May 29, 2007

Anime that I am Currently Watching

Emma: Victorian Romance (Season 2) 5/5
I got a little worried when they left episode 4 with William being caught in Eleanor's guilt trap. I think it's really pathetic when men marry women out of guilt (like that movie with Daniel Day Lewis, Michelle Pfieffer, and Winona Ryder -- "The Age of Innocence". That May-women was such a devil!) Anyhow, the ending of episode 5 was quite satisfying and so there's still hope for this series. I'm so glad they didn't make us suffer through several episodes Eleanor rediculousness before William and Emma meet up again. Eleanor is sweet, but she really has no personality.

Darker that Black: 4.5/5
I don't know what the heck happened with Episode 7, but give me back my bad-ass in black! They started some totally out-of-the genre slap-stick detective and hot-widow story line that includes some konomaiki pink-haired loli as the detective's assistant. If this continues, I may have to skip this story arc and hope that after an episode or two the darkness will return and our hero/anti-hero can get back to being a scary assassin.

Toward the Terra: 5/5
This series caught me by surprise. The intro, both the montage and the theme song, look like something from a really bad 80's anime series (In fact it's a remake of an anime from 1980 -- I just checked imdb). For goodness sake, the lead character's name is "Jomy" and his savior/mentor's name is "Soldier Blue", both of whom have light hair swept into a flame-like coif and when they are in their full battle uniform, they wear a goofy-looking set of giant headphones. Who'd have thought that "Jomy" is a little punk who can throw one hell of temper tantrum! I love it! Anyhow, it looks like in episode 8 they are about done introducing the Keith Ayan character, who, too, is also very interesting. He's supposed to be a perfect android-like human, but in reality he's turning out to be the most decent of all the characters behind the loveable teddybear of a man Sam.

Since the Shiroe kid is not in the opening credits, I am going to guess from the way episode 8 ended that he's going to be killed off very soon :(.

Romeo X Juliet 5/5
I hope they don't screw this one up with Romeo becoming jealous and acting against Juliet. I really don't think that I could take that because this show has been so good. Please let Romeo be a stronger character and please let the writers not fall into that all too familiar pattern >< !!! Anyhow, I love that Mercutio dude! I can't resist a duel-wielding bad-ass in black. I'm hoping they'll be cool and let Romeo go wacko and kill his father. That old bastard is over-the-edge evil.

Hayate: Combat Butler 3/5 (kuro-neko003), 5/5 (kuro-neko003's husband)
My husband likes this show more than I do and I'm not quite sure why ... The show is really stupid and there's no plot or rhyme or reason for the show. In episode 8 they dress poor Hayate in a cat-girl costume and then implied that the talking Tiger violated poor Hayate's behind ... sigh ... oh, so crass. The episode started off and ended sweetly, though, with Maria trying to assess Hayate's feelings toward Nagi. As for Episode 9 -- more non-sense.

Nodame Cantabile 5/5
I can't get enough of this show and the manga. See my previous postings.

Strongest Disciple Kenichi 4/5(kuro-neko003), 5/5(kuro-neko003's husband)
My husband loves this show! I admit that it is very funny and the characters are good, but the story is going nowhere.

Sumomomo Momo: World's Strongest Bride 3.5/5
The first 7 episodes of this show are classic and they should have ended it there, but no, it's being dragged on and now the story is going nowhere. I really like Momo, though. She so cute and she always tries her best for her reluctant and unappreciative fiancee.

Reideen 4/5
My husband thinks this show's gundam porn is too lengthy (I'm talking about the 2-min long scene when Reideen appears which is shown lovingly in a slow-mo fly around). Personally, I'm disappointed that Juunki now wears a cheese-mo red Power-Ranger-like suit when piloting Reideen instead of piloting naked. Somehow as a woman, I felt vidicated when he was naked. Anyhow, I'm only on episode 5 or 6 and I'm hoping soon that they'll explain who the girl in the opening credits is.

Kekkaishi 4/5
The animated version of Kekkaishi doesn't deviated from the manga (or at least I haven't detected any deviation yet). I don't like the opening theme song, but I have to admit after it hearing 20-times, it's tag line is getting to me. As for the show itself, I think this is one of the more beautifully animated shows.

Mamoru-kun ni Megami no Shukufuku wo 3.5/5
What could be cuter than a teenage boy with stunted growth and a big butt. The student council members are funny, but often their antics throw a wrench into any progress of the story.

May 28, 2007

More on the Live Action Version of Nodame Cantabile

In thinking about my last post, I realized that I missed some points about the live action version of Nodame Cantabile. That would be Streseman, casting Japanese actors to play white people, and Mine's father.

The way that Streseman was done was most curious to me. His personality was not as implied in the manga or portrayed in the amine and nothing like I had imagined. They decided to make Streseman an over-the-top pervert who wears pimp clothes. His manner of speech and cadence came off as "greasy salesman" or a stereo-typical pimp (regardless of culture). He also had a streak of jeasously aimed towards Chiaki that I hadn't taken seriously when reading the manga. I had always taken his actions towards Chiaki and the wannabe-Chiaki conducting student as professor's pleasure (as in the way professors treat their grad students as dogs and work them to death because they can) and that for the most part, Streseman was teasing Chiaki. This version of Streseman is entirely childlike and devoid of any of the nuturing part of Streseman's personality presented in the manga and the anime version of the story. Still this Streseman is lovable.

As for Streseman being played by a very tanned Japanese man in a rediculous looking long white wig and Elise being played by a Japanese woman wearing blue contacts, I found it completely hilarious! Why not, I guess, since the Japanese consider their language too complicated for anyone other than Japanese people to learn. Nevermind the fact that a foriegners would speak busted Japanese just as native Japanese speakers speak busted English.

I can't believe I forgot to comment on my favorite minor character in the story, Mine's dad. I don't know who the actor was, but he played the character perfectly in every aspect and made me wish that Uraken restaurant really existed and that it was somewhere next to my house so I could be a regular and immerse myself in the atmosphere once or twice a week.

May 26, 2007

Nodame Cantabile Season 1, The Live Action Version

I finished watching the first season of the live action version of "Nodame Cantabile" a couple of days ago. Portions of it I downloaded from d-addicts via bittorent and portions of it I downloaded from (after I got tired of waiting for the bittorrorrent to trickle down). The version on d-addicts is very high-quality (widescreen and high resolution) compared to what's available on Crunchyroll. However, if you can't wait, then crunchyroll is a good way to get your fix and then you can archive the high-quality version once it's downloaded (that's what I plan to do).

Back the show ... I am currently reading the manga (half-way through volume 10 in Japanese) and watching the fansubbed anime. So far I think the manga is the best version of this story, followed by the anime and then the live action version. All of them are good, actually, so if you like the story a lot, then you should view all three versions and appeciate each one's take on the story and the characters.

The live action version is not as close to the manga as the anime is. Chiaki's uncle's family is not introduced, rather Saiko takes on some of the actions of the family and Chiaki's mother. I felt this was awkard since she was romantically involved with Chiaki and ended up quite jealous (violently so) of Nodame's relationship with Chiaki. I really liked the way Saiko disappeared from the story after abusing Nodame in the restroom in the manga. This version also skips the music "camp" in Nakano, making it necessary to have Kiyora be the concert mistress of the A-orchesta. I didn't mind this so much. I liked that Sakura the, contrabass girl, was given a larger role in the story. She was really cute, just like I imagined her to be. I also liked the portrayal of Masumi, who also was acted just as I imagined him to be and better. His hair is a sight to behold and his unabashed happy-friendly gayness is just too adorable. Mine was pretty good too. I didn't like the way they did his hair, though, because I thought it was too long and wild. The way he was portrayed reminded me of how I imagine Nakatsu from Hana-Kimi to be. Again, this was okay, but in my mind he's a lot cooler than the goof they made him to be in the live action version (the anime is more representative of what I imagine).

Onto the main characters. I will start with Nodame. I think the actress they chose to play Nodame was just about perfect -- pouty lips and all. I wish, though, that she was a little bit younger. The actress seems to have control over her Nodame; expressing Nodame's childlike nature, her unfettered love for Chiaki and her quick temper nicely. She is quite authentic.

I'm still not quite sure I like this Chiaki. The actor looks a little too old and very effeminant. I think the actor handled the dramatic parts well, but he sucked at the comedic elements. It seems as though he could not flow back and forth between the serious and the rediculous as well as the other actors and his discomfort with the comedy broke the illusion for me. I think if had been directed to be the "Straight Man" all the way through and had expressed Chiaki's frustrations in more subtle and "humanlike" fashions it would have worked better.

The creators of the the live action version of "Nodame Cantabile" decided to leave in some of the elements of comic rediculousness in the story, at times, making some scenes appear as though they were pulled directly from "Looney Tunes." Sometimes this worked for me and other times it did not. The times it did not work for me were when Chiaki abuses Nodame. In the manga we accept this because I think we as readers don't really think he's hitting or actually abusing Nodame. It is more like what he imagines he could do to her, like we all imagine when people get on our nerves. To see the abuse happen on live people was actually quite disturbing. I don't know if this a cultural thing though, since to an American, abusing women and children is not acceptable and to many Americans abhorrent. Outside of that, the fanciful visions of Nodame being pampered by Chiaki on a tropical island and of her as cat are nice and add a lot of flavor to the execution of the story.

In conclusion, if you like "Nodame Cantabile" and haven't seen the live action version, then you should see it because it is enjoyable.

May 25, 2007


Hi all! This is my anime and manga blog. I'm not sure what I'll do with this blog, so I guess I'll have to see how this develops. Hopefully, I can figure out a way to connect with other people into anime and manga.

I'm currently watching many anime series and following several manga series. I'll start talking about some of the things I watch and read in my next posting.