Nov. 12th, 2010 05:35 pm
li_izumi: (p-chan)
Hetalia. I slept in a smidgeon this morning and therefore decided I didn't have the time really for a full anime episode (particularly since they've added more comercials). Furthermore, I have been considering watching a few episodes since it is so popular right now, and since it was featured prominantly on the Funimation video site, today seemed a good day to watch an episode or two.

The first episode suffered from the same problems as all the Hetalia masquarade skits I've ever seen: several of the characters weren't identified. I had no idea who was talking with Germany, for example. I picked up the fact that one of the two was Italy, but the other? no idea. Some of the jokes were going over my head/falling flat big time because I had no idea who was who and what their relation was to the others.

A couple of the little skits were somewhat cute (ie, the Canada/American ball toss) but on the whole, I was left feeling rather "meh" on the show and do not plan to continue watching it.

Kobato. I held off buying it myself, since I had read a few chapters when it was published in...Newtype I think?...and found the series too bland and cutesy for my tastes, but knowing Clamp's habit for sudden dark twists, I wanted to wait and see how things developed before buying it myself. Janel-chan loaned me the second and third volume and I got around to reading them this morning. They are certainly super sachrine-cute, but there's enough going on around that super cuteness that I'm interested enough to want to read more. One thing though is that I found the pacing...interesting. There is a bit of a crisis for the kingergarten Kobato is helping out at...but plenty of time for other smaller things to felt like a RPG, where there is this looming impending disaster that the heroes must defeat in time, but still let's go off on this side quest or spend days leveling up, raising chocobo, etc.

We Love Cosplay Girls. Cataloguing this at work. A few of the costumes are AMAZING. Many times, the costume looks great, but the overall styling doesn't work. And in many cases, I've seen the character done a LOT better at some of the U.S. conventions. The Tasuki (Fushigi Yuugi) for example, didn't have the right hair color. Tasuki's hair is red/orange, not brown! Some of the pictures were mislabeled (notable the villians of Saiyuki page, which has all but the main guy mixed up.) Argh. and another typo/mis-spelling. NOT impressed. Needed a better editor.

Meanwhile, how did Akiko and my saiyuki costumes fare compared to the Japanese ones? First, Yaone: she's got a nice wig, and she's chosen to do the long pointed ears. Unfortuantely, the ears look very fake. Her costume is very neat/tidy looking, but the fabric choice isn't as nice as Akiko's. She did not do the ZOMG massive bow (hers is much smaller, maybe only a couple yards of fabric). While she does have a fair bit of cleavage, she is again outdone by Akiko's. Clear victor: Akiko.

Next up, the Lirin. Her wig is the right color, but it's very messy. Needed a bit of brushing. I like her shirt better than mine, but I like my green shrug better. She did a really great job with the weird waist band on the pants (much better than my version), but did not do the wide pant leg (fail). My belt is also a lot better than hers. Same fake ears as the Yaone. Hard to say who did better over all but I admit to being a bit biased towards mine. And at least *i* did the wide pant leg.

Neither girls did anything special for boots, but the foot ware they choose, while not matching the source, does look nice with the costumes. Akiko and I attempted to do boot covers, and while they never looked great, they were at least some attempt to make something resembling the source. But considering how bad they looked, it might have been better to do like the Japanese girls and not tried. ^.^;;
li_izumi: (words words words)
I like reading other's manga/anime blogs and I keep telling myself that I should write one of my own--after all, I'm constantly reading/watching anime and manga. It's just, I'm entirely too lazy. I think it might take something like when Akiko finally pushed me into doing a webcomic with her, even though it had been something I had thought about and wanted to do for years before we actually started.

Besides my current series that I'm watching as they air in Japan, the series I've been watching recently is Tsubasa Chronicle. (ie, the uber cross-over CLAMP series).

Tsubasa is the story of a young princess (Sakura) from the kingdom of Clow who possess a mysterious and great power. Her power manifests into wings and gets dispersed throughout different worlds. Without her 'heart', Sakura is dying, so her childhood friend (Syaoran) gets sent to the Time-Witch (Yuuko from CLAMP's xxxHolic series) to help save her. There Syaoran is teamed up with Kurogane (a ninja-warrior who just wants to get back to his own world) and Fye (a magician who just wants to stay away from his own world). Yuuko sells them Makona, a strange creature who has the ability to bring them to different worlds as they search for Sakura's missing memory-feathers.

I've been enjoying the manga well enough and had high hopes for the anime. And yet it's been a struggle for me to keep watching it. It's just....boring.

I admit I generally don't have much patiance for changing the story from the source manga. For example, I LOVE the D.N.Angel manga, but wasn't as fond of the anime version. I wanted to love it. It's gorgeous, love the voices, love the look, the animation is great. But i got frustrated with the anime-version of the story. So there is definately some of that in my reaction to the Tsubasa anime.

And while the characters of Sakura and Syaoran aren't quite as interesting in the Tsubasa manga as I find their other versions in the Card Captor Sakura series, on the whole I find the characters likable and interesting. And yet they don't interest me as much in the anime version. I've read a couple other reviews that point out that there doesn't seem to be much emotional reaction from the characters, and that their facial expressions are all pretty much the same. I think that assessment is pretty accurate.

I guess over all, the anime isn't BAD--the changes don't seem to be too major (just dumb. the "why bother with this change?" variety as opposed to the "ZOMGWFTPOLARBEAR!!!WTH do they think they're doing????" changes that some other series can do). So the series isn't bad, it's just not really good.

It all comes down to the fact that this series doesn't particularly engage me, and feels more like a chore than a pleasure to watch, to the point where I've been stalled at episode 16 for a couple weeks and I'm uncertain if I want to continue ot watch it. I think if it was a 26 episode long series, I'd say "only 10 more eps to go, let's just finish it" but as it's a 50-something long series...I don't think I'm going to bother.

Li's rating: 2 (out of 5)
li_izumi: (Eyes)
it's been a while, but here i go.

first up:

Full Metal Alchemist. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. lives up to its hype, in my opinion. the story is awesome. it's serious and moving, with just the right amount of humor thrown in (so i don't hang myself). i strongly suggest this one if you have a chance to watch it. (it's on cartoon network saturday nights at midnight)

Tsubasa Chronical: new Clamp series. i've only watched first ep so far, but i'm liking it. will be interesting to see how it follows the manga.

Peach Girl: beautiful. follows the manga well. makes a few changes here and there (but works well). the boys looks a tad strange animated, but Momo looks awesome. i'm really happy to see this series as an anime :)

Damekko Doubutsu: short (5-min) anime that is too too cute. it features a buch of SD animal-people. it's short, and very cute. it would be so much fun to have a huge cosplay group with the characters of this series!

Loveless: a shonen-ai series, which is good, but it's shota (ie, shonen-ai series where at least one boy is under the age of 14.) i don't like shota. keep my boy-love over the age of 14, thank-you-very-much. this series is strange. it seems like its would be based off a video game or something (it would make a great video game) but it's based off a manga. it's deliberately confusing. but i really don't care about the plot. it just looks and sounds very pretty. the voices are amazing. Soubi is sooo sexy sounding. (not Hayami Show sexy, but very sexy all the same). Ritsuko has a clear voice that is very nice sounding too. there are a couple bgm tracks that are very pretty sounding. and the animation is sooo pretty. they use computer effects well. so yeah, so not interested in the plot. i just want to look at it and more hear it.
li_izumi: (Default)
a vampire comedy with Takehito Koyasu? sounds great! sign me up.

or so i was thinking.

Mosquiton, voiced by Takehito Koyasu, is a slightly dorky, nice-guy vampire who long ago fell in love with a mortal girl. in the present, he has been awoken by his mortal love's reincarnation. sounds sweet? well, Inaho is nothing like the girl that Mosquiton fell in love with so long ago.

i cannot STAND Inaho. to me, she's like the offspring of Ranma and Nabiki (from Ranma 1/2) without any of those character's good points. a fanatical chaser of money, red-headed Inaho is stubborn to a fault, and unable to admit she's wrong. she drags everyone else into her troubles, and then leaves them to clean up her mess.

Mosquiton follows her around like a puppy, protecting her from all the problems she creates, having found SOMETHING redeeming in her (but i have no idea what it is that he loves so much other than the fact that she's the reincarnation of his last love.)

together with a couple other characters they travel around in Inaho's quest to find the "O-Part", a magical item that Inaho believes will grant her unimaginable wealth. each episode they explore another possible O-Part, only to find it's a fake, and the quest continues.

the cast is rounded out by tough-woman Oogami, equally tough and totally smitten with Oogami guy named Frankie, and Mosquiton's two familiars, Honou and Yuki (who unfortunately to me aren't featured nearly as much as the others).

the story is pretty episodic. cute, but nothing special. the real pleasure to me is Mosquiton's character, particularly as voiced by Koyasu Takehito. for all his serious pretty-boy roles, it's so much fun listening to him do a comedic role.

what utterly ruins the show to the point that i have no interest in ever watching it again is Inaho. i see no redeeming qualities to her. she uses Mosquiton's adoration of her to her advantage, batting her eyes to make him do what she wants him to do. in one episode she was perfectly willing to marry a beautiful prince who would have given her incredible wealth (but ultimately choose not to--not because of Mosquiton, whom she discarded without concern, but because the prince and his kingdom chose to return to sleep rather than face a particular monster.) when in the next episode Inaho learns of her ancestor whom Mosquiton was in love with, she gets jealous and yells at him. (ummm... hello, pot? the kettle wants to discuss a matter of hue with you...)

ultimately, Inaho gets the O-Part, and wants Mosquiton to teach her how to use it. he refuses, as he does not belive that anyone should have such immense power. she pulls out all stops in her attempt to coerse Mosquiton into teaching her how to use the O-Part, even going so far as the "you don't really love me, do you?" line.

now, here comes the part that to me, really shows what type of character Inaho is, and why she has absolutely NO redeeming quailties to me. when she comes across Mosquiton again looking longingly up at the picture of her ancestor, Inaho snaps. she rips up the picture, calls Mosquiton an idiot, and runs off. she then proceeds to join up with the big baddy (who does teach her how to properly use the O-Part) and with him, she takes over the world.

really. i'm not kidding.

because she's jilted, she joins the bad guy and takes over the world.

she's not brainwashed. she's not tricked. and this is the heroine.

so of course, the group has to go off after her to stop her and 'bring her home.' of course, she ultimately is convinced that Mosquiton is over the other girl, and so she decides to go back home. they all fight the evil bad guy, and then since the O-Part is gone, they go on regular adventures again. yay.

i spent most of the show hoping that one of these times, Inaho would get killed by her own stupidity, and knowing of course, with this type of anime, she was going to survive and have a 'happy ending' with Mosquiton.

if you're a fan of Takehito Koyasu, this might be a fun series to watch a few episodes (as long as you could rent it--this is NOT worth buying by any means!)
li_izumi: (Default)
from the first episode, i was hooked. it's a great, fun, interesting series. the main character is a 15 year old girl named Pacifica. and she is the Scrapped princess. when she was born, it was prophesized that she would destory the world when she turned 16. she was thrown off a cliff, but was saved by a kind couple, who adopted her and raised her as a little sister to their two children, Shannon and Rasquel. after their parent's death, Shannon and Rasquel and Pacifica travel the country side, forever chased by assasins and the royal forces. Shannon is a handsome swordsman, and Rasquel is a beautiful magician. they are traveling to find the truth to the prophecy and to protect Pacifica, no matter what.

the current situation in the world is actually tied in to the Genesis War some 5000 years ago, and mysterious beings called the peacemakers and dragoons are moving events in preparation for Pacifica's 16th birthday.

it really is an interesting show. the character designs are pretty, the animation is good, and the music is pretty good. the magic is very cool looking.

the other series i watched this weekend was "Shingetsutan Tsukihime" which is basically Vampire Miyu meets the Rumiko Takahashi's Mermaid Saga.
it's dark, and mysterious. you start off knowing very little, but slowly, clues come out and Shiki starts to learn about himself, his past, and his family secret as he joins with a beautiful vampire to find an evil killer. i dont want to talk about the plot too much, because i don't want to give out any spoilers. the art is beautiful, the characters are designed nicely (though Shiki looks like Love Hina's Keitaro in a different style). if you like dark mysteries, this series is well worth watching.
li_izumi: (Default)
as i have watched a lot of anime, i have come to the realization that on the whole, i don't care for harem anime series much (that is, one guy surrounded by lots of women all fighting for his love). but when i first started to watch anime, it was so new and different i loved everything that i saw. that is why, i really loved tenchi muyo at first.

tenchi is a rather annoying series in that there are so many different versions of it. it's hard to figure out the details of each universe when you have so many different ones, particularly when its usually the little details that are so different while all the characters are the same.

i haven't seen all of the different versions. i watched most of the original tenchi oav series, a bit of the tv series, and a good deal of the tenchi in tokyo. and all 3 movies. i prefered the oav version. and the manga was fun. for a while. than it started to get old.

my main problem with tenchi muyo is that more and more, i feel that for a nice guy, tenchi sure is a bastard. he totally strings all the girls around! he doesn't seem to have any preference for any of them, and just wants to keep the status quo. his inaction compels each girl to hang on, still following him in the hopes that he will eventually return her love. they cling to their feeligns for him and don't consider that maybe in the entire universe there is another nice guy like tenchi that DOESN'T have 5 other girls hanging around him.

it frustrates me. make up your damn mind boy!

so recently i d/led fansubs for the first two eps of the new oav series, becuase i have heard that this is the series that will end all of tenchi muyo and that he will FINALLY chose someone!

and yet these new oavs SUCK big time! now, this is SUPPOSED to be a continuation of the original oav series. and the first episode seemed to support this theory by having lots of flashbacks to the original series. but in the second episode new "facts" about the family come to light that completely seem to contradict things that were said in the first series.

now it has been a while since i've seen Tenchi, so maybe i'm not remember it correctly, or confusing it with the tv series or something, but wasn't Ayeka orginally engaged to her half brother Yosho? he ran after the space pirate Ryoko and crashed on earth and after defeating and sealing up Ryoko, he couldn't leave earth because his ship had taken root or something, and so he stayed there and married a human girl and had a peaceful life on earth, right? and when Ayeka finally was able to track her brother down, some 700 years later, she is upset by the situation, but eventually transfers her affection onto Tenchi (originally, i think, because he reminds her of her memories of Yosho).

but no, apparantly, that isn't the case, because it seems like Yosho could and probably did leave anytime. because his wife is an alien too. and tenchi has an older sister, and she's actually 80 years old though she looks like she's 20. is she is half sister or is tenchi's father not really a human either? oh, and Tenchi's mother isn't Achika... tenchi's mother's name is Kiyone.

the first episode is slow and boring and it's all "reflection." good for big-time Tenchi Muyo fans, but i can't see it attracted new fans or being of big interest to casual fans such as myself. the second episode is confusing with 3 new girls suddenly showing up and announcing their relation to Tenchi. it's confusing and rushed, and just too sudden and contrived.

Tenchi Muyo started as a rather promising oav series so many years ago, but it has really become a disappointment.
li_izumi: (hunter)
ok, continuing the post from yesterday, here is more of what i'm watching!

Tokyo Underground: like StarOcean, i wanted to like this series. unlike StarOcean, i haven't quite decided if i do or not. it's a fighting series, which can be either fun or dumb. this series sort of borders on the fun, but has a lot of dumb in it as well. i've seen the first few episodes, and i'm still not quite sure if i like it or not. i'm going to try another episode or two before i give my ultimate decision.

the characters seem interesting, but i don't feel they have much depth, at least not at this point. the fight is alright, but the show seems plagued by stupidity. first big fight... one girl is surrounded by flames and is slowly suffocating and will soon burn to death. and she's like that for half the episode as the other characters run around fighting and dying and bringing each other back to life.. all while this girl is dying... um HELLO!

similarly, in the next episode, a magic ball of bad energy is hurling towards beautiful girl. no one will be able to reach her in time to push her out of harms way. but apparantly, there is plenty of time for the hero to stand perfectly still, meditate on his powers for a minute, then summon his abilities.

gah.. that kind of thing drives me crazy in shows. let's all stand still and contemplate in the middle of battle while our enemy waits for us to talk or think or whatever. we don't have time to run over there, but we can stand still to summon our powers. girl over there is dying, but she's really not in any danger so let's ignore her so we can focus on Important^tm plot elements over here.

i can forgive the fact that the two girls have lived underground their whole life and yet have no culture shock when they reach the surface. i'm a little bothered by the fact that they aren't bothered by the sun. i can forgive the fact that the girls decide to hide in the house that is right above the whole they used to escape from underground. i can forgive that they decide to trust the hero immediately, knowing NOTHING about him at all but having come to his house and pretty much demanding that he help them.

alright, maybe i can't. if it were just one or two things that are unlikely but you can forgive a bit because it helps the story move on, it would be ok... but it's not just one or two... it's a ton of those little unlikely things. it's a sign of a weakly created plot. the characters lack depth and the plot has been rushed along to the point of annoying unbelivable. i would be more forgiving of the rushed story if this were a 13-ep series, but it's a full 26 episode run. they HAVE time to build the story more reasonably.

the voice actors are top notch, with my beloved Seki Tomokazu as the lead. the animation is pretty good. the characters could be interesting. the story has elements that make me intertested. Tokyo Underground does not have a very good beginning, but i'm willing to watch another episode or two in the hopes that it redeems itself.

but i'm not holding my breath.

next up: Scrapped Princess. saw the first episode and loved it. will give more details when i've watched a few more.


Mar. 10th, 2004 10:42 am
li_izumi: (Default)
ok, so my first real update to Animal Half is going to be late. not a good start i know, but i have gotten so stuck on the ending. it just doesn't want to work out.

to make up for it, i will do a What-is-Li-Watching-Now special.

a few months ago i did a big marathon of d/ling fansubs to find a new series to watch. the big two from that time was GetBackers, which i LOVED and Da Crapo (i mean Da Cappo) which i seemed compelled to watch it all, and yet hated it.

this past week i have begun another big massive d/ling endevor to find more cool series.

first up, Tensi na Konamaiki. great series. a year or so old, but much fun. it's got a bit of a Ranma-like theme, where you have a boy that is a girl, but it's actually rather different and much fun. Megumi (coincidently voiced by Megumi Hayashibara) used to be a boy until he was 9. then he "saved" a magician from some punks and got rewarded with a magic book, which happens to be a bit cursed. so instead of becoming the greatest guy, like he wished, he winds up a great girl! nobody but his best friend Miki remembers that he used to be a he.
The story starts with Megumi and Miki entering highschool. Megumi is very quickly the "Angel" of the school, with many guys falling for her, despite how she talks like a guy and gets into fights all the time. chief among her followers is Soga, a tough punk who falls for Megumi when she beats him up. having fallen in love with her, he decides not to be a punk anymore, and quickly starts following her around like a puppy. Fujiki is a nice guy-loser. a bit of an idiot, but he's got more guts than one would think. Yusuda is rather a pervert, but he's mostly harmless. Kobayashi comes in a little later. he doesn't care for her at first, but soon becomes a follower as well. he's rather cool and smooth.
i've only seen 14 of the 50 episodes so far, but what i've seen thus far has been really a lot of fun. the animation isn't great, and the character designs are a little... well, it took me a few episodes before i wasn't noticing that they bothered me a little.
all in all, this is a fun series, and i strongly recommend it.

StarOcean: i watched an ep and a half of this before i deleted it off my computer. i wanted to like it, i really did. but it just sucked. maybe it gets better, but i just kept rolling my eyes at it, and decided it wasn't worth it.

more to come later

November 2011



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