Saturday, October 15, 2005

Mai Otome 02


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Continuing from Ep.01, Arika is impressed by Shizuru. She immediately asks Natsuki to let her become an Otome. Sergey then advises Arika to not show her pendent out, to which Arika says her baa-chan already told her that(hmm..). Mikoto (I still cannot believe that she’s a neko!!) appears and Mashiro’s identity is revealed. Arika then asks Natsuki to let her into Garderobe.

Arika then explains that she wants to be one after seeing Shizuru in action,plus that her mother used to be an Otome, surprising both Natsuki and Tat…Sergey. Natsuki asks what’s her mother’s name but Arika says she doesn’t know as her baa-chan died/disappeared before telling her that(speculated, she didn’t complete the sentence, I’d say disappeared though, more drama potential), silencing them.

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Shizuru steps in and says she’s glad that someone looks up to her that much. She then proceeds to kiss Arika but glances at Natsuki(OMG!! Such a tease, Shizuru hasn’t lost her yuri touch yet ^^;) and blows wind in to Arika’s ear instead, causing Arika to overload from overexcitement.

Shizuru then takes the chance to retain Arika in the academy, citing exhaustion XD. Sergey butts in saying that Arika is a witness in this case but Natsuki coolly asks him, where is he now, which shuts him up(nice one, Natsuki :thumbsup:)

The next day, it’s business as usual at the Garderobe Academy. The Coral students are cleaning up the school compound when Akane walks in. The Corals greet her and Akane encourages them to ganbatte.

Over in a corner, a group of Corals are discussing about yesterday’s incident and it seems that Nina has been imprisoned(not accurate! Wait for Mentar, Jpnese failed). One of them then asks another Coral, called Tomoe, now that Nina is gone, she can become number one(apparently, Tomoe is the number 2 student). Their conversation is interrupted by the appearance of one of the teachers.

Nina is being imprisoned meanwhile(!!) and she reminisces about yesterday, when Sergey asks if Arika’s GEM caused the airplane to fly and she answers probably. The teacher, Miss Maria, then reprimands Nina for misusing her Otome powers. Nina monologues, saying that her father will hate her if this goes on.

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Switch to Arika, where she seems to be in the research room,sleeping on some kind of MRI lookalike. She wakes up and knocks her head (painfully) on the machine.She also discovers she’s totally naked, except for her sheet ^_^. The person-in-charge (ok, I forgot her name) greets her and brings a drink for her.

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Meanwhile, Mashiro is having difficulties waking up. After waking, she complains that the room is small ^_^;;, prompting her maid to wonder( who won’t, see the screencap).She opens the window, to discover that her castle has had a little ‘accident’.

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Sergey is inspecting the damage to the castle when he remembers something from his childhood. It seems that he’s seen the previous owner of Arika’s pendent, Souten no Seigyoku(who’s with me that the baby is Arika?).

Back in Garderobe, Mashiro is whining to Natsuki but Natsuki gently ‘reminds’ her of her responsibilities and the true cause of the incident, casuing her to storm off, brat-fashion. After she leaves, Natsuki and Shizuru have tea(who spotted Fumi here? Seems like Sunrise is putting in a lot of Fumi cameos,). Didn’t understand what Natsuki says, but Shizuru comments that the hime is the real one or not hasn’t been known.

Back to Arika, she’s had her meals.Yoko-sensei(thank Arika for mentioning her name) asks Arika to be patient while her clothes are being readied.Arika asks if she’ll be an Otome but Yoko says that it’s up to the decision of a council, which is comprised of representatives of various states that are connected to the Academy.

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Mashiro butts in, saying that’s impossible and introduces herself as the Princess of Windbloom. Arika feels that she’s not like what she imagined, pissing off Mashiro who teases Arika back. Arika doesn’t give up and begs Yoko to let her go to the council, who refuses.

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Undaunted, Arika makes a makeshift dress from the sheet and runs out, but she’s lost ^^. The council has started in the mean time and Nina is taken to be questioned.

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Back outside, we meet Shiho who reprimands some of her kouhai for comments about Nina.But as soon as they’re gone, she changes 180° and takes out a voodoo doll, but her cursing is seen by Arika, who innocently asks her the way to the council. Shiho, being Shiho, goes berserk and chases Arika around the campus, meeting up with Chie and Yukariko and not to forget, Nao.The chase scene is a MUST WATCH for all HiME fans, suffice to say.

Meanwhile, things are heating up at the council, with Sergey complaining about the breaking of a treaty and Mashiro barging in to declare that Nina has no right to become an Otome, when Arika finally arrives, causing a large ruckus.

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Nagi appears, apparently he’s a count of some kind now, and says Arika is quite interesting.He asks Arika if she wants to be an Otome at any cost and suggests a competition between her and Nina, when she affirms it. The council ppl are against it but Nina agrees to it, ending the episode.


Phew.. that was a long summary. I went a bit overboard , tehe. But is was a really eventful episode, bound to satisfy old-timers and newbies alike. There was multiple plot developments in this one too, complemented with tons of service, making it a remarkable episode.

The return of the other Mai Hime characters was done splendidly. Shiho was hilarious, with her psychotic side in full swing. Chie was soooo damn kakkoii!!! The way she literally ‘swept’ Arika off her feet was soo damn awesome.I’d always wanted to see her ‘manly’ side after listening to the Drama CD XD, since she didn’t get much screentime in Mai HiME. Guess the production team was listening ^^. Yukariko’s chalk throwing skills were really 1337. I’m sure that no one dares to sleep in her class. Nao, being mischievous as usual, I see XD.

Arika gained quite a few points in this episode to me.Her hair is really useful, lol. She was also less irritating (wonder if the production team read our comments?) in this episode. The sheet dress fits her really, in an very elegant sense.

I’ve also formed some theories in Mai-Otome from this episode. Who’s Arika’s obaa-san? Mashiro and Nagi also seem to be connected in some way? Maybe they’re bethrowed? Sergey also seems to have been in Windbloom previously, and seem to know the previous owner of the Souten no Seigyoku. But oh well, lets all leave the speculation to the master, Mentar ^^.

Next episode, Mashiro’s coronation ceremony. I can imagine lots of action.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Blood+ 01

OP: "青空のナミダ (Aozora no Namida)" by Hitomi Takahashi
ED: "語り継ぐこと (Gatari tsuzugu koto)" by Chitose Hajime
Watch Status: Subbed (Live-Evil)


Somewhere in (what seems to be) Vietnam, a war is going on and a girl with a sword is going on a rampage, killing everthing in sight.

Fast forward, and we see, Saya, a who’s living a normal high school life. She’s missing all her memories except from a year ago.She leaves her shoes at school and goes back to take them, but instead gets to see her teacher killed by a monster and kissed by a guy with a creepy hand. Then, she gets flashbacks. End.


One of the most anticipated new series by a lot of people. It’s supposedly connected to Blood: The Last Vampire, but sadly haven’t seen it, so the hype isn’t on me. It’s slated for a 52-episode run, so we’ll be in for a long run.

Blood+ hasn’t left an outstanding impression on me for this episode, but I’ll wager the good parts are coming soon. The opening massacre wasn’t anything brutal or artistic, just kinda… boring.

The later parts intro’ing Saya and her family are nothing much, still boring.It gets better when the action starts though, had a little shock when the sensei was pulled up by the monster into the tree. A bit too sudden, haha. Not to mention he was doing the classic “shine the torchlight on face”.

Art is done well, considering it’s from Production I.G, seems Gainax also had a hand in it too.OP and ED are OK as well.

Overall, still good, but not on the “must-watch” list yet.

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Black Cat 01

OP: "HIKARI/ダイアの花 (HIKARI / Daia no Hana)" by Yoriko
ED: "ナミダボシ (Namidaboshi)" by PUPPYPET
Watch Status: Subbed(Oyasumi Subs)


Show starts with some funny flashbacks(typical shounen) and then we get in to real time where some guy has been elected governer. Then a one-eyed guy seems to wanna catch him as he’s a gangleader of some sorts.

One-eye guy is very poor and can’t afford food. After helping a waitress-in-distress, he gets it. Then he’s at a party for the governer and he meets the guy he’s supposed to catch. His other eye(turns out it’s not blind) can see the future and it turns out the target will die in 5 mins by some guy.

He tries to get to him 1st but is beaten by other guy, who has XIII(13)engraved on his chest.He confronts the guy but the target’s underling comes and disturbs. After that, one-eye guy goes to a pawn shop to try and get some money, buy the shopkeeper throws him out after he reveals he met the XIII guy, supposedly a shinigami.End


Well, picked it up just because it seems nice. But just standard shounen fare for this season. There’s just tons of similarities with other titles though, with the eye thing and Kurapika. Not really surprising since I’d read an article on a local mag about the tons of similarities of BC and HXH.

I haven’t read the manga yet, so I can judge this somewhat ‘unbiased’ly.Well, comes with experience from tons of bad manga-anime conversions *coughnegimacough*. Luckily, I don’t see the XEBEC word anywhere, so it should be better.

The show seems quite OK, but the pacing needs some changes. The flashing back was quite jarring to me. Art is done quite good, but nothing outstanding(unlike Negima,*stabs XEBEC*).

OP and ED are quite nice to listen too, not outstanding like Shakugan( damn, I just can’t resist mentioning Shakugan, WHEN ARE THE SINGLES COMING OUT!!!!!!!! ) but still nice to listen too.I kinda find the ED sequence a bit creepy, with all of them turned into cats, taking the ‘Cat’ part of ‘Black Cat’ too seriously I guess.

Overall, still interesting. I’ll follow this one on subs. It’s not gonna be on my “Must-watch” list(a.k.a watch raw).

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Shakugan no Shana 02


Continuing off from the last episode, Shana says that Yuuji is dead already.Yuuji is clearly shocked by it (who won’t?) and keeps tailing Shana. She explains about the Guuzen no Toma and about the Torches to Yuuji when he keeps tailing her.He has a shock when he realizes that he might not be the real Sakai Yuuji.

They stop for some melon-pan(flashes of DearS suddenly come up) and continue on home. Yuuji asks who’s Shana is and she replies that she’s a Flame Haze,(apparently, Japanese failed here) exterminator of the Toma and Rinne, and leaves Yuuji surprised.

Shana discusses with Alastor(her pendent) about the attack and Yuuji, the misutesu. Bad guy also discusses with the doll, Marie about the Flame Haze.

Next day, Yuuji wakes up realizing it’s not a dream.After breakfast, he leaves for school but meets Shana again. Shana explains that he’s a misutesu, a treasure coveted by the Toma(?, again not accurate), and she thinks that it’s easier to get her job done by following Yuuji around, since he’ll be targeted.

Then Hirai-san passes by and her ‘Torch’ is going to be exterminated. Sakai doesn’t want this and spends the day trying to cheer her up, including trying to hook her with his friend Ike,whom Hirai’s interested in.

Unfortunately, all his efforts go to waste and Hirai-san disappears.Shana appears and says that’s what happens to a Torch. Yuuji then asks Shana her name. She says she’s only a Flame Haze and has no name. Yuuji then gives Shana her name and introduces himself as Sakai Yuuji, in an attempt to acknowledge each other’s existence.


Shakugan is not letting me down yet. This episode gives some explanation on the Torches and other things in the Shakugan universe.

Torches seem to be the replacements of the human souls that the Toma eats in order to keep the balance of the world in order. Seems that once the fire burns out the person will be forgotten.

Shana, the Flame Haze, is the counter force for the Toma and there seems to be more than one. While Yuuji, the misutesu, possesses some kind of treasure coveted by the Toma and also gives him some power, like not being influenced by the spell in Ep.01 and also remembering Hirai, even though she’s disappeared.

Shana was also kinda cute in this episode. Rie Kugamiya does a fine job voicing here. It was surprising to discover that she was the voice of Al in FMA. My personal high points of Shana:

  1. ‘setsume owari!!’ – moé +5

  2. Melon-pan fetish – moé +7

  3. The part when Yuuji names her – moé +5

Yes, ‘melon-pan eating girls that use swords are incredibly moé!!!!!!’.  XD XD.

The next episode seems to introduce a second Flame Haze, the big breasted woman(every moé anime needs them I guess) and an attack by the bad guys in the school.Looks interesting. I kinda thought that the woman was one of the bad guys all the while. Well, I can imagine much comedy ahead.

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Jigoku Shoujo 02

OP: 「逆さまの蝶」 by SNoW (Sakasama no Chou)


Poor girl, Kyoko(voiced by Ai Shimizu! Moé +5), is being harassed by a pervert. She tries the Jigoku Tsuushin out of desperation and the pervert is nicely dealt with by Enma and her associates.


Well, I guess I’m lacking a bit in the energy dept. so the summary was short. Anyways, Jigoku Shojo will be following the same formula so, it’s expected.

First off, Kyoko DID NOT DESERVE TO GO TO HELL!!! And Enma didn’t torture that damned perverted stalker bastard enough! He needs more punishment. Well, I guess that Ai Shimizu playing the victim added to the sentiment much.

I guess this shows the seriousness that Enma conducts her ‘business’. No choice left when you really wish ppl to go to hell. Ahh… the darkness of people’s hearts.

In any case, there’s much more involvement of Enma’s associates this time around, as nicely referenced in Random’s post but nothing too specific. Enma also lives with a yet-to-be seen grandma, the previous Jigoku Shoujo maybe?

Also, the animators must really not like Microsoft. The browser of choice seems to be Firefox while Enma uses an old Macintosh PC. But still, it was really funny to see the Mac in Enma’s place.

Sakasama no Chou also sounds really good. Somehow the tune really fits with the series. Even the Engrish was done nicely, haha. Can’t wait for the appearance of the singles. Damn, all the anime this season could’ve sucked but I’d still be darned satisfied with the music only.

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Shuffle! 12

(No screencaps starting for this post onwards. I have a serious problem once I start getting screencaps as evidenced by my latest posts. Well, if there’s intersteing things, I’ll put them up)


It’s time for the summer vacation homework and Rin, Sia and Nerine are trying to finish it together. Rin-kun gets a bit ‘overexcited’ but manages to finish ahead of Sia and Nerine. He proceeds to finish off his last assignment, which is a landscape sketch, and decides to draw the riverbank. There, he meets up with Asa-sempai who proceeds to ask Rin which girl has he decided on, prompting embarrassment from Rin, especially when Asa-sempai says he’s going for Primula-chan ;). On the way back, Rin and Asa bump into Kareha-sempai, who proceeds to ‘misunderstand’ when Asa says they’ve just came from the river(damn, she’s really funny) and also Itsuki, who adds oil to Kareha’s fire, haha.

But back home, Primula suddenly faints when she tries to help out Kaede water the plants, freezing the whole garden in the process. When, Rin gets back, he discovers that Primula has a 50°C fever. He asks Sia and Nerine if they know what’s happening but both have no idea. Then, Shin-oh and Ma-boh, call him over and they reveal that Primula is an artificially-made life under the Yggdrasil project. It seems that Primula’s soul is the only success but she has no emotions.It seems that being with Rin has awakened Primula’s emotions causing her to lose control of her powers.Primula stubbornly refuses to go back to the Makai for treatment but Rin finally makes her go. They sadly part. Back in the Makai, it seems that Primula will be unable to go back to the human realm anymore.


Shuffle! starts to get serious with this episode, especially with the revelation of Primula’s background. I haven’t played the game yet, but I did get spoiled, thanks to Animesuki forums, so this wasn’t much of a shocker here. I expect more drama and angst soon. Wonder who will Rin end up with? Well, me being a KKK and AAA member, I do hope that Kaede or Asa gets him. I like Kaede’s back-story the most, though.

Shuffle! is also abusing the R-15 rating, evidenced by the eye-catch, which has now changed to be more ecchi and serious BGM.. The title screen also had some changes with the black background and red wording.

The preview for the next episode, shows much drama, with glimpses of Kikyou, and Rin talking to Nerine on the swing they met in the 1st episode. Being spoiled, there’s not much surprise to me, but still I want to watch it and see how will they end the anime.

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Monday, October 10, 2005


Ahh…. damn, it seems that Vampire mode isn’t suited for my body unless I get bitten 1st :(.

On Friday, the overexertion of my body finally took it’s toll and I got a very very painful stomachache.I went to a nearby clinic to no avail and finally, a good Samaritan visiting the clinic sent me to the hospital, where it turns out I have kidney stones. Had to stay in it for 3 days to get tested :P.

Well, finally I’m out and I’m back at my home with my family. I’ll resume blogging as soon as I can, although probably not at the same rate as recently, maybe I’ll take the chance to migrate to other blogging methods.. Hmm, seems I’ve missed quite a lot.

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Mai-Otome - 01

OP: DreamWingby 栗林みな実
ED: 「乙女はDO MY BESTでしょ?」 by 菊地美香 and 小清水亜美(sucks)
Watch Status: Raw
Genre: Fantasy, Mahou shoujo

Warning: Lots of screencaps, 56-kers be warned.

OP Sequence

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In a medieval world, a castle is being attacked. An injured women is running away with something. She reaches a stream and lowers what’s she’s carrying into it. It turns out to be a baby and with a beautiful pendent. She wishes the baby to live and watch as it floats away. Then her pursuers catch up with her, and she starts to fight. Fast forward 14 years later, in the middle of a desert, where a girl is stranded in it. A ship passes by (anyone notice the resemblance to Mai-HiME?) but it doesn’t stop to rescue her. The girl follows the ship to some kind of port where she tries to steal someone’s drink but trips and makes a big mess. Later, she wakes up to be confronted by her ‘victim’, Nina Wong, and her father, Sergey Wong. The girl introduces herself as Yumemiya Arika. She follows Nina on to town where she’s fascinated with the sights and sounds. Suddenly, they see a girl confronted by 3 guys on top of a building and they save her. Then they reach an airport (I think) where the girl they saved reveals her ring and she seems to be someone important. A giant monster attacks them and Nina asks the girl to be her temporary Master where she changes into an Otome and fights off the monster but she’s too weak. Arika’s pendent shines and the aircraft they’re sheltering in lifts off with the monster, called a Slave, on it. Natsuki sends Akane and Shizuru on a rescue mission where they successfully complete it. They land down and Arika proclaims she’s going to be an Otome after seeing Shizuru’s prowess ( who isn’t, lol). End.

ED Sequence

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One of the most anticipated new shows of this season, Mai-Otome, the spinoff of last year’s dramatic Mai-HiME, doesn’t disappoint on the first episode. You *cannot* argue on the greatness that is Shizuru, period.

In any case, Otome is set in a somewhat Victorian-style fantasy world, most probably to exploit the meido theme for this year. Speaking about that, there’s still Rozen Maiden: tràumènd to come… ahhh, the anticipation.

It is nice to see all our old favorite Mai-Hime characters back in action, especially Natsuki and Shizuru. God, Sunrise made them much much more cooler. ARIGATO GOZAIMASU~!!! I’d actually thought that Nina Wong’s gonna be Natsuki’s version in this story but thankfully I was wrong. And god damn, Shizuru is damn cool,especially with her trademark scythe. Second only to my fetish on girls with swords, is scythe users(especially girls). In Mai-Hime, I’d felt that Shizuru’s capabilities was wasted but it’s good to see Sunrise changing that. More Shizuru plzz~~!!!!!!!!

As for the main characters, Arika is definitely no Mai. Mai had more charisma and undoubtedly Arika loses in that department. She feels really ‘noisy’ and kinda resembles Momono in Gunbuster 2. Well, we’ll see what she’ll be when the drama kicks in.

Nina Wong plays a good job as the coolheaded one of the team, up on par with Natsuki in Mai-Hime. Funny that, Tate’s version in the universe is her father. Wonder is the Sunrise team are hinting something, hmm….

Mashiro is…. bratty, I’ll say. Far cry from her days as the stoic Mashiro in Mai-Hime. Still, it’s only the first episode and it’s kinda funny to see her acting like that, still prefer the old one though. I can see a lot of tsukkomi opportunities with her and Arika to Nina.

On the art and animation side, Sunrise keeps the style of Mai-Hime and the animation work has not much fault. The action scenes are fluidly done, especially the Shizuru parts \(^_^)/

But the OP & ED are big letdowns for me. I didn’t really like the Mai-Hime OP and ED much and the ones for Mai-Otome sound really uninspired especially the ED. OP sequence was done really nicely though, but the ED sequence just plain sucks. BGM is a different matter though, with Yuki-sama doing her best as usual. The BGM used on Shizuru and Akane’s ‘launch’ sequence(well, coming from the studio that created Gundam, no surprise there) is really good and gives me high hopes for the OST.

Overall, Mai-Otome shows much promise on the first episode.Can’t really judge what’ll become, look at Mai-Hime. It’ll be on my blogging list even if the first half is just boring fanservice. Well, we’ll just have to wait and see if it can match up to Mai-Hime.

BTW, who noticed Tate and Fumi?

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