Good vs Evil: The Age OId Fight

I love the artwork in “Death Note” the manga which was faithfully rendered in the anime. Some anime blogger said it was very clear what show sucked up most of the budget for last season’s crop of anime. Well it shows.

“Death Note” has a new opening and ending song beginning with episode 20. I loathe them. Here’s the first intro song which fits the protagonist’s motives to a T. Just remember that Light Yagami is a sociopath who believes that the ends justify the means.

I summarized the show in two previous entries so I won’t repeat myself.

Playing catch up

Spent most of the weekend catching up on “Bleach” shows I missed. I’ve seen up to episode 112 and still have aways to go. Yeah I saw the last three episodes related to the “Bounto” arc. Hate that storyline. Thank heavens the show is now back on track with the Arrancar/Vaizard storyline.
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Also saw episodes 4 and 5 of “Naruto Shippuuden” which shows an older Naruto and Sakura besting their sensei Kakashi. But the main action is happening at the Hidden Village of Sand where two members of Akatsuki are trying to snatch Gaara who is now the head of the village or Kazekage. Gaara is currently fighting an Akatsuki member who uses clay to make animal figures that move and explode. The fiend in question has hands with mouths. The hands chew the clay and spit out these figurines. Creepy.

There’s a flashback that show Gaara has turned his thinking around thanks to Naruto. He cares about others now instead of just fighting for himself and killing people. I know what happens to him on this story arc but I won’t spoil it for the rest of you. Suffice it to say it’s a tearjerker. Can’t wait for that episode.

Photo I used features characters from “Naruto Shippuuden”. The dude in white with spiky hair is how Sasuke looks now. The blond guy with a lock of hair covering one eye is the Akatsuki creep with the weird hands.

Things that make you go hmm and then bang your head against the wall

One of the columnists at Anime News Network called Answerman featured a couple of letters last month from a male (I’m assuming a young man) who first asked if the writer had any tips on where he could learn Naruto’s rasengan move since he also harbors a fox spirit inside him. When the columnist featured his letter as a “flake of the week”, the person sent an angry letter and threatened Answerman. Check out his February columns.

I was on vacation when I read the columns and was surprised folks like this exist. I still am shocked. Apparently the term for these individuals is Otakukin which smooshes the term Otaku and Otherkin together. Otakukins are folks who think they were anime characters in a past life or possess the souls of people depicted in anime. Uh huh. OK calm down “Sailor Moon” or “Naruto” or whoever you are. Here’s a nice strait jacket.

Was Cleopatra already taken? How about being Cleopatra’s right hand maid? Or Mark Anthony’s second cousin on his mom’s side? Man has been on this planet how long? And the best thing you can come up with as a previous existence is a 2-dimensional character in a show that aired once a week in Japan?

Ok I shouldn’t mock these folks. But they are tempting me to. Bad Ruby. Bad.

But puhleez people, don’t get mad when the rest of us look at you askance. Your belief is hard to accept. Really.

Naruto Shippuuden: Finally something worth watching

I stopped watching “Naruto” at episode 145 or so when it started doing stories that wasn’t part of the manga. “Naruto” ended at episode 220.

Naruto Shippuuden or Naruto: Hurricane Chronicles started airing February in Japan. The show picks up the story when a 15-year-old Naruto returns to Konoha after two years training with Jiraiya. I saw episodes one to three this weekend and I must say I like it a lot.

I saw this on You Tube, it’s the opening song of “Naruto Shippuuden”. Not bad at all. What do you think?

Remember when he was a just a klutz?

Now that the anime has picked up the storyline where Naruto is already 15, I’m suddenly feeling nostalgic for the early days of this long-running series.
This is the first ending song to “Naruto” called “Wind” by Akeboshi. I still think it’s the series’ best ending song. Remember when he was just a klutz? Well, he still is…sometimes.

Take a gander at this

Isn’t this cute? A friend sent me this photo. Some folks might envy her car but I want her license plate. Now that vanity plate’s taken I wonder what I can use. MANGACHK might go over people’s heads. SESSHMRU would only be clear to fans of “Inuyasha” where the demon character Sesshomaru appears. He’s Inuyasha’s half brother by the way and very cute.

ANIMEFAN would be nice. But I’m sure my family would insist that ANIMENUT would be more fitting for me.

Car

Click on the thumbnail photo and you’ll see a larger shot of the pix.

Barrier Master:When your after-school job is the family business

There’s a reason why Yoshimori Sumimura sleeps in class most of the time. The 14-year-old middle school student is the 22nd kekkaishi or barrier master of the Sumimura family which means he has to patrol the school campus at night for any demons, use a barrier to capture the fiends and destroy them.

The school was built on the site of a former lord’s home. The lord had a strange power that attracted demons and even though he is no more, the power remains. Demons become more powerful and dangerous when exposed to this power.

But Yoshimori is not the only barrier master in the area. His rival is his next door neighbor, 16-year-old Tokine Yukimura, who he secretly adores. Because she got injured protecting him from a demon when they were younger, Yoshimori promised to be stronger so Tokine would never be hurt again. She’s also the reason why he’s obsessed with creating a cake castle. But since this is an action series geared for boys, our hero has a tough time admitting affection to the heroine.i-f21733228143f36f5e078f05eef370ca-kekkaishi2.jpg They banter back and forth unlike their grandparents who hurl insults and blows at each other. But the fighting of the two oldsters is more of a comic relief for the show.

The title of barrier master is not automatically inherited by the first born since Yoshimori is the second son and the square mark denoting he is the family’s next kekkaishi appeared on him. His father doesn’t have the power either but his absent mother appears to have it in spades.

“Kekkaishi” is one of several shows this season with a supernatural bent to it. I prefer “Shonen Onmyouji” better because this show has too much monster-of-the week episodes. To be fair, I haven’t read the manga of “Kekkaishi” so I have to take people’s word that episide 13 heralds a major plot arc plus we get to meet his older brother, Masamori, who is captain of some secret organization. We’ll see. It’s not a bad show but this is light fare for me and I can go weeks without seeing the next episode.

One Wacky Gal

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Bandai will be releasing volume one of “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” on May 29. I highly recommend this 14-episode series which is based on a series of novels. It’s very funny.

The heroine, Haruhi Suzumiya, is smart, athletic but easily bored. She introduces herself in her high school class as someone who only wants to deal with aliens, time travelers and folks with ESP. She forms a club at school, the SOS Brigade, and recruits – actually strong-arms – others into joining. The members include Haruhi’s sensible classmate Kyon who gets dragged into her hare-brained adventures, placid Yuki Nagato the lone member of another club whose club room Haruhi takes over and the bosomy Mikuru Asahina who becomes their mascot gal much to her distress. Itsuki Koizumi is the only one who willingly joins. Haruhi zeroes in on him because he fits the bill of “the mysterious transfer student.”

I won’t spoil the series by revealing why Yuki, Mikuru and Itsuki stay in this club whose goal is to “bring more excitement to the world.” Actually the club exists to keep Haruhi from being bored. Let me put it this way. The world is a much better place if Haruhi is kept entertained. That’s how special she is.

She’s relentless in getting her own way. Watch how she uses Mikuru to snag a computer from the computer club next door. Haruhi also believes in action hence the swift kick to the head she gives the computer club president when he later issues the club a challenge.

The SOS Brigade’s contribution to the school culture fest is a movie featuring the adventures of Mikuru as a girl with super powers. Narrated and later edited by poor overworked Kyon, the film makes no sense and looks murky to boot. It’s actually a very funny send up of those anime shows about magical girls with mysterious origins.

“The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” aired last year in Japan and soon became a fan favorite. I like the show because it’s hilarious, doesn’t drag and Haruhi is such a colorful character. My favorite character is Kyon whose real name is never mentioned in the show. Kyon is the nickname his little sister gave him which everybody now uses. He often gets exasperated with Haruhi and his side comments and inner thoughts make a perfect counterpart to her energetic declarations and crazy plans.

Bandai’s Web site on the show is http://asosbrigade.com