Archive for September, 2012

My Anime Collection

Yep, that’s the truth folks. I’m a bit behind on my anime viewing lately (a hurricane came by at the beginning of September, so it messed up my viewing.), so I thought why not post my anime collection? 

Before I begin, I have three notes:

1. Some of my videos have changed distributors. I will note this.

2. Most of my anime is boxed sets. I have the entire collection for all the titles that are boxed. The only series I individually collected was Trigun.

3. Of course, if I buy more, I will probably update this list, but by special announcement, not by reposting it. (what would be the point?)

Anyway, here’s the list:

Azumanga Diaoh

Big O (both seasons)

Blood the Last Vampire (gift from fellow blogger)

Cowboy Bebop (remix version. Same as original, but with interviews)

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

Geneshaft (will not review as it is in limited supply)

Ghost in the Shell 2.0

Haibane Renmei (Geneon version)

Howl’s Moving Castle

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Last Exile

Maria Watches Over Us (season 1 only–gift from fellow blogger)

My Neighbor Totoro (Disney version)

Nausicaa Of the Valley of the Wind (Disney version)

Now and Then: Here and There (ADV version)

Only Yesterday (recorded from TV)

Pom Poko (will not review as I do not want to watch it EVER again!)

Ponyo

Porco Rosso

Rahxephon

Secret World of Arriety

Silent Mobius 

Spirited Away

Tenchi Universe (Geneon version)

Whisper of the Heart

 

 

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Anime Review: Ah My Goddess (Season 1)

Note: This review covers season 1, not Flights of Fancy.

Genre: Fantasy/Romantic Comedy

Creator/Studio: Kosuke Fujishima/AIC

Distributor: Media Blasters

No of Episodes: 24

Suggested Age: 13+

My Rating: 9/10

Summary: Keiichi Morrisato is an ordinary college student and a member of the automobile club.  One day he calls someone on the phone and accidentally taps into the Goddess Network and contacts a goddess named Belldandy, who proposes that she will grant any wish. He decides that his wish is to have her stay with him forever.  Not only does he get his wish granted, but her sisters Urd and Skuld also come along.

Review: Ah My Goddess is one of my all-time favorite anime.  It’s a true classic.

The animation is great.  It seems similar to the Tenchi Muyo anime. I love the character designs, especially because Belldandy is so pretty.

The characterization is also good. Keiichi is a great protagonist. Sure, he’s clumsy, but he’s honest and compassionate.

Then there’s the three goddesses.  I’ve heard quite a few people complain that Belldandy is a Mary Sue, a perfect and boring character who seems to have no faults and lets people walk over her. However, I must disagree. Belldandy is anything but boring. She is kind, and actually if the right button is pushed, she will fight back.

What I like best about all the three goddesses is that each one represents a different kind of love. Belldandy represents compassion. Urd represents sexuality. She has an exotic figure and isn’t shy at all about showing it. She ahs a great sense of humor and I love watching her embarrass Keiichi with her frankness. I also love how devoted she is to Belldandy. We’re shown in flashback that when they were younger, Skuld risked her life and position by stealing Odin’s horse Slepinir so she could find a cure for Belldandy when she fell sick.

And then there’s cute, adorable Skuld.  Skuld represents creativity and is the youngest of the trio. Because of this, her magic is the weakest.  She compensates by inventing. She does have one flaw: she is extremely possessive of Belldandy and does whatever she can to monkey wrench their relationship at first. But she eventually learns to like Keiichi and soon drops the act.

This series is very charming. It has its laws, but I still think it is an excellent show and I highly recommend it. If you need a break from those intense high-action anime, give this a try.

Sub/Dub: I’d say the sub is better.  The dub’s okay, but Skuld’s voice gets annoying. It’s like she’s trying a little too hard to sound like a little kid.

Music/Score: The music is just gorgeous. The opening theme and first closing theme are very pretty.

Violence: (3/10) Occasional slapstick and magic.

Language: (2/10)

Sexuality: (6/10)–Well, I did say there’s a sex goddess didn’t I?  Urd likes to make sexually frank comments at times.

Nudity: (3/10)–Mostly for Urd’s choice of attire.

Religion: (4/10) The series borrows heavily from Norse Mythology. Belldandy, Urd, and Skuld are named after the Norns.  Their network is actually Yggdrasil, the world tree.

Related Media: There is also a manga published by Dark Horse.  Animeigo distributed an OVA version (which predates the TV show), but good luck finding it. FUNimation released the second season, entitled Flights of Fancy. I will be reviewing that separately.

Trivia: Fujishima loves cars, and this is reflected in Keiichi’s membership in the automobile club.

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The Blogger Interrogation Game

Well folks, I got tagged for the Blogger Interrogation Game. I’m later with this than I wanted to be, but a recent hurricane messed up my whole schedule. I can’t tag anyone, but I still wanted to participate so here we go.

1. What was the last anime that made you think “WOW”?

Definitely Paprika. I already knew it was going to be awesome because it was made by Satoshi Kon, who can’t make anything that isn’t awesome. But I wasn’t expecting this level of awesome. It was beautiful and strange. If you want more, read my review.

2. Has any anime changed the way you feel about a particular topic or issue.

One of my favorite themes is “what makes us human?” and the best example of this theme is Ghost in the Shell.  Most times I see this theme, sexuality is not addressed. This was the first time I saw something that did address this and I was amazed.

3. Are you Spiritual or Religious or both? 

I’d say I’m both.  I feel that without religion, we wouldn’t have hope or purpose. Yes, it’s brought about horrible events, but there is good in everything.

4. Favorite series or movie? 

I have to choose? Well okay then. Favorite series would be .hack//sign, but unfortunately I can’t review it because it’s hard to find these days. Favorite anime movie would be Spirited Away.

5. What anime would you create if you had the means? I was a big fan of Elfquest back in the day, and I really think it’d make an awesome cartoon.

And now for the questions I made up:

1. Subs or dubs?

I’m neutral on this topic.  I think there are good and bad dubs. They’re a necessary evil.

2.What anime world would you like to live in and why?

Haibane Renmei  is a beautiful anime that I think would be excellent to live in. There’s no crises and best of all, there’s angels!

3.Best anime distributor?

FUNimation.  They started out on a bad foot by censoring their home material, but they eventually realized what the fans wanted. I think they were even the first company to use the Internet legally to advertise their anime.

4. Best anime hero?

Vash the Stampede from Trigun. Sure, he’s goofy, but his heart’s in the right place and he tries to solve problems without violence.

5. Best anime villain?

Got to be Johan from Monster. I’m planning on reviewing this next year, but for now let me just say that Johan Liebert is the devil incarnate.

Well, that’s it for this week!

 

 

 

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Anime Review: Cowboy Bebop

Genre: Space Opera

Studio: Sunrise

No of Episodes: 26

Recommended Age: 13+

My Rating: 10/10

Summary: This is the story of the four bounty hunters on the spaceship Bebop: Spike Spiegel (former Mafia hitman), Jet Black (former officer on the Intergalactic Police Force), Faye Valentine (female gambler with a huge debt), and Edward (female teen hacker). Oh and we can’t forget their cute Welsh Corgi Ein.

Review: If you had Cartoon Network back in the 90’s and 2000’s, chances are you either watched this anime or recorded it. It was a “gateway” show for many an anime fan in the 90’s.

The animation has that trademark quality that Sunrise is known for. I really like how the show looks. One of the best examples I can give is in episode 10, when we see an awesome landscape when they are on Ganymede.

The writing is also pretty good, particularly on characterization. Let’s look at each of the heroes.

Spike Spiegel is, excuse my vulgarity, straight-up badass.  He has such a laid-back attitude that noting fazes him. He believes “Whatever happens, happens.” He’s seen it all. That’s what makes him cool.

Jet Black is almost as cool as Spike.  He’s more tempermental then Spike and stronger. But he’s also the brains of the crew. His connections with the Intergalactic Police Force gives him information, he wouldn’t normally have access to, often giving him an advantage on the bounty.

Next is Faye Valentine. Faye is the one who usually pushes everyone’s buttons. She has a very feminist attitude, and on those rare occasions where she is the one who is often the first to blow all the money on gambling. She’s a very fun character and I think the show would be pretty boring without her.

Finally, there’s the youngest and second girl on the team, Edward. Edward is my favorite character. I love her energetic personality.  She’s also the strangest of the group. You never know what she’s going to do next.  She’s just nearly impossible to like.

To sum it up, Cowboy Bebop is the best anime around, if not merely one of the best. In fact, I’m willing to bet if you’re reading this, you already know how good it is. I probably don’t even need to attempt to convince you.  After all, for the longest time, it was one of Adult Swim’s highest rating shows. (But then, so was FLCL)

Music/Score: If you saw my Top 10 Cowboy Songs, you already know my opinion on this music. It rocks! Best soundtrack I ever heard!

Sub/Dub: The dub is excellent. I’ve even heard purists say that the dub is one of the few they will listen to.

Violence: (7/10)–I’d say this is pretty violent.  It’s not extremely graphic, but it certainly has its moments.

Language: (2/10)

Sexuality: (4/10)–There’s a few scenes with drag queens, and a character who is supposed to be both genders.

Nudity: (2/10)

Religion: (0/10)

Related Media: There is a movie and a manga that was published by Tokyopop.

Trivia: Yoko Kanno, the woman behind the music, also has her own band called Seat Belts. 

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Manga By Volume: Maison Ikkoku V. 2

Genre: Romantic Comedy/Slice of Life

Creator: Rumiko Takahashi

Publisher: Viz

Suggested Age: 13+

My Rating: 10/10

Summary: (From back of back) Kyoko and Yusaku start dating–other people!  She goes out with her handsome tennis tennis instructor, Shun Mitaka, while he reluctantly dates Kozue, a former coworker.  The two finally arrange to go on a date together, but a mix-up leads them to up at different restaurants!

Review: This volume picks things up and we get some genuinely funny moments with Mitaka as we discover a secret–Mitaka is afraid of dogs! I liked how Godai used this for an advantage on their beach date.

This volume also introduces another budding romance–this time between Kentaro and Kyoko’s neice, Ikuko.  Ikuko is already adorable to begin with, but this made her more enjoyable because we got to see her be so naive about it. She was just so oblivious to the crush that it was downright charming. We also got to see another side to Kentaro. In the first volume, he was annoying because we saw him from Godai’s point of view, where he did nothing but pester the poor guy.  To see that he actually had a nicer side to him was surprising. Not to mention the fact that his mother annoys even him!

We also got some glimpses into Godai and Kyoko’s pasts.  I thought it was great to see these, even though I’d love to actually see what Mr. Otonashi looked like.  Godai’s life, however, was actually kind of pathetic. He was always stuck helping out at his family’s restaurant.

I also like how the tomance evolved between Kyoko and Yusaku.  It’s obvious that Kyoko is starting to see Yusaku’s good traits, and it leads to some sweet moments.  I was so sure things got sour with the mixed-up dinner date, but the puppet show scene was so funny and charming at the same time, especially when Yusaku actually made a puppet that vaguely resembled Kyoko. (it’s not as creepy as it sounds, trust me)

The artwork has certainly improved.  Kyoko is drawn in a very pleasing way (no, not that way!) that gives her a hint of elegance to go with her demeanor.  It’s great to see how Takahashi evolved over time.

Maison Ikkoku is quickly turning into my favorite Takahashi work. If you liked Ranma 1/2 or Inuyasha, or you like a great love story, this is worth checking out.

Violence: (1/10) Slapstick at the most.

Language: (0/10)

Sexuality: (5/10)

Nudity: (2/10) There a full-on shower scene with Kyoko after tennis practice.

 

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