Posted on 29 January 2007 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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Short Synopsis: Finally: Akazukin’s background!
Good: Better than I ever imagined. This seriously was an awesome episode!
Bad: The beginning had awkward animation, despite this being a major episode.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 9/10

Seriously, that was AWESOME! Ever since I started with rating the episodes, I never had to give an episode such a high rating. And this episode definitely deserves it! This episode definitely was one of the ones where everything comes together. Those who’ve been reading my other entries about this show know that I’ve been heavily speculating about and anticipating both the background of Akazukin and Baru, since nothing really has been said about them, which means that they had to hide something, didn’t they?

That question got answered in this episode. The reason Akazukin never talked about her childhood was because it’s a rather sad one. Her birth village now lies in ruins. It’s not because of Cendrion’s army, however. Her village was raided by the wolves. They killed her parents, her best friend at that time and his mother. The survivors abandoned the village, and moved to a nearby one. At that point, Akazukin also met Baru, if I’m correct. If I had to guess, she then moved to the same place Hameln was staying, after which she went to the school we saw in episode 10 or eleven.

One of the things that made this episode so awesome was the fact that it built up perfectly. It already started when they didn’t even reach the village, when Souta noticed that Akazukin tried to be awfully happy. Randagio, meanwhile, introduces Jedo-sama in quite a funny way. Still, despite the jokes used, the heavy atmosphere kindof stays.

Still, the best thing about the episode was Kain, Akazukin’s childhood friend. (On a side-note: I almost exploded because of the cuteness of small Akazukin. Seriously, when I thought that things couldn’t get any cuter after Chibi-Shirayuki) The two of them were extremely cute when they were young, and it seems that Akazukin keeps saying “Zukkyun” because of him. Still, the thing is that this “Kain” looks an awful lot like Jedo-sama. It’s a fairly standard plot twist. Your former best friend now is a bad guy because of some reason. At least, that’s what I thought.

Boy, was I wrong. I never expected BARU, OF ALL PEOPLE to be Kain! Seriously, that is so AWESOME! It perfectly explains why he stays with her. To make things even better, Jedo-sama seems to be his brother. That’s why nothing was said about his father. He probably separated from his wife, took Jedo with him, and started living with the Lycan. I’m suspecting that his father was a Lycan, while his mother was a normal person. That’s what made the two of them special. Seriously, with this, this series turned even better. Was this the best of Otogi Juushi Akazukin, or are there even more awesome episodes waiting? I can’t wait to find out. :D

Posted on 22 January 2007 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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Short Synopsis: Inside a valley full of giant strawberry bushes, Souta and Gretel end up together.
Good: Gretel; Gretel; have I already mentioned Gretel?
Bad: Why didn’t Hansel chase them while he could fly?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7.5/10

Ooh, I’ve been waiting for this! This episode was all about Gretel. Not only was she incredibly CUTE during the entire length of the episode (I especially loved it when Souta tried to protect her just like the young Hansel), she’s also getting very interesting for the future episodes. I really liked how she still didn’t end up joining Souta in his travels, but instead, she’ll be acting independently, just like Hameln. I wonder when she’ll make her move. ^^

Randagio also is turning into an interesting character. He’s stepped away from your usual criminal goon long ago. That became clear when he unconsciously spoke a bit to casual when Ibara caught him. He’s adorable, even though he’s generally an idiot. ^^; I also loved how he opened the episode so forcefully for the past two episodes.

Also, something’s telling me that we’re about to get a good dose of development from Akazukin’s side. That expression on her face when she saw the road to the Village of Mist (?) was just too suspicious. Also, what will Turude’s role be in the rest of this anime? Has she become that scared of Akazukin in princess-mode that she doesn’t want to face her directly?

Posted on 15 January 2007 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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Ah, the recap episode, I was wondering where it went. Still, I’m glad that this episode consisted out of 2 minutes recap, and 18 minutes of the usual goodness. This time, the dwarves are visited. Of course, when there are elves, dwarves can’t be missing, can they? ;) Okay, so what if flowers bloom strangely underground. Heck, I’m not even sure why there even was light, but the episode was damn good. :)

This especially was because of the beginning. The episode has barely started, Souta has barely finished his first recap-block, or we immediately switch to a battle with Gretel, Randagio and two huge snails. I like it when they do that. Fights like these don’t necessary need building up, they also work good as a build-up for other, better scenes. Like the one in which Souta and Ringo ran, and fell into that hole. ^^ Randagio also was brilliant in this episode. :)

But OMG, what’s happening to Gretel?! First of all, how did she obtain so much power, and second of all, is she going to be alright? It seems that she has the power to enlarge her sword many times, though that seems to take a huge toll on her. To what extend is she willing to prove herself to her brother anyway!?

Posted on 9 January 2007 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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Okay, so the castle was a fake. Still, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t love this episode. I think it’s better this way, it makes things less predictable.

Quite a lot of things also happened this episode. A quick list:
– Souta found out Cendrion’s identity.
– Jedo-sama and the Lycans betrayed Cendrion after they found out that he’s Erde’s key.
– Ferdnando is Fandavale’s key. When the two keys come together, I’m suspecting that Cendrion will be freed.
– Hameln returns again.
– Jedo lost about half of his army.
– The story Souta’s mother used to tell him was actually part of Cendrion’s dale.
– Cendrion actually revealed her real location. I’m not sure whether that was on purpose or not, but she used a mirror to transport herself to the castle, in the background of that mirror, some broken thingies also were seen. It seems that those are only found in one place, which somehow has to do with the wizard we saw in episode 20.

I’ve also been wondering… what happened to Cendrion’s second glass shoe? And what have Hansel and Turude been up to for the past few episodes?

Posted on 8 January 2007 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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What the hell? What is up with raw providers and mahou shoujo? First Sasami Mahou Shoujo Club, and now even Otogi Juushi Akazukin! I honestly believed that this show was taking a small winter-break, just like all other shows around there, but in fact, it just continued. A quick peek into Share also revealed that episode 27 has also been released. I’m downloading that one right now, it should be in soon, though Share isn’t really the fastest download program out there.

Anyway, rants aside, this was an awesome episode yet again. A great parody on the suspicious guy who arrives, and you know is evil, though every character seems to trust him. Throughout the entire episode, I believed this. A random bishounen appeared and seduced Shirayuki, in the town where Cendrion’s minion who took over Shirayuki’s country came from. Of course that’s suspicious, though nobody seems to notice! At least, that is what I thought. ^_^ The climax was brilliant, when it seems that Shirayuki had been acting all along.

Maren (apparently named Marleen, according to TV-Nihon) also is getting more interesting with every mention. This time, we get to see how she formed her army. It’s not something you’d expect, seeing as most anime take this fact for granted. Seeing how Marleen turned the Bell of Hope into the Bell of Darkness makes her story so much more believable. The extra bit of depth added to her character also is greatly appreciated.

Still, the bell got destroyed in the end. You would expect Cendrion to be angry, as her whole town full of minions got converted back. Still, she’s smiling. That means two things:

1. She’s up to something
2. Hansel, Turude and the others did not escape from her power.

Regarding the second point, this must mean that she found another way to manipulate people after using the bell. I’m suspecting that this has something to do with the mirrors. Seeing as there wasn’t any mirror in the town, it must mean that the townsfolk got all of their powers from the bell, while Hansel, Turude and the witch who took over Shirayuki’s country have been manipulated with the mirrors as well.

Regarding the second point, something’s telling me that the next episode will feature a major plot twist. After all, Cendrion’s castle is reached at episode 26 of 39. If I had to guess, this is going to be one of the major turning points of the series, in which Cendrion gets freed and Hansel, Gretel and Randagio turn to Souta’s side. If that’s going to be the case, what will the role of Jedo-sama be? I love speculating about this series. If I can say that about a series, it means that it’s got some great mystery. ^_^

I also love how this series, even though it’s getting more serious, didn’t lose its comical note. In fact, there were lots of random cute moments. Ringo and Baru’s reaction to Dudo’s flirting, for example. Or the reason why Shirayuki bought a couple of earplugs. Oh, and Shirayuki looked so cute in Dark Shirayuki-mode without glasses. Not as cute as chibi-Shirayuki, though.

Also, why did Marleen know about Shirayuki?

Posted on 24 December 2006 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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I’m sorry if I sound scary right now, but that was AWESOME! We finally learn a bit about Shirayuki’s history, and not only is this done in the cutest way possible, it’s also as awesome as I expected it to be. We start at a local market, at which Akazukin buys some kind of hair ornament. When she tries it on at Shirayuki, she suddenly changes into a five-year-old version of herself.

Seriously, when I thought that this series couldn’t get any cuter! I totally agree with Ibara, Akazukin and Ringo when they continued to fangirl over her. ^_^ Baru was as awesome as usual, especially when the small Shirayuki keeps getting more and more on his nerves. I pity him, being surrounded by people such as Akazukin and Ringo, especially when his only male companion is someone like Souta. Ibara also has been opening up more and more for the past few episodes.

Still, things get even more awesome when Chibi-Shirayuki goes to sleep and starts having a nightmare. When she touches Ibara’s hand in her sleep-walking, Ibara suddenly realizes that she can see Shirayuki’s dream, which does reveal quite some interesting things about her childhood. It seems that she indeed is a princess, and when she was young, her father paid a lot of attention to her. This, however, changed when he found a new wife. He started ignoring her afterwards. At the end of the episode, Shirayuki also reveals that this new queen was a servant of Cendrion. She put a spell on her to make her forget. The hair ornament removed this spell and made her remember. I guess that this won’t be the last episode we see, dedicated to Shirayuki. ^_^

Also, new OP, new OP, new OP! It’s a bit more serious than the previous one, and bears less resemblances to a fairy-tale. What also stroke my attention was Hansel, Gretel and Randagio being among the good guys. I’ve been waiting for AGES for them to have another episode dedicated to them, though something tells me that this anime is currently busy saving the best things for last. A length of around 39 episodes indeed is the best anime-format for me. It can add more character development than an ordinary, 26-episode series, though at the same time, it doesn’t drag on like the 50-episode series.

Also, why did Baru act strange when the word “sister” was mentioned? :)

Posted on 11 December 2006 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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Ah, it indeed was too easy. Souta never met up with his mother during this episode. He only met up with a disguised Cendrion, in order to find his weakness. It’s interesting to see that she’s now actually starting to act for herself, and we also learn that she does have the ability to escape the mirror she’s locked up in. That explains how she managed to recruit Hansel and Gretel in the candy house.

The most interesting part of this episode definitely was Akazukin. For some reason, she sympathizes the most with Souta of everyone. For some reason, she can understand the fact of growing up without the presence of a mother, even though she doesn’t like it. When Souta also leaves the group, in order to return to Erde with who he thinks is his mother, we also see her being more serious than she’s ever been. Even when Baru ended up wounded. This suggests that Akazukin lost her parents at early age as well. This series has been keeping the pasts of both Akazukin and Shirayuki rather secret. All we know is that Akazukin grew up together with Hameln and that Shirayuki is from some kind of prestigious family. I’m really looking forward to the episodes in which their pasts get revealed. :)

There’s also this matter of Cendrion, somehow knowing what Souta’s mother looks like. This means that she has seen her before, which does suggest that she was the one who kidnapped Souta’s mother in the first place. Well then, there are two possible reasons for her to do this.
– She kidnapped the mother of Erde’s key, years after she’d start to chase after him, in order to make use of his weak point as a really, really well planned move. Not a really plausible theory.
– The second reason assumes that Souta’s father indeed was Maren’s loved one who ran away with Souta’s mother, and it was simply an act of revenge. Still, that doesn’t explain the fact that somehow, 30 years on Erde are equal to 1000 years in Fandavale.

I’m actually secretly hoping for our group to get separated somehow, like this episode suggested. There have been a few moments in this anime, which almost suggested that the group would be split in two, but every time, this was just barely avoided. It may be me, being paranoid, though it does seem like a hit towards the future developments in this anime.

Another thing I’m wondering is how Shirayuki will behave in the future episodes, after what Cendrion told her during this episode. Sure, it wasn’t Souta’s real mother, but I’m sure that these thoughts are still inside of her. After all, she was pretty down afterwards.

I don’t know what it is, but I’m really liking the story for Otogi Juushi Akazukin. :)

Posted on 3 December 2006 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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… what!?!

Okay, I’m baffled. The last scene of the episode showed such a brilliant plot twist! It only turned my opinion of this series even better. It seems that this series is really kicking off now. The rest of the episode also was a real beauty to watch.

Okay, so here’s the deal. Ibara catches a giant talking fish, who seems to have something stuck in its throat. It appears to be a glass shoe. Ringo tries it on, and suddenly, she can’t stop dancing and disappears over the ocean. When the others go after her, Souta falls in the water, and has another vision. The girl from the mirror appears again, though this time a bit older and she wears the same glass shoes as the one Ringo found. Her name seems to be Maren, and she has a hard time remembering Souta, which suggests that she’s been living quite some time after Souta met her. It seems that she finally found a way to go to Erde, though when she sees the boy she loved, he’s suddenly dancing with another girl. Obviously, her heart is broken by this. I was beginning to like this girl more and more with these scenes. Heh, if I only KNEW about the things which happened afterwards. ^^;;

Randagio, meanwhile, seems to have found Ringo, and Hansel goes after her, as he figures that Souta will probably come after her. He gets the shoe off of her, which shows some interesting reactions at Ringo’s side. Surprisingly, both sides aren’t hostile to each other at all. Only when Akazukin and the others arrive, the fight breaks out. Gretel also helps a bit, as she’s been watching her brother from a distance. The fight was very nice, as it actually involved a bit of tactics. Then, Hansel pushes Ringo aside, which triggers his powers again. Hansel is impressed by the way Souta acted that he retreats for the time being. He then returns to Cendrion, and gives her the shoe. And then everything becomes clear.

Cendrion is Maren! God dammit, I should have known! Maren’s tale originated around 1000 years ago. That’s about the same time as the time Cendrion has been sealed. That explains why Hansel, Gretel and Randagio know so much about the mirrors. Maren was one of the few who knew about them, and as Cendrion, she of course perfectly understood their uses and benefits. Remember also the end of the episode with the village, covered in ash? Not only does this work as great symbolism, but when the group left the village, Shirayuki and Ibara suddenly realized that Cendrion used the same kind of mirrors as the one they ran into. At that time, I only thought that that was meant to explain a bit about the mirrors, but it actually was the first hint we got about Cendrion’s real identity!

The next question is of course: who was that boy? If it is Souta’s father, then how did he end up 1000 years in the past? If it isn’t, then who exactly is it, and what happened to him? As from the next episode, I’m also going to stop looking at the next episode previews. Right now, they’re just getting way too spoilery, as next episode, Souta’s mother will arrive. It’s promising to become awesome. :)

Posted on 25 November 2006 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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This episode focused on three different characters. The amount keeps growing. We haven’t seen any episodes lately which were focusing towards one specific character, and only that character. Of the protagonists, the episode focused on Baru. Of the antagonists, the episode focused on Hansel. Of the guest characters, the episode focused on Rapunzel.

Baru was really meant to be fleshed out a bit in this episode, and the creators do this to actually make him fall in love with Rapunzel. Not only was this outright hilarious, we get more and more clues that he actually has a human form as well. He just refuses to show it. I just loved it when Rapunzel called Baru “Baru-chan”, after which he took out two Nightmarians at once. ^^

Hansel’s case is a bit more serious. He’s finally ready again to move to the battlefield, and on top of that he received a power-up from Cendrion. Still, that didn’t make him strong enough to defeat Akazukin in princess-mode. I’d say they’re about equally as strong now, though it does seem that Cendrion has taken a liking to him. I’m suspecting that she’s going to keep feeding him power-ups like that, until it goes wrong at one time. Randagio’s and Gretel’s role also is becoming interesting. They’re becoming quite useless, now that everyone is growing, while they aren’t. Still, something tells me that they both have their own role to play.

Though most of the episode’s focus went to Rapunzel, and her story. Akazukin, Ibara, and especially Shirayuki and Ringo keep fangirling over her desire to see the prince she loves return. Because of this, Souta rather remains in the background. In any case, Rapunzel does have a great character design. In the end, it appeared that she worked together with Hansel, so that he’d return her prince to her. In the end, it seems that the creators combined the story of the prince, who turned into a frog with the story of Rapunzel. As Souta has read this fairy-tale, he actually knows that with a kiss, the prince will return back to normal.

Overall, this was a very good episode, but after seeing the preview of the next episode, I’m actually looking forward more and more to it, as it’ll continue with the mirror-arc. We see the girl from the mirror return again, and with a bit of luck, we’ll get some more clues about Souta’s father, and what exactly he is. The Hansel and Gretel-arc will also continue, now that Turude has been put out of the picture for a while, being defeated by Akazukin and all. I love it how every episode is so diverse, but still the same.

Posted on 18 November 2006 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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Very interesting. This episode actually had a light character, instead of the dark characters of the past few. While the past few episodes have been just fighting, fighting, getting stronger and fighting, this episode adds something more: hope. It’s indeed the case that Akazukin will discover that her powers are rather uncontrollable, but that’s just a side-story for this episode.

The main focus is Fernando. He makes use of a special natural phenomena. Those who’ve been paying attention might’ve noticed that Fandavale has more than one moon. This episode, two of these moons (a large one and a big one) formed one line, along with the planet itself. Thus an interesting eclipse follows, which apparently strengthens the power of water-based magic and wind-based magic. Fernando uses this power to come in contact with Souta, while Randagio uses this power to unleash probably his strongest goon yet.

The first half of the episode also was highly atmospherically. It seems that this turned into something like Christmas for the people of Fandavale, as everyone stops for a bit to watch the spectacle. The latter part of the episode also featured a rather emotional scene between Souta and Akazukin. Finally we get a bit of development from her side. :)

Also, we get our first clue about Souta’s mother. She indeed is in Fandavale, and Fernando met her. The question remains, was she kidnapped because she was special on her own, or is she special because she married Souta’s father? I still think that he was the guy from the mirror. The fairy-tale may tell that the story took place 1000 years ago, the girl did talk to someone at the end of the mirror. In Erde. With large buildings you see only in the modern age, and definitely not 1000 years ago.

Next episode will be a great one: we have a Rapunzo-cameo, and Hansel will return again.

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