It will happen to you!

As you get in more involved with Anime you will find that hundreds of titles are released each year. You dig through the pile, watching the first couple of episodes to see which gets the ax.

If the title makes the cut, it will become one of your favorite shows, and you will stick with it until the end, no matter how many episodes you have to watch (One Piece, 279+ episodes, Naruto, 200+, Inuyasha 167). This is huge investment in terms of time and possibly money.

But sometimes you get tricked! At least I felt that way. You find a series that starts with a great premise, lots of action, interesting and unique characters. You watch the first episode and you are hooked! You impatiently wait for the second episode, and it’s just as good. You can’t wait for the third one, OMG, even better than the last two! It has become one of your favorites, and then…FLOP!

That was my relationship with Tsubasa Chronicle.

I fell in love with the series at first glance. The CLAMP characters looked like nothing I had seen before and together with the action sequences and the love story it was a powerful combo.

Then they added some Pokeman looking thing, which did NOTHING but ‘look cute’. Everybody has to carry the freaking thing around even though it has huge feet.

Somehow I managed to get through this first hurdle. However I found it increasingly hard to watch and the story deteriorated into a ‘lets see who they are going to fight in this episode”.

I had to stop watching it.

From time to time I would read the reviews on the Internet forums. Most people still loved it. Others like me hated it. Still others watched because they had invested too much time to stop now.

I wondered if those people were still in their teens or just liked bad stories.

It was about time!

If you feel guilty sneaking around, downloading those illegal fansubs, you can now join ADV Films’ ‘Digital Universe’ website and download all you can… for a fee.

Still in its infancy, the site offers about a dozen different series to download, and for a limited time you can even get one “Guyver” episode for free!

According to the website, all episodes are DVD quality or better, and you will need Windows Media Player to watch them. If you have a Mac you might get away with just using the free plug-in for QT, flip4mac, to play your “PC files”, however, the files are encrypted so there’s a chance you might not.

Now that you know, quit that Bittorrent and your Limewire, and start paying for some of your Anime.

Hinata cold remedy

As I sit here in front of my trusty computer battling some kind of flu that hasn’t let up in 5 days, I wonder what would Keitaro do.

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I know I don’t live in the famous Hinata House, and the cutest girl around me these days happens to be my 2 year old niece, but still I wonder, would Naru make me some hot tea and boil my troubles away? Or would she simply give me her infamous right handed punch and send me flying into oblivion? In any case, I’m sure I’d rather be totally out of it and not have to struggle with my stuffy nose.

I don’t think Shinobu would be of any help. With her crushes, and her cooking, all I can expect is a heart shaped rice ball, if there is such a thing.

Don’t even get me started on Motoko. Sure, she kicks butt and fights ghosts. She can carve a figurine out of wood without even looking at it. That’s the problem. I need someone more delicate. She has a big sword. Not a good idea to confront her in my condition. My kung-fu grip is not as strong as usual.

Kitsune? hmmmmm, she is always fun. No! Alcohol can cure many things, unfortunately colds is not one of them. Although some people disagree. Anyway, I would probably end up without my wallet. I think I’ll pass.

Kaolla is definitely out of the question. With all her brains and her inventions, she is no medic. I don’t think I could trust her. Are you kidding? I don’t want to end up strapped to some super mega extra special edition fighting robot turtle.

…I guess my cold is not that bad after all

Fullmetal Xmas presents

If you can’t get enough of Fullmetal Alchemist, rejoice!.

Destineer’s Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy game for Nintendo DS is scheduled to ship this fall.

Aside from being able to play as Edward or Alphonse Elric, Roy Mustang, Alex Louis Armstrong, Izumi or Scar and stealing moves, the game will also include voice-overs from the English version of the series as well as cinematic scenes to keep things authentic. More than 10 touch screen mini-games have also been added between the main battles just in case you start to get bored.

Destineer is known for publishing titles such as Age of Empires III, Halo for the Mac, Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45, and Starship Troopers.

So, before you run to the store and get your new ‘Tickle me Elmo’ you might want to check this out.

Still dizzy from Noein

The story revolves around a twelve-year old girl named Haruka and her friend Yuu who one day meet a member of the Dragon Calvary named Karasu.

Karasu is the all around though guy with tremendous battle prowess, brave as lion, quiet as a mouse, and to top it all off, undying love for Haruka (you will find out why later).

Karasu has been sent from 15 years into the future, through time and space by the dimension of Lacryma, which is in fierce battle with the dimension Shangri-LA, to find the Dragon Torque, a powerful yet mysterious object that could save humanity.

As the story evolves more characters are introduced but not too many that you cant keep track of them all. Especially because some of them are the same person, just in a different dimension.

The real headache starts when the dimensions start to converge and the computer wiz character known as Toby attempts to explain the problem using real quantum physics lingo. Call your physics professor, get a dictionary, and be prepared to hit the rewind button more than once if you really want to get the hang of whats going on. I say if because, although it was interesting to me, it is not crucial to understand it all. All you need to know is this: one dimension alone = good, two dimensions mixing = bad, very bad.

Although the story in this series flows very nice, it isnt all perfect. My main issue is the source of Harukas power. She can travel through time almost at will by virtue of the Dragon Torque that is herself? Or is it the necklace that appears and disappears whenever she uses her power? I just dont know, and there is no explanation given.

Also I was very distracted and even annoyed by some of the characters. Yuu, for example does nothing but whine about how he cant do anything at all! It isnt until the very last episode that he finally shows some traces of courage which Karasu (who is Yuu from the future) if so full of. Some of Harukas friends I could have also done without as they do nothing to move the story along, and if the intent was comic relief, they missed their mark as well.

So, unless you want to increase your vocabulary with words youll only use while having a casual chat with Stephen Hawkins about the latest news in Theoretical Physics, I would suggest you skip this one and catch up on all those Naruto episodes you havent watched yet.

Bleach the Movie

For those of you who are fans of this series be glad to know that Bleach the Movie will be airing in Japan this December.

Although little is know about the plot various trailers have made it to youtube and other websites. If you can read Japanese you can also pay a little visit to http://www.bleach-movie.com/ , the official site, and maybe you can get a little extra info.

Rumors are that the movie will only be an hour long, which in my view makes more of a ‘special’ than a movie. Nevertheless I’ll be surfing the web to try and get a peak at this movie.

For those of you in the know, I’m sure you will find a way to watch it, probably the same day it airs in Japan.

Anime is the answer

Sometimes my friends ask, Whats wrong with American cartoons? or What is so great about anime? and the ever present, you still watch cartoons?.

First let me just say, yes. Between school, work and frequent trips to the coffee shop, I do still manage to watch cartoons.

If you have ever watched an episode of The Simpsons, The Family Guy, or Aqua Teen Hunger Force, you do too.

Although I like American cartoons, I must say there isnt much to choose from as they pretty much stick to the same format. They criticize, ridicule, or emulate whatever is playing in the 5 oclock news, from Paris Hilton to Pres. Bush. If anything dramatic happens at all be assured that next week there will little or no reference of anything that occurred in the past.

There is no story to follow.

That is where, at least for me, anime steps in.

Anime can be as simple and humorous as Bugs Bunny, or as complex and artful as Shakespeare.

Most people disagree with me, especially on the beautiful part. Their idea of anime is “Pkemon”, “DragonBall Z” and “Yu-Gi-Oh!”. Good vs. evil all the way.

Let me point out that those shows are geared towards your average preteen child, therefore they lack the complexity and subtleties of more adult series.

Take Neon Genesis Evangelion for example. This series was created in 1995 and it was airing in the U.S. as recently as 3 months ago.

On the surface this is your typical mecha, villain of the week, kind of series. However, the characters are so complex and multidimensional that its hard to agree on what they represent.

Some see it as a philosophical exercise, while others see it more as a psychological struggle within the characters themselves or any of us for that matter.
“Evangelion” has been linked to religion, philosophy and psychology for its references to Freudian theories and use of symbolism. Things that speak to the very core of the human psyche.

When was the last time Homer questioned the nature of reality? and I dont remember Peter struggling with an Oedipus complex either.

Sure, you may say those are comedies, not intended to be deep and philosophical. True, I agree.

So I ask you, what else is out there?