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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Aliens, Time Travellers and Espers Beware! Here comes Suzumiya-san...

I just finished watching 3 early episodes of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu (The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya) and I think I like them. Even though the first episode is quite confusing (what's with The Miracle Mikuru-chan?) I found that the second and third episodes are very interesting. Most importantly, they are hillarious as hell! I felt rather angry at myself for not downloading the rest of the episodes sooner (I'm using Celcom broadband and at my place the connection is quite intermitten).

This anime is actually adapted from a light novel wrtten by Nagaru Tanigawa and illustrated by Noizi Ito. I really adore the portrayal of Haruhi and her merry friends. Suzumiya Haruhi is portrayed as a very quirky, mysterious, eccentric, bossy and thought-provoking student and she claims she has no interest on ordinary human beings (what's with Kyon, then?). This anime can also be categorised under comedy because it's totally hilarious. And there are some action-packed scenes that qualify this anime as an action anime. Another theme that this anime exudes is science fiction. When Asahina Mikuru the time traveller is 'volutarilly arrested' by Suzumiya in joining the SOS Brigade, I laughed so hard till my stomach hurt. I also love Kyon's monologues when he describes Haruhi and strange things that happen around him. I like the detail descriptions used by him. He is very sacarstic and skeptical and yet he condones all Haruhi's actions. I also love the portrayal of Nagato Yuki the alien as the 'accident' member of the SOS Brigade. Apparently, she is a very intersting character. Later, we will be introduced to a cute esper Koizumi Itsuki who adds the quirk to the group. If you notice these extra-teristerial beings (a time traveller, an alien and an esper) are exactly what Suzumiya proclaimes to be interested with.

KUDOS to the animators and the illustrator, Noizi Ito. People of Kyoto Animation have done a great job in producing one helluva anime. If you notice, the movements, the mannerisms, the facial expressions and the behaviors of each character are very smooth and human-like. Apparently, Japanese animators are very serious when it comes to the anime production. Be it a grand-scale production or even a simple serial show. They are very dedicated. Unlike the animators of American cartoons. The animators are only serious when they are involved with a high-profiled and grand-scaled animation production.

Here's the link for the episodes. They are in rmvb format. To those who don't have a real player, I have provided the link to download it. Have fun watching!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Of Cloud and Heart...

Final Fantasy? Not really my cuppa' tea. I believe it is a over-the-top anime and 3D is not really favorite type of anime. Another reason why I don't really heart FF is because the lack of knowledge about it. Plot-wise, it is too complex to understand. Therefore, I never had the urge to watch Advent Children before.

Nevertheless, on one fateful night somehow, I finally watched FINAL FANTASY: Advent Children. Again, I am not a fan of Final Fantasy. I was a bit blurred with the whole plot. And the characters are too many to remember. Maybe because I never watched its previous installments or even play the game. But, all that put aside because I simple adore the graphic and animation! I didn't really care about the whole plot and characters but my eyes were glued to my tv screen!

The graphic and animation are the best I have ever seen! It's so detailed it left you gasping in awe all the time. The realism is beyond my imagination. I really love when Tifa Lockheart toyed with her smooth and silky hair and Cloud Strife's surreal hair blown by the wind when he was riding his awesome, state-of-the-art bike. It seemed so amazing! If fact, you can even see individual strands of his hair. I felt like running my fingers through his hair...

Like I said earlier, I didn't really fathom the whole story's plot but, who cares! The fighting sequence and the action-packed scenes were utterly amazing and fluid! It is so fast and confusing at the beginning, however as you get used to it, everything looks normal.

I simply love it when Tifa Lockheart fought a baddy named Loz (correct me if I am wrong) and when Cloud Strife had a one-on-one battle with a character named Sephiroth. The intensity is really awesome and it's almost tangible. An amazing anime, indeed!

My two cents:

If you are watching this movie for the sake of plot, I advise you to get to know Final Fantasy first before any attempt to watch it. But if you are watching it for the sake of admiring the brilliant graphics, the excellent visual effects and the awesome fighting sequence, (which make up 60% of this movie) this movie is definity for you!

Blossom madly, Benishidare: LAME!

Last night I, finally, managed to watch the latest episodes of Bleach. After the Hueco Mundo's arc, there have been so many new characters! And somehow, these characters are quite 'ripped-off'. For example, Kenryuu reminds me of Shuuhei Hisagi; Enryuu looks similar to Tessai; Amagai Shuusuke taichou reminds me of Kyoraku Shunsui taichou; as well as Kifune looks almost like Syazel Apporo Grantz (maybe it's the spectacles). And, the plot has 'deviated' from the last arc.

One more thing, I like the idea that the setting is back to Soul Society and Karakura Town. I miss all Shinigamis a lot, especially Byakuya-sama and Hitsugaya Taichou! From the latest episodes, we are revealed to the fourth noble house in Soul Society. As we all already informed, the first one is The House of Kuchiki, then The House of Shiba, next The House of Shihouin and the last one is The House of Kasumi-Ouji. This might be trivial to others, but to an anime freak like me, it's a biggy!

One of the new characters that is introduced is Kenryuu. He is the 'baby-sitter' of Kasumi-Ouji Lurichiyo-sama. And he is also a shinigami (I assumed fron his black kimono & hakama as well as his zanpakutou). His zanpakutou certainly has the strangest release ever. The shikai, I thought , would be somewhat similar to the Byakuya-taichou's Senbonzakura. When he started to unsheath the zanpakutou, small petals of pink flowers scattered all over the place. Then he uttered "blossom madly, Benishidare!".

I was so excited and anticipated the power of his shikai form. But, I was decieved... OMG, his shikai release is so weird and hillarious. The power of the shikai is, to sprout flowers from the enemy's weapon that eventually renders it useless. Anyway, after the enemy shook off the sprouting flowers, the it is back to normal. I found it so lame! Even Kurosaki and Kuchiki found it lame too! (I like when both of them fainted). The funny thing is, Enryuu, Orihime and Lurichiyo found it cool and amazing! I laughed so hard I hurt my tummy (ok, I exagerrated a bit there). Check out the video!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I stand corrected!

I just finished watching SHONEN ONMYOJI's 7th episode. I believe I was being harsh if I say that this anime is dragging and boring. Well, I stand corrected! I love this anime and I believe, steadfastly, this anime is a must-watch. Can't wait tommorow for the next episode. In fact, I refrain myself from downloading it from the Internet so that it will be suspence! Hate the suspence but love the anticipation...

Princess of Monsters : Mononoke-hime

I would like to recommend to all anime lovers to watch this award winning anime created by none other Hayao Miyazaki. These are the awards that the movie has claimed so far :

  • Best Picture; The 21st Japanese Academy Awards
  • Best Japanese Movie, Best Animation, and Japanese Movie Fans' Choice; The 52nd Mainichi Movie Competition
  • Best Japanese Movie and Readers' Choice; Asahi Best Ten Film Festival
  • Excellent Movie Award; The Agency for Cultural Affairs
  • Grand Prize in Animation Division; 1st Japan Media Arts Festival (by the Agency for
  • Cultural Affairs of the Ministry of Education)
  • Best Director; Takasaki Film Festival
  • Best Japanese Movie; The Association of Movie Viewing Groups
  • Movie Award; The 39th Mainichi Art Award
  • Best Director; Tokyo Sports Movie Award
  • Nihon Keizai Shinbun Award for Excellency; Nikkei Awards for Excellent Products/Service (details)
  • Theater Division Award; Asahi Digital Entertainment Award
  • MMCA Special Award; Multimedia Grand Prix 1997
  • Best Director and Yujiro Ishihara Award; Nikkan Sports Movie Award
  • Special Achievement Award; The Movie's Day
  • Special Award; Houchi Movie Award
  • Special Award; Blue Ribbon Award
  • Special Award; Osaka Film Festival
  • Special Award; Elandore Award
  • Cultural Award; Fumiko Yamaji Award
  • Grand Prize and Special Achievement Award; Golden Gross Award
  • First Place, best films of the year; The 26th "Pia Ten"
  • First Place; Japan Movie Pen Club, 1997 Best 5 Japanese Movies
  • First Place; 1997 Kinema Junpo Japanese Movies Best 10 (Readers' Choice)
  • Second Place; 1997 Kinema Junpo Japanese Movies Best 10 (Critics' Choice)
  • Best Director; 1997 Kinema Junpo Japanese Movies (Readers' Choice)
  • First Place; Best Comicker's Award
  • First Place; CineFront Readers' Choice
  • Nagaharu Yodogawa Award; RoadShow
  • Best Composer and Best Album Production; 39th Japan Record Award
  • Excellent Award; Yomiruri Award for Film/Theater Advertisement

The movie is set in Muromachi Period (1300s) and it portrays the beautiful and green scenery of mountains and forests. It centers on the struggle between the supernatural guardians of a forest and the humans who consume its resources, as seen by the outsider. This is common issue dealt by Miyazaki. It tells us that this anime offers more than just entertainment. It is an eye-opener to the real and current situation, even the setting is not the present. In addition, it gives us the insight on how environment is treated nowadays and how people can be profiteering. Furthermore, the portrayal of characters is really 3-dimensional and thorough. The life-stories of San and Ashitaka are exposed in detail. It's proven that Miyazaki is a master story-teller!

I simply adore this movie and it's definitely a must-watch!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shonen Onmyoji... hmm...

So far I have only watched 2 early episodes. They were rather dry and a bit dragging. I really hope the rest of the episodes will be much better!

Anyway, I like the drawing and the character, Abe Masahiro. I like his portrayal of his character in these two early episodes. Guren Toda reminds me of a character in a game I used to play...
Correct me if I'm wrong but, somehow, Masahiro and Guren @ Mokun remind me of Ueki and Tenko.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fresh Bread, Anyone? : Yakitate! JaPan

At first, I was quite fixated over this anime. I like it because the (early) plot is rather intriguing. In addition, I like the portrayal of the protagonis, Azuma Kazuma. He got spunk and spirit and at the sametime he is so naive. Kawachi Kyosuke is funny and a bit pigheaded. He complemets Azuma very well. Moreover, the theme is very unique. I regard this anime as an eye-opener. It gives out the important information regarding bread and bread making. Other than that, the opening and ending tracks are rather catchy and interesting.
Well... here comes the bad part! I hate this anime because of its ridiculous and quirky characters. It is funny if the characters are only one or two intermittently shown in the episodes but not throughout the entire episodes!
  • There is a character - Meister Kirisaki - who is bemasked 24/7. To add, he has a pet peacock that is more intelligent than a dog (the peacock can answer a telephone call!).
  • Pierot : The self multiplying clown who seems to have the ability to pop anywhere and everywhere he wishes to be. In the finale, he emerges from the sky like Ultraman.
  • There's this Mokono character (correct me if I am wrong) who wears a mask of a koala but then later he changes his mask to panda.
  • A king who wears a lion head for a mask and he seems to be wearing it througout the episodes! What is up with that?!
  • Mr. M seems happy with his afro hair-style and he managed to influence Kawachi to have one.

There are also lot's of 'anomalies' in this anime. Somehow, I was rather 'amused' with these quirks. Whenever people eat Azuma's bread they will have 'reactions' and among of these 'reactions' are...

  • Out-of-body experience : Kuroyonagi died briefly and gone to heaven as a reation when he ate Azuma's bread.
  • bodily transformation and mental distortion : For example, in episod 44, Pierot once transformed into Detective Conan Breadogawa (Edogawa)!
  • distortion in time and space continuum: Azuma's bread has changed the past and resurrected Pierot's dead parents.
  • parody: Episode 44 contains both parodies of Initial D and Michael Schumacher, and also of Doraemon. In episode 59, there is a parody of Naruto where Kawachi (Naruto) and Suwabara (Sasuke) are fighting using various parodied techniques.

Well, actually, there are so many quirks in this anime. And you'll only understand me if you watch it yourself! Anyway, you can download it at the LINK I have provided in this blog. Good luck downloading!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Animeman Extraordinaire : Miyazaki-Sensei...

...children's souls are the inheritors of historical memory from previous generations.

For those who claim themselves as anime lovers MUST have known HAYAO MIYAZAKI! If you are unaware of him and his works must, at once, rip the title as 'anime lover'! He is a sheer genius and a magnificent story-teller! He is the ultimate animators and anime director, the one and only. In fact, so far, he is the only Japanese animator that has won the Academiy Award for his superb masterpiece, Spirited Away. He was raduated from Gakushuin University with a degree in political science & economics (1963). And for that reason, he usually deals with themes of politic, environmentalism, anti-war and most importantly good and evil.

He also believes that there is always good in evil or vice versa. For example in Mononoke-hime, Lady Eboshi knowingly exploits the forests for raw materials at the expense of animal life, while simultaneously sheltering lepers and former prostitutes in her city. The same is true for Spirited Away, where, according to Miyazaki, "the heroine [is] thrown into a place where the good and bad dwell together ... She manages not because she has destroyed the “evil,” but because she has acquired the ability to survive."

When it comes to theme of enviromentailsm, in Spirited Away, this theme is made concrete through the "stink spirit", and consequently he himself, has been polluted and is cleansed by the protagonist, Chihiro.

The reason why his work is accepted world-wide is because his work has European flavor, excellent visual and audio quality as well as unique themes. Eventhough, most of the settings are based in Japan, the European influence can be seen in the setting.

His most prominent trademark in his work is flying. He frequently includes scenes or sequences in which the characters fly. Another trait of his work is, he likes to pay homage to working-class people. This can be seen in Spirited Away, Mononoke-hime and also Howl's Moving Castle. He is truly a director that appreciates children and youngster and that is the reason why most of his protagonists are children or teenagers.

In the final anlysis, I believe Miyazaki's work has transcended time and space. And it will be appreciated and enjoyed by all!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My name is Chihiro : Spirited Away

This movie is produced by Studio Ghibli . It's written and directed by the famous and celebrated Hayao Miyazaki in year 2001. For those who don't really know who is Hayao Miyazaki, he is the famous writer and director ofnumerous well-known anime movies such as Mononoke-Hime, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbour, Totoro,  Laputa and the list goes on. In addition, Spirited Away had claimed an international accolade by winning an OSCAR (yes... you heard me right!) in the same year. And then, the movie snagged another 35 wins and 18 nominations.

The original title of this movie is SEN TO CHIHIRO NO KAMIKAKUSHI. Literally it means, Sen and Chihiro Spiriting Away. But when it is translated into English the title is shorten into SPRITED AWAY. The tagline of this movie is The tunnel led Chihiro to a mysterious town (don't ever ask me the Japanese translation...).

It's undeniable that Miyazaki is the wizard of Japanese Anime. He, more often than not, creates works of such incredible beauty, stunning visual and sensory enchantmens. He is definitely the master of storytelling, that one can only be left speechless. Overwhelmed. Intoxicated with wonder. This is the magic of Spirited Away

The plot is simple yet very spellbinding. Filled with unique, lovable, quirky and spunky characters that will amuse and mesmerize the audience. Miyazaki reminds me of Charles Dickens. Both of them have the knack in creating such memorable characters with unique mannerisms. This anime will absolutely be enjoyed by everybody from all walks of life. Children and adults alike will be enthralled from start to end.

I simply love this movie since it radiates a magical, awe-inspiring, tearful, laughter-filled, heartfelt journey through a land of sweeping fantasy and dreams.

The First Wind...

Hajimari No Kaze ~ Full Version~
By, Hirahara Ayaka

Hajimari no kaze yo todoke messe-ji (message)
"Itsu demo anata wo shinjite iru kara"

Ano toki yume ni mite ita sekai ni tatte iru noni
Miwatasu keshiki ni ashi wo sukoshi sukumase
Dakedo ushiro furimukanaide aruite yuku koto kimeta kara
Miageta sora nanairo no niji anata mo mite'masu ka?

Hajimari no kaze yo todoke messe-ji (message)
Yume ni kakedashita senaka mimamoru kara
Maiagaru kaze yo omoi wo tsutaete
"Itsu demo anata wo shinjite iru kara"
Habatake mirai e

Tatoeba, taisetsu na hito wo mune ni omou toki wa

Daremo ga kitto yasashii kao wo shiteru hazu
Michi wa toki ni hateshinakutemo akiramezu ni yuku yo

Hajimari no kaze yo todoke messe-ji (message)
Haruka na tabiji no sono saki de matteru
Maiagaru kaze yo unmei mo koete
Negai wa todoku to shinjirareru kara
Itsuka mata aeta nara ano egao misete
Hajimari no kaze yo todoke messe-ji (message)
Haruka na tabiji no sono saki de matteru
Maiagaru kaze yo unmei mo koete

Negai wa todoku to shinjirareru kara
Osoreru mono nado nai
"anata ga iru kara"

What say me:
For those who are not very familiar with this song, this is actually the opening theme for anime COLOURCLOUD PALACE or SAIUNKOKU MONOGATARI. Some translate the title as "The Wind of Beginning" and some "The First Wind". I prefer the latter. The singer is Hirahara Ayaka.

Everytime when I listen to this song, it makes cry! I can't get enough of this song. I trust that anybody who listens to this number, will get hooked immediately! I can vouch on that! I simply love the intoxicating melody and the sound of er-hu (Chinese traditional musical instrument) is really soothing. Furthermore, Hirahara-san's calming voice really complemets the whole mood. Since I love this song so very much, I have made it as my current ringtone.

If you want to download the song, try these L.I.N.K 1 or L.I.N.K 2


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