Chousoku Spinner

December 31, 2005

This isn’t a very popular anime in Japan (read it somewhere of course and due to lack of info on the web). Chousoku Spinner or Super Yo-yo as it’s more commonly known here is another one of those sports genre anime about, you guessed it, yo-yos. We focus on this kid Shunichi Domoto who’s the all-sports-rounder-saviour of his school (meaning he plays any sports and is quite good at it) except yo-yo. Not until his classmates Rian and Beso asked for his help to defeat the big bully who took their yo-yos. But that doesn’t even get him really interested in the game until the yo-yo champion, Hojoin shows off some cool techniques thus beating him in a long sleeper match. So you may guess, he wants revenge after that loss, typical isn’t it. And he’s gonna do it by entering the soon to be held yo-yo tournament in a week’s time. Not enough time to practice you say? The thing is, Shunichi is really gifted and has a hidden talent in yo-yos. You’ll notice this when he picks up and learns yo-yo tricks very fast or even in the first try (wish I had that skill in real life for other things). Three quarter of this anime will be focused on the tournament then. As predicted, he starts as an underdog and goes on beating experienced yo-yo players like the runner-up of last year’s tournament Lakagi, the loop the loop specialist Wappa, the petite girl who uses short yo-yo strings Mai, and the pro yo-yo circus performer Chuta Kogure, to meet Hojoin in the finals. But surprisingly, Shunichi didn’t win the final match either, which was a little shock to me (as you know heroes are suppose to win all the way right?). And the funny part was at the end of the anime, yo-yo master Nakamura announced several players to help in the ‘future development of spinners in Japan’ after crowning Hojoin. A few weird unnecessary characters making such short appearences. Also, he left out Shunichi, to the dismay of Rian. I thought he saw something in him. Guessed he changed his mind, huh. But as usual, Shunichi’s no quitter and he’ll practice even harder. End of show. Well, at least it isn’t that typical. Draggy at some times but overall I enjoyed it. Oh, one thing I notice is that the Nakamura guy seems to spend alot of time in the yo-yo shop’s toilet. Usually see him coming out from there. Can’t stand the tension, maybe?

Anime Clips Overload

December 30, 2005

Waaarrghhh…… A few days ago, I’ve downloaded and watch quite a number of anime clips and trailers. It was like anime overload. My head must be exploding now. But I loved it, yeah! This is due to the fact that my broadband on that day seems to be very fast (surprise surprise!) and I was downloading clips with the size of 10-15MB like nobody’s business and it’s been a long time since I’ve only waited for a short time to download things. Some of the clips/trailers were pretty interesting. Some had that comical effect and silliness while some were dead right serious and horror related. Action-packed, drama, romance, magic, adventure, you name it they’ve got it. Then there were those which narrates the storyline and those with random character’s voices here and there while some even just played the music without any narration. Macho men to pretty boys to cute animals/creatures to weird aliens/monsters to gigantic robots to pretty kawaii girls. Also, there were animes ranged from the olden times to the more modern high-tech in terms of storyline and drawing. Then there were some that had a little ecchi and hentai element (I didn’t download it on purpose, okay). Aaargh….. still reeling from that effect. What the heck, it’s not that I’ve watched every single anime, just these such as .hack//legend of the twilight, Air, Aquarian Age, Argento Soma, Arjuna, Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Chrono Crusade, Dirty Pair, Elfen Lied, E’s Otherwise, Gantz, Gravion, Gravion Zwei, Green Green, Grrl Power, Kino’s Journey, Love Hina, Maburaho, Madlax, Maboraha- Heartful Days, Matantei Loki Ragnarok, Mermaid Melody, Nuku Nuku, Nurse Witch Komugi, Onegai Twins, Outlaw Star, Planetes, Please Teacher!, Puny Puny Poemy, Ronin Warriors, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Sister Princess, Starship Operators, Super GALS, Those Who Hunt Elves, Ultimate Girls, and Witch Hunter Robin, just to name a few that’s all. Phew…
 
(Click on picture below to have a larger view of this anime montage)

Crayon Shin Chan

December 25, 2005

I don’t watch this anime often. But at first glance, Crayon Shin Chan may seem to be a weird anime. Firstly, one may notice the really awkward drawing. And I mean it’s really really awkward and one kind. Especially those eyes. You wouldn’t think that this would be a Japanese anime with those kind of eyes (anime fans & addicts should know those traditional anime eys and how they look like ). Anyway, the storyline goes something like this. It’s about a very naughty and mischievious boy named Shinnosuke (AKA Shin-Chan) and his special ability is to annoy and irritate people, especially his parents (although sometimes his intentions are good). So usually he does and succeeds wildly causing maximum ‘kek sei’ and havoc to everyone while he himself seemingly have a good time. Another thing is, that at first I thought that this show was aimed for younger children. But then I noticed a little bit of hentai element here. For instance, sometimes they show Shin-Chin naked upfront and they draw his genitials like very ‘cacat’ and weird. I’m sure it doesn’t seem to be like the real thing but you can definately make it out. Also, he seems to talk back to his parents. Bad influence and not a good role model for kids isn’t it. Because of this, I read that there’s been some uproar by parents in Japan about this. But I didn’t follow up on that matter. All I know is that, if you don’t take this nonsensical violence and bad behaviour too seriously and to heart, I’m sure that this anime would be just another mindless-comical-just-for-laughs one. I think.

Detective Conan

December 23, 2005

This must have been a really really long running anime. Detective Conan actually spans over 400 episodes over 8 years! Plus, there has been numerous opening and ending songs to it. This doesn’t even include movie length features (also in abundance). I can say that this anime is the Japanese equivalent to the American cartoon, The Simpsons (in terms of air time, course). You see, Conan is a very very smart, meticulous and is very sharp in spotting details. Furthermore, he looks like a 7 year old kid. But wait, looks can be deceiving, he actually became so overnight. Kudo Shinichi is a up and coming seventeen year old detective, but one night while on a date with his girlfriend Ran (which also partly becomes a crime solving date), some bad syndicate made him eat some weird experimental pill and his body has shrunked as a result of it. So he conceals his identity as ‘Shinichi’s cousin’ and ‘temporarily’ lives with his girlfriend and her seemingly hopeless detective dad. As expected, he solves crimes like a breeze and the suspects usually gets very surprised to be exposed by such a small kid (they seem to belittle children and think that they’re dumb). But in most cases Conan seems to be humble, in the sense that he usually puts Ran’s dad asleep and then go on ranting on the clues and evidence. So it may seem to other people that he’s really in deep thought. I mean, after hundred of episodes, couldn’t they tell the difference. But of course, this is partly to hide is true identity as well. Meanwhile, he’s also on a quest to find out the baddies who’re responsible for his shrunken stature and tries to find a cure for it. Overall, if you like short detective shows, then this anime isn’t so bad to watch. Oh yes, one thing I noticed is that, the characters here have ‘proportionately large’ ears. Hmmm… Maybe it gives the anime some identity in the ‘over-saturated large eyes industry’.

Mujin Wakusei Survive

December 21, 2005

I’ve only actually watched 2 episodes of this anime. Uninhabited Planet Survive is somewhat a cross between that story Robinson Crusoe and the hit series Lost. The difference is, that the survivors are teenagers and there’s no suspicion or betrayal kind of dark motive here. The rest of the elements is pretty similar. In the future where life is so dependent on technology, so basic living is so unheard of. A group of students on an excursion experiences some space turbulence and before you know it, they all end up being stranded on some weird uninhabited island. The 8 (actually 7 kids and 1 strange pink talking cat) survivors (if I may call them so) must then work together to survive until help arrives. Sounds familar isn’t it. Of course the survivors not only have to deal with the hazardous environments and make do with scare resources but ultimately trust and co-operate with one another. And speaking of which, there’s a range of colourful characters here. First, one can see that Luna is the brave and natural leader of the group and is the backbone in keeping the group together. Then there’s that all-rounder and loner Kaoru who thinks he doesn’t need anybody’s help, but gradually learns to accept that sometimes he needs assistance and that no man is an island. Also, there’s the obedient and ‘strong-man’ Bell, the quiet introvert Sharla, the mechanical genius Shingo, the spoiled rich upper class Howard, the prideful violinist Menori, and don’t forget Luna’s pet cat Chako. Then recently a new alien-like kid, Adam, became part of the group. Didn’t know how that happened, must have missed too many episodes in between. So each episode basically sees how they overcome obstacles and how their relationship fortifies and grows. Do you think they’ll be rescued in the end or find out the truth about Adam or what about Luna’s strange flashbacks. Maybe. But I’ll bet that this anime isn’t so bad entirely. Now if this was shown at ‘normal’ hours, I just might answer those questions. Darn…

Doraemon

December 17, 2005

I can still remember watching my favourite cartoon (I wasn’t aware of anime at that time) Doraemon during my younger years. Yeah, the cat who’s afraid of mice and likes to eat that brown bun. Anybody who does that high-pitch squeaky voice will automatically remind me of Doraemon (because the dubbed voice of the show was so). It was my favourite show back then. That’s because the plot was pretty straightforward and the comedy part was quite funny as well (at least for younger children). Or maybe there weren’t many other cartoons shown during that time. As of even now, this anime is still showing in our TV shores! I’m not sure whether it’s a repeat (has to be) or new episodes, somehow I stopped watching this show over the years as I grew up. Ah… Such fond memories. Imagine a robot cat sent from the future back in time to help guide and be shown the proper path in life. How nice. Unfortunately, that’s not in the case for Nobita as he’s lazy and always wants to play rather than study. So usually Doraemon would use certain tools or gadgets, which he takes out from his mysterious pocket (better than a kangaroo’s pouch, seems to fit, keep and have everything) to help him. Often having many adventures (or misadventures) with it, and having bearing the grunt of the backfired or negative side-effects of the gadget. Then there’s the big bully, Jayan, and his sidekick, Sunyo. These 2 usually pick on Nobita but sometimes are good with him. Also, there’s that girl, the hardworking and kind-hearted Shizuka, that Nobita likes but not really sure whether he’s really serious or not to make her his girlfriend or vice versa. But that’s not so important here. Sometimes the anime ends ‘hanging’ halfway, meaning since that each episode is independent of each other and doesn’t depend on what happened previously. Also, there has been alot of movies spawned since then. And I mean alot. I don’t recall watching any of them either. Ah… the nostalgia… looks like yesterday once more.

Ultra Maniac

December 16, 2005

One reason why I decided to watch Ultra Maniac was because of the 2 pretty and kawaii girls. Well, you know me, I’m a sucker for those bishoujo type of animes. Besides that, I also liked the hillarious comedy that never ceased to make me laugh. So what’s so interesting or funny about this anime you ask? It’s about this girl Nina Sakura who is a witch from the Magic Kingdom, travels to Earth to find 5 holy stones so that she can qualify to be a candidate to become a princess back on her home world. On Earth she befriends a girl named Ayu Tateishi when she learns of her mission and mystical powers and agrees to help her to find the stones. As there are other candidates as well on Earth who wants to collect the stones, Nina has to be fast and beware, especially of her main rival Maya and that talking pet crow of hers. So the two become the inseparable best of friends. In return, Nina would use her magic and try to help Ayu in getting the boy she has a major crush on (think of it as killing 2 birds with 1 stone, as Nina not only gets to help her best friend but practice her amateurish magic as well). Most of the time, her magic backfires or has some side-effect. That’s where the laughter comes in. But they manage to pull through each one at the end. Of course, it’s not just comedy all the way. There’re some parts of the show where it’s serious and dramatic. Like when Ayu suspected that Nina also has a crush on her secret admirer, Kaji and the time when Nina discovers his dark nature and faces a dillema to tell it her best friend. Overall, I’d say this anime has a good mix of magic, love and charming bishoujos (yeah, you’ve heard enough of that already). Oh yeah, I also find it a little funny that Nina uses a tiny portable PC to turn into a witch (her dress changes and she has access to her magic powers). Ah well, modern age technolody combined with magic isn’t such a bad idea afterall.

Mint VS Rena

December 11, 2005

At a glance, they looked like distant cousins. That’s right, I’m talking about Mint Blancmanche of Galaxy Angel and Rena Lanford of Star Ocean Ex. Don’t the 2 curiously look alike. Well, mainly because both has light blue hair colour and they both have pointy ears (Err… actually I’m not really sure if those pointy ears are Mint’s second ears or some antenna because she has normal sized ears too). Besides that, everything else about them is relatively different. I think. Let’s start off with Mint. She’s a soft spoken little girl of the military unit called Angel Unit and is usually the brains behind the team. Rena too is soft spoken and shy, and is part of Claude’s party on a journey to destroy the evil force, but doesn’t come up with brilliant ideas as compared to Mint. Romance wise, Rena has a secret crush on her team leader Claude and Diaz, her fellow tribes people. Where as for Mint, I’m not too sure she has any crush on any guy so far, but she sure has a strange habit and hobby for dressing up in weird costumes. As Rena comes from a more serious type genre as compared to Mint’s more comical type, I suppose Rena has better fighting skills and magical projections (actually mainly being healing powers) compared to Mint. But however, don’t put Mint down just yet, although small and pint size, she can be very scheming at times. Of course, both ladies would also gladly help their friends whenever in need. In conclusion, I would say that both of them are ‘okay’. Though, somehow I feel that Rena is a little more ‘kawaii’ than Mint. Really…

Hamtaro

December 10, 2005

Cute furry hamsters. Yup, that’s the main attraction of the anime Hamtaro. Actually, it’s not like I’m totally infatuated with these little creatures. In fact, it’s more of the wierd stuffs they do. Basically the anime is all about the hamsters having their adventures. Just like their motto ‘Little Hamsters Big Adventures’. So mainly these ham-hams (that’s what these hamsters are also nicknamed) go around having some crazy adventure of their own like helping some other hamsters in need, trying to save themselves and escape from nasty predicaments, or even sometimes do a spoof of some movie. Well, it’s quite comical in some way, I should say. Then there’s one thing that bugs me a little. Do you know that some of the hamsters have man-made items? I mean, it gives a sense of ‘uniqueness’ to these hamsters. But, a hamster playing the guitar, not to mention the maracas, or having a sock tag behind, what about that one that wears a cape covering the whole of itself (looks like a pac-man ghost), and wearing spectacles too. See what I mean. Also, there’s a little side-story from the human side, Laura (Hamtaro’s pet owner) just to add a little depth to the story. And then at the end of each episode, we can see that Laura and Hamtaro before bedtime recaps the day’s incredible outing and hopes that tomorrow will be even more fun. I think this anime is targeted for little children. But it was a hit with the adults in Japan and here too! So for me, I think those hamsters are just cute. Cute, and let’s just leave it there like that, not even a little more. Oh yeah, the English opening theme is weird too. Weeeiiiiird…..

Ranma 1/2

December 9, 2005

This was the anime that get me started to go crazy about Japanese animes. Somehow, I was magically attracted to watching Ranma 1/2 when I first watched it and ever since then I’ve wanted to watch more of it. Perhaps the thing was they mixed some martial arts action in it with adventure and love. Speaking of love, that’s what this whole anime mainly revolves around. Yeah, the love triangle, confusing and er… let’s just say it involves many parties. Of course, fans of the series would also know that our main guy Ranma has a curse that transforms himself into a girl whenever being poured by cold water and back to a boy with warm/hot water. There’re other characters with these curse as well, like Ranma’s dad, his arch-rival-sometimes-pal Ryoga and Mousse. What makes it more interesting is that Ranma has 4 girls vying very hard to be his ‘future wife’. Actually, make that 3. Although he’s match-maked to marry Akane by their parents, they still hate each other but gradually learns to accept each other. Though, they may have feelings for each other by then, but they ceratinly don’t show it. Ah well, ganbatte yo Shampoo, Ukyo and Kodachi-san. But that’s just Ranma’s side, there are other character love triangles as well so you might get really confused and messed up in the helter-skelter of who’s trying to love who. But you’ll manage to do so in time. However, some later episodes at the series’ end may be a little draggy and boring and may deviate a little to provide some variety. But of course, episodes dealing with love is the one I love best, especially when those ladies fight over Ranma’s attention and love! (sounds like I like to see cat-fight, meow, maybe). Sigh… Will Ranma and Akane walk down the aisle together one day? Will Kuno and Kodachi ever find out that Ranma and Osage-No-Onna are the same person? Will… nah, too many open ended questions. Best left to my imagination. Oh oh… Feeling some jealousy somewhere…

To The Light

December 5, 2005

   Channeru sugu ni, kaechau mitai ni ne,
   Me no mae no RIARU kara nigeteta
 
Woooow… Another song that I’ve been addicted to sing for several weeks already. This time is To The Light, which is the opening theme for the anime Star Ocean Ex.
 
   Tashikametakute, watashi dake ni dekiru ashita wo
 
Hahahaha… I must also say, that I sound really close the singer, Hattan Amika, as well *faints + pukes/vomits/throws up*. Or else I wouldn’t have been so interested and keen to sing this song over and over and over and over again.
 
   Go To The Light, dare yori mo atsui, joutnetsu no mune ni sakesetai,
   Tooi yume sae mo, terashidasu doko ni ite mo
 
Who knows when I’ll get fed up and stop singing this song. Maybe I can enter the World Guiness Book Of Records as the longest song sung consecutively and repeatedly. *eyes rollling*. But until then, hit me baby one more time from the top again!
 
P/S: Since the anime has ended more than a month ago, it looks like there’s going to be another potential sequel. You know, Claude and co defeated the bad guy but the bad guy didn’t exactly die totally but will be back. So our heroes will all continue their perilous journey when they step into that weird portal. End of story. *Sighs*. Anyway, back to the singing…
 
   Watashi to iu arika mitsukeru tame…

Medabots

December 3, 2005

In alot of ways, Medabots reminds me about Pokemon. Instead of using monsters to battle it out in the ring, they used robots. And then just like in Pokemon, each of these robots has got a master or a trainer (usually young kids too). Also during the battle phases, the trainer would instruct and command their robots to fight with their opponents like whether to counter-attack or avoid a tackle, things like that. Then the storyline too is somewhat generally pretty similar. A young boy Ikki and his Medabot named Medabee, goes around having ‘Robattles’ so that eventually they can enter some world class tournament and be the best of the best. Along the way, they encounter several obstacles during their journey like helping other Medabots, keeping the ‘baddies’ (there’s a group wearing black jumpsuits with weird antennas sticking out of their heads) at bay and earning their wraths and praises from friends and even unknowns (read: mysterious guys who want to see him at the world tournament but don’t really reveal who they are). Hmm… Sounds so much like Pokemon with a little twist. However, of course there’re some differences. At the end of each Robattles, the winner gets to take the loser’s Medaparts (some special part/accessory which gives that particular robot a particular skill/power). Plus, the graphics here isn’t as polished as compared to Pokemon. But if robots are your main preference, then I guess this show isn’t that bad after all.

Beyblade

December 2, 2005

This is another one of those bishounen animes where the main characters are all males. Beyblade falls under the anime category of sports type. Well, the kind where they mix sports with a little bit of futuristic elements. It’s basically team-based top-spinning but the tops aren’t the ordinary kind of tops. Once the tops are unleashed in the ring, they can produce some ‘terror-merror’ attacking powers, like some dragon or a phoenix or tiger kind of thing (I believe they’re called bit beasts). Since each team has 4 members, as usual, each members also specialises in certain areas like weight disk and blade base (sorry, I don’t know what’re these terms, just ripped them off from some source, sorry). So we focus on these 4 young Beyblade Masters wanna-be, Takao, Kai, Rei and Max (plus that professor Kenny who doesn’t participates but provides support in terms of the improving/upgrading/fix the weaknesses of the blades and other blade technical related stuffs), who goes around the world participating in tournaments and championships to become the world’s best Beybladers. Of course they became the world’s number 1 at the end (caught a little glimpse of the ending, hehe) and I recalled everybody whom they’ve beaten wanted to challenge them (in a good way of course) again. Ah well, not really my kind of anime, but just watched enough to know.

Shin Hakkenden

December 1, 2005

One of the early animes I watched and couldn’t piece the whole thing together was Shin Hakkenden. As far as I can recall, it has a little bit of celestial and futuristic elements, and is narrated from a little girl’s point of view (one of the story’s 8 heroes later in the series). Earth was destroyed by some comet a long time ago but before that happened some saviour, Fuse, foretold this and manage to evacuate the peace loving Earth people somewhere else. Fast forward to the future where there are many wars going on here and there, we focused on this little boy Kou (somehow looks abit like Ranma!) who wields a sword with a special jewel on it, and his journey. Along the way he’ll meet up with 7 other individuals whom each posses this special jewel. You see, the 8 pieces of jewels can unleash some ‘terror’ power when needed and also plays a vital role in the creation of a new Earth. Sounds complicating right? Well, it’s gonna get a little worse, the main bad guy, I believe is suppose to be a descendent of Fuse, is furious when he doesn’t get a piece of the jewel himself. Because of this, he wants to stop the creation of a new Earth. You guessed it, our heroes must overcome this adversity and save the day. Since I didn’t see the ending, I’m not sure how it all ends. But I bet it’s the ‘good-triumphed-over-evil-in-the-end’ right? Oh yeah, one thing that boggles my mind still is that, one of the 8 heroes, Rei, I thought he was a guy which sounded like a girl. But he is actually a SHE! A transvestite, I’d say. Sheesh…