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New Ameiro Paradox by Netsuke Isaku is out!!! My copy is in the mail and *knocks on wood* should arrive in a week or so. Along with the new Ten Count manga by Sakurai Rihito. I was disappointed by Ten Count volume 3 because it felt gratuitously smutty without enough of the psychological stuff I really enjoyed in the first two volumes, but I’m hoping volume 4 will be good.

Had a laugh listening to an episode of the Guardian Books Podcast because the music editor read Morissey’s new fiction book and it was awful. He called it the worst book he’s ever read. The sex scene he excerpts is….I don’t know if there’s a word for it, the entire scene is really rather repulsive, with an erect cock called a “bulbous salutation.” If you’re wondering, yes, Morissey is the singer Morissey.

So Kekkai Sensen actually ended. It was an okay ending, but I think they should’ve tightened it up to a normal episode length and aired it back with the rest of the episodes. I think it lost a lot by having such a long gap, and I thought it was flabby enough that they could’ve cut stuff out. But at least it didn’t suck. :P

Read some fanfic for the series, though sadly there doesn’t seem to be much. Am gravitating towards Klaus/Leo even though I don’t believe in the pairing at all. I think it’s because I stumbled upon an author, nekokoban, who writes very lovely stories with that pairing.

meminerunt omnia amantes is a longer fic in which Klaus is hit with a curse and there is a bit of angst. The author recently followed up with To Those With Love, which is set after the first fic and has Leo meeting Klaus’s family. Who are charming, if overwhelming. I hope there’s more in this universe. In an unrelated story, Climb Every Mountain, Leo wants to get it on with Klaus and is frustrated. It’s really adorable. Leo’s attempts to get advice and the unwanted advice he does get are just awesome.

Also got into Wincest. I figured I’d dive in one of these days, just hadn’t gotten around to it. Lots of crap, of course. What is killing me is all the alpha/omega fics. They are everywhere in all fandoms, so you hit them constantly. I’ve read a bunch, a handful were actually good* (or at least decent), but a lot of it was just too….icky? I hate the biological determinism and don’t see the point. The Wincest ones I do like tend to be set when they are younger, back when they are with their dad (who, according to fandom, was a terrible father. Is this canon?). So much teenage angst! So much incest angst! With demons, etc. thrown in! Lovely, lovely stuff.

So far my favorite (though a WIP) is Brothers by Sera_Necto23. It’s really fucked up and I assume the characters are nothing like canon, but the author really puts together a world and a dynamic that just works. Also, very dirty. And angsty.

*One “good” alpha/omega fic I came across is a Free! Sousuke/Haru one called Boundary Waters. It’s one where the alpha/omega dynamic comes about from some kind of attack in a war or something. Haru’s rage at the crappiness of a world gone bad and he having drawn the short straw is very well portrayed.

Another Free! Sousuke/Haru fic I thought was very well done was another AU, Artist, Imitate Thyself by orphan_account. Haru is an art student who likes sex very much. He hooks up with Sousuke and continues on as AWB (acquaintances with benefits). It gets serious and quite a bit angsty.
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I was itching to watch something so I finally bothered to watch the rest of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.

I’m glad I put off watching the rest because I could watch the stuff with Tsubaki without wanting to hurl something at the screen. My hate for her has calmed down, now I just want her to not be on the screen. :P

The melodrama was…a bit much. The best parts were naturally the parts to do with the music, especially the performances. Lovely, lovely bits, and seeing Kousei grow was great. Wish the rest of it was toned down and more was devoted to everything to do with music. Ah well. Overall, I enjoyed the series once the abuse of the beginning went away.

spoiler-ish thoughts )
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I was in a Japanese grocery store and was caught up by the music they were playing. Really old j-pop, apparently all from anime. One of the ones they were playing was My Will by Dream, the first Inuyasha ending song. I did a search by the lyrics of the chorus and “anime ending” and hit the jackpot. Man, what a nice song! I gotta remember it next time I go to karaoke.

Aaah, I love FF7 WIPs to get sucked into: Off the Line by seam is an AU in which Cloud the trooper is given a VR machine to help with insomnia and starts playing the popular MMORG Terra Online. He ends up making a splash. Hard to explain, but it’s 38 chapters and going strong, and I really want to know what happens soon.

Speaking of FF7 WIPs…Green Dreams by I-Mushi is being updated! It got updated I think once last year, and another chapter just went up the other day!
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I saw the new episode of Shigatsu wa kimi no uso and kinda wished I didn’t. I already want to watch the next episode! I still don’t like Kaori’s interactions with Kousei because I just am put off by her so much, but I am looking forward to what comes next. So exciting!!

I also skimmed through the new episode of Aldnoah Zero after reading some posts on it. I love the “fuck Slain” meme! That kid is so irritating, I don’t think I can ever watch the show in a normal way. I always have to fast forward when he’s on screen, so the ending of the previous episode made me want to scream. I still wish he’d just die (in an appropriately horrible manner), but it’s a nice feeling to know that many people feel the same as me. As always, the music in this show is great.

The new episode of Kuroko no Basket felt really choppy to me. Even the commercial breaks are choppy and odd. Also, high school Haizaki looked so unlike middle school Haizaki it made me very sad. He’s become very unattractive. The Seirin team interview was pretty fun, though. Especially Kagami and Aomine all recognizing their rivalry with each other.

I’ve also started rewatching the live action version of Adachi Mitsuru’s H2. Ahh, I like this show. While I think some of the comedy does not work in live action (or at least the way Japanese programs like to do “comedy”) I do like the actors who play Hiro and Noda. They are such a great combo. On the other hand, I’d forgotten how much of a turn off Hikari is. I don’t know why, but she rubs me the wrong way. I’m wondering if it’s the actress. I haven’t read the manga in so long (lent it to a friend years ago…) so I can’t remember how she was in it.
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Oh my, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. I got a new job last year, and it just ruined the second half of it. It’s amazing how stressful things have been. I guess I was complacent in my old job, but now I’m doing new things and it’s kinda crazy. In any case, I will try to post more if only to document my fandom obsessions.

It’s depressing when your RL friends don’t share the same fandoms. :P

In any case, right this minute I’m obsessed with reading Free! fanfics. I finally caught up with the second season and had to go look for fics to see how people dealt with all that fan service. It looks like Makoto/Haru and Rei/Nagisa are super popular, which is to be expected. The one pairing I’m surprised to see (but really shouldn’t be) is Rin/Ai. Since I found Ai’s character rather blah, I haven’t read any fics with that pairing. They’ve been fine as secondary pairings, though. I don’t think I could read primarily Rei/Nagisa. They are both characters I think of as spices. A little is good, too much is…too much. Especially since they both seem so…flaming. Even in that anime, they seem spectacularly so.

So, the pairing I’ve mostly read is Makoto/Haru. It’s the one that I like the best and found the most natural. My favorite fics so far:

How to Train Your Human by nezumiprefersdanielleovershakespeare, a merman/fireman AU (there are a lot of mermen AUs in this fandom, but then….fanservice ending themes will do that) that is just plain awesome. Haru is a merman who has been caught and experimented upon until he is rescued by Makoto the fireman. It’s a long, meaty, hilarious, sweet story. The science is utterly ridiculous, the twists and turns are also ridiculous, the angst buttons are pushed pretty darn hard at times, but the core of it is just pure awesome. Haru as alien trying to understand humans is pure comedy gold, and the rest of the cast as Makoto’s friends who help him out are great.

How to Read Your Best Friend by themorninglark is a MakoHaru is so sweet it teeters on saccharine, but it amazingly stays on the right side. It’s a how they get together fic. Haru is so dorky and Makoto is the perfect best friends from forever. Short and sweet. Nagisa plays the catalyst in just the way I like him used.

sometimes i think the stupidest things by sparklecringe is another how they get together fic, but this one is longer and way more explicit. Also features dorky Haru and Makoto as the perfect best friend. Nagisa really shines in this one, even though…just…so…flaming. But the way he helps the two out as they flail into the relationship they were meant to have is great.

In a change of pace, I really liked this short Sousuke/Haru fic: 1.34% Au by lonelyantics. It’s a post-series fic that is short and fun. I don’t really like Sousuke in the anime, but I kinda like this version and how he interacts with Haru.

There are more fics I like, I’ll try to post on them soon (before I forget about them).

***

For Fall 2014 anime, I ended up watching Mushishi Zoku and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. I thought this second half of the second season of Mushishi a bit weak. There were a bunch I was very meh about, while there seemed to be more depressing ones. I prefer poignant, rather than depressing.

I struggled with Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. I truly disliked how the anime was portraying how Kaori, Tsubaki and Ryouta bullied Kousei and minimized his trauma. But I kept watching because 1) classical music and b) pretty. Luckily, Kousei’s had a breakthrough so I think I’ll be able to enjoy this anime more. It really is so pretty, and I love the rivals who have shown up. I want more of them and less of the other three, frankly. (Especially Kaori. Ugh. She has shades of manic pixy dream girl with the whole pall of death hanging over her and I can't really stand her.)

I think for Spring 2015 I’m really only going to watch Kuroko no Basket season 3. The rest of the lineup has looked quite unappealing so far.

***

I came across two lovely piano covers by fireteamtorch piano on youtube:

A/Z, the ending from Aldnoah Zero
Rage On, the opening from the Free!

I like both of the original songs, but the piano versions are so pretty.

***

Some random AMVs:

Natsume Yuujinchou

Something Beautiful. Video quality sucks, but the song is pretty and appropriate.

Nyanko Sensei is a MEAN KITTY!. Hilarious.

Echo. Every clip of sad child Natsume set to an appropriately sad song.

Summer Wars

The OZ Network. The Social Network trailer audio done with Summer Wars video.

i'm alive!

Sep. 7th, 2014 08:37 pm
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Wow, episode 11+12 of Mushishi was pretty brutal. There's something awful about hollowness, and Kumado's hollowness was so sad. I am so looking forward to more Mushishi next month!

Speaking of Mushishi, I don't think I've seen much in the way of fic. One I found and liked was Watahaki, Watahiko by shadowfire125, a companion fic to season 1 episode 21. It's just a lovely little thing.

I'm super behind on this season's anime. Not sure if I'm ever going to catch up. :P
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I’ve been watching the first several episodes of a bunch of the new summer anime. There are a couple I am enjoying, a couple which are questionable, and a bunch that are just flat out nos.

First, the stuff I’m not going to keep watching:

Tokyo Ghoul: Modern-day horror where there are people-eating ghouls who live among people. The main character is a normal college student who is attacked by a ghoul and gets the ghoul’s internal organs transplanted into him, turning him into a sort of ghoul. This is pretty bloody. It’s also dark. And the MC is a bit whiny. Sooo not for me.

Argevollen: War fought with mecha. I was hoping it’d be more like 083, with low-level but competent soldiers doing their jobs. But no, the MC is a hot-headed idiot who saves the magically amazing mecha and the young female “engineer” by disobeying orders. The rest of the soldiers seem decent, too bad the MC is cliched in the worst way.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun: Shoujo manga about a girl who fails at confessing to her crush and is instead recruited into helping him with his (best-selling) shoujo manga. The parts about working on the manga are pretty funny and a lot of fun, but the girl is *so* irritating. She has these internal freak outs that are really unnecessary and had me rolling my eyes, especially since it happened multiple times! I don’t think I can make myself watch episode 2 to see if she gets any better because she really was bad.

The stuff I’m not sure about:

DRAMAtical Murder: Sci-fi thriller(?) based on a BL game, by the people who did Togainu no chi. Not sure why I'm watching it, but 2 episodes in it’s pretty harmless. The little robot helpers everyone carries are adorable and the costumes are just plain *odd*. I didn't watch Togainu no chi, but I assume it won’t go down one of the bad ends?

Aldnoah Zero: Another mecha story, but this time very futuristic sci-fi. Very grand but ridiculous premise. The bad guys are like a parody of badness, and Earth is so seriously outmatched it seems like the enemy should win in 1 second. Seriously, it’s that unbalanced. But the MCs don’t completely irritate me (though I don’t really buy them as people) so I’ll give it a few more episodes to see if it pans out.

The stuff I am definitely watching:

Love Stage!!: BL anime based on the manga by Eiki Eiki. Did not read the manga, but I really enjoyed the first episode. It’s cute, it’s fun, it’s sparkly. I am wishing for another season of one of Nakamura Shungiku’s mangas, though. This reminds me a bit of them.

Free!! Eternal Summer: Eye candy swimmer guys continue to be eye candy. *shrugs* What more is there to say? I like the characters! Even Rin now that he’s calmed down (though his sidekick is still kinda annoying—do fans fall for the bait and slash them? I hope not, such a boring pairing). I just hope the new antagonist isn’t too much of an ass.

I still haven’t watched Sword Art Online II. I want a couple more episodes out before I jump in, it’s probably starting slow.

Other stuff I watched that’s not from this new season:

Gin no Saji season 2: LOVE LOVE LOVE. Saw it all in one day. I want more! God, I love this anime. The dog who is better at learning than Tokiwa! The teachers getting all into building the race course! The impromptu food fests! The girls talking amongst themselves! All the serious stuff was very well done as well, of course. Man, Hachiken’s father is *such* an ass. No wonder both his sons ran off. Mikage’s storyline was very interesting. She’s still a bit of a bland character, but her development (and Hachiken’s along with hers) was nice.

What has been distracting is realizing that Hachiken is voiced by Kise's voice actor from Kuroko no Basuke. They even share how they end their sentences with "su"!

Mushishi: Watched season 1 before season 2 started. I think about half the episodes are great, the other half were meh. The great ones were truly superb and I've rewatched them a number of times. Watched season 2 as it aired, and look forward to the rest of season 2 in the fall.
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Good things happened last week:

1. My deadline is over! Still lots of work, but the big horrible soul-sucking deadline has passed.
2. The order I’d given up for dead showed up! It turns out I’d accidentally selected surface mail instead of air mail, thus it took forever to get here. Will get into the contents later, but seeing it appear was a very joyous moment.
3. The Natsume Yuujinchou OVA arrived! More Natsume! So pretty! The story was just ok (tho the extra story with Nyanko-sensei and the little kids was pretty funny), but I was so happy to see anything new (in such good quality) I'm not too unhappy. Of course, now I want *more*…New TV season, please.
4. I watched the lantern scene in Tangled in 3D at home and was actually pretty impressed. I own a TV and Blu-ray player that happen to do 3D (I bought them for other things and the 3D was completely superfluous to me) and finally unpacked the glasses to try it out after watching the entire movie in 2D. Naturally not as impressive as in the theatre (I want a bigger screen!) but still quite lovely.

Quick comments on the manga:

Super Lovers 6...I still don’t get Haru or Ren and because of that I just wish they’d get it on. I like it when there's more brotherly fun and affection but the angst and confusion between them seem quite silly to me.

Ikasama Memory 2…Wow, I knew that the entire volume wasn’t about the main couple, but I didn’t expect their part to be less than half. The scene when they get together is so sweet, but…I wanted more! I didn’t dislike the second couple, but I am disappointed. There should’ve been another chapter, at least!

I laughed while reading: I Like Big Trucks And I Cannot Lie: Cars, Trucks, And The Lady Brain
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Have not been reading much lately. I think I’m too sad from losing an order (yeah, I’ve given up on it). I have, however, been watching anime. Started up Cross Game again, which I only watched one episode of back when it was airing. I figured I had to give it more than one episode (having just learned my lesson with Natsume Yuujinchou) and naturally got hooked. The bad thing with sports anime is that the games can go on for a number of episodes so I stopped at episode 24, right before the big game with that team that basically becomes their rival. Will watch more when I have more time to devote to it. (Work is a bit nuts now.)

Also began watching some of the new stuff.

Noragami is pretty and the concept is fun (Japanese god grants wishes for 5 yen each so that he can one day build his own shrine!) but man the characters aren’t that likable. And Yato’s voice is by Natsume’s seiyuu and it just throws me off.

Also watched two episodes of Witch Craft Works, which switches genders in the lady-in-distress saved by warrior/magician/whatever trope. The lady is a normal high school boy, and the witch is a very large breasted, stoic classmate. The enemy is…bizarre and not very threatening (so far). No clue why the boy is so prized, hopefully will find out soon (I hate it when they drag out the big secret, it always ends up being a let down). I like that the boy will not be totally useless as it seems he will learn magic (boys can do magic? All the witches so far have been female). But his protector? Is seriously badass when she’s doing the protecting.

Have downloaded the new episodes of Gin no Sagi but haven’t watched it. Looking forward to it, tho!

I managed to watch to the end of Yuushibu*, a little anime about a guy who’d been training to be a hero who loses his dreams when the demon lord is defeated. He instead works as a sales clerk at a (magic) appliance store. His life is complicated when the (defeated) demon lord’s daughter shows up as a new employee, and antics ensue. It’s very fan-servicey in that the women’s uniforms are skimpy and many of the women are very well-endowed. And bounce. Lots of very gratuitous shots of boobs and butts. But I kept watching because I liked the characters. The guy is not a perv, the demon lord’s daughter is incredibly enthusiastic (even though her sales technique *sucks*), and everyone else who are supposed to be nice are just nice people. The climax is suitably ridiculous yet serious (the way this anime takes the job so seriously reminds me of Hataraku Maou-sama), so I was actually very pleased with this anime.

Haven't looked into all the anime being aired now, will have to sit down for a good look soon. Just not now, because I need to sleep. :P

*Short for “Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita.” which translates to “I Couldn’t Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job.” Yeah, ridiculously long name. Wish this trend would DIE soon. :P
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Via [profile] ariss_tenoh, new Fafner to come out Autumn 2014. See the PV here). It's a bit...dour. :P

So, the Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi ~Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai~ movie is coming out in March 2014 (official site with PV here). As I haven’t been reading this series I didn’t realize there were already FOUR books out! I really can’t get myself to care enough to read the book(s) or watch the movie. Can anyone highly recommend this?

In Sekai Ichi news I do care about, the blu ray box set of the two tv seasons is coming out in March as well (see the announcement on the official site). Now this I want. I already ordered the Natsume Yuujincho OVA, I don’t think I can afford to get this 38,000 yen box, but…how can I not? If I get a tax refund maybe I'll spend it on this...

Speaking of the Nasume OVA, Amazon Japan has a different shipping cost for international orders? I was expecting minimum 2,500 yen EMS shipping, but there was something called "Amazon priority" that was 800 yen per order (plus the per item cost). So much more affordable! Is this a trackable shipping method? If it is, I am tempted to go with Amazon instead of honto.jp because my order from November still hasn’t come. ;_;

I am on a Natsume withdrawal. Finished it all (the final arc in the fourth season was depressing as hell, and annoying because of the stupid selfish girl who grew up to be a stupid selfish teen who should’ve just been *drowned* to put her and everyone else out of their misery) and need more. I found one drama cd bit that was an extra on a DVD (a hilarious story of a sick Natori and his shiki who want to make him “nabe yaki don don” XDXD) but nothing else. I think there are more drama CDs, no? Must….find….

I bought a pint of seasonal peppermint gelato made by a local company. It has bits of peppermint candy in it and it is oh-so-good. I was worried I was too late as it is after Christmas, but they still had it in stock! ♥
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What I just ordered: Natsume Isaku Fan Book

There are manga bits from Ameiro Paradox and Doushiyoumonaikeredo and Tightrope!! Plus extra pics! (at least according to the Amazon blurb). The only bad thing is that the estimated time to shipping is 7 to 21 days, and lately airmail from honto has taken many weeks. It used to take 10 days, but my last order that shipped three weeks ago still hasn’t arrived!! I want my copy of Ikasama Memory 2. ;_;

Speaking of Natsume, I’ve become completely addicted to Natsume Yuujinchou. The first two episodes really didn’t do much for me, but I kept going because the praises were so high. I’m sooo glad I did. Yes, there are gaps in logic and inconsistencies. But that’s not the point of this series. I am in season 4 and slowing down on the watching because I don’t want it to end. I am so ordering the OVA coming out next year. XD; I looked for fanfic to help with the addiction, but it seems to be a pretty sparse fandom.

I want to own the discs, but there is no Blu-Ray version for the first season in English. I’m tempted by the Japanese box set of the first two seasons.

One thing that is driving me crazy--"Natsume" sounds like a first name, so when someone (usually the Fujiwaras) calls him "Takashi" it bothers me since I think of Natsume as his first name and Natsume is a much nicer name than Takashi. :P
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Still watching anime.

First off, am loving Gingitsune. It’s a heart-warming slice-of-life story about a girl who is the heir to a shrine and thus can see the heralds that serve at shrines. Her herald is Gintaro (voiced by Miki XD), his partner ditched a long time ago. As I’ve read in reviews online, this anime is not for the cynical. It wears its heart on its sleeve and that heart is warm and fuzzy. Sometimes it’s a bit too warm and fuzzy, but I like the characters enough that I’m willing to go along for the ride. The main girl is balanced by a boy who is also an heir to a shrine but is very closed-off. He comes to live with the girl and her father along with one the heralds from his shrine. His herald is such a little brat, but oh man have I warmed to the little thing. Immature and loud, but loves very fiercely. ^^;

I’ve also caught up with Kuroko no Basket. I fall in and out of sports manga because the games tend to go on *forever*. Watched the DVD extra episode 22.5 about the intermediate school years before most of the Generation of Miracles (my god that name is so stupid, especially when the GoM guys use the term themselves) became bastards and it was so adorable.

I started looking for fics on AO3, but the slashy stuff wasn’t that good (and I'm not sure I believe in most of the pairings) and the gen stuff was few and far between. I did find one Aomine/Kuroko fic that made me laugh and laugh, Declarations of Love in a Time of Social Media by Lys ap Adin. As far as I can tell (I’ve only watched the anime, haven’t read any of the manga) it’s a bit OOC on a lot of the characters, but the tweets are hilarious. Kise and Momoi are the best, and the ending is adorable. An excerpt:

“Aomine Daiki @awesomine

@statsuki what do you mean this wasnt what you had in mind?

Momoi Satsuki @statsuki

DAI-CHAN NO. #DaiChanNo

Aomine Daiki @awesomine

well fuck”

Another adorable and short drabble I came across was Under the Sea by Kaelin. It tickled me because it’s a mermaid parody with Aomine as a crab/lobster/something with claws and Midorima as a flounder. So cute!

I need to spend some quality looking for fics, but right now I totally can’t. Work and the holidays gets in the way of fandom… *sighs*

I also started watching Natsume Yuujinchou because someone who really liked Gingitsune kept mentioning NY and how awesome it was. I saw the first two episodes and I’m okay with it. I will keep watching to see if it’ll suck me in.

In non-anime things, I binge-listened to Welcome to Night Vale, a podcast about a surreal place called Night Vale. I can’t even begin to describe the show, but it seems to be pretty popular (in podcast circles) because I’ve heard about it on a number of different podcasts. The first time I heard of it was on the Grammar Girl podcast when she talked about the use of the negative statement that actually makes come to the very opposite conclusion.

Need to get to work, so will just post this thing even though I have more "things I'm into right now." :P
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I've been living elsewhere for the last two months, and this month the place I'm staying at doesn't have an internet connection. Holy crap it sucks. I do have a my phone, but it doesn't make up for not being able to connect with my computer and iPad (esp since my carrier hasn't upgraded to LTE here yet). GAH. It's made keeping up with everything so much harder, but especially anime and LJ. *sighs* In any case, my anime thoughts...

I caught up with Free! this week and I gotta say...so pretty! I was surprised to find myself sorta shipping Makoto/Haruka since the Rin/Haruka thing seemed inevitable in the beginning, but I took a quick look at FF.net and saw that others saw the same thing. I look forward to the next race! The best thing about anime with competitions is just how exciting they can make whatever competition being depicted.

I am a couple of weeks behind Gin no Sagi but have grown to like it quite a bit. I realized that Hachiken's voice grates on me, which makes it hard for me to like him (he sounds waaay more whiny because of that voice), but he really tries hard. I can appreciate that. Mikage is still such a bland character. I don't dislike her, but she doesn't have anything interesting or quirky about her. Her family is 1000 times more interesting, frankly. The glimpse into animal husbandry is fascinating, as well. I am such a city slicker, I totally understood Hachiken's freak outs (even as I hated his voice). :P

Still watching Hakkenden. I'm so glad Shinobu's arc is over because it completely bored me. They really took away his quirks and made him a tiresome victim. I assume it's in the "let's make this shit up" stage since it's past the manga now, so it'll be interesting to see where they take it. I hope the end is not lame.

Majestic Prince has lost me a bit. I am surprised at where they are taking it, I'm hoping to get sucked back in for the finale.

I keep meaning to write about the BL novels I've been reading lately, but not having internet connection makes me so much less likely to crack open my laptop.
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OK, I'm shallow. I'm enjoying Free! a lot. It's silly and very cliched, but the addition of the last major member of the cast (going from the OP and ED) was a lot of fun. And it's so pretty!

I also watched the first two episodes of Gin no Sagi, the anime adapted from the manga by the artist of FMA, about a nerdy kid from Sapporo attending an agricultural high school just because it's a boarding school. Haven't learned much of his backstory yet, but it's pretty amusing to see the city boy learn the joys of farming and animal husbandry. Oh my, I couldn't do it. I wish he wasn't so fixated on the cute girl because his group members are way more interesting to me, but I'm along for the ride (for now).

I also watched most of the first episode of Makai Ouji, but it didn't do much for me. The main character has a very high opinion of himself, which right now is more irritating than, say, amusing right now. I might try another episode to see if it gets any better. I'm hoping he gets some humility knocked into him by the demons and he becomes less of an ass. *shrugs* Pretty demons and fighting! Random Biblical characters invoked! British nobility! I'm not against the concept, just the main character.

Majestic Prince is still going strong. I really like this series, and I really enjoy the mecha fight scenes. I am still not that fond of the new pilot (as well as the boy-crazy one), but I think my fondness of the main character is overriding the things I don't like. Also, the narrative is interesting. Not sure where it's going...
insaneneko: (Default)
Ugh. I made some dry-rub chicken to take for lunch this week and had the most awful experience. Luckily the food turned out fine (despite some major mishaps along the way). First, I mistakenly used 1-1/2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper instead of chili powder and had to carefully scoop out most of it (I had other spices and things already in the bowl). I then sloshed the brining liquid around and spilled it all over the place, including on my iPhone which I was using to read the recipe. I don't get totally freaked out about raw chicken contamination, but I still cleaned everything that got splashed pretty well. Then I spilled a bunch of the cooked chicken juices all over the place, including on my clothing, so I got to clean greasy liquid from the floors/counters AND my clothes (as well as the dishes and utensils). The entire time I'm dying from the heat and humidity and I just want to flop over somewhere, but the only cool place is sitting on a pretty uncomfortable chair out on the balcony to catch the breeze (no AC in my house). I ate a thigh for lunch, tho, and it was good. I don't know what I would've done if I'd gone through all that and had crap food at the end. ^^;

Last night I saw Pacific Rim, which was about as fun as I thought it'd be. Giant robots battling giant monsters! Very, very anime-influenced, also very, very shallow and cliched, and with lots of stupid science. But it was fun!! The only thing I really disliked was the dynamic of the two main males and the main female. Wish she wasn't so…vulnerable. I understand that her backstory does support her being the way she is to some extent, but it was annoying. However, the Japanese spoken not only by the Japanese actress but by Idris Elba and by…er…the other main male amused me (also, why does the other guy even speak Japanese? I can understand Idris Elba's character speaking it due to his backstory). I definitely enjoyed this more than Monsters University (it wasn't bad, it just wasn't…awesome? Too cliched in a way I didn't love) and possibly as much as Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing (I liked the B&W modern updated setting, and the actress playing Beatrice was wonderful--plus Nathan Fillion was as funny as all the reviews said).

Saw the second episode of Free!, and am still confused as to what this anime is going to be like. I enjoyed the "build the club/team" thing in this episode, though. I almost always do like club/team-building (H2, Chihayafuru, Hikago, to name a few). And it continues to be pretty. We even get a female proxy ogling the half-naked men for the audience.
insaneneko: (Default)
I saw the first episode of Free! and am very confused. It's eye-candy for fujoshi, with boys who like to swim and thus are often shirtless. Very pretty art, not much of a premise. There's a grumpy guy, an asshole guy, a pretty young guy, and a nice guy (TM) who were all on a swim team when they were young. They meet again in high school and....not sure what's going to happen. Don't dislike it, am just puzzled as to the point of it.

Also saw the new Hakkenden. Pretty!! It felt a bit disjointed, though, and they've started to change things from the manga. I don't get why they made the changes, and I hope it doesn't jump the shark since I assume they will have to make up some ending for the anime.

As for spring anime, I saw the end of Hataraku Maou-sama! and Karneval. Hataraku Maou-sama! was pretty awesome, though...spoilerish grumble ) Karneval was a non-ending! It would be so lame if there is no second season. I have to catch up on the other anime from the spring...I'm a bunch of episodes behind on them.

I am caught up on Majestic Prince, but that one is continuing. I am a bit meh on the new character, who is one of those Jekyll and Hyde types. *sighs* Stick with the original five (and kill off the annoying big-boob girl), and I'd be overjoyed.
insaneneko: (Default)
I've been sucked into Naruto fanfic goodness, so no post any time soon (my brain has been captured by fandom--been rereading the good ones while looking for new ones). Not only have I found some really engaging fanfics in English, I ventured back into Japanese fansites and have found a treasure trove of awesome. Sadly, in both English and Japanese there are way too many WIPs that may not ever be completed (judging from how long it's been since the last update). ;_;

I've been keeping up with most of the anime I mentioned in my previous post, but the ones I really like right now are Hataraku Maou-sama! and Majestic Prince. I'm surprised at how much I really really like the latter. It really has a great mix of humor, action, sci-fi, big mech, dislocated teens (who aren't angsty!!!), and sweetness. The kids are adorable. Arata Kantagari is starting to try my patience. Kannagi's back story was *ridiculous* and makes me want him and the other dude to just die and go away. GAH.

In other anime news, I just realized the Blu-ray of Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope) is out and that Tsuritama will be coming out in a couple of months. They are some of the best anime I saw last year and are definitely going on my to-buy list. I highly recommend both to almost anyone. ♥♥♥

Okay, back to reading...
insaneneko: (Default)
Wow, it's been a while. LJ feels really dead and it doesn't make me want to post much, sadly. But I figure I'll just do a mega-post on stuff I've been up to. First off, I've been watching a lot of anime. The stuff I've watched from this season:

Suisei no Gargantia: Soldier in a war with aliens ends up on a planet with much lower tech level with his amusing AI-equipped mecha, and has to learn to cope with culture shock and having the freedom to choose what to do with himself. I have really enjoyed seeing the poor soldier (who came from a society with no money or much freedom--for him, at least) learn to navigate the new world he's found himself in without tons of the shortcuts anime/sf can take in a first-contact situation, but it looks like the story will take a more serious turn now.

Valvrave the Liberator: Total crack giant mecha show which I initially called the "vampire" show. I thought it'd be more serious and more angsty than it's turned out to be. Glad the angst is missing, hope it keeps going this way. It turns the normal high school student who gets into the cockpit of the Valvrave into something beyond human, but the focus of the show is on the wider student body (and the wider political situation--which reminds me of various Gundam series) at this time. It's a ridiculous story that utterly relishes in its ridiculousness (the school declares political independence at one point), but the characters are fun to watch. Also, I mock the uniform of the hot-shot military every op and ed sequence. Pretty, but stupid-looking.

Majestic Prince: The third giant mecha show I'm watching, which I thought was going to be crack but is actually pretty serious. And charming. It's about a five-member team in a military academy who have excellent skills individually but can't put it together as a team. They are selected as pilots for five shiny new mecha and manage to win against the enemy (mysterious aliens) for the first time. They are caricatures, yes, but adorable ones. I wish the boy-crazy, big-busted girl didn't mumble, but otherwise am very happy with bunch. A nice combo of silly and serious, this show makes me smile.

Arata Kantagari: A normal boy in modern-day Japan exchanges places with a boy in a fantasyland and has to go on an adventure and conquer his personal demons (he has issues with trust and self-confidence from being badly bullied, as well as the typical normal kid needs to step up thing), from a manga by Watase Yuu. Nothing amazing about this one, but I've grown to like it. I like the main kid and his companions a lot. The angst coming from the villian(?) in the last episode made me roll my eyes, but whatever. I'm watching for the kid (and his counterpart in Japan who is a lot more happy-go-lucky) do his thing, not the big angst-fest from that aforementioned last episode. Or if I'm going to see angst, I'd rather see the main character's angst. I just care more about him.

Karneval: Hm, what to say about this? It's set in an early(?) 20th century setting but with some high tech thrown in. There's a secret group (I can't rememeber the name of) making monsters and a government group called Circus that is trying to combat the secret group. Members of Circus have access to powers which seem to be extremely advanced tech (but looks like magic), and are very...showy. They actually operate a circus, perhaps as a cover? Main character 1 is a cute-looking kid who initially irritated me a lot. He spoke haltingly, was very naive, and was very focused on finding a particular person--he kept saying the person's name at random times. GAH. He's widened his horizons a bit more, so my irritation has mostly gone away. Main character 2 has an angsty past and has tried to be cold-hearted in order to get by in the world. When he meets up with MC #1 he ends up rescuing him despite his head telling him BAD IDEA NOT WORTH IT and gets caught up with the two opposing groups. I liked him from the beginning and like him even more now. The shirt he wears under his coat baffles me, but other than that I'm all good. Dunno what's up with secret group, I just hope they don't turn out lame.

Hataraku Maou-sama!: I like this one a lot. A LOT. Demons and humans were fighting in another world, and the Demon Lord (the maou) escapes through a gate to avoid losing to the Hero. He and his general end up in modern-day Japan without their magic and their demon forms. They look like young human males. They have to make it in this world and somehow figure out a way back to their world. They rent a ratty apartment and the Demon Lord Maou (he actually takes the last name Maou) gets a job at McRonald's while his general is his nagging housewife who searches for a way to get their magic back. Maou is a nice guy and eminently likeable. The Hero shows up, having followed him to KILL HIM. She's also set up a life in Japan, and they snipe a lot. The comedy is PURE GOLD (esp the general's nagging wife routine, it never fails to be hilarious). The action is fun to watch. Trouble follows them from their world, naturally. It'll be interesting to see how things go.

I also finally watched the rest of Zetsuen no Tempest from the winter season. Holy crap, I like this series. It got really slow in the middle, so I stopped when the series took a break. But when I picked it back up I couldn't stop. It's over the top, from the battle for civilization to the frequent references to Hamlet and The Tempest, but it carries everything through to the end in a way that makes sense. Above all, though, I came to care for the characters. I didn't dislike any of them, really, but the main four characters were really fabulous. I'm happy to say the two female teenagers were awesome as well. This is one of the few series where I cherish the flashbacks the most. So, so great to see the two main guys interacting with each other and the girl who was the sister to one and girlfriend to the other. It's also beautiful to look at and with a very appropriately lush soundtrack. So, so pretty. I felt so satisfied when I got to the end, and I immediately went back and watched all of my favorite flashback sequences.


Huh. I wrote more than I thought I would. I'll leave the books and other things I've been consuming for another post.
insaneneko: (Default)
So. Hakkenden. I've seen the latest (ep 4) and so far am enjoying it. It's very faithful to the manga. Specifically… )

In the end, though, I can't help but still feel anxious. Where is this anime heading? GAH.

Unrelatedly, what a sweet wedding article. The last paragraph is so lovely. ♥
insaneneko: (Default)
Somehow or another I ended up at rachelmanija's post on the Saikano manga. God, brings back memories of bleak and depressing. My reaction? I was delighted that the story actually followed through and didn't soften the blow of the ending. XD;

I've been watching quite a bit of anime lately.

Chihayafuru, an adaptation of a josei manga that in some ways really reminds me of Hikaru no Go but with karuta instead of go (and without any ghosts). Beautiful animation, pretty music, a card game turned into a sports manga. The whole bit where they try to assemble a karuta club at school? Made me think of Hikago and H2. Unorthodox recruiting methods which include lots of harassing until they give in! (OK, not really, but some people are…driven.)

Oreshura (Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru), a harem anime (from a manga, I think?) about a high school guy who is not interested in romance. He's blackmailed into being the pretend boyfriend of a gorgeous girl who is sick of all the attention. There's his childhood friend who likes him but is totally unable to confess, which he's waaay too dense to pick up, who gets sucked into a club with guy and fake-gf. Not sure where this is going. Who is the guy supposed to end up with? From the (really, really annoying) OP there will be four girls, I'm hoping I don't dislike the others. I haven't watched/read a harem storyline in quite a while so I'm hoping I won't hate this.

Sword Art Online (SAO)…I gotta say, the ending was meh. Worth watching for some things, but so not for others. the worst part )

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