Otogizoushi REVIEW + Dragon Sword and Wind Child

October 4, 2009

So I know I’m supposed to be all “YAY FALL 2009 SEASON” , but I really miss Otogizoushi. Which is why I’m writing a review of it!

Let me first say that I love historical fiction and historical anime, ahem Saiunkoku and Twelve Kingdoms? Seirei no Moribito? Ring any bells…? One of my favorite books in elementary school was Dragon Sword and Wind Child, by Noriko Ogiwara, which I found COMPLETELY randomly one day. I was like, oh, might as well read this. It’s about dragons. Imagine my surprise when I found it was a novel translated from Japanese and set in a Japan-like country in really ancient times. Like pre-Inuyasha times. And it was also an amazing book. So that’s basically what got me into historical ASIAN fiction. Historical American fiction? Pshhhh, give me more Noriko Ogiwara any day!

It wasn’t until later that I found out that book was the first in a trilogy, each book a different story about the magatama… of course, America is stupid and only licensed the one book, so now I’ll never find out what happens unless I learn kanji.

So when I was looking for more stuff like Saiunkoku and Twelve Kingdoms, I stumbled upon this show called Otogizoushi. About the five magatama. Dot dot dot… wasn’t magatama what they were always going on about in Dragon Sword and Wind Child, the best kids book ever? And that is how I ended up downloading Otogizoushi (I got it from Anime-Kraze, they’re cool. The video quality [of Otogizoushi, their other shows are amazing] isn’t the best though).

Otogi

Plot

HEIAN~ My favorite! I was so happy when I figured out it was set in essentially the same time period as Dragon Sword and Wind Child! We need more Heian period anime! Ahem. The plot of Otogizoushi is divided in two arcs, the Heian arc makes up the first 13 episodes and the Tokyo arc makes up episodes 14-2… wait I forgot about the extra episode… hold on right there, I’m confused… Well suffice to say half the show is in 900 CE and half is in 200o CE – which is now.

I’ve seen mixed reviews on this division; it swings both ways: some people love the Heian and hate the Tokyo arc, for others it’s switched. Me, I liked both of them! However, I do think that the Heian arc could’ve been more fleshed out and done with a few more episodes. Although I enjoyed the atmosphere, I don’t think this arc was perfectly executed. But it was definitely interesting.

As for the Tokyo arc, at first I was like, ‘wait, did they ACTUALLY just do that?’ because the whole reincarnation thing can get a little old. But in the end it was kind of cool. The drastic change in storytelling style was also interesting. “Otogizoushi” actually refers to a collection of myths, and in each episode of the Tokyo arc the group encounters a new modern Tokyo myth which ties into one of the magatama. It was actually quite cool to watch it play out, and see how it all connected to the previous Heian arc.

Art and Animation

I could never make up my mind about this. Otogizoushi definitely has a unique style, with more realistic looking characters and most noticeably, non-anime eyes. Yes, the eyes are still big, but they actually look like eyes. The Heian arc had a sort of ink/watercolor looking background. It may have just been the video quality, but the colors always looked a little TOO washed out. I mean you don’t want insane, bright, shonen colors in a Heian period anime, but you don’t want it to look dull either, right? So I want to see what it looks like in HQ. And HD for that matter. Hah.

So in the end I liked the art style, but I think they couldv’e honed that style so it looked better. As for the animation, I feel like it was decent, but it doesn’t stand out in memory. *IT’S STILL PRODUCTION IG THOUGH <3*

Music

The BGM was lovely, as expected for historical anime; for the modern arc, I’m sure it was nice, but not memorable. The Heian OP kinda killed the historical atmosphere but I ended up missing it when the show was over. The first ED was nothing special. I liked the melody of the second OP a lot, and it definitely fit the Tokyo arc atmosphere. The second ED: OH MY GOD. Haruhi totally sang this in Ouran HSHC when she was kidnapped by Lobelia and they made her be in their play! Or she at least lipsynced to it. Thank you, I HAVE got wonderful listening skills and memory.

Characters

I can’t remember if I thought they were well defined or not, but I did like them. They were a good group. And yes, they basically fulfilled all the stereotypes in a traveling/adventuring group; you know, the naive but willful leader, the stoic guy who defends said leader, the guy who’s never serious and likes women but is still a good fighter, the little kid… wait is this Inuyash- ..nnno. But even so, they weren’t BLATANT stereotypes. I like to think they were ACCIDENTAL stereotypes. Hikaru was a good main character, because she was naive but she certainly wasn’t stupid. Plus she could shoot arrows, so she wasn’t completely defenseless either. Mansairaku was also a good character. Even though you actually don’t see much of him, he’s still cool.

Overall

I feel like this has been kind of biased… but I’m gonna wrap it up by saying: this is NOT for everyone. I wouldn’t watch this for action, and I don’t even know if I would watch this for plot… actually I don’t know why anyone should watch this. But if you like Dragon Sword and Wind Child… step right up! You might also want to keep an open mind and try to be laid back when you watch this. Or who knows, you might love every minute of it. I honestly couldn’t say in the slightest. It’s just that kind of show.

EDIT: Holy crap. You can get this from Netflix. I didn’t even know it was licensed. Now I know where to go if I want to see this in quality. Who knows what the subs’ll be like, though. HOLY CRAP. I’m keeping my DLed version, but when I feel like rewatching this I’m definitely gonna go for the Netflix DVDs. I’m very, very surprised that they have it.

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Back to Dragon Sword and Wind Child, I can’t help wanting to write a little more about it now.

It was written in the 80’s by Noriko Ogiwara in Japanese. And it was actually originally released as a stand alone novel in the US very shortly errr somewhat shortly afterwards. This is the cover it had when I read it in like 2000.

dragon_sword

Pretty, right? Wahaha. Even though it has that cheesy title that sounds awkward when you say it, it’s not because it’s a translation… no, it was the silly Americans who decided they had to rename it. The original title was Sora-iro Magatama, which means Sky-colored magatama. Granted, that too sounds a bit awkward in English. So the American name stuck when VIZ decided to retranslated and republish it with a shiny new cover in 2007.

Dragon Sword

And you know what gives me a sliver of hope? 1) The VIZ version was only released about 2 years ago 2) The words “Tales of Magatama” at the top. Doesn’t that smell like a sequel to you?!?! Plus, VIZ followed up their release of The Twelve Kingdoms novel with the sequels to THAT. Maybe if I send them enough letters/hack their website they’ll release Hakuchou Iden and Usubeni Tennyo.

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EDIT

Not to make this long post even longer, but I just really have to add that the Heian arc of Otogizoushi was constantly reminding me of this old 60’s samurai movie by Akira Kurosawa called Rashomon. This may not ring any bells, so I’ll explain: Rashomon is an actual place in the old Heian capital, it’s a gate (mon = gate) at one end of the city for demons or something along those lines. Anyway this old black and white movie is all about Rashomon. So whenever the people in Otogizoushi hung out at Rashomon I was all happy since I totally knew what Rashomon was.

By the way, if you’re into film that’s black and white or you’re completely sick of mainstream, I really recommend Akira Kurosawa. Especially the ones with Toshiro Mifune. My favorite is Sanjuro.

Sanjuro

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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.


Temporary post to hold over till I’m not lazy~!

February 24, 2009

Wahh, I finished Saiunkoku Monogatari! I’m just writing this to remind myself that I have to write a season wrap-up post about SM, and also a super secret special rhyming prayer for a third season. I’m gonna wait to write up that post, because I want to finish Ryusei no Kizuna as well so I can write their respective posts at the same time. SARS has yet to upload the subbed finale~ I’m excited! I’ve enjoyed Ryusei no Kizuna a lot this season, even though I started it late and have been waiting patiently for only the SARS subs.

With these 2 series out of the way (sadly), I think I will watch … INU YASHA! I want to finish volume 36 of the manga (where the anime ends) before I finish the anime and I want to finish the anime before I finish the manga. So I think now would be a perfect time to start watching the anime, what with all this sudden extra watching-time I will have. Inu Yasha will be kind of a hassle to get since I’m so picky and refuse to watch dubs. Plus I’m lazy and have done enough searching for the subs online. So I’m planning on renting the DVDs from Netflix. Whoo! It’ll take awhile, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

I am on volume 20 of the manga already. Pretty soon I will surpass where I’d read up to before. I never even read half of it. This freaking series is twice as long as everything I’ve ever read before, except Ranma, which doesn’t count because it doesn’t have a plot to follow. And it’s still 18 volumes longer than Ranma! *Still in awe over how long it is, and wondering how freaking many plot twists and side-plots there are, anyways*

Also, today is Monday, which means, of course…. new Skip Beat! Yay, it looks like they’ll be continuing this through the Dark Moon story arc. My favorite. Unfortunately, this show seems to be trying to aim at younger kids as well, which explains the bad quality and the fact that some things were cut out. I hope they don’t cut TOO much out. Eheheh. Anyway episode 20 was very enjoyable, and I’m looking forward to episode 21!


Gawd. UNbelievable.

February 3, 2009

…what I’ve been doing. You wanna know? You really wanna know? I have been reading Ranma 1/2. Yes. I DID say that right. D: First I’m all “I am SO not gonna waste my time anymore!” and then I turn right around and read 17 FREAKING VOLUMES of Ranma, which is the most plotless manga ever. But I find it incredibly funny. I don’t know if I’m just dumb, or what… but I remember reading them in like 2nd grade… the library right next to my house had like all of them, so I read them one summer. Gosh I feel like I’m enjoying this way too much.

The story actually ended… at a monstrous 38 volumes. I only have 18 volumes to go now! I WILL read all of them! …And, yes,  that is the kind of goal I set for myself. Worthless kid, huh? I am quite proud of my thriftyness however… I bought a copy of Anna Karenina for $2.00!! That’s a book the same length as Harry Potter 5 ($28.00) by Tolstoy and translated from Russian! Wow. And I’m just thinking, wow, the same kid who reads Ranma 1/2 is reading Tolstoy?!

Yeah thats the American version. Jeesh. Why have I gotten so obsessed with this? I usually don’t like repetitive things… it must be nostalgia. Geh don’t mention the anime, though. What a gross anime this turned out to be. Never ever again will I attempt watching it. Ever. I’m still impressed that I like the books so much. Why? Ah well… as long as I’m enjoying myself, I suppose…

Onto other things… hopefully having SLIGHTLY more to do with Jdrama… but alas, I fear not… because SARS hasn’t released a new Ryusei no Kizuna yet. Today is Monday, though, and that means a new Skip Beat~ oh I’m so happy, I finally got to read Skip Beat in good quality and everything. I bought one of the American releases with my Barnes and Noble gift card. I hate Barnes and Noble. It’s phony as hell. Heehee. Guess what else I bought. Catcher in the Rye~! My favorite book ever thats written before 1950! I lost my copy and couldn’t live so I bought another one.

Kyahaha. I’m pretty happy right now. After all, I can sense Spring and everything. I am like one of the first people in the Northern Hemisphere to catch Spring Fever; every year.


Rewatching mania. Why?

January 25, 2009

Gosh it feels like its been awhile. I haven’t been writing cause I haven’t had anything to write about. For one thing, I was in Washington D.C. for a certain inauguration (it was insane. i wouldn’t even ask.) And then, most of the things I’m watching haven’t been subbed yet anyways. Ryusei no Kizuna, Saiunkoku Monogatari and Skip Beat have all been on hold. I was gonna put some HYD 2 on my flashdrive and watch it on the laptop so I could watch the movie when I got back, but I forgot that I hadn’t downloaded defilerpak onto this laptop  and then I couldn’t get internet access. Yeah.  I have I lot of good excuses. Anyway now I’m back and Skip Beat 15 is up, Ryusei no Kizuna 6 is up from SARS, and SaiMono is getting back on track (sort of) from C1/Animanda. At least they’ve released another episode. It’s 27 and a recap though, and crystalis has already subbed up through 37. But it’s comforting to know they haven’t forgotten about it. I like their subs better, too, so I’m downloading their version as well. Anyway, it won’t be too long before they get the rest of the series out.

Skip Beat 15 was good, a new arc. Unfortunately, I can’t compare it to the manga, which, also unfortunately, I can’t even read in good quality D: I wish I wasn’t broke so i could buy the American releases. Ahhh the feeling of a new book… I want money.

Aside from all that ^ I’ve recently been attacked by a brutal case of wanting-to-rewatch-things. I think it must have started with Fancy Lala (see previoues post). I only watched 3 episodes, but I’m thinking I might get back to finishing it eventually. It’s funny how I enjoy kids shows. Although there was also HYD 2, which I started rewatching… and now I feel like watching Hana Kimi the TAIWANESE version, which supposedly I didn’t even LIKE. So I watched the first 5 minutes of that, and for some reason it reminded me of The Matrix; I think I watched them both around the same time… spring. Which is the upcoming season. Ahhhhh winter’s not even over yet, brain! So now I’m gonna be compelled to rewatch anything I’ve ever watched in the Spring! Hana Kimi Taiwan, The Matrix, Time Between Dog and Wolf (I should finish that anyways…), Kodocha, and god knows what else! I shouldn’t waste time rewatching things… why do I end up doing it anyways?

Sigh. Well, there is one new thing – I mentioned last time that I was interested in watching Mars (TWdrama). Um. That’s probably not gonna happen since I coincidentally picked up the manga. Turns out I’ve read the first 2 books already, but then I kinda went crazy and I read up through volume 10 in way too short a time. I did stop there to eat though. Plus I kinda maybe read ahead a little, and I think the last 5 volumes will just be dragging stuff out pretty much. But if they’re like the rest of the series, it’ll go fast anyways. So now I like the manga too much to put myself through watching the TWdrama version of it.

CRAP. Just thinking about Mars reminded me of Nobuta wo Produce which I now also want to rewatch. And then I was reminded that it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a Studio Ghibli film and now I have to watch Whisper of the Heart, the Cat Returns, Umi ga Kikoeru, Spirited Away, Mononoke Hime, and Nausicaa. And now Nausicaa has reminded me of Bone, which I also want to reread and Blade Runner. Argh. You know, this is insane. Saying “argh” reminds me of Pirates, and that reminds me of those Wolf Tower novels that I like. And I’ve actually read those recently.

Umm. Back to Mars. Its dramatic without being melodramatic. For some reason it made me go back and watch the Ayashi no Ceres opening. I realized again how crappy the anime is -.- (In terms of animation) so now I want to read that also. Why is it that the mangas I like all have to be such monstrosities? Fruits Basket = 23 volumes. Mars = 15 volumes. Peach Girl = a painful 20 volumes. Kare Kano = 21 volumes.  Skip Beat = 22 and ongoing. Ayashi no Ceres is 14 volumes. Sighhhh.

Look at this, too:

Things I’ve started that I should finish sometime before the sun explodes:

Kurosagi

Attention Please

Nana (manga)

Time Between Dog And Wolf

Revolutionary Girl Utena (I started this when, 3rd grade?)

Gosh what a huge mountain of things to watch. I think I’ll run away by going to watch Ryuusei no Kizuna episode 6, which just finished downloading. Then… I might give in and watch Taiwan hana Kimi D:

*Edited like 2 minutes after posting: I forgot to say that I also watched the first episode of japanese Hana Kimi again. Maybe I’m going to turn into an insane person, watch them simultaneously and then write crazy posts comparing the two? Oh speaking of, imagine the field day bloggers are having what with the new Korean version of Hana Yori Dango. Comparing Meteor Garden (TWdrama), Hana Yori Dango (Jdrama), and Boys Over Flowers (Kdrama)… geez. Throw in the manga and the anime and you have one insane mass of fans each defending their favorite version.


And I’m Back! {To dramas}, an extremely long and varied post.

December 23, 2008

Many interesting things have I been doing lately, including Saiunkoku Monogatari, Romeo X Juliet, Ryusei no Kizuna, They Kiss Again and Hana Yori Dango. Plus some other stuff. Daaaamn. Haha. All in one day. Hey, theres 9 inches of snow on the ground, I’m sick, and I don’t have anything to do anyway.

In my last post I mentioned how terribly off track this blog has gotten, and really, it’s not going to get any more ‘on-track’, but at least I’m actually watching jdramas again. I feel like it’s too late to change the blogs’ name, but its kinda totally wrong. Ah well. I don’t really care. So, to work:

SAIUNKOKU MONOGATARI

(Story of Saiunkoku)

An enthusiastic friend burned the entire first season onto discs for me, which I never finished watching. So it was included in my goal of “Over winter break, FINISH KUROSAGI. And watch Saiunkoku Monogatari and Romeo X Juliet, since they’re already downloaded.” Anyway, I’m not finished watching it yet, so I guess I won’t give a full on review (I never do anyways. My thoughts are too disorganized and un-critical D:). But I must say, even though it’s not exceptional or anything, I enjoy Saiunkoku a lot. It must be my weakness for period plots.

I do love historic, fantasy, or futuristic worlds. Dystopias, of course, being the best. But back to Saiunkoku. It’s set in a fictional country that seems to be based on China 200+ years ago. Sorry I can’t tell you anything other than such a vague guess as to the time period, but I’m gonna say it really doesn’t matter.

Yes, I know that Shuurei’s hair is annoyingly impossible given the laws of gravity. I’ll just have to deal.

I’m just completely entertained by this series. The characters are pleasant and have personalities; the plot makes sense and holds my interest, barring the occasional side stories; the drawings are acceptable, with nice watercolor pictures of the Chinese-like city; the music is cute (by cute I mean historically accurate) and the theme songs are girly yet not insanely annoying. Lala, this series is so fun! (You know, I can enjoy pretty much anything. But I somehow manage to be picky still. I myself don’t even get it.)

I love the background stuff about the country’s history. I am just so entertained and happy. I can’t wait to see what the second season is like.

Moving on!

ROMEO X JULIET

Right now I’m just so happy in the anime department. I have Saiunkoku Monogatari to lightly entertain me, and I have Romeo X Juliet to give me a little tragedy and depth(ish). I love this, regardless of the flaws I’ve seen, which I will list right now to get them off my back. Its gonna seem like I hate this series, but trust me, I don’t. I’m just being harsh. Okay, so 1): Regarding the actual relationship between Romeo and Juliet. This is the whole basis of the title and much of the plot. So where is it?! How are they connected at all?! All they ever say to each other is… “R-Romeo!” and “…Juliet?!” and then they blush and somehow this adds up to a relationship?! Where’s the passion? 2): Actually, I don’t really have any other problems, so far.

So now to the positive aspects, which are many more!

The Plot. Well DUH. Of course the plot is fantastic, who wrote it again? Was it Shakespeare, one of the most famous people ever? The original plot is obviously gorgeous, but Romeo X Juliet’s plot adaption is extremely entertaining. Even though we all know how it’s going to end, RxJ manages to recapture your interest by making this be Romeo and Juliet in essence, at that same time completely and decidedly NOT being Romeo and Juliet, and yet still being Romeo and Juliet. You know what, don’t even make me try to put it into words, just go watch it.

The Characters. The set-up of the characters is a bit different, as the Montagues are in power, and the Capulets are subdued; rather than having them just be fighting like babies. Also, several different characters are introduced, and other characters don’t appear until later, aka Tybalt. I actually have no idea where that one is going. I’m only on episode 10 out of 24. So we’ll find out what the hell Tybalt is doing NOT being friends with Romeo eventually. Character development looked like it was going to be nada at first, but now I think Juliet is started to show a bit more of a personality. Can Romeo’s personality be saved? You’ll just have to watch it and see if the director turns out to be good after all. (Made by Gonzo, by the way)

The Setting. I love Neo Verona! I love the flying horses, and the fact that Romeo’s is adeptly named Cielo (Sky).

The Art and Character Designs. Ehhh what do I know about this..; All I can say is the characters’ faces don’t annoy me, +500 points! Juliet’s wig for when she’s “Odin” and a boy is incredibly annoying, but I can live with that. The CG and backgrounds are kinda cool and Scrapped Princess-like. I really like the designs for the Montague and Capulet coats of arms.

The Music …is the pleasant kind that you find yourself singing as you make dinner. And I must add that the Japanese version of “You Raise Me Up” is quite lovely and way better than the original, which I hated. The lyrics are better now, too. ;P The end song is kinda JRock-like, which is nice.

KYAAA I’m excited for the plot! I am SO willing to overlook short-comings for this anime!

Up next is…

RYUSEI NO KIZUNA

All right, so I was indeed quite put off by the Fall 2008 drama season. A lot. This was the only drama that got me interested, and it’s STILL taken me until December to start watching it. Thank god SARS picked this up, otherwise I might NEVER have watched it. (I love SARS. Thank you SO MUCH for Hana Kimi, HanaDan, Nodame Cantabile and like 5000 more!)

Ummm what can I say. I’m thinking this drama might pull a Kurosagi and turn episodic, thereby making me extremely sad and incapable of ever finishing it. (WHY IS IT that I just cannot get myself to finish watching Kurosagi? Why?). Of course, I hope it doesn’t. Even though there are some weird comic moments that are almost out of place, espcially with Ninomiya, who plays the oldest brother out of 3 siblings whose parents were murdered. Is Nino just completely un-funny? He seem so awkward in comedy scenes. I can’t tell if it’s his character, or if he just cannot act in comedies.

Anyway, kind of scattered plot but its holding my interest for now so I’ll keep downloading and follow it. There’ll be more later.

THEY KISS AGAIN – Episode 2

This is just going to be an awful rant about how unhappy I am about episode 2 of the sequel to ISWAK, the best TWdrama out there that I’ve ever heard of.

Okay, so to set things straight: YES I really enjoyed ISWAK, even though I think the cinematography was about as bad is it gets (I’m wrong there, in They Kiss Again its worse), the plot and characters were shallow (thats usual for a TWdrama though), and I was never sure whether Xiang Qin and Jiang-taitai’s crappy taste in EVERYTHING from plaster figurines to over-the-top lace to cutesy stuffed things was a joke or for real. (as far as I can tell from TKA, it’s real. OH the horror).

The sequel, They Kiss Again, is just so pointless, futile, predictable and torturous, that I can’t imagine how they even filmed it without unconsciously jumping out the window. What the hell is the point of making a show about life after marriage? Who wants to watch someones’ marriage fall apart, come back together, then watch them not trust each other, become suspicious, cry and whine about it? And if there was a point to making a show about life after marriage, it would be because the show is deep, and characters are profound and you actually comprehend how they can possibly think in the way that they do. Which does NOT describe TKA.  And then if its that bad, WHY make every episode 80 minutes long? It dragged on forever and ever. And half of that time was spent fawning over the Jiang’s new house which was decorated with more plaster figurines, kitschy family photographs, and way larger than life pictures of babies; in frilly pink lace and satin and way larger than life pictures of Xiang Qin and Zhi Shu kissing.

Whew. And if all that doesn’t tell you how disappointed I am, I have absolutely no idea what will.

Thank god for Hana Yori Dango! Even the melodrama of the final episode was enough to beat back the pain I experienced from watching They Kiss Again. That wrapped up my rewatching of Hana Yori Dango for the Holiday season. I’m considering rewatching Hana Yori Dango Returns as well, seeing as I remember like none of it. Guess what elseeeee? Hana Yori Dango Final was released on DVD on the 19th and soon SARS will be subbing away!!!!!!

Ahhhh that was long. But wait! There’s more!

After this sad and forlorn Fall season, I’m hoping for a little better in Winter 2009. So far what has me interested is Kami no Shizuku, with Kamenashi Kazuya – about wine, will probably try to be profound; and a slightly trashier-sounding but possibly better Mizushima Hiro drama, yes I know he tends to only be eye candy, but this could be funny: ‘Mei-chan no Shitsuji’, or Mei’s Butler. Hopefully they won’t disappoint.

And moving away from the television genre, we have a very intriguing French book called ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’. I would recommend it to anyone who is disillusioned with the modern world, and who is sophisticated, intelligent and interested in art, culture and philosophy. I’m really enjoying it.

And to wrap this extremely long post about many unrelated things, I have a couple more random statements:

1) I love the movie Ever After, best sappy period romance ever

2) One of these days I’ll write up my ramblings about Scrapped Princess, one of my favorite animes

3) Happy Holidays and thank god the days are finally getting longer again!


An off-topic post! Manga and Hollywood!

December 13, 2008

I’m sorry… this is supposed to be a blog to keep track of Jdramas, but I’ve totally failed. The last drama I watched was Taiwanese, not Japanese, and recently I’ve been reading manga instead of finishing Kurosagi and watching all those other dramas I’ve been meaning to watch. I just couldn’t help myself. Ai Yazawa is just too cool. Haha, isnt she cool?

*Notice the Vivienne Westwood outifit. XD
~
Anyway, after I finished the Paradise Kiss anime (SPOILER ALERT) I had to go reread the last chapter of the manga because the anime didn’t mention Carrie was getting married to Tokumori, and that made me sad because I was one of the only people who was actually happy that they ended up together. Believe me, I liked George and all, he’s a great character, but Yukari definitely wouldn’t have been as happy with him, i don’t think. Anyway, thats just my opinion. The ending was realistic and refreshing.
~
Well, I had read Paradise Kiss, Gokinjo Monogatari, Tenshi Nanka Janai, and some of Nana, so I had to go read Kagen no Tsuki. Even though that genre isn’t really my favorite, since it was a Yazawa I liked it. Also, I find that if I haven’t seen much of a particular genre before I get interested in it temporarily because of the novelty. Anyway, Kagen no Tsuki is a supernatural story about a 4 children who are trying to help this ghost-like girl (only one of them can see her). Turns out she’s in a coma, and her spirit was trapped in this old house where she had lived for 2 weeks with a mysterious British musician called Adam. Complicated plot to explain, but it’s worth it to go take a look at it. Its pretty different from the work most people associate with Ai Yazawa.
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I also checked out the live action movie that was made in 2004, with the guy who plays Morita from Honey and Clover (I know, he was just over-acting sooo much.) Needless to say, I didn’t like what I saw of the movie much. I’m always saying that you have to consider the movie and book versions of things as completely seperate, but I honestly just did not like how they interpreted the plot in the movie. So I didn’t finish it.
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Yes, that is indeed Hyde in the movie poster. Yes, he plays Adam. And no, he’s not British. Ah well. The other picture is the cover of one of the books. It’s a prety short series. Something like 16 chapters.

Oh yeah, this isn’t a serious review about the movie Kagen no Tsuki or anything, so if you’re wondering about it you’ll have to find somebody who has actually watched the whole thing, sorry.
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Lately I’ve been reading Marmalade Boy. (It’s not just because the author is friends with Yazawa, I promise). I read it awhile ago, so I thought I would read it again. I don’t really have a big opinion on it. I mean if you asked me if I liked it or didn’t like it, I would say I liked it. But theres not too much I have to say. Except for rivals, jeaoulsy, and evil Sae-like people! (Excuse the Peach Girl reference). I just hate, hate, hateeeeeee it when theres jealousy, suspicions and evil Sae-people! A) It makes me nervous! B)It’s not very original C) You already know how things will turn out, so it seems pointlessly nerve-wracking! and D) Do people really get suspicious that easily? I guess thats one thing you can learn from manga. Nobody whose read enough manga will ever get suspicious and angry ever again! Of course, there are times when you’re right to be suspicious and angry… AHH it doesn’t matter! I’m almost boring myself by going on about jealousy, suspicions, evil Sae-people, and rivals (ooh another thing I hate is a quickly introduced, then quickly disposed-of rival! Just too predictable!) These sorts of things just get in the way of the actual plot (if there is an actual plot) and annoy you.
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Sighhh. I think I’ll go back to Nana once I finish Marmalade Boy. I miss seeing Yazawa’s Vivienne Westwood. Recently I’ve had a lot of fun looking at this book I got about vintage fashion. It organizes by decades. The 50’s and 60’s look fun… but the 70’s looked so awful. EXCEPT for Vivienne Westwood. I actually can’t find a thing of hers’ that I don’t like. She’s also quite innovative and prolific. I liked Hubert de Givenchy, too. He worked with Audrey Hepburn. Recently I’ve also been fascinated by early Hollywood. I read this book about the founders of Hollywood about a year ago, and I just finished this other one about Edith Head. What an amazing woman. I love looking at the old pictures of her designs. She worked with Hitchcock, too. Those early years in Hollywood were so glamorous. Heres a piccy: Edith’s on the left.
Well speaking of people/artists I admire, I like Gaudi and Antoine de St. Exupery, too. Got a little off topic at the end, there. Actually this whole post hasn’t got much to do with Jdrama. (-_-) – Also, why did I write this whole thing in italics?
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PS- Did you know Wataru Yoshizumi (Marmalade Boy, Handsome Girlfriend), Miho Obana (Kodomo no Omocha/Kodocha) and Ai Yazawa are all friends? It’s weird that I happen to have read series by each of them and liked them!