Archive for November, 2009

Kimi ni Todoke – 8

Posted in Kimi ni Todoke with tags on 11/30/2009 by Shinmaru

Ack, I am starting to fall behind pretty badly with posts lately! Been having a few connection issues recently (in fact, I’ve been waiting roughly 50 minutes to post this because my connection shut down again), and of course work cuts into my time quite a bit, so this post is coming out a day later than I hoped it would. Here’s hoping I’m able to resolve my problems soon!

Like some of my fellow bloggers, I’m actually hoping Kurumi is not as horrible and manipulative as some little hints are showing her to be. My brain says she is a schemer underneath — she is the obvious choice as the master behind the rumors ordeal, her evil eye as Kazehaya catches an eyeful of Sawako kicking a rock around in the garden appears to be a not so subtle way of announcing “THIS GIRL IS CRAZY” and she actually is kind of manipulative with her friends, subtly pushing them to nominate her as a class rep for the sports festival so that she can be closer to Kazehaya. The cynical part of me thinks it must be nice to have an active pair of shippers as friends to help one out.

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Monster – 13-14

Posted in Monster with tags on 11/29/2009 by Shinmaru

I’m getting to this post way later than intended. Apologies — I’ve been sick all week, and these posts normally take a bit out of me even when I’m healthy, so there was no way I could do this kind of heavy thinking while under the influence of cold medicine. Still not completely over my illness, but I am well enough to give this post a good shot. Better late than never, right?

Ep14 is a favorite Monster episode of mine because it shows both Inspector Lunge and Eva really getting a kickstart to their dual obsessions with Dr. Tenma and the extent of the damage caused to them by their obsessions (though Lunge’s damage comes more from a general obsession with tracking down killers). Lunge’s half of the story is particularly interesting because while up to this point he is portrayed as an extremely intelligent, effective officer of the law, there is not too much indication that his dedication to his work may have a negative effect on his life (although he has an admittedly single-minded, intense personality), whereas the sparks of Eva’s obsession are shown in prior episodes (although, again, they are not fanned nearly as hard as they are in this episode).

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Sasameki Koto – 8

Posted in Sasameki Koto with tags on 11/27/2009 by Shinmaru

There is sometimes a tenuous line between fantasy and reality. Some people dance completely across that line because fantasy is preferable to reality; however, there almost always comes a time when a person needs to be yanked back into reality for his or her sake. But what is the best way to do this?

Aoi Azusa is lost in her fantasy. She likes girls, but her idea of romance is the delicate, secretive type of romance expounded upon in the Maria-sama ga Miteru-esque books written by her favorite author, Orino Masaka (the pseudonym of Ushio’s brother). In Aoi’s mind, romance is best enjoyed when only the two people sharing it know about it — when she describes a fantasy of two lovers meeting on the outskirts of campus, the voices of the other students both close and faraway, it’s easy to see Aoi has quickly developed a crush on Murasame, and is probably casting Murasame headlong into one of her fantasies at that very moment. (Ironically enough, the scene Aoi conjures somewhat mirrors the first scene of the series, where Murasame and Ushio stumble upon Tomoe and Miyako kissing in the classroom.)

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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 33

Posted in Fullmetal Alchemist with tags on 11/24/2009 by Shinmaru

Just a quick note before I begin — I’ve decided to drop Letter Bee. That choice is more a reflection on my lack of time than the quality of the series, though I am not certain I would have continued blogging it past this season, anyway (particularly with a surefire awesome show like Durarara on the horizon for winter). Plus, I want to catch up on Cross Game and finish up Kare Kano, both of which I have neglected for too long now. So, apologies to anyone who read and enjoyed my Letter Bee posts, but anyone who likes the series should be more than happy with Scamp’s posts at Bokutachi no Blog. Go read them!

Anyway, this episode is solid but not exactly amazing. (I just need to stop hyping things up altogether. Every time I do, I set up Epi for disappointment. I’m sorry, man! Not a word from me regarding anything in the future.)

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Sasameki Koto – 7

Posted in Sasameki Koto with tags on 11/22/2009 by Shinmaru

Well, I got my wish for more Akemiya! And, uh, the poor guy needs some help pretty badly. Yeesh.

Like most Sasameki Koto episodes, this one is a boatload of funny with a few moments of drama that gain a bit more impact because they’re the isolated islands surrounded by an ocean of humor. In this story, the bit of drama I keyed in on most is Akemiya’s chat with Murasame at the clothing store. From the moment Akemiya showed up to their date in women’s clothes, Murasame pieced together that Akemiya’s sister is pulling the strings with the date, and is also butting in on most other aspects of Akemiya’s life. Murasame wonders out loud if Akemiya can tell that his sister is messing around with him. Akemiya’s reply is pretty telling.

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Kimi ni Todoke – 7

Posted in Kimi ni Todoke with tags on 11/20/2009 by Shinmaru

That’s exactly how I feel after watching this episode! I would have seen it and posted about it yesterday, but it was my birthday, so I spent much of the day relaxing. (And working, unfortunately!)

So this is exactly the type of episode Kimi ni Todoke needed after the relative heaviness of the last arc. Just a simple, light, fun episode, with some hints of drama here and there that are overshadowed by this group of friends having a great time together. Something that really sticks out to me in this episode is how innocent the series is. An episode like this could come off as incredibly corny to some people, I’m sure. Some of the details like Sawako’s shock that she has friends who would want to go out with her, Kazehaya quickly jamming on his bicycle to hang out, the girls packing up at 9 p.m., saying that it’s getting late . . . it’s kind of quaint, isn’t it?

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Monster – 11-12

Posted in Monster with tags on 11/17/2009 by Shinmaru

The games are over now in Monster.

In these two episodes, Dr. Tenma gets his first whiff of the infamous Kinderheim 511 (referred to as “511 Kinderheim” in the dub and probably in the original Japanese, as well; I just prefer the sound of the former). Everything Tenma has seen and known up to this point is child’s play — even Hartmann himself, horrible child abuser that he is, could be considered small beans next to the cruelty and depravity that threatens to swallow the world. Tenma has walked through the door, and he is past the point of no return. He can move only deeper into the abyss from here.

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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 32

Posted in Fullmetal Alchemist with tags on 11/16/2009 by Shinmaru

ArmstrongEdLibrary

Haha, this episode caught me off guard a bit — I thought something would happen, and it didn’t. If there’s one good thing about BONES mixing and matching different parts of the manga, it’s that I can’t expect that events will happen in a specific order. Even I can be surprised! Yay!

Best part of the episode is definitely Grumman in disguise flirting a bit with Mustang. The moment where Mustang finally sees through the disguise is pure gold. Perfectly played comedy. Can’t remember how much more Grumman is in the story from here, but after this appearance, I hope he shows up quite a bit more! Every story needs a good eccentric character.

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Letter Bee – 7

Posted in Letter Bee with tags on 11/15/2009 by Shinmaru

LagHubbaWha

Oh snap. Interesting twist at the end. Now that Lag’s training is finally complete (lol @ the training being WAY shorter than the actual journey to get there), it seems as if Letter Bee will finally start getting a bit deeper into the bigger mysteries of the story. Better late than never.

It’s all happiness and smiles at the beginning of the episode as Lag and Niche make it through their mini-ordeal and get on their way to the Bee exam. However, once again a short talk with Connor provides an edge of uncertainty — when Lag brings up the subject of Gauche’s sister, Sylvette, Connor is clearly uncomfortable (although he says he will bring Lag to see her when Lag is finished with the exam), and when Lag briefly mentions Gauche’s mission to become Head Bee, Connor’s reaction is definitely, “Yeah . . . let’s not talk about that right now.”

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Sasameki Koto – 6

Posted in Sasameki Koto with tags on 11/14/2009 by Shinmaru

MiyakoTomoeMurasameBanana

Ayahi Takagaki’s delivery of, “A banana peel?!” had me cracking up so much. My oh my.

With each episode, I appreciate that much more how the comedy — silly as it is — keeps Murasame grounded in regards to her struggles with love of Ushio. It sounds strange, because the comedy is so over the top, but the exaggeration works to show Murasame as someone who is trying her damnedest to be proactive. She is completely silly and has no idea to how to approach Ushio, since it seems as if she is stuck squarely in the Friend Zone (albeit way up high in the Friend Zone), but nonetheless she’s tired of skulking in the shadows like a doof. If she has to slip on a few bananas on the way, then so be it.

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