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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

LOVELY*COMPLEX (or Love*Com) the anime was first aired in 2007. There are 24 episodes all together. This anime is actually adapted from a popular shoujo manga (2001 - 2006) by Nakahara Aya with the same title. In 2006, the manga was adapted into a live-action movie.

The very first thing I notice about this anime is the way the characters speak. Obviously, since the setting of this anime is in Osaka, so they are actually speaking in Kansai-ben. The tone is a bit melodic and sometimes it sounds a tad harsher that the normal standard Japanese dialect.

By and large, the strengths of any anime series depend on two core elements: story-lines and characterizations. Plot-wise, this anime has a simple yet unforgettable story lines. I like how the characters struggle in developing their relationship. There are scenes that have, apparently, etched in my mind. There are scenes that make my heart skips a beat (duhh... what's new?). In fact, there are even several scenes that leave a strange 'tingling' in the pit of my stomach. Ahh... the stolen kisses... and who could forget those...

Next, I really adore the portrayal of the two protagonists in this anime. Koizumi Risa is not your typical Japanese girl. She is taller than any of her peers and in fact, towering at 172cm, she is way taller than any of the typical boys. Well, Otani Atsushi is her exact opposite. He is way too short even for a normal boy. His height is 156cm (that IS short. Even I'm taller than him). Obviously, he is way shorter than Koizumi. To make thing even worse, Koizumi always addresses him as chibiko (midget) and Otani always refers her as Amazon or sometimes Totem Pole. Since they bicker like nobody's bussines, they are dubbed by their homeroom teacher All Hanshin Kyojin, a famous Japanese comedy duo who differ in heights. But, on one fine day (it's night, actually), somehow, they are destined to watch a concert together. That's how the bittersweet romance begins...

Apparently, after watching this anime, I do believe love is not simply physical. And I do realize, wholeheartedly, that opposite does attract! It is totally sweet, insightful, hilarious and endearing. Hence this anime is absolutely recommended by moi. If you haven't watched this, try downloading it [H.E.R.E]! Have fun!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Angel or Vampire?... it's your call!

I have downloaded the series ROSARIO + VAMPIRE (Rosary And Vampire) around last month and somehow I didn't have the urge to watch the episodes. So, two days ago, I gave it a try. Hmm... what can I say. This anime is not my cup of tea. It is a combination of comedy, ecchi, yuri (girls love) and action .

This 13-episode anime is adapted from a manga, and it is originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Manga to be exact. The anime version was aired in Japan since January 2008 and it ended in March.

The Plot

Aono Tsukune is an average high school student who is unable to get into any private school, due to his below-par test scores. The only school he is finally accepted into is actually an underground school for yokai (monsters), who are in disguise as humans. The very first student he meets is Akashiya Moka, who turns out to be a vampire. They, eventually, becomes friends for an unusual reason; she is attracted to the sweet taste of his human blood. Tsukune begins to fear for his life when he quickly learns that his admission into the Yokai Gakuen is a mistake.

Even though Moka's vampiric nature always gets the best of her, she is a kind and overly sweet girl and apparently Tsukune quickly falls head over heel for her. Along the way he meets with an over-developed succubus named Kuruno Kuromu and a young 'lolita' witch Sendo Yukari. At this point there will be ridiculous love conflict! What's more, Yukari confesses her obsession for Moka.... Want to know more? [Download] here for the episodes. Have fun!

The Verdict

Well, I find that the elements are rather repulsive and distasteful. Call me old-fashioned, it's simply not my cup of tea!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Paper is mightier than the sword?

R.O.D (Read or Die) OVA is something that should not be taken for granted! This OVA is actually adapted from a manga and then rendered into a movie in the early 2001 by the Studio Deen. I would love to compare this anime movie to any one of highly-acclaimed James Bond flicks. It has all the necessary elements; action, suspense, drama, intrigue and not forgetting, far-fetched idea to conquer the world. Even though the movie is only an hour and a half, it is packed with interesting characters with unique fighting powers and definitely a fresh concept. Hence, hands down, R.O.D OVA is sure to please the fans and the non-fans. Kudos to the creator Hideyuki Kurata.

R.O.D is the story of an intelligence agency, based in the British Library (of all the places in the world!). This agency has sepecial agets and these agents are to protect the world from the I-jin. I-jin is a bunch of cloned people who have developed a way to conquer the world. Who exactly these I-jin people? How are they going to conquer the world? Well... it's really complicated. You really have to watch it to get better understanding. Seriously!

What I like most about this OVA is the portrayal of the protagonist. It is surely a breath of fresh air. YUMIKO READMAN or her codename The Paper is not like any other agents in most spy flicks. She is a bookish bibliomaniac (obsessed with books) and she appears to be meek and very child-like. Her alter-ego is being a substitute teacher. However, look can really be deceiving. She, apparently, is endowed with the power to control and manipulate paper and hence the code name.

As for NANCY MCHARRY (in some version it's MAKUHARI) she is a leather-clad femme fatale who personality is a total opposite of Readman's. Her codename is Ms. Deep as she can pass through any solid objects by absorbing herself. She says that she despises her codename, as it "makes her sounds like a porn star". She prefers to be addressed as Nancy. However, unbeknown to the agency and Readman, she is actually one of the I-jin's creations which then contributes to the twist of this OVA.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this to everybody who is craving for a thought-provoking and action-packed anime movie. It's a must watch!

Ijin by definition mean 'a great man'. The I-jins in this ova are the clones of great men. They use their talents to conquer the world.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I thought 'ALICE' was her name...

When it comes to anime, I like to take risk. I came across some animes recently and one of them is Gakuen Alice. I never watched this series before, though. I watched it, finally. This in fact the cutest anime ever!

The overview
The anime takes place in a special school for gifted students located somewhere in Tokyo. This super-talent is known as alice hence the title of the anime. Apparently, every student in this school is gifted with different types of alices.

The characters

Sakura Mikan: She is so cute and super kawaii. She's so energetic and her outgoing and sincere personality eventually wins over her new-found friends. She manages to turn everyone into friends and even admirers. She is gifted with Nullification Alice in which all alices will be nullified when come in contact with her.

Imai Hotaru :Hotaru is Mikan's best friend. In fact she is the very reason why Mikan comes to the school. She is extremely intelligent and rational. In this anime, physically, she appears to be rather stoic and indifferent nevertheless it is apparent that she genuinely cares for Mikan-chan. She has the Alice of Invention.

Hyuuga Natsume: He is the reason why I like this anime. He is voiced by my favorite seiyuu ROMI PAKU. Nastume is very icy and formidable. He has the Fire Alice hence he is feared by everybody, even the teachers. He has never shown his interest in anything at all. He is never liked by anybody until along comes Mikan-chan. Somehow, she manages to soften him up and gradually Natsume develops a romantic feeling for her.

Nogi Ruka : He is dearly known as Ruka-pyon among his best buddies. He is Natsume's best friend (and sometimes, their actions are a bit 'ambiguous'). He is bestowed with the Alice of Animal Pheromone in which he is able to charm any animals and tame them and eventually befriend with them. He has a crush on Mikan and he knows Natsume has the similar feeling too.
The verdict
This is a so-so anime. I would not recommend anybody to watch it since there are ample animes that are more thought-provoking than this. (But if you want to, try this L.I.N.K).However, I still like it. I adore the artwork as well as the plot. I also adore the portrayal of Mikan-chan as the central protagonist. I know this might sound immature but there are times I shed some tears because I was moved by the scenes... Laugh all you want, I don't care!

ROMI PAKU has voiced so many famous anime characters, like Temari (Naruto), Hitsugaya (Bleach), Ueki (The Law of Ueki), Teresa (Claymore), Katsushiro (Samurai 7), and the list goes on...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bleach's Flop

MEMORY OF NOBODY is one of Bleach movies produced in 2006. It is directed by Noriyuki Abe and written by Masashi Sogo. I don't know what to say. Even though I am a Bleach fan this movie is certainly a flop in anime history. There! I've said it!

In Karakura Town, there has been a sudden outbreak of unidentifiable spirits called “blanks” (vacant souls). In Soul Society, the sky is reflecting the real world. Out of the blue a mysterious female shinigami called Senna has appeared before Ichigo and Rukia along with a man named Ganryu, leading a group called the “Dark Ones

In an ancient time, there was a rebel group called Dark Ones. Apparently they have returned and wanted to take revenge on the Soul Society for banishing them. The girl, Senna, holds the key to the destruction. As usual Ichigo got himself into the mess and wanted to protect this damsel in distress. Finallly, Ichigo has triumphed with the help of the Gotei 13. End of story!

But I do love the ending theme!

Song : Sen No Yoru O Koete
Artiste : Aqua Timez

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mafia Sensei...

GOKUSEN is one anime that I can relate personally. I simply adore it because it is hilarious and witty at the same time. In fact I strongly believe it is much funnier than the dorama version. This coming-of-age comedy drama anime was first aired in Japan in January 2004. It was produced by Nippon Television in conjunction with its 55th Anniversary Celebration.

The anime follows a life of a young Math teacher, Yamaguchi Kumiko, in an all-boys Shirokin Gakuen. She is also an heiress to a Yakuza family, Oedo. This is supposed to be a secret since she is working as a teacher. This is where the conflicts starts to develope. In addition, she is popularly known as Yankumi among her students. The name 'Yankumi ' is given by her students as a prank nevertheless, to their surprise, she likes it and decided to use it as a term of endearment.

In this anime, we will witness how Yankumi sensei struggles to keep her 'darkest' secret under the public radar. Other than that, she has to work extra hard in taming her unruly students chiefed by the notorious Sawada Shin. Another predicament she has to face is when she is given a task to become a homeroom teacher to a classroom full of delinquents.

Will Yankumi-sensei be able to keep her secret and be able to continue her career as a math teacher? Will she be able to gain respect from the hooligans? Well, I don't make a habit of revealing spoilers...

Plot-wise, this anime is my kind of anime. Short and sweet, simple yet memorable. I like the development of the characters. Surprisingly thorough considering the numbers of the episodes it has. Other than that, the opening theme is a burst of energy. A brilliant and smart anime!

Title : Hontou No Kotoba
Artiste : Foot Stamping

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cursed eternally!

Do you feel tormented that you feel like you are trapped?
Do you feel there is no hope for you to end this misery?
Do you hate someone that you wish he or she will be eliminated for good?
Do you despise someone, bad enough to send him or her to HELL instantaneously?


Just pull the string!

But, be careful...
Once you have sent someone to Hell there is always a price to pay...

"When one person is cursed,
two graves are dug"

Ai Enma is watching you...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Intrigue! Thy name is BLEACH!

*Gasp*... Something is rotten in the state of Denmark (Shakespeare's Macbeth)! In episode 182 the whole Soul Society was in total lunacy! The Gotei 13 were divided into two sides; pro-Ichigo and anti-Ichigo. Nonetheless, after one incident, Amagai-taichou finally agreed to help Ichigo and Rukia in saving Lurichiyo.

In episode 183 - 184, Kifune Makoto had revealed his true colors. Aparently, he was what Kira thought he was. Kifune was actually in-cahoots with the Kasumi-Ouji. In one-on-one battle with Kifune, Kira began to attack Kifune and Wabisuke had the upper hand against Kifune's Reppu, initially. However, Kifune managed to overwhelm the strenght of Wabisuke as he was actually using bakkotou; the forbidden weapon created by the Kasumi-Ouji.

In episode 185, Kira finally won. How? Apparently, bakkotou would consume the users after reaching a certain limit. That's why it was forbidden by the Soul Society in the first place. So, what happened to Kifune? You do the math. Renji brought the broken Reppu to Yamamoto so-taichou as the evidence of the conspiracy plotted by the Kasumi-Ouji. After seing this, Yamamoto ordered the entire Gotei 13 to invade the manor and apprehend Kumoi. In this episode too, we are revealed to Amagai's true strength when he released his zan-pakutou Raika.

In episode 186, this where the intrigue starts. Kumoi was finally cornered and he used Lurichiyo as a shield. Then, Amagai appeared out of nowhere. He was thought to take Kumoi into custody but instead he slayed him then and there and took away Lurichiyo! And then he tele-ported himself and Lurichiyo to Yamamoto... So, the questions here are, why did Amagai kill Kumoi since Kumoi was the main suspect of the whole crime? Was he trying to conceal something? Why did he prevent Ichigo and Rukia from saving Lurichiyo? And finally, why did Kumoi, was angry over someone (presumed to be Yamamoto or Amagai) for breaking his promise to protect him? Hmmmm..... can't wait for the next episode!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Go green!

What are the similarities between Kosuke Ueki and Hitsugaya Toushiro (Bleach)? Well, both of the characters have spiky hair and both of them are voiced by the same seiyuu: Romi Paku. The anime The Law Of Ueki (Ueki no Housoku) is actually a shounen manga series. On April 4 2005, the anime adaptation of the series was aired in Japan.

The anime revolves around a battle between supernatural beings or Tenkai-jin. This battle is to decide the next god of Heaven (Exaggerated? Over the top? What's new?). Kosuke Ueki is the protagonist in this anime. He is chosen by his own homeroom teacher, Kobayashi-sensei (who actually a hevenly-being) to be his protege. He then bestows supernatural talents upon Ueki so that Ueki will be able to participate in the battle.

The reason why Koba-sen (the term of endearment given by Ueki) chooses him is because, Ueki is genuinely a kind-hearted boy as well as environmental-friendly person. Unknown to Ueki himself, he is actually a heavenly-being sent to earth by his father so that he could join the battle. Because of his 'green-nature', he is given a talent to create tree from trash. Talk about green-thumb!

At school he meets with a quirky yet amiable girl named Mori Ai. She is rather shallow as she believes that all power-users, excluding Ueki, are walking time bombs as they are dangerous. In this anime, she poses as Ueki's personal assistant / baby-sitter. Later in the anime, she is also bestowed with a special talent. The funny thing is, she doesn't even know her own power until she is involved in a one-on-one battle with some challenger. Her talent is totally preposterous! BTW, if I were to tell you what's her talent, it won't be fun anymore if you decided to watch.

Along the journey, Ueki meets another participant, Sano Seiichiro, who eventually becomes his best friend. Sano is also bestowed a talent by his mentor, Wanko. He is able to transform towel into steel. Then, he will meet another two friends Rinko Gerrard and Soya Hyosuke. They become one team and the name of the team is Team Ueki (now, that's a suprise!). I almost left this one out. Ueki also has a 'guardian' named Tenko (see picture). He can also change his shape to fit onto Ueki's wrist to give him advice, and to communicate with Ueki telepathically. He is also a Heavenly Beast who is something of a mutation among his kind.

What's the catch of winning the battle? The winner will be awarded a 'blank talent'. It means that he or she can choose any ability or talent he or she desires the most. And the mentor will be the next God of Heaven.

What happens then? Well, you gotta watch it to know more. I like this anime because it has all the elements of a good anime such as, fast and exciting plot, good characterization, comedy, drama, suspense, twist, catchy open and ending themes and the whole nine yards! Thus it comes highly recommended!

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

I believe this anime comes under PG. Younger viewers are highly advised to watch with at least an adult.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Code... what??

Last week, while I was browsing the Internet for new anime to download, I just realise something was amiss... What's with Code Geass : R2? Then it hit me. This is the new installment (part 2) of Code Geass series. Funny, though. I have the first series at home; Code Geass : Lelouch of the Rebellion but I haven't managed to finish watching the whole episodes. I guess because it bores me to death!

This is a sci-fi themed anime and it was produced by CLAMP. The plot is rather so-so. But the primary reason why I don't fancy this anime is because the theme. Gosh! For an anime, I believe the theme is rather serious, too serious in fact. It's too 'political' for me. And, even though most animes like to manipulate exaggeration but the idea that this anime is portraying is rather far-fetched (just because I don't fancy it)!

The anime takes place somewhere in the future in the alternate universe. In that world, Japan is invaded by The Holy Empire of Britannia. Then, Japan is given a brand new name : Area 11. The country then is shared by the citizen of Britannia as well as the original Japanese who are referred as the elevens.

So, what on earth is GEASS? Well, according to the anime, geass is the power to manipulate people's minds. It is represented by a glowing, bird-shaped symbol (see picture). This power is bestowed upon Lelouch Lamperouge by a mysterious green-haired girl named C.C. Who is she? Well, you have to watch it, if you wanna know more. With the new-found power, he finally has the means to defeat Britannia and fulfill his two wishes: to seek revenge for his mother and to construct a new world in which his beloved sister, Nannaly can live happily.

This anime also features the extensive use of mechas weaponry. The mechas are known as Knightmare Frame. Lelouch's childhood friend and son of Japan's last prime minister, Kururugi Suzaku is in the service of the Britannia Army as a soldier, and was chosen to test an experiment new model of Knightmare Frame, the Lancelot.

This anime exudes the theme of survival and sacrifice. It also tells us that revenge is sweet however too much revenge can be detrimental! Overall, this anime is OK. But I don't really fancy it, period!

If want to download the series, try this L.I.N.K. Have fun!

CLAMP is the very same production that produced manga-animes like Chobits, The Tsubasa Chronicles, XXXHolic and Cardcaptor Sakura. If you notice, the artwork is very distinctive. This is the signature style of the production.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Those were the days...

This is a walk down memory lane. As I went through all my animes collection, I just realize that there are some series that I have totally forgotten. I just realised that I have bought Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. Well, the only reason why I bought this just because I want to have it as collection. This is one of my all-time favorite animes ever. I believe, some of the younger generations of aniota never heard of this series. Well, I am not surprised since last time I watched this was in 1989. It's like eons ago!

This series was aired in Japan in 1984. 'MOSPEADA' is actually an acronym of Military Operation Soldier Protection Emergency Aviation Dive Armor. As far as I could remember, this series is one of the early si-fi themed animes back then. It features transformable motorcycles amours as well as mechas.

The story takes place in the mid of 21st century (2050 if I'm not mistaken). At this time, the earth is invaded by the mysterious alien race from Mars called Inbit. Earth becomes desolate with only a few human beings who have become refugees scattered throughout the planet. Many of them escape aboard a few remaining shuttles to seek shelter on the Moon.

The main characters in this anime are Stig Bernard, Ray, Houquet de Rose, Jim Austin, Yellow Belmont as well as Mint Rabule. These six characters then, became a group of fighters to free the earth from the clutches of the Inbit.

In the final analysis, I believe this anime is worth watching. Considering the year that this anime was aired, this anime is ingenious. It's the ultimate genesis of its kind.

  • The opening theme of this anime LONELY SOLDIER BOY is also sung by a Malaysian band HUJAN with the same title but in Malay.
  • 'Aniota' means anime otaku


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