chihaya/arata

Anime Mondays #26

It’s been a pretty quiet month concerning anime.  I just haven’t had a whole lot of time at all to plow through anything.  And if I don’t have at least three shows to talk about, I’ll hold it over for a week.  This weekend, I went to visit some of my buddies up in Detroit (a good four hours away) and it was like being on another planet.  Or, at least in South Jersey.  Michigan lefts?  Oh, no, those are Jersey U-turns.  But driving woes aside, it was an awesome time.  Plus, we went to the cupcake store.  I pretty much want to live there.

All images are from MAL, and there are spoilers listed up to the episodes below!

Full Metal Panic! – Episode 2 Full Metal Panic Cover

I’m still rightfully enjoying this series, even though it’s a mech show.  And we all know how much I loooove mech shows.  Insert your shifty eyes here.  Fortunately, this episode had very little to do with giant robots and more to do with the relationship forming between our two main characters.  This show is funny.  It’s not in your face comedy like School Rumble or Lucky Star or anything, but it’s just the right amount of laughs to make it work.  And I was right, Monica Rial is the blue-haired girl’s best friend and her voice is not annoying!  It’s a small miracle.  Luci Christian is also pulling out a top notch performance as said blue-haired girl.  Why can’t we get English dubs like this anymore?  Why does everything have to be a screechy mess?  Anyway, when the Funimation Roku Channel works (which is becoming spotty again, ugh), this is what I turn on.

Yu Yu Hakusho – Episodes 43-50 Yu Yu Hakusho Title

So we’re still in this tournament.  And I guess now I’ve hit the wall with it because I can’t remember much about this string of episodes except they won.  Yusuke did this intense training thing while everyone else is literally taking one for the team, and I really hope that they get to fight the main asshole guy who made them do this tournament in the first place soon because I’m about ready to turn in my Hakusho card for a Dragon Ball one or something.  I guess there really is a thing as too much tournament fighting.

 

 

Rozen Maiden – Episodes 1-2 Rozen Maiden Cover

I started a re-watch of this series because the new one is airing soon (did it already start?), and as my OCD dictates, I must watch everything in order.  I bought the Sentai Complete Collection of this, even though I watched it the first time on the Geneon singles.  Yes, I am kicking myself for not buying that velvet-covered art box, thanks for asking.  This show goes dives into the world of creepy looking dolls that come to life to play this thing called The Alice Game, where the goal is to pretty much kill one another.  They have to have a human to give them energy, and our main doll in charge picks one who completely hates life and spends all his time buying crap from the internet.  The concept starts out amazingly, but as with 80% of anime, it goes downhill after a little while.  However, the first two episodes set the show up nicely and add some unexpected comedic bits, like when Shinku says she’ll take her tea in the bathroom.  The main problem I have with this show is the audio, though.  The English dub is pretty atrocious, and most of the Japanese voices are completely annoying.  Desu, anyone?  I’m going to attempt to rush through this quickly so I can pick up the third season before too many episodes have come out.

Rose of Versailles – Episodes 16-20 Rose of Versailles Cover

I’m now officially halfway through this series, and it’s still nothing short of amazing.  A huge reveal happened in these episodes, as it turns out the streetrat whom Oscar has befriended because Madame Polignac killed her mother by running her over with her carriage is actually a noble…and her real mother is the same woman who killed her adopted mother!  THE DRAMA.  Then, Madame Polignac’s other daughter commits suicide because her mom wants to marry her off to this giant creeper.  And, AND!  OSCAR HAS FEELINGS FOR THE DUDE WHO IS IN LOVE WITH MARIE ANTOINETTE.  And Fersen and Marie finally sleep together!  I can’t.  I can’t.  This show is so great and so filled with Degrassi-esque drama and characters I love and characters I hate and love triangles and squares and I just want to marry it.  Now, now, now.

Chihayafuru 2 – Episodes 16-25 (Completed!) Chihayafuru 2 Cover

With the final episode aired, I took the opportunity to marathon the shit out of my beloved Chihayafuru 2 and finish it…and boy am I glad I did.  I was honestly getting burnt out watching it weekly because I felt like it wasn’t moving fast enough, but when I breezed through the last ten episodes in one day, I remembered why I love this show.  Okay…technically, it was nine episodes; I skipped 16 because it was a recap episode that was totally unnecessary.  But here’s the cliff notes version.  CHIHAYA’S TEAM WON THE KARUTA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP!!!  Her biggest dream came true.  She sobbed.  I sobbed.  We all sobbed.  But then, she gets injured.  And while she does compete in the individual tournament, she loses her third match to the Queen herself.  All she wanted to do was play Arata, and that dream was shattered.  So, I cried again.  But Taichi…Taichi WINS.  HE WINS AND MOVES UP TO CLASS A.  And instead of letting his win sink in for awhile, he immediately wants Chihaya to go watch the championship match for Class A, which is Arata vs. the Queen.  He loves her so much.  Arata wins, and it turns out that every class winner was someone who Chihaya cares deeply for.  However, the show doesn’t end there, oh no.  Turns out Chihaya needs surgery on her finger, and while she is in the hospital, she has this epiphany where…(here we go.  I’m taking a deep breath now.  This is so hard for me to say.)  she realizes she loves Arata.  Arata.  Not Taichi.  Um.  AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT.  Really?  Really???  I can’t have this in my life.  Everyone but Chihaya knows that Taichi is butt crazy in love with her, and they tell him to man the fuck up because she’s not going to be oblivious to boys for much longer, and he agrees and goes with her to karuta training camp once her finger heals…and that’s where the series ends.  UGH.  There is an OVA confirmed, but I NEED ANOTHER SEASON.  It did not end nicely like the first one did, and I am so unfulfilled, and WHAT IS THIS CHIHAYA/ARATA BULLSHIT?  The manga needs to catch up, though.  If we do get anything else, we’ll be waiting awhile for it.  But man.  MAN.  I love this show.  Even when I hate it, I love it.  I rated it 9/10 on MAL because of the pacing problems.  Marathon this, don’t watch it an episode at a time, but I highly recommend you watch both seasons.  I will miss you, my beloved Chihaya.

Attack on Titan – Episodes 11-13 Attack on Titan Cover

Much as the previous anime, Attack on Titan is best seen in marathoned form.  Maybe that’s just how a ton of shows are for me, but I can’t stand the long gaps between episodes.  I know what happens.  I yell at the tv.  And then I have to wait a week to yell some more and get even more frustrated.  So Eren is a titan.  And he can control his actions, but he can’t.  He saved everybody, but Armin had to literally stab the shit out of him to get him to remember who he was while he was in titan form.  And now, he’s going to join the Survey Corps to go back to his basement to get the key to the titans.  Of course, this week is a recap episode, so that shit will be skipped since there’s a giant bunch of recap in like…every episode.  The animation quality of this show as a whole sucks now.  I know they’re running out of money and time, but come on.  Just because you make some nice titan battles does not mean you can recycle animation or use a bunch of panned still frames.  Show’s still good, though, definitely the only thing I kept up with in the spring 2013 anime season.

GetBackers – Episodes 27-33 GetBackers Cover

I’m almost done with this series.  I AM ALMOST DONE WITH THIS SERIES.  I must admit, I got thrown off when my rental service sent me something that I had listed above this in my queue that was a long wait.  I actually went, “but…my next GetBackers disc…” and pouted.  The next case was an art heist about the Venus de Milo actually having arms and the art thief from one of the previous arcs hired them to make sure the arms didn’t end up on the statue.  But, surprise!  All the art stuff was a cover up for some drug smuggling.  Wasn’t expecting that, but it sure was a nice surprise.  See, I like it when the arcs are short.  That Makubex crap was just too much to handle.

 

Another – Episodes 1-8 Another Cover

I started Another when it was airing in Japan and on Crunchyroll, and I thought the show had promise.  However, when I found out it was licensed and getting a dub, I held off because the supernatural shows are a lot for me to handle while reading subtitles at the same time.  And boy, am I glad I did.  The first episode of this anime really isn’t too terrible, but as it’s going on, it’s heading into Higurashi territory, which is making me so, so happy.  This isn’t a Shiki-esque fake out, oh no, this is the real deal.  The dub is surprisingly great, too, with Greg Ayres (I love him) and Monica Rial in another performance that’s not at a pitch that only dogs can hear and JESSICA BOONE (what happened to her? I love her, too!).  It also came out almost a month early from Right Stuf, so I’ve been watching it since I got back from Michigan.  Can I just ask what the deal is, though, with putting nine episodes on one blu-ray disc and just four on another?  Like, I want quality when I’m buying a blu-ray and cramming a million episodes on one disc when they just as easily could have done half and half feels like they significantly compromised it.  Oh well.  I don’t want to ruin the surprise of this show until I finish it, which…will probably be as soon as I’m done with this post.  Whoops.

Best of the Week: Chihayfuru 2, Rose of Versailles, Another, Full Metal Panic

Love it or Leave It: GetBackers, Attack on Titan, Rozen Maiden

Hope it Gets Better: Yu Yu Hakusho

It was definitely a good couple weeks!  I’m glad I held off.  What are you most looking forward to in the summer season, and what should I check out?  Right now, I’m thinking about Blood Lad, Rozen Maiden 3, Free, and that show about Sundays…the title is escaping me.  Let me know in the comments if I’m missing anything worth not marathoning!

 

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Anime Mondays #12

Welcome to this week’s double post of doom!  Okay, so it’s not really doom-like at all, I have a couple new shows in here, a conclusion, some regulars…it’s been a busy week in Glitterbots Grove.  Yes, I just made my screen name into a fictional place.  Alliteration for the win.  Hey Monday!

 

All images are from MAL, and there are spoilers below up to the episode numbers listed!

Chihayafuru 2 – Episodes 7-8 Chihayafuru 2 Cover

How does this show keep getting better and better?  Honestly.  Somebody answer me.  This is the only show of the new anime season I’ve constantly kept up with, and for good reason: it’s fantastic.  Chihaya and friends go from the Tokyo regional karuta tournament immediately to the national tournament.  Look, mom, no filler!  Thankfully, everything seems to be coming up roses for the team as they win their first round match against a group of “foreigners.”  How cute was it when Chihaya was writing on the board in English???  Ugh, she loves karuta.  She loves when other people love the game just as much as she does.  CHIHAYA JUST LOVES EVERYTHING.  Oh, and can we talk about Arata coming to surprise her and Taichi to watch the team matches?  But that Queen…something is brewing here, and I don’t know what it is.  Bitch needs to leave the three amigos alone so they can get some BFF time in.  I don’t really like where some of this is going…you know…this Chihaya/Arata relationship that might be slipping through the cracks (Chihaya/Taichi forever!~), but I’m interested to see where this goes.  Watching this one week at a time is TORTURE for me, especially since I marathoned most of season one in a couple days, but I’m sticking it out.  Friday afternoons when I get off work are my favorite times.

GetBackers – Episodes 1-5 GetBackers Cover

So, this is what came from my anime rental service lately (that I actually chose to watch, hello, Gintama DVD that’s been sitting here since October, ugh).  Firstly, this dub is atrocious.  I don’t know if it’s my crappy television, or if my DVD player is on the fritz, or what, but the audio mix on the English version is absolutely horrible.  Most of the first episode sounded like the characters were either underwater, trapped in a tunnel, or echoing their faces off.  Add to this that one of the main guys is voiced by the dude who did Kenshin (and I watched all 90+ episodes of that hot mess) and that the lead female is worse than Monica Rial on the screech scale, and I turned the subtitles on immediately.  It’s not that much better in Japanese, but the first four seconds of the theme song are extremely catchy (I love songs that start off with just a drum beat and then add a vocal).  Of course, it goes downhill from there, but whatever.  GetBackers is one of those episodic, we-do-anything-for-money, long-running shonen shows, wow, just like Gintama that I keep putting off!  These two guys “get back” things people have lost or have gotten stolen.  The first two episodes are terrible, but, luckily, the next three are all connected in a series and the villains are pretty bad ass.  It’s sad that the girl who uses poisoned perfume as a weapon and Dr. Jackal, who has weapons INSIDE HIS BODY, are relegated to being a transport team instead of causing general debauchery, but I hope their tasks get more evil as the show progresses.  This show is like 50+ episodes long.  They have time.  As a sidenote, ADV really tried to give some good extras with their release, including voice actor interviews and commentaries, but they’ve got to be the most BORING interviews and commentaries I have ever heard.  The actors try too hard to be funny, or they’re just so wooden no one cares, and it just doesn’t work.  This show is going to be a chore to plow through, I can feel it already.

Lunar Legend Tsukihime – Episodes 1-4 Lunar Legend Tsukihime Cover

I don’t remember why I moved this anime up so high in my Netflix queue.  I think it was a prequel to something (post note: it’s by the same people who did Garden of Sinners, and now it all makes sense), but I can’t quite put my finger on it.  Anyway, this show has a premise to either be really fucked up (win!) or really boring (lose!).  The main dude can see strings of death, so he knows exactly where to chop the bad guys up into tiny, bloody pieces, even if they are monsters.  He has a pair of glasses that someone gave him when he was a child that effectively block his death-vision, and he, smartly, wears them all the time.  However, when he has to move in with his sister, weird shit starts happening.  He keeps having these weirdo flashbacks/visions of slicing some girl into ribbons, and then she magically appears right in front of him.  Turns out this girl is a vampire, and she needs him for….something.  Either I forgot, or it’s not exactly clear.  She tells him how his death-vision works and then he kills some monster for her.  Then, for some reason, she shows up like, in his bed and tries to chomp the shit out of him.  I love these mind fuck anime, but goddamn, I wish I could keep a plot straight.  Is it me, or is it the show?  I guess I’ll pay more attention to the next volume whenever it decides to show up at my house.

I My Me! Strawberry Eggs – Episodes 1-4 Strawberry Eggs Cover

Before I even talk about this show in particular, I’m going to pose a question: is it just me, or did Geneon license a bunch of anime that look exactly the same?  This show reminds me so much of about six shows I’ve gotten from those old RightStuf sales where you could get 25 DVDs for $100.  They all have similar art styles, similar harem plots and were all licensed by Geneon.  Ai Yori Ayoshi and some horrible show about maids come to mind immediately (I can’t remember the title, but it really wasn’t something to write home about), but I know there have been more.  Maybe ALL the anime made around this time period just reeks of plagiarism, but I digress.  Sidenote: what the shit with all these shows with the word “strawberry” in the title?  There are so many and I get them all confused, and there are NO STRAWBERRIES anywhere in the shows!  Seriously.  Where were the strawberries in Strawberry Panic?  Yeah, I sat through that one, too.  Okay, now onto the egg show.  This dude needs a gym teacher job and money so he can pay his rent.  However, the only school in the area that seems to be hiring gym teachers is one where they only hire female teachers.  So, instead of, I don’t know, commuting, this dude thinks it’s a smart idea to go all Rupaul on us and dress in drag so he can teach these kids how to vault over a horse in long, pleated skirts.  Um…now, I love me some “Drag Race,” but I don’t know about this anime.  To add insult to injury, he starts to fall in love with one of his students.  And now I am checked out for good.  I’ll still finish it because I’m pretty positive nothing will actually happen, but Jesus Christ, get a girlfriend your own age, already.  And throw some strawberries into this show so I can feel validated, thank you.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki (OVA) Episodes 6-7 Tenchi Muyo! Cover

Man, I have so much to say about this series, but almost all of it is nostalgic.  Tenchi Muyo! was one of the very first anime series I ever owned that was in Japanese with English subtitles.  I had this on VHS tape.  You know the ones that had one ova episode on a cassette and was still $30 apiece?  I have all of them.  I still have the posters and comment cards that came with them.  I remember the gigantic yellow subtitles all in caps.  I remember I made up my own words to the theme song.  I begged for new volumes from my parents for every birthday and Christmas until I had them all.  Anime is NOT a cheap hobby, friends.  I got a stuffed Ryo-Ohki for Christmas one year and I carried that thing around like a badge of honor.  I gladly explained to everyone what the hell a “cabbit” was and got funny looks when I imitated the meow, but I didn’t care.  I love, love, loved this show.  And honestly, I didn’t really get parts of it?  I just played it off that everyone ran around naked during the hot springs episode, and I wanted to be Ryoko because she was so bad ass, and I wanted to punch Ayeka in the face because she was a whiny, princess bitch.  I got my initiation into RightStuf by purchasing this show.  I went to my local comic shop to beg the dude to carry new volumes of this so I could buy it.  I’m sure he was like, what the fuck is a little girl doing watching this show about a lame dude surrounded by women, but I did not care.  Shit, I have a TV that only hooks up to a VCR in my basement that I watch when I’m on the treadmill, and I watch these tapes to time my workouts.  So, when I heard Funimation was re-releasing them in Blu-Ray, I had to have it.  I don’t care that the show’s not that great.  I don’t care that the plot is strung together at best.  I don’t care that Washu is a pervert and sticks her hand down Tenchi’s pants, and I don’t care that the longest OVA episode is filler.  I now own the entire Tenchi series (except for Tenchi Muyo GXP, which I watched and HATED) on DVD, including the Pretty Sammy stuff and the Sasami Magical Girls Club spin offs.  Like, Sailor Moon, however, I’m still in the process of watching it all.  Oh, but I’ll finish it, no matter if I still want to punch Ayeka in the face all these years later.  I just had to start with a massive re-watch back at the beginning, where the magic begins.  Sorry, I’m not sorry.

Baka and Test Summon the Beasts Season 2 – Episode 1 Baka and Test Season 2 Cover

Okay, I love the first season of this show.  I watched it in Japanese, laughed my ass off through every episode, and bought it when it came out on DVD, to which I laughed my ass off through every episode with the English dub.  I know that a lot of people pan this show, but I think it’s hysterical.  My favorite character is Hideyoshi, and goddamn, I don’t care how old the gag is, I crack up every time someone thinks he’s a girl.  However, when season 2 started the simulcast, I couldn’t get into it.  I literally fell asleep through the first episode each time I started it.  I just don’t like beach things, so sue me.  But, I bought this from the last Funimation RightStuf sale and have successfully stayed awake through episode 1.  Yahoo for school!  Yahoo for me!  The avatar fights are my favorite part, so they need to hurry and get back into the classroom.  When I want to watch something mindless, I can always turn to Baka and Test.  It’s golden.

Bleach – Episodes 21-24 Bleach Title

Netflix decided to send this my way and I devoured it as soon as it came in the mail.  I don’t know what it is, but I can get through a volume of Bleach faster than almost anything.  In this set of episodes, the gang jumped through that dimension door or whatever to go save Rukia.  Ichigo fights this giant and then a dude who rides a warthog…that’s about it.  Seriously, about nothing happens, and then the disc is OVER.  I don’t know how people watched this weekly.  I feel like I’m going to need about four more DVDs just to finish this boss battle.

 

White Album – Episodes 1-3 White Album Cover

This is what happened to me yesterday when I was surfing through the Seinen section on my Crunchyroll Roku Channel.  I was like, oh, White Album, maybe it’s a Beatles reference and is about music!  So, I turned it on.  And it is about music…sort of.  Basically this dude has a girlfriend he never sees because she’s trying to become an idol.  However, all these chicks are practically throwing themselves at him for no apparent reason (honestly, he’s like…super wooden).  It reminds me a lot of School Days (and I’m the only person in the universe who actually liked that anime, so shut up, it’s not a bad thing), and then I saw on MAL that it’s based on a game…great.  So this creeper really IS going to hook up with every girl with a pulse, fantastic.  I was only being slightly sarcastic with that statement.  One day, I will explain why I liked the most hated anime to ever exist, but today is not that day.  I will say that the characters in White Album are all sorts of fucked up, and I haven’t even begin to crack the surface on it, yet.  I just wish the male protagonist would be more interesting.  Maybe he is.  Maybe it’s coming.  Maybe there’s a nice boat.  We shall see….

And we have come to the end of another Anime Monday.  Next week, the post comes with a surprise inside…totally better than cereal, right?