Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hello (How Are You) Transliteration

Hello/How Are You?

Opening my window, I quietly whispered it
How are you?
All alone, I sit here in my room
The sun’s risen, but it’s hidden by pouring rain
Like a clockwork doll come and wind up my spring
It happened just like this in an old anime
How are you?
Jealousy  at seeing everyone so loved
I really have to stop stupidity and start preparing
In order to hide the marks from my tears

What I like to say is “fine, whatever”
Calling suddenly to my mind those  words from yesterday
“No hope is left for you in my mind anymore…”
To be perfectly honest with myself
I don’t have any hope left for me either
Even so why would you say something like that?
All of the words that are moving to my throat
Come out my mouth as blatant lies
So today I must have wasted some valuable words
But I will still keep on living my life

Why is it that you keep on hiding it?
Being laughed at isn’t scary right?
Do you really not want to see anyone at all?
Is all that the truth?
Ambiguity is a sea I’m drowning in,
It hurts too much to even take a breath
Small urges to hear someone speak appear
I really am so weak…

Amid all these preparation to go nowhere
My head starts running many ideas
“Should we find a reason to take a break and rest now?”
No,no, I can understand it
Now I’m just saying whatever I could to you
Resting isn’t something I can do, so don’t get mad at me
Being happy or being sad are two things uncertain
Unbiased and cruelly the sun still rises
With all my might I continue to live on in this life
What else could I possibly wish for?

Why is there any need to worry over it?
I’m asking if you really want to listen to me?
I want to know who was it that took their hand away,
Did you notice?
If existence came with a time card,
When could I finally time out?
And all the pay that comes for my hours alive,
I wonder who would pay them.

Thank you
I just want to say thank you
Thank you
I really just want to say thank you
Thank you
Even one time would be fine
And so from the bottom of my weeping heart
I just want to say thank you!

Why is that you keep on hiding it?
I’m asking if you really want to listen to me?
Not once have you smiled or wept,
Can we talk about that?
If you never say the words that you really feel,
I’ll never know what you’re thinking about.
It can’t be helped that we’re so troublesome
I’m just being human!

Hello How are you?
Hello How are you?
Hello How are you?
I just want to ask, hello, how are you?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

There’s  a great deal of material to cover with Princess Tutu, especially since it spans two seasons. Two, very well developed seasons. This means that the plot for both Chapter of the Egg and Chapter of the Fledgling will need to be covered separately plot wise. I won't be delving too much into the characters, but looking at it more from a broad perspective. Every character makes their own contributions and growth, so I feel it's important to cover them seperately.

Chapter of the Egg
As the first installment of the Tutu plotline, Chapter of the Egg starts off like almost every transforming girl story: girl granted power, girl transforms for some great cause, girl saves boy she’s in love with. Even with these basic plot pieces intact, though, it still manages to bring a great bit more to the table. There are several key points in this arc that are dropped later on, or at least become largely ignored.
In the first chapter we see a girl fall in love with a boy, or rather, a duck fall in love with a prince. This is a new take on an old favorite, but definitely brings to mind the story of swan Lake almost immediately. In that story the prince goes hunting in the woods and almost shoots the princess who has been turned into a swan. In Tutu we instead of a lonely duck watching an even lonelier prince and immediately asks the question why. It is thanks to this curiosity that she is rewarded with humanity, something that comes only because a plot device is needed. In this case I am not using plot device in a mean way. Duck is for all intents and purposes a plot device written in by Drosselmyer.

Chapter of the Fledgling

This chapter is where the metaphorical s41t hits the fan. This is also where Princess Tutu proves itself as being much more than the standard mahout shoujo anime. While Duck certainly continues to fulfill her heroes quest, it is the emergence of the true villain, or rather what appears to be the true villain through Princess Kraehe. The incorporation of a singular evil focus means that the grounds are laid for an at times convoluted plot. I will discuss how this affects specific characters in the section on characters.
This chapter suffers some of the same problems the first did in the way several things are arranged for plot convenience. While Drosselmyer does act as a convenient tool to sneak in plot occurrences, which becomes especially apparent when the move to stop his control over the town begins, they are still occurrence I would call necessary. Of course to counter this Fakir also undergoes some changes through personality and is given the same sort of abilities to control the world around him as Drosselmyer. As can be expected there is quite a bit of a tension leading to the finale, which concludes the story for both Mytho and Fakir. However, Duck’s side of the story is only resolved in the sense that she achieves her goal of restoring Mytho’s heart and comes into herself.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope everyone is having a happy Mother's Day here in the States! My mom and I have a sort of big sister-little sister relationship, so we get along alright. Something funny to note is that she doesn't like anime at all unless it's a film, so I figured I'd try and find something she might like, which is difficult to do. Either way, she is usually willing to check it out if it isn't super ridiculous or silly. I might just set the family down and watch some Cowboy Bebop one day. In the meantime, see you space cowboys!

Kiki and her mother from Kiki's Delivery Service, my favorite Miyazaki movie!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring Season I Part II

How is your spring going so far? Are you trapped in a never ending downpour like I am? I hope not, I really hope not…Moving along, out of the five other series I had to review, only one has managed to survive. I did add in one more show, simply because I completely forgot about it and how much I was looking forward to it. So we’ll save that as a surprise at the end. There was a certain amount of fanservice in each of them, which was a little annoying all in all. Perhaps the most frequent theme is the harem this season, or maybe even just how many perverted things they can get away with. So let’s see the mess that is the second half of the Spring Season Part I. With so many being dropped I may pick up some of the later premiering shows. This time in reverse order of worst to best!

A Bridge to the Starry Sky
Here is the obvious harem anime of the season. I was originally looking forward to it, just from the animation, but other than that there is nothing I particularly enjoyed about the show. It was the standard boy enters a town where his only classmates are apparently female…and fervently in love with his adowable little brother. This seems like Takenori Mihara’s first big job as he only appears to have been episode directors, but it’s a shame it had to be a harem anime. Animation director Koichi Monma seems a bit more prepared, having just gotten off of Madoka’s background animation. So while harem anime can be good, I’m not willing to sit around and see where this goes. A Bridge to the Starry Sky is now streaming on Crunchyroll.
+ Animation
+ Opening
+ Cute little brother
- Obvious plot
- Obvious ending
- HUGE Harem

Hen Zemi

Also known as Abnormal Physiology Seminar, this is about as close as you can get to hentai without actually entering it. And yet it’s still comedic simply for the unexpected perversion that seems to happen everywhere, especially coming from director Takao Kato. While he did previously direct To Love-Ru this is an entirely different can of worms. I can’t complain about animation, however, as it is overall good, despite having three animation directors. To give it an accurate chance without jumping in with nothing to go on I did watch the OAV’s as well. As the show has no overarching plot and works mainly on the episode by episode basis there is no real reason for me to have done so, which is of course something I did not know at the time. Simply because I do not think I could take this kind of humor when other outlets are available (especially in the United States), Hen Zemi is being dropped as well.
+ Humor
+ Pop culture references
+ Animation
- Nipple conversations
- Awkward teacher
- Obvious Metaphors

Astarotte’s Toy
A succubus who is afraid of men, has to live by sucking the “life seed” out of men: That’s our basic plot for this show. And it ends up being really cute in a weird, fanservice kind of way. The show is not quite a reverse harem, but there is only one or two males, the main one being employed to go along with Astarotte. He seems to be only interested in her, which is why I don’t entirely consider it a harem anime. The animation itself is fairly crisp and adds to the playfulness of the show. It is reminiscent of Okamisan, and as the Chief Animation Director, Mai Otsuka, worked on that show it is to be expected. It is a little odd that Fumitoshi Oizaki should be the director for the show, but it also makes sense in the playful nature of the show which is almost similar to the sort of naiveté of Disgaea. Despite its enjoyable nature, I do not think I will find anything here I can find elsewhere, which is much the same problem A Bridge to the Starry Sky had, and so it is being dropped. Astarotte’s Toy is now streaming on Crunchyroll.
+ Cute
+ Clean animation
+ Disgaea-esque plot
- Harem?
- Overly silly
- Only one guy

Moe sensors activate!
As soon as I started watching this show I immediately thought of Azumanga Dai-Oh and with good reason. It is very much your slice of life high school comedy. Of course it does have it’s twists, but that’s what makes it so humorous. The animation style is light again, much like what we saw in Wandering Son but not quite as exaggerated. Director Tatsuya Ishihara previously worked on both The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star and manages to pull off the same sort of humor seen in Lucky Star. There are multiple animation directors on this show as well, all of them doing a great job for each episode. Music wise the same sort of comedic effect from Lucky Star seems to be present, while still keeping the same sort of background sound one might expect in real life. As Yuuji Nomi formerly worked on Ghibli films and Bokurano this is no big surprise. Nichijou is now streaming on Crunchyroll.
+ Clockwork Robot
+ Highschool slice of life
+ Animation
- No plot
- Boogers
- Characters do not converge

I love anpan too, Shiro!
Deadman Wonderland
Almost as soon as I read the premise for this show I was hooked, and more than eager to get started in on it. I was looking forward to a Battle Royale style show set in a prison, and what I got was something far better. Director Koichi Hatsumi is doing a brilliant job of directing this series, just as he did with Lupin III and The Big O. There is the same sort of action mystery that chases the protagonist around and around, and art director Michie Watanabe is doing a great job at keeping everything smooth and crisp, just as she did with the backgrounds of Wolf’s Rain. If you’re looking for a decent shonen series that is not all guns and swords, then I highly recommend Deadman Wonderland. Deadman Wonderland is now streaming on Crunchyroll.
+ Shiro
+ Battle Royale
+ Animation
- Random plot device
- Evil villain

- Improbably cup size

C: The Money of Soul and Possibility of Control
Best. Mad Hatter. Ever.

The same people who worked on Fractale shine through brilliantly yet again with this thriller of a show. Thing Alice in Wonderland meets Wallstreet and there you have it. The show cleverly disguises economic lessons through the use of battles with “assets” and establishes a main goal fairly early on. And as of approximately five seconds ago (as of writing this), Funimation has picked it up for streaming on Hulu. How exciting is that (pretty exciting considering I’m on a caffeine kick now). The first two episodes essentially establish the plot and introduce to us the main characters in an exciting way most series do not. Thus far, C is the best anime of the season. C- Control is now streaming on Hulu.
+ Animation
+ Plot
+ Alice in Wonderland
- Soundtrack
- Batmobile
- Loss of future

So let’s take a look at the rankings so far [x=dropped]:
-C – Control
-Deadman Wonderland
-Hanasaku Iroha
-Tiger and Bunny
-Sekai Ichi
x Astarotte’s Toy
x Hen Zemi
x Bridge to the Starry Skies
x We, Without Wings

I’m not planning on having a midseason review, as I still have to finish up the Princess Tutu input and review. However, know that those that are left are going to have to fight to the end to see who comes out on top (except maybe Sekai Ichi, which is really just a guilty pleasure). Also, exciting news! Pikko is holding a give away for a Zojirushi Umami Micom Rice Cooker which makes super tasty rice. You can find details on it here ---à
That’s all for now!