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Sayonara, 2011 (I hate you)!

I want to be a Akihabara maid. I wish the Mayans would stop scaring us all.

Since it’s the end of the year I guess I’ll share a little on my thoughts about this year with everyone. And don’t worry, it doesn’t concern my everyday life dramas -I’ll spare you on that for now- but rather on what anime, dramas, music, and video games have brought us. Before heading on to the main subjects, let’s look back now on what happened on May.

This might be a bit awkward to talk about it, but it is rather inevitable since this was a big disaster that shook the entire world this year. I remember hearing about it at school in the morning: everyone was talking about it and were sincerely worried about the sort of the victims. But it was only after school that I had the chance to see what really happened with my own eyes – buildings that have crumbled to the ground because of the earthquake, a giant flood that covered everything in sight except for the roofs of houses, men and women crying for the lost of their friends and family…

What was even harder for me at that moment was that I had no idea if my Japanese family members were safe (Fortunately, they’re from Tokyo where nothing happened). The news didn’t help – once we heard about the nuclear crisis in Japan, journalists kept exaggerating the situation and continued worrying those concerned around the world that couldn’t do anything to help. May 2011 was beyond doubt a tough period for Japan until help arrived.

Today, the situation has of course gotten better, but the bitterness is still present. One of my wishes for next year is that the concerned Japanese will rapidly get back on their feet.

After getting that off my chest, let’s move on to something more joyful, shall we?

  • Anime

This year’s anime was rather good this year, wasn’t it? Like always, there were a few disappointments (I’m looking at you, Aoi no Exorcist and [C]) we couldn’t avoid, but everything turned out well. What really marked me concerning anime were the summer and fall seasons since it was the first time I was able to comment, share and add my two cenz on the anime that were currently viewed by a big number of anime-bloggers — you could say I felt a bit at home because I got to join in on the fun with other bloggers.

  • Dramas

While I have commented, impatiently waited, and criticized a lot of J-dramas this year (I am terribly sorry to the people I know on J-drama community sites), I have practically watched nothing that came out in 2011. I have viewed the first episode of Ouran High School Host Club after mercilessly criticizing the choice of cast, forgot to watch the episodes, did the same thing for Arakawa Under The Bridge (regardless of the presence of my Shun Oguri in the cast), and didn’t dare watch the remake of Hanakimi because I was still pissed that there was even a remake.

Now that I think about it, the J-dramas I just mentioned above are all adaptations of manga. Dear me :3

  • Music

After anime, music really had an important place in my list this year. I looked forward to alot of great J-rock groups such as school food punishment and ONE OK ROCK, but their albums this year were unfortunately easy to forget and didn’t ‘wow’ me. Not their singles, of course! I have nothing to say about their singles this year.

In order to widen my repertoire in Asian music, I tried a little K-pop (for the fifth time) since the Hallyuu wave was impossible to miss. I’m happy to say that after a few failed tries of getting into it in the past, I’m now a new fan. IU, MBLAQ, GD and TOP, Super Junior and Girls’ Generation (not too sure) are now artists I listen to on my iPod. I still have yet to understand them in Korean though. Concerning other Japanese artists (I won’t mention all of them :P), I’m rather sad SAWA and Kanon Wakeshima didn’t release anything this year. And as for moumoon, I couldn’t get into their new material this year.

  • Video Games

They could have made a better job with the graphics on Zelda. But then the story was good enough to make me forget.

I was personally very pleased with all the fantastic games that came out this year: Yakuza 4, Final Fantasy, Pokémon and the list goes on and on, however Skyward Sword was the big surprise for me at the end of the year. I shamefully admit that it is the first Zelda game I have ever played…Ever since I can remember, I already knew who Zelda and Link were and how they looked like, but I never had the curiosity to buy the game until an old friend of mine (and living Zelda encyclopedia) kept indirectly pressuring me about it. In the end, I spent a large amount of money just for the collector’s version and I have no regrets. Besides, playing the legendary bishonen Link and swinging a sword around isn’t something so unpleasant~!

Hm, I managed to ramble about my life somehow. I should really do something about that problem before it’s too late. Oh well.

Hope you don’t end up like them tonight. Happy New Year!

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My Two Cenz #5

After a week and a half, my vacation ends tonight and classes will start tomorrow. Bitterly, I now notice that I haven’t completed one-third of what I had planned to do during vacation: Update my fanfiction, play my favorite Aeria games, study Japanese, and write my review posts. The only good thing is that I’m not behind in my fall anime anymore…

Three specials of completed anime have been viewed this week:

Usagi Drop episode 2.5 special 1

Ao no Exorcist special 1 and 2

Deadman Wonderland OVA

And onwards to this week’s anime. Most of them were excellent this week. Others (-cough- Guilty Crown -cough-) were not. Seriously, is it so hard to ask for a original episode? I could rant more about Guilty Crown, but will refrain from doing so. For your own good.

Boku ha tomodachi ga sukunai episode 4:

Others joins the harem.

As said above, two new characters join the harem who are both special in their own way, as one would say. Possibly different from your typical megane girl in harem anime, I would say the new glasses girl is quite funny and sociable compared to the usual, overused quiet personality we usually see of her kind. As for the other one, I find her/him very entertaining.

Working! episode 4:

Hidden Durarara!! reference, right?

This episode had humor. Working! always does have humor, but this time it had humor that would actually make you roar with laughter (as it did for me). If some didn’t notice before, this time we officially learn Jun’s feelings towards Yachiyo and Machiru gets wind of it by accident.

UN-GO episode 3:

So. Inga is a magical girl?

Part one of a possible two-episode case, we get the privilege of seeing Rie help the main characters (once again) uncover the large mystery behind the death, or rather- true identity of the victim. Not much to say for a satisfying episode.

Kimi to Boku episode 4:

Friendship really is a wonderful thing.

At first, I was questioning myself why of all anime I choose Kimi to Boku as an anime to watch, but now I can understand why. Kimi to Boku is this season’s heartwarming anime (as did Usagi Drop last season). Slowly but surely, the characters are becoming more appealing to my eyes.

HunterxHunter episode 4:

And my Kilua is here!

Exemplary of a shonen anime, we get a part two of the last episode where the participants of the Hunter exam follow the Examiner. Nothing much happens until Leorio has a flashback about his past, which was probably the only interesting thing about this episode.

Gintama episode 231:

It’s over 9000! -bricked-

The first part of the episode was hilarious if you like to see Gin and Hijikata out of character. At least they were both reacting normally in their type of situation. But the second half was too much (too dirty DX). I had to skip it.

Beelzebub episode 40:

Well, she was gonna cry sooner or later.

Why? Why did they have to go out and buy potatoes?! If I ignore my emotional feelings towards this episode, this week’s Beelzebub left me speechless. A bit annoyed for the déja-vu sequence, but speechless nonetheless. So Beelzebub does have a lot of potential. At least more than Guilty Crown.

Mirai Nikki episode 3:

You’ll have to admit that scene was creepy.

Yukiteru makes the ultimate error in his case: he gets too curious about Yuno. Being the first one to change his future not once, but twice, this time the tables turn and unfortunately for Yukiteru, not in his favor. So far, Mirai Nikki is one of my fall favorites.

Persona 4 episode 4:

We’re still in the introduction arc where the main characters overcome their dark selves in order to gain a persona. For the moment, the introduction episodes are really great to watch since we find out a lot on the different backgrounds of the characters. Now to find out who’s behind the murders…

Guilty Crown episode 3:

How original.

Inori forces herself into Shu’s life: trouble ensues for him.
Inori’s nonchalant personality is reminding me more of Evangelion’s Rei and I hope the creators aren’t doing this on purpose. I’ve never been a fan of characters like her and Inori is giving me the same effet.

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My Two Cenz #3 and New Fall Anime (Part 1)

Okay, okay…I lied about my upcoming Gyaru post that was supposed to be published this week. But I can assure you it will be posted on here this month. Great news, right? …No? We move on?

This week was the start of this fall’s new anime, a gift to all us anime otaku that were impatiently waiting for new material. Unfortunately, since fall is also the busiest season of the year, some of us tend miss out on most of it (like yours truly). In reality, I had underestimated my free time during the weekend and it turns out I won’t be able to watch all the anime I had planned to. Or at least in time I won’t be able to, which is why I made a part 1 of this week’s My two cenz concerning the new fall anime.

Gintama’ episode 228:

I just love how Kagura is used to this. That’s my heroine!

So I died of laughter ten times, came back to life, then died one last time at the end. Apart from the fact that I had the impression the creators were forcing a bit too much humor where it wasn’t very funny (at all), this episode can be listed as one of my favorite Gintama’ episodes. Honestly, if you are already aware of the dating sim game on DS known as Love +, you’ll end up like me when you watch how Gintama has twisted it.

Ao No Exorcist episode 25:

Oh come on! At least leave one for the fangirls! Or me.

A pretty predictable ending for Ao no Exorcist if you ask me. It’s understandable that the studio didn’t want to exaggerate and create an ending far too different from what the original mangaka would have made, but this episode ended up by disappointing the large fan-base that were expecting more of the anime adaptation of Ao No Exorcist. At least that’s what I think. I personally would have enjoyed it if they had created a more unique ending (like the first adaptation of FMA or Black Butler) rather than the one they made.

A movie of Ao No Exorcist has been announced by the way. If the movie is a success, we just might see a new season arrive shortly.

Beelzebub episode 37:

Buuuu :D

My second favorite episode of the week. Now this is what I’m talking about, Beel-chan! A new and important character makes an appearance who seems to know alot more than we are led to think about the Demon world and its dark secrets. Chaos ensues, and Aoi is beginning to get very curious about the mystery surrounding Tatsumi and Beelzebub.

And so, the plot thickens…

C3 -Cube episode 1:

I’m already loving this anime for its great art design, but as for the plot and little fanservice scenes, not so much. There was small things I didn’t like such as how the main characters quickly adapted to Fiya (the blue-haired girl) instead of having more realistic reactions considering the situation they’re in. I’ll give it some time before making a solid opinion on it.

One thing’s for sure, I won’t be surprised if this has a video game.

Working! episode 1:

I think I already have my personal favorite of the season.

When I viewed the first episode two days ago, I had a strong feeling of Déja Vu coming from the characters. Was it their personalities? Their voice actors? Or maybe it’s because it reminds me of a non school-themed version of The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya? Anyway, this is the anime I was looking for: slice of life, light comedy and randomness in every corner.

HunterxHunter episode 1:

Good times, Good times…

All my knowledge on HunterxHunter comes from the few episodes I’ve seen on television from time to time and a friend of mine who is a big fan of it. While I preferred Yu Yu Hakusho (made by the same mangaka)in my childhood for its supernatural genre rather than HunterxHunter‘s RPG/fantasy one, I decided to try it since (I thought) I had time on my hands. Needless to say I’ll continue on with this little jewel of an anime. But seriously, If I had managed to watch all of Goku’s adventures without raising an eyebrow on the things he did regardless of his young age, I can’t seem to digest the same thing for Gon.

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My Two Cenz #2

So I’ve gotten used to the wonders of Twitter, and abused a bit too much of its power. But have no fear, for now I will only use it’s power for Oromywhat and try to bring as many J-Culture fans as possible here.

This week I’ve exclusively followed three of my usual anime and I have yet to watch the new anime such as the HunterxHunter remake and C³ -C Cube, but after writing out this post I’ll get right to viewing the episodes.

 

Gintama episode 227:

No comment.

Hilarious is what Gintama is. So when you make a crossover with another comedy anime named Sket Dance, chaos ensues.

In this episode, Gin tries to once again copy from ultra popular anime to the point he actually copies the One Piece Toriko crossover and unintentionally mixes it into his own sauce. In exchange, we get lots of laughs and random moments from the sudden friendship that bloomed between Gin and Sket Dance’s main character, Bossun.

I’ll have to thank Justin for getting me into Sket Dance. I can’t believe I missed such a great anime. I’ll add it next week if I can here.

Ao No Exorcist episode 24:

Bromance was the only reason I had to watch this episode.

…I don’t really know how to summarize this episode.

While I had the strong urge to flop this anime since it hasn’t pleased me even once, I continued to watch in hopes that it would surprise me and exceed my expectations regardless of its poor animated quality and the lack of interest in the plot that derived from the manga.

But no, I’m afraid Ao No Exorcist won’t get into the list of the most memorable anime adaptations. Perhaps it’s because of the plot twist, or the fact that the secondary characters were completely useless and stood there during the whole episode. The little otaku inside of me tells me to give it at least one more chance, the final episode, before giving it a solid opinion. I think it’s already too late.

Beelzebub episode 35:

Poor Aoi. Toughies will be Toughies?

This episode was like a dangerous parody game of …this one volleyball anime that was popular in my country around the 80’s. But seriously, I never thought that I would see the day when Yankees try to play volleyball — keyword: try.

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My Two Cenz #1

What IS that title?

In order to keep this blog alive during the busy weeks, I made a new um, something (excuse my lack of vocabulary for this time, I’m going to get my sleep in a few minutes). In more comprehensible words, every week I’ll make a short review resuming what I thought when I watched this or that anime episode.

For the moment, I’m not watching much at the moment, but when fall will officially come I’ll begin the new anime I planned to follow such as  Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Hunter x Hunter IIMirai NikkiUn-Go, and Persona 4.

As for the word cenz that is obviously replacing cents, for those who know FMA, cenz is the currency in the country where the anime takes place. Yes, I’ve made a bad pun again, don’t remind me or even tell me that 1 cenz isn’t the equivalent of a penny.

This week’s anime wasn’t as entertaining as I’d hope it would be (Ao no Exorcist, Beelzebub), so the only good thing I liked out of all of them this week was the final episode of Tiger&Bunny.

Ao no Exorcist episode 23:

Oh please, don’t you make that devistated face with me!

So in this episode we get a flashback of what happened fifteen years ago when the Okumura mother was still alive (and how she met Satan), and we also get some Shiro screentime for those who missed the awesome fella.

Apart from destroying any chance the anime had to follow the manga, this episode shows us that Ao no Exorcist has yet to show what it can do, and that is (I hope), a satisfying ending for the fans out there.

Beelzebub episode 34:

Bon appétit bien sûr!

I’m still wondering why I like Beelzebub of all anime. In this episode, we get to see a lot a cute maids (I’m including alaindelon of course) and Oga beat the heck out of a group of bad guys that were up to no good during their school festival. As usual. Can’t wait for the next episode though.

Gintama episode 226:

Gin, ridiculous yet special as always.

Episode 226 was the end of another filler arc where Gin was sent to prison. I don’t have much to say about this one, but Gin was very comical, and touching. What else is new?

Tiger&Bunny episode 25 (Final):

Stop it. Stop doing that every time!

I have to say, Tiger&Bunny was a good anime that was unfortunately under-appreciated by most anime fans when everyone heard of it. It’s really too bad that some didn’t take the time to watch a few episodes — the plot gets thicker and so much better than what you expect from a superhero anime.

In the end, it turns out that Tiger only fainted and did not die as everyone of us had expected. This is Tiger&Bunny that we’re talking about. As a gift to fangirls from Sunrise, we get to see Tiger’s six-pack for more than half of the episode and some more Tiger/Bunny fanservice at the end. As for the most important parts, I won’t spoil the good info.

It seems that a new season or spin off  has been planned in November I think. I seriously want to know more about Tiger’s decreasing powers and what Ouroburos is.

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Day 23 – Anime you think had the best, or most intriguing art

E-Eh? A post with her own images?

The main reason why most of us watch anime is for the art- capable of being captivating and intriguing, but there are some rare jewels that exceed the lot. Up to now, there are only two anime that come up to my mind when I think about interesting art. I choose them because of the way the creators were able to create even the slightest details, and avoided making ugly errors that can easily turn us off.

Oh God! What are we gonna do?!

My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute is one of those anime that are called ‘candy for the eyes’. I gave a summary of it when I presented one of the main characters in Day 17, Kirino Kousaka.

When I was watching the anime, I found that the characters were nice to look at, that there were no evident errors, and also that the creators even took the time to make the smallest details present.

They even took the time to make the decorated nails of a character? Not something you see so often.

She’s walking towards you…

Obviously, a beautiful artwork doesn’t make up for a plot in anime. But when you’re confronted with an anime such as Maria+Holic (and Maria+Holic Alive), it leaves you a bit perplexed.

In most anime, there are two types of artwork that are used: When the characters become chibi (for cute scenes), and when the characters are in normal size (95% of the time). In Maria+Holic however, the artwork doesn’t limit itself to just two types.

Since the anime takes place in a catholic school, they often use art such as this.

It’s the fact that the anime has such a colorful and original artwork that I also consider it as an anime with intriguing art. The story isn’t that bad either so give it a try if you have time unlike me.