What is ordinary to you may be extra special elsewhere

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Being special is a dream many a regular Joe or Jill share. And for Tokidoki Rikugo, it will soon become his reality.

In “Amatsuki”, Tokidoki is a normal high school student who is easygoing and pleasant. Too easygoing since he just received a failing mark on a history test. He has to make up for it by visiting a state-of-the-art museum that recreates the Edo Period. There he meets another student, Kon Shinonome, a young man who definitely knows more about history than our hero. But Kon likes to get into fights which doesn’t sit well with the school.

As they’re walking through this virtual Edo, Tokidoki loses sight of his companion and gets attacked by a creature who damages his left eye. A young woman, dressed kind of weird for this period since her stomach is bare, appears out of the blue and saves Tokidoki.

The goggles he wore for the museum tour are broken and he finds to his shock that he is trapped in this virtual Edo.

But Tokidoki is not the regular Joe he was in the real world. In this realm, his future is not writ. Because everyone else’s lives are already known by the four gods of this world, Tokidoki is an anomaly who could be used to change this Edo.

Not surprisingly, there are different groups interested in the teen.

“Amatsuki” is a fantasy anime that is lush and drawn quite well. Although the plot is not original, the characters are interesting enough to warrant more than one viewing.
For instance, “Princess” who is the priestess of a powerful shrine is an asexual being. She/he has also been cursed earlier by a demon so the princess has to transfer her/his soul to a mechanical doll for part of the day.

Of ninja kings and apathetic teens

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I’m following five shows this season which don’t seem to suck so far. One of them is a tale of ninjas living amongst us in the 21st century, Nope, I’m not talking about “Naruto Shippuuden” here.

“Nabari no Ou” (King of Nabari) is about Rokujo Miharu, a 14-year-old boy indifferent to most things. This small, delicate-looking apathetic teen works at a family restaurant but harbors inside of him one of the most sought after Ninja secrets called the Shinrabansh. I’ve seen up to episode nine and as far as I can make out, the Shinrabansho is all the knowledge of the world. Nabari is the ninja world.

Hundreds of years ago, the leaders of the different ninja villages put it inside a human who they later killed. Don’t ask me why. But like any good ole monster movie, the Shinrabansho appears again inside another host. It can grant the host immense power but I’ve only seen it manifest three times and it took the form of roots and tendrils sprouting out of the host and wreaking havoc on his enemies.

Rokujo senses it as a woman who promises to grant whatever he wants if he so wishes. When it activates, Chinese characters also appear on his body.

He isn’t aware of this until a teacher, Thobari Kumohira Durandal, and another student, Kouichi Aizawa, pester him to join their school club espousing the Ninja way. The truth comes out when the two defend him from attackers. The assailants were ninjas and so are they.

I won’t go into details about the other subplots. Suffice it to say that the villains include a young man who uses a secret technique that can maim and kill others just with mere hand movements. The cost, however, is his own life force.

To watch or not to watch on the big screen ….

Saturday night found me at the local moviehouse scarfing down popcorn and preparing to watch “Kung Fu Panda” when a promo for the June 11 and 12 showing of the “Bleach” movie flashed on the screen. I wanted to cheer but no one else seemed to recognize Ichigo and the gang. Too bad.

“Memories of Nobody” will be shown in 300 movie theatres on only those two dates which fall mid-week by the way. I’m proud to be an anime geek but I still have to collect a paycheck to pay for my anime and manga addictions. Unfortunately, I don’t have any rich relatives who lovingly fund my hobbies. Sigh and double sigh.

I doubt if I can make it to the showings. Work ya know. I just might have to wait for the DVD to come out.

On a side note, I really liked “Kung Fu Panda.” It’s funny, there’s a decent plot, the animals all look furry and cute and Jack Black is good as Po the Panda. I can’t believe I just said that since I’m not a fan of the guy. But give credit where credit is due as my old man often says.

Yeah I’m not just an anime junkie. I’m into all types of animation. I’ve been a cartoon fan since I was a little brat and even dreamed of a career in animation once. But I digress…