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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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.

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Sorry for the near utter lack of images in this post but selecting images out of a 15 volume series is kind of daunting. So bear with me in the following ‘blocks’ of text.

So I finally finished reading all 15 volumes of the I”s manga today. I’m an utter emotional wreck right now, I can’t think straight plus it’s sometime around midnight here so excuse me if the rest of the review starts making no sense.

I was tearing up at the end of the manga. It truely is one of the most powerful manga I’ve read — not that I’ve read boatloads of manga..

This just blows Ichigo 100% out of the water. It truely cannot be considered similar to that, which I’d done in my initial posting. While Ichigo 100% had tons of fanservice just for the sakes of it, most (and yes, there were times when the fanservice was a tad bit over-the-top but it wasn’t too numerous — thankfully) of the time the fanservice used in I”s makes the plot flow on. It’s an integral part of the story — one that would not be as complete without it.

Another thing, unlike Ichigo 100% there isn’t too much meaningless filler scattered through the volumes. Each arc adds, in its own, a tiny bit to the complex relationship that is woven around Ichitaka and Iori. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill romance/comedy story. This one actually ends. Properly.

This is something that could actually be counted as realistic in many ways. I actually found myself sympathising many a time with Ichitaka, feeling what he felt, thinking what he thought.

I actually read the alternate ending as well. It’s boatloads better than the normal one. It fleshes out certain details more — revealing more of this could be considered a huge spoiler, so I won’t ;).

One thing that I’m a bit iffed about is the fact that Itsuki (Ichitaka’s childhood friend) pretty much disappeared from the series sometime in middle not to reappear, well technically not reappear but she can be seen in the end. That was rather sudden in my opinion and rather rushed too, as if someone said to the mangaka “Hey what about Itsuki, did you forget to put her in?” (in moonspeak of course, I can’t read/speak moonspeak to save my life so you’ll have to do with my poorly-adequate version).

I was actually thinking of putting in random images from danbooru in here but decided against it. I’ve probably already confused many people with that review, there’s no need to fry their brains in the process as well.

Final thoughts: buy, “acquire”, rent…I don’t care! Get it, read it and revel in the wonder that is I”s.

A 95/100 monkey series.

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die mushrooms, die!

Cat Soup is simply surreal to the core.

It’s an OVA by JC Staff (of Shakugan no Shana and Honey & Clover fame); an experiment in art and emotions.

Panel #1

The basic outline of the story is that the sister cat loses her soul to the death demon and her brother tries to retrieve it whatever way possible. He manages to get back half of it after a brief tussle with death. The other half is taken away by death and turned into a flower.

The siblings then embarks on a completely unplanned quest to retrieve it. They run across any number of bizarre and twisted individuals and are victims of greater powers during their quest.

Panel #2

It all starts out in a circus. The two go to see a visiting circus nearby where all sorts of ‘wondrous’ events are shown. However, this is rather shocking as one scene shows a huge bird with a mini atmosphere inside of it. It had a rope tied around one foot, the tightening of this loop brought pain to the bird causing it give out shrieks of pain. This pain was portrayed as sparkles and glitters of lights and stars. This only brought gasps of wonder from the audience. What’s even more sadder was the look of rapt wonder on the face of the little brother cat.

Panel #3

Some of the mini-stories in the OVA are actually rather twisted versions of fairytales. For example, the tale of Hansel and Gretel is twisty-fied when the two siblings meet up with man who absolutely delights in pain. In fact the food that the man feeds them is prepared extremely cruelly and it’s almost shocking to see the brother innocently gasp in wonder and gobble down the food provided.

Panel #4

The mini-tale ends in pretty much the same way as the original with the man falling into the soup pot he was planning to cook the two cats in (Cat Soup!). However, there is a gruesome twist, the brother chops off all four of the man’s limbs.

Panel #5

There are yet more disturbing tales such as that of the pig that shared their boat when the planet flooded over. The brother “unzips” him, pulls a chunk of meat out and starts frying that so that he can feed his sister. It gets worse. The pig drools at the sight of the sizzling meat and when the brother offers him a piece, he immediately starts eating.

pain, oh the pain!

Cat Soup could even be taken as a criticism on what would happen if ‘pain’ were to be abolished. Bountiful are the scenes where someone looses a limb and not a sound is uttered. All that is portrayed is shock at the event.

Panel #6

What’s more astonishing is that Cat Soup manages all of this without the use of a single seiyuu. All speech, not that there is much of it, is shown in text bubbles. However, the sound and music all make up tremendously for this. While typing this up, all I did was continuously hum the credits tune over and over again in my head.

Dubiously Recommended — may be too disturbing for some. Nonetheless, 70/100 monkeys.

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kaneda_mugshot

Akira is badass.

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ohno_cosplay_schoolgirl_06Jun06

That was one heck of a ride. Genshiken is a treat right from the opening notes of the OP to the episode preview at the end of each episode. Usually I skip the OPs and EDs of anime just so I could get to the 'juicy bits' faster and I know that most people out there do this as well. However, Genshiken's fast-paced OP (and the fact that you only get to view it for 11 episodes) really hooks you and it's a joy ride from there on.

To be honest, Genshiken really doesn't have a plotline. Heck, as far as I could figure out, it doesn't even have a stable main protagonist. It started out with Sasahara as the lead and the viewpoint slowly shifted to Saki's relationship problems and finally ended with Sasahara again. I must admit though, this did not disturb me one bit, in fact it's a breath of fresh air, it gives you the opportunity of actually viewing Genshiken as a group itself. Also, without Saki I'm pretty sure the story would have definitely flopped. She's what really brings everyone together and makes them really standout. And as the anime doesn't focus on a specific character too much it really gives you the ability to see each character what they are rather than from the viewpoint of a lead. This is not the case in shows such as Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu where we discover the all the other characters solely from Kyon's viewpoint. However, I must really contradict myself here a bit as I feel that there needed to be a tad bit more exploration, of the supporting characters such as Kugayama (who is virtually ignored at times, apart from the first few episodes).

The show really gives you an insight into Japanese otaku culture in a round-about sort of way and the Comiket bits were hilariously amusing. Also, I really love the slice-of-life these few episodes offered. It takes you over about 2 years of Genshiken and not much in terms of plot is introduced or answered (i.e. the former chairman – he scares me for some reason).

Overall, a great casual anime to get into, it's addictive right from the first episode and the Kujian scenes were priceless! Oh, that reminds me, turns out that there isn't going to be a second season of genshiken (aww!) and rather an anime version of Kujian (turns out the designs are going to be different – boo!). Rather disappointing as Genshiken ended rather abruptly, there was even talk of another episode after the finale episode! There could be hope for another season though as according to moetron, the Genshiken website has been updated with the final scene from the anime, interesting. However, even so, the ending was rather satisfying and I wouldn't mind not having another season (don't kill me!). I mean, the last episode had some sense of finality to it I also still need to watch the OVAs of Kujian that were released after Genshiken (I'll blog about it – I promise!).

Gets a rating of 5/5 from me! Also something I may thinking of rewatching sometime in the future (once i get through my huge backlog)!

(continue for screencaps)

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