Anime Mondays #1

It’s been awhile.  Like Kurt Cobain wails, “all apologies.”  That’s what happens when Halloween comes around (aka the best holiday of the year) and life gets busy.  I’ll get better at this blogging thing.  Promise.

Anyway, I thought I’d take time out every Monday to talk about something that helps me pass time while I wait for Glee to come off hiatus: anime.  Yeah, yeah.  Sometimes, it’s lame, but most of the time it’s awesome.  Or at least amusing enough to watch before the onslaught of English subtitles from those high pitched Japanese voices puts me to sleep.  I know.  The word “makenai” is like a goddamned lullaby.  Thanks to this lovely website called myanimelist.net, you can track everything you watch.  This is ungodly helpful because it’s telling me at present time that I’m in the middle of 170 shows.  Hey, I have Netflix and get bored easily, don’t judge me.  It also will tell you what episodes you’ve watched in a week, so here is my Monday round-up of all the crap that I’ve turned on when regular tv sucks.  You’re welcome.

(All images in this post come from MAL.  There are obviously spoilers below if you haven’t seen up to the episode(s) listed.  And I take liberties with everything because I’m only paying attention at certain points.  Oops.)

Hellsing – Episode 3

I started watching this after a review I read on animenewsnetwork.com (pretty much the best anime site, in case you were wondering) and was like, what the hell, it’s horror, I haven’t seen it yet, and it streams on the Funimation Channel, which, yes, I subscribe to because my Roku is the greatest invention I will ever own.  It’s basically about some vampire killing agency where the main killer is (shocker) a vampire himself.  He turns this Police Girl into one because she got caught in the line of duty, and now she’s going nuts trying to retain her humanity, even though she’s not a human.  Everyone talks in a funny accent.  Honestly, it’s pretty ace, at least so far.  This episode had something to do with two vampires who were lovers, and I guess one of them died, and the other one was getting experimented on and went crazy.  Then some batshit priest came in and started killing everything.  Cliffhangers abound.  Next week I’ll see what the deal is.  Don’t worry, I’ll let you know.

 

Piano – Episodes 8-10 (Finished!)

I’ve been trying to finish this anime for forever, it seems.  No, literally.  According to my history I started it on July 30, 2009.  FOREVER.  I bought it from one of those RightStuf sales where you’d get the 25 DVDs for $100.  Best sales ever.  Except when I realized I’d have to watch this stuff.  I popped this in because I was in a different part of my house, and all these old, unwatched things were all I had to sift through at 5:00 a.m.  Thanks, time change, you’re a pal.  But another reason why this took so long to finish was that it was SO GODDAMNED BORING.  Nothing really happens.  I couldn’t even tell you what goes on at the beginning of the series except there’s some girl who plays the piano.  Then she likes some boy.  Then she doesn’t want to play the piano.  Then she does again.  I think she has a sister who gets drunk all the time and used to bang her piano teacher.  Clearly, she’s the most interesting part of the show, but after an episode, she hops on a plane and leaves.  These slice of life shows are so hit or miss.  And I’m so sick of them ending where nothing gets resolved.  This one ends while the girl is at a piano recital.  She finally decides to play.  Yes, she loves the boy and she loves the piano so much that she’s going to play the piano forever!!1  But then it ends.  We don’t get to hear her play at the recital.  We don’t even get to hear the song she composed for it.  Cop. Out.  To add insult to injury, I kept falling asleep through these DVDs and waking up during some “internal diary monologue” feature where a live action girl walks around parks and attempts to look pensive.  I thought I had changed the DVD in my sleep or something.  Nightmares all the way from a stupid show about some girl who plays the piano.  I rated it a 4/10 because, trust me, I’ve seen worse.  But it’s making me pause when I go to watch another slice of life show in the future.

 

Save Me! Lollipop (Mamotte! Lollipop) – Episodes 1-4

I have no excuse for this except it was Saturday morning and I wanted to watch something mindless that had a dub so I could do other things while it was on.  I love these stupid girl anime.  Anime(s)?  Anime.  I have no idea how or why this got licensed, but it was on the Funimation Channel and it didn’t have robots in it or take place in space, so I felt compelled to start it.  Some dumb chick is eating cake with her friends and a piece of candy falls from the sky onto her plate.  Of course, it’s not really a piece of candy, but the dumb bitch swallows it anyway.  It turns out to be some magic pearl that all these sorcerers from another planet are after because whichever pair (they are separated into teams of two) brings it back first gets to graduate from magic school and become  full-fledged magicians.  See, now I think just going to the magic school would be a pretty cool premise.  But no, you have all these weirdo alien characters flying around earth chasing this dumb girl.  The two guys who realize she swallowed the pearl first are going to “protect” her from everyone else, who apparently just want to cut her stomach open Saw style to get the stupid pearl out of her.  But if she can be kept safe until Christmas, the head magician in charge can come up with some medicine to make her puke up the pearl and she’ll be okay.  So, this girl thinks these two dudes are her princes, and it’s pretty much a guarantee that she’ll make out with at least one of them by series end.  There’s cross-dressing and some girl who’s really five years old who looks like an adult and creepy flying fish.  It’s mindless, but it’s entertaining and better than Horseland or whatever the fuck else is on regular Saturday morning cartoons nowadays.  What happened to The Real Ghostbusters and Muppet Babies and Flintstone Kids?  Now those were some bad ass cartoons.

 

Sailormoon S – Episodes 11-13 (Re-watch)

I wouldn’t love anime so much if it weren’t for this show.  I grew up watching this on USA in the mornings before I went to school and then have tracked down every single episode and movie to own now that I’m an adult.  And once I found out there were Japanese episodes that were banned?  That were hidden?  That would never find their way across the ocean?  Forget about it.  I had a mission.  Before I even watched this series, Sailor Uranus was my favorite character, and once I tracked down those Pioneer DVDs, you’d better believe I watched some of them so many times that I broke them and had to get replacements.  Not kidding.  However, I haven’t seen the complete series yet.  I know.  It’s been like…what, twenty years?  There’s a new, re-vamped Sailor Moon anime coming out next summer to celebrate the anniversary, and I have yet to see all of Stars.  So, I started a re-watch, including all of R (which I had never seen, even though I’ve had those ADV box sets for years) and buying the movies on DVD (which were the only things I was missing, and shit, were they hard to track down for a non-bootleg cheap price), and here’s where I am.  These are actually three of my favorite episodes of the season, where Minako thinks about quitting the Sailor Senshi to be normal and play volleyball and the ones with Usagi’s birthday where Haruka hits on her and Usagi gets SO uncomfortable and runs away.  I laugh every time.  Unless Stars blows my mind, this will forever be the greatest season, and I hope I get a chance to plow through it sooner rather than later.

 

Nyan Koi – Episodes 3-6

I started watching this on The Anime Network on Demand before my cable system decided to pull it (lame), and it’s been in my Rent Anime queue for forever, and it finally made its way to my house.  I have no idea why I think this show is hysterical, but if I had the second part of it, I’d marathon that shit right now.  This dude gets cursed from breaking some sort of cat statue and in order to avoid becoming a cat himself, he has to help out a shit ton of cats before his time limit runs out.  And did I mention he’s allergic to cats?  And that he can understand cats when they talk?  But, of course, he can’t talk in meows, so it looks like he’s going nuts and talking to himself all the time.  If the dude can’t break the curse, he’s practically dead because he’d be allergic…to himself.  HYSTERIA.  Of course, there’s all this harem stuff thrown in there, and the romance between the main guy and the girl he likes is really sweet and innocent…while this other loud girl keeps trying to come between them, along with this track and field chick that everyone thinks is a boy and these two blond twins that are weirder than I can ever explain.  It’s a damned good show.  I’d better start plowing through my discs of Gintama that are just sitting here unwatched from RA so I can get the rest of this.

 

Ex-Driver the Movie

Ex-Driver: Nina and Rei Danger Zone

Ex-Driver the Movie Specials (Finished!)

This was a blind box bargain from Right Stuf that came with the OST CD, as well.  I’ve never seen the OVAs that precede this, so I just jumped right in.  I needed to move this out of the “to be watched” pile, basically.  In the future, cars are all automated and drive themselves.  But when the cars go rogue, watch out!  Here come the ex-drivers who can manually drive cars to stop the ones that are freaking out.  The movie takes place in America.  The ex-drivers are having some sort of race…I think.  And then there’s a kidnapping plot.  And a fake gambling sub-plot.  The whole thing is basically an excuse to have shoddy computer graphics animated into a huge car chase at the end.  I really couldn’t even tell you what happened.  I was half asleep and on cold meds when I watched this.  The OVA that came with it takes place prior to the main characters in the movie becoming ex-drivers and has two different characters chasing blocky cars and trying to stop this little toy car from blowing up crap.  The specials were like those Care Bears storybook adventures that came with the real cartoons on VHS tapes back in the day that you fast forwarded through.  I should have fast forwarded through these, but I’m a glutton for punishment and a completest.  I ranked the movie and the OVA 5/10, because, like I said, I’ve seen worse.  But for five bucks, it was worth the watch.

 

One Piece – Episode 61

Let me make a confession: I have this thing where I want to finish really long shows, even if they end up going absolutely nowhere (unless they are all about robots or take place in space, then I could really give a shit).  One Piece seemed like the one to tackle.  I got really into it last year before Christmas when I had it on in the background while I was decorating my house and wrapping gifts and shit.  Now I’m on Collection 3, and I’ve been stuck there for awhile.  Why?  Let me tell you why.  This dumbass Dragon Island arc that seemed to be going on FOREVER.  Usually, I love Brittany Karbowski and absolutely everything she does, but her voice for Apis just GRATES.  I couldn’t take it.  I barely watched/slept through most of this stupid Dragon Island arc.  I don’t even know what it’s really called.  I don’t even care.  The main point is that it’s OVER.  FINALLY.  And these stupid “pirates” are finally at the Grand Line.  It’s only taken them 61 goddamned episodes.  Dear Jesus.  Now I can get back to giving heart hands to Sanji while Luffy (who is seemingly indestructible) tries to become King of the Pirates.  I know there’s like…over 300 more episodes to go, but at least I feel like the gang is getting somewhere now.

 

That took way too long.  Thank god Glee comes back this week so this post will be completely shorter next Monday.  And…..scene.

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