally owned afterwards. Right now, they just changed spontaneously, it seemed only meant to deliver a message, or something. Still, the results are pretty awesome to watch, as Keiichi now totally loses it. Especially when he finds a little ‘souvenir’ left in the ohagi.

Keiichi makes up some kind of plan during the night, and goes to school extra early, at which he almost gets hit by a mini-van. He then notices that the driver intended to actually hit him. At school, he searches through random lockers, and suddenly finds a baseball bat. He finds this a nice weapon, and decides to practice with it. His friends all see this, and all get away from him as soon as possible.

After school, Keiichi just goes home, without joining the club. Rena follows him, and reveals some interesting information about Satoshi, in a quite emotional scene, again with her changing into freaky-mode. The same complaints as above. That night, Keiichi gets the jolly news that he’ll be spending 24 hours home alone, as his parents went away for work. Oishi then makes a call, and Keiichi tells him about what happened, and realizes that he would not make a good detective. Then, we see a strange figure walk to his house, and ringing the doorbel, after which the episode ended.

Like I said, I loved the previous two episodes more. They had just utter crazyness. This one was probably more meant in order to give a bit of explanation to what was happening. Ah well, we’ve got the basic outlines now, all that’s left are the details. And there are a LOT of details.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 29. 2014 04:21 AM)
    @Friend: I understand that, and true the tickets themselves will be expensive (unless you plan this smartly and avoid the busy seasons), but once you’re here we’ll treat you guys and cover the activities.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 29. 2014 02:51 AM)
    @Realist: I’m hearing very promising things about the untranslated chapters of kuzu no honkai, that it gets pretty crazy later on.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Nov 29. 2014 02:50 AM)
    @Friend But you live in Stockholm- you’re pretty rich.
  • Friend
    (Saturday, Nov 29. 2014 02:45 AM)
    *My friends and I are
  • Friend
    (Saturday, Nov 29. 2014 02:45 AM)
    @Bam It all depends on our budget X( we’re all artists, we’re poor XD
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 29. 2014 02:43 AM)
    @Friend: would be a pleasure. I’m in Northern California but if you’re coming to the US then it would be a shame to miss the chance to see San Fransisco anyways, specially given your artistic inclinations. So try to make that a destination ;)
  • Friend
    (Saturday, Nov 29. 2014 02:35 AM)
    I’m planning a trip to America with a couple of friends next year so I’m also willing to meet offline, that’d be fun.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Nov 29. 2014 02:28 AM)
    @Emma Sadly I won’t be going anywhere near Ireland for the next ten years, lol.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 29. 2014 02:27 AM)
    @K-off: definitely, specially considering the fact that we are an amalgamation of an international crowd. Plus you will be leaving for east cost soon so this might be one of the last chances we get. I’ll email you when everything pulls thru.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Nov 29. 2014 02:22 AM)
    @Bam Nice, I interned at the Department of Consumer Affairs and it was a bitch. Can’t imagine how your job could be worse than my internship.

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