Archive for January, 2010

Ookamikakushi – 4

Posted in Ookamikakushi with tags , on 01/30/2010 by Shinmaru

The bits and pieces of weirdness are starting to seep through the cracks more with each episode of Ookamikakushi.

This disease (for lack of a better word) that Issei and others in the village seem to have is at the forefront of everything at the moment. In just about every situation we have seen the telltale symptoms of whatever this is (most notably the glowing red eyes), the character in question was close to getting his or her freak on, or perhaps just really horny. But I don’t think sexual excitement is the stimulus for the symptoms; rather, it seems pretty clear that it is the reverse — the disease itself causes a raging case of boner.

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Durarara!! – 4

Posted in Durarara!! with tags on 01/29/2010 by Shinmaru

There’s a certain magic and romance to the world on the other side.

Shinra Kishitani has known and lived with Celty Sturluson, the Dullahan, for 20 years. Yet in all that time, his sense of fascination with her — physical, philosophical, spiritual and whatever else — has not diminished at all. He’s interested in her in a scientific sense, but there’s another level to his questions such as his query about how she sees the world: Shinra wants to know not only how Celty sees the world (as in, how she is physically capable of seeing things without eyes, optic nerves, a brain, etc.), but also how she sees the world (as in, how does the way she — a Dullahan, a mythical creature — takes in and evaluates the world differ from the way he — a human — takes in and evaluates the world).

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Planetes – Hachimaki is the Michael Jordan of astronauts. No, really.

Posted in Planetes, Random Shit with tags , , on 01/27/2010 by Shinmaru

No Kimi ni Todoke post from me this week because ep16 is 95 percent recap, and I’m sure someone like Kabitzin will do a better job than me of conveying what a WTF recap episode it is.

Instead I’d like to focus a bit on Planetes, which I finished recently and loved, and in particular on the stretch of Hachimaki’s character development from eps 16-21, because it relates in an interesting way to some books I have been reading recently. Obviously there will be Planetes spoilers in this post, so read with caution.

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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 41

Posted in Fullmetal Alchemist on 01/25/2010 by Shinmaru

Man, I forgot how crazy this moment is. Every shounen hero needs his, “Holy shit, this should totally not be at all possible, but I’m going to overlook it because it’s crazy awesome” moment, and this is Ed’s (or among them, anyway). It’s not every day you pull a steel girder out of your midsection and seal the wound using the power of your soul. Mustang just had to make due with fire.

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Nodame Cantabile Finale – 2

Posted in Nodame Cantabile with tags on 01/25/2010 by Shinmaru

With this episode, I can actually feel the small shift toward the real end of Nodame Cantabile.

I didn’t really feel it in the first episode because the viewer is thrown right back into the story and gets reacquainted with everyone while everyone keeps charging ahead with their lives. But this episode says to me that the characters are nearly ready to take that next step in their lives, the one that takes them beyond the story of Nodame and into places of which the audience can only dream.

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Ookamikakushi – 3

Posted in Ookamikakushi with tags , on 01/23/2010 by Shinmaru

I think the ratio of crap to good is finally starting to swing toward good a bit more; in a few episodes, once Ookamikakushi gets deeper into the plot, I can see each new episode being pretty damn good. But for now there’s still this formula of “cheesy light on the outside, and disturbing dark on the inside” that falls too often on the cheesy lighthearted moments. Also, there’s a lot of random unintentional hilarity.

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Durarara!! – 3

Posted in Durarara!! with tags on 01/22/2010 by Shinmaru

Part of what makes Durarara!! — and this episode in particular — so exciting is the sense not just that anything can happen in this city, but also the fact that these events can flash by in one intense, violent instant, and in the next, there can be nothing save the dust of violence left in the wake of these forces of nature.

Digitalboy is spot on in his assessment of many of these characters as “larger than life . . . [with] a real enormity about them”. In fact, the brief skirmish between Izaya and Shizuo — and later between Shizuo and Simon — is exactly the type of instance he describes when he recalls the battles in Baccano! that come off as “clash[es] of the titans”. In an instant, they are there, battling in front of Mikado’s eyes, and he is simultaneously enthralled and frightened of three manic men doing things he could never dream of. And even when he does something a normal guy can do — get Anri the hell out of there, because she’s clearly as scared as he is — even the moment they share afterward is fleeting. Poor Mikado can only dip a toe into the vast pool of this world right now.

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Kimi ni Todoke – 15

Posted in Kimi ni Todoke with tags on 01/20/2010 by Shinmaru

So, when I wrote a couple of weeks back that I would love it if Kurumi morphed into a full-on delinquent, I was being tongue in cheek, but I didn’t expect this!

. . . Well, she’s not really a delinquent, but Kurumi’s transformation — appearance-wise, at least, although she’s sharper and more honest now, too — into a total badass gets 100 percent approval from me. Kurumi has that superstar quality, and it has been her destiny throughout the series to flaunt it like nobody’s business. I’m glad she has finally seen the light!

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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 40

Posted in Fullmetal Alchemist with tags on 01/19/2010 by Shinmaru

. . . I think I’ll just sit here and admire this for a few moments!

So, hey, my proclamation that some hard questions would actually be answered in this episode came to fruition this time around. Hooray! It feels a tad quick — although there might not have been enough material in the flashback to fill the entire episode — but I’m generally pleased with how it turned out since maybe a couple of relatively unessential scenes were cut at most. The important part is that everyone now knows when and how Hohenheim opened the Gate (even though he didn’t initiate it,  haha), where Father comes from (although nothing much about his grand plans) and how Xerxes went kablooey (TOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNY!!!!!!!!!!!).

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Nodame Cantabile Finale – 1

Posted in Nodame Cantabile with tags on 01/18/2010 by Shinmaru


I’m a recent entrant into the Nodame Cantabile fandom. I love the first season for being both funny and a good deal deeper than I expected it to be, and while the second season feels like a step back from that, it nonetheless retained a good portion of the charm that makes the first season so fun. So while I entered this episode a bit nervous about whether the series could climb back to the heights of the first season, and about how the manga apparently did not have such a great ending, that charm quickly took hold of me again.

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