April 27, 2005

Glass Mask 1

Filed under: Glass Mask — Ren @ 10:01 am
Glass Mask follows the life of 13 year old Maya, who lost her father due to an illness and whose mother works as live in help at a restaurant. Maya also helps out at the restaurant by doing deliveries. She always seems to have her head in the clouds and often gets harshly scolded by her mother or the owner of restaurant.

Maya adores movies and the performing arts; they are her passion. Even the other workers at the restaurant comment on how much Maya loves movies. Unfortunately, as she is often distracted when walking by the theatre or when seeing a movie on television, she ends up taking too long for deliveries and is then subject to some pretty brutal critcisms by her mother and the woman who runs the restaurant.

The animation style in Glass Mask is an older style. I’m sure they’re trying to stick close to the original series but I can’t really say as I haven’t seen it.

I was really taken in by Maya’s character. She’s a sweet girl who just loves what she loves, and will do anything for her passion. Unfortunately, being in love with the entertainment business isn’t exactly something that’s practical in the eyes of those around her. I really hurt for Maya as she sat in her home and had her mother say to her that she’s basically good for nothing.

When asked why she loves movies so much, Maya responds by saying that when a movie is on she forgets everything else and she is drawn in. She even forgets herself. “I am no longer the useless person that I am.”

It’s no wonder that Maya escapes from life through movies and theatre when she is constantly put down by the boss, treatly cruelly by the boss’s daughter, and told things like “Someone like you won’t be able to have a decent life.”

How many of us have had similar experiences? Even if not spoken to us out loud, often through the actions of others we receive similar messages that we are not good enough, or that we’ll never amount to anything. How many of us have also sought escape in one form or another? How many of us have ever wished that we were someone else?

I look forward to seeing Maya’s journey as an actress. My hope for her as a character is that by the end of the series she will come to see that she doesn’t have to pretend to be someone else to be a person of worth, but that it is because she is who she is that the characters she plays come to life.

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April 25, 2005

Kenshin Season 1

Filed under: Rurouni Kenshin — Ren @ 10:02 am

Ahh, an old classic. A series that any true anime fan should watch, right?

The first season of Kenshin give us an introduction to the main characters of the series. Himura Kenshin is a swordsman whose prowess and strength were unparalleled during the revolution. He slaughtered many in an effort to bring about change. Now he wanders from place to place, trying to *save* people with his reversed-bladed sword, instead of killing them. He ends up living at the Kamiya dojo with the assistant instructor, Kaoru. Eventually we also meet the spunky Yahiko, who becomes a student of Kaoru’s, and the ex-killer-for-hire Sanosuke.

As far as character development goes I think Kenshin has done an ok job of it in the first season, but it could be better. We know a little about the pasts of each of the major players. There has been nothing in-depth so far, which disappoints me a little. But since I know the series goes up to 95 eps, they still have plenty of time so I haven’t completely given up hope..

I was expecting a darker and more serious series, and at first I was a little disappointed by the comedic elements that permeated the majority of the episodes. Maybe this comes from having watched the prequel OAV first. Once I got over my initial disappointment I really began to enjoy the silly side of the show, and I have to admit I giggle profusely every time Kenshin goes “oro.”

The story itself is episodic, with nothing tying all the events together in a grander story arc. The main theme seems to be that everyone wants to kill Kenshin because he’s the “battousai” and they hate the imperialists.

I have a minor rant with episode 22. What the heck happened to the animation?? It looks like it went to the dogs. Their faces looked distorted half the time. It was like they were trying to make the movements more fluid, but it ended up making the characters look like stretched out noodles.

And um… I thought the part where Kenshin came charging in on a HORSE (after falling off the moving train into a rushing river) and then using said horse to jump from ship to ship and then to land.. was utterly ridiculous. That horse was practically flying across the huge gaps between ships.

No matter what thought, Kenshin is just plain cool. I DO hope that a deeper story develops as time goes on, but as it stands right now I’m thoroughly enjoying the comedy even if it can’t compare to when Kenshin pulls out that sword and gets serious! I want to know more about Kenshin’s past, and I suspect that as time goes on it will come back to haunt him even more. I also look forward to the budding romance between Kenshin and Kaoru (you can blame that on me being a girl if you ^_^).

On to season 2!

April 18, 2005

Basilisk 1

Filed under: Basilisk — Ren @ 10:11 am
Basilisk Ep 1

I’m not even going to attempt to sum up what happened in this opening episode, because to be honest I don’t think I understood everything. Instead, I will just tell you the impression I got from it.

Overall I was very impressed with Basilisk and I’m looking forward to the next episode. The character designs were different than what I’ve seen in a while and it was refreshing to take a little break from the bright colours and huge eyes in the series I mostly watch. They reminded me of Ninja Scroll or the Rurouni Kenshin OAV (aka Samurai X: Reminiscence. The background music was very fitting, mysterious and at times majestic and seemed to fit the mood of the episode quite well.

The action sequences and fight scenes were very fluid and well done, even if some of the “moves” were beyond what a real human could do. But hey, this is anime - who needs reality??