Posted on 31 May 2006 with categories: Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



Good Witch of the West continues its tale of elegance. And yes, Firiel’s indeed kindof slow. She’s smarter than most characters in anime, though she does get thrown into more exreme situations, that really force her to think on her own, which is an element that most anime’d rather abandon. The overall tone of the episode was kindof light again, as it didn’t focus on Roux that much.

The episode begins with Roux asking Eusis whether he can teach him some swordfighting skills. Eusis laughs, and ends up being attacked by an angry Roux, wielding a chess-board. He then drops by on Firiel and Adele, who are drinking a bit of tea, while the latter makes a couple of comments on her brother. Eusis then explains that he wants Roux to be focusing on the things he’s good, instead of learning how to swordfight. This makes sense, after all. Roux remains a genius, it would be a waste for him to focus on fighting rather than knowledge.

Firiel, indeed, is quite angry at Roux about the chess-board he threw at Eusis. And indeed, what Firiel lacks in common sense, he lacks in social skills. The two of them indeed make a good couple. Roux also believed the whole time that Firiel wanted to go back to the astrological observatory as soon as possible, but then Firiel reminds him that she doesn’t. She’d cause Eusis, Adale and the others unneccessary trouble, so she tells him that returning to the observatory can wait. They first have to head for a place named Hyragurion, for some reason. She promises to go back with him to Sellafield once Hyragurion is visited, and attempts to seal this promise with a kiss. Roux is a bit bewildered, but he agrees, though right before we get to see some action, the two of them are spotted by one of the court ladies.

Firiel then gets scolded for attempting to kiss a male. A person named Lady Margot has something about this, so the court lady from before takes her to this woman, assuming that Lady Margot will be teaching her a bit of proper etiquette. Firiel then arrives in a beautiful rose garden, covered in blue roses. It’s great to see that different anime all have such different views of blue Roses. Utena treats them like they’re nothing special at all, something like “all roses are equal”. Good Witch also doesn’t find these unnatural, but rather elegant. Blood+, however associates the blue roses as something incredibly special, associated with Diva, while Paradise Kiss’s method of aquiring blue roses is simply by painting red roses with blue paint. Anyway, this Lady Margot seems to have something on her mind with Firiel, though we never get to see what that might be. In any case Lady Margot comes from Hyragurion, in which Firiel can’t be that easily forgiven for her naivety.

Eusis, meanwhile, gets another visit from his good friend. It then becomes clear that Euris still loves Firiel, which is supposed to bring a bit of a challenge into Firiel and Roux’s relationship. Still, a lot of rumours have been floating around about the two of them from out of Toras Academy, which will really prove to be a threat to our dear Eusis. Lady Margot meanwhile asks Firiel about her reason to go to Hyragurion, Firiel answers with the fact that she needs power to protect Roux and the doctor, and why she must understand why the two of them are heathens. There’s still no clue why Hyragurion will be the place to find out about these things, though.

The next day, Firiel and the others travel to Hyragurion, and then it seems to be hosting a large-scale ball amongst the nobles. Firiel and Adale are of course guests of honor. Adale gives Firiel a few tips on how to be as beautiful as possible, attracting as many people as possible. When they enter the ballroom, this initially works, until Leandra shows up and calls for all attention. Still, there’s little focus on Leandra during this episode. Anyway, Adale splits up with Firiel, though she forgets one important thing: as this is Firiel’s first appearance in an event like this, she has no idea how to behave. Firiel then ends up standing in a corner, all alone, until Eusis saves her. The two of them dance a bit, catching a lot of attention. Then the guy who tortured Roux in the second episode appears on the screen in an instant, exchanging suspicious looks with a bishop-like dressed old man.

Then Firiel’s naivety gets proven once more as the two of them walk outside for a bit, and the Eusis ends up embracing Firiel. When she wakes up the next morning, however, rumours of how Euris proposed to her are floating around. (^^;) The episode ends. This episode again was very enjoyable. It was probably mostly meant as an intermezzo after the Secret Gardenarc, but still, a lot of things happened. I’m surprised that Good Witch of the West takes its time in telling its story, despite its length of just thirteen episodes. So far, it’s going into a great direction. This episode definately wasn’t the best that Good Witch of the West had to show us, though it was pretty darn solid, providing good material for future episodes.

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

Okay, here the end-of-the-month-summary is again, consisting of two top-16’s, a top-11, top-5 and two awards of best male and best female part (got the idea from Hopeless). Hopefully it’s a bit more organized than last times, and I also attempted to include a few pictures. Dunno if it’ll be sucessful. Ah well.
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Posted on 30 May 2006 with categories: Popolocrois Story 1998



Once again, PopoloCrois manages to produce a horribly creative episode. The entire combination of Pietoro, Narcia, Gamigami, Ston, Sanda, Hyuu, Pablo, Hilda, the advisor and a newly introduced character turned this episode into a great intermezzo. Still, it remains an intermezzo, mostly focused on Narcia joining up with Pietoro, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

We start with Narcia trying to find where Pietoro went, though she can’t seem to find him. That’s of course logical, as he left the castle at the previous episode. She gets joined by the advisor and a matter of very good timing in her search of the prince, until they both run towards Pablo, who explains the situation. Pietoro, meanwhile, ended up in some kind of port town. Because he’s travelling incognito, he hears various gossip about Pablo, Gamigami and himself. This, of course, isn’t too good for his overall mood. Then he meets a very excentric old guy, dressed in mexican influences, who keeps staring at his lunch as it if was dropped from the heaven. Pietoro tries to flee from him, but the guy keeps following him, and he keeps staring at such a brilliant way, that Pietoro eventually gives in and shares one of his sandwiches with the guy.

When the guy manages to get yet another sandwich out of Pietoro, he begins to get a bit mad at him, though the guy tells him a valuable lesson. Pietoro won’t become one of the big shots if he frets over something small like a stolen sandwich. This person then claims that he’s a hero. We never get to know whether this is true or not, but it does make Pietoro think about himself. After all, the guy doesn’t act like a hero at all, more like the village idiot, and of course Pietoro sees this too, and asks the guy to prove it. Then the guy begins to question whether Pietoro’s the real prince or not. And of course, Pietoro never really thought about this. He has as many ways to prove that he’s the prince as the guy has to prove that he’s a hero.

Gamigami, meanwhile, decided to lock himself up in his chamber while waiting for his robots to have found Pietoro. Hyuu comes to scold him again for slacking off, and then he uses an extremely ingenious way to send Ston and Sanda out in order to search for him. I won’t tell what, as you have to see this for your self, but it does involve a very big rocket. (^^;) His robots are meanwhile out in order to put up wanted-posters for Pietoro, and Narcia manages to see this. She then decides to help Pietoro in his quest, so the goes to Hilda in order to use her mirror in order to find him. Hilda’s nowhere to be found, so she uses Hilda’s cauldron to make something, what on first sight looks like the potion needed to activate the mirror.

Gamigami, meanwhile, took a little trip into the Popolocrois forest, in order for a bit of mocking, self-pity and a small nap. Narcia is meanwhile horribly messing up the potion, in her opinion at least. Through some miracle, she manages to get the potion working, but it was actually a desperate idea of her in order to prevent Pietoro from getting caught: change every single being in Popolocrois into Pietoro! Not only does this make Narcia look too cute when she finds the flaw in her plan, but Ston and Sanda also mistake Gamigami for Pietoro and take him to Hyuu, and Pietoro himself really has to think about why he is the real Pietoro, and the others impostors.

Hilda then manages to eventually correct Narcia’s mistake and turn everyone back, but not before Ston and Sanda carried Gamigami to his castle and the strange old man (who also got turned into Pietoro) managed to teach Pietoro a few valuable lessons. What follows is a Pietoro who really believes that this man is a hero, and Hyuu recognizing that Gamigami isn’t the real Pietoro. Ston and Sanda, still not knowing that they’re dealing with Gamigami, then attempt to get rid of him through the same method Gamigami used at them at the beginning of the episode, though he manages to change back right in the middle of the process. Ston’s reaction at that time was just absolutely priceless.

Anyway, in the end, Hilda lets Narcia use her mirror in order to find Pietoro’s location, so she manages to find him easily, and the two are together again, and the episode ends. This episode really was another masterpiece. Especially Narcia was too cute, though Ston and Sanda were also really shining as bad guys. Another thing I just love about Popolocrois is that everything just can go wrong. And when it goes wrong, it goes wrong at extremely creative ways. The most memorable examples are, of course Gamigami trying to get his inventions to work, though this episode also showed a great example of Narcia not thinking about some of the problems regarding her plan to change everyone into Pietoro.

Posted on 29 May 2006 with categories: The Third



Yes, The Third is great. Most likely one of the best series of the season. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Honoka is an amazing character. The anime really delves in her mind. It shows exactly what kind of person she is, all of her different sides, how she reacts at the things thrown at her and how these affect her. I have yet to see an anime who featured a character at whom the creators spent so much time and details. It’s just brilliant.

The episode begins with another example of the strictness of The Third. If you live a good life, you’re fine. Though when you break the law, they sometimes send their ultimate weapon to take care of them, which mostly means that you won’t be able to live much longer. It’s never mentioned, but I’m quite certain that this “ultimate weapon” is the Blue Breaker, who was mentioned at the previous episode.

Honoka’s right hand, meanwhile, still hasn’t fully healed. She really notices this when she practices swordfighting a bit. She and Ikus are in the desert again, heading for Oyaji in order to collect the PSP she ordered. We also see a little flasback of the one who taught her her fighting-skills. At least, the silhouette of the one who taught her her fighting skills. It appears to be a tall, long-haired person. It would’t surprise me if this guy is with The Third now. Then Ikus arrives, and the two of them talk a bit about each other’s special powers. Ikus holds a little speech, about things Honoka never really thought about. She begins to feel a bit lonely at that time (thanks to the narrator, again).

The next day, they arrive at Oyaji, and we get to meet another one of Honoka’s personalities: her immensely enthusiastic one. At the sight of her PSP, which seems to be an armoured suit, she immediately gets all giddly, wanting to check it out. However, she’s not exactly happy with the suit she has to wear in order to be able to use this PSP, though it appears that she needs to wear it anyway. She spends the rest of the day trying out all of the different functions, and playing a bit with Millie.

That evening, Bogie and Oyaji talk a bit about Joey, and his maintenance-work. It seems that he needs a lot of work, though he has potential. Millie and Honoka also talk a bit, and Honoka reveals that Oyaji’s the one responsible for fixing her Sand Tank, after she bought it, and she really owes him for all the work he’s done for her.

I like Bogie. Even though he’s just artificial intelligence with a voice, I just love his sarcastical comments. This personality seems to fit him perfectly. It’s so much better than just the same recorded tape which gets played over and over again. Anyway, during the night, the two parties break up again. After a couple of minutes have passed, Honoka suddenly realizes that the Blue Breaker’s heading towards Oyaji’s vehicle, in invisible-mode. She speeds up in order to be able to save them, but she arrives too late, and Oyaji’s vehicle catches fire. She then attempts to use the PSP, and thank goodness, she can’t operate it to its full extend yet. That only adds up to the awesomeness of these scenes. Eventually, she manages to hit the Blue Breaker, and manages to send it crashing to some place about a mile away.

It then seems that Millie managed to survive the attack, though Oyaji’s nowhere to be found. And to think that the best of the episode had yet to be shown. Honoka dashes out of her PSP, in order to meet up with Millie, who seems to bewildered to notice what actually happened. Then, it seems that Blue Breaker managed to survive the crash, and attempts to attack them again. Still invisible. During these attempts, Honoka’s headband falls off, and reveals some kind of third eye on her forehead. With this, she disables Blue Breaker’s invisibility mode, who flees afterwards, only laughing at her. On a side-note: Honoka looked really beautiful at these moments. This really was an amazing fight.

The goodness only continues when Millie sees the thing on Honoka’s forehead. For some reason, she gets incredibly paranoid, and faints. Ikus manages to catch up to them, and the episode ends. I’m really curious about what will happen in the rest of the series. It’s getting so amazing now.

Posted on with categories: Tsubasa Chronicle



Tsubasa Chronicle seems to be reluctant to introduce new characters or something. During the entire season, all we’ve seen is either the same characters as in the first season, or copies of those characters, wearing the same soul but existing in a different world. Especially now, that it has been carried over the top, it’s beginning to bother me more and more. It’s a great concept, though the creators really need to look at series like Noein and Higurashi.

Why? Because they seem to have the strange idea that a person remains the same person, and that certain occurrences in his life don’t have any effect on this person, and he or she will just continue living on like he or she was destined to. They made a good attempt at fixing this with the magician, who appeared as a friendly captain on a ship, but he really has been the only copied character who experienced such a change. All other characters just share the same personalities, while they all have experienced different things, which turned them into the characters they are. When you see people like the king and his advisor in the desert world walking right next to each other in another world, then you could blame this on the fact that these were destined together, but what if the two grew up in an entirely different neighborhood? Then they never met each other in the first place. How would they act when a thing like that happens? And I haven’t even started about the physical appearances of the characters. Why does everyone have the same haircut, in all of his or hers different bodies with the same souls? And how about some scars that some characters might have encountered, while their counterparts have not?

This episode also showed me another flaw in this concept. Apparently, characters in different worlds with the same soul can differ from age. What we have here, is a genious concept. But why the heck is Syaoran’s father the only one whose age is different? The creators’d better have a very good reason for this, because at the moment, I’m blaming it on laziness. Another thing is: why haven’t we seen any copies of Syaoran? Or Sakura? Kurogane? Fye? The bad guys? The guys associated with Fye? Clow Reed? The creators can blame this on luck for a single season, though it’s beginning to bother me that they haven’t shown up yet.

Tsubasa Chronicle remains an entertaining anime, despite this. This is mostly because of the individual stories to be told, the great looking art (whenever it’s not suffering from low budgets) and some great characters and character interaction. Still, the fact remains that there’s extremely little time spent on the main storyline, which seems to be the most worthwile story of all. It’s great to see different worlds like that, I’m enjoying the creativity put in it, but I’d also love to see some more time being put into the main story. And I’m also hoping that this show will actually end at with the third season. Obviously, it’s been building up, though I wonder if you can build up too much.

Anyway, rants aside, the episode was an intermezzo again, in which Syaoran meets up with a child-version of his father. Despite their predictable reactions, the rest of the episode was enjoyable to watch. Especially Kurogane played a great part again. No bad guys this time, though. It seems they took a coffee break. The only thing is that the creators wasted yet another potentially good scene. The fact that Syaoran’s father isn’t really Syaoran’s father never gets questioned. I would’ve loved some interesting debates about this. After all, Syaoran is getting all hopeful on just an illusion. His father remains dead, though during the episode, he seems to have forgotten this. Is it really true that you can just replace an important person with someone from another world, who just happens to share the same soul? Then what value does this important person have? Interesting questions, which never seem to surface.

Posted on 28 May 2006 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari

As predicted, Shiurei doesn’t stay away from the palace for long. It begins with Ryuuki sending her all sorts of ridiculous gifts, like three chunks of ice, a pile of flowers, a pile of boiled eggs, and one straw doll. Shiurei is of course totally freaked out by this. Ryuuki also keeps having dreams of Shiurei, running away with Seiran, which aren’t too good for his sleep, as Ran and Kouyuu find out later. ^^

We also have the introduction of a new character. He seems to have come to the castle for some reason, but permission to enter is refused. Then, Shiurei runs into him, offering a bit of food and a place to rest. It then appears that this guy, who’s apparently named Ensei, is an aquaintance of Seiran. Though the latter isn’t too fond of the former, which leads to interesting discussions. Ensei used to have a big function, though I couldn’t understand what kind of function, unfortunately.

That evening, Kouyuu and Ran pay Shiurei’s family a small visit, in the name of the emperor in order to ask her to come back. I couldn’t catch the reason behind this, though I wonder what excuse the emperor tried to use. Shiurei eventually gives in, while Seiran sends Ensei along with her, probably in order to protect her.

Ensei isn’t the only new character to be introduced, as we also get to meet with a masked guy, at the end of the episode. We see some quick flashes of him during the entire episode, though we really get to see him introduced by the end of it, near the cliffhanger. I’ve no idea what this guy is, but apparently, he has an important function.

Kourin also moved away from the royal castle, as Shiusui tells Shiurei’s father. She seems to be doing well, wherever she is, and the two of them hope that she’ll become okay again. Shou Taijin (apparently, that’s the name of the advisor-old guy) also behaves weird in this episode, but that’s probably because he carries a little pot, which contains the ashes of the other old guy who perished in the last episode.

Overall, this episode was fun to watch, especially the emperor doing silly things again. But still, the show remains a bit boring. But that can also be because I couldn’t understand half of the things which happened.

Posted on with categories: .Hack//Roots



.Hack//Roots really is the king of the anti-climaxes. At the climax of the last episode, Haseo, Tabby and Sakisaka are about to be teleported towards some unknown areas when the cliffhanger set in. What do you think happened at the beginning of this episode? Yes, they ended up in the lost grounds which Shino and Ovan seem to have labeled as their favourite place. Still, this doesn’t make this episode bad. In fact, apart from episode three, this was the best .Hack//Roots episode yet.

So many different thing happened, so many unexpected events played. So many questions introduced and so many questions answered. This episode really was a roller-coaster ride. And then to think that this was just an intermezzo, an introduction to the ninth episode! I can’t wait to find out what might happen then.

Haseo was great once more. It really seems now that he wants to please Shino in some way, and he wants to be with Ovan. That’s why he got the idea of what the function of the pillars might be, and that’s why he listened to Shino when she asked him to continue searching for the Virus Cores. I guess he doesn’t like Tabby and Sakisaka too much, which only makes him more adorible. He really doesn’t know how to deal with people, that’s clear now.

Ender also has the worst timing in the world, that also became clear after this episode, though I’m loving her evil character more and more. Especially now that she’s beginning to show more and more weaknesses. I just loved the fact that she just appeared after Sakisaka vanished, and then kept wondering where they went. This means that even she doesn’t know about these bugs. For the rest of the episode, she got assigned to watch Haseo, as Shino decided that the three of them were better to be moving alone, after she heard that Ender showed up again at the church. She then really gets surprised when Haseo suddenly disappears in front of a marking again, and you can see that on her face for the rest of the episode.

Goad also is planning something. He wants to prove Ovan that he’s better than him, and gets one of the virus cores which was in the posession of another PK-guild, named Kestrel. Phyllo calls him with a little brat because of this, with some good reasons. Still, I like Goad. He’ll definately play some great roles in the next episodes. I also loved the fight he had this time. It was short, and some strategy was included in it. And why does he think he can beat Ovan when he can’t even beat a guy like Phyllo? ^^

Tabby was adorible this time, especially in combination with the rapid succession of the different scenes. She really is determined to find out about the Virus Cores, so she decides to check out the church a bit, in order to find another one of those teleporting markings. When Haseo and Sakisaka are talking a bit, she’s busy checking the wall in order to find some secret entrances. Instead, she finds a doorway into a bug which doesn’t let her move at all. It takes her a while in order to find out she’s dealing with a bug and teleport away. (Yes, I absolutely loved the scene in the church. Roller-coaster rides at its best!)

Sakisaka remains in his sceptic and sarcastical self. When Tabby suggests them to take a look at the church, he finds that they’d better look for the virus cores instead of the markings, though he gets taken along against his will. Inside the church, he has no idea where to look for, and makes a couple of sarcastical comments about this. Though, when Tabby has her accident, he reacts to this, faster than Haseo. Only to wind up getting blocked as well. He, however, gets out faster than Tabby does, he meets up with Shino faster and fulfills goes to take care of one of her requests before the other two arrive.

Tawaraya had a bit of a sad role in this episode. He has a Virus Core, and for some reason, he’s supposed to give it to the members of the Twillight Brigade. His earlier attempts failed, and he can’t seem to think of another way to do it. But why does TaN want to give some of the Virus Cores to the Twillight Brigade? I mean, can’t they just take them from Haseo, Ovan and Shino and use them themselves? I mean, they seem smart enough to do it.

Naobi has another cryptic discussion with Ender. Apparently, their plan is about to enter a certain “Phase One”, and they need Haseo for it for some strange reason. Tawaraya doesn’t need to know anything again, despite him having one of the Virus Cores. Apparently, the thing he wants is Ovan’s character data. Once Ovan is caught, their mission will be lots easier. Their plan to do this seems to be all set up, though Ender is not sure whether it will work. Naobi’s silouette also appears when Ovan starts talking about the fact that the Key of the Twillight might already be near them. Does that mean that Naobi has got something to do with the Key of the Twillight itself?

Shino also seems very keen on being the one to break the good news to Ovan. She has another cryptic discussion with him as well. It seems that Ovan might disappear for a while once the Key of the Twillight is found. She also reveals that she knows Ovan in real life somehow, though she makes it seem that there’s more than just that. Though, why is she reluctant to let Haseo show his own findings to Ovan?

Ovan seems to be getting energetic at the end of the episode, up to the point at which he even priorizes the Key of the Twillight above his own job. It really seems to be his plan to go and get the Key of the Twillight in the next episode. But still. Haseo has two Virus Cores. One he got from Shino and the other one he got in the strange space he visited during this episode. Shino also has one, and he has the fourth one of the Twillight Brigade. Then there is one in the hands of Goad, and Tawaraya posesses the last one. But how was he planning to go there without having the last two of the Virus Cores? Or could it be that Haseo just managed to discover the seventh Virus Core? After all, it was found in an unknown area. In any case, his little pep-talk at the end of the episode really managed to make Haseo enthusiastic.

Sakisaka also states a nice point: everything seems to happen a bit too convenient. And it’s true. The Key of the Twillight is about to be found, and we’re only at episode eight. This must mean that there’s something about to happen which will turn over the entire plot of the anime, like a giant pancake. It probably has got something to do with Haseo’s strange ability. It would be too great if all the different parties manage to break up afterwards, making the Twillight Brigade and TaN to be disbanded.

The brilliance of .Hack//Roots? The fact that there are so many different characters, with each and every one of them acting independantly. Because of this, there are so many different opportunities for different kinds of conversations, which makes each character different. And not just once, but during the entire airtime of the anime. Each of the different characters has his or her own meetings with other ones of the different characters, and it’s executed perfectly.

Posted on with categories: xxxHolic



It’s just as I hoped: xxxHolic continues to get better and better. I guess I’m really into shows which tell a different story for each episode, as I just totally loved Mushishi and Jigoku Shoujo as well. Okay, there are no such things as cliffhangers, the endings of the episode don’t make you feel curious about what is going to happen afterwards. But still, I find myself wondering about the next story to be told at each of these anime I mentioned. This works just as strong as cliffhangers, maybe even stronger. Especially if you consider that a cliffhanger’s power mostly lies in the moment it happens. The minute the story continues takes its power away again, in most cases. When you have shows like xxxHolic, Mushishi and Jigoku Shoujo, this power doesn’t get taken away at all.

This episode probably was the best xxxHolic episode yet. It already starts with great references, both to Tsubasa Chronicle and the xxxHolic movie. Watanuki is bringing all of Yuuko’s stuff outside, in order to thoroughly clean them, just like in the movie. He encounters Mokona again, this time not in a box, but disguised as a stranded pillow. Maru and Moro are meanwhile hitting a rug, stitched with a couple of butterflies. Maru uses a bat (if I do recall it correctly, it’s the same bad as the one Yuuko bought in the sixth episode, after which she labeled it as a sword), while Moro uses Fye’s staff. To make things even better, The butterflies on the rug seem to be avoiding the bat and the staff. This truly was one greatly excecuted scene. So many things happen at once and Watanuki’s reaction was just perfect.

Then, the real story of the episode begins. It’s about a woman who’s collecting all kinds of rare and ancient stuff. She then notices a closed, cillindric, ceramic box-like thingy, and she asks Yuuko if she can have it. Yuuko warns her not to open it at all costs, and she gets pretty serious when she does this. The woman eventually gets to have the box, though I wonder what she had to give Yuuko in order to get it. I think that Yuuko’s advice was enough of a price, as the rest of the episode shows.

The woman appears to be a new teacher on Watanuki’s school. This means that Domeki and Himawari also are a bit involved in the case. The woman immediately recognizes Watanuki when she sees him, along with Domeki and Himawari. Then, Himawari accidentally opens the box, and a sealed monkey-pawn shows up. The woman tests this out by asking for a day of rain. She hears a loud “knack”, and the rain starts. The next morning, it appears that in order to make it rain, the monkey pawn took all of the water from the school pool.

What follows is a beautiful story about the woman who begins to lose herself more and more. She first wishes for a mirror she wanted to have for a long time. This mirror is probably the most valuable mirror in whole Japan, so once she wishes for it, the monkey pawn goes to steal it for her and brings it to her. She then notices that every time she makes a wish, one finger of the pawn breaks. She makes her next wish when she’s in a writer’s block, and wishes for a great paper for her to turn in. Of course, the pawn steals this from another brilliant student. In the meantime, she happily tells Watanuki, Domeki and Himawari about what she did, and doesn’t even realize she’s going into the wrong direction. Watanuki gets more concerned by the minute, as well as Domeki, although he shows less signs of it. Himawari doesn’t notice anything, while Yuuko remains as serious as she was when she handed the pawn to the woman.

Then, she misses her train, and just like all ordinary people, she wishes for an accident to happen. She really breaks when she sees a person getting ran over by a train, right in front of her eyes. To top this, she gets to pay the price of plagiarizing, and this makes her think that she’ll also be accused of the person being ran over, and she begs the pawn to undo all the things she did. Then, it strangles her, leaving no trace of her, it returns everything like it was before, and so it comes back to Yuuko. I so loved this story. Especially when she saw the person being ran over. Even though it was just a colorless figure, it did make an impact.

I’m also beginning to love the art more and more. Okay, so what if the long limbs aren’t natural. You never hear anyone talk like that about chibi-characters, do you? The facts that the art is messy and illogical are really starting to grow on me, and I’m really beginning to like the character designs more and more. Even normally dull-looking characters like Watanuki and Domeki look more interesting by the minute, and Himawari looks less annoying after every episode passes. And yes indeed, the “extras” aren’t even bothered to being colored, or given a face in the first place. Still, it’s better than method that most anime attempt: every “extra” has the blandest clothing, the most common face ever, and an extremely dull haircut, while the main characters suddenly have hair in the wildest colors, in huge amounts, and each have something unique. Though they still try to simulate some realism while trying to be as natural as possible while spending as little budget on it as possible. xxxHolic at least recognizes that the anime isn’t about these unimportant extras, and just gives them a quick outline and places a number of these on the scenery, in order to fill the screen a bit. In fact, this works so much better than those cheap attempts at realism.

Posted on with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni



The final episode of the Watanagashi-arc answered so many questions. But then again, for every question it answered, it somehow managed to introduce two new questions. So, we’re back where we started. Overall, this arc wasn’t as worthwile as the first one. The only part I really enjoyed was when Keiichi met Shion and Rena overall.

Ah well, it seems like my theories from last time were totally wrong. We start with Rena giving Keiichi a list of people missing, which includes Rika and Satoko, along with a certain Kimiyoshi Kiichiro, who must be the village-chief. Keiichi finally accepts that because he sneaked in the storage house, he’s the one at fault, and Rena slaps him for this, as she feels that he has yet to be punished for this. Rena heard from Mion what he’d done, and she was indeed very angry about this. The two are talking like they’re very close at this moment. It still feels strange after the first arc.

Then, Keiichi finds some notes about Rika’s talk on the phone, and she indeed spoke with Mion. Ah well, there goes my theory about Rika faking her own disappearance. It seems like everything indeed went as Rena thought it would. They plan to visit Mion, in order for Keiichi to apologize. They then get disturbed by Oishi once more. Rena proves her detective skills once more when she finds out that Oishi plans to use them as bait, in order to get permission to search Mion’s house. The two of them leave Oishi, while Rena gets really angry. Though not in a demon-way.

They walk to Mion’s residence. Apparently, they’ve got a huge back-yard. Once inside the house, Keiichi confesses, and sincerely apologizes for his actions. Mion acts like she doesn’t care, and Rena scolds her for this. Keiichi and Rena then tell Mion that they know that Rika and Satoko have been at her place, and she freaks out once she realizes that the two know that Satoko wasn’t supposed to come along. She begins laughing in a demon-like way, and then turns serious again. She then puts up the Shion-voice and explains that the Hinamizawa Village’s original name was Onigafuchi village, or Demon’s Abyss. Like explained two episodes ago, the people of Onigafuchi carried the bloodline of demons. As people began to oppose them, they worked together in order to defeat them, as demonstrated in episode five. Still, if Mion knows about the demons, then she must have been there at that time, which means that she was the one working at that restaurant at that time.

She also explains that, as the heir of the Sonozaki family, there’s been a demon carved into and onto her. She wants to show Keiichi and Rena the scars the demon left on her body, though Rena tells her that that’s not needed. We can get the general idea when we look at the OP, though. She also reveals that she was indeed involved in some of the Watanagashi-murders. In some of them, she was directly involved. In some of them, indirectly. She was also the center of every one of them. Then she indeed reveals that she did kill Rika and Satoko. This brings up an interesting issue: the sequence shown in the first scene of an arc doesn’t have to be its climax. While speculating about what were to happen next, I always kept in my mind that Rika was to die at the end of the arc, not during the middle of it, and so I came up with the theory of her faking her own disappearance. But instead, she wanted to protect Keiichi from Mion, so she went to confront Mion, and somehow ended up stabbing herself. At least, that’s what I like to believe. The fact remains that Rika knew that Mion was after her. Then why would Mion have to lure her to her house, and why did Rika want to involve Satoko in it as well? In fact, if Satoko wasn’t supposed to come, what did Mion make to kill her as well? Suspicions?

Rena then mentions one person which Mion didn’t want to kill, and managed to save by her own will. Mion then turns this one person into a “them”. This could be Oishi and some police-officers. But then again, why would Mion want to save them, over persons like Rika and Satoko? Mion then asks Rena to leave her and Keiichi alone for a while.

When they walk outside a bit, Mion confesses that she liked him, just as Shion liked him. She also reveals that Shion’s still alive. Keiichi then proves that he has a strong heart. A very strong heard, as he promises to believe in Mion, and that she remains his best friend no matter what happens. An interesting thing to promise to a mass murderer, but let’s put that aside, shall we? Because Mion then makes a very interesting statement. She can understand why Mion liked Keiichi. This means that Mion isn’t the one speaking at that time, which gives options for two possibilities. 1. Shion’s been the one talking to Keiichi for all this time. 2. The demon has completely taken over Mion. I was first inclined for the first option, though the scenes that followed changed my mind.

They’re in a secret basement at the moment, full of torture devices like the one in the storehouse. Mion firstly reveals that the torture devices were meant to inforce the Onigafuchi laws. Anyone who was to break them, was to be slowly tortured by these in public. The Sonozaki family built these torture devices in order to continue the tradition of the Watanagashi. She then reveals that the basement was the place at which she performed Watanagashi on everyone. When Keiichi asks about Shion, she takes him to the prison. What follows a really great scene. Shion lies there, broken down, only triggered by Keiichi’s voice. She gets incredibly happy when she sees him, though she really freaks out when she sees Mion. Mion then breaks the fun by grabbing a large boulder and dropping it on Keiichi’s head.

When he wakes up, he’s put into some torture device. Shion still screams in the background, while Mion explains what she’s going to do to him. She has fifteen nails, which she’s going to run through his hand. Before she does it, she gives another fact. The demon in her has dwelled inside her for a long time, though it was Keiichi who awakened it, because he didn’t give Mion the doll he won in the first episode.

And suddenly, everything makes sense! Okay, not everything, but still, the basic concept of Higurashi suddenly is clear. Why was Rena so humane in the second arc, while she was horribly scary in the first one? Of course, because she has a demon inside of her as well. In the first arc, Keiichi awakened her by stopping to help her get that doll from under the garbage. As this didn’t happen at all, Keiichi also didn’t make Rena sad in any possible way, so that’s why she acted so friendly towards him. Mion’s demon was also awakened in the first arc as well, though I can’t remember why that happened, unfortunately.

Anyway, this development gives for two possibilities. 1: Every citizen of Hinamizawa Village has a demon inside of him/her. 2: There are only a few people with a demon inside of him/her. The people beating the punks in the fifth episode point to the first option, though the OP, which shows Mion with a scar, and Shion without one points to the second one. Still, I think that Rika’s demon, while she was about to be murdered by Mion, awakened at that time, and stabbed its host in its confusion. I’m also guessing that demons go to sleep in their hosts when there’s no action for a while. It’s never explained in the anime, but it’s the only explanation I can find for the other Watanagashi-murders.

Anyway, Mion tries to put the first nail in, but the Mion manages to stop the demon from doing so. Keiichi asks the demon to let Mion and Shion go. Mion wonders why he can’t even think about himself at a time like this, so as a third wish, he asks her not to kill him. Mion can’t give into the first two requests. Shion will be killed by the demon no matter what, and the demon also won’t be able to give Mion’s body back. She doesn’t give any reasons at all for this, strangely enough. However, she does listen to his third wish, in order to let him live. She’s forced to do this, as she hears some policemen trying to open the doors of the basement. Rena must’ve warned them. She also warns Keiichi to stay away from her, as from that moment on, she’ll be posessing Mion’s dead body. But then, if demons can posess dead bodies as well, why didn’t Rena and Mion come back to life in the first arc after Keiichi killed them?

Mion uses an electrifying-thingy in order to bring Keiichi unconcious, while she gets away and the police barges in. Rena looks worried about him, and Shion’s saved as well. The bodies of the other victims, however, have yet to be found. And this is where the amount of questions multiplies faster than a herd of hyperactive guinea-pigs. Keiichi’s moving away from the village again, for some reason. Rena’s sad, because she’ll be the only one in the village left. That evening, Mion drops by. The two talk normal for a bit, but then Mion starts resisting, and the demon takes over again, stabbing Keiichi. She then freaks out even more when she starts yelling that she killed everyone with her own hands. But what about Rena, Shion and Oishi? And what does she define by “everyone”? Rena seems to have been disappeared into oblivion for the rest of the episode. Whether she’s killed or not remains a mystery. Shion is found after having jumped from her hospital room, from about eight stories high, though I think that Mion paid her a visit before that happened. Oishi doesn’t have anything to do with Mion this time, and Keiichi managed to survive.

While Keiichi talks to Oishi from his hospital bed, the number of plot twists and questions introduced really gets up high. It appears that Mion HAS been found, along with all of the other bodies she disposed off. Keiichi told the police about some kind of well, which would contain all of the victim’s bodies. Where did he get that information from? Anyway, the well indeed contained the bodies, along with Mion’s. To make things even better, it seems that Mion dies on the day that the police barged in. So, if it indeed was the demon posessing Mion’s dead body, then how come Mion still was acting like Mion at first, before the demon took over again? And if it all was the demon playing an act, why did it leave Mion’s body in the first place, and why did it go through the trouble of walking all the way to the well, only to leave Mion’s dead body behind?

Oishi only makes things better when it seems that Takano died before the night of the Watanagashi. This means that she also had a demon inside of her, which was controlling her dead body at that time. This explains why she knew a lot about the rituals of the Watanagashi, and that she might’ve been the one who killed Tomitake (after all, he and Takano weren’t found in the well, so someone aside from Mion might’ve killed them). But then again, she was BURNED, which throws this theory in the trash can as well, as she looked perfectly fine at the night of the Watanagashi. No burning marks at all. And how about the first arc. Was she burned at that time as well, though she was never found? Then, a blood-covered Mion shows up, pinning the nail through Keiichi’s finger after all. The only explanation I can find for this is that when a demon takes control over a dead body, then it leaves the physical dead body behind, only to create a new body, identical to the one it posessed. Or something in that direction, as that theory is flawed as well, as it still doesn’t explain the little part of Mion which got shown right before she stabbed him.

It was an interesting arc. Each of the characters will indeed end up reacting very differently during each different arc. The paranoid Keiichi stayed mostly calm, with a small number of breakdowns on the second arc. The crazy, demon-posessed Rena turned caring, sharp and serious. The demon managed to control Mion much more than during the first arc (there’s got to be a reason for that. Either the thing that Keiichi did to her in order to awaken the demon, or Rena’s prescense. It seems that Mion really listens to Rena). Satoko turned from sadystical to casual. Rika turned from silent to cute and caring. Oishi turned from friendly to more business-like (another interesting detail I managed to notice: whenever he’s about to deliver harsh news, he starts smoking cigarettes). Tomitake’s become much more obedient. Takano’s the only one who didn’t recieve any change in personality.

More changes with the previous arc:
– No syringe in the second arc.
– The strange men who arrived at the end of the first arc also don’t appear in the second arc.
– Keiichi doesn’t get paranoid in the second arc, so he doesn’t write the note about the things he knows.
– The first arc ended with the deaths of Mion, Rena, Keiichi and Tomitake, while Takano disappeared. The second arc ended with the deaths of Rika, Satoko, Shion, Tomitake, Takano and Mion, with Keiichi and Rena unknown.
– Keiichi moves again at the end of the second arc. Something that hasn’t been mentioned in the first arc.
– Mion and Oishi have no relationship in the second arc. At least, she doesn’t mention him at all. In the first arc, she immediately suspected him.
– Keiichi was never attempted to be tortured in the first arc.

Before I’ll quit (damn… my entries for Higurashi are getting longer and longer… this one managed to get to 2500 words), I have to say that Rena’s an awesome character. I liked her more when she was in scary-mode, though. The fact that this arc ended with so many questions also took its toll a bit. It just feels a bit incomplete. A bit too incomplete. I believe that the problem with Higurashi is that it has a great concept, but at certain points, it certainly could have been better. Keiichi’s reactions also have been extremely unnatural. I know he was calm at that time, but his behavior during this episode was just a bit too calm. After all, he knows that Mion’s about to kill him. Why doesn’t he freak out like in the first arc? Ah well, let’s hope that the next arc will be full of paranoia again.

Posted on 25 May 2006 with categories: Bleach



After last week, the series focuses on the main story of the fillers again. Jin reveals why he did everything. The mosquitos can suck up a living human’s soul, purify it and somehow make the same amount of spirit power ten times more powerful. Now that I’m typing this, I’m realizing something. Human souls are naturally impure? Then what do the mosquitos do in order to purify it? Well, because they’re damn handy plot devices and give Jin a nice and easy way to be evil so that the creators wouldn’t have to use their brains in order to find a good motive for him.

Then, something seemingly worthwile happens, though Bleach managed to screw it over in such a way that it becomes horrible again: one of the Bounto is having his doubts, and stands up to Jin. He mentions the case of the old man, who became so old because he used to absorb a lot of human souls in the past. (Actually, why isn’t this guy stronger than Jin?) Of course, Jin quickly changes this guy’s mind by feeding him the liquid from the mosquitos, turning him hungry for power again. Not only did the creators waste a valuable chance for a good plot, they also signed their own funeral. I mean, every ape can tell now that Jin will become more and more obsessed with power, until he takes too much and explodes, or something like that. I can’t bear the thought of having to witness these scenes for another ten episodes.

Still, two worthwile things happened at this episode. The first, and most important one, is the conversation between Nova and Sado. Pure brilliance. The second thing is Ishida, the only one who managed to turn the filler-plot up a bit. He’s love-sick, of course, and he, again, goes out. This should at least provide some worthwile scenes, should it?

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  • KuRoZuka
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 05:27 AM)
    I finally caught up to the latest Fairy Tail. The feelz… Right in the Kokkoro! This anime has a few shitty fillers here and there, but there are far less than Naruto and the characters are really endearing. I like this better than HxH as a shonen.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 04:03 AM)
    Battle Angel Alita that is.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 04:03 AM)
    The original manga is phenomenal. The sequel is one of those manga that you should go out of your way to avoid.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 03:47 AM)
    Although I have only read some of the battle angel alita manga and seen the ova I would very much like it if production IG would make a full anime series of it.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 03:38 AM)
    @Emma: well Watanabe is the general director of the series with different talents taking the helm for each episode, so you might be surprised by the results.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 02:03 AM)
    @Bam: I haven’t really much enjoyed anything Watanabe directed as much as I should have, even Apollon, I preferred reading it.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 10:53 PM)
    @Emma: yeah it is often hard to recreate that 90s style. And you should also catch up on Dandy so you’ll be ready for the big finale this Saturday.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 10:53 PM)
    @Aidan: My kind of woman lol
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 10:52 PM)
    “I harbor no animosity towards you. It is merely the sight of happy people makes me want to flay them alive.”
    Yep, This girl is Kotomine Kirei’s daughter through and trough.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 10:50 PM)
    @Bam: As much as I love bubblegum crisis and crash I could never bring myself to finish the 90s remake/reboot that differed from the ovas so much.

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