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Saturday, August 30, 2008

May God and Her Majesty bless you...

"In the name of God, impure souls of the living dead shall be banished into eternal damnation.

The Hellsing Organization, headed by Sir Integra Wingates Hellsing handles in dealing with a new breed of vampires who, evidently, threaten God and Her Majesty Queen of England. The organization, especially Sir Integra, detests the intrusion of the Catholics of the Vatican. She (Sir Integra is the heiress of the Hellsing family) believes that Britain is a protestant kingdom; therefore the Catholics should not intervene.

The anime starts off when it appears that a new breed of vampires is created using a special chip that will give them the characteristics of a vampire. A very powerful and formidable vampire, Alucard, serves Sir Integra and the Hellsing Organization to banish these so-called ‘vampires’ in totality from the face of the Earth. His custom-made gun and his menacing dark power help him in getting rid of the foes. Alucard not only has to combat these pseudo-vampires, he has to fight against other threats as well.

One fateful evening, Alucard met with police girl, Seras Victoria. They engaged in a deadly situation. After that macabre incident he has no other choice but to transform her into a vampire to save her life. She joins the organization and battles alongside Alucard, whom she refers as her master. Alucard poses as her guardian angel and, apparently, always appears when she is in trouble.

Sir Integra also has a butler alias bodyguard named Walter, whom Alucard refers as The Angel Of Death. Even though he looks rather sombre and feeble, apparently he is not. Look certainly can be decieving. He may look like mere butler but the truth is, he is a fearsome killing machine. With his unique killing technique, he manages to decapitate a room-full of zombies in a blink of an eye!

Plot-wise, I think this anime is worth watching. Besides, the episodes are sufficiently satisfactory. I also adore the first opening heme as it is different and distinctive. It's a must watch, nevertheless, this is definitely not a kid stuff. BTW, the one that I watched here is English dubbed and I never thought that it is possible to use the word f**k more than 3 times is in a single sentence.

P/S - ALUCARD is actually DRACULA spelled backward.

Click H.E.R.E to download the episodes.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Human animes!

If humans are like these! Animes creators and animators would have a field day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cry me a river...

I watched this movie with my guard down. I didn't have the slightest idea what this movie is all about. Hence, I'm sill sobbing hysterically while typing this entry. This is the saddest anime movie ever. And I'm not planning to watch it again, EVER!!!!

Grave of Fireflies (a.k.a Tombstone of Fireflies) or Hotaru no Haka is one movie that permanently engraves itself into your memory. In my humble opinion this is one of the most difficult movies of any genre to watch, nonetheless, it is also one of the best written. It is because this movie is actually based on the director's own life-story during WWII.

This movie does not glorify war, in fact, it intensifies the grotesque pictures of war. Somehow, this movie reminds me of my favorite poem Dulce Et Decorum Est by Owen by Wilfred Owen. This movie is emotionally draining and it is the ultimate tear-jerker to date.

It's about a harsh struggle of two orphan siblings, Seita and Setsuko, during WWII. They have to endure the suffering and pain regardless their tender ages (Seita was only 13 and Setsuko was 4). Even though Setsuko was practically a toddler she as considerably 'mature' in swallowing the whole bitter experiences. Even though she was young and dependent, she did not pose as a burden to her brother.

The movie exhibits the theme of personal growth, independence and most importantly brotherly love. Nonetheless, I simply detest the ending. The ending is not a stereotypical resolution which is common in most anime movies produced by Studio Ghibli. Until now, I can't shove away the scene of Seita cremating Setsuko's lifeless and frail body. Why must it end like this!!!!!

Grave of Fireflies
is a movie that you don't want to watch when you're in the mood for anything carefree or light. Because it will definitely spoil your mood for the whole day. In fact, this is a movie that you would want to show if you want to clear the room with everyone in tears streaming down their cheeks.

I think I better stop here. I am ambivalent right now. I don't know whether to recommend it or not. Can't really decide with all tears still blurring my vision...

Perhaps every decade, there will be a movie so memorable, so moving and so compelling that it permanently embeds images into your memory. This movie is definitely
the one.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fly Me to the Moon...

Flying, European setting, young female protagonist. These all too familiar elements. That's Miyazaki-sensei!

Kiki's Delivery Services (Majo No Takyoubin) is another masterpiece created by the celebrated storyteller in 1989. This movie is the first Disney/Studio Ghibli deal. The movie was dubbed in 1997 and it was premiered in the United State in year 1998.

The story is about Kiki a witch-in-training. She lives in a small rural village where her mother is the resident herbalist. Traditionally, Kiki has to leave her home to spend a year alone in a new town to establish herself as a bonafide witch. Kiki therefore flies on her mother's broom with her closest companion, Jiji, an eloquent black cat. Seconds after she leaves, Kiki and Jiji are caught in a thunderstorm, from which they take overnight refuge in a freight train. On the next morning, Kiki and Jiji wake up to discover that they have fallen asleep in a cow herd's feed-bag. They leave the trin and continue their search for a place to live.

Kiki settles in the beautiful seaside city, Koriko. Initially, she finds it hard to adjust to the new surrounding and the city's pace. However, due to an accidental incident she starts a delivery service that takes advantage of her ability to fly. In addition, in the story she experiences several difficulties such as slow business, misplaced merchandise, rude customers, and illness. She also must contend with her loneliness, worries, and homesickness.

In the new city, Kiki managed to make some new friends and she has met a boy named Tombo Kopori. At the beginning, she rebuffs Tombo who is the same age with her and is interested in aviation. However, she gradually befriends him.

Another problem she encounters is insecurity. Because of thet, Kiki's powers begins to diminish. Kiki learns about overcoming such obstacles with the help of a newfound friend, a young artist named Ursula, who gives advice regarding inspiration that Kiki needs in order to regain her magic.

In this movie, Tombo is accidentally lifted into the air in a blimp accident. When she is his only hope of rescue, Kiki finds the inspiration to regain her flying ability. Improvising with a street-sweeper's deck brush, Kiki manages to rescue Tombo with some difficulty.

After the incident, she has become the local hero and celebrity. Later, she is on the street of her town and notices a little girl walking past, because the little girl has her hair and clothing styled like Kiki's and is even carrying a small deck broom like the one Kiki flew to save Tombo.

If you had chance to watch Disney's version, you will notice one apparent difference: the background music. The background music is embellished and the opening and ending theme are also replaced.

The movie exudes the theme of coming of age and self-discovery. The protagonist has to be independent and discovers her own strength and drive. This can be seen when she embarks on the journey on her own without any adult companionship. She also works as a 'messenger' for a living. This definitely summarizes the whole sentiment of the movie.

Young Love At Its Best...

Whisper of the Heart or Mimi Wo Sumabesa (If You Listen Closely) is a captivating, charming and poignant tale about a school girl Shizuku Tsukishima. In this movie she is working on the translation of John Denver's "Country Road" song. The whole plot begins when Shizuku discovered a name -Seiji Amasawa- written on several library cards. She became curious. One day she met an unnamed boy at the school. She seemed to be irritated by the boy's aloofness towards her. Then one day while sitting on the train to go to the library, Shizuku comes across a cat sitting on the train by itself. The cat gets off at her stop, and Shizuku decides to follow the cat. Upon following the cat, Shizuku is lead to an antique shop. Gradually, she learned that the unnamed boy is actually Seiji Amasawa ! And thus begins the wonderful, heartwarming journey, about one's girl journey about growth and self-discovery.

Though this movie wasn't directed by Miyazaki, I would have to say this movie is very similar to Miyazaki's movie Kiki's Delivery Service. These two movies tell a tale about coming of age and self-discovery. Again with this being a Studio Ghibli film, the animation of the movie is very detailed and colourful. Even though the movie doesn't use orchestrated music the music of the movie was simply noteworthy. The background music was mainly of soft violin,flute and string guitar themes. I really adore the scene where Shizuku sings along Seiji's violin's performance. In the final analysis, this is another brilliant masterpiece by Studio Ghibli, that is suitable for the whole family. Most importantly, the ending leaves a nice feeling in the stomach, so it comes highly recommended. Never thought puppy love could ever be this profound...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

'O Sweet Love...

OH MY GOD! After finally finished watching Nodame Cantabile (anime) I believe this is THE MOST ROMANTIC and THE SWEETEST anime to date. Sorry Honey & Clover. Apparently your place in my heart has been forcefully replaced by NODAME single-handedly. I think I am gonna cry now *sob*. BTW, in this anime I simply love the ending. I have never tasted love this sweet...

This picture was taken from the scene of the last episode. Chiaki was looking for Nodame at her hometown Ohkawa. Unbeknown to her, Chiaki went to her hometown. He was lost and then he tried to call her. They hadn't been contacting each for so many months after they had a spat. It was just so happened that he was in a cab while talking to her. Then, while still in the cab he saw her walking alone along a riverbank. Then Chiaki stopped the cab and walked slowly behind her. And then when he was close enough he hugged her tightly ... KAWAII!!!!

Why I Love Nodame Cantabile

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Face The Music

A total opposite! NODAME CANTABILE (roughly translated as THE GENTLE SONG OF NODAME) is the exact opposite of La Corda D’oro Primo Passo. The plot is more well-laid, the characters are realistic and most importantly the realism is totally noteworthy! I simply adore it through and through.

What triggers me to watch this anime is when I was browsing for La Carda D’oro’s review on the internet. And then, one of the reviews mentioned this anime and it is stated that the anime is good. Right after reading that, I downloaded the first 5 episodes of the anime and I have forgotten about them ever since.

Yesterday, while I was ‘digging into’ my lappy I just realised that there are 5 episodes of Nodame Cantabile that I have downloaded and I watched it. At first I was a tad sceptical but when I watched them (the episodes) I instantaneously addicted to this anime (what’s new?! Hehehe)!

The reason why I love this anime is because this anime is comical, funny and yet the theme is rather profound. There is a hint of love and romance however it is exhibited towards the end of the episodes. And the most important of all, the portrayal of the characters is also impeccable and flawless. I adore the portrayal of the protagonist, Chiaki Shinichi. He is portrayed as someone who is musically blessed, frank and rather helpful. However, he is a bit insecure about his 'weaknesses'. The other protagonist, Noda Megumi (Nodame) is the exact opposite of Chiaki however, she complements him in every single way. She is very candid, childlike and driven.

Moreover, the classical numbers used in this anime are also captivating and mesmerizing. They are Brahms', Mozart’s, Beethoven’s, Dvorák's, Rachmaninoff's, Schubert's, Liszt's and the list goes on. It’s a definitely a must-watch anime! BTW, in case you are wondering, 'cantabile' means 'a gentle and singable song'.

Here is the LINK if you want to watch the anime! PLEASE watch it! Have fun!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Let's Rumble, Samurai Style! (part deux)

I was introduced to Ninja Scroll in year 2004. My brother went home one day and he shoved it to my face, while I was in a deep slumber. It's 2.00 a.m in the morning, mind you! Since it was during weekend, so I decided to stay up and watched it till the end.

The protagonist in this anime is Jubei Kibagami, a masterless ninja. He is a wandering vagabond ninja who wants nothing to do but rest until one day, he got himself involved in a battle between the Hiruko and the Kimon Clan. Later, one of the Hiruko Clan members gave him a Dragon Stone in which he must give it to the light maiden, Shigure. Now he is on an adventure to give the Dragon Stone to Shigure and to protect her from both the Hiruko and the Kimon Clan.

I like this anime for the fact that, the episodes are not too long (which are only 13 episodes altogether). Other than that, I also found that the plot is rather intriguing and interesting. The realism and the graphic are also praiseworthy! A good anime to watch but not by all. There are some disturbing element in this anime. It's quite bloody and the rape scene is quite blatant for the younger audience.

Anyway, I recommend this anime to those who like samurai anime!


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