Eternal Sabbath

May 29, 2009

It’s been awhile, but I finished Eternal Sabbath! Re-read the first 3 volumes and then finished the next 5 in two days.

Wow. Just… wow.

I’m trying to think of something to say about this manga; but there’s nothing to say really other than it’s really good.

The art was beautiful; it’s Fuyumi Souryo – I always liked her style from Mars; I think this is better. The characters are all really great and the story always focuses on all of them at least a little. Until they die at least…  But really, don’t read this if you hate sad and gory things. I thought the plot was also really good and very well-planned and thought out. Though it seemed a bit bleak, it wasn’t, really… I liked the ending; but I won’t give anything away.

I wish I could think of more to analyze and critique about it; but right now I can’t. I am perfect satisfied and happy.

ES

I had no idea this had been released in English when I first started it… I think it’s underappreciated. Or maybe it just has a small target audience. Whatever. Even if you hate the plot (don’t. it’s too good.) you could really just flip through looking at the pretty artwork.

ES v8

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Rurouni Kenshin (Manga)

May 27, 2009

kenshin-gumi

KYAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I’m so excited; because this is handsdown the best shounen ever. That’s shounen, not seinen. For a drawn out fighting series that can be a little repetitive (lol, a little…), Rurouni Kenshin is like,… *angels singing, trumpet fanfare, I see the light, etc etc* I really don’t like shounen; it’s much too repetitive and it tends to be a bit shallow and dumb. Of course, shoujo is also like that, generally… I really have no patience for repetitive shounen or shallow shoujo. But I’m a girl, so I end up reading shoujo more. Eheh. I stereotyped myself. So when it comes to shuonen, I really don’t have the patience to follow more than my chosen 2. Of course there’s Inuyasha… why do I like Inuyasha? I don’t know. It’s not profound at all. It’s repetitive. It’s funny, but not original.  I DONT KNOW WHY I LIKE IT SO MUCH. Gah.

On the other hand, I can actually TELL you why I like Rurouni Kenshin so much. That should be a hint that it really is good.

kenshin anime

It started with the anime. I loved the first two seasons dearly. Yes, dearly. They are quirky and lovely and deep and great. The third season, things get a bit dodgy. Complete deviation of the plot, rampant fillers, and deterioration of animation quality just to give you an idea. That’s because (can you guess?) they stopped following the plot of the manga. This is really tragic, because while, don’t get me wrong, I love the manga; I think most shounen is better suited for animation since there’s so much action. Unfortunately, shounen anime based on manga has a ritual of catching up to the manga, running out of material, making worthless fillers, losing ratings and fans etc. Every time. EVERY TIME, I tell you.

So my cure to the disappointment the anime left me with: Read the books! And so I did, all 28 of them.

*Cries* So good~ (fan)

So where are these amazing reasons why this manga is so good, already?

1) The series doesn’t drag on needlessly and there aren’t many useless throwaway characeters that shounen is so fond of. Yes, in the beginning when you’re just becoming acquainted with the characters there ARE some worthless stupids, but overall there are remarkably few (in the manga, that is).

2) The story can be divided into only 2 major arcs; without dumb fillers in between them. The mini-arcs at the beginning are to introduce you to the characters, and the characters to each other; they don’t count

3) The Shishio arc has some stupid villains; but Shishio and Soujirou and Anji definitely make up for them.

4) The Enishi/Revenge arc also has some stupid villains in it; but Enishi and Tomoe and the reflection chapters make up for THEM

5) The characters. Okay so there’s Kenshin; you HAVE to love him (I like him with his Hitokiri ponytail especially) but you have Sanosuke, who is also quite cool. Yahiko is fine, Kaoru is fine – neither of them are annoying. Kaoru could use a more developed personality, but I like her. Then you have Saito. God I love him. He never fails to be perfectly indifferent and hilarious. Plus Aoshi and Misao; and you also have some good villains in Shishio and Enishi… Soujirou was well-done as was Yumi, also part of Shishio-gumi.

ken-sanThis is when he’s really young, with his hitokiri ponytail and before he got the scars.

6) It’s profound. PROFOUND. Yes it is. I can contemplate Kenshin happily for hours. Beneath the surface of shounen fighting is a web of morals and ethics.

7) It’s a good history lesson on the meiji era. If it wasn’t for Kenshin I would be completely, utterly clueless about the Bakumatsu and Meiji. I’m serious. I learned as much from Kenshin as I would from a textbook.

Well, this biased review has really gone on more than long enough. I think I’ve burned off most of the rush I got after finishing Kenshin. I’m sad that it’s over; but I think it was well-paced and that it ended in a good place. Maybe I’ll be able to concentrate on my homework now.

Ah wait; I have to add about the Rurouni Kenshin OVAs. I never watched them. I didn’t want to before I read the manga; I was afraid they would ruin everything because I heard they were sad and different from the TV series. But now that I’ve read the manga; I really want to see more of Kenshin animated. So you may find a Kenshin OVA post from me sometime.

KenshinOVA

Rurouni Kenshin Volume 21

OVA art compared with manga art. Volumes 19-21 might have to be my favorites. I really wanted the Enishi arc to be animated, but I guess I’ll have to be satisfied with the flashback from the Enishi arc.

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Aside from that; it’s been awhile since I wrote a post. I decided I don’t like keeping up with anime that are still airing on this blog, it’s too much trouble. But I might post something to update Eden of the East and Phantom if I feel like it. Also coming soon should be another post on the Twelve Kingdoms; I’ve only got 6 episodes/1 story arc left. I’m also almost finished reading all of Jane Austen; might do that too. Yawn. Okay; that’s all.


Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo

May 3, 2009

makoto

Ahh I love Netflix. Now I can still watch movies and anime in good quality even though my hard drive is so full I’m scared to download more. This movie, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo was released in the US as The Girl Who Leapt Trough Time. And indeed, she leaps. Literally.

Here is a short summary: Makoto Konno one day discovers, as she flies off her malfunctioning bicycle in front of a speeding train, that she can leap through time. By taking a huge leap, she can fling herself backwards in time and relive and change moments in her life. After getting accustomed to using small time leaps as part of her everyday life; she starts to realize the negative impact they are beginning to take on the people around her and has to figure out a way to make things go back to how they were.

Okay, first off: I really enjoyed this movie. At first I thought it was a bit flawed, but when I kept thinking I decided it was perfect the way it is.

I had thought that it could’ve used some more character development and fleshing out for Chiaki and Kousuke (Makoto’s friends); but in the end I realized that would’ve messed things up. The whole point of this movie is that it’s centered completely around Makoto and what she chooses to do with her ability. At times it’s calm and at times it’s very frantic. The pacing and events of this movie are well thought out. The simple character designs also lend to the impact of the movie.

I really liked how un-dramatic the ending was, too. It was a bit of a twist that I hadn’t quite seen coming. The end made me sad because I’m used to American sappiness, but I really liked it. I watched it right after finishing Manon des Sources because I thought it would cheer me up after all the tragedy; but it kind of didn’t o.O

Overall I liked this movie a lot; I would recommend it and watch it again 😉

mako-to-chiaki


Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources

May 3, 2009

A pair of very tragic, very French movies based on a novel. They’re two seperate movies, but basically it’s just like Part 1 and Part 2.

JEAN DE FLORETTE

jean

Warning: this movie is extremely, extremely bleak. Keep Part 2 on hand as an antidote.

Jean de Florette is a brilliant movie. The title refers to the protagonist, a hunchback named Jean; and his mother Florette, who has recently died and who was once the beauty of the village that her son moves to with his family (his wife and young daughter). The clever part is; even though Jean is the “good guy”, he isn’t the main character. Most of the story is taken from the pont of view of the two antigonists, Papet Soubeyran and his simple nephew Galinette Ugolin. The two hatch a plot to acquire Jean’s land for cheap because they want to use the spring hidden there to build a carnation farm. So before Jean’s family move into the farm that had been left to them by Florette, Papet and Galinette plug up the spring. The land is useless without a water source, so they figure they can step up to buy it when Jean realizes this and then unplug the spring for their benefit (it’s set in the old days before pipes and everything).

Jean is smart and resourceful and has big plans for his new country lifestyle. However, the summer brings the dry season and the family runs out of water, just as Papet and Galinette planned. But instead of moving away, they stay… to face TRAGEDY. AHHHHH IT SUCKS. I can’t do this. This movie is too bleak. Also, be prepared to get really really thirsty. And thankful for the fact that you have pipes. And water.

MANON DES SOURCES

manon

Less bleak, but no less tragic. Very, very French. And subtle. Remember this was written a long time ago.

Manon des Sources, or Manon of the Spring (as in spring of water, not the season) takes place 10 years after the crap, crap ending of Jean de Florette. It brings back Papet and Galinette, and re-introduces the grown Manon, daughter of Jean, the hunchback. Can’t say too much without giving away the plot, but I can say that it’s very good and well-written. And it’s just subtle enough.

What can I say? It’s all just very good.


Episodes 3-4: Phantom + Higashi no Eden

May 2, 2009

And here is my casual update for the 2 currently airing series that I’m following this season~ Phantom and Higashi no Eden (Eden of the East)

PHANTOM

@ episode 4

Oh the pain of existence. I am really liking Phantom. I think it might just be the music, though. No, it’s not super original so far, but we shall see where the plot goes… I like the Ein and Zwei pair. Not as much as Michiko and Hatchin of course, and they lack awesomeness, but I like them in that friendly way. You don’t get it? It’s okay, I’m weird. I can’t really explain. They just seem to be viewer-friendly characters. I’m not sure if that’s good, but I like it. Alright, so they are assassin. So they’re not friendly at all. You know what, never mind. I’m confusing myself.

So far the bottom line is that I like it, and the music kicks ass.

Sadly it has been licensed by FUNimation with lightning speed (come of Funimation, can’t you at least wait for it to finish airing before you license it like normal people?). So I don’t know for sure if I’ll be able to finish watching and blogging this.

HIGASHI NO EDEN

@ 4 episodes

This latest episode got a teensy bit confusing, but I used my brain and figured it out. Wow. This is really good. Also has nice music, but that’s definitley not the only thing it has. Very endearing characters (I have weird taste, LOL) and a good premise. The way it goes back and forth between Saki and Akira in episode 4 also reminds me a bit of Michiko to Hatchin. I had really liked the way that series showed the parallel characters of Michiko and Hatchin doing different things on their own. This is also a very friendly feeling series. No it’s not quite happy, but it’s very lovable. I love it. XD


Emily of New Moon

May 2, 2009

Ah, May… the month that lets you know Spring is really truly here! I love this month. And I love… Emily of New Moon!

emily

How I ended up reading this is a strange story. See, I happened to run across and anime called ‘Kaze no Shoujo Emily’, which, indeed, turns out to be the anime version of Emily of New Moon. Having read a couple of the Anne of Green Gables books, I sort of recognized that title… so I became interested and planned on watching Kaze no Shoujo. But some days later I found myself in a used bookstore and lo and behold, there upon the shelf sat Emily of New Moon. So I bought it, spur of the moment. And you know what? I am so glad I did.

The Emily Trilogy, without a doubt, surpasses Anne of Green Gables. Contrary to Anne, which goes on and on for books and books, Emily is just the right length. I mean, yes, we all like Anne, but enough is enough sometimes, you know? I also thought Emily was a bit deeper as a character, a bit more flawed. This makes everything more interesting. So after finishing the first book, I ended up going back and getting Emily Climbs and Emily’s Quest. They didn’t disappoint.

I confess, I am a bit of a romantic at heart. I love these types of books, and I fully and happily admit that I’m a bit childish that way. Even though these L.M. Montgomery books seemed to be children’s books at first, they can be very thrilling and intense. The scene in the church at night from Emily Climbs, for instance; and especially the last half of the final book, Emily’s Quest. Wow. I was totally convinced that it was going to be a complete tragedy. The whole book was quite gripping, actually, despite the fact that a lot of it is spent on atmosphere and the monotony and loneliness of everyday life. But by the last couple chapters I had absolutely no idea what was going on and I kept thinking of possible plot twists and development. For about 10 seconds I was convinced that Emily and Teddy would turn out to have been fraternal twins, lol. I did think the ending was a bit sudden, but you know how it is with L. M. Montgomery.

Anyway, now that I’m a fan of the books, I think I probably won’t watch the anime.