October 27, 2011 § 2 Comments
There is nothing more exciting to me than a good romance series. Be it on television, anime, books, if i can’t like the characters or enjoy a good pairing then something is indeed lacking. For instance “Kara No Kyoukai” Shiki x Kokuto, Fate Stay Night Saber x Shiro, and many more are good examples of a series that not only succeed in entertaining me with just action, each character likes each other in a unique way. Of course the romance isn’t the main point for those series being based mostly on action and mystery but the example is nonetheless understandable;if I can’t like the characters themselves I will most likely dislike it. Ecchi or Harem series in my opinion isn’t even considered romance at all and it strictly pisses me off that it tries the same formula over and over where every girl is head over heels for an oblivious moron who can’t tell he’s being hit on. In short I feel the emotion is forced because of it and I cannot enjoy it. My first and second requirement for a good series is simply this. 1- I must love the characters in an untainted and forced environment and 2- the drama has to be realistic despite the setting of fantasy or scifi (I need to relate to it). Today however I take the time to finish this romance rant by talking about a series that has… fulfilled my requirement and is downright enjoyable. Today I bring Amagami SS to the table!
**Warning: Spoilers Ahead**
**Warning: Only Part 1**
Amagami SS, originally a Japanese Dating Sim for the PS2 in 2009 received a welcoming anime adaptation in July 2010 with its unique (semi slow) pervertive and helpful protagonist and its lovely cast of female heroines, the anime keeps the same appeal as the game and does not deviate from it. Its not like any other romance series where one girl gets the guy and the rest are simply unloved but rather it does a job on showing each character route and represents them as a separate universe. In short each arc is a different universe where our hero gets close and falls for a different girl. The story is simply rich as the time mostly always takes place a few weeks before Christmas Eve (AKA Their School’s Founders Day) and those who do not celebrate this holiday I still recommend this show for simply the character development in each arc.
At the beginning of the first episode (and a few other arcs) we watch our protagonist, Tachibana Junichi, head to an appointed spot for his date after having confessed to his senior. Junichi’s emotion is overjoyed and excited that the winter cold seems nothing to him… though that smile wanes slowly as he waits and waits for her only to realize she would never show up. The emotion and the gleam disappearing for him simply made my heart ache as I too had gone through a similar experience that I instantly relate to the character (requirement 2 fulfilled in 5 min). The story itself takes place two years after that event and Tachibana is still emotionally depressed that he has grown melancholic every time Christmas eve is around the corner. The series isn’t simply a struggle for Tachibana to win over a girl but also one to regain what he lost two years ago, a troublesome but not impossible challenge. That doesn’t mean that Tachibana isn’t a mopey protagonist, in fact he is just another healthy young man (wink wink). His friend Masayoshi Umehara is perhaps a great side character for his energetic and comedy routines with Tachibana (mainly on pornography). Watching the first episode and being introduced to Umehara was perhaps a welcomed joke that made me laugh. Umehara approaches Tachibana on his way to school in his random and hyper character and Tachibana pretends not to know him… that is until Umehara mentions he brought the magazine he wanted in which Tachibana instantly switches to recognizing him surprised simply because of the magazine. Their relationship is simply one that I can relate since every one has that one hyper friend that you mess around and joke with.
The first arc revolves around Morishima Haruka, the most popular girl in the entire school for her charismatic personality and looks. Being so popular it goes without saying that she should have a boyfriend… or at least it should be since she’s the ideal hot girl! She’s freaking single and has a heart break streak for turning down every guy in school the previous year (no joke). So anyways, Tachibana notices her and finds her attractive but of course still mopey he makes no move and thinks he has no chance… until his friends make him buy lunch and helps out a freshman get her food, making him noticed by Morishima Senpai (just went Weebo). On his way to the classroom Tachibana drops the bag full of school bread quickly begins to collect it… and in doing so Morishima picks up a bread and lovingly comments on how much he eats (with no ill intent). Dropping bread+picking up= Popular girls attention.
My first opinion about Haruka was magical. Haruka plays around with Tachibana for a bit before she heads off to her own thing. And simply put I thought she was an angel XP cheesy but it works. Of course that is not the only encounter. Haruka shows up in the library with a pile of cute dog books that our hero gracefully helps her carry (chivalry is still alive). Of course what did bring me down was that in the first episode Tachibana confesses to her and she turns him down (NOOOO!). Second opinion… How could you!… Of course with courage he asks her out again in another episode and she willingly accepts seeing his determination.
Having won Haruka over, Tachibana himself isn’t out of the woods yet despite being over his own insecurity. Haruka herself has her own quirks, mainly being overactive and hyper. It worries Haruka to the point that she calls her friend Hibiki for advice on… a “puppy” :D. Of course after talking it out Hibiki (keen as ever to pick up it was about a boy) gives her advice to be just herself and Haruka returns to her joyful self!
Tachibana and Haruka get extremely close… to the point where they run off during lunch and go to kiss… o.o Yes kiss… or at least I thought it would be mouth to mouth. When they arrive to a hideout, Haruka decides to tease him by not allowing Tachibana to kiss her on the mouth and to kiss elsewhere. Of course this is to tease him yet Tachibana decides to take it seriously and take up her challenge… and like a daring man he decides to kiss her behind her knee! o.o
Haruka simply does anything she wants to do like try out a school swimsuit, glomp Tachibana and act like a spoiled kitten, or pretends she’s tied down to a chair and is spoon fed ramen by the kidnaper (Tachibana) in the school cafeteria. Of course she questions if she’s too much for our hero but finds comfort that he does not mind her playful teasing… in fact he loves it ^^
Eventually… we reach our climax… Christmas Eve (told ya its on Christmas!). Tachibana and Morishima make plans to hang out a bit and have dinner with her family because of her grandparents visiting (red flag goes up at this point). Tachibana is excited to meet Morishima’s parents and in doing so… forgets the time and runs late! The poor fool runs like a mad man to their appointed destination and literally is steaming when he gets there. Finding this troublesome, Haruka takes him to the hotel their parents… yes I said that right, a hotel! Knowing that Tachibana was in no shape to meet her parents in this state she takes him to the pool and the two spend an entire two hours messing around under the pretense of “washing him up!”
After their random swimming ordeal, Morishima san takes them to their room in which she reveals… that her parents canceled their hotel get together! What the FUUUUUU!!! Morishima and Tachibana alone in a hotel room suite gives a man many many dirty thoughts on where this might be going (once again this series is a romance… but it takes a mature feel to it). It goes without saying that I’m already anxious to find out how this 4 episode arc will end. What makes me even more anxious is when Haruka goes take a shower and tells Tachibana not to peep… Every guy watching this instantly know the instinctive urge to do what they are not told and this is no exception for our hero. Tachibana waits in the living room fighting his primal instinct and manages to keep it in his pants until Haruka comes out… yet something is wrong… She’s disappointed at Tachibana. Dwah?
Our heroine is disappointed at our hero for not checking her out! At this point I pause and rewind about 2x in simple confusion at what Tachibana did wrong, forgetting about her insecurity. Remembering soon after, it becomes obvious that Morishima Haruka is afraid that she isn’t appealing to our hero and that he’d leave. Of course this is a bit far-fetched for me, I remember that Tachibana has not expressed how much he likes her since he confessed to her (FEWL D<)!!! Clicking play I continue on and watch Haruka cry for the first time… and like a good man Tachibana consoles her and once again spoils her by telling her how much she’s in love with her, dispelling her panic attack. D,: like a true bro!
Of course thats all that you get. There is no adult content in this series… but there is a lot of implied suggestion in it. This is where the route ends… or at least thats what I thought. Ten years later Haruka and her best friend Hibiki talk about their lives while flipping through their photo album and reminisce about their youth. It is implied here that Tachibana and Haruka have tied the knot!!!
It isn’t a Morishima Haruka finish without a last gag for the viewers. So Tachibana bursts in with his Detective ID and threatening to put Haruka under arrest! Instinctively Haruka gets up and tells Hibiki to make a run for it… in which she declines and thus becomes the killjoy of their short roleplay. My favorite quote that Haruka says after Hibiki’s comment on Japans Safety is “He might not be able to keep Japan safe, but he promised he’ll keep me safe”
Final thoughts… the Haruka route is simply my first true romantic series I have set foot on. Of course each character arc is around 3-5 episodes long (varying on the girl) the amount of depth in it is simply superb. I enjoyed and still enjoy watching this series. It never gets old and thats rare for me. As for Haruka I will admit that she is not my “top” favorite character in the series. However this isn’t a bad thing, many people like Haruka and she got her own figurine (which my friend David proudly owns). So my thoughts… I love Amagami SS… but I must talk more about the remaining 6 girls (yes this includes the secret character arc) in other parts to be more in depth. I hope you enjoyed this entry and I will post more in the following weeks…
**Next Week is Kaoru’s Arc!**
October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
I will say that I am not a really big fan of mysteries. If they don’t capture me on the first episode I will most likely overlook it and never return to it unless someone puts me up to it. Recently however I have made an exception for one reason. The saving grace for any mystery series to make me continue on is a cute loli… and this is a tale of that such myster XD
To start I would like to say that I did not willingly watch this because I wanted to. My friend Luis kept nagging me to watch it because I would “Like it” and I continually ignored it until… he said the magic 4 words… “It has a Loli”. I immediately searched for it and confirmed that it indeed had a loli and thus watched it. Though knowing it was a mystery I did not have much hope that I would enjoy it. “It has a Loli but I might not watch it if its not good.” I told my friend… and boy did I eat my words.
Okay aside from my super fangasm, the series is really great. It’s a mystery series that involves various cases each with their own gravity and drama. From suicide, missing person, and drugs, Alice the NEET Detective can solve it with her gang of hoodlums… er I mean helpers. Kami Sama no Memo Chou was originally a light novel series written by Hikaru Sugii with illustrations by Mel Kishida. The light novel was published January 2007 and ended September 2011. Shortly after a manga adaptation followed and the anime aired July 2011. To make this entry clear a NEET is an acronym for the government classification for people currently “Not in Education, Employment or Training” and I hope this makes this entry clear to understand.
The story is revolved mainly around Narumi Fujishima, a 16 year old high school student who thinks of his life as a pixel, unimportant and meaningless. This all changes when he comes across a girl jumping off a hotel balcony and lands on a pile of trash. Giving the girl a helping hand he is put in a hold by a young guy with a rifle under the suspicion that he is a suspect until two of his associates (a former boxer and a gigolo) notify their otaku friend that the suspect got away. Narumi heads off to school and meets Ayaka Shinozaki, a fellow classmate and the only member of the gardening committee; after a small spat between the two Narumi joins the gardening committee. After school Ayaka leads Narumi to the ramen shop… and what waits him there are the same three guys from earlier that day!
If chance encounters aren’t your thing then please bear with it a bit longer… Anyhow not only are the three NEETS (well 2… Guntaku is actually in college), the three all work for a very very angry boss. So if they are NEETS then why are they working? The answer is that they work as information gatherers for a shut-in 12 year old looking loli with severe insomniac problems! This so called Alice calls herself a NEET Detective, a speaker for the deceased by solving mysteries their crimes left unsolved with her high intellect; to make it even cuter her diet is comprised of ramen and Dokupo (Dr. Pepper). Again my loli complex kicked in but anyways Alice is super Meta; she has about so many computers overclocking, teddy bears and stuffed animals all around her bed and she’s in her pajamas all day unless she goes out (rarely), there is nothing about Alice that I don’t dislike. She is simply too awesome and cute.
The first episode is around 40 min long and it left me in awe. The first mystery revolves around the missing disappearance of a girl and the only lead Alice has is the girls best friend and boyfriend (who are also searching for her). While hunting for clues, Narumi confronts the suspect (named Miku) and questions the suspect and finds out more about the missing girl. Miku’s attachment to her friend was because she was simply a perfect role model and the only clue she has is the girls phone. Soon after learning this Alice makes her move and stops Miku from searching and questions her about the phone which reveals that Miku’s so call Idol worked as a prostitute and her phone held the evidence. Deducing Miku’s story to fill in the gap she reveals that the missing girls boyfriend has been buying a large amount of ice every single day since her disappearance. The crime is solved and the police find her body in a bath tub of ice with her wrists slashed, revealing she ended her life while the boyfriend preserved her body to keep her wish of “Stopping Time Here”.
At this point I am amazed that one episode had captivated me to keep going. The characters each are unique and different and Narumi’s relationship with Alice is one that is too cute to ignore (crack pairing). Of Course their relationship is that of a trainer and a monkey (Narumi being the monkey and insulted by Alice), yet the two share moments that simply make me smile, cry, or just laugh out loud. Narumi and Alice both win my heart as two great characters that should be together. Its really a heartwarming experience just watching these two interact.
Of course many of the characters each are great. Tetsu is friendly and always makes friends but he always owes money to people, Shiso is enthusiastic when it comes to spy gadgets and survival games, and Hiro is simply… a womanizer… no no Womanizer is too much, he simply has sex with women and befriends them ^^ He’s a manwhore! Of course my favorite character (That is not Naru or Alice) is Yondaime, the leader of an all NEET Yakuza group. Despite his tough behavior and superhuman strength he is perhaps one of the softest characters in this series mainly because he fixes all of Alice’s stuffed animals (in secret of course, he still has to be tough!). Yondaime and Narumi become close because of Alice and eventually the two form a bond of brotherhood complete with a ritual. If there is a strong point in this show I would have to say it would be the characters that simply make the story that much realistic.
The thing I find most depressing rather than infuriating is that its short… only 12 episodes long. More characters are introduced and each make such an impact on the story. One being a vagabond named Renji who was once a friend of Yondaime who returns with a vengeance for allowing the death of his crush. Before these events pass Narumi and this guy become friends and eventually do the same brotherhood ritual (and hinting that he had done this with a former friend). Despite fucking shit up for the gang he learns the truth of his crush and reconciles with his friend. What I would wish is that there be more episodes with familiar faces returning and more mysteries to solve but sadly this won’t happen. I do however say that the final few episodes get super intense as Ayaka gets involved and is put in the hospital and leaves our poor Narumi confused and guilty. The series ends perfectly and this truly makes up for being only 12 episodes long.
My final thoughts… I was forced to watch this series by one of my friends… kept watching for the loli, but ended up leaving with a rich story. This show is simply a must watch for any mystery/lolicon out there. The characters all are great, the mysteries are full of suspense and drama, and the art style is simply awesome. I highly recommend this as a must watch for 2011. Well that should be enough… Before I go I leave you with my most cherished treasure… Goodnight!
October 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
It seemed just yesterday that I heard about Persona 4 from my friend David. Of course since I never had a PS2 I never had a chance to play most of the games mentioned by David (being poor sucks). So when David told me about how great Persona 4 was I simply just pushed it out of my mind seeing as I had no way of playing it. Looking back, if my dad had bought me a PS2 instead of an xbox I’d probably be more of a Sony fangirl rather than a Microsoft fan; my taste in games would perhaps have been more rpg’s and whatnot rather than the shooters i’ve so grown accustomed to; but even if I was left out in the game chats with my own friends I don’t regret starting out with an XBox at all. Of course I acknowledge that Persona 4 is a great game, but I knew I would never be able to play it anytime soon. Almost seven years later I at long last set foot in the Persona genre not from a game but because an anime had of the story had arrived.
.0″ width=”490″ height=”696″ />Starting out the first episode I muster the strength to finish the first 5 min seeing as it seemed rather boring. Igor is creepy as fuck and his assistant is a gorgeous babe (an unusual adult feminine figure to the cast of teenage kids). The intro was rather creepy as Igor kept talking to “you” the viewer, about a fate that will soon come to pass. “Fate and Destiny” in my vocabulary are overused words in the Otaku life, found in everything anime and game related so I wasn’t much impressed. The thing that caught my interest was perhaps the greatest thing Persona has to offer along with the story… it’s music.
We are introduced to Yu Narukami, the protagonist of our story, who because of his parents job, is forced to move in with his uncle in Inaba and attend school there. Yu is for a better word… Neutral. He’s a character that has no personality at the beginning and this is probably because he has moved to a new home. When he attends his first day of school he introduces himself to the class (aside from the fugly ranting ogre that is their teacher), he makes friends with Chie Satonaka (a very cute and athletic tomboy like girl), Yosuke Hanamura (the clumsy and carefree guy), and Yukiko Amagi (the refined and cute class idol). Each of these characters each give off a variety of personalities that more than make up for Yu’s lacking emotion. Honestly if I have a complaint at this point, it is probably the main character himself (Why so emo D<). So far my favorite character is Chie (I have a fetish for tomboys .-.).
Of course this series is far from a slice of life. In Inaba there have been a series of unexplained murders and these strange murders revolve around the story and characters alike. There is also the Midnight Channel, a paranormal occurrence where the television turns on and shown on the screen is “your true love”. So far I’ve only seen episode 1 so its safe to say that I am still a noob to this series. I bet my friend David will be reading this and be raging about how I neglected to mention a few things later tonight.
When the trio (Chie, Yosuke, and Yu) fall inside a tv, they enter a strange universe oppressed by thick fog and soon after tongue monsters that simply want to nibble on our teenage heroes. During the climax, when the danger becomes so great, Yu instinctively summons a strange avatar figure called a Persona. Simply put I was mind fucked just watching the fighting; as a veteran of Shounen anime/manga this was the first time that I simply was in awe watching a summon that perhaps was equal to that of Final Fantasy (never played it either). After defeating the monsters the anime ends and I simply demanded more. I may not have played the game but I now know what the rage of Persona is all about.
Simply put the anime is well drawn, the characters are each unique, and the story is simply a mix of haunting and comedy perfectly combined. My expectations for this series is now high and I hope to see more intensity from the show each episode. This is Edwin Vega here to say “Everyday young life, Junes”
October 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
So the week has been hectic as of late. Class has me kinda booked for most of the week and now that I’m running 2 blogs it is beginning to really get to me just to meet my quota. A lot of new animes are coming out and catching up with them is quite difficult with my schedule (kinda makes me wish I could make a clone). So I guess I’ll talk a little bit on what i’ve been doing on my end a bit.
Well for much of my time I’ve been in class. but whenever I got home after (which is usually 6-7) I sat myself down to play a famous H-Game by Nitro plus called Saya no Uta. I have a blog post on Erogamer so if H-Games is your thing then I recommend you check it out and decide if you are willing to play it (I recommend it only to those with the stomach for it).
I’m spreading the word once again that those who watch and read my stuff I want YOU to comment your thoughts for my posts or recommend me an anime to check out. I very much would like to hear from all of you.
I would also like to take the time to continue my thoughts on Fate Zero in which just a week ago the first episode has come out (with the second available today). Watching the first episode we are introduced to our hero, Emiya Kiritsuga and his lovely wife Irisviel Einsbern along with their newborn child Ilya (who was so cute as a baby). I was given a brief taste of Kiritsuga’s struggle of parenthood as he is a stone cold murderer who kills mages by any means necessary; Iri consoles er husband and gives him a glimmer of hope to love their child like any normal parent. In 4 minutes of screen time I found myself immediately pairing Iri and Emya together.
Of course we are introduced to other characters such as Kiritsuga (master of Assassin), and Tosaka Tokiomi (father of Rin and master of Archer- Gilgamesh). Kiritsuga and Tokiomi talk over that he was chosen for the grail and offers him to be his apprentice to aid him to win the grail for the sake of keeping it out of the wrong hands. Willingly Kiritsuga accepts his mission and we are introduced to a bit of the rules on the Holy Grail War.
Somewhere in London we are introduced to Waver Velvet (master of Rider), a mage who is studying at London Clock Tower (a secret school for mages). His character I enjoyed the most because he is a hard working student who wants to be accepted as a full on mage despite that his bloodline is relatively lacking in the magic department. Dissed by his teacher Kaynet El-Melloi Archibald (a pureblood mage family and master of Lancer) mocks his research paper of magecraft titled “Inquiry of Magecraft’s Path in the New Century” saying that his idealism is merely fantasy and that it was all about ancestry and bloodline. Angry, Waver leaves his class and bumps into a faculty teacher whom he gives Waver a package to Professor Archibald. Instead of giving it to his teacher Waver takes the package and then learns of the Holy Grail war and that the package contained a relic to summon a Servant and begins his training to gain a Command Seal for the war.
Perhaps the most interesting and most messed up mage family is the Matou’s. For those who have not played the Fate Stay Night game route “Heavens Feel” I will make a brief summary. The Matou Bloodline lacks a rightful heir for the Holy Grail war, and calling on a debt owed by the Tosaka family they request to adopt one of the Tosaka children into their own (in which the Tosaka’s oblige to their request and give up Sakura). This decision does not sit well with Kariya (soon to be Master of Beserker), one of the two sons of Zoken Matou. Pissed off he confronts his father and offers that he will fight in the Holy Grail war in exchange to free Sakura; mocking his request the old man denies his request… that is until Kariya offers that he uses the Crest Worm to increasy his magic aptitude in a years time. After much thinking and sadistic desire, Zoken accepts his offer and puts him in an intense magical training to become worthy of a Command Seal.
Though some masters are left unmentioned and the first episode is mainly an introduction to the Holy Grail and the characters themselves I was quite stunned on how I’ve grown attached to these mentioned characters in 40 minutes. Kiritsugas plight and struggle as a murderer turned parent, Wavers desire to prove himself as a great mage, and Kariya’s goal to free Sakura while enduring so much torture, I simply could not stop watching until the end. Around the end Kiritsuga, Waver, Tokiomi, and Kariya all summon their Servants on the last day of the deadline for the war. While they chant their summons it is simply amazing to watch these characters summon their servants, each different in aspect. I was especially glad when I got to see Gilgamesh and Saber showed up (Jizzed in my pants). As a major fan of Saber and Gilgamesh I could not help but be overjoyed that 2 of my favorite characters showed up on screen, so much so that I looked up GilgameshxSaber doujins and whatnot immediately after.
So in short… I loved Fate Zero. The animation is well done, the character and story is great, and the voice actors and sound effects simply put me in awe, like I’m watching a real movie. I can surely hope that each episode continues to wow me with action and character development. I want to know more about each one of these characters while this war goes in full force. So without further ado I bid you all farewell, I’m Edwin Vega hear to tell you to stay frosty.
October 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
What a glorious September it was. Looking back I was overjoyed that I had so many fond memories. Some good, some bad, and most just plain random. I wish I could tell you all about it but sadly my reminiscent life is not place for this blog. I do however with great excitement say that October will be the best. Why? Because of the new line up of anime being released for the fall, and one in particular has my jimmies riled up in excitement! Fate Zero! (click the image below for the PV trailer)
This isn’t a real Rant/Praise or a Conquest. This is simply me celebrating the occasion by telling all my viewers how excited I am! I have been a Fate Stay Night fan for a long time and soon after hounded after everything Type Moon Could throw at me. Melty Blood(and Tsukihime), Fate Stay Night, and Kara no Kyoukai simply were too amazing to explain and rather than take my word for it I wholly recommend you all check out all of Type Moon’s projects.
Fate Zero is entirely different from Fate Stay Night in many ways. Unlike the visual novel, Fate Zero debut as a light novel series written by Gen Urobuchi and illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi (the artist to all of Type Moons projects). Since I have not read the novels and since I don’t know much about this series I will say that my two favorite characters will be arriving. Saber and Gilgamesh will return! YAY!
Without furhter ado I shall let you guys go and get on with your day. So until Fate Zero comes please enjoy this. Thank you.