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the belt!

This came outta nowhere. I’d read about Deltora Quest in many of the Winter previews but wrote it off as another of those generic & cheesy fantasy shows. That’s not to say that Deltora Quest isn’t generic and cheesy. It has it’s fair amount of generic characters:

  • Clueless boy-hero? — check
    • Possibly made even more cheesy by the addition of blonde hair/blue eyes? — check!
  • Aloof parents who bestow special powers/items upon said hero? — check
  • Mysterious stranger who joins the hero on his adventure? — check
  • Possible love interest who joins the party? — (possible) check
  • Mysterious item which shines/glows/moves/ at the hero’s touch? — check
  • Big bad villain who is a lord of some sort and is associated with darkness/shadow — check
  • ‘Quest’ starts off with the hero needing to find an item/power which will help him vanquish the villain? — check
    • Hero starts off quest by fleeing from minions of the villain — check

grarr! i be big bad and daaaark~!

However (and this surprises me too!), I rather like the whole premise of the story. ‘Course, don’t take my recommendation as cold hard fact. I’m a predominant fantasy reader and, after a certain number of books you tend to look past the clichéd setting and actually focus on the whole plot (i.e. in the beginning, you may not be able to see the forest due to all the trees that look all the fucking same!).

almost-fugly char design

Onto the more ‘technical’ aspects of the show:

  • Character Design:
    • I would not watch the show based upon the character designs. That is all I have to say.
  • Animation:
    • Not too shabby, I quite liked the OP with its crayon-like look. Plus, the whole illuminated-like-we-have-too-much-bloom concept in the dark was novel, I’ll give them that. But again, I would not watch the show based upon the animation.
  • Music:
    • Apart from the OP (which was !@#!@#JKSF$!@#!-ing liters of awesome), the rest of the music isn’t all the memorable, again, not an area this show scores well in.
  • Story:
    • THE WIN! Seriously. The story is the ONLY holding this show up on its feet, it’d be relegated to the deepest, darkest corner of the metaphorical closet if it weren’t for the kickass story. C’mon, you’ve gotta love a story that has big-ass dragon things which are adept enough to snatch gems from a belt and fly away. All this without destroying the castle in which the belt resided.

but sometimes they outdo themselves!

And with that, onto the seasonal rankage!

  • Nodame Cantabile
  • Deltora Quest

weirdness

Gyaaboo~!!

it begins

This (Nodame Cantabile) has been my most anticipated anime of 2007 so far (apart from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu S2 of course). Even though I haven’t read the manga as of yet (stupid local bookstore, it doesn’t stock any Viz titles >_have watched the dorama version. Which in its own was simply fucking amazing. One of the few doramas, together with Tokyo Friends and Hana Yori Dango, that I have become hopelessly addicted to (Nobuta wo Produce might get added to that list but that’s for another day). Thus, naturally, I had high hopes for the anime, especially considering that the masters of slice-of-life, J.C. Staff, were producing it. And on top of that, Hachikuro’s

director Kenichi Kasai is on board as well!

well, i never saw THIS in the dorama

And my hopes were shattered into a million or so teensy little pieces after this episode.
It is nothing, nothing, compared to first episode of the dorama. Granted, the dorama had a larger time slot to work with but the anime was so horribly rushed. They didn’t have to cram what took an hour to show in the dorama into ~20min anime episode and expect it to appear ‘normal’. I admit though, to audiences new to the series, it may not seem as glaring as it does to me. I honestly don’t know how the manga handled this episode, if anyone can shed some light on the matter, it’d be great. One of the few good things was that we managed to see a few things that were left out in the dorama, such as the extended Vienna scenes in the beginning.

mukya?!
gyabo!
“Mukyaa~!” pales in comparison to “Gyaboo~!”

Another gripe: Nodame’s voice actor. I’ve gotten way too used to Ueno Juri’s acting in the dorama which, in my opinion, is a perfect rendition of Nodame. I suppose I will get used to Ayako Kawasumi’s voice over time though..it’s not too far removed from Ueno Juri’s voice.. But one major problem! She needs to learn how to do the “GYABO~!”s right so that it doesn’t sound like she’s adding ‘em in as an afterthought. Chiaki’s voice actor on the other hand, even though he doesn’t do Chiaki’s trademark “Hieee~?!”s, is quite acceptable..

wtf mate?

Music-wise and animation-wise, no complaints. I love the OP and ED (and I think I heard strains of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ when the ED started up!). At first I thought a pop-ish OP would be terrible for the show, but it actually fits in quite well and I find myself preferring this version over the anime one. It reminds me a lot of the Hachikuro OPs.

yesh.

I’m holding out for a few episodes before I actually pass my judgment on this. Taking from my experiences with Hachikuro here as I personally thought that the show would suck after watching the first episode.

hachikuro nostalgia

mecha musume with guns!

First and foremost, Happy New Year everyone! Yet again, it’s been a while since I last blogged but let’s not dwell on that..

The one thing that inspired this blog post was my acceptance into 9rules! I applied back when round 5 began and never in my wildest dreams did I–I lie. I did hope that shtuff would get in but I never expected it to! Disbelief aside, it was a great New Year’s present so thanks to all the guys at 9rules for the acceptance!

Go check out the great anime community there, fellow r5 anime bloggers on the list (so far?) are:

Congrats to all those who got in and don’t forget to go check them out as well as the full round 5 list!

To all readers coming from 9rules: Welcome and try and ignore some of the older posts, please..

And one more thing, I’m seriously getting weary of ye olde episode review format, it’s not something I’d ever see myself doing. Thus, I’m trying to work out an (interactive) way of creating episode discussions. Beginning this spring on shtuff. Don’t miss it!

Haharr, managed to get a copy of this (thanks to [aznmp3]) — sharing for all those who’ve got addicted to this after watching Brave Story.

ze cover
Ketsui No Asa Ni by AQUA TIMEZ
mp3 @ 256kbps (VBR). Get it here.

it begins

That was beautiful, one of the (rare?) moments where Gonzo did not screw up. This has been on my ‘must-watch’ list ever since I saw the trailer subbed by [Loli-subs]. I finally *ahem* ‘acquired’ it the other day and was waiting for an opportunity to watch it.

Continue Reading »

Abandonment is bad.

eheh

Dear gods, I almost forgot this place, it’s been ages since I last posted. Typical excuses apply I guess — work and laziness. Oh and I finally managed to get my PS2 fixed (yet again), turns out the power board had taken a turn for the worse or something.. Anyways, I got my grubby little hands on Final Fantasy XII and damn, is it ever addictive. Warning, mini pseudo-review may follow.

the enigma

I love the revamp of the battle system plus the Chrono Trigger-esque battle transitions. I actually look forward to battles on the map now, especially since enemies are finally visible on screen (a first for the FF series methinks). The ‘Licensing’ character development system does feel a tad bit ripped off from FFX but hey, I’m not complaining. It allows for just enough customisation without it becoming too much of a burden. I haven’t played around much with the magick or technick systems yet as I’ve just clocked a mere 2h45 in game. From what I’ve seen so far, the technick system at least seems to be very similar to the skills system of FFIX, which I personally loved, it’s probably my favourite in the series.

.

Oh and visuals are simply stunning for the PS2 and here I was thinking that Kingdom Heats II had stretched it as far as it could go. On top of that, the amazing (at least, so far) story just draws you in completely. It has that ‘epic’ feel to it, it really makes you feel completely insignificant at the start. Major props goto the music side of things. Even though Uematsu-san isn’t conducting the entire OST, it is still made of awesome. I’ve been listening to the 4CD OST over the last few days and I’ve gotten to that as well.

grrr...ashe smash

However, FFXII isn’t made completely of win, I have a major issue with the game. I bloody well hate the stupid camera system. Sure, assign the camera to the right analog stick but please fucking let me un-invert the rotation of the damn camera. Oh and please don’t zoom in on Vaan’s head when I accidentally run into a plant, I don’t want to be running away from a T-Rex thing and suddenly be presented with a rotating view of Vaan’s head.

.

Right, now that that’s outta my system, I suppose I should say something about anime… Oh! I installed Vista the other day. I was given an almost perfect opportunity when my existing install of XP crapped out on me and I was forced to reinstall or be subject to complete freezes either when logging in, signing into msn or using firefox. So I managed to partition off some of my precious space and installed Vista Ultimate on it. And it is good. My favourite feature just has to be the addition/revamp of Windows Media Center. Not only is it pretty and simple to use, it helps with productivity and lets me watch more anime! (And give me incentive to keeping it all organised too) I haven’t really noticed any speed issues (I’m using about 300megs on my flash as Readyboost memory in order to take some of the load off my RAM) so far. My only real gripe is the fact that I’m forced to run under a resolution of 1024×768 rather than the 1152×864 that I run under XP.

In other tidbits, I managed to add a copy of Brave Story to the ole’ download queue. A review might be in order soon.

lelouch

Alright, so maybe Code Geass isn’t the best that Sunrise could have done. I’ve got a few bones to pick them. Spoilerage follows after the break.

Continue Reading »

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