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[Ai Yori Aoshi] [Juuni Kokki] [Azumanga Daioh] [Pita-ten] [Tokyo Mew Mew] [Full Moon wo Sagashite] [Tenshi na Konamaiki] [Wagamama Fairy Mirumo de Pon!] [Bakuto Sengen Daigander] [Denkou Chou-Tokkyu Hikarian] [.hack//SIGN] [Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai] [Tenchi Muyo! GXP] [Tokyo Underground] [Chobits] [Rizelmine]
Ai Yori Aoshi
Bluer Than Indigo
Although I haven't read the manga for Ai Yori Aoshi, some people have said it's like Love Hina for adults. From the opening video, you do get some sort of sense for that, but the first episode is all about the the (re-)meeting of Kaoru and Aoi, the two main characters. We start out with a flashback of Kaoru and Aoi as kids, with Kaoru fixing Aoi's hanao (the strap on Japanese sandals) when it breaks. Then, in present day, we get to see Kaoru (the guy) go to university, alone, poor him. But then he runs into Aoi at the train station, looking lost since she isn't exactly a Tokyo person. She also managed to break her hanao again, but Kaoru fixes it for her. Of course they don't realize that they're childhood friends and that Kaoru is the one that Aoi came to Tokyo to see until they end up back at Kaoru's apartment when they find the address Aoi has written down doesn't exist anymore.
It turns out that Aoi was supposed to be married to Kaoru when they grew up, but Kaoru ran away from his family and came to Tokyo instead, breaking all ties with them. Now Aoi has come to try and get him to come back and marry her, without really knowing anything. Kaoru suspects that she's being used as a pawn and throws her out but then takes her back in after some punks try to pick her up. The episode ends with the climactic event of Aoi taking a bath. :o
Hehe AiAo is pretty fun, and a bit ecchi, but what can you expect from shounen anime, huh? The series seemed to get off to a good start, good music, the character designs are a little bleh but not that bad. I can't wait to see the rest of the characters, hopefully starting next week. ^_^
Record of 12 Countries
Record of 12 Countries is a fantasy series, but it starts out in our world, with Yoko Nakajimi, her class's representative, trying to do something about Sugimoto, who's always reading her fantasy books, engrossed in her own world. All the other girls ignore her, and Yoko battles with herself trying to do something for Sugimoto but afraid to be ignored by the other girls for associating with Sugimoto. Also, Yoko has strange recurring dreams about this other world, and in one of them Sugimoto appears and attacks her with a sword.
Then, suddenly, after school one day, a strange man with blonde hair in strange clothes appears in her classroom and says that she needs to come with him, and she's in danger. Finally this guy, Keiki, gets Yoko to say the word "Yuruuzu"(?) to protect and apparently it helps because she and Keiki are the only ones unharmed when something breaks down the classroom windows. It turns out to be a huge nightengale(??) that keeps trying to attack Keiki and Yoko, and also Sugimoto and this other guy they know who also happen to be on the roof (where they ran to). Keiki summons some beings to help fight, but ends up running away while using other spirits(?) to get the others to come too. He tries to get Yoko to use this big sword to attack the nightengale, but Yoko can't bear to use the sword. Eventually, Sugimoto asks to try and use the sword since Yoko is incompetent, but Keiki says only Yoko can use it. He summons another spirit to teach her how to use the sword, and she defeats the nightengale, and then they are taken to... the other world. :o
The character designs aren't bad, and the anime has a kind of dark style that's kind of interesting, but I'd like to see what the other world is going to look like before I decide whether I like the art style overall or not. The story seems to be moving in a typical fantasy-type fashion, nothing exceptional yet, so we'll have to wait and see what exactly the story is in the other world before really being able to tell what the mood of the story is. ^_^
I'll start out by saying that I've never watched or read any Azumanga before, so I'm just going off this one ep for pretty much everything I know. It's based on a 4-panel strip that has been very popular in Japan, and they sort of stick to its heritage by dividing each week's broadcast into 5 episodes. ^^
The first five eps mostly introduce the characters, first we have Yukari-sensei having her chain catch on her bike and then go into the wrong classroom, then we get to meet Chiyo-chan. Chiyo's only 10 years old but she's in high school because she's really smart. And cute. And she can do just about anything (including make stuffed animals in a frying pan). Then we get to meet Sakaki-san, who seems cool and distant, but she actually seems to really like cats (with results seen above)... and she wants to work in a flower shop. Then we have Tomo, the super-energetic hyper girl who tries to challenge people to be the best! (and fails) And last is Kasuga-san, who transfers in from Osaka... she spends the whole ep being told she's not really much of an Osaka person, but she ends up being nicknamed Osaka by Tomo after she gives in and says "Nandeyanen," a typical Osaka speech saying. ^^;
Azumanga's pretty funny, I'd have to say. Some people haven't liked the transition from comic -> anime, but I thought it turned out pretty well. I enjoyed all five eps, especially Chiyo's cooking! o/~ Tsukurimashou, tsukurimashou, sate sate nani ga dekiru kana~ o/~
Pita-ten is the newest Koge Donbo (of Sugar and DiGi Charat fame) series to be animated, and her characters continue to be as cute as ever! The main character, the one with purple hair, is Kotarou, who lives alone with his father. Misha is the angel with the bunny things, who has come down to earth so she can pass her training. She moves in next to to Kotarou, and as a greeting the first day yells out "Go out with me!" Kotarou is understandably a little scared and runs off. We get to see Kotarou's school life with the cute cat-eared Koboshi and Ten-chan. Ten-chan is good in school and great at sports, but Koboshi is in love with Kotarou~
Then, after school, Kotarou sees... Misha-san! At his school! It turns out she goes to the attached middle school, and ends up going to school with him every day. After school, Misha appears again, and when she finds out that Kotarou's mother passed away, she decides to become Kotarou's mother instead! Of course she can't cook very well, but she tries her best! She runs in front of any soccer balls coming Kotarou's way, and generally tries to protect him. Koboshi is scared she's trying to take Kotarou away from her, since she's always hugging him. ;P
KAWAII! Is all I can say here. I love Koge Donbo character designs so much! Misha's cute, Koboshi's cute, everything's cute! The intro ep was great, I hope it develops from there, although I'm sure it will be great, just like Sugar! But cuter and more amusing!
Tokyo Mew Mew
Tokyo Mew Mew... it's like Sailor Moon, but with cats! And much cuter costumes. ^^
Our story starts out as the heroine, Tomomiya Ichigo, asks the most popular boy in the school, Aoyama-kun, out on a date to the zoo. He accepts (gasp!) and when they get to the zoo, she is suddenly targeted by some mysterious figures. They leave her to her date, but after they leave the zoo, Ichigo is left by herself while Aoyama goes to get some juice, when suddenly there's an earthquake, and a strange dream appears to Ichigo, with a cat~ =^.^= Then, she wakes up to find 3 hours have passed, but Aoyama-kun waited for her (how sweet!).
Suddenly, though, Ichigo seems to be acting more and more like... a cat =^.^= She takes catnaps, lands on her feet when falling, and REALLY likes fish. Not to mention she can't stop saying "nya" at the end of her sentences! What is going on? Then, in the park, an ENORMOUS RAT attacks Aoyama-kun, and the only one that can save him is... Mew Ichigo!
Yes, it's Sailor Moon with cats, but it's INCREDIBLY cute, it's fun, and the ending song is all about desserts. I think they're all going to work in that heart-shaped window cake castle shop ^^. I also think it's cute that Ichigo's ability to fight the rat-thingy is almost explainable since she inherited cat-like reflexes, and jumps around cute and catlike.
Full Moon wo Sagashite
Search for the Full Moon
Full Moon is a cute shoujo series based on the new manga by Tanemura Arina, creator of Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne. Mitsuki, a 12-year-old girl, dreams of becoming a singer. However, she has a disease which is affecting her throat and she can't sing much or she'll hurt herself. She's trying to figure out a way to attend an audition for Seed Records when all of a sudden two crazily-dressed figures emerge from her wall. They're talking among themselves when they realize Mitsuki can *see* them. Their names are Meroko and Takuto, and Takuto accidentally spills the info that they are shinigami (gods of death), come to take her... well, not for another year (oops!). Mitsuki, instead of being hysterical, is suddenly even MORE determined to become a singer before that happens. She runs off to the audition, disregarding everything. Takuto feels sorry for Mistuki trying to get into the audition even though she's only 12, and transforms her into a 16-year-old, which also fixes her throat. She sings beautifully and completely surprises the record people and everyone. And so it begins~
Mitsuki is really cute, and the songs in the series are actually quite good. I had a lot of fun with this series so far, and I can't wait to see episode 2 to see where the series is going. Meroko thinks Takuto is falling for Mitsuki, so I assume that'll be part of it. ;P
Tenshi na Konamaiki
A Cheeky Angel
Well I knew absolutely nothing about this series coming in, but I'd have to say that for a show with some of the worst character designs ever I liked it pretty well. The story is that Megumi, the heroine, is a beautiful (well, maybe if the art style was better) girl who radiates an angel-like aura. However, she's a girl who loves to fight, and pretty much kicks everyone's ass if she wants to. She comes to her first day of high school and saves her friend Miki from some punk (see screenshot), and then arrives at school to find he's in her class. She has to beat him up again of course so he gets the point, and the whole class adores her because she beat up the most arrogant punk in the whole school.
Then, in a flashback sequence while talking to Miki, we learn that Megumi wasn't always the "heroine" of the story because she used to be a boy... until some crazy-looking thing in a book an old man in robes gave to him turned him into a "the womanliest woman there is" instead of "the manliest man there is" when he stated his wish. In fact, only Miki and he know that he was ever a boy, and all the old photos were changed too!
The main good thing about this series is the comedy. There's plenty of oppurtunties, as you can imagine, but I especially liked the scene where one of the side characters is all fantasizing about being beaten up trying to save Megumi and then the show cuts to the room full of guys off in lalaland. Verdict: unexpectedly interesting. ;P
Wagamama Fairy Mirumo de Pon!
Selfish Fairy Mirumo de Pon!
Mirumo is the name of the little blonde fairy in blue you see, and he is indeed selfish (something he gets from his father). His parents order him to go to the human world for training, but Mirumo doesn't want to, so they decide to marry him to Rirumu, the green-haired fairy. Mirumo tries to run away and accidentally stumbles into the transfer dome to the human world. Kaede, the blonde girl, wanders into a store that appears out of nowhere when she isn't looking and sees these cute mugs. The (weird) shopkeeper tells her that the mug will grant her any wish. She wishes to be in the same class as Yuuki-kun, who she has a crush on, thinks "nah this'll never work," and runs out.
But she's in the same class as Yuuki-kun the next day (gasp! oh, it's the start of her second middle school year). Lucky! Then, the next day the store mysteriously appears again while she's not looking, and she goes in. The mug is there again, and on the bottom it says that a fairy will grant her wish. She buys the cup, runs home, and when she says her wish, Mirumo appears! Of course, she's the only one that can see him.... Mirumo says he doesn't want to grant her wish though because stupid humans never want to do anything on their own, and just rely on the fairies' powers.
So Kaede ends up trying to win Yuuki-kun on her own, and Mirumo ends up helping her get a seat next to him in class "in return for the delicious chocolate" that Kaede left him. Hehe.
The fairies in this series are completely weird, but overall I liked the character designs. Kaede's cute and funny trying to go after Yuuki, while she has a rival in the dark-haired girl, Azumi. Overall another cute and adorable shoujo series~
Bakuto Sengen Daigander
Explosive Fight Declaration Daigander
I ended up watching Bakuto Sengen Daigander even though I don't like mecha shows at all, just because there was nothing else on today. Daigander is the story of a boy, Akira, who wants to become the champion of a robot battling tournament-type worldwide thing. As the anime starts, he's trying to just get into the tournament, by getting his license or something. To do this, he has to fight a couple opponents, but the problem is that he only has three robots, and you need four to enter. His grandpa (or something) hasn't QUITE finished his fourth robot, so he has to persuade the officials to let him in. They do, and he is losing his fight with only his three robots when, oh my, DAIGANDER TOUJOU!!!! (appears)
Hehe these kind of shows aren't really my thing, but I didn't really mind watching it. The girl in the screenshots doesn't really come out well from that picture, but she's relatively cute, although she's only in the op/ed and the next ep preview, so I don't know who she is.
Denkou Chou-Tokkyu Hikarian
Lightning Attack Express Hikarian
I didn't know anything about this series before I watched it, but I did a little research afterwards and found out that this series is a sequel to "Chou Tokkyu Hikarian" which ran from 1997-2000 in Japan. It follows the same kind of story, and one of the characters from the previous series, Minayo, is back in this new series. She delivers ramen to the people at the base but she seems to be the only one who knows how things work...
Anyway, the story is that there are these two groups of train-like mecha, the Hikarians and the Buraccha (white and black), with the Buraccha mecha trying to stir up trouble on the earth but the Hikarians coming to protect them. Amusingly, the train mecha are small and cute, and the series really has a more comedic tone than say, Daigander. The main character this time is Kenta, a really quiet boy... who's also a yo-yo otaku! Then he's very excited and talkative, but otherwise he's easy for the Buraccha to push around and try to get him to help with their schemes.
The episodes are divided so there's 2 in each 25-min block. In the first, the Buraccha get Kenta to distribute these black light bulbs that make a cloud of smoke rise over the city, but then Lightning West, the first Hikarian we meet, comes to save Kenta from being accidentally run over by a train and then defeats the Buraccha Black Express with his Lightning Bird attack! We also get to see Tamayo almost run into Kenta and his friends while delivering ramen. ^^
In episode 2, the Buraccha try to find out what humans hate and happen to overhear Kenta say he hates Shrimp Chili Sauce(??). They get him to help them make a huge pot of the sauce, but it doesn't do them much good because the people at the base have remembered they have a weapon... but they don't know how to use it. Luckily Minayo is there to kick it and use it to knock the Buraccha out of the sky.
Heh for a train mecha series I thought Hikarian was pretty cool, Minayo's a fun character. The designs are in a kids' style of course, but they're not bad considering. Overall pretty fun. ^^
Well, I went into watching .hack//SIGN (I'll just call it .hack) without knowing much of anything, and I must say the episode didn't do much to help alleviate that condition. The main character, Tsukasa, is stuck in an online role-playing game, not being able to logout, although other people around him are still able to. He spends most of the episode wandering around confused, and teleporting away whenever anyone tries to talk to him. He seems to have awakened a strange presence in the game, which tells him that it needs him, and then protects him from some kind of medieval police-type person trying to question him.
Overall I think I need to watch more of .hack before making any judgements, but one thing that bugged me about the first episode was that the music was so loud in some parts that I couldn't hear what the heck they were saying... of course it's harder to listen in Japanese, so maybe it's okay for people who speak it as their native language, but I still think it was loud. Pretty nice character designs, I thought the OP/ED were kinda odd, but that kind of fits in with the whole show. ^^
Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai
Abenobashi Magical Shopping District
The only thing I knew about Abenobashi Magical Shopping District (Abenobashi from now on) before watching it was that it was done by GAINAX. Watching the episode, it occurs to me that GAINAX really has a talent for picking out the interesting shows to do. Abenobashi takes its name from the shopping district where the main characters, Sasshi and Arumi, live. I'll go ahead and explain the whole first episode because it's kind of confusing, and the whole thing seems to be an intro to the series. If you don't want to know what happens in episode 1, stop reading. ^_^
As the episode starts, Arumi tells Sasshi that her family is moving to Hokkaido so her father can work there. The shopping district seems to be disappearing over time, replaced by newer buildings. Talking on the roof of Arumi's family store, Pelican, they find a ceramic pelican that you can't see from the street, and has a pentagram on the back (and a cat sleeping in its mouth). Trying to figure out what exactly is with this pelican, they end up at a temple with inscribings of the four gods Suzaku, Seiryuu, etc, which seemingly are represented in the district by shops that have since disappeared, leaving the pelican (bird i.e. Suzaku) as the only one left. They run back to the store to ask Arumi's grandpa about it, but he falls from the roof trying to evict the cat from the pelican's mouth. The pelican shatters on the ground. Then, strange things start happening. Sasshi sees dragons at night, old people exercising in the park look like mushrooms, and suddenly Arumi and Sasshi are alone with a rainbow bridge to a strange castle.
I thought the episode really stood out from the rest of the anime this season in its style, artwork, everything. It's a kids' show, but it's really fun, and not just "another" kids' show. I can't wait for episode 2 to see what this new world they seem to have found is like. :)
Tenchi Muyo! GXP
Well, Tenchi GXP wasn't all that bad, it's pretty average. Seina, the main character, is a boy who has the worst luck ever, everything breaks and goes wrong when he's around. While trying to fix his bike when it breaks next to Tenchi's place, a Galaxy Police ship comes down and he nearly drowns in the splash from the lake. He gets a "GP Pamphlet" from the ugly woman from the ship (see above), and he ends up being forced to sign it by his family who think they're going to get great prizes or something by signing up. It's really an application for the Galaxy Police, and tada, he's a new GP member!
The long-haired lady is Kiriko, who Seina has a crush on. She's really nice to him, of course. It's an odd episode, but it's not really fun like Rizelmine's insaneness. Ryoko shows up for three seconds when Seina opens the GP pamphlet, but who knows what's going on there. :P
Tokyo Underground is based around the premise that there is a separate world underneath Tokyo, a "world without a sun" that has lain undiscovered by the residents above ground. Lumina, the main character, is a dorky high school student who's never held hands with a girl, but as the grandson of some martial arts-type person is very well-trained in combat (of course he is, this is a shounen fighting-type anime). Chelsea and Ruri are inhabitants of the Underground who run away to escape some evil guy who's following them with robots and calls Ruri the "Inochi no Miko" or Priestess of Life(?). They happen to come out of the Underground behind the dojo where Lumina lives, and there starts the wacky shounen series that is Tokyo Underground.
Oh yeah, I thought the ending song was pretty good, and I liked the opening animation. Must find ending song~
Chobits is a great series about Hideki, a farmboy come to Tokyo to try to study for the university entrance exams. In Tokyo he finds that "pasocon" (personal computers) in the shape of girls are all the rage, wishes he could have one, but is dismayed by the high prices. Luckily, he finds quite the cute "pasocon" which someone has thrown out at the side of the road, and takes her home. His friend Shinbo happened to tell him that you just have to flip the switch to turn them on... but where's the switch? o.o
I was pretty happy about the manga -> anime transition, although the um... farm sequence at the beginning... is odd. I'm wondering what else might change since Hideki hasn't been in town, but I guess that just means he'll have to actually get his job and start going to school, more stuff not in the manga. The other thing is that the anime isn't quite ecchi enough, but oh well... Hopefully it'll get better. ;)
Rizelmine is insane. But it's a good insane. Rizel is some sort of crazy android-type girl who suddenly shows up at Tomonori Iwaki's house and declares that she's his new wife, even showing him a marraige license filled out with things like... "I don't really know" and "It's a secret!" Although Tomonori doesn't want her, the three "papas" insist that she stay, and bribe his parents....
Rizel is cute and the show is wonderful. I hope it keeps up the energetic craziness for the whole show, I'll be hooked!