Magikano

May 27, 2006

If not for that last episode, Magikano would’ve really been quite a fun anime to watch. Yeah, the ending spoils it all and left quite a bad taste in my mouth. But more of that later on.  Let’s begin with the good stuffs first.
 
This is another one of those boy-meets-girl kinda anime with lots of nonsensical, crazy and comical stuffs plus some magic. Yup, with lots of silly and nonsensical action, each episode doesn’t cease to make me laugh out loud like a mad idiot. So much so that I’ve always been looking forward to see the next episode with great anticipation.
 
We start off the series with the main male protagonist (and probably the only main one), Haruo Yoshikawa, and ordinary boy making his usual trip to school, commenting how he had a perfect school attendance record. Suddenly some cute girl appears in front of him for a short moment and then suddenly vanishes. Of course, this made Haruo a little curious.
 
So he went home and told his sisters Maika, Chiaki, and Fuyuno what happened. Little did he know that this will be the start of chaotic things to come. So much for the peaceful life. Luckily, that girl that Haruo saw earlier on, Ayumi Mamiya, is supposed to be the new transfer student and is now in the same class with Haruo. But somehow Haruo felt an aura of hatred around her and well, as normal people usually does, feels insecure and scared. Yeah, she seems to be watching him with cold and angry eyes.
 
What’s the reason? Well, you see, Ayumi comes from some magic kingdom and is suffering from some sort of curse (I still don’t know what the curse really is in the end) which only Haruo can break it. Yeah… He’s the guy that she’s been seeing in some big mirror in her home. But Haruo’s powers are currently latent and the only way to bring it out is to ‘make him a man‘. You know what that means. Read seduction. That’s where the fun part begins.
 
Oh yeah, since Ayumi’s first impression on Haruo was a geek and so ‘un-handsome’. that’s the reason why she felt angry and disappointed. But anyhow, she’s determined to get rid of her curse at any costs.
 
Of course, Haruo’s 3 sisters wouldn’t let that happen, especially the overprotective Maika. But unknown to Haruo, his 3 sisters posses magic as well and they constantly hide it from him. Yeah, there’re lots of things going on behind Haruo’s back. But like they say, ignorance is bliss.
 
But sometimes they overuse their magic and goes out of hand, making Haruo witnessing everything in disbelief. So how? Don’t worry, there’s this giant amnesia hammer, that when knocked over someone’s head would make that person forget what ever happened (at least the parts where magic was used). Poor Haruo. But look at it this way, anybody would get amnesia if they’re being hammered so hard by that hammer, right?
 
Besides Ayumi and Haruo’s 3 sisters, there’re other characters which add spice and even more silliness to the series. Like the student council president Yuri Kurosu, who upfront seems to be strict and doesn’t approve in publicly indecent behaviours (but deep down she has indecent thoughts of Haruo. Naughty naughty girl), Marin Nijihara, who is supposedly a clumsy and naive witch hunter (always targeting Ayumi as the bad witch), and Rika Anju, the enigmatic maid of Ayumi’s household sent to the service of the Haruo’s household (seems to be able to thwart Ayumi’s seducing attempts).
 
Then there’s 2 of Haruo’s classmates, Hajime and Sora, who’re members of some scientific paranormal activities club. While Hajime is the seemingly loud-mouth and boastful person, Sora (who reminds me of Mamoru of Kage Kara Mamoru) is one of those ‘characters with no dialogue’. Yup, never heard him speak a word. Plus, he always holds a camera and seen taking pictures with it. Speaking of these 2, I think Hajime and Sora also run some sort of TV marketing business. Whenever there’re some weird occurences that need some weird devices, a scene depicting like those Smart Shop advertisements appear. Telling all about the product and what it does. Like that ghost detection summoning device in episode 6. Hurry! Call this number and buy now! Hahaha. So funny lah. But usual, they’ll be blasted away by the girls.
 
Most of the episodes will see how Ayumi comes up with various schemes and plots to try and seduce Haruo. Usually with hillarious and disastrous results. Like in episode 8, during the school sports festival where Ayumi used her magic to write in some book where what ever is written in it becomes true. Thus, winner of the school sports festival will get to kiss Haruo. So it’s a 4 way fight (Ayumi, Maika, Yuri and Marin) to see who gets the kiss from prince charming. Yeah, the part where various of the school clubs somehow got mundanely involve to stop the girls from winning so funny. But in the end neither of them won, and surprisingly it was Chiaki. They all freaked out when Haruo kissed her. But to Chiaki, like nothing only. Hehehe.
 
Even the helter-skelter itself started in episode 1, where Ayumi put some spell onto a sleeping Haruo and when he wakes up, he will fall in love with the first person he sees when he opens he eyes. So while Haruo sleeps like a baby his 3 sisters tries to put an end to this (wonder how does Haruo sleep with all that racket). And the first thing that Haruo saw was that giant eel. Could you imagine the scene and the reaction of those girls.
 
Or in that slightly ‘perverted’ episode 10 where Ayumi became desperate and took drastic action by wearing some panty with a face of a talking cat. And you guessed it. The only one who can take it off is Haruo. Imagine the misunderstandings and misconceptions when Haruo does that (actually he fainted and somehow his hands grabbed Ayumi’s panty, which then comes off) and the look of how Maika turned into some green monster and started bashing Ayumi. So hillarious, I tell you.
 
But all this really comes to a stop in the last episode. Sigh… Now for the bad part. Before the last episode, we could see that Ayumi’s younger sister Michiru, who’s determined to stop Ayumi from breaking her curse because she’ll be the head of the Mamiya family if so, finds out that Haruo’s latent powers are more than what it seems. She concluded that his powers will allow her to rule the world as well. So she kidnaps Haruo back to the magic world (with the ‘concerned’ girls in pursuit of course) and tries her best to seduce him.
 
You see, according to their homeroom teacher, Hongou, who in fact is actually an artificially created human, the Demon King which is residing within Haruo’s body is going to revive and consume the entire world once that mirror shatters. Long ago, 6 sages sealed the Demon King within that mirror, but it wasn’t perfect and the Demon King always seem to revive eventually. So the only way is the turn back the time! And that they all have been reliving that same time over and over again many times. Wow… I didn’t expect this nor did I saw this coming. Now, is Haruo the Demon King himself or just a vessel? Wasn’t quite sure even when the whole thing ended.
 
So with all the girls power including the reluctant Michiru, they manage to turn back time by 1 year. But in that last moment before everything goes back, Ayumi finally confesses that she really loved Haruo and is more concerned of saving him rather than breaking her curse. Yup, they locked lips and everything rewinds.
 
So you could see the end credits with scenes rewinding backwards from the last episode to the first episode. Selected scenes, of course. Can’t be showing the entire series backwards in a minute and a half, couldn’t they. And the last scene was just exactly like the first scene. Haruo walking to school saying his perfect school attendance record when Ayumi suddenly appeared in front of him. Just like deja vu. The end.
 
Aiyah… I really didn’t like how it all ended and that reliving that 1 whole year again and again was something I find rather disturbing. But it was one of those few animes where the ending’s really unique and shocking (in my opinion). But after watching the entire 13 episodes, I began to think back in time too, that with all the hillarious and silly actions, this last tiny bit shouldn’t put me down easily. Yup, I still find it fun and exciting to watch overall. I read somewhere that season 2 is in the making. Can’t wait… Can I turn the time forward?

Fullmetal Alchemist

May 26, 2006

I really didn’t fully understand the whole show even when I finished watching Fullmetal Alchemist. That’s because, the anime was shown in Japanese (which is a good thing) but without any subtitles (which is a bad thing)! And with my limited Japanese vocabulary, I’d be going ‘err…’, ‘huh…’, ‘uumm…’ most of the time, trying to figure things out.
 
Even when I try to do some reading up from sources over the Internet, it didn’t really help that much either. I’m still as confused as ever. Yeah… that’s because there were quite a number of characters, quite a number of plots and subplots here and there, and quite a number of terminology and jargon. You really need to be a fan (read: obssessed) about this anime to comprehend things. At least that’s what I think.
 
So basically here’s what I’ve figured out. The 2 main protagonists, brothers Edward (Ed) and Alphonse (Al) Elric, tried to revive their dead mom when they were young. In order to do so, they tried their hands at alchemy. However this process was a failure and there was a price to be paid. Al lost his entire body while Ed lost his left leg. In order to save Al, Edward sacrificed his right arm to seal his younger brother’s soul in a robot like armour.
 
Before we move on, I’d like to point out that the term alchemy here refers to the ability to transform one matter to another matter using a transmutation circle (devices which look like some round circles with weird patterns, used by alchemists to transmutate). Why is the term alchemy different here? It’s because, this anime is set in an alternate version of our world. Hmm…
 
Then there’s that legendary philosopher’s stone (nothing to do with Harry Potter), which is said to bypass the Law of Equivalent Exchange. It’s some law which means that in order to gain, something of equal value must be lost. So this is everybody who have suffer from the effects of a failed alchemy dreams for. Something like the Holy Grail. But later on, Ed and Al finds out that there’re some sacrifices need to made to produce it. The part where they discovered the secret Laboratory Five. So they’re in a bind whether or not to creat the philosopher’s stone by sacrificing some prisoners there (of course, they didn’t lah, after much persuasion from Al).
 
So anyway, fast forward a few years, Ed and Al got spurred by a State Alchemist guy named Roy Mustang to joined the organization and work for him in order to achieve their goals in finding the philosopher’s stone in order to restore back to their original bodies. Because Ed became the youngest alchemist, he’s been given the nickname ‘Fullmetal’. But this is often confused among other people as they mistakenly think that the ‘Fullmetal’ is Al. Obviously, he’s the one with the metal armour, right? Along their way they encounter many many things and many many interesting characters.
 
Like Homonculi, which serves as the ‘bad guys’ of the series. Seven of them actually AKA the Seven Deadly Sins (with names like Envy, Lust, Wrath, Greed, etc, how fitting). But I’m not delving into much of the details because I’ve got a headache trying to figure things out. Also there’s that Chimera, which is some hybrid between man and beasts. And that Mr Scar who goes around killing State Alchemists because of that Ishbal Massacre in which he was a survivor. Yeah, and some State Alchemists were involved too. Can’t blame him for the hatred towards them.
 
Anyway, let me skip to the last few episodes. Most of the Homonculi already died. Al’s body has become the philosopher’s stone. Dante is using Al to achieve her own goals. Ed has been thrown to the other side of the gate (that is, our world during World War 1, London). Roy and Pride engage in hand to hand combat. Archer has become part robot, which reminds me of Terminator. Ed briefly came back and has some fight with Envy. Envy stabs and kills Ed. But I wonder did Ed really die. I mean, he went back to our world then. Envy tries to follow Ed to the other side of the gate but gets ‘eaten’ by some weird creatures. Dante’s plans then were ruined. But she faced off with Gluttony and both of them died (didn’t show it anyhow). Roy kills Pride, Riza kills Archer. Wow… so messy lah. What’s going on.
 
In the end, we could see that when all of this ended, Al is restored to his normal human self again but has no memories of what has happened because the 4 years that he and Ed spent researching is ‘traded off ‘ in exchange for this. I think that’s what happened. Wrath now fitted with Ed’s automail, ran away somewhere. Anyway, Al’s teacher, Izumi Curtis, took him under her care and vowed to make Al a better Alchemist. But we also see Ed who’s now in our world along with his dad, Hohenheim. Ed having some rocket blueprints? I wonder what that meant. But anyway he vowed to find a way back to his world. And is there some chemistry between Riza and Roy in the end? Seems like it but don’t count on it. The series ends with both Ed and El extending their arms to the sky (though they’re both in different worlds) catching a train to somewhere.
 
So you see, even with this brief (well, it could be over long winded than this) blog, see how confusing and messy this could get. Plus, there isn’t any romance or chemistry with Ed or Al with Winry Rockbell, the Elric’s childhood friend and a pretty good (and pretty looking too) mechanic. I also felt that her presence didn’t really have any significant impact on the entire series.
 
Then there’s that Major Alex Louis Armstrong guy. He’s always showing his muscles and body off and bragging about something.  Another funny thing I’d like to point out is that, I find it funny that Al in such a fearsome looking robot armour, had such a child-like voice. So unfitting. But I guess I got used to it in the end. And, why is he wearing a loincloth? I thought every part of his body is metal. Don’t tell me that there’s still flesh and skin at that ‘part’. Nah… maybe not. But it’s quite contrasting the characters of the 2 Elric brothers. Ed is somewhat stubborn, hot-headed and rash whereas Al seems to be the gentler and calmer voice of reasoning.
 
And that Roy Mustang, though an ally with Ed and Al, he seems to always try and annoy Ed whenever he can especially about his short stature. And what do you get when 2 hot-headed Alchemist clash? You know the answer. Interesting guy, some more suggested that if he’d become to new State Alchemist head, he’d make all female State Alchemist wear mini skirts!
 
There isn’t any major comic relief episode except for episode 37 where it’s about attempts to get Jean Havoc a girlfriend and that mysterious warehouse with human bones (only later on to be discovered that some dog just buried its bones there). Of course, bits here and there got lah in other episodes.
 
Overall, because this anime’s a sci-fi horror action drama flick, there’re certain parts where it’s scary, dark and gruesome. So which means, I won’t be seeing it again. Even if there’re subtitles provided and I have all the time in the world or somebody offeres to pay me to watch it again. It’s rather ok to me, since I’m not that big fan of this series. Plus, I don’t want to be confused (and be scared) all over again, even though I’d understand just a little bit this time round.
 
I’m not saying that this is a bad anime. It’s just that somehow it doesn’t really appeal to me. Besides the huge fanbase, it really spawned several video games, graphic novels, a movie, and merchandise. So I’m sure there’s something real good about it.

He Is My Master

May 20, 2006

A mix of cuteness and comedy with a little hentai. Yup, that’s what I’d say after watching He Is My Master. Though there’re only 12 episodes in this series, but each episode is enough to make me laugh out real loud.
 
So basically this is the plot. Izumi Sawatari and her younger sister, Mitsuki, just ran away from home with their pet alligator, Pocchi (wonder how they could fit him in that little bag in the first place. Plus, it looks so unlike a real alligator, if you know what I mean). They then stumble upon a huge (very huge) mansion right smack in the middle of the city.
 
Just their luck, the mansion’s owner is looking for maids to work in the mansion. So the 2 girls of course gave it a try at first. To their horror, they discovered that the mansion’s owner, Yoshitaka Nakabayashi, is a 14 year old millionaire who inherited his parent’s enormous wealth after their demise. Plus, he is rather loud-mouth, bossy, perverted and has a fetish for uniforms.
 
You see, the 2 girls could’ve just turned down the offer, but unfortunately Izumi had to bump and break Yoshitaka’s priceless items. Thus, incurring his wrath and she had to somehow pay back by working as his maid. Yup, so young already got debt problems already. Plus, if they were to go away, they won’t have any place to stay or go to.
 
Speaking of Yoshitaka, at first he may seem arrogant and would want to do things his way. But when Izumi’s really in trouble, he’d suddenly got a change of heart and becomes a gentleman. You’d stop for a moment to think that, hey, maybe he isn’t so bad after all. But in the end, you’ll realize that it’s all just a fake. And he’ll go back to his normal self again. And Izumi will usually bashed and beat him up (but she does this to him all the other times as well).
 
If two maid’s a company and three’s a crowd, then you’re right. It gets even more chaotic with a third maid Yoshitaka hired, Anna. At first she was in love with him. But after a series of misunderstandings from Izumi, Anna began to fall in love with her and would do anything for her and to be with her. Yup, she turned into a lesbian. Really.
 
Once you’ve seen a few episodes, you can guess the plot and what’s going to happen next. Everytime when there’s some problem or disagreement, the scheming Mitsuki will come up with some sort of weird contest and usually Izumi is always pulled into it no matter how hard she tries to stay out of it. Then there’s lots of chaos and mayhem (in a silly way). In the end, whatever the results, the real loser is always Izumi. Always pity her lah. Yeah, caught in a bind. Realized too late that this was all a set up by her little sister. Then she accidentally breaks another of Yoshitaka’s prized possessions and her debts increases again, wiping out whatever earlier efforts to reduce that debt, as shown in the end of each episodes her accumulated debts. And you’ll see Yoshitaka planning what’s next for the girls in his room. Plus, since the mansion is riddled with hidden cameras, Mitsuki takes advantage of this and usually posts pictures of her sister on the Internet. Yeah, izumi’s got a huge fan base and Mitsuki’s running it. Plus she uses sales from pictures she sold from the Internet to help offset her sister’s debt. You can look at this from a good or negative perspective. Hmmm… Izumi’s still the loser here.
 
Besides the silly and comical actions, the other characters too are quite silly and amusing themselves. For instance Pocchi. That alligator has got some human preferences. I mean, he likes girls and is very attached to Izumi (seen trying to rip a clothes off. Can that be sexual harrasement?). Then there’s that Mitsuki bodyguard squad. A squad made up of her classmates who admire her and will go to any length to protect her. Wonder what happened to them after that fake rescue attempt ‘Die-Hard’ spoof show.
 
Speaking of which, Mitsuki is really a lucky girl isn’t she as compared to her sister. I mean she’s got it her own bodyguard squad, doesn’t get into trouble (but often looks for one for her sister, if you look at it that way), so carefree that she always agrees with Yoshitaka’s ideas (much to the ire of Izumi of course).
 
Then there’s Izumi and Mitsuki’s father. In some ways also a pervert (one reason why they left home) and at times always wanting to make an escape plan to bring back the girls. Speaking of which, their mom seems to be quite sly and conspiring too. You’ll notice this as she often asks Mitsuki whether that this is her plan or comment something on it. Some parents, I’d say.
 
Plus, if you really pay attention, you’d find even more funny stuffs. Like everytime when Izumi asks if there’s a God or if He really exists, you’ll see for a few short moments as God here is portrait as an alligator and a hamster doing some fun things like fishing in the clouds. Then there’s an episode where Izumi’s little sister Karin, pays them a visit and got lost in the mansion. She stumbled upon a rack full of dolls. And if you’re an anime geek, you’ll quickly recognize that the dolls come from several animes like Evangelion, Kare Kano, Gunbuster, FLCL and Mahoromatic. There are even dolls of Izumi and Mitsuki as well. This provides some eye candy.
 
So it really pays to keep your eyes and ears peeled. Of course, you need to have some knowledge and know-hows of other animes as well. There’s really quite a number of trivias/reference/spoofs made here. Like that last episode ‘Exchange of Equivalency‘ liner said by Seiichirou, which is made in reference with Fullmetal Alchemist (yeah, he was the voice of Edward in that anime too. How fitting).
 
The title of the episodes isn’t spared. Especially in episode 5 and 6. The title was so long and covered nearly the entire screen and when the narrator read it, she read it so fast that it was so darn funny lah. So much so I don’t even know what she’s trying to say.
 
The last few episodes see how Izumi took the opportunity to get away from Yoshitaka by working for Yoshitaka’s filthy rich cousin, Seiichirou and becoming some Idol at the same time. Yeah, Izumi felt great at first. No more wearing weird maid outfits, being so stressed up doing things for Yoshitaka, plus Seiichirou seems to be a little more gentleman and less pervert than Yoshitaka (of course later on you’ll find out that he shares the same hobbies of pervertness like Yoshitaka).
 
But this forced Yoshitaka into depression and bankruptcy, thus he had no choice but to sell his mansion to their family’s rival Takami. Well, you know Izumi, worried but at the same time couldn’t decide if she wanted to go back to him. But eventually she did and had a face off with Takami, this time the roles being reversed as Mitsuki is now the prize in additon.
 
Before you know it, Izumi of course won but not without some fight back from Takami. Then you’ll realize that this again is actually a big elaborated scheme by Mitsuki and Yoshitaka to win back Izumi. Shucks… Didn’t see that one coming. Yeah, his depression and bankruptcy is so real so that Izumi would be convinced. But in the end, Izumi and co went back to Yoshitaka, after the part where she was duped into finally signing the contract. So this whole love-hate relationship is back to normal once again. I wonder if Takami was really part of that scheme as well. Didn’t say, though. They seemed so friendly in the end.
 
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this anime. The characters and silly plots never fail to make me laugh. Though there’re some scenes where the girls were naked but it didn’t when as far as showing their breasts or any other ‘controversial’ parts. It’s ‘strategically covered or blocked’. Hahaha…. Poor Izumi….

1/3 Junjou Na Kanjou

May 19, 2006

  Nagaku nemureani yoru ga kimi e to omoi,
  Sore wa koi nan desu to sasayaku yo
 
That isn’t exactly the opening lines of 1/3 Junjou Na Kanjou, one of the many ending songs from the anime Rurouni Kenshin. This is actually the first 2 lines of the first verse as the song starts of with lines from the chorus accompanied with a solo electric guitar picking.
 
  Tomedonaku katari nakeru yureru todou wa,
  Binetsu majiri no tameiki e to kawaru
 
Sang by Siam Shade, this is another one of those typical rock songs. You know, the electric guitar pickings and playing style, the drum beats, the ‘rock’ voice. Yup, your usual recipe for a typical rock song.
 
  Give me smile and shine days, kimi no smile de,
  Itetsuku yoru samusa no mo good koraerareru
 
For me, I wouldn’t say that this is a really tough song to sing, though I don’t sound exactly or perfect (what do you expect). Plus, this is one of the oldest songs, meaning that I’ve been singing it for years already (not every day lah, but on and off). So I should be quite familiar with it.
 
  Kowareru hodo aishite mo, Sanbun no ichi mo tsutawaranai,
  Junjou na kanjou wa karamawari, I love you sae ienaide iru my heart…
 
I’ve noticed throughout the times, that the part where the singer drags and sustains his voice during the lines ‘My Heart…’, in the beginning I’ve always seemed out of breath and gasping for air. But now, like no sweat only. Like pro some more (yeah, right!). But the most important thing is that after all this time, I still find it quite enjoyable to sing. That’s right. Keep it on…
 
  My heart…

Tenshi No Shippo

May 13, 2006

If you really like pets, then this anime is for you. Okay, just kidding, maybe not so. Angel’s Tale or Angel’s Tail is one of those animes where it seeks to explore the relationship between man and his pets. Okay, maybe not so much in detail, again.
 
The first episodes sees this particular boy, Goro Mutsume (who in a way reminds of of Kei of Onegai Teacher), who is really down on his luck. Yup, he’s been experiencing a wave of bad luck with no permenant job, short on money, and no girlfriend or any friends. Well, all that was supposed to change when he met a fortune teller (who’s supposedly the Goddess) who gives him a handphone saying that his luck will soon change for the better. Would you believe something like that at first? Didn’t think so. So did Goro.
 
As soon as he reaches home, he finds 3 lovely girls, Ran (the goldfish), Tsubasa (the parakeet) and Kurumi (the hamster), waiting for him. They claimed that they’re his former pets and thus Guardian Angels sent by the Goddess to help and protect him. What a strange day it must have been. First the fortune teller, and now 3 ex-pets reincarnated in the form of teenage girls suddenly appears. You must be kidding me, I wouldn’t believe at first and think that somebody is trying to pull a fast one. At least that’s what Goro felt. But because of his kindness, he lets them stay on.
 
Basically, the first episodes sees how these 3 girls try to convince Goro that they’re really his deceased pets by following him here and there (and ruining his job interviewing chance). At the end of the episode, Goro finally believed that they’re really his pets. That’s because he used to play that tune on his harmonica to his pets. So there’s that nostalgic feeling between them and this in turn too makes the 3 ladies even wanting more to protect and be with him.
 
Each of these Guardian Angels met their deaths in a rather unusual manner during their days as pets. And it’s quite ironic to find that a goldfish is afraid of hunger, a parakeet is afraid of heights and a hamster afraid of being hungry. That’s because they died in those circumstances. So sad. That’s why when they’re reincarnated, they don’t want to be alone or separated from their master.

 

But later on as you’ll know, he has owned more than just these 3 pets. So subsequent episodes will introduce several of Goro’s deceased pets sent by the Goddess as extra help, like Tamami (the cat), Akane (the fox), Ayumi (the turtle), Mika (the rabbit) and Nana (the dog).
 
However, because there were so many of them being together, you’ll know that a quarrel or a ‘catfight’ will occur. Since they’re so busy fighting each other to selfishly get their master’s attention rather than protecting him, the Goddess got fed up and called them back to the spirit realm in episode 5. There, they reflected upon their actions and regretted what they’ve done. They then promised to work together from now on. Thus this will also introduce to remaining 4 of Goro’s deceased pets, namely Yuki (the snake), Momo (the monkey), Ruru (the frog) and Midori (the racoon).
 
With all 12 pets now reincarnated, I’m sure it’s gonna be one big happy-messy-noisy time. Since all 12 can’t appear together at the same time (except for the last 3 episodes), they would turn into Mascots (palm size chibi-looking dolls) and is deemed inactive. Of course, there’ll be a little in-fighting and jealousy, but they all manage to keep the most important things in view. Especially, Mika who seems to always want to ‘seduce’ Goro only to be thwarted by Ayumi. Talk about the tortoise and the hare show-down. Yeah, you’ll see these 2 at each other mostly.
 
All this is somehow a prelude of things to come. You see, in some episodes, you could see that there’re strange men trying to take Goro’s life, only to be thwarted in time by his Guardian Angels. From that lorry-can’t-stop-in-time to the ferris wheel to the dangerous construction incident. Who’re they and why are they doing it? Well, they’re actually the 4 Holy Beasts. Actually, 3 of them at first, and they’re attempting to revive their remaining brother by sacrificing Goro. Ah well, the fourth Holy Beast manage to awake on his own without Goro’s life.
 
So in episode 10, the 4 Holy Beasts, with Yuki, Tsubasa, Tamami and Ayumi all being hypnotised (as their brides apparently), attacked Goro. You see, there’s some story regarding all this. The 4 Holy Beasts wants Goro to return their special weapons which they claimed Goro had stolen a long long time ago.
 
There’s another story to it too. Are you still with me? Well, in Goro’s past life, he was the Lord. Yup, the Lord! Neither human nor animal. In that time, tensions arised between man and animal, so the 4 Holy Beasts was ready to lead and wage war against humankind. But before they can do so, the Lord stole their weapons and put them to ‘sleep’ and will only give it back to them when the time is right. So a great war was averted. Fast forward to present time and you have Goro as the reincarnated Lord! Wow! Some story.
 
Of course, Goro sees the girls as more important than the weapons but he didn’t know how to give them back. Eventually, the 4 Holy Beasts realized that their special weapons chose Goro and admitted defeat. Why not. They’re up against the Lord. The Lord!!! Don’t want to mess around. You’ll also learn that Goro’s bad luck was due to the premature awakening of the 3 Holy Beasts.
 
In the end, the 4 Holy Beasts try to make amends by also deciding to live with him and take care of him. Much to the chagrin of the other girls. But hey, the girls usually tease them. I guess two’s a company, three’s a crowd. Wait a minute, it’s been a crowd since the beginning already. Eventually, the 4 Holy Beasts decided to go back and train themselves. So I guessed that’s good news for the girls, huh.
 
The last episode sees Goro having to move back to his parent’s place and that made the girls a little worried as they might not be able to be with him anymore. But soon, Goro’s parents realized that he’s much happier the way he is now and decided that he should go back living the way it was. And all the girls must be jumping with delight. End of story.
 
I must say, that with only 12 episodes, this is quite an interesting anime. Can be heartwarming and touching at times and of course, funny, especially when the girls duke it out among each other to be Goro’s number 1 (I’m not a sadist, okay).

Da Capo VS Shuffle

May 12, 2006

If you’ve noticed that the last month there’s been a couple of blogs on the anime series Da Capo and Shuffle. Well, at that point in time, you could say that I was quite into those 2 animes. Plus, I watched those 2 animes and finished them approximately the same time. So here’s what I’ve found the similarities and differences between the 2:-
 
Anime genre
It’s a high-school comedy romance mixed with magic. Though I find that Shuffle’s magic is more supernatural and it involves Gods and Demons. Whereas Da Capo’s magic is a little more toned down and doesn’t involve supernatural beings.
 
Male lead
Both animes has got a male lead character that’s been adored by several girls. You’ll find that both these guys have qualities that made them the centre of attention of these ladies such as their kindness and sensitivity.
Da Capo’s leading guy: Junichi Asakura
Shuffle’s leading guy: Rin Tsuchimi
 
A bevy of beauties
It wouldn’t be jealousy, competition, and catfights if there were only 1 girl, right?
Da Capo: There’re 7 leading ladies, namely Nemu, Sakura, Miharu, Mako, Moe, Kotori and Yoriko.
Shuffle: There’s 7 of them too. Kaede, Sia, Nerine, Asa, Primula, Kareha and Mayumi.
 
Love triangle
Basically, that’s what these 2 animes revolves around. Plus it’s suppose to be a romantic comedy type genre. The thing is, that although they’re in love with the same guy, the girls here still remain friends and there isn’t any fist fights though.
Da Capo: The main ‘battle’ is actually between Nemu and Sakura. With a 3rd character, Kotori being the one secretly in love with Junichi.
Shuffle: There’re more girls here fighting for Rin’s affections. Five of them I tell you. They are Kaede, Sia, Nerine, Primula and Asa. There’s another character too secretly in love with Rin but chose not to be in the ‘competition’, she’s Kareha.
 
Supporting male character
Each anime has got 1 supporting male character and his role is to ‘provide assistance’ to the male lead (duh!) like helping him out in tough situations.
Da Capo’s supporting male character: Suginami
Shuffle’s supporting male character: Itsuki Midoriba
 
Parents and live-in
This refers to the parents of Junichi and Nemu of Da Capo and Rin and Kaede of Shuffle. Parents of these 2 in both animes died when they were young. Also, these 2 pairs have been living with each other since then.
 
Mako VS Mayumi
From Da Capo and Shuffle respectively, these 2 ladies are tomboyish like and a little ‘violent’. Plus, they both have ‘small chests’ as commented by their respective lead male. Though, Mayumi definately do not compete for Rin’s affections and isn’t in love with him, the same can’t be said for Mako. Well, maybe at first it seems that Mako may not have any feelings for Junichi, but after that fake date, who knows.
 
Cat
Both animes have got a cat but it doesn’t really play a major or very significant role.
Da Capo: A small mouthless and seemingly legless cat named Utamaru who goes ‘Nyaa…’. Quite attached to Sakura.
Shuffle: The cat is a stuffed doll belonging to Primula given by Lycoris when she was young. Earlier in the series she’s always seen carrying it.
 
Hentainess
Though, both animes didn’t went too far by showing the girls being topless or bare-chested.
Da Capo: Lesser hentai elements
Shuffle: More hentai elements
 
Calling of one’s name
Actually this refers to the name when the girls address the leading guy.
Da Capo: They address Junichi by his family’s name, that is, Asakura-chan or kun. Except for Nemu and Sakura whom they address as onii-chan
Shuffle: They address him by his first name, which is Rin. I noticed that nobody here calls him onii-chan.
 
Turning point
Both animes started out on a lighter note, introducing the characters and setting the pace of the anime. However, midway through , the series starts to take a serious toll and becomes dark and grim.
Da Capo: Turning point is at episode 16 after Nemu confesses to Junichi that she loves him.
Shuffle: Turning point is at episode 12 when Primula experiences blackouts and goes into a comatose state.
 
Who the leading male ended up with
With so many girls to choose from, the leading guy must be spoilt for choice. But eventually, there can only be one.
Da Capo: As I expected, Junichi and Nemu ended up being a couple.
Shuffle: I didn’t expect that Rin and Asa would become a couple as I thought it would be Kaede.
 
Number of episodes
Da Capo: 26 episodes and there’s a second season after that.
Shuffle: 24 episodes and that’s it.
 
Video game
Both fall under the h-game category.
Da Capo: Has several computer and playstation games spawned.
Shuffle: Also has a game but as far as I know, there’s only 1.
 
Conclusion
It seems that I prefer Da Capo as compared to Shuffle because it was less scary, grim and dark. But it’s not like Shuffle is a bad anime nor Da Capo is a very very good anime either. But I’m glad that I’ve got the opportunity to watch them both.

Mouse

May 6, 2006

This anime’s running time is actually 15 minutes only. Minus the opening and ending credits, it’s about 10 minutes or so. Yup, I’m talking about Mouse, that sexy-thief-thriller-drama (okay, maybe not that sexy).
 
It’s about this guy, Muon Sorata (AKA Mouse), who is supposed to be the 20th generation of the age-old master thief Mouse, that stretches way back to feudal Japan. I’m not sure why they do so. Perhaps they did explain, maybe I wasn’t paying attention. But this reminded me something like Robin Hood. You know, they’re both the good and bad guys by robbing from the rich and give to the poor, but robbing is a bad thing. Same here, stealing artifacts, priceless arts and treasures for their own collection. And just like in Robin Hood too, the common people just loved them, cheering them on whenever there’s a steal.
 
But Mouse isn’t just a one man show, he has 3 lovely assistants, Mei, Hazuki and Yayoi, to help him in his steals and protect him as well. One thing I notice (and probably very obvious) that these ladies have oversized breasts! And in those tight outfits, you see where I’m heading, right? Really, I’m not kidding. Plus, they’re quite sex-crazy and always want their master to ‘please’ them. And when they do, they scuk him real dry. You know what I mean. Wah… I’m so envious of him. But Mouse seems to try and avoid such situations, except in the last episode where he ‘did it with all his hearts content’ (that’s because he was a little drunk).
 
Also, he can’t be Mouse all the time. So he disguises himself as an art teacher in some high school (his assistants too). And you know it, one of his students, Machiko, has a crush on him and isn’t shy on asking him out on a date (went out on several occassions already, that is). Sometimes making his assistants a little jealous. But of course, still manage to keep his identity a secret.
 
Mouse claims that he is such a perfect and terror thief that he tells the police and detective of the time, place and what his is going to school in his trademark card. Must be lah. So far they seem unable to catch or foil his plans everytime. Even that Detective Onizuka who has been trailing Mouse for so long hasn’t been successful. Not even once.
 
Half of the series focuses on Mouse’s assistants on their troubled backgrounds (like low self confidence, multiple personalities and fear of men) and how they ended up trusting him to be their master. The other half of course focuses on his steals with the first 2 on some Mayan skull and a floating tower. And the remaining few episodes on some Heaven’s Clock which time is suppose to run forever.
 
Speaking of which, we’re introduced to some character named Wang, who is supposed to dispose of Mouse once and for all. Yeah, Mouse must have met him on several occassions previously but each time he dies. But he comes back the next time. How does he do it? I’m not sure either. Wang seems pretty vague in his explanations. You’d guessed it too, Wang fails and dies again too.
 
But in the last episode we caught a glimpse of him again (still alive after that car expolsion) when he and Mouse coincidently meet at some road side hawker. But he reveals that getting rid of Mouse is just his job and since it was his day off, it was no use of them fighting each other (really a separation of work and personal life). Of course, Mouse was pretty drunk at that time so they left peacefully but promising that there’ll be fireworks the next time they meet.
 
So in the end, Mouse and his assistants still do what they do best, Detective Onizuka is still onto Mouse’s tail (I wonder if Detective Onizuka recognized Mouse since he saw his unmasked face during the clash between Mouse and Wang. Maybe it was too dark then), and Machiko still hasn’t given up on Muon either nor has she given up her support for Mouse. Overall, it was short and enjoyable though there may be some hentai elements. And one of the background music with the trumpets blowing when Mouse is on a roll, gives me an impression of that spy-like atmosphere. Also, Mouse’s theme goes something like "Mouse… Chuu, Mouse…". Makes me smile and raise my eyebrows lah.

Angel Addict

May 5, 2006

  Watashi dake mitsumete yo,
  Hokano dare ka ja iya,
  Todokanai kyori wo ichi MIRI,
  Motto chidjimete…
 
The opening beat of this song may make you think that this is a samba genre type. Yeah… The way the trumpet is played will give you such impression. But this is quickly followed by some cool electric guitar plucking.
 
  Mayonaka ni shinobikomu,
  Anata no kokoro suki wa aru kana,
  PASUWAADO te ni irete,
  ROGUIN suru wa kakushin ni furetai…
 
Yup, this lively song Angel Addict, which is the opening song for the anime Lemon Angel Project, has got quite a catchy tune and it makes you wanna get up a dance or do little jiggy. At least, that’s what it made me do.
 
  Koi wo shiteru VIRUS (out of my control),
  Tomerarenai no Angel Addict
 
Plus, this is one of the few songs that I could sing with confidence and ease, though not neccesarily perfect. At least it made me want to go and have another round. En core, en core.
 
  Watashi dake tsukamete,
  Kimi ja nakereba muri,
  Kizukanai namida hitotsubu,
  Itsumo koboreru…
 
Since it’s truly a karaoke version, and not just some instrumental version, so there’re background vocals too and it made me feel like as though I’m the lead singer. Alright! Now, if you would excuse me, once more again from the top…
 
  Hontou no watashi wo,
  Hontou no watashi wo,
  Hontou no watashi wo,
  Dakishimete