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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Does ANIME signify indolence and immaturity?

My love affair with animes began eons ago...
I started watching anime at the tender age of 6 (or was it 5?). I was rather peculiar around that age. Quite a forlorn little runt. I didn’t go out much, in fact. After school I rather stayed at home watching TV or maybe doing some reading and homework. This was how I was inadvertently introduced to anime series. Initially, the intent was rather puerile. Well, who can blame me? I was still a kid. I watched animes just to kill my time after school.

I still remember the very first anime series that I had ever watched was Magical Princess Gigi a.k.a Mahou No Hime Momo Minky. This anime was broadcasted on SBC's (Singapore Broadcasting Corporation) Channel 8 and it was dubbed in Mandarin. No, I don’t speak Mandarin but the reason why I understood this anime series is because it had English subtitle. In fact, this was how I learned my English. I learned English in a fun way hence I managed to acquire the language much quicker compared with my other counterparts at that time. Then, after that it was followed by Daimos, Mospeada, Moby Dick, Macross a.k.a Robotech , Voltron, Saber Raiser & the Star Sherrifs a.k.a Sei Jushi Bismarck and the list went on...

Gigi: How can you ever forget your first love...

However, this addiction of mine began to phase out a bit when I was in college, due to lack of sources. (nowadays, otakus are so darn lucky!) More often than not, the jam-packed schedule prevented me to practise my leisure pursuit. Well, that's the part and parcel of a student's life. I couldn't complain.

Soon after I graduated in year 2000, I began to rekindle my passion for animes. Nevertheless, at that moment I started to evolve and I learned to appreciate animes more as work of art. I began to identify anime as a Japanese modern visual art rather than some ordinary cartoons. I steadfastly believe that animes have more to offer than meets the eyes!

So, let’s get back to the initial question, does anime suggest indolence? How can one ask this kind of question is beyond me! Well, I believe the answer is absolutely no. It is absolutely ludicrous and downright nonsense. As you can see, every now and then I would love to pamper myself with a healthy dose of animes. I do this without interrupting my day job as well as my studies. I believe, they are more of escapisms rather that the sign of indolence. They are also my stress reliever after a hard day at work. In fact, in order to catch the latest episodes of any anime series, I learn to compartmentalize my day-to-day regime. So, if that is the sign of indolence, I beg to differ!

And animes are not an indication of immaturity, simply because they are like masterpieces that need to be ‘savoured’ and enjoyed and afterward analysed thoroughly. Hence I would take ample time to appreciate the art and then savour it one bite a time. It is the only way for you to appreciate and evaluate art masterpiece. Now, how can this be the sign of immaturity?

Well, I guess that’s my two cents regarding the issue. Having said that I am not ashamed to admit that at the age of 32 I still enjoy watching animes. And why not? Animes make me feel more complete as I learned how to appreciate modern visual arts and at the same time I learned to observe human personalities. What’s more I learned them in a fun way!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Memories are meant to last...

Have you ever felt that you haven’t watched enough animes? Or, there are still a lot of anime series that needed to be watched by you? Well, apparently that is how I feel. That’s the reason why I love doing aniblog- hoping every now and then. This is how I encountered the series entitled XAM’D LOST MEMORIES.

I have just finished 4 episodes of this series and I would love to recommend to all of you. The graphic as well as the animation are so breathtaking and awesome.

[These screenshots are taken from episode 1. Click to enlarge]

Plot Summary:

The story opens with a ritual done by a group of people in some castle. Then we are taken to a scene that involves weird looking spaceship and crew members.

Next, we are then introduced to a character named Takehara Akiyuki. Apparently, he is a high school student who is living with his mother on the island of Sentan. On this particular morning, something has made him late to get to the bus to school, but he manages to arrive before it leaves. When he spots there was this albino-like girl stands in front. He notices that she doesn’t possess an armband needed to board the bus. So he helps her. While on the bus, radio announces of the ongoing war outside the island, and the students are unaware of the Northern Government forces coming.

As they arrive at school, Akiyuki notices that the pale-skinned girl is still sitting while the rest of the passengers are getting off the bus. Suddenly, the bus explodes. Akiyuki and his friends are thrown to the ground due to the extreme impact of the blast. Obviously he isn’t hurt. Then there is a glowing orb floating above the remains of the bus. It fires out many energy beams in numerous directions. One of these beams penetrates Akiyuki’s arm. Apparently it injects something into him that causes him great pain. Still suffering from the pain he then notices that the albino-ish girl is still inside the bus. He rushes to help her, and to his surprise, the girl apologizes for getting him involved.

At that moment he realizes that she was the mastermind behind the bombing. She introduces herself as Nazuna and tells Akiyuki that he’ll be okay with the Xam’d Lost Memories. Before she dies, she touches his forehead in order to create a mask that covers his face. The mask triggers the transformation of his body into a large white being. Upon his transformation, a guard arrives on the scene threats to shoot him and he does. The impact of the bullets throws his newfound body onto the ground. Witnessed by Haru, Akiyuki announces that he still wants to live…

That's all from episode 1. Seriously, this anime is the one to watch. If you are interested to download the whole series, try this LINK. Have fun while you are at it!

Somehow, there is something about this series that reminds me of animovie, Nausicaa.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Extreme despair!

ZOKU SAYONARA ZETSUBOU SENSEI is a successor of an anime series entitled Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. It is an anime series that you won't want to watch when you are in the mood of something light and carefree since it is jam-packed with satire, sarcasm and dark comic. It is also laden with information that many of us regard as trivial and insignificant.

The best feature of this series is the portrayal of the characters. Each character has his or her own quirks, moral codes and fetish. I will not elaborate more on this since I have discussed this H.E.R.E. Anyway, the addition ZOKU (trans: Extreme) fits the bills perfectly since every ordinary issue is magnified and blown out of proportion. It certainly made us think out of the box.

Frankly speaking, I would love to recommend this series to all however this series is no child material. It deals with moral dilemma that leaves you speechless. I would categorize this anime series under docu-drama since it observes human personalities and mannerisms in each episode. Like it's predecessor, this anime is very twisted and dark. It's funny though, but you need to stir your noodles a minute or two. This is the LINK if you wanna download it.

The third instalment is entitled ZAN SAYONARA ZETSUBOU SENSEI. Those who are interested, according to a friend, it is available at anime-eden.com. Have a go!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Messenger of the East : A review

For this post, I am going to do a short review on FMA Brotherhood's episode 15: The Messenger of the East. I am not going to do a synopsis this time around. But I have provided some screenshots for a change. Just click on them...

[Screenshots: Click for a larger view]


What I really enjoy about this episode is the fact that this is a brand new arc. There are several new characters and definitely spanking-new adventures. The best part of this episode is, Al has finally obtained his ability to execute transmutation without having to do the transmutation circle. According to him, it is because he could recall his fair share of seeing the truth (in episode 14). Hurray, for Al!

Since this episode marks the beginning of a brand new arc, hence the OP. For this arc the OP is sang by NICO Touches the Wall entitled Hologram. Frankly speaking, I believe this OP is much more catchy and the sequence of the opening montage is beautiful and dramatic. Here are the screenshots...

[Screenshots: Click for a larger view]

The ED for this arc entitled Let it Out is sang by Fukuhara Miho. Compared to the previous ED, I really think that the new one is much more interesting and the sequence for the montage is much better. In addition the graphics are so colorful and vibrant! Enjoy the screenshots!

[Screenshots: Click for a larger view]

Judging from both OP and ED sequence, I believe in this arc, Ed and Al will have to face his father (Hohenhiem a.k.a Father) who seems to be the mastermind behind all conflicts in this series. He is probably the creator of the humonculi as well as the Philosopher's stone.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Crouching TIGER, Hidden DRAGON...

If you like romantic comedy anime series TORADORA! is definitely the one! This series is hilarious yet it will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. It highlights the concept of friendship at a very interesting angle. I was instantaneously hooked ever since episode 1 - and still going. This series is absolutely a must-watch material.

Before I begin any further, let me explain a bit on the title of this anime series. TORA is actually tiger in Japanese and hence the first name of the female protagonist of this series Taiga. DORA is actually a shortened form of an English word dragon (doragon) and also the first name of the male protagonist Ryuuji (which means dragon). So, this series basically revolves around the lives of two protagonists: Takasu Ryuuji and Aisaka Taiga.

Introducing the Tiger!

Aisaka Taiga the best example of a tsundere character in an anime series. She is portrayed as a socially awkward, cantankerous, violent yet clumsy 17-year-old girl. Because of that predicaments, at the beginning of this series, she chooses to be a loner and she detaches herself from her friends at school. Furthermore, she is known as a Palmtop Tiger because of her violent temperament despite her diminutive size and her under-developed condition (if you get my drift).

Other than that, she is dubbed as the school's most dangerous animal of the highest risk level. However, strange enough, whenever she is alone with Ryuuji, everything bad about her tones down and she is relaxed and comfortable with her surrounding. It seems that Ryuuji has the soothing power to assuage her violent temperament. In this series she has a crush on Kitamura Yuusaku.

Enters the Dragon!

Takasu Ryuuji is portrayed as a gentle and a dependable 17-year-old student who loves to cook and skilled at needlework (he is so skilled he even helps to make Taiga's breasts pad!) Another quirk that he has is, he is obsessed with cleanliness and freaks out if he sees mold and mildew around his bathroom. However all that are ignored by his schoolmates because of his cold eyes and murderous expression. According to his mother, this trait is inherited from his supposed 'deceased' father. He is the best example of an old saying 'don't judge a book by it's cover'. Apparently, he has a secret crush on his own classmate Kushieda Minori.

So, apparently because of these crushes, these two have become fast friends and they are learning from each other. Because of this, they manage to be normal and mingle around with everybody in school. Furthermore, mismatched partner in crime promise to help each other in pursuing their objects of affection. Will they succeed? Well... I really don't have the answer for that as I haven't finished the series yet.

So far, I have watched up to episode 12 and I really enjoy the development of the plot. I would love to recommend the anime series. Especially those who enjoy romantic-comedy anime. Try this LINK and happy downloading!
The casts of Toradora!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

What is wrong with ya!

Curse you Haruhi!

Trust me on this... If you are planning to watch SUZUMIYA HARUHI NO YUUTSU 2: episode 2,3 and 4, you better forget about it! You don't have to waste your precious time to watch or even plan to watch them. They suck big time. All three episodes are the same since they are a dejavu. According to Nagato, the summer event has repeated itself for more than 15,000 times. Talk about never ending story!

Hang in there, Kyon! This too shall pass....

Whoaa! This is my 100th entry! Ureshii, ne!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Trying it on for size....

Warning: Nudity ahead!

Recently, while surfing the net for new animes, I stumbled upon an anime series entitled EDEN OF THE EAST (Higashi no Eden). I ran a background check on it and I discovered that the anime series is very recent. It was aired in April 2009.

So, I downloaded all 11 episodes and I am watching them, as we speak. The plot is very intriguing as well as thought-provoking. It is funny and witty at the same time. So far, the overall impression that I get from this series is very positive. Meaning, I think I might like it.... This series is definitely one of its kind. I really love the concept as well as the idea.

Whoaaa! Nice view!

It opens with a girl named Morimi Saki was visiting Washington D.C during her graduation trip. Somehow, she was in trouble when two policemen cought her throwing something into the yard of the Whitehouse. However, she was saved by a man. A naked man. The man had nothing on. He only had a gun and a weird cellphone.... Obviously he was amnesiac. Well, one thing led to another, they became fast friends and then they decided to return to Japan.

Three months ago, an uninhabited areas of Japan were missiled. However, no one died and therefore this incident was disregarded by the Japanese and the day was dubbed as Careless Monday. What's the connection between the amnesiac guy and this incident? Well, you really have to watch the series to find the connection.

In this series, you will be introduced to an idea so crazy that it will stir your noodles... What is Noblesse Obliges? What on earth is Seleção? Who the heck are Juiz and Mr. Outside? I'm still figuring them out.

Other than the intriguing plot, I also love the portrayal of the charaters, especially the protagonist, Takizawa Akira a.k.a Seleção No. 9. He is very smart, witty, funny as well as bold. Apparently, in the beginning of the series, he was amnesiac after he went through a brainwashing process.

Anyway, I would love to recommend this anime series to all (despite some nudity) especially those who enjoy psychological-themed anime. Even though this anime series can be classified as comedy, the theme exudes rather serious tone.

Wanna give it a try? Click HERE to download the episodes.


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