Jyu Ou Sei

April 25, 2009

juuousei

REVIEW PART 1:

As of April 21, 2009 – Watching @ 5 out of 11 episodes

Well, I’m writing this after finishing 5/11 of the series Jyu Oh Sei, also known under the translation “Beast King Planet”.  Don’t worry, I’ll add in my final thoughts once I finish the series. I just really felt like writing a post.

This anime has a lot of flaws, but despite that, I have inexplicably found myself enjoying it.

FUN FACT – Guess who is the seiyuu for Third (yes, his name is Third), one of the main characters? ZOMG it’s OGURI SHUN! I thought the guys voice was kinda unique, like it didn’t sound like a normal tough bishie anime voice, so I looked it up. Imagine my surprise. Plus, the guy who does the voice for Thor (the protagonist) is a Johnny’s kid, not a normal seiyuu. I thought that was interesting. Oguri seems to do an okay job. He seems good for the character, but when Third does something out of character, like get agitated, he sounds kinda unreal. Of course I really have no experience judging voice acting.

Back to the story.

Time to go over those flaws I mentioned: I really think this could’ve been astounding in the right hands. But the execution and parts of the story were a bit weak, probably partly because of the short length of the series. Although he has potential to be a very deep and fleshed out character, Thor ends up coming off as a bit shallow. I think they could’ve spent some more time dealing with the problem of his twin and the loss of his parents. It was all a bit rushed seeming. Also badly done: the character of Tiz. Again, a bit too shallow. Plus, Thor is like eleven. Come on. How many fairly normal eleven year old’s do you know that can just swing around a knife and easily kill like 3 people (slash weird plants)?

However, I’m willing to overlook these things so far. I’ve been thinking about this and Shangri-La. They both take place in a jungle-y sort of world, but I find Jyu Ou Sei much more interesting. It’s like, Jyu Ou Sei isn’t a masterpiece, but Shangri-La DEFINITELY isn’t a masterpiece.

I also like the art, it’s well done. The setting is pretty good also; not detailed in an OCD way, but detailed enough to like. ARGH I can’t keep going on being all moral and fair, HERE’S THE TRUTH! I ENJOY THIS A LOT!

For further thoughts upon completing the series, please read ahead.

REVIEW PART 2

Written upon completion

Woahhhhh… Damn, I love that type of ending! But I won’t spoil it.

Okay, this remains an anime with a hell of a lot of faults; and yet… I still managed to thoroughly enjoy it. I’m writing this after watching the second half of the series; from episodes 6-11, which take place after a five year time leap. I found it much more believable if I just pretended that Thor was 14/15 when he first came to Chimaera, and so he’s 19/20-ish during the last half. Because even if he IS super special, his 11-year-old character was totally old, and there is no way that a 15 year old looks like a man already. So I just ignored the age they told you and made up my own age for him, eheh.

The first couple episodes after the time leap, I really really missed the old character designs for Thor and especially Tiz. I didn’t like her much in the first place, but after the time leap she was pretty much completely useless. But I got used to them. And I liked Thor’s ponytail at the end. Samurai time!

Another issue this series had was that it was really quite rushed feeling. I think that given time, the characters could have had huge opportunity for development; and characters such as Tiz and Karim could have had a chance to get actual personalities and be complex. The whole part with Karim especially seemed VERY sudden, and Thor acted quite un-Thor-like. Overall Thor’s relationships with both Karim and Tiz were quite stupid, but then I wasn’t watching this for romance, so I got over it. The plot could also have used some more of that suspense element. But I guess you have to expect that with only 11 episodes. However I think in more capable, okay amazingly talented hands, this could have been fantastic.

Of course, I’m a BIT biased this time because I really love this sort of plot. If for nothing else, I think this is worth the watch just for the plot and idea. I personally liked the art also; and I think the fights were quite well-done. But I really don’t know much about that stuff.

Bottom line: It’s worth it to watch this short anime; if you are the tolerant friendly type. But if you’re prone to picking on things excessively, you might want to stay away.

I was also a bit nit-picky and bothered by the fact that on Chimaera they used hours and days the same way we do on Earth; I mean any fool would realize that time and days would be totally different on a planet where half it’s rotation is spent in night and half in day. So you can’t use “days” for short-time periods, ass holes… yeah if you’re picky like that, watch something else.

I have to say; though I complained a bit in this post; I’m glad I watched and – despite its numerous faults (see above, lol) – secretly liked Jyu Ou Sei.

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Weekly Update: Episode(s) 2 :]

April 18, 2009

Well, I decided to do a weekly update in which I will write about whatever happened in the anime I’m following that week. I’m too lazy to write one post per episode per show; but weekly summary I can do.

Unfortunately, this plan may be worthless because after having seen 2 whole episodes, I’ve decided to pretty much drop/stop caring about 2 out of the 4 anime I was following for Spring 09.

Shangri-la had potential, a kick-ass main character and an intriguing setting. However, it just fails to interest me enough. I also have trouble with the way the plot was laid out. A lot of times being confused is good because that means there IS a plot (unlike ONE anime, starts with Hana ends with shounen) but if it’s not confusing in a good, intriguing way, it’s just annoying. Anyway, all this may just be me. This seems to be one of the better anime this season, and it may be worth the watch. I’m just not gonna spend my time watching things that don’t feel worthwhile to me.

Disclaimer: I stopped downloading this, but if I continue through streamingfor some reason, I just might end up writing a post on this again. That’s IF.

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Hanasakeru Seishounen – See my previous post. After a few careful seconds of consideration, I decided to quit this. Again, like Shangri-la, there is always the small possibilty that I will watch a later episode on streaming and change my mind; but that’s looking very, emphasis on the very, unlikely.

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Ahh, good. Something encouraging to talk about for a change. Yes it’s ~

Higashi no Eden! My new favorite terrorist anime! I really do like this, though. I watched the first episode again and I noticed that his passports have the names ‘De Niro’ and ‘Jason Bourne’ on them, lol. “So my name’s not De Niro, but Jason Bourne…?” I really appreciated that, seeing how I watched the Bourne Trilogy and started Higa no Eden at like the same time. Gotta love amnesiacs. There’s Phantom, too!

So why is Higashi no Eden so much better than Hanasakeru Seishounen and Shangri-la? It all comes down to things like good dialogue and characters with actual personalities; and the perfect amount of confusion/intrigue. Everything is just done very artfully. The music also wins. Speaking of which, here’s my ranking of my 4 spring anime’s soundtracks:

-1000. Hanasakeru Seishounen(worthless D:)

3. Shangri-la (I like, but it’s not amazing)

2. Phantom (I really like the OP; Good in general)

1. Higashi no Eden (It’s good, and it all just fits nicely)

That actually pretty much covers my overall rankings, too.

So I will definitely be continuing Higashi no Eden and Phantom. They seem worth doing a weekly post on, too. I don’t think I’ll be picking up another Spring 2009 anime to replace the 2 I’ve dropped; after all I’ve still got the Twelve Kingdoms, Spice & Wolf, Inu Yasha and a huge stack of other things on my to-watch list.

Sadly this post has no pictures. I fail at screenshots, as always. What is hard about screenshots, anyway? Why is it so difficult for me to get a screenshot? Huh? Why?

Anyway, looking forward to subs for Phantom episode 3.


Hanasakeru Seishounen – Episode 2

April 17, 2009

daisy

Ahhh, Hanasakeru Seishonen… After watching the second episode, I just had to write a post on it. I was planning on writing a post after watching all the second episodes of the shows I’m following, but I just couldn’t wait.

Hanasakeru Seishounen is probably one of the biggest let-downs ever. For some reason I had some idea that this was going to turn out to be a really good shoujo/slight josei with lots of politics a la Saiunkoku Monogatari. The first episode proved me wrong, and the second episode proved me complete idiot and jerk.

The plot is complete ridiculous fluff. The characters are either attempting to be weird in the cool way yet failing (Kajika), trying to be cool (Li Ren and Mustafa guy) or completely one-dimensional (Toranosuke bodyguard guy). As ofr the animation, you can’t really always expect spectacular when it’s just a simple shoujo, but you should at least expect the use of technology from the current century. Awkward character design and badly drawn face shots and everything.

Sigh. So this is what it feels like for my expectations to be shot in the face.

Despite this rather harsh post, I think I might keep watching Hanasake just to entertain myself. And I won’t lie, I somehow seem to have maintained a tiny shred of hope for this series. Which will probably disappear with the 3rd episode, seeing as it looks like they’re going to introduce the “husband candidates” one episode at a time.

Bottom line: I’ll keep watching as long as it doesn’t get more horrible, but at this point I don’t think it’ll be able to retrieve itself any more than “mediocre”


NEW SERIES!

April 13, 2009

Okay, forget Hanasakeru Seishounen, I  have found my new Saiunkoku Mongatari josei anime. Can you guess? Well, yeah you probably can if you’ve seen and liked Saiunkoku, because it’s no secret that if you watch one, you’ll watch the other… I just happened to watch Saiunkoku first. Yes, I am talking about~

THE TWELVE KINGDOMS (Juuni Kokuki)

Watching @ 13/45 episodes

twelvekingdoms

I actually downloaded this awhile ago, and watched the first episode; I, like everyone else who’s reviews I’ve read, dismissed this at first because of low quality animation and a plot that seemed all too common. However, I went back to this because I wanted something I could watch in mini-marathons, unlike everything else I’m currently following (stuff airing weekly). When I watched the first episode again, and then the second, I couldn’t stop. Before I knew it, I was drawn into the plot. Although the first episode seemed very average and unambitious, that quickly changed during the second episode. Instead of entering a happy magical world with fun fighting and helpful people, the main character Youko and her two “friends” from school end up alone and friendless and seperated in a world that is unwelcoming to them and speaks a different language.

Soon you realize that something is wrong because Keiki, their guide and the person who brought them to a different world, is missing. This is where it starts to become a much more interesting plot. There is so much detail put into everything; and the character development is extremely interesting to watch. You get to see Youko battling with herself and a mysterious demon like illusion guy who keeps haunting her. She has to come to terms with who she is and what’s going on and what her place is in her world and the one she’s entered… meanwhile, her school mate Sugimoto is a strong counterpart where she is obsessed with the new world and thinks she is some sort of saviour there. Of course, it turns out Sugimoto is delusional and Youko is the one who belongs in the new world. But it’s really fun to watch all that unravel. God, Sugimoto pissed me off, though… just a warning, be ready to throw stuff at your screen when Sugimoto starts going on about how SHE’s the one who belongs in the world of the Twelve Kingdoms.

the_twelve_kingdoms

Other than character development, the amazing thing that draws you in is the details put into the Twelve Kingdoms themselves. While it’s complicated and you kinda have to learn a lot, if you just go with the flow things will make sense eventually. Even though there was a lot to explain, I felt that everything about the kingdoms, the system of rule and the differences of this world and ours were laid out pretty clearly by the end of the first arc without too much just listening to dialogue going on and on. But, I’m pretty tolerant of sequences with a lot of dialogue.

The first arc, which is called Shadow of the Moon, Sea of Shadow (Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi) basically sets up everything and introduces you to the Twelve Kingdoms. However, it does this quite well with lots of action and character development. I have a feeling that from here on, the Twelve Kingdoms will become really like Saiunkoku Monogatari. The first arc is similar mostly because the settings are similar, but with this set-up the plot focus will probably be more similar also.

Also worth mentioning is the music, which I really like.

I’m probably going to end up marathoning a lot of this. Needless to say, everything else makes up for the mediocre animation which turned me off at the very beginning.


Spring Anime First Episodes Part II – Hanasakeru Seishounen & Higashi no Eden

April 11, 2009

Well, here’s the second part of my Spring anime blogging endeavors. This is the first time I’ve blogged for a season. But I’m not doing the whole one post for each episode thing… no, I’m much too lazy for that. So it’s probably just gonna be maybe 3 or 4 posts for each anime, depending on lots of other things like whether I end up dropping one, or really really liking one… Yeah, it’s a bit too early to tell when you’ve only seen the first episode. But god, enough with the blabbering, lets get to the point, shall we?

HANASAKERU SEISHOUNEN ~ Episode 1

hana-sei

Well, this was really just an introductory episode, and since I’d already read all the plot summaries and crap to see if I even wanted to bother with the premiere in the FIRST place; there’s not much for me to say.

But it’s looking like this isn’t going to be the josei Saiunkoku Monogatari-esque anime I was hoping for. Of course it all really depends… Dammit, this is why I don’t do first episode posts; there’s never anything to say.

Okay, so this didn’t knock my socks off, but I’m still looking forward to seeing the next episode. Shoujo is nice when it’s good, but even good shoujo isn’t usually that original. I mean there’s only so many different ways you can approach a boy-meets-girl plot. Hopefully Hana Sei will develop into something deeper and … non-fluffy.

HIGASHI NO EDEN ~ Episode 1

higa-eden

Oh yes. Okay, screw my post on Phantom. THIS is like the Bourne Identity, and has a better amnesiac also. I definitely have a Jason Bourne theme going here.

I was a little confused at parts, but I think that was only because of the sub quality and my stupidity. Also, you’re supposed to be confused, it’s only the first episode.

My foolishness aside, this was a pretty kick-ass first episode. Out of the four first episodes I watched this week, this made the strongest impression, and I think that it may turn out to be the best overall this season. I really liked the OP and ED animation as well, and the whole Washington DC atmosphere seemed pretty accurate (I was just there in January, IT WAS FREAKING COLD. That guy should have been purple with icicles hanging off him if he was naked in a winter-y looking DC.

Bottom line: this is exactly the kind of quirkyness that I love in anime, with enough originality and action to catch your attention and make an impression on you.

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Overall Spring impressions and Anticipation level:

I have 4 very varied anime this season, but I don’t think any of them will live up to their kick-ass potentials except Higashi no Eden. Hopefully I will eat my words. I’m excited to see the second episodes of all of these anime, because unless something blatantly sucks ass, I can’t really decide whether I like it or not based on just one 20 minute episode.

Perhaps you will hear from me again soon, perhaps not.


First Spring Anime Post – Phantom and Shangri-La

April 9, 2009

All right, it’s time I followed up and wrote a little about the new spring anime~ Well, I’m not a real anime blogger, so I won’t be posting about every episode and in fact I may not post again about any of the spring anime until they finish (assuming I don’t drop them). But putting that aside, I’m still excited!

So these are the anime I’m following so far this season: Shangri-la, Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~, Hanasakeru Seishounen, and Higashi no Eden. I don’t think I’m gonna care about any of the others, but that might change. So here goes

SHANGRI-LA

shangri-la-300x252

Well, I wasn’t super impressed by this. I’m not sure what I was expecting, and I’m not sure what I got either. (It is Gonzo) However, given the chance, this may get really interesting. So I will give it the chance. The setting is still intriguing, but for some reason I feel like I don’t really care about it. Since I really love that type of setting, I will ignore that fact. For now. But they should really use it to their advantage.

I probably wouldn’t bother with the second episode if it wasn’t for the main character (ah crap, I can’t even remember her name. Another bad sign.) Yeah, pink hair girl. Even though she has this weird weapon and she’s somehow this amazing fighter, she manages to seem a bit realistic, too. I like that she makes mistakes and she doesn’t really want to be this Metal-age person, whatever the hell that is.

So yeah, I will keep watching this, but I get the feeling that its gonna mess up somewhere along the line. It could go either way; somehow amazingly become awesome, or move at a snail’s pace and have nothing interesting at all. (Of course, it is Gonzo we’re talking about here. Sigh.)

PHANTOM ~REQUIEM FOR THE PHANTOM~

phantom

Well, I wasn’t planning on watching this at all. But the group I found that’s subbing Higashi no Eden had just put up a HQ release of this, and for some reason I spontaneously downloaded it. I’m glad I did. It’s just like the Bourne Identity! (Ish)

This first episode went for the “intrigue them and confuse them and entertain them with gun fights and assassinations!” tactic for getting viewers. Our guy he wakes up with no memories and some girl starts attacking him, while some other guys are observing on a computer monitor from outside. Basically it seems like they brought him to their facility in order to make him their Super Special Assassin #2 (attacking girl is Super Special Assassin #1) because he has some sixth sense ability. So guess what their names are? The girl is named Ein, and the newly awakened amnesiac boy is named Zwei. Gettt it? No? German. Ein=1, Zwei=2. I JUST figured that out. Haha.

Oh and the music got me too. Bottom line: the rest of the show is more than enough to make up for the kind of lame main characters. However, I get the feeling they are in for some major development.

I’m actually more interested in this than Shangri-la now. I’m definitely following this one.

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I’m still waiting on subs for Hanasakeru Seishounen. If you’re waiting for them too, m.3.3.w is just decided to work on this. They should be along shortly. Also, Higashi no Eden aired today (i think it’s already aired). Desire is subbing that. As soon as those 2 have been subbed, downloaded and watched, I’ll do a post on them too.

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Let’s see, what else… Oh I’m re-reading Peach Girl. I watched the first episode of the anime again, and it made me sad because the quality is bad. So I ditched the idea of rewatching the anime and went and read the books again. Peach Girl is like my favorite gritty dramatic shoujo. Actually it may be the only of that genre I’ve read. I can’t take much of that particular type. But Peach Girl is fun, even though it sucks to watch them all misunderstand each other.

Ahhh, more Rurouni Kenshin as well. I’m glad I picked up the manga. It’s fun. I think the anime did a good job adapting it, and the fighting scenes are actually easier to understand in the anime. Often in the manga someone will attack with a sword and I’ll be like “Wait, what just happened?” and I won’t be able to tell which person got beat up. I’m really excited for the end of the Shishio arc so I can finally find out what really happens instead of getting 20 episodes of freaking fillers arcs and terrible animation. I just finished the Oniwanbanshu/Megumi opium girl arc. Yes, this is fun indeed.

Oh but there’s something else tragic I have to share with the world. I AM RUNNING OUT OF HARD DRIVE SPACE. Bwaaaaaaaaaahhhh. DX


Yay, Movie Post! Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid; Bourne Trilogy

April 7, 2009

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve written a movie post, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching some pretty frickin awesome movies. Okay, to clear this up – Off the top of my head as in I just thought of this list right now, here are my top 5 ( non-Asian, lol):

-Blade Runner

-The Matrix

-V For Vendetta

-Amelie

-Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

In about 2 seconds, I’ll probably think of a million others I like better, but for now it’s first come first serve.

THE BOURNE TRILOGY

bourne_identity

Okay this was awesome. It took me a long time to watch it, but the wait made it sweeter. Like wine, or whatever. Bottom line: I loved it. Now remember, while I LIKE action, I don’t watch a lot of it since I’m so incredibly picky. When I say I like action, it means I like really really good action. This is really really good action.

The plot is decent, but it’s really the whole experience that makes it good. Basically, Jason Bourne isn’ta hero (god, even that is getting to sound cliche) Okay this is hard. I can’t review action movies. Just go watch it.

bourne

Okay I can’t do this without SPOILERS

Just as good as the first. After careful seconds of consideration, though, I’m gonna say I liked the first better because SOMEONE freaking DIED at the beginning of the stupid movie! I have to say, I kinda foresaw it, though. I mean, how’s he supposed to kick ass if he has to drag Marie around everywhere? And it wouldn’t have worked to just leave the first movie as a stand-alone, it really begs to be a trilogy… So, yeah, you died for a good cause, Marie. Right so I get to find out the plot and see more of Matt Damon being a beast.

I ended up watching the extra features on this one, I was curious about their filming technique. IT’S GOOD. The car chases… (I love car chases). I can’t really say much more other than WATCH IT.

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Well, I have yet to watch the Bourne Ultimatum. You tell me what happens, I kill you. I kid, I kid. Sort of. Seriously, though, I’m pretty excited. It’s been awhile since I’ve been this excited about a movie (I swear to god I’m so behind. These movies came out, when, 2002?) But it’s a lot of fun.

BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID

butch

Ahh, a classic. A good classic. I’m sorry I never write biting, cruel reviews about movies. But it’s no fun. So here goes another rant about how much I liked this~

Well of course I liked it. I was surprised, though. I think I may become a western fan. Never, ever before have I ever been inclined in the slightest to watch westerns. And yet, Robert Redford was calling to me… plus this is a classic, for a good reason (it rocks). Or maybe I’ve just become a Butch &  the Kid fan. Heehee. I really, really enjoyed the end. I was practically about to cry, for gods sakes! Nobody told me they were gonna die! God. But the way they did that last scene was really perfect.  Just the still frame with sound still running. Man, you have to watch it.

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Kay I lied. These weren’t real reviews. I was just excited about these movies and I wanted to put nice pictures of them up here to prove I watched them. 😀