Made a new css based navbar and added a new chatbox to replace the old one that got spammed to hell by bots. I only made them with firefox in mind so I'm not sure how they'll turn out in other browsers but their functionality should remain the same.
Title: Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge Author: Takimoto Tatsuhiko, Saiki Junichi Release: Monthly Status: Complete Genre: Psychological, Supernatural, Romance, Comedy Art: A Originality: A Story: B Characters: B Humor: B Action: B
Impression: Coming from the same author of “Welcome to the NHK”, this is a prior work of his that was adapted years after the NHK manga started serializing. It revolves a young aimless teenager who finds escape from his daily stress through the fantastic duels held between a tall, unkillable, raincoat-clad, chainsaw wielding hulk of a man and the super-strong, super-cute high school girl he just happened to run into after impulsively stealing some meat from a convenience store. I’m not sure if it’s intentional or just a result of me being quite genre savvy but I found the mystery behind the battles with the girl’s nemesis to be incredibly transparent. It’s got a very basic and predictable plot and the symbolism isn’t exactly subtle but it is an enjoyable enough series with some fun quirky characters. Maybe someone new to manga trying to be deep will find this to be a profound exploration of very relatable issues as indicated by most of the reviews on mangaupdates but to me it’s nothing special - in fact I felt that the symbolism was only there to make readers feel clever when it was clearly spelled out by the author. Still a decent read though so give it wouldn’t hurt to give a try. It’s only two volumes long after all.
Seems that hisami_nathuki(Got the name wrong last time. KOKIA is the artist singing, not the MAD's maker) released another Madoka Magica MAD set to a KOKIA song in the same style as the last one. Unlike that one, the follow-up is based on the show's ending and prominently features Homura and Madoka in the video. Personally I don't think of it quite as good as the last one but it does make me appreciate the ending even more. I really do find it odd that it's only been a few days and yet here I am, already looking fondly back on the ending. Guess the all the new fanart just keeps reminding me how touching it was. I now think of it more as a healing reconstruction anime rather than the grimdark deconstruction that it was till the last episode and that really speaks volumes about the ending. Seriously, it completely turned the whole series on its head so fast and hard that I can't help but feel like I went through Stockholm syndrome because of it. Gen Urobuchi stabbed my humanity with blades tragedy and despair only to hook me up to a morphine drip laced with hope at the very end. Only someone as manipulative as QB could do something like that so I will stand by opinion that the white Faustian furball is in fact his author avatar. Here are some MadokaxHomura pics I dug up from Gelbooru.
It's really been a while since I last posted but with the hustle and bustle of university assignments coming to a close with exams approaching, I finally have it in me to get back to blogging. I haven't neglected it for so long since my O' levels(or was it AS levels? I forget) but even then I had daily manga reviews lined up for automatic posting for a whole month. Hopefully I'll really be able to get things back on track soon and renovate this place because change is in order, starting with the shoutbox since spambots have gotten into it somehow. I've got a whole bunch of new website designing skills at my disposal so I'll be experimenting with what I can get away with on blogger. Look forward to it to whomever's actually following my words.
Now onto the subject of this post - Madoka's ending. An ending with such a huge shift in tone when compared to its prior episodes that one would think this was a last minute change to the story due to executive meddling or something. I myself would have held fast to that theory but it seems that Urobuchi Gen, the writer behind the series, intended on this all along since he wanted to make a "healing" anime, which the ending actually pulled off. Seriously not what you'd expect from the guy who came up with Fate/Zero and Saya no Uta.
For its ending, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica chose to go out with Madoka wishing so that she personally sees to it that magical girls in all of time and space never become witches. By doing this she ends up recreating the entire universe and ascends from a mere human being to an omniscient, omnipresent sentient concept surpassing time that governs the end that magical girls meet. Essentially a god as Kyuubey predicted but in my opinion a "god" isn't quite right as she's more of a "rule" now. No one but her little brother and Homura remember her ever existing and the Incubators' magical girl powered entropy fixing system has changed for the better. This seeming "way out there" ending really gave Madoka Magica the last touch it needed to be called the Evangelion of this generation. I doubt it'll spark as many heated debates as the super controversial mecha series though. Pretty every loose thread's been taken care of so there's not much left to discuss except how much people like the ending and why.
In spite of the page on wtf endings that SHAFT and Urobuchi seem to have taken out of GAINAX's book, Madoka Magica's ending was actually quite well done and had little to no mindfukery to dick the fans around with. Sure, it does give off the impression of being an all too convenient suspension of disbelief shattering deus ex machina that was way out there and far more than a bit "much" but once you get past all the weirdness, you'll find that everything worked right within the established bounds the series set up beforehand and that had it been handled a little bit better, it wouldn't have come off as such an underwhelming finish for roller coaster ride that was this series. Let's review the main issues people seem to have with the ending:
Madoka's Wish If it was as simple as wishing for no more witches why didn't anyone wish for it before? Simple, because no else but Madoka could have made it work. From what I can tell, Kyubey's wish granting system works based on how much potential a girl has when they go magical and the extent of their wish depends on that potential as it is implied that there are limitations to what can be wished for when Kyubey questions if Madoka's wish can even be granted. Her potential as a magical girl built up over the countless loops that Homura's been through and judging by the fact that she managed to oneshot Walpurgisnacht by the fourth iteration, there was just no way anyone but her could have pulled off that wish. Madoka also had what most magical girls seem to lack, a thorough understanding of what becoming a magical girl means.
Scene at the End We see Homura walking all alone in a dessert with dark murky ethereal wings and we hear Madoka cheering her on. I've seen speculation on this taking in the far future where human civilization is mostly gone and that those wings are signs of her ready to witch out but I highly doubt that(though I really wouldn't put it past her). The most likely explanation behind this scene is that the demons raised up a barrier and Homura just happens to be fighting them alone because she's gotten THAT good with her powers. Right after the Sayaka scene we see a demon burning up and the scenery around it depixelating. Given that there had to have been a good deal of damage done to their surroundings had they been fighting the 3m tall demon in the train station, the lack of any visible damage to the station indicates that they fought inside a barrier like they did with witches. As for the wings... the power of eternal love between Homura and Madoka?
The New System Under the new magical girl system, the girls no longer turn into witches and instead disappear when they were supposed to. Curses now manifest in the form of the giant robed demons for them to fight and generate emotional energy in the soul gems for improving entropy instead of collecting. The Incubators directly have to function as grief seeds for them to unload all their grief so they no longer have to fight each other for resources or be "cannibals" by slaying witches. It's now in QB's best interests to keep the girls safe since they'd just lose all the potential grief they could have reaped from the soul gems meaning that the girls won't get actively screwed by the ones playing the role of their magical pet.
However, I feel I do have to point out that the girls are generally still just as expendable and renewable as entropy staving resources as they were when witches existed. Not quite back to the traditional models of magical pets but still pragmatic enough to leave QB the same as ever, just no longer as a potential enemy. I also have to wonder about the curses manifesting as demons. As shown in the episode with Sayaka, Madoka's basically collecting grief energy and allowing magical girls to die in peace but what does she do with that energy? The Incubators don't seem to be capable collecting it once the soul gems are gone and curses never manifested as demons in the former universe so the only logical conclusion is that Madoka's causing that grief to turn into these demons. I'd even go as far as to speculate that she's converting them herself and that the demons are her familiars in order to maintain universal balance. Madoka having to endanger the girls herself certainly adds a seemingly sinister consequence to her wish but it's still objectively better for the girls this way and I do like how much more bitter this theory makes the ending. Sorry if this ruins your happy impression of the ending but you should know that out of all the characters, QB the pseudo-schadenfreude was the only one I could relate to.
mfw when I wrote the previous paragraph. Also happens to be a few of my display pics.
In the end, I must say that Madoka Magica's ending is not an easy one to appreciate with just one sit through. They pulled a Decon Recon Switch in the span of one episode and the result is a very difficult finale to process properly. Too much was done in the last installment and all the developments overwhelm underlying emotion behind the scenes. It took me a rewatch to genuinely like the ending for the emotions in it and not just the consistency of the writing. They also really could have stood to tone down the cosmicness of Madoka's and Homura's farewell scene so it wouldn't have come off as more supernatural than touching and cut down the epilogue time so that it doesn't take away the power of the epic first half of the episode as much. While the finale did let me down by not ending as strongly as it the series was built up to be, it didn't detract from the show's overall quality. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica was not quite a masterpiece in my opinion but it came really close.
[EDIT] Okay then... We now have a Church of Madoka. Should have seen it coming but I really didn't. I can't imagine how ridiculous this is going to get.
Original hair colors here. One less plot hole in the manga.
Just finished watching the last episode of Fractale and in all honesty it was rather disappointing. The fact that I'm actually taking the time to write this rant out should be quite indicative of how annoyed I was by the way the series ended. The series was actually pretty good overall with its fascinating setting but then they wasted all the building up they did when the last episode rolled around. It was as if they decided to switch out the original ending with something that would look more mainstream. It really wouldn't surprise me at all if that was the case since the whole hair recoloring thing was supposed to be so that the series would appeal better to regular folks who only watch Ghibli films for their anime experience. I was expecting something more epic as the truth behind Phryne and Nessa being the key to rebooting the Fractale system. Here's how I think the series should have done with it:
It's revealed that the Fractale system isn't just a worldwide augmented reality system but is actually a reality within a reality simulation that everyone's plugged into. Every time they reboot the system, they're actually creating another iteration of the reality and sending everyone's consciousness into the new reality hence the reason the series is named after the word Fractal - "A rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole". It'd explain why exactly rebooting would save them all when the problem with the system is the hardware deterioration of the satellites and why is it that Nessa can exist in those dead zones where the system isn't supposed to work.
From there I even speculated that Dias and the high priestess were the previous iterations of Clain and Phryne that knew the truth behind the system and that they took polar views on what should be done about it. That part was mainly because of how intentionally similar they made him look like a grown up Clain along with the whole clone thing but even I think that's a bit of a stretch. Thinking about it now, that theory could still fit in there with the ending but that doesn't make it any less of a letdown. Yamakan has failed to save anime but will that actually stop him from acting like the drama queen he is? I think not. People like him just don't give up so I doubt he'll actually follow up on his threat to leave the industry. Just hope he's learned to shut his big trap and actually puts his money where his mouth is in the future.
For those of you not in the know, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica's final two episodes won't be showing till mid-April so those of you waiting in anticipation for 11's stream twelve hours should save themselves from being in left in despair later by finding something else to do. I myself was shocked and filled with a sudden emptiness when I heard about the latest delay but then after a few seconds it hit me that April wasn't all that far away so I got better. Time goes by so quickly these days. Being a Meguca fan is indeed suffering. And I really need to get back to blogging on a regular basis. That's why I decided post up this Madoka MAD by KOKIA that should relieve the emptiness a little bit but it may also induce some level of sadness as it's going to remind you just how bad the girls of the series have it. The song certainly is nice to listen to but it's the imagery that will get to you for this video. Enjoy their grief.
魔法少女に花束を by KOKIA
And if that wasn't enough to fill your usual Meguca is suffering quota for the week then this speculah image probably will. I expect something of at least this level for the canon end since it is Gen Urobuchi's spawn after all.
This seems to be Ryo's latest work and it's the first song in long while that he's released outside of Supercell. I was under the impression he wouldn't be making any new songs to post on nico nico douga but to my pleasant surprise there it was sitting there at no. 16 of yesterday's rankings. This PV certainly made up for my disappointment with "Perfect Day" despite amazing animation work they did on the song's PV. "Perfect Day", Supercell's latest pv showed up there not too long ago but I felt that it was kinda underwhelming for a Supercell song so I didn't bother to post it up till now. I certainly did like it more than "Utakata no Hanabi" and Nagi's vocals are amazing as usual, might even be her best work so far, but these slow paced songs they come up with just aren't all that fun to listen to. "Ashita he", Towards Tomorrow in english, starts off slow for effect but then grows into a strong, sentimental tune matching the encouragement that the girl in the video is getting. Here's hoping Nagi or Wotamin does a cover of this song cause it's quite easy to imagine how amazing this would sound with voices like theirs.
Towards Tomorrow by Rap-bito, Clear & Ryo
Perfect Day by Supercell
Additionally, let's hope the situation in Japan doesn't get any worse. It's only been day one and there's always that possibility of a second quake coming soon.
Renai circulation strikes once again the form of an Infinite Stratos MAD based on the fact that the most popular girl in the super dense main character's harem is also voiced by the same seiyuu who sang the song way back when Bakemonogatari was airing. I haven't actually watched the country wars anime past the first episode since it reeked of generic harem and cg mecha but even I have to admit that Charlotte Dunois is the epitome of the concept that otaku know as moe. Providing that Hanazawa Kana doesn't voice another incarnation of heart attack inducing cuteness this year(Based on how many roles she's been getting lately, it's actually quite possible), I am absolutely sure that she's going to bag the Saimoe contest this year by a huge landslide. Be sure to enjoy watching this video cause she's the reason I'll be marathoning what I suspect is a less than mediocre series when it ends.
WARNING! THIS VIDEO IS LIABLE TO CAUSE INTENSE BOUTS OF HNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG! WARNING!
I don't like historical stories. Whether the old bygone period is set in warring Japan, colonial America or jolly old England I am very disinclined to pick up any kind of story set in those times. This particular aversion of mine could be traced back to my schooling days where I had to take History as a subject and thanks to my brain's horrible memory with dates, it has become a subject that I have very few fond memories of. So then what was I doing at the movies watching one of those based on a true story period pieces? I needed to do something while I waited for my brother to be done with the party and this was the highest rated movie available there. Were those ratings well deserved? I happy to say that they really were.
The movie follows the life of the Duke of York a.k.a. Bertie and his trials and tribulations in the decade prior to his coronation as King George VI. This particular English monarch was known to have a speech impediment in the form of a stammer and the story depicts his attempts to overcome it with the help of speech therapist Lionel Logue. Of course, some dramatic and artistic liberties were taken here but from I've read, Mr. Logue's methods were as unconventional in real as they were on the silver screen. Some of the lines were also based on notes left behind in the real man's journal too though I honestly can't tell which ones were totally made up and which ones had a basis to go on. I really am curious to know whether or not the man actually did make a prince shout out "fuckfuckshitshitshittyshitshishitbuggerfuckshitfuckbloodyfuckfuckfuckandtits". That's not the actual line from the movie though, I paraphrased it due to my shoddy memory.
As you can most probably infer from the previous paragraph, the movie has its fair share of humor mixed in with the drama. I have always had a high regard for the British wit this movie features some truly brilliant bits of dialogue. Lionel is a huge source of all the subtle comedy that you'll see here as he likes to go around jabbing sticks around at authority. The man had big enough balls to sit on some holy chair and sacrilegiously point out that people have carved their names in the wood that seated a fair number of "assholes"(His words, not mine). The scripting was obviously top-notch while the cinematography that went with it was fitfully impeccable. No scene was wasted and no reason to leave your seat, even for a little while, was given. After the magnificent first and a half hours of the film I just couldn't bear to miss any of the last twenty minutes even for the toilet break I was in dire need of and I would recommend anyone finding themselves in a similar situation to mine to follow my lead as missing those last few minutes would mean doing an injustice to not only yourself but to every moviegoer in there with you.
Do not misunderstand my praises though. My words thus far may seem to paint the movie as surprise comedy but the movie is still at heart a dramaticly heartwarming tale of a man that fought hard to serve his duty to the best of his abilities. Colin Firth portrayal of the burdened man was so convincing in his anguish that I actually found his struggles to be rather moving. Watching the guy go through speech therapy looks incredibly comedic at first but gradually it becomes so very clear just how big of a hurdle this was to Bertie. By the time the climax arrives, you're going to be on the edge of your seats, silently cheering him on, as he works his way through that lengthy three minute speech. Many movies failed to induce tension into their audience and where so, so, so many life-or-death explosion-filled battles were incapable of doing so, this three minute speech by a man still struggling with his speech impediment had my complete and utter attention as he tried not to stumble on the devilish contraption that is the wireless. I honestly wanted to join in on the clapping that shortly followed the king's speech but it was a very bare theater and I wasn't so sure if I wanted to get odd looks.
In short, the movie was marvelously spectacular and deserves a going to the cinema right now. They even extended the screenings to the rest of the world after it did so well back on native soil even though it was never meant to. Fellow Bruneians should know that the screenings are set at the new smaller theaters with the very comfy chairs and surprisingly chilly air-conditioning. I will certainly be adding this to my list of favorite films and I hope that it wins whatever awards they've got lined up for grabbing. I dare anyone who's seen this to try and tell me why Colin Firth shouldn't be getting the Best Actor award of 2010 for playing Bertie cause there's simply no competition with this role.
Just woke up from a most interesting dream. It was interesting in the way that my dreams are normally of a fantastic and grand nature, encompassing amazing worlds, strange surreal concepts and strings of events that make very little sense if I were to try explain them. My latest one came to me in one unintended cat nap after having taken a shower preceded by an exhausting session of training. Though I am a little annoyed at having lost three hours of wakefulness, this dream I had gave me a very rare opportunity to think in a way I can't even recall doing at all - let me think slowly and quietly.
Basically this dream just involved me thinking. I had just finished reading the first part of the second installment in Nisio Isin's Zaregoto light novel series and my eyes felt a little heavy. Between that and the comfort of my bed, I should have gotten out of there asap if I didn't want to lose any time awake but you only need one guess to predict the outcome. Sadly, the sweet temptations of a short, peaceful slumber is all too enticing to me and takes much, much more willpower to overcome than I care to admit. If this world worked like an RPG, my status screen would show a 0% resistance towards the "sleep" status condition and I'd be completely useless in an area where the enemies specialized in attacks that induced that particular condition.
There I lay, halfway between wakefulness and unconsciousness knowing precisely what consequences waited for me if I continued to extend my rest. On what was probably my eighth internal debate, I had already fallen into dreamland even though I was still lucid enough to realize it. Realize it I did not as the dream i had was a continuation of my reality at the time: I was dreaming that I was awake and trying to decide when I should get up. Before long I just decided to continue on with my rest but I found that for some reason I didn't seem to be getting any sleepier and that for some reason my mind was at peace. No buzzings and whispers that I have to drown out with my "louder", more deliberate thoughts but an actual period of calm and silence that just seemed so odd and new to me. Fascination took hold of me and I gave in to the impulse to see how long this quiet period would last and lied there on my dream bed, unmoving and unthinking for I don't know how long. Eventually, a thought came out of me. A speculation on the book I just read, a clearly composed prediction that I never considered consciously and it came to me alone in perfect clarity. Another one quickly followed, still quiet, clear, unconscious in nature and all on its own. I was amazed. My thoughts had never been so... unmessy. For once I couldn't describe it as lots of trains leaving a single station and arriving at lots of different stations along lots of different routes at different times.
Even in my clearest moments, I still had background thinking going underway though they all pertained my assessment of whatever situation I was dealing with. This was different and felt completely new to me. It really made me wonder if other people thought like that and if my level headed thinking and inability to give in to panic or fear was because my way of thinking made it much, much harder for me to feel overwhelmed. It still sounds as arrogant as I thought it did prior to my dream but now I had my own instance where thinking worked in such a manner and it gave me something to make a comparison with. I can't claim myself to be a genius but I have to agree with the consensus that I am at the very least, very clever. Still, it's not a cleverness in the proper and smart way since my methods and motives rarely prioritize being proper over enjoyment but it's certainly a cleverness that gives me an edge over most. It does get cumbersome at times, especially at times when it would be better not to notice what others overlook be it intentional on their part or otherwise. Hopefully, I will get future opportunities to experience so I can understand people more easily. It would be good to refresh my understanding of fear as well. After all, it wouldn't do to advertise myself as a master of fear if I were to get so out of touch with it that I've forgotten what overcoming it feels like.
Renai Circulation, an anime opening engineered to induce an overload of moe into all those who watched it by means of soft, whimsical colors visually, sweet seemingly innocent vocals courtesy of Kanazawa Hana aurally and the cute, adorable antics of the character it's about. It pleases me to say I have found a remix(?) video that packs as much of a punch as the original only not in the way that the original was intended to. This video is an MMD among many that made it into the top 100 on nico nico douga's rankings today and it managed to not only tickle my funny bone but also give me goosebumps at how disgusting seeing some of the characters inserted into the video singing their takes on the song. I don't know if that was intentional or not but that Doraemon guy and Snake singing were very disturbing. Have a watch and see what I mean.
Title: Our Dear Tamura-kun Author: Takemiya Yuyuko, Kurafuji Sachi Release: Monthly Status: Complete Genre: Romance, Comedy Art: A Originality: A Story: A Characters: A Humor: A Action: A
Impression: Hahaha. It’s been a while since I’ve read a love comedy series this entertaining. I normally don’t go for pure romances but this got my attention when I was browsing some raw manga thanks to its art style and the summary that went with it. And to my honest surprise, I actually liked it a lot and seeing as Toradora is one of my favorite series I should have picked this up for a read a long time ago since they’re both written by the same authors. The story is about an average high school boy by the name of Tamura Yukisada who fell for a quiet, loopy girl that moved away the summer prior and how he tries to make sense of the chaos that is a hormonal teenager’s love life. Now starting high school, he faces another girl, an ice queen, who quickly puts the two of them at odds with one another with her standoffish demeanor and her inexplicable attempts at trying to associate with him. The fact that she conked him out with a present thrown through his window meant for his brother didn’t help in the least. They soon become close to each other, close enough to share a kiss, but he isn’t sure what to make of it as he still has feelings for that odd and demure girl from his middle school days. Quite an interesting love triangle story this one is. For most part, the first girl only appears in flashbacks showing how significant they became to one another while the other girl gets closer to the lead thanks to her active attempts at befriending him despite her very, very crude methods at doing so but neither ever actually meet the other making this love triangle one very different from the norm. In the end though, it all comes down to how devoted the main character is devoted to his first love and surprisingly enough the “losing” girl handles it very maturely at the end showing off just how well developed the characters in this series are. I do have a minor gripe about how the protagonist came to his answer as the event that triggered it could only be described as a very timely coincidence that happened during a very time critical moment. But hey, that coincidence led to a satisfyingly heartwarming conclusion so I’ll have to let it slide. After all, Shakespeare had a similar thing happen in one of his stories but Romeo and Juliet is still being remembered as a classic of the classics so it’s much more forgivable in comparison since it didn’t lead to a tragedy. Here’s the figurative bottom line, I enjoyed this series immensely for its refreshing take on the love triangle plot, the depth of the characters and its great balance of light-hearted comedy and heart-wrenching drama. Even the side stories were a lot of fun to read so I do hope you won’t try to pass this up cause you’ll miss out on a good read.
Went to watch the Green Hornet earlier when I was having a new pair of spectacles made. Hadn’t changed them in five years so I figured I needed to kill some time with a movie before they got done. The Green Hornet wasn’t even on my “watch eventually” list but compared to the rest of the stuff that they were showing I decided that I’ll go with Seth Rogen’s latest work. I liked Pineapple Express and thought the music from the trailer was pretty kickass so I forked over cash to sit in on it. By the end of it I had two questions in my mind: 1) How is a man-child like Seth Rogen not one of those lousy Hollywood hacks that dare call themselves writers? 2) When’s the sequel?
The movie stars Seth Rogen as Brit Reid a.k.a. the Green Hornet, a party animal who’s the sole heir to a major newspaper company his father created, and Jay Chou as Kato, the mysterious Chinaman who grew up on the streets to be an engineering genius that works on the cars of rich men, kicks ass like some deranged renegade Mossad agent on the run and makes coffee so good that you just can’t live without it. Brit’s a disappointment in his father’s eyes so when he kicks the bucket, he decides to have a wild night out on the town by cutting off his memorial statue’s head with the help of Kato once he finds out just how awesome his coffee maker is. This leads them to a brawl with some gangbangers that start them off on their careers as pseudo-villain heroes.
Like I mentioned before, Seth Rogen is a surprisingly good writer. Barring the first dull twenty or so minutes of the movie, the writing’s pretty damn solid and even manages to play off the usual conventions of superhero movies to the point where the movie almost seems to be a deconstruction of the genre. The main characters are, at best, morally grey as they have no qualms about doing harm to the general populace, destroying public property and outright murder. At one point I had to feel sorry for the designated villain of the movie. Sure he doesn’t look like much but that’s no reason to keep putting down his style. If anything, he should be putting down theirs. The man had a double barreled gun, single handedly took out an up and coming gang and isn’t afraid to step in and brutalize his enemies in ways that cannot be considered as anything less than overkill. It makes me wonder about the man’s self-esteem as those greenhorns somehow managed to get him to switch from his casual suitwear to that hammy lame-ass red supervillain theme he had in the end. Still, that red motif contributed a good number of jokes to the already numerous repertoire to be had, most of which were sexual innuendos that flew over the heads of my fellow moviegoers half the time.
Aside from the refreshingly lighthearted yet serious script that drove the movie, the direction deserves it share of praise too. There was one particular scene that struck me as it really set the tone for the final act of the movie where the shit gets real. Seeing the antagonist send out a hit on the Green Hornet and just how in control he was of the city’s underbelly made for a great start to it. The action scenes were incredibly good as well and the Mythbusters will have you understand just how the absurdity of it all only made the film better. It wasn’t just the overt awesomeness of the stunts that made them so much fun to watch but the subtle ways they worked out on film. Some may only appreciate seeing a land rover fly over a bush and onto a road for the novelty of the flyover itself. I appreciated seeing that from a long shot as I’ve rarely seen one it shot from that angle making it all the more impressive. That was done by one of the bad guys by the way, everyone gets a chance to shine in these scenes really. Well, everyone named at least.
I'm no fan of the original source of the story or the very premise of this movie but the staff behind it made it work. It's not brilliant, it's not deep and the pretentious will be very inclined to call this film one only the juvenile and immature would enjoy but I had a great time watching this. Man-child be damned, Seth Rogen is a good writer and I cannot consider both Pineapple Express and the Green Hornet to be flukes. I can honestly tell you that this movie was one worth watching and it's worth watching at your nearest cinema. Perhaps if you are as fortunate as I was, you might even get seated next to some aesthetically pleasing bimbos that have watched the movie already. They certainly didn't make my movie experience any worse though they did make me wonder if there's more truth than meets the eye in that comparison between myself and a certain legendary lover of bimbos and suits.
Heard about the new set of parallel works quite a number of months ago but I somehow forgot to check them out. From what I saw here, it seems that those rumors about Gainax animators loving their job were not unfounded. I could also see that they were working up to Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt with these cause I can see Stocking's swords in Big Building and plenty of English in Kittan Zero. All the videos are pretty interesting though if I have to pick a favorite it'd have to be The Sense of Wonder for it's great fairy tale-like ambience. The music in that one reminded me of Legend of Mana for some reason. Goodbye Dai-Gurren and Kittan Zero come pretty close too, it was nice seeing what the cast did off screen. I would like to get a full version of that jazz song in Goodbye Dai-Gurren though but I doubt that'll ever come to be. If you missed out on these videos in the past months then I would suggest you take some time and watch them. The staff put in a lot work into these and their dedication for their work shows. Also, Gong Xi Fa Cai to all who celebrate it!
Title: Sukimasuki Author: Unita Yumi Release: Monthly Status: Complete Genre: Seinen, Slice of Life, Comedy, Romance Art: B Originality: A Story: A Characters: A Humor: A Action: B
Impression: Well this is an interesting series by the author of Usagi Drop. It’s about this guy who has a bit of a fetish with narrow see-through gaps and peeps on his next door neighbor who just so happens to leave just enough space between her curtains to give him some flashes of her in her underwear. He feels conflicted with himself about this and knows that any normal girl would have him arrested for little voyeurism hobby. Luckily for him this is no normal girl as she herself is a pervert who takes pictures of him through that very same gap between her curtains. I really like how this short but sweet series went. Rather than the odd but otherwise straight romance manga it seems to be, this series seems to be more about the weird little things that people do in their everyday lives making it a mainly slice of life series. I actually found myself relating to quite a few of the topics brought up in here. For example, in one scene the girl is shown to be a light drinker despite liking her liquor a lot and they compare her to someone who’s allergic to crabs but still eats them. I myself am allergic to white chocolate but my inability to resist treats containing it often leaves me with itchy eyes and a runny nose so it really struck a chord with me. This particular work of the author uses a style very reminiscent of Asano Inio’s. It’s set in a realistic tone showing the good and the bad of the many unique and colorful personalities portrayed in this manga, putting them in scenes that let them play off one another and build the one main plotline with lots of entertaining little plotbits. It’s certainly a work that needs be recommend to all seinen fans alike and doubly so for those who are avid fans of Asano Inio’s style. Like me, you’ll probably find a lot of those little things that’ll have you go “Yeah, what’s up with that?”. It won’t necessarily be quite the same as my relatibility to the lead’s gap fetish is more in the area of hiding in them and taking people by the surprise. Don’t worry though, in my case it’s just for laughs and I don’t do that for any reasons that Candlejack would and doe
This is a 4chan styled spoiler for my blog. Still haven't figured out how to get Madoka Runes to work like this but maybe I will in the future.
Hover over that blacked out text to see what it says. Thought it'd be good to have this in the future for my reviews and if I ever do figure out how to get the Madoka Runes spoiler text below to work on computers that don't have the necessary font installed I'll be switching over to that instead - unless of course I start liking having blacked out text on my blog and that's quite possible really. Go here to install the font to see what I mean if you don't.
If you can read this then either you don't have the font installed or you actually memorized the runes. You have my admiration if it is the latter.
Additionally these are the css coding I used to get this to work on my blog. If you want the same effects on yours just copy and paste them in before the '/head' tag in the template's html. For the even less html inclined, these are activated like normal spoiler tags only instead of using the "" brackets you need to use the "<>" brackets. Substitute the word 'spoiler' for 'madoka' when you want to use the 'madoka' spoiler.
Title: Usagi Drop Author: Unita Yumi Release: Monthly Status: Ongoing Genre: Josei, Slice of Life, Comedy Art: B Originality: A Story: A Characters: S Humor: A Action: B
Impression: This series is the story of a 30 year old man and his newfound 6 year old aunt whom he takes into his care upon the death of his grandfather as her other relatives aren’t quite as welcoming as he is. The man’s grandfather recently died at the ripe old age of 79 and much to the surprise of his family, the old man still had it in him to knock up someone less than a third of his age, raise an illegitimate daughter for six years in complete secrecy without having leaving a single inkling in all that time for his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids to find. My immediate thoughts on this old man? You are one awesome old dude old timer! Well, in all seriousness to me this manga is a breath of fresh air that I managed to take in amongst all the other foul odors that I’ve run into lately. It’s funny, has a unique premise, incredibly likeable leads and many a moment that will catch you off your guard and inject warmth and happiness directly into your hearts. It really does scare me how good the author is at doing that, almost seems sinister in a way if you ask me. The story so far is split into two parts, the first holding a great deal of the best stuff during the first year of their life together and the second which takes place a decade later when that little girl is now a teen. While the second half still makes for a pretty good read, I do hope that the upcoming anime series only animates the first half since that was the part of the story that was, in my eye, absolutely exceptional as well as the main draw and point of the series. The second half wouldn’t work without the first half and frankly, I wasn’t anywhere near done with reading about their early days when the time skip came. The first four volumes alone are definitely worth reading as you’ll absolutely be compelled to read the ones after once you're done with them.
Take note that's not the actual title of the video I found today on nico nico douga and that the actual title would be something along the lines of "My PC's turned into something awesome but...". This nine minute short MMD film features Miku coming to life and stepping out the MMD programming window and onto the computer's cyberspace where the entire place soon gets overtaken by this kickass looking virus. Miku escapes and finds herself in a desolate infected part of the computer when all these anti-virus software come in around her and upgrade her to netnavi status ala the megaman battle network games. You can easily guess what follows as in the end the PC is restored back to normal and Miku steps back into the MMD program. An interesting piece of work and though the idea of having eight different brands of anti-virus installed in your computer is ridiculously redundant I must say I loved how Norton was portrayed in the video. I can't tell if that hero helmet clad office guy was the result of creative liberty or really the actual packaging for the software in Japan but I know I'd feel safe having that guy protecting my laptop.
Impression: Based on the first volume of a seemingly obscure series of light novels, this manga is the story of a boy and a girl who go by the names “Mii-kun” and “Maa-chan”. The two share the trauma of having been the victims of a kidnapping eight years prior and because of it, neither of them have all their screws in the right sockets. This is especially so for Maa-chan as she herself has kidnapped a pair of kids for no apparent reason. Between this and the serial murders that’s been taking place in their town, Mii-kun has his work cut out for him when it comes to resolving the problem Maa-chan’s gotten herself into. The author weaves a delightfully unique story with the fascinatingly screwed-up characters, unusual plot and his masterful use of implicit and explicit information. The misdirection of the mystery actually relies on the reader’s ability to put two and two together as the author uses unrelated implicit bits of information to make us fill in the gaps in the whole picture. I myself couldn’t help but be amazed at how brilliantly I got fooled by this since I only had my own assumptions to blame for being wrong. Sure, the presentation could be blamed for a few of the points(the killer’s identity comes to mind) in the story but I’m certain that the original novel was much better about it considering how many filters the version I read went through. It’s really a shame that they didn’t go on and adapt the other nine novels in the series cause there’s a good reason why the series has won a couple of awards.
Found two great videos on the nico nico rankings at the 24th and 27th spots today and they're respectively called "Strobe Last" and "Crybaby Boyfriend". The first one is a brand new Miku song and features a strangely relaxing trance-like beat to it while the other one is a cover of a Miku & Len song about a crybaby breaking up with his girlfriend by Wotamin and TaMU that I somehow missed last month.
Hatsune Miku - Strobe Last
I've listened to this at least ten times now and every time I try to understand what the lyrics are saying I always get distracted by the melody. Lyrics shown in the video aren't helping me much either cause this song's got a semi-hypnotic effect on me. I'm certain that the one persistent tone in the song is responsible for that since it's synced to play once every second and my own internal clock, one that's been proven to be quite excellent, can't help but try to match it too. Fact is that if you're listening to this song it won't be for the lyrics, it'll be for the great rhythmic beat that's making you tap your finger, foot, etc.
Crybaby Boyfriend by Wotamin & TaMU
This duet features the story of a couple who break up with the girl comforting her crybaby of a boyfriend as he boyfriend tries not to cry like he usually does for their farewell. Wotamin's an amazing singer so her singing at all makes it a worth listening to but the TaMU did a pretty good job too. I find this to be the best of the three versions I've found with the nice balance the two of them have going during the song though I like lino's take on the girl's part of the song better than Wotamin's.
Original Version by Hatsune Miku & Kagamine Len
Another Cover by lino & MISAKI
P.s. It seems that Youtube embedding's gotten so popular that they shortened the embed code to a more simplistic one. Going to miss being able to choose the player color though.
Well it looks like the reaper strikes again with another one of his violin renditions and Bad Apple doesn't disappoint in the least. This video's actually been floating around up there in the higher half of the nico nico rankings for the past few days but I hadn't been able to find a youtube reprint of it till now. To be honest, I have no idea what this guy is called but his covers are easily identified by that signature reaper mask of his, the one he always wears in his vids. As per usual to his skill, it's a great cover of the original song albeit a little fast so take a listen to it.
An interesting new Miku MMD showed up at the top spot on today's nico nico rankings this morning and it features what I suspect to be Miku driven by the Kinect's motion capture, music engineered to stay stuck in your head and a whole lot of awesomely screwy animations inspired by both madness and the cyberspace scenes from the first digimon movie and Summer Wars. I say I suspect that the Kinect was used to work out the subtle gestures and movements our favorite virtual idol because you don't usually get such precise movements from MMD software alone. Even the Project Diva modules used motion capture to come up with the dances in the game. Seeing as how brilliantly the Kinect can be utilized outside of its initial gaming specs Microsoft might as well start selling them off as standalone commercial motion capture devices cause there's no telling what other incredibly entertaining purpose those crazy Japs might come up with. Now that I've shared my opinion on the Kinect, please do take some time to watch this amazing new MMD and appreciate its awesomeness. I highly suggest watching it in HD.
Title: Release: The Emancipation of the Self Author: Sagara Naoya Release: Monthly Status: Complete Genre: Seinen, Sci-fi Art: C Originality: B Story: B Characters: B Humor: B Action: C
Impression: This is an odd series that I happened to find. It’s got the makings of something interesting but it’s very hard to discern the direction the series is taking. Emancipation of Personality features an amnesiac who was said to have been living in Tokyo for the past 5 years but is unable to recall any of it. The people in his life seem pretty normal making this seem like a story of an ordinary amnesiac living in modern times who has some dark hidden depths but then he has people coming after him who kidnap and bring the guy 70 years in the future where he actually comes from. I figured it’d be more of a psychological series based on the title and it turns out it’s a sci-fi of some ex-assassin who just wants to go back to the home he’s known as far as he remembers it. I feel like the author has a particular plot in mind but threw in some unnecessary elements that just didn’t come out right in ink and paper. First volume in and three more after, I just couldn’t come to grips with how the main character was important enough to drive the plot and as such I diagnose this series with a case of messy writing and lack of a properly done setting. I would have preferred to read more about his present life than what he did before that since the sci-fi bits just aren’t very well thought out.
Not too long ago a bunch of different vocaloid composers decided to make a tribute to Supercell's original debut album and make one of their own based on it and individually remix all the original songs with their own touches. That tribute album was released at Comiket 79 around two weeks ago and these are those remixes. They're all nicely done and a few have actually outdone the original versions.
Love is War by マチゲリータ.
This was already an awesome song and this remix made it even more so. This version sounded even more like declaration of war than the original did. I actually felt the urge to rise up and kick ass in the last quarter of the song when those incredible guitar rifts kicked in. This could really go well if someone used in a MAD.
Heartbreaker by 梨本うい
Certainly an improvement over the original but not by much.
Melt by cosMo (暴走P).
This one was really interesting and not just because of how much cheerier and girlier it sounded. At first I thought he used Len to replace Miku in the song using the original lyrics which were meant to be sung by a girl but turns out it was Luka. Given how some composers make him crossdress in some PVs it really made me wonder to myself why no one's done it yet given the rise of the trap trend in Japan. That seriously would make for an interesting PV and I suspect that if someone actually were to make it Kaito would probably be in for a big surprise at the end of it.
Black Rock Shooter by minato(流星P)
For most parts it sounded about the same but some of it sounded grander than the original.
Kurukuru Mark no Sugoi Yatsu by ゆよゆっべ
I don't think I've ever heard the original version but this is a nice rock song.
Line by ジミーサムP
It's okay. Didn't particularly care for the original version either.
World is Mine by Dixie Flatline
Easily the best remix of the album! The extended prologue and all the other additions to the song really made Miku sound even more like a Diva here. The original version made her sound like a spoiled girl used to getting her way but this one made her sound like a princess who's being coy with you about what she wants and knows it. I'd love to see how this version would do with a PV.
When Love Ends for the First Time by doriko
This version's nice and all but it makes it sound like Miku's fondly reminiscing about her first break up which is kinda weird.
Liar's Parade by 小林オニキス
This is much mellower than the original's rocking version but I quite like both of them.
Sono Ichibyou no Slow Motion by KNOTS
The original was much more upbeat than this version so while this one's good I like the original version better.
Hinekuremono by トラボルタ
I remember this being a bit of drag while I played it on Project Diva. This version reminds me of a rather moving arrangement Saihate that fit the lyrics better.
Matane by ichi (BaguettesEnsemble)
Rather than a remix of the original Matane this was more like a completely new medley since the original version was only a 42 second farewell to the listener. Didn't really care for this so called "remix".
Do you remember the sixth Pokemon movie Jirachi Wish Maker from all those years ago? I barely do since all I can remember is the horribly paced plot and story for that particular movie and that I didn't stick around for the credits. Today however, I discovered that I probably should have at least stuck around for the credits cause the song at the end was quite probably the high point of the entire film as I came across this cover of the song by ENE on the Nico Nico rankings at 40th place:
This really should have been in the top ten of the day.
After taking a listen to that blissfully angelic rendition of the song I searched around for the original versions of the songs and it turns out they were pretty good too, beautiful even. I can see why that's the first time the localizers decided to keep it in the English version of the movie. They even had the singer they hired to sing it in both English and Japanese for some reason. I do prefer ENE's cover by far because her voice makes it a lot more soothing. I would highly suggest that you take a listen to all three songs and find out just how amazing they are.
Title: Doubt Author: Tonogai Yoshiki Release: Monthly Status: Complete Genre: Mystery, Horror, Psychological Art: A Originality: A Story: D Characters: C Humor: C Action: B
Impression: What do you get when you cross the Saw franchise and some paper and ink? Saw, the manga! That’s the easiest way you can describe this and I’m sticking to that. There are a number of slight differences though: 1)The victims are stuck in the same building that the schemer is and they have to figure out who it is 2)There aren’t really any of the cool murder devices like in the movies. 3)The schemer is NOT an old man in a wheelchair talking through a creepy puppet. I had high hopes for this series when I accidentally read who the mastermind was on TvTropes but when I actually got around to reading this I found that the plot falls flat on the premise. The mystery aspect of the series was poorly handled and depended on everything going right and all the victims being complete idiots. If anyone had bothered to think things through or done one thing different then no one would have died. In fact, the one person you’d expect to actually do something right stupidly ends up HELPING the mastermind’s plan succeed! The scope that the series covered was quite underwhelming given the elements that were there by the end and I would rather read more about the mastermind than the so called “mystery” that the manga provided. Seriously, the true identity of the mastermind alone was at least ten times more interesting than the actual plot and I would have enjoyed a series from their point of view.
For my first post of 2011 I’ve decided to go with a review of the Gundam 00 movie and thankfully enough it turned out to be as good as I had hoped it would be. Contrary to what a lot of people are saying the movie didn’t disappoint me in the least and all those complaints I’ve heard about it we completely blown out of proportion. Well, maybe not the whole 00 Qan[T] only having five minutes of screen time but I didn’t mind that in the least.
This was a pretty creepy scene.
The movie is the final act of the Gundam 00 where humanity finally makes first contact an unknown extraterrestrial lifeform from god knows where and the impending threat that their approach to Earth brings. With the Earth currently going through an era of peace under the new ESF administration Celestial Being has been keeping a low profile on their activities but this alien threat forces them out of hiding as Innovators with Quantum Brainwaves like Setsuna are the targets of this new menace. The threat proves to be far greater than they had imagined and Setsuna becomes the key to resolving this entire mess.
Raphael was the least impressive of the new machines and this was impressive.
These Braves are definitely on par with the 4th generation Gundams.
Wallpaper sized yo! Click it! TransGraham's Brave was awesome!
I personally feel that the movie was very well done and ended the series perfectly. Although the plot is pretty straightforward and simple I thought it served as a perfect conclusion for the entire Gundam 00 franchise. Not only did it tie up all the loose ends and bring back all the remaining characters for a grand finale, it also made good on its themes of understanding and conflict and finally showed us what Aeolia Schenberg intended for. With the exception of the very final scene which could have been handled better, the direction of the movie was superb and kept to a great pace that just made the movie feel a little too short at the end. I suspect there’s probably a director’s cut or the like in the works because I sincerely doubt that being exactly two hours long was a decision made by the production staff and not the executives. You have scenes where the ELS activities were genuinely unnerving and you can just feel the tension and intensity at times when the movie demanded your attention. Don’t think it was a completely serious affair though as they slipped in a few jokes here and there to keep the mood from going too sour. My favorite ones were where Billy told his all too enthusiastic lover to be gentle with him and the fact that Setsuna actually chuckled at Ian’s outrage at Mileina’s confession. Patrick even delivered a good one in the middle of the climax that had me partly relieved.
Sunrise should probably try that Gainax parody style on the next Gundam series.
Setsuna is actually smiling in this pic! Seriously!
I'm really liking this meme. So very much applicability.
The animation of course was top notch and made for insane levels of action in the final confrontation with so, so many things going on at once. You really have to be amazed at all the technical details they put in and the sheer brilliance behind the alien ELS. Their being living metal that operated on a hive mind and their modus operandi at understanding things made them absolutely perfect for their role as it showed just how easy it is for things to go very wrong when you don’t understand a thing about the opposite party. It gets bonus points from me for being a threat that was part alien part nanotech part robot and part legion.
Harute's scissor bits cut an ELS GN-X into 16 pieces like giant metal scissor piranha hybrids.
Wave motion cannon prep in Marute mode.
All hail to the new king of beam spam, Zabanya!!
See all those pink beams? God-tier beam spamming Zabanya!!
I’ve actually watched this movie twice now(and will probably watch it again at some point), before and after BSS released their subs and found that the only difference between the viewings were some small details that I missed out on the first time along with some small jokes that weren’t entirely due to the movie(transgraham. Lol. Very cheeky BSS.). That having been said, the movie is actually quite simplistic and quite easy to understand which is why I find it odd that there are people calling it a failure simply because the Qan[T] didn’t get to showcase all of its power. That obviously would have conflicted a lot with Setsuna’s character and the movie’s themes and I’d have been very disappointed if that’s all the movie amounted to. At any rate, they’d complain anyway about the hax and Setsuna being the new Jesus in Gundam even if the Qan[T] did take down the ELS like the director said it could. Anyone who actually applies to that mindset about the movie has clearly been taken in by the all too effective marketing that Bandai is notorious for.
There is no doubt that he really could have taken them ALL on. The ELS and the Humans.
Quantum Burst. More impressive than I thought it would be.
Keep in mind that Quantum Burst uses way more GN Particles than regular Trans-am.
Assuming that's the meter for his GN particle reserves on the right then the Hax is uber strong in this one.
To be honest, I actually had an embarrassingly difficult time writing this review thanks to all the little things I loved about it. There was so, so, so much I liked in there that it was very hard to fit it all in this review and it's gone past the thousand word mark already. It even has me posting up the most screenshots of I've ever put up for a review. Everyone had their moment in the spotlight to shine and shine spectacularly they did. The movie wrapped things up quite nicely and I honestly can’t see how they could continue the 00 universe from here. I mean they actually could but it’s going to be tricky feat considering how the story and cast are pretty much settled with the movie. Hopefully they’ll just leave the story at this and not try to follow it up with a sequel ala SEED Destiny cause the series is pretty much complete with this. Well that’s it for my review on the movie and let’s pray that the new Gundam series they’ve got lined up for us is something completely different cause now’s a very good time for something different. I could really go for something like nanomachine based technology with a female A.I. as the protagonist piloting a constantly adapting Gundam that’s the center of a new conflict. Just throwing the idea out there.
Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved through understanding.