Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall 2014 Anime

A new anime season is upon us once again, and it's time to decide what to watch.

First of all, there is a new Gundam series this season (not Gundam Build Fighters), and because I'm a big mecha fan I'll likely watch and blog that. Hopefully the new series Gundam Reconguista in G will be better than the mediocre Gundam AGE. Being set after the Universal Century timeline is a somewhat intriguing premise, although we'll see if there is any references to that timeline.

There are a couple of other shows that I might check out, like Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu and Sanzoku no Musume Ronja. The other Sunrise mecha show of the season Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo looks interesting as well,. I might even watch Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu just for the lolz. I want to watch more anime, but I have less time these days now that I work full time, so I don't know how many series I'll end up following.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Summer 2014 Anime Final Thoughts

Haven't written about anime in a while. The summer 2014 season has come and gone. I checked out a couple of shows at the start of the season, but followed two, and those are Tokyo Ghoul and Zankyou no Terror. Both turned out to be pretty decent shows, and here are some quick final thoughts on them. Contains spoilers.


Tokyo Ghoul

Look at who finally decided to man up.

Based on a manga of the same name, Tokyo Ghoul is about a timid and shy guy Kaneki who gets turned into a ghoul that can only survive on human flesh. Kaneki is then taken in by the good, peace-loving ghouls, but danger lurks around the corner in the form of bad ghouls and also human Anti-Ghoul investigators. Tokyo Ghoul features some pretty slick action that is at times very violent and bloody, so there was plenty of censorship. There was also a torture scene near the end of the season which was a little uncomfortable to watch, but it's a good thing that the show invokes feelings in the audience. The action was enjoyable, and in addition the story does a good job conveying how not all ghouls are bad, and not all humans are good. The ghouls are portrayed as frightening, human-eating monsters at first, but as the story goes on we find out that some of them are decent people who are just trying to live peacefully. Even some characters that appear to be bad at first turn out to be not so bad. Of course, there is a fair share of ruthless, wicked and crazy characters. Of course, there is Kaneki's own struggles of adjusting to being a half-ghoul, such as eating human flesh and controlling his hunger.

Overall, I found Tokyo Ghoul to be a very good show. The only complaints I have are the censorship, and also the ending of this season. The season ended on a bit of a dangling note since the good ghouls, bad ghouls and Anti-Ghoul investigators are involved in a big battle. The season finale does show Kaneki finally accepting his ghoul powers and laying the smackdown on the crazy ghoul who was torturing him, but we have to wait for the next season to see what's happening to the big battle happening outside. It seems to be a strange point to end the season, but I guess this helps to peke interest for season 2. I'm definitely looking forward to the second season of the show.



Zankyou no Terror

Now that's how to go out with a bang.

Zankyou no Terror is an interesting show about two very intelligent teenage boys who conduct terrorist attacks in Japan, and the reason behind their actions is the key driving force of the show. As our protagonists Nine and Twelve outsmart the authorities and other forces that are trying to stop them, bits and pieces of their background and motivation are revealed.

While there isn't the kind of bloody and fast paced combat found in Tokyo Ghoul, Zankyou no Terror still benefits from good production quality and some decent action scenes. The show is good job selling its central plot, and there is a good cat-and-mouse game going on with our terrorists and a police investigator, and also one of the terrorist's former comrades. The main characters are interesting and quite capable... except for the female protagonist that seems to be there just to be useless. Overall, it's a pretty decent one-cour show that tells a short but complete story.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bleach 598

Ichigo and friends blast off into the Soul King's realm as the Zero Division continue to battle Yhwach's invading group.

Instead of being "The Wind," Nianzol's nickname should be "The Two-Tongued Blabber". 

Summary:
Ichigo, Yoruichi, Chad and Orihime are joined by Ganju who has a map of the royal palace, and Urahara sends Ichigo's group blasting off towards the Soul King's realm. Meanwhile at the Soul King's realm, Nianzol blabs about his powers and how nobody he perceives can hit him. Nianzol even uses his space bending powers to make Senjumaru's subordinates slice each other apart, but Senjumaru informs Nianzol that while he was blabbing, she sewed her own fabric onto his coat, and Nianzol is then stabbed by his own coat.

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So Ganju joins Ichigo's group as the navigator. Haven't seen him in a while. Don't know if Ganju is powerful enough to fight a Sternritter head on, but he is pretty resourceful guy so he'll be useful. On the other side of the story, the Zero Division are looking better this chapter with Senjumaru seemingly getting the better of Nianzol. The worst mistake you can make in a fight is to tell people how your powers work, and yet most people do it in Bleach. If Nianzol would have kept himself hidden then it might take a long time for the Zero Division to figure out what's going on, but given that he has two tongues he can't help but blab. It'd be bad if Zero Division members can't even handle one random Sternritter, although given Bleach's trend of oneupsmanship, Nianzol might get to one-up Senjumaru once before he gets killed off.

Naruto 693

Naruto and Sasuke get ready to have the final showdown.

Took Sakura long enough to realize Sasuke was too far gone.

Summary:
Sasuke declares he is going to destroy the tailed beasts, and so that includes getting rid of Naruto too since he's currently the host for all of the beats. Sakura starts railing about how she loved Sasuke and why he is such a hater, and Sasuke uses genjutsu on Sakura to shut her up. Naruto promises Kakashi that he'll bring Sasuke back, and Naruto and Sasuke head to the Valley of the End to settle the score once and for all.

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Sasuke is pretty cold and ruthless right now, and that's the way it should be. Shutting Sakura up with the fake stabbing genjutsu was a nice touch lol. Those Uchihas love to go to extremes, and hopefully Sasuke's idea of a revolution will be no less crazy than Obito and Madara's vision. As for Naruto, hopefully he'll end up giving Sasuke the beating that Sasuke deserves, and not have to resort to using friendship-talk-no-jutsu to convince Sasuke back into the light. However, talk-no-jutsu is probably the most likely solution if Sasuke is going to be "redeemed".

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Six Years of Wasted Time

The anniversary of this blog came and gone somewhere in August, and at that time I was too busy with moving and starting a new job to remember or worry about that little detail. Anyways, congrats to my little blog for making it to six years. Truth be told, I'm surprised that I'm still writing on this blog, since it's way past its heyday (due to my laziness). I pretty much just blog a couple of manga series and only mention anime here and there. Now that I have finished school and gotten a real job, I don't know how much longer I'll keep this up, but at this point I still enjoy writing down my thoughts on anime and manga and still have the time to do it. A sincere thanks goes to all who bothered to visit my blog, especially those who bother to comment from time to time.

Of course, it wouldn't be an anniversary post with some (digital) cake, so here's the cake!

Image courtesy of Microsoft Office clip art.

Amanchu! 48 & 49

I thought I had caught up to the latest chapter of Amanchu!, but apparently that wasn't the case as there were two new translated chapters released. Let's see if any more chapters will pop up.

Little Sis should be required to wear these PJs at all times.

Chapter 48 summary:
It's Xmas season, and in Japan usually young people spend Xmas with their friends and New Year with their families. However, All of Hikari's diving club buddies have stuff to do, so she ends up being home. Hikari's little sister is also home. Little Sister had planned a Xmas trip with a friend, but that got scuttled because her friend found a boyfriend. On Xmas day, Hikari decides to go out, and little sister tags along because she has nothing else to do. Little Sister used to follow Hikari a lot but became independent because of Hikari's eccentricities. Hikari ends up taking her sister to the sea to go diving, and Little Sis remembers how she and Hikari used to hang out together. Hikari leads Little Sister to an underwater Xmas tree being decorated by other divers, and the two sisters each put a star onto the tree. Afterwards, Hikari and Little Sis return home for a bountiful Xmas dinner with their family.

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I. Choose. You.

Chapter 49 summary:
On a snowy day, Katori-sensei and Mr. Teacher (Ai's homeroom teacher from chapter 47) bump into each other after work and they go out for drinks and dinner together. The drinks get the normally quiet Mr. Teacher to open up a bit. While walking to the train station, Katori can see Mr. Teacher is thinking about something and gets him to talk. Mr. Teacher admits that there is a person he likes at school. Katori takes various guesses but they are all wrong. Katori's train arrives and she has to get on, but she really wants to know who Mr. Teacher likes. As the train doors close, Mr. Teacher points to Katori, and Katori becomes all sorts of flustered as the train departs from the station.

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First thing to mention is that I can't translate the character names (Hikari's little sister and Mr. Teacher) because I don't understand Japanese and I read Chinese translations. Hopefully the English scans will catch up some time. With that message out of the way, we got two very interesting chapters of Amanchu!. Chapter 48 is the first time Hikari's little sister played a major role in a chapter. Little Sis is a little put off by Hikari's eccentricities, but we can see she still loves her big sis. Little Sister is also quite the cutie, especially in her cat pajamas. Looking forward to more appearances by Little Sis, and maybe some by Hikari's big brother too.

In Chapter 49, we got a little romance in the air with Katori and Mr. Teacher. For a bit there, I thought Mr. Teacher had a crush on Ai given what happened in chapter 47, although that would be an inappropriate teacher-student relationship. I'm not surprised that Mr. Teacher likes Katori though, since she is the hot teacher at the school. Seems like the attraction might be mutual too, and this has some potential to bring some real romance into the series. I'd be interested to see if Katori and Mr. Teacher's relationship will be further developed.


Friday, September 19, 2014

One Piece 761

Law/Doflamingo flashback time.

So this guy is Law's idol...?

Summary:
Luffy, with his hands still tied behind his back, is attacked by Bellamy and Doflamingo's string puppet and gets stomped into the palace. Law battles Doflamingo one on one and Doflamingo explains that the World Government cooperates with him because he knows their big secret. Doflamingo also wanted the power of Law's Ope Ope No Mi as the fruit's ultimate technique is to grant immortality at the cost of the user's life. Doflamingo reflects that he gave Law the fruit and his crew taught Law everything he knew about fighting, and Law agrees and declares that he will use what he learned to eliminate Doflamingo's crew.

16 years ago, a young Law, who supposedly will die within 3 years due to some disease, is allowed to join Doflamingo's crew but Diamante and Trebol don't think he'll last long. After seeing the young Buffalo and Baby 5, Law meets Doflamingo's brother Corazon for the first time. Corazon is a strange and clumsy guy who doesn't speak due to some past trauma and hates kids. During the course of Corazon stumbling into the building, he hits Buffalo and Baby 5 and then throws Law out of the building. The young Law vows at that point to kill Corazon.

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It's time for Law's flashback, but before that we learned that Doflamingo can still call on the World Government for help because he knows their big secret. That's a secret that'll have to come out eventually, whether through Doflamingo's mouth or some other way. I wonder if the World Government will take the opportunity to eliminate Doflamingo if he's weakened enough. Doflamingo is also after the immortality that one can gain from Ope Ope No Mi, and again that's a plan we'll sure to find out somewhere down the line. Moving on to Law's flashback, so Corazon was the Hearts executive in the Donquixote family. He's a strange guy who tosses Law out a building the first time they met, but Law would eventually look up to Corazon. This flashback will probably take a couple of chapters given its importance in the current story arc.