January 25, 2008

  Mune ni idaku kimi e no kotoba,
  Itsuka tsutaetai na…
I wonder how long has it been since I’ve sung this opening theme song from the anime series Shuffle. Yup, that love comedy harem anime adapted from the simulation game of the same name. Well, not that long actually. From time to time I still find You (yes, this is just what this song is called. Zero marks for creativity and variation) quite a satisfactory melody to belt out.
  Koboreru binetsu takanaru kodou,
  Hajimari wa wakaranai kedo,
  Ichido kizuita kesenai omoi,
  Uso ni wa mou dekinai kara
Even though I have said that it’s quite a satisfactory song to sing, I didn’t mean that I could sing it perfectly. Yeah, there are still some ‘weaknesses’ from my part. But let me get to the good part first. Since the tune and pitch of the verses are simple, straightforward and unproblematic, in my humble opinion, I think I do sound quite close to group singing the song, YURIA. You’re mocking me already, right?
  Deaeta no ga arifureta guuzen da to shite mo,
  Tokubetsu na imi wo kanjiteru
That’s so much about the good part. Haih… Though the early part of the chorus is manageable, one needs to have a certain ‘powerful control’ in order to hit the final chorus lines right. Strange thing is, I kinda notice that could cope with the first chorus, then it starts to ‘diminish’ with the second chorus and the last chorus doesn’t feel like it sounded close at all.
  Kimi no soba ni irareru koto wo,
  Itsumo kamisama ni kansha desu,
  Mayoi no nai kimi no yokogao,
  Zutto nagamete itai
Because of that, another thing I noticed is that as I continue singing the song, I gradually become tired and nearly out of breath as the song reaches the end. Even with much practice on the timing and breathing periods, I still can’t seem to overcome this problem until today. Perhaps it would’ve help if there are background vocals. You’ve guessed it. There’s only an off vocal version of this song.
  Sore wa iromeku hana na you ni,
  Touku sakihokoru monogatari,
  Keshite kie wa shinai iro ga,
  Kaze ni nosete hibiku
Other than that, with quite an upbeat and lively tune accompanied with a wild electric guitar playing style, I’m sure this rock song is enough to make most people get up and do a little shuffle with their feet, if not perhaps a little frenzy dance trance. Probably suitable to be a dance song.
  Kimi to futari sugosu jikan ga,
  Yuruginai chikara wo kureru yo,
  Inori komeru kimi e no kotoba,
  Fukaku todoku you ni…
And the song ends with what seemingly sounds like one big soft explosion after all that blaring. Don’t worry, it won’t be loud enough to shatter any window glasses or scare anyone with a weak heart. Talk about going out with a bang.

Shuffle Characters

April 22, 2006

Here’s another nice anime that I’ve finished watching quite a while ago but still can’t stop thinking about it from time to time. Yeah, it’s Shuffle that I’m talking about. So here’s a description on the main characters from the anime:-
Rin Tsuchimi
The 17 year old high school student who has quite a few girls who are after his affections. His kindness is the main reason why these girls fall for him. But this too prove to be his weakness too as this has caused him to be indecisive and make them all happy at the same time. Orphaned at a very young age along with his childhood friend Kaede, he lives with her and might be seen as freeloading. Also quite good in his studies. In the end, he confess his love to Asa and chose her to be his girlfriend but remained close friends with the rest of the other girls.
Kaede Fuyou
A childhood friend of Rin. Because both their parents died in a car crash when they were young, she blamed Rin for their deaths and even tried to kill him. But later on she found out that it wasn’t his fault and thus tries to make it up to him by seemingly becoming a maid and a mom to Rin. Cooking and waking him up. She and Rin has been living together ever since. Because she has been through alot of stress and sometimes put up with Rin’s bad habits, she gets a breakdown and shows several sides like psychotic, repentant, desperate and jealous. Although heartbroken when she found out that Rin is moving out to a place of his own, she accepted the fact and gradually became strong and independent. Though, her love for him is still growing.
Asa Shigure
Rin’s senior and is half-demon as a result of her mom’s failed experiment. Because of this she has excess magic stored in her body and if she doesn’t use it, she will die. She’s quite stubborn when it comes to this but eventually gave in in order to save Rin’s life. Likes to slap Rin hard on the back. At first she didn’t confess her love to Rin because she didn’t want to add to the ‘competition’, though she had an admirer who confessed to her but she later rejected him. In the end, she and Rin officially became a couple. Though she seemed a little bit fierce and dominative to Rin like making him not to address her as sempai.
The princess of the Mazoku race who’s shy, timid and soft-spoken. When she was young, she was sick and weak and therefore a clone called Lycoris was created. Her clone then met Rin and his kindness and fell in love with him. She then returned and told Nerine about it. But Nerine’s condition had worsened so Lycoris had to sacrifice her life to save her. Eight years later, she came to Earth to find Rin. Eventually she realized that her feelings for him were actually Lycoris’ and became depressed but decided that she would still continue to love him. Altough good in her studies and her magical powers are quite impressive, she’s quite bad at cooking and can only make omelettes. Also, she joined the school’s broadcasting club as a way to increase her self confidence.
The princess of the God race. Called Sia for short, she’s a very energetic and genki kind of girl. Also quite bold in trying to get Rin to date her. But she has an evil twin personality , Kikyou, residing in her body. When they were in her mom’s womb, Kikyou couldn’t survive and thus placed her soul in Sia’s body. Kikyou took control over Sia’s body temporarily when she got fed up of Sia’s wimpiness to try and date Rin. Kikyou’s aggresive advance ploy is foiled when Rin discovered the truth. Although she excels in cooking, she’s quite bad in her studies and magical powers. Quite the opposite of Nerine. Plus, she never hesitates to hit her dad hard with objects when she felt embarrased of the things he said to her and her peers. As her race believes in polygamy, she’d still continue to love Rin and may one day win his heart, eventhough Rin has his heart on another girl.
A girl of the demon race who’s seemingly expressionless when Rin first met her at the video games store. But slowly due to Rin’s kindness she began to show more emotions and thus this leter on becomes a problem as her emotions would make her unstable and die. Of course, due to a miracle, this was avoided. She lives in the same house as Rin and Kaede does and continues to do so even when Rin left to find a place of his own. In the end she showed more expressions and smiled more. Throughout the series, she doesn’t really show any signs of advancement to win Rin’s heart. Except in that last episode where she druged Rin’s lunch making him faint so that she can hold him. Pretty sneaky there, huh. Also, she seems to treasure her stuffed cat very much.
Asa’s seemingly calm and laid-back best friend and of the God race. She has a fetish for waitresses outfits and realizes this ‘dream’ of hers by working in a cafe as one. Also gets all dreamy and excited when she sees one or imagining romantic scenes of other people. Although she doesn’t say much but she does know what’s going on. Later on in the end, she confessed to Asa that she has a crush on Rin. Though she seem not wanting to get involve in the ‘competition’.
Mayumi Taimu
The only girl which isn’t in love with Rin or wanting his affections (maybe she seems a little tomboyish too). Although she has small chests (and gets worked up and irritated when being called so or compared to other girls with bigger busts), she has got quite a lively and active spirit. Plus can be a loudmouth at times. Always wanting to get the latest scoops and pretending to be a reporter (more like busybody) and sometimes planning schemes with Itsuki.
Itsuki Midoriba
Rin’s classmate and best friend. Always reminding Rin and the other girls that if Rin ever chooses any one of the girls to be his girlfriend, he’ll take care of the rest. Though always being rejected all the way, even after Rin and Asa became a couple. A top student in class only second to Rin. Sometimes says irritating and annoying stuffs especially to Mayumi but often helps Rin pull through difficult situations.


April 8, 2006

If you like animes where several girls are chasing the heart of 1 guy, then Shuffle is your cup of tea. Based on the h-game of the same name, it’s a romantic comedy school type of genre with some elements of supernatural and hentai-ness, at least that’s how the first half is like. Oh yeah, you’ll notice that there’re scenes from the game itself in the series (as you’ll be prompted by the fansubs).
Before I proceed on to the storyline, here’s a little intro hich sets the tone of the series. You see, in our world, humans now live happily together with 2 other races, the Shinzoku (God Race) and the Mazoku (Demon Race) ever since some gateway to those to worlds were discovered. Sounds like a supernatural thriller, doesn’t it. Nope, it really isn’t that scary… at first. How can you tell the difference between the 3 races. Simple, just look at their ears. You know how a human ear looks like, right? Now, the Shinzoku’s ears are pointy, like an elf, whereas the Mazoku’s ears are even pointier and longer.
Now to the storyline. Rin Tsuchimi is your ordinary typical 17 year old high school student who lives an ordinary life along with his childhood friend, Kaede Fuyou, in the same house. Then one day, the ruling family of Shinzoku and Mazoku decided to move and be neighbours next to Rin. They both have a daughter each Lisianthus (Sia for short) and Nerine (who’re both best childhood friends too), and it seems that they both have a crush on Rin since young and moving to live next to him is a dream come true.
But those dads are quite idiotic most of the times. And usually Sia would always whack her father with something if he does or say anything wrong or embarrassing. Wow. A daughter of the ruling God Race with a devil-like character hitting her dad. No respect and so ironic to the Devil Race’s. The latter seemed more composed though.
To make matters worse, their fathers tell Rin that he’s a marriage candidate for their daughters and has to choose which one to marry. You probably know where this is heading right? Yeah, since he lives with his childhood friend, Kaede also harbours that same feeling towards Rin. So it’s a three-horse-race to see who gets Rin’s attention and heart.
But wait, officially there’s five of them. One of them being Rin’s senior, Asa Shigure, who likes to give Rin a hard slap on the back. At first she didn’t show her love to him as it would give rise to ‘competition’ to the other 3. But you know lah, eventually her feelings for him would grow. The fifth one is the quiet and expressionless Primula. I’m not sure if she’s really in love, I mean the boyfriend-girlfriend kinda love, as she rarely shows them.
If you watch the whole series, then you’ll get to know that there’s a 6th girl who has a crush on Rin. Yup, it’s Kareha, Asa’s classmate and best pal. But she doesn’t really you know ‘compete’ like the rest as there’re ‘too many competition already’. Heard that before? But the good thing is that, these girls don’t really go into fist fights like in Ranma 1/2. If one shows some signs of advancement, the rest just suck it up and tolerate it. I guess they are really best friends. Not wanting to hurt each other feelings.
So what’s so good about Rin that so many girls are after him, you ask? Well, generally, you’ll find out that he’s quite a nice guy. The girls fell in love with him because of his kindness. He tries to do things in a way so that nobody would get hurt. Though he may have a few undesirable habits, but I guess nobody’s really that perfect (unless in the eyes of those girls, of course).
Just a little note that, I have a little confusion with the name calling of certain characters. You see, ceratin characters name are shorten like Nerine is Rin and Primula is Rimu. So when the characters refer to Rin, Primula or Nerine using that, I go like, huh? I though she was calling him or her.
There’re 2 other notable characters, Mayu Thyme and Itsuki Midoriba. Mayu is the only main girl character that doesn’t seem to have any affection for Rin. Maybe it’s because Rin and the others think that she has small breasts and thus she always get worked up on that, though there seems to be no relation to that. While Itsuki is like Rin’s best friend and classmate who seems to be ready next in line in case any of Rin’s admirers gives up on him. What I mean is that, if Rin chooses one of those girls to be his girlfriend, then the rest of the ladies would be ‘in the best care of‘ by Itsuki. Desparate. But he’ll never get any of them.
Plus, there’re fan clubs of Kaede (KKK – Kitto Kitto Kaede), Nerine (RRR – Ran Ran Rin) and Sia (SSS – Suki Suki Sia) made up of various school club and bodies. Looks like a bunch of losers and they’re always targeting Rin as they see him as a threat of taking away their beloved idol. Real losers.
The series is mainly divided into 2 parts. The first part is more comical and less serious. Like how they try to win Rin’s heart and go on a date. Or the time when they spend time together on the beach. So it’s nothing really special here except for some laughs and some character development.
The second part is the turning point of the series, where it becomes dark and grim. You can also tell by the episode title presentation and the intermission. This part you’ll get to know each of the girl’s dark and dangerous past. It all started in episode 12 with Primula. I didn’t get that part about some joint project between the Shinzoku and Manzoku to create artificial life. Primula was the third experimental subject and could be perfect if not for that emotion thing. I’m blur this part lah. All I know is that Primula’s life is in danger because of the emotions due to her experience of being with him. So emotion overload, can’t take it and the only way to save her is to reset her emotions back to zero. But you know, some miracle happen and the disaster is averted.
Then there’s Nerine’s clone, Lycoris, which is supposed to be the second experimental subject, but the clone gave up her live so that the sickly Nerine could go on living. Whatabout Sia’s twin sister, the more aggressive Kikyou. Unable to survive in her mom’s womb, Kikyou put herself into Sia’s body. Something like conjoined twins, but conjoined in the body, one body, 2 souls. But Kaede too did have a very dark past. She blamed her mom’s death on Rin when she was young and tried to torment or even kill him! But eventually she found out it wasn’t his fault and felt guilty by making amends by becoming his mom-cum-servant (if you look at it this way). While Asa is half-human because her mom, Ama (which is the supposedly the failed first experimental subject which died in the experiment) has some ‘magic overdose‘ problem, as it keeps accumulating in her body and makes her black out.
But the part that caught me by surprise is that, in the end, Rin chose Asa to be his girlfriend. I was actually betting my money on Kaede. Yeah I guess that she’s a safer bet than the rest. Maybe he likes older women too. Nerine said something about her love for Rin was actually Lycoris and not hers so she doesn’t deserve to love Rin. What the? Huh? So sorry, Nerine. Sia’s energetic and lively but would you want a twin which is a direct opposite? Didn’t think so. Sorry, Sia. And if somebody with a dark past and has attempted to kill you before, you’d better think twice. Sorry, Kaede. As for Primula, I guess that Rin didn’t want to be seen as a paedophile. She seems too young to be Rin’s lover. Yeah, me too. Sorry, Primula.
I also felt a little disgust that he neglected Kaede and Primula and couldn’t do anything but worry about Asa. Asa’s dying due to the accumulation of magic in her body and the only way to save her is to use her magic. But she’s stubborn and refuse to do so because of that ‘I’m a human and not a demon’ thing. Sheesh. So Rin had no choice but to cut his wrists and Asa had no choice but to use her magic to save his life. Scary.
Eventhough in the end, Rin moved out of Kaede’s home and rent his own apartment, the rest of the girls continued to be best of friends. Aww… if only that would happen in the real world. Plus, they have Asa’s permission to continue loving Rin. Well, I guess sharing is good. Plus, I didn’t know that Gods can do polygamy. How ironic. That’s the excuse Sia and Kareha is using to pursue Rin’s love. And Itsuki is still really trying. He doesn’t give up, does he. Oh well, but at least they’re all on good terms.
I wonder what happened to those fan clubs. Maybe since Rin has chosen Asa, they don’t see him as a threat anymore, and thus disbanded? Whatabout that half bald elderly looking loser. He congratulated Rin and pat his shoulder and says’ well done’. What’s that suppose to mean?
In conclusion, Shuffle is quite enjoyable and the second part nearly moved my heart (both good and bad ways, that is). I wonder if there’re many more other animes like this out there. Maybe lots more. More than I can ever imagine.

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