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Friday, February 27, 2009

Back when they were...

As an avid Bleach fan, I am glad that these episodes (a.k.a The Pendulum Arc) are finally aired! These episodes are the genesis to all upheavals and commotions that are taking place in Soul Society. From these episodes, too, we will be enlightened on the transformation of the Visoreds a.k.a Vizards. (Picture: These are the former taichous who are currently the Visoreds. Except Ukitake Juushirou)

The plot takes place around 100 years before the present plot. Here, we will be re-acquainted to the young version of the current characters.

Currently, Shinji Hirako is a Visored. However, back then he was actually the Taichou of the 5th squad. His Fuku-taichou was Sousuke Aizen. Who is currently residing in Hueco Mundo as the leader of the Arrancars. Right from the beginning, Hirako had never trusted his fuku-taichou. Aizen seemed to have so many hidden agendas who apparently had a knack in spying on people.

Other than Hitsugaya, Ichimaru Gin was also considered as Boy-Genius (Tensai) by the society when he managed to snag a numbered seat in the 5th Squad at a very tender age. He was proposed by Aizen after he managed to slay one of the shinigamis.

Next, we will also be introduced to Urahara Kisuke who was also a Taichou back then. Currently, he is living like a normal human being in the real world. Before he was exiled from Soul Society, he was the 12th squad’ taichou and his Fuku-taichou was the spunky and cantankerous young girl, Sarugaki Hiyori. Who is currently a Visored. Eventually, he will be exiled from Soul Society because of some illegal things he did in the past. In episode 208, we will also be re-introduced to Kurotsuchi Mayuri who was imprisoned by choice. Urahara was persuading him to join forces with the 12th Squad a.k.a The Technological Research Bureau that specializes in doing research and create new inventions.

In these episodes to, we will be re-introduced to one of my favourite characters, Kuchiki Byakuya. In one of these episodes, he is portrayed as a conceited and high-and-mighty young boy who has the tendency to get annoyed easily, especially when he was provoked by young Shihouin Yoruichi. Back then, she was the Taichou of the Covert Ops or the 2nd squad. In these episodes to, we will re-introduced to Soifon (who is currently the Taichou of the 2nd squad) who was one of Yoruichi’s subordinates.

What I'm really looking forward in this arc is the transformation of Visoreds. I believe, among all 'species' in this anime, Visoreds are the coolest. Unlike Arrancars, even though they utilize Hollow power they are not evil and their hollow transformations are temporary.

The Visoreds: Hachiigen, Love, Kensei, Hiyori, Hirako, Lisa, Rose and Kuna

Can’t wait for the next episodes!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm seeing red!

This anime opens with a scene of Sekigahara battle. Then our attention is shifted to a heated duel between Mibu Kyoshiro and Oni Me No Kyo. However, their duel was stalled when a shooting star slammed into the plain and inadvertently overwhelmed the battle as well as the duel...

4 years after the scene, Kyoshiro is, obviously, saved from the tragedy. Nevertheless, he has an amnesia. Maybe it is because of the immense impact of the shooting star. He is now a gentle and harmless traveling physician.

Then, enters a so-called bounty hunter Shiina Yuya. She thought Mibu Kyoshiro is Oni Me No Kyo. But she is mistaken and Kyoshiro is just a weakling.

What happened to Oni Me No Kyo?

In my opinion, aesthetic-wise, SAMURAI DEEPER KYO is brilliant. It integrates Japanese history (The Battle of Sekigahara and Tokugawa Era) without forsaking the element of surprise, comic and excitement of an anime. The fighting sequences are awesome and very remarkable. I really love the portrayal of Sanada Yukimura. His exterior doesn't indicate any signs of a great swordsman. But that is all stripped off during one of the fighting scenes. Same goes with Benitora a.k.a. Tokugawa Hidetada. Through his attire and the Kansai accent when he speaks, he certainly manages to obscure his real identity. I also love the idea that the protagonist (which one? You gotta watch this anime first) is an anti-thesis of a traditional hero. Somwhow, the protagonist reminds me Kenshin Himura a.k.a Hitokori Battosai. Although he has a samurai katana in his hand, he tries his best not to resort to violence.

Now here comes the not-so-good part. Plot-wise I think that this anime is a bit let-down. I understand most of the storyline up until episode 11. After that, this anime is is quite confusing! There are way too many conflicts and too many characters for a short anime (26 episodes). Maybe because, I am not really well-versed in Japanese history.

Another problem I would like to point out is, I don't really relish the idea that some of the villains turn into monsters known as Kenyou. I find it a tad ludicrous... And, why the title is Samurai Deeper Kyo, is beyond me!

All in all, I would love to recommend this anime to all. However, please equip yourselves a bit on Japanese history... Download HERE for the full episodes.

  1. Sanada Yukimura, Tokugawa Iyesu, Tokugawa Hidetada, Hattori Hanzo, Okuni and some other characters are actually based on real people back during Tukugawa Era.
  2. Does Hattori Hanzo ring a bell to you? If you ever watched Kill Bill, the blacksmith who forged The Bride's katana is also named Hattori Hanzo...

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Big Kahuna: Sesshomaru...

Name : Sesshomaru
Age : Appears 19 but his real age is remained unknown
Species : A full-fledged Dog demon
Family : Inuyasha (half-brother)
Friends : Jaken, Rin and Ah-Un
Admirer : Kagura (Naraku's incarnation)
Weapons : Tenseiga, Toukijin and Whip
Ability : Poison Flower Claws, flight, heightened senses, superhuman strength and speed, immunity to all poisons and sickness

Sesshomaru is a full-fledged dog demon who prefers to fight alone. His true from is a gigantic white dog with similar markings as his humanoid form. When he transforms, his body is surrounded by bright red aura and a tornado circling around him (see picture). Apart from that, he has a superhuman strength and incredible immunity to any poison or dark magic. He is even immune to Naraku's toxic miasma and for that reason, he dubs him as a 'perfect demon'.

In the beginning of the episodes, he is only accompanied by Jaken. However, later in the episodes of the series, he is accompanied by a group of friends. He, apparently, hates his half-brother -Inuyasha because he believes being a half-demon, Inuyasha is a disgrace to the family. He also despises the fact that Inuyasha is bestowed by his late father a powerful sword known as Tetsusaiga. Tetsusaiga has the power to kill 1000 demons with a single stroke. He, on the other hand he is bestowed a sword called Tenseiga which has the reverse effect of Tetsusaiga. Tenseiga is powerful enough to revive the dead. Later, he instructed Kaijinbo (an evil black-smith) to forge a powerful sword to match Tetsusaiga and the sword is named Toukijin (see picture). In the early episodes of the series, Sesshomaru has (time and time again) tried to steal Tetsusaiga form Inuyasha. Nevertheless, towards the end of the series, he seems to lose interest of the sword since the sword is protected with a barrier that repels demon.

Unlike Inuyasha (who is so childish, clumsy and loud), Sesshomaru is stoic, collected, cold and he is a man of few words. It's really hard to understand him. Earlier in the episodes, he acts as the antagonist or the villain (beside Naraku). This can be seen when he incessantly tries to slaughter Inuyasha. He even declares his undying hatred for his half brother and vows to kill him with his own hands. Nonetheless, later he displays his compassion by adopting a young human girl named Rin. Furthermore, Sesshomaru is also an anti-thesis of traditional hero. This can be seen when he tries to save Rin from being killed by Naraku. Then, in one of the episodes (Band of 7 Arc), he even saves Kagome, Sango and Miroku from Mukotsu's poisonous mist despites his great hatred for humans and humanity. These are, by far, the best examples to illustrate his so-called 'heroism'.

Well, compared to Inuyasha, Sesshomaru is much more powerful and invincible. I like his character because he embodies a true greatness of a supposed protagonist, which is kind of ironic. Sesshomaru, the real deal...

There are several discrepancies - regarding the plot as well as the development of Sesshomaru's character - between anime and manga version. As for this posting, I only stick to the anime version since I don't really read the manga...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Indigo Ink

Vocals: Noto Mamiko

Asaki yumemiji towa ni nageki mo sesu

Tsuki no hikari
kokoro terashidasu
Moyuru hana no mai

ayamachi no uta mune o shimeru

Hatenu kawa ni te o sashi nagasou
Omoi tsumeta koto noha
ai ni somete

Surechigai ga kokoro morokusuru
Ibasho mo nai mama
kaze wa fuku

Akai michi ashidori omoku
yami ni mukau

Ichido nagaseba nido to kaeranu
Yubi ga tsumabiku sadame
ai ni somete

Ikutsu akenai yoru o kasanete
Yagate ai no nageki mo
kieyuku no ka

Hatenu kawa ni te o sashi nagasou
Iro wa nio hedo itsuka chiri nuru mono

Ai ni somete…

Download song


This song certainly steals my heart. Really adore it. Simply because it complements the whole mood and theme of JIGOKU SHOUJO FUTAKOMORI. The melody is sweet and yet the lyric is bitter and sad... A bittersweet ending, definitely...


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