Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Inuyasha 558 "Tomorrow"

It's over. It's really over. And I'll be damned if the conclusion wasn't just about as satisfying as I could hope for... Really. I was pretty happy with the ending, amazingly enough. There was, of course, always my fantasy ending that I'd read in a fanfic or two where Inuyasha and Kagome would be going to see Sesshoumaru's first kid with Rin, but I'm a Sess/Rin fangirl and that's just wishful thinking. Ideally, of course, there'd be a bit more detail about my favorite two characters, but as I said... overall, I was pleased.

Two days ago I'd almost read the whole spoiler at Freelance, but I'd stopped myself. Starks was kind enough to put such a spoiler behind two cuts. Especially since it was the end and I simply could not wait to find out the fate of my beloved characters, I read the chapter at AdInuyasha.

Since it's such a big event, and it's still so fresh, and Freelance's nice scans aren't even out yet, I'll save my summary/pictures/analysis/rambling until a bit later.

I've been in this for a long time... It's such a big part of my life and fangirly-ness, I guess it'll take a while to set in...

I certainly love happy endings, I do... My summary will be fun to write... >_>

Friday, June 13, 2008

Naruto 404

Been a while since I wrote about Naruto, but I have been keeping up with it. Perhaps I should warn about spoilers before I say Itachi died and everything we thought we knew about him was wrong. It's actually kind of sad, really. In the end, he was protecting his emo little brother... Needless to say, Sasuke didn't take that news well... Battling with denial and the fact that his singular goal all this time was basically meaningless, he arbitrarily decides his group Snake (recently renamed Falcon or Eagle, depending on the translator) will take out Konoha... and hey, look, he just joined Akastuki to do this. Hilarious. I knew there was a reason I've always hated him...

But what I really wanted to mention was the fact that I was just beginning to get over Jiraiya's untimely death when the frog sage people show up in Konoha and tell Naruto that he is in fact 100% dead.



This recovery process will be a long one...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Inuyasha... Nearly Over. Seriously.

Well, that hit me like a punch to the gut. That's what I get for falling behind in Inuyasha chapters... It fucking ends. I mean, I knew it was coming... It still seems so sudden...

I'm actually choked up over this... THERE BETTER BE ONE HELL OF A CONCLUSION!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

xxx-HOLiC Kei episode 10

10 is subbed by Naked Xlation. This episode is way out there. I don't know what they're doing. No, what I'm thinking is they'd already had the anime planned out before the Kohane arc reached its conclusion in the manga... In any case, this episode departs a great deal from the original story. Basically, the media situation becomes unbearable and Watanuki (accompanied by Doumeki) fight through a mob of reporters to get to Kohane's house. They find her mother dousing her in cold water to 'purify' her because she was 'tainted' by Watanuki and his food.
He and Doumeki intervene and decide to take Kohane away from her mother. If her mother were even slightly less self-absorbed or obsessive, she would have objected to two strange teenage boys taking off with her daughter, but hey, where's the fun in that? Watanuki takes Kohane to Yuuko's shop where she spends the night. She takes a bath with Maru, Moro, and Mokona and eats dinner with everyone.

Kohane seems significantly happier the next day when she decides that she should return home. Watanuki asks why, and she says that her mother is worried about her. Watanuki walks her home and when they part, he gives her a good luck balloon that he got from the Yumekai. When Kohane gets home, she tells her mother that they can stop this, that they can end it here, and as she says that, the balloon pops.
Later, Kohane is at the house that caused the controversey, where she saw two spirits and the other mediums only saw one. Kohane apologizes to the murdered woman's spirit, who then departs. After that, reporters are mobbing her house again after the woman's remains are discovered and Kohane is proven to be right about the two spirits.
Yuuko and Watanuki hear an announcement made by Kohane's mother to the press that Kohane is retiring from spiritualist activities and do not wish to be bothered by reporters or television shows. Some time later, Watanuki runs into Kohane at Doumeki's temple.
He asks how she's been and she says 'good'. They talk about the woman in the tree and the murdered woman at the house and then Kohane's mother arrives. Kohane starts to walk away and Watanuki stops her to ask what wish she made on the balloon. She said she wished for her mother to stop suffering and be able to relax. Kohane then walks away with her mother who says nothing but puts her hand on Kohane's shoulder.
So it concludes, just like that... And as for next week, it seems that Himawari's secret will be revealed.
Isn't that kind of... sudden? Aren't there supposed to be 26 episodes? What the hell are they going to do with the rest of them? They've just resolved Kohane's story, and I imagine the next two episodes or so will deal with Himawari, but then what? They've removed all Tsubasa references, so what the hell else is left to tell?!


Code Geass R2 episode 9

I didn't realize that two weeks without Code Geass was such a big deal... until I finally got episode 9 from Eclipse and I was like "How did I live without this show?" People falling in compromising positions like so...
and CC wants to know where the hell her Tabasco sauce is!
So Zero's dilemma is that the eunuchs of the Chinese Federation up and decided to marry Empress Tianzi to Brittania's first prince, thus submitting to Brittania's will in exchange for status. Literally everyone shits a kitten. Despite all the tension, surprise appearances, reunions, and pedosmiles, Schneizel and Zero still find time for a game of chess, although Nina interrupts them...
I thought Nina was recovering buuuuut... it seems she's gone off the deep end for good... She chewed Milly's head off when she was just offering to listen if Nina ever wanted to talk and then she goes after Zero with a knife screaming like a smushed cat...
And what the hell's up with the first prince of Brittania? He's a pedophile! The pedosmile proves it!! Ick...
But wait! Li Xing-ke saves the day! It's so adorable... Tianzi's holding up her pinky and calling Xing-ke to come save her because of a pinky promise they made... (Why doesn't Xing-ke strike ne as a pedophile when the other guy did? It's the smile, I tell you... and I think I have yet to see Xing-ke smile).

Then Zero shows up to play the bad guy role and puts a gun to Tianzi's head... followed by maniacal laughter... What happened to the 'ally of justice' routine? Just as well... I love bad guys.
Last but not least... Jeremiah? Why isn't he dead? I knew he was in the opening song, but still... What does it take to kill that guy? (not only that, his little half-mask thing looks like a freakin butterfly... an ORANGE butterfly...) AND I HATE HIS FACE WITH KEN NARITA'S VOICE! It spoils my fangirly senses, it does...
Next episode will be "When the Shenhu Shines" and there will be battles... Yay battles!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

xxx-HOLiC Kei episodes 7, 8, and 9

I'm sure I've mentioned this before (ranted about it even) but I'm greatly disappointed that they removed all Tsubasa references in Kei just like they did in the first season. Episode seven, Water Gathering, they are getting the water from the well on behalf of Neko Musume's request, rather than Yuuko's, and she pays Yuuko with the egg (which will presumably hatch into Tanpopo) rather than Yuuko having received the egg as payment from Sakura. They could have tied it in with the Tokyo Revelations OVA (which was awesome, by the way) and it would have made sense in Kei, even if they didn't explain it fully. You can clearly see the unique bottles they fill with water in both, and how many mysterious eggs does Yuuko come across? Seriously, would have been so difficult to do?

On the other hand, the notion of the Tokyo wasteland folks drinking the dead kitten water gathered in Kei's episode 7 is pretty messed up too... Since they changed to story to make it Neko Musume's request to gather the water and retrieve the drowned kitten, and the bottles are identical to those given by Yuuko to the Tokyo people, couldn't one perceive that Yuuko gave the water with the dead kitten contaminating it to them? No, no, of course not. Yuuko simply has many such bottles filled with water in her treasure room. Right next to a carton of mystery eggs from various sources, one of which may or may not have been painstakingly collected by a sad and bewildered Sakura-chan in Tokyo Revelations.
Magic Bottle from Kei and Tokyo Revelations

Magic Egg from Kei and Tokyo Revelations
Anyway, for episode 7, I got Shinsen's sub and I think they did a good job phrasing Doumeki's vague comment about the familiarity of the woman seen in the window. Even in Del-Rey's translation, it's an awkward statement (whips out volume 10) "In that house where the well is, somehow, I get the feeling that I know it." What? He knows the house? That's certainly what it sounds like, even though later, we find out he's referring to the woman herself. I think they could have phrased it better. The anime specifies that he is referring to the woman, and as Shinsen's translators phrased it, "She just seems similar to something I've seen before." He is in fact referring to the fact that he's seen corpses, and that's what the woman looks like to him, as opposed to Watanuki, who just thinks it's strange that she doesn't move or say anything.
Really, it's such a minor thing, but I took notice and thought it was a good job on Shinsen's part to phrase it understandably.

For episodes 8 and 9, I have Naked Xlation's subs because I'm impatient and couldn't wait for Shinsen's subs. I could have gone with Chihiro subs for these episodes, but I just picked one randomly, so I don't know if one has better quality or what. I'll probably download Shinsen's when they come out because I like having the same subbers for collections if possible. Naked Xlation didn't have the opening song lyrics or anything, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It takes a lot of work to do that, and that's probably why I like Shinsen so much. Their karaoke and typsetting for Kei's opening is awesome and has all this spiffy effects with the words that match the scene.

Anyway, episode 8 features the story about the girl whose house is 'scary' and is given bells by Yuuko which only seem to exacerbate the problem. Originally, this came after the incident with Himawari-chan where Watanuki nearly dies and Doumeki, Himawari,and Syaoran pay the price to save his life (I wonder how they will handle that in Kei... probably just cut poor Syaoran out of the transaction). Originally, when Watanuki asks Himawari if she wants to go eat somewhere after school, she says she has errands. Watanuki persists, saying if they can be put off for a while, he'd really like her to go somewhere with him. Doumeki pops in and suggests a kanmiya and Watanuki goes on ahead to the classroom. Himawari says to Doumeki that she thinks Watanuki's noticed that she sometimes says she has plans when she doesn't to make sure they don't go home together. Doumeki asks her if she really has plans, and she says no, so the three end up going to the kanmiya together after school. Watanuki brings some leftovers to Yuuko's shop afterwards and notes that he hasn't seen Maru and Moro around lately. Yuuko says they're napping and distracts Watanuki from this observation. This is when it is revealed that Maru and Moro maintain the 'place' that the store is in and are concentrating only on this while sleeping. Yuuko says the store was made specifically for the 'event' that will occur and that they can't let it be destroyed now...

Also, in the manga, when Watanuki is telling Himawari and Doumeki about the girl and the bells during lunch, Doumeki says bells are traditionally used to ward off evil in nearly all parts of the world. He also says they ward off bears, to which Himawari replies "bears too, huh? That's amazing!" I found that quite funny, but since the three aren't having lunch together in the episode, that part is omitted as well. Also, they change the house's newer occupant who is terrified by the inexplicable sound of bells from a frightened woman to a man and a woman. This is probably to make the situation easier to comprehend with the two talking too each other and saying "you hear it too, right?" This is when it occurs to Watanuki that the girl and the other two can't see each other, so their actions create unexplainable noises and movement or objects. Yuuko says that the girls is someone that should not be there, and that it ends tonight.
Personally, I feel bad for the girl. I would be beyond terrified if shit started moving around seemingly on its own and heard noises and even felt as though I had been touched...The girl hadn't realized that she was dead, so she continued with her daily routine. Watanuki seems put off by Yuuko's seeming insensitivity and asks her why she didn't tell the girl that she would be exorcised. Yuuko replies that she was merely granting the wish that 'the house no longer be scary'. She notes that he seems to have matured a bit over the ordeal and says that he will have many more challenges after this.
Also, already here on episode 8, Kohane-chan's receiving mistrust and abuse from the populace. That poor poor child, I just want to hug her... ;__; Watanuki goes online (on Yuuko'a mysterious laptop computer, which she must have since she's online a lot, but they've never shown it in the manga...) and finds nasty websites with pictures of Kohane messed up MSPaint style... It's infuriating! Oh, Kohane... You poor child...
Episode 9 begins with Watanuki seeing Haruka-san in a dream. He says that the woman in the cherry tree (from episodes 5 and 6) was worried for the little one who had brought her there, Kohane-chan. I thought that was a sweet notion that the anime added. Watanuki tells Haruka-san the Kohane is the same as he is, and Haruka-san says that no two people are ever the same and that in associations one should never assume something is the same or different. Watanuki then wakes up. This doesn't happend in the manga, so I'm wondering what significance Haruka-san's statement will have with the story.

Anyway, completely skipping two encounters with Kohane that occurred in the manga, Watanuki and Doumeki decide to go visit Kohane at her home. The first time Watanuki meets Kohane is when he sees her looking at the woman in the tree, but her mother quickly jumps in and effectively accuses him of stalking her because she's on TV. Kohane-chan says in passing to Watanuki "you do understand my situation, at least a little, don't you?" Later, he sees Kohane standing in the rain getting soaked while looking at the woman in the tree. They take the woman to a cherry tree in Doumeki's temple and Watanuki give Kohane his umbrella, telling him she can return it when they meet again.

This is where the anime departs from the manga. Originally, Kohane-chan runs into Watanuki saying she'd wanted to see him again. They stop by a park and he gives her Doumeki's lunch and she asks what kind of person Yuuko-san is. Watanuki replies "She's a heavy drinker! Totally irresponsible! Selfish! A real slob! And she makes me slave away while calling it a part-time job! ...but I'm very glad to have met her..." Kohane says "that's nice" and Watanuki tells her he's very glad to have met her too. As they part, he gives her the good luck balloon that Haruka-san had told him to take with him in the previous night's dream. As she leaves, she asks if he'd made a pinky promise with someone (referring to the pinky promise he and Himawari made that caused him to see the corpse in episode 7). Later that day is when Watanuki has his fall at school. He meets Kohane-chan some time later after he's recovered when he gives her gloves he'd made for everyone himself. Her mother interrupts that encounter and as they part, Kohane mouths to Watanuki 'see you later'.

It's after this and after he hears the rumors about Kohan-chan that he decides to visit. Whether they've cut the other two encounters out entirely or simply did some more chronological shuffling of events remains to be seen. The known future titles give even one such as I little clue as to what the episode is about...
10 "No Return (Awareness)" "Kizuki" (不戻 キヅキ) 2008-06-05
11 "Secret (Alone)" "Hitori" (秘事 ヒトリ) 2008-06-12
12 "Truth" "Hontou" (真実 ホントウ) 2008-06-19
13 "Repayment" "O-kaeshi" (報恩 オカエシ) 2008-06-26
Aside from that, the internet is horrifyingly cruel to Kohane-chan. Some of the manipulated pictures are seriously fucked up. And psycho-mom's screaming gets annoying real fast... Aside from that, there are several times where you just have to go awww... Dammit, I just adore that little girl... ;__;

Also, shrieking mom gets a death glare and Watanuki gets cucumbers on his face...
In the anime, they actually depict the tv show where Kohane sees two spirits and everyone else only sees one. Originally, this happened before Watanuki went to her house and found her injured.

And... as for the preview of the next episode... I have no idea what the hell they're talking about. It seems Kohane may go to the house and speak to the spirit she sees, but aside from that, I don't know what is going on...

Geez, this has turned into a veritable essay... and episode 10 should be out soon... I'm still trying to catch up with the past month or so of stuff...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mahou Sensei Negima Shiroki Tsubasa OVAs

Okay, so it's old news, but I've been busy and/or otherwise unable to squee appropriately. Behold!
A third set of OVAs called Mahō Sensei Negima!: Shiroki Tsubasa Ala Alba (White Wings) has been announced by Ken Akamatsu himself on his website days after the end of the live-action adaptation's airing.[1] Production will once again be handled by Shaft and the entire anime cast from Negima!? will reprise their roles in this new venture. This set of OVAs will cover chapters 176 to 183 (except 181) and will be shown in three parts:

1. The first OVA will cover chapters 176 and 177 and will be released on August 17, 2008, together with the release of Volume 23 of the manga.
2. The second one will cover chapters 178 to 180 and will have a release date of November 17, 2008, along with the release of Volume 24.
3. The third one will show chapters 182 and 183 and will be out on February 17, 2009 together with Volume 25.

Just like the Negima adaptations by Shaft (i.e. the Spring and Summer OVAs and Negima!?), Akiyuki Shinbo will take the directing helm in this new set of OVAs, together with the very same leading animation crew but will closely follow the original character design and storyline.

Also, manga-only characters Albireo Imma and Kotaro Inugami will have their animated debut in these OVAs.

I'll never understand why it took so damn long for them to just stick to Akamatsu's ORIGINAL story in all its awesomeness, but at least they've finally done it. Still, I have to wait until August... >__< I mean, SERIOUSLY, when I read volumes 5 and 6, I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that I was hooked. The wait is sure to be worth it...