August 29, 2005

Basilisk 15

Filed under: Basilisk — Ren @ 8:00 pm

I feel bad for Gyoubu. The scenes between him and his father were really really touching and I can very much understand why he hates the Iga. Though, did they really do it? Does he have any real proof? I can’t tell. But who else could it be, I guess.

Oh,and I really loved the seiyuu for young Gyoubu. Chibi gyoubu kawaii! (I don’t think I’ve been able to say the word ‘kawaii’ in relation to Basilisk until now. I guess there’s a first for everything).

Though I am not normally fascinated by battles involving Tenzen because he is such a loathsome man, this battle had me gripping my seat as for the first time a completely innocent bystander was caught in the line of fire. A father was murdered protecting his son. The child’s heartwrenching cries sucked Gyoubu back into the past, and this painful distraction proved fatal for Gyoubu.

I can’t help but think of the little boy on the boat who has now lost his father. Will he, as Gyoubu did, choose the path of vengence and end up in a bloody pile someday? Is revenge really worth the sacrifice?

Suzuka 8

Filed under: Suzuka — Ren @ 7:24 pm

Yamato obviously didn’t realize what he was getting into, and that he can’t be a part of the team and just stare at Suzuka all day. He’s actually going to have to work, and work hard. But hey, maybe this’ll be good for him, maybe it’ll teach him the value of hard work and put a little sense of responsibility in him. Now if only track could
teach him to be less naive…

He IS working hard though, which Miki comments on more than once. (Miki seems friendly. She was kind and helpful to Yamato. She seems to be a good honest friend to Suzuka. I like her!)

Yamato’s line, “It’s like, the more I get close to her, the more I feel I’m apart from her,” really struck me. There’s the whole thing about opposites attracting one another. And I think that can definitely be true. However, there has to be a few elements of common ground if a relationship is going to be built on anything solid and long lasting. I’ve yet to see what they have going for them, besides the fact that Yamato really really likes her. But there’s plenty of time for that! I don’t know if I feel that Suzuka and Yamato are such a perfect pair that I’m rooting for them, but I don’t think I’d be disappointed if they end up together. (Maybe it’s just that I like rooting for the underdog)

As for Suzuka, though I still think that she takes her meanness a little too far, I’d probably be feeling exactly as she is right now: crowded. Like my space, the one thing that was *mine* and not his, the one place where I could be free to do my own thing, was being horribly invaded. Suzuka takes track extremely seriously. Of course she wouldn’t want some guy to join just because he likes her, and then be a big fat slacker. However, she needs to acknowledge that he is actually trying, and maybe not be so hard on him.

If I was in Honoka’s shoes I’d feel incredibly discouraged to see the person I like working so hard to impress someone else, and talk about her even when we’re alone together. And I’d probably go home and cry after hearing point blank that he confessed to this other person, got rejected,and still isn’t giving up. I like Honoka because the *way* she cries isn’t loud, annoying, and overdone like so many other anime girls. At first I thought she might be boring. But she’s really growing on me. I like that she likes him, but she’s not quite as obsessive about it as Yamato is. Yeah, she joins the track team just to be close to him, but she doesn’t advertise. I like the fact that she can cry, and then pick herself up and keep on going. Crying to me isn’t a sign of weakness. The ability to express your emotions, without letting them rule you, is a powerful and wonderful thing.

August 26, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 7

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 12:35 pm

Aggh!! Amazing episode!

More thoughts when I get home from work and then Future Shop. Ima go buy me a digital camera. (Like I’m not poor enough already..)

Ok here it is:

This ep was absolutely intense. To see Sousuke completely lose his cool and start shouting confidential information was awesome. Of course it quickly got the response he wanted - a phone call from Wraith. Even though Wraith says his job is to protect Chidori, Sousuke is skeptical.

The conversation with Wraith was painful and frustrating. He seemed bent on hitting Sousuke in every weak spot.

Wraith calls him an annoyance, said he’s even thought of killing him. Sousuke is all tough and tells him to try it, but I think that comment will actually hurt him. Not as bad as what follows, though. Wraith makes fun of Sousuke for the salon incident. He tells him he’s not a student, never has been, that his achievements and school records are all lies, and he couldn’t even be with Chidori all the time because of his other missions. Basically, he’s calling him useless. Sousuke is already torn with trying to be a soldier, and trying to act more like a normal guy.

His feelings are already in turmoil. Biting comments like these can only serve to further cause Sousuke’s precarious balancing act to become more unstable. Sousuke no doubt will walk away from this event more confused as to who he is and what he wants, and whether he’s of any value to anyone.

Wraith goes so far as to call him a burden to Chidori, and that his mere presence endangers her.

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Bah! It killed me to see Chidori on cloud nine only to be crushed flat when Sousuke didn’t show up at school. I’m sure she started out wondering if she had done something wrong to make him stay away. But by the end of the ep she was figuring out that there’s more to it.

Agh and when she was walking with Kyouko and then Xia Yu Lan walked by and everything slowed down and the music changed, and Chidori started panicking…Wow, what an amazingly intense moment, and the tension built right to the end when Chidori stood in Sousuke’s empty apartment, feeling vulnerable and afraid.

The small details are one of this series’ strong points: The way her hand shook, the way her breathing got more rapid. How she hurriedly phoned Sousuke and kept telling herself “it’s ok it’s ok it’s ok.” They way she turned the tv up to drown out any other sounds. The way every little bump and noise made her jump, a marked difference from her normal demeanor. She knows, she knows something isn’t right. She’s lived all of this time in relative peace, but suddenly Sousuke is gone, a strange girl passes by her, and her world is beginning to crumble again and she’s reminded that she is a target.

I can’t believe we don’t get more FMP for three weeks. I’m going to die.

August 20, 2005

Suzuka 7

Filed under: Futago Hime, Glass Mask, Suzuka — Ren @ 7:28 pm

After the huge rejection in the last episode, things are understandably awkward between Suzuka and Yamato this time around.

I thought the simple piano melody that played while Yamato watched Suzuka stretch and as he reflected on the incident at the amusement park was quite beautiful and appropriate.

When he expressed regret at confessing I wanted to hug him and tell him I thought he was so brave and that he did a good thing. I always think it’s better to be honest and up front about feelings rather than hide them. At least things are out in the open now, and even if he didn’t get the result that he wanted he can only move forward from here on out. At the end of the day if Suzuka is never going to be with him isn’t it better to know sooner rather than later? On the other hand, his confession might help push her in the direction of acknowledging her feelings for Yamato. If neither of them ever said anything they might dance around each other forever and it would only cause them (and us) endless frustration.

Oh, and it’s great that Saotome said something useful for a change instead of just being an annoying drunk. She motivates Yamato to keep on trying, which leads to a humourous moment where he screams at the top of his lungs that he likes Suzuka and he’ll never give up. He yells loud enough that Suzuka hears him through her window and she blushes profusely.

ps. Maybe I was a little too harsh on Suzuka last time around. Mentar is right, it’s clear she feels bad about the way she’s been treating him. But I still think she needs to work on being less mean to him.

pps. I’ve decided to drop Glass Mask and Futago Hime from my blogging list. The subs are coming out way too slow to make it worth it. (In the case of Glass Mask.. they’re just slow, and you can visit Ten-chan over at YSP:Duh! for entries up to the current episode (19) as she watches the raws. In the case of Futago Hime, it’s silly to expect one guy to be able to singlehandledly sub a 52 episode show. He’s done a great job, but he’s got a lot on his plate right now.) I’ll definately be watching if and/or when any more eps come out, but I won’t be blogging them.

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 6

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 5:10 pm

All through this episode it felt kind of like the calm before the storm. But then the ending happened and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Ughh!!! How can this happen now when Chidori openly admitted that Sousuke is the only person she trusts! ARrghhh!!

They removed Sousuke from protecting Chidori and have forbidden him from having any contact with her!!!! Seems they believe he’s more valuable as a soldier than a bodyguard, but i doubt he’ll see it that way. Even though he said in the previous episode that all he wants to do is follow orders, I wonder if that will continue to be the case.

As he was sitting in the hairdresser’s chair and his face was covered with a towel, there was a brief moment when Sousuke was about to freak out, but he controlled himself. In fact, through the whole time he was there he tried to remind himself that this is something that normal highschoolers do. It all fell apart when the hairdresser pulled out the sharp scissors of course.

I think this is the first time that I have seen Sousuke make such a concious effort not to react as a soldier. It normally seems like such an automatic reaction. Even though it seems he’s been aware of the fact that he’s causing trouble for Chidori and the rest, this appears to be the first time in his life that he’s actually letting it bother him. Day by day, episode by episode, we see him questioning his own actions, which inevitably leads to questioning one’s desires and motivations.

I can’t wait to see how this all plays out!

August 18, 2005

I have no self control

Filed under: Loot! — Ren @ 7:04 pm

This weekend when I was at Ai-kon I was perusing the program. On the very back was an advertisement for a comic book store here in Winnipeg which claimed to have “one of the best selections of anime & manga anywhere.” I was a little skeptical. In these parts I’ve found it hard to find stores that actually have an extensive selection of anime and/or manga. However, I was super bored today after work so I decided to get out the ole Mud Dawg (that would be my bike.. yes, it has a name, and yes, it’s Mud ‘Dawg’.. don’t ask…) and bike the measly 4km’s to the store.

Oh man… they weren’t kidding. Shelves and shelves and yet more shelves of manga! Rows of anime! Magazines (including Newtype, Protoculture Addicts, Shounen Jump etc.) and artbooks! Action figures and toys! My jaw hit the floor. I think I drooled. I know I wet myself a bit. (Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have admitted that..) All of this in my very own hick-city-in-a-prairie-province, Winnipeg!

I have found my new mecca. And of course I couldn’t resist BUYING stuff, even though I already spent a ton of cash in Europe and at Ai-Kon. So I picked up some manga. Specifically, Chrono Crusade Vols. 1 & 2, and Saikano Vols 4 & 5.

(I had to give my brother his digital camera back since *he’s* now in Europe, so all I can post are some stock photos. Ah well.. if I can stop buying manga I’ll eventually have enough money to buy my own camera…^_^v)

August 17, 2005

Basilisk 14

Filed under: Basilisk — Ren @ 7:44 pm

I think Gennosuke is actually quite deep and my respect for him grows with each episode. At the beginning of the series I strongly doubted his feelings for Oboro and thought that he was just using her, especially given comments made by others. But as he journeys towards Sunpu and we see his reflections on his times with Oboro, it is clear that his love for her is very deep and that he honestly wishes for reconciliation between the two clans. This leads me to ask the question though, of why he doesn’t do something right now to stop the fighting? Why does he allow his people to kill the Iga if his ultimate goal is peace between them? Maybe it’s the ‘kill or be killed’ belief, or maybe he has some other plan that will show itself later. Though, if he waits too long no one will be left alive to do anything.

Once again the memories of Gennosuke and Oboro together are incredibly touching and make reality that much harsher. That’s what makes this series more than just a show about a bunch of samurai with cool powers killing each other. They’re taking the time to get you to really care about the characters by showing you where they’re coming from. It makes for a heartrending, gutwrenching, but much more enjoyable series.

I really felt bad for Koshiro when that father pulled his little boy away just for being near him. As if he doesn’t have enough reasons to feel bad about himself. Not to mention the mental anguish of being torn between loyalty to a superior, and love and loyalty for your leader.

Well from the way the last episode ended I knew something bad was about to happen, and boy was I right. “I will pour the essence of life into you..” Tenzen is a sick bastard. I’d rather listen to Jingoro’s nasty voice than have to see any scenes involving Tenzen from now on. Unfortunately, looks like he’ll last till the end while Jingoro will probably be dead within the next few episodes, if not in the next one.

August 16, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 5

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 6:35 pm

The scenes between Chidori and Sousuke were priceless this episode. I was practically rolling on the floor upon seeing their teacher once again being the poor victim of Sousuke’s attempts to protect Chidori.

I really think this series balances the comedic and serious elements very well. The funny parts are always funny, the serious engrossing, and the action astounding. The conference scene did a very good job of depicting the way organizations love to shift blame around with no one ever taking full responsibility.

I was moved by Melissa’s keen observations and obvious concern for Sousuke. It’s true that he’s very young to be taking on so much. How much longer can he fulfill the role of soldier, bodyguard, and student before he collapses under the pressure? His dedication is admirable, but is this really what he wants in his life? If Sousuke chooses to seriously ask himself these questions it could lead to chaotic results and will have consequences for not only himself but also for the people in his life.

August 14, 2005

Suzuka 6

Filed under: Suzuka — Ren @ 3:10 pm


And yet more stuff!

Filed under: Loot! — Ren @ 2:43 pm

Ai-kon has ended for one more year, and on the final day I made one more stop to the dealer’s room and picked up a couple of back issues of NewType at a fabulously low price.

Can’t wait till next year!

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