Archive for April, 2012

Kieli: The Dead Sleep in the Wilderness (Volume 1)

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

Sometimes you look over the synopsis on the back of a book, and you just know you’re going to enjoy it. Such was my experience with volume one of the Kieli series, subtitled “The Dead Sleep in the Wilderness.”

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Trigun: Badlands Rumble

It took me a while to get around to watching this film, but hey–better late than never, right? Chances are though, if you’re a Trigun fan, you’ve already seen this. And if you’ve already seen this, then you know it’s good stuff. It’s basically everything that was great about Trigun, but made into a movie with top-quality animation.
Vash the Stampede is back, and he’s out to save lives, shoot guns, and eat donuts like there’s no tomorrow. And even better–Wolfwood’s back too, and he’s out to save lives, shoot guns, and smoke cigarettes like there’s no tomorrow. The film is entertaining from start to finish, and can be a nice way to expose new anime fans to the Trigun franchise, since it doesn’t require knowledge of the original show’s plot in order to follow what’s going on. It’s essentially a self-contained bonus story, and it manages to include all the central elements of the series. It’s got some really fun action sequences (particularly a really intense one with Wolfwood), a nicely-executed theme of not killing that goes along nicely with Trigun in general, and lots of great comedy sequences (that Vash… and those donuts…). It’s not the best Trigun story out there, but it works nicely for a standalone film.


Aoi Bungaku Ep 9-12

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

For the final installment of this month’s show for the Anime Watchers Club, we will discuss Aoi Bungaku’s adaptations of “Run, Melos!” by Osamu Dazai, and “The Spider’s Thread” and “Hell Screen” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. How do these stories compare to the first three tales of Blue Literature?

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Toradora: From Caricatures to Characters

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

Toradora is one of those series that shows up on a lot of people’s Top 10 Anime lists. Is the praise warranted? My experience with the series was a long one (since it took me quite a while to get through it), but overall it was an enjoyable experience. In the end, it seems the best thing about the show is the cast of characters, which makes it a bit ironic that this was my biggest problem with the show at first.

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Fate/Zero’s Epic Return!

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

Have you caught up with the latest episodes of Fate/Zero? I hope so, because the second half of the series is off to a great start! Episodes 14 and 15 of Fate/Zero bring a spectacular conclusion to Caster’s attack on the city, begun with the cliffhanger that ended the fall anime season. Here’s a list of six of my favorite things about the latest two episodes.

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Nekogami Yaoyorozu (Ep 4-12)

Back in the summer of last year, there were a bunch of anime I started blogging about, but then I got busy and dropped most of the shows (at least, the ones that weren’t exactly blowing me away, to put it lightly). Nekogami Yaoyorozu is one of those shows, and is a simple slice-of-life comedy of sorts starring a cat goddess who lives at a girl’s antique shop. There are a variety of other gods, and in general they’re all very silly. It’s all light fluff that, for me at least, didn’t get me to laugh too much–but it has its fun little moments. It’s cheerful and harmless, and the character designs reminded me of Touhou a bit. And if you like cats, you’ll probably get a bit of extra enjoyment from this show, since there are lots of them.
The series is apparently based on a manga that’s still going, so the plot that kind of started to (sort of) develop at the end is left unresolved. But that said, the main point for watching this sort of show is just to relax and watch the mischievous little deities have their fun. Perhaps my favorite thing about this anime was how nobody ever seemed bothered by the sight of a two-tailed cat-eared girl (amongst other non-human entities). In this way, the show is much like Squid Girl, since everyone seems to just roll with the supernatural circumstances. =P Anyways, cute characters, though there really wasn’t much substance to them. I did think the voice actress for Mayu did a very nice job though, capturing that nonchalant, mischievous personality perfectly. Give the show a try if you like this genre, and if the first episode clicks with you, you might have a fun one-cour to fill your free time.


Aoi Bungaku Ep 5-8

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

Our journey through Blue Literature continues, and this time we have two stories to discuss! “In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom” and “Kokoro.” These stories were quite different from our first one, “No Longer Human,” but I found them quite fascinating in their own ways.

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Spring 2012: Comedy Showdown

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

There’s a lot of great anime this season–enough that I think it’s safe to say there’s something good out there for everyone right now. And if you’re a fan of comedy, you’re in luck, since there are several shows within that genre to choose from. There were four in particular that caught my interest, so I thought I’d try going over the positives and negatives of each of them, based on the content from their first two episodes. Which one do you think is my favorite???

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Space Bro, Grab This Screw! TO THE MOOOOOOOOOOON

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

I wasn’t planning on watching Space Brothers, but after seemingly universal acclaim for its first episode, I decided to give the first two episodes a try. Overall I thought it was all right.

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Aoi Bungaku Ep 1-4

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

Welcome to our first installment of the Anime Watchers Club! I hope those of you who were able to watch the first four episodes of Aoi Bungaku found it interesting. Be sure to comment on what you liked, what you didn’t like, any observations you’d like to share, any questions you have, or any topics of discussion you’d like to bring up.

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Spotlight: Kojima Akira

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

Been a while since I did a manga author spotlight, but I haven’t given up on the feature! This time I’ll write a little about some of Kojima Akira’s works–particularly my favorite manga of his, the peculiarly-titled “Wa!” To put it simply, this manga is absolutely hilarious, and is likely my favorite four-panel gag series.

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Pandora Hearts – Ch 71

It took a while for this chapter to come out, but the wait is still worth it since this is another excellent chapter for the Pandora Hearts series. It’s time for us to learn more about Oz, including his relationship with Lacie, Alice, and the Will of the Abyss. And through Oz’s eyes, we were able to watch Jack’s character develop in interesting ways, and find out a bit more from Oswald and Revis. To say it’s all fascinating is putting it lightly, since our understanding of Oz has changed so drastically since the massive plot twist at the end of last chapter.
I think it’s nice that we got this lighter, slower-paced chapter to give us a bit of a breather, and to focus on some of the characters that had the greatest impact on Oz’s life in his early days. It’s rather touching to see just how deeply Oz cared for these people, and it’s such a sweet, simplistic love. I was also moved by Lacie’s actions this chapter, as well as Jack’s reaction at the end. One of the best things about Pandora Hearts is just how deep and tender the characters’ emotions are, and how effectively they’re portrayed from one event to the next.
There were a number of moments that surprised me, and a few events that got me to laugh, showing the series can still slip in bits of genuine humor amidst a great deal of tragedy and drama. I’m also curious about the symbolism regarding doubles, which has become even more apparent as of this chapter. It’s definitely worth thinking about at least, especially in light of all the other characters who have two sides to them (practically everyone in some way, you could argue).


Fragile Dreams: A Survival Sorrow Game

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon is a game made for the Nintendo Wii, and can be classified as a sort of adventure game where you play as a boy named Seto traveling desolate Japan at some point after some kind of worldwide apocalypse, which has left very few survivors. The goal is to search for a silver-haired girl he saw one day–but as you do so, you encounter the spirits of those who died, which have taken on a variety of haunting forms. In some ways, the game is similar to games found in the survival horror genre. The difference with this game though, is that rather than try to make you scared, it tries to make you sad. Humanity has already been pretty much wiped out, so loneliness is the central theme of the game.

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Anime Watchers Club – Aoi Bungaku

Starting this month, YumeState will be hosting the Anime Watchers Club, which will focus on weekly discussions for one anime each month. I wanted to share the news here to help spread the word! It will hopefully be a fun way to create discussions about specific anime that are not currently airing. In general, the anime we pick will be completed, not too long (13-26 eps), not too well-known, and will present topics that are interesting to discuss.

For April, we will watch Aoi Bungaku. This is likely an anime you’ve at least heard of, since it was pretty critically acclaimed a few years ago when it aired. It’s an adaptation of multiple works of classic Japanese literature, so I think there will be plenty of topics for us to delve into.

Feel free to visit this link to learn more, and if you’re interested in participating, be sure to watch eps 1-4 of Aoi Bungaku by Sunday, April 8th! And if you’re on MyAnimeList, you can join the club at this link, too. Be sure to let your friends know too, if they’d be interested in this sort of thing. And if Aoi Bungaku’s not your thing, stay tuned for the anime we will watch in future months, which will likely cover a wide range of genres.


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