lupin the third

Anime Mondays #51

So, you know how last week I said I was a little burnt out and probably not going to watch a lot of anime?  Yeah…I watched a ton of anime.  I don’t really know what got into me, but I just had this urge to keep on chugging, so this post is pretty super-sized.  Anime binge watching: sometimes, it just happens.

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

Dragon Ball – Episodes 52-61 Dragon Ball Cover

I mentioned this on twitter this week, but I am trying to collect the Dragon Boxes (you know, the epitome of Dragon Ball Z collector’s editions with the only un-cropped print of the series) without going broke.  So far, I’m 2/7, but I’m realizing that if I want these without paying absolutely insane prices, I’m going to have to buy them used.  Which means, when I acquire each one, I’m going to have to actually play the discs in a prompt fashion so if there’s anything wrong with them, I can send them back. Which means my OCD requires me to watch the original Dragon Ball before I even consider putting a Dragon Box disc in my player.  Ugh.  I finally finished off the season 2 box set, though, and just when I thought we were done with the Red Ribbon Army…they come back with a new villain to annoy me.  The pirate arc is done, but now Goku is climbing this Korin Tower trying to get a mysterious power that will help him to get all the dragon balls back again to bring some little kid’s father back to life.  What?  What?!?!?!  Yeah, this is actually happening.  I miss the dude who was scared of Bulma.  I hope he comes back soon.

Fushigi Yuugi – Episodes 1-2 (Re-watch) Fushigi Yuugi Cover

Yup…I went there.  After last week’s ‘should I or shouldn’t I’ debacle, I just broke down and popped the first volume in.  Man, I love this show.  I collected this on subtitled VHS back in the day, and I think I’ve seen the first four episodes at least 30 times, but it doesn’t get old.  It’s one of those fantasy world, modern-girl-gets-sucked-into-a-book shows, but it’s also one of the greatest reverse harems (with an actual partner choice) of all time.  I love, love, love Fushigi Yuugi.  But the dub sucks.  I mean…badly.  The Japanese version has the voice of Chibi-usa from Sailor Moon playing Miaka, and that equates to awesomeness.  Also, that I recognized a Japanese voice actress without looking at the credits makes me feel like a proud, proud anime fan.  I really need to get the re-mastered first set of this, but for the time being, I’m making due with my $1 a disc copies I purchased from a library.  No shame here.

Redline (Completed!) Redline Cover

I blind bought this movie with no expectations whatsoever other than I wanted to see what everyone was talking about and why people thought this was the greatest anime movie to come out of Japan in a long, long while.  Let me tell you…the hype is totally justified.  It took about two minutes to get used to the slightly out-of-place art style, but once I did, Redline sucked me right in.  I never wanted it to end.  This movie is visually stunning.  STUNNING.  I do not lie.  And there’s none of that CGI crap in there that I hate.  The soundtrack is to die for, and when it was over, I immediately wanted about thirteen sequels.  I do not joke.  But that’s the hype.  If you’re looking for what the movie is actually about, well, it’s pretty much like Mario Kart on speed and steroids put together thrown into space.  I know that sounds really ridiculous, and it is, but it’s awesome.  It’s also got this underlying love story, which, although forced in parts, I completely got into.  There are some side characters that really deserved their own spin-offs, and…man.  Redline is an hour and a half you will not regret.  I ranked this 9/10 on MAL, and highly recommend it.  It’s cheap, even on blu-ray.  You can afford it.

Digimon Adventure – Episodes 3-4 Digimon Cover

I’m beginning to think I’m not a huge fan of Digimon.  I remember watching a couple episodes back in the day when I couldn’t watch Pokemon, and I thought it was okay…but now, trying to purposely watch it…meh.  Nothing really exciting is happening.  It’s like one digimon evolving after another.  And the girl with the pink cowboy hat is really annoying.  Time to set this one to the side for awhile.

 

 

Kamisama Kiss – Episodes 3-13 (Completed!) Kamisama Kiss Cover

Guess whose Goddess Edition finally came in?  Oh, yeah.  As soon as I got that box open, it was on to complete this series as quickly as possible.  I stopped myself from watching this streaming just so I could wait for my pre-order to come in, and I’m glad I did.  Am I happy I paid $78 for a cheap tote bag and a hair stick that weighs about a pound?  Not really.  But the box is gorgeous, so I’m good with that.  This dub is so completely fantastic.  Remember how I said Tia Ballard was the poor man’s Laura Bailey?  She gets better.  I mean, I watched the video commentary, and she has as much personality as a box of rocks, but she does a good job in this anime.  Tatum is great.  MICAH SOLUSOD LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.  And I’m pretty much in love with Sean O’Connor, and it has nothing to do with that fact that he voiced my favorite character in this show.  Kurama forever.  No shame.  Thankfully, although the same people were involved, this anime is NOT like Fruits Basket.  I say this with love because, well, I didn’t like Fruits Basket.  Everything in that anime felt forced, but here, it really didn’t.  When Nanami falls in love, you feel her fall in love.  When Tomoe is a jerk, you want to punch him in his fox face.  I was getting some Lovely Complex emotions over here, I won’t deny it.  The episodic nature of the show bugged me somewhat, but the conclusion made up for it, by far.  If you want to get your romance on with a twinge of reverse harem, this is the show for you.  Also…Kurama.  KURAMA.  I rated this 9/10 on MAL.

Hikaru no Go – Episode 2 Hikaru no Go Cover

Since I put Naruto on hiatus, this is what I’ve been watching before I fall asleep at night, and, let me tell you, it gets the job done.  Not that it’s boring, there’s just a lot of talking and not a whole lot of action yet.  I mean, it’s an anime about playing Othello.  Yes, I just said Othello.  But, hi, Chihayafuru is one of my favorite shows, and that’s about playing karuta, so clearly I love these niche “sports” anime titles.  I just wish the dub were on Hulu.  I’d probably be awake for more of it, but eh.  Serves its purpose.

 

High School DxD – Episodes 5-12 (Completed!) High School DxD Cover

Yup, sure did finish this hot fanservice mess off.  And the final verdict is…it was worth it.  God, the fanservice was distracting to no end, but I was actually able to look past it because it wasn’t disturbing (just a lot of unnecessary nudity) and the dirty dub jokes were actually funny.  I watch a lot of South Park, okay, I can take jokes about giant douches.  The plot actually was good (up until the last few episodes with the stupid rating game), and I didn’t hate the ending.  The biggest flaw, though, was that the first half of the series plays up this big connection between Asia and the main dude, and then towards the second half, she becomes this clingy, stereotypical harem girl and the connection gets lost in the shuffle while the “romance” plot takes a 180 and goes in a completely different direction.  I know there’s a second season of this, but I have no desire to watch it unless it gets dubbed, so if the plot turns AGAIN, I will never know.  And, honestly, I don’t even know which direction I would like to see it go in, I just thought the juxtaposition between the two very different sides of the coin came out of nowhere.  But, fuck, this is a fanservice show, and I just used the word “juxtaposition,” so it’s pretty clear I’m thinking too much.  I ranked this 6/10 on MAL.

Kaitou Saint Tail – Episodes 4-5 Saint Tail Cover

Found my external hard drive that I can plug into my Roku, so, hey, it’s time to clear some old school random shows off of it.  Saint Tail is a magical girl show, but not.  It reminds me of Marmalade Boy in a strange way that I can’t quite put my finger on.  Meimi has a magician for a father and uses his bag of tricks, along with a little magic of her own, to become a master thief.  But, not the mean, scary, greedy kind, more like the Robin Hood kind.  And this show is really cute.  I love Meimi’s character design, especially those eye catches when she sits in the top hat.  Then again…I love top hats.  It’s kind of like Lupin Light, and it’s just adorable.  Plus, it’s long, so you know how I love that stuff.  I know it got dubbed, and I wish I had a copy of that, but sadly, it’s subtitles all the way.  This might take awhile.

Nanatsuiro Drops – Episodes 1-4 Nanatsuiro Drops Cover

I had to re-watch the first two episodes of this show because I could not remember at all what it was about except that I got it confused with Magical Canan (which is a fanservice mess and is absolutely nothing like this anime).  Nanatsuiro Drops is a magical girl show about a competition to collect these things called star drops which this boy needs because it will allow him to stop changing into a stuffed goat every night to be this whiny girl’s familiar.  …yup.  Thank god it’s a short one.  It wouldn’t be so bad except the plot points are really hard to follow because they introduce all these new terms and this magical language, and once you’ve heard more than one nonsensical transformation catchphrase, they start to confuse you after awhile.  I’ll give it this, though, when the girls transform, some of them look nothing like they do in real life, disguising them completely.  I was actually surprised when I found out the secret identity of one of them.  Good on ya.

Save Me Lollipop! – Episodes 7-8 Save Me Lollipop Cover

Can you tell I’m trying really hard to complete random magical girl shows?  If not, well, that was my plan.  Unfortunately, I can only stomach a couple episodes at a time.  It’s not that this show is ridiculously bad, it’s just ridiculously…meh.  I do love the dub, though.  It’s the only thing that’s making this a little more tolerable.  So, our main girl now has a massive crush on one of her two protectors and she wants to confess to him at a “courage test.”  Which one will it be??  Who will gain her love?  Plus, more enemies!  Too many characters, guys.  Let’s make a rule to have four max per show, okay?

Pupa – Episode 8 Pupa Cover

TOO MUCH CENSORING.  This guy pretty much sums up my exact feelings about this episode here.  How can you censor a knife but not someone gouging someone’s eyes out??  Japan makes no sense.

 

 

 

Dragon Ball Movie 1 – Curse of the Blood Rubies (Completed!) Dragon Ball Curse of the Blood Rubies Cover

I actually had forgotten I bought the box set of the Dragon Ball movies…and it probably should have stayed that way.  The first movie was basically a re-telling of the part of Dragon Ball before the stupid Red Ribbon Army comes in with different villains and character introductions, etc.  It was okay.  But the dub was AWFUL.  Oh my god, Monica Rial as Bulma?  WHO DOES THAT??  It was just bad.  And having the voice of Luffy be the voice of Goku…no.  I’m going to have to watch more of the original series just to get the whines out of my head.  It was nice to see my BFF Yamcha, though.  Once again…needs to come back to the anime ASAP.  I ranked this 4/10 on MAL.

I am back down to currently watching 236 anime, and have completed 13 titles this year.  Welcome to the double digits, me!  Now, if I can only cut my list down to 230 by the end of the month…let’s work towards it.  Together. 😉

 

Anime Mondays #40

Does anyone have any weird holiday anime traditions?  I know this is an odd question, but I’m curious.  I mean, you could drag out your dusty, bargain bin copy of My Santa.  I won’t judge you.  You know what I’ve been doing the past couple years?  Staying up until 3am on Christmas Eve wrapping presents and watching One Piece.  It has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, but that’s how I get shit done.  Pirates and bow tying.  Feel free to tell me how awesome I am.  I do accept comments, and unless they are spam, they won’t get deleted, I promise.

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

Naruto – Episodes 38-43 Naruto cover

Boy, you know what I really wanted after that giant chunk of episodes that proved Sakura’s uselessness?  MORE SAKURA EPISODES.  God, just shoot me in the eye.  These weed-out-the-crap Chunin exam episodes are still happening (and I when I googled how to spell Chunin, I just found out this arc goes into episode 60+!  oh, god, and this isn’t even filler…) and apparently, they are going to show us every single stupid battle.  The group of episodes I watched this week didn’t have anything terribly epic except for the great bitch battle of the century, Sakura vs Ino, where I hoped and prayed that Ino would win the entire time, but knew in my head that that probably wouldn’t be the case.  I mean, come on, Naruto’s team obviously has to win every match they have, right?  Right??  Fortunately, I was incorrect in my prediction.  Sakura doesn’t lose, but she doesn’t win, either.  I’ll take the tie.  Still proves Sakura does not belong in the ninja club.  Let’s kick her out of the tree house.

Lupin the 3rd: Part II – Episodes 1-5 Lupin the 3rd Part II Cover

In the last Crunchyroll Anime Mystery Box I received, I was lucky enough to grab the first three volumes of this show.  Now, you should know how my OCD works by now; I am very leery to start an anime sequel without watching the first series first.  Like…it gives me the shivers.  But, I really didn’t feel like dropping thirty bucks on the first show right now, and this was the highlight of my mystery box, so I popped that sucker in.  First, a word of warning: episode 3 is not on the first volume.  It’s about Nazis and stuff, so it got pushed back to a way later disc.  Luckily, this is on Hulu, so as soon as I was done with episode 2, I went over there to see the “banned” episode.  Lupin the 3rd (III?  Third? It’s different everywhere.) is about a group of thieves who go around making plans to steal stuff.  However, in the end, they pretty much get nothing.  It’s very Cowboy Bebop.  I actually dig this show a lot, but if you don’t like that “older” anime art style, you probably won’t.  I thought it would be more like a kid’s show than it actually is…yeah, no.  There are half-naked ladies and sex jokes everywhere, but instead of it being stupid fanservice, it’s funny.  Gasp.  What a concept!  I liked this so much that I immediately turned on…

Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine – Episodes 1-4 Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine Cover

Thank you, Funimation Channel for allowing me to watch this dub the moment I switched over to another series.  Also, thank you Funimation in general for casting Michelle Ruff as Fujiko Mine, the same voice actress who played her in the Part II dub.  While she doesn’t sound exactly the same as she did ten years ago, it was such a great performance that I wasn’t thrown too much out of the world.  Fujiko Mine is a prequel to the Lupin series (or at least Part II, as I haven’t seen the first one), but it’s so much darker than the old show.  I mean…seriously.  It’s no Higurashi or anything, but it’s not a giant, comedic romp that Lupin the 3rd: Part II is.  The opening is so not safe for work that it’s not even funny, and don’t despair, Fujiko gets naked in every episode so far.  But the art style is fantastic.  It’s a throwback, but it’s not.  It uses today’s technology to create something really beautiful.  Fujiko is introduced to her gang from the original show one episode at a time, and she just steals the anime.  Talk about a master thief.  Four episodes in, and it’s fantastic.  I just hope it doesn’t peter out soon.  And I would watch at least a couple episodes of a prior series before jumping into this, just so you get the bare bones of what’s happening.

InuYasha – Episodes 14-15 InuYasha Cover

Late night shounen time!  Yes, there is a ‘u’ in there, I checked.  My apologies.  However, I can’t apologize for the two episodes I watched which were basically like…Kagome gets kidnapped and possessed by the ghost of InuYasha’s old almost lover…yeah.  Kinda boring, kinda dumb, wasn’t really feeling it.  But at least I finished a disc!  In 2014, I am going to really try to finish a bunch of shows before I start new ones.  This will probably be easy during the winter season as nothing is catching my eye besides the Sailor Moon re-make (which is going to be an ONA?  What the fuck??  It doesn’t even get to go on television???  My heart hurts a lot.).  Anyway, InuYasha.  I’ll get through you.  Or at least through box set one.

Devil Survivor 2: The Animation – Episode 1 Devil Survivor 2 The Animation Cover

Ah, yes, it’s the end of 2013, which means it’s time for Top Video/Post-a-Palooza, where I sit on youtube for long periods of time and check out everyone’s recommendations from the previous year.  I believe I caught this in a couple best OP videos, so I decided to turn it on.  This anime looks to be part survival game/part apocalypse in the first episode.  There is a website where you can see people’s faces right before they die if you sign up for it, and, lo and behold, the protagonist catches himself on there right before a train hits him and crushes him to death.  Or does it…  He is given the choice to live or die via the website, and when he decides to not kick the bucket, it automatically downloads this app onto his phone, which is like a live action Pokemon for demons where they actually come out of the phone and beat up other “bad” demons.  His two friends get this app, as well, and it’s like a continuous loop of “I wanna be the very best like no one ever was.”  I don’t think there will be training or a gotta catch ’em all attitude, but our protagonist does, apparently, have the strongest demon ever.  It’s a tiger.  Rawr.  The first episode was nothing special, and if it says something, I nodded off during the second one (twice).  I’ll stay awake though and plow through some more.

For some reason, as I was checking out old posts, my best of the week recap things aren’t showing up…I don’t know what’s up with that.  I type them.  Maybe I need a new layout.  Just go watch Fujiko Mine.  You won’t be disappointed.  And since you made it all the way to the end, here’s a free Crunchyroll guest pass:

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Next week marks the end of Diabolik Lovers, which I’m sure will make most of you weep with joy, while I weep for the end of my dirty little secret anime.  Everyone just hates it so much.  Now you know how I feel about Girls Bravo.  Suck it.