ケロロ軍曹 Episode 82
Sgt. Frog anime, 82
Keroro Gunsou episode 82
Mutsumi is having an audition contest to see who will be his radio assistant for a day. As such, Natsumi calls her friends and they attend the audition, eager to see what Mutsumi really looks like. Also there are Keroro and company in their "Pekopon Suits." Natsumi quickly determines this is some wacky plan of Keroro's to invade earth and she's right. The competition comes down to a showdown between Natsumi and Keroro. Natsumi does a brilliant gymnastic routine and Keroro tells a story so moving, even Natsumi cries. However, Kururu arrives in his "Kururuko" female suit and wins with his cheesy jokes.
Keroro is goofing off, so Natsumi confiscates his latest Gundam model. In response, Keroro has Kururu create a machine that produces model toys based people who get scanned by the machine. As such, Keroro has a 1/6th sized version of himself and it is much more powerful than Keroro actually is. The Keroro-model attacks Natsumi, who along with Fuyuki are forced to flee from it. Keroro is off for a dip in the indoor onsen when Natsumi and Fuyuki manage to get into his room. A model of Natsumi is accidentally created and when she puts it together, it is able to defeat the Keroro-model. Building a few more, Keroro comes from the bath to find himself surrounded and forced to surrender.
So, why is Natsumi saying to her (newly found "old") female friends, "let's see who Mutsumi really is?" She already knows for crying out loud. You can't pass it off as, "I'm pretending not to know for my friend's sake" because she's thinking constantly about her chance to see the real Mutsumi. I don't get this at all.
Still, I did get a laugh when Natsumi imitated Keroro as she accurately predicted his entire plan. ^_^
I remembered the 2nd story as having come from the manga. The visuals of the models fighting give this an edge over the manga. The Star Wars parody music of "The Imperial March" is a nice touch. It isn't the same song, but one can hear the similarities. ^_^
Sunday, November 30, 2008
ケロロ軍曹 Episode 82
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Even More Negima! 235 SPOILER Images!
魔法先生 ネギま！Chapter 235 (Images)
Here is the third batch of spoiler images from Mahou Sensei Negima! chapter 235. (click pics to make bigger, y'all). Some of these are repeats but some are new (I just grab the entire thing).
It almost appears that the Battle Harem and the Valkyries are at the same bath/onsen, but I don't see how that's possible without the Battle Harem getting arrested.
For those who missed it, the first batch of images are here and the second batch of images are here.
More Negima! 235 SPOILER Images!
魔法先生 ネギま！Chapter 235 (Images)
Here is the next batch of spoiler images from Mahou Sensei Negima! chapter 235. (click pics to make bigger, y'all).
These were the ones that dropped for a while. Took an hour or so to score them at all. ^_^;
Update: For those who missed it, the first batch of images is here. The third is here.
Negima! 235 SPOILER Images
魔法先生 ネギま！Chapter 235 (Images)
Here's what many of you have been waiting for -- the original-sized, sneak-peek images for Mahou Sensei Negima! 235 as posted on a short-lived Japanese page (click pic to make bigger, y'all).
FANSERVICE ALERT! ^_^;
No point in pressing with the main story much this month since there isn't going to be much published in December.
There were some other image links posted, but those appear to already be gone. ^_^; Well, I was sleeping when they came out. When/if there is more, I'll post more (as always). ^_^
Update: those first images came back, so I scored them. You can see them here. The third batch of images are here.
Chapter review is here!
Friday, November 28, 2008
クラナド アフターストーリー Episode 08
Nagisa and Tomoya are visiting Yukine, who'd very tired from a lack of sleep. Nagisa wonders if there is a charm (spell) that would help Yukine sleep. There is, but it requires a lap. Yukine comments on how her brother used to provide a lap pillow for her, which leads Nagisa to volunteer Tomoya for the job. After some hesitation, she accepts Nagisa's offer and is out like a light when her head rests on Tomoya's lap. Tomoya asks Nagisa if this is truly OK. Nagisa admits to being a bit jealous, but a friend needed sleep and seeing Yukine sleeping so peacefully, Nagisa has no problems.
After Yu-kun and Youhei arrive, Yukine wakes up from her nap. They are soon visited by an injured Sudou, who reports that since the other gang thinks Yukine's brother Kazuto is out of the hospital (mistaking the beating from Tomoyo combined with Youhei's pretending to be Kazuto as proof), they are going to try to end the gang war for good. Tomoyo enters the resource room causing Sudou to flee. Later in Youhei's room, Tomoyo is briefed on the situation. She won't report this to the school and knows Kazuto from her gang fighting days. That said, she believes it will only be a matter of time before the police get involved.
At Kazuto's gang hideout, the gang treat their wounds, having taken another beating from the other gang. Yukine decides she has to stop the fighting since she cares for people from both sides. She races out into the rain, followed by Tomoya. They arrive at the other gang hideout where the other gang refuses to back down, despite Yukine's pleas. With Kazuto apparently out of the hospital, they can't afford to wait, lest they all lose. In the end, the leader of the other gang (Sasaki) agrees to end the war one way -- a one-on-one fight between himself and Kazuto.
Back at Kazuto's gang hideout, Yu-kun reminds the others that Youhei had been braging about being Kazuto, so he is drafted to fight the other gang leader. The evening of the fight comes and the two sides meet at the river with the fight to take place on a sand bar. Nagisa has special rainbow bread from her mother, made just for Youhei. Also, her father included special jam. Youhei and the other gang members happily partake and are instantly knocked out by the bread. So when Sasaki arrives, the only guy left standing is Tomoya.
Tomoya informs Sasaki that Youhei was never Kazuto and that Sasaki will have to settle for Tomoya instead. Sasaki agrees and the fight is on. It goes for hours, with Tomoya taking a good beating, but giving good blows too, never giving up. As Kazuto's gang comes too, they along with Youhei decide to race to the river to help Tomoya. Sasaki's gang sees this and rush to help Sasaki. They stop when they see someone new arrive -- Kazuto. When Kazuto charges, Sasaki rushes to meet him, punching him, only to discover that it is actually Yukine in disguise. Tomoya realizes that she did this to try to stop the fight since only Kazuto could do it. Yukine is crying, saying how her brother wanted the fighting to stop.
The following morning, both gangs are in a graveyard where Yukine performs the Japanese headstone cleasing ritual at the Miyazawa family grave, where her brother is buried. Yukine tells the story of how seeing Sudou & Tajima cry at her brothers funeral made her decide to get to know more about Kazuto's way of life. She was accepted by the gang and they were a comfort to her after the loss of her brother. Since they didn't want Sasaki's gang to take advantage of the situation, Kazuto's death was kept a secret. Both gangs then pay their respects to Kazuto as Tomoya sees an orb of light fly away.
Later at school, Yukine thanks Tomoya, Nagisa, and Youhei for their help. She then tells the story of the orbs of light that appear at happy events in the city and that if one can grab one, they can gain a wish. Yukine doesn't know if what Tomoya saw was one of those lights and Nagisa recognizes Yukine's orb story as being similar to the one in the Sanae-san arc. Regardless, Yukine is thankful for all her friends.
The ties between the world and the Illusionary World are touched on again with the orb of light which Tomoya saw (and no one else did apparently) and Yukine's story, which ties in with Sanae-san's story arc (the cat having the orb of light to grant a wish). How all this relates to Tomoyo remains to be seen. Mystery Girl and Garbage Doll didn't make an appearance this week, so it is hard to say more.
As to the conclusion of Yukine's story, just before the midway point of this episode, I began to wonder of Yunike's brother were already dead. I'm not sure why, but her reluctance to speak much about her brother seemed to be the spark that started it. So when everyone appeared at his grave at the end of the episode, I wasn't surprised at all.
Yukine was originally supposed to be one of the main girls in the Clannad visual novel, but if this was the story they had, I can see why they didn't go with it. Yeah, its sad that her brother died, but the story of two waring gangs didn't have much impact on me. Had there been more evidence of this gang war all along (going back to Clannad), maybe it would have moved me more. As it is, the story wasn't bad, just failed to make any connections to me on an emotional level.
I'm not sure what's coming next episode beyond a depressed Tomoya. See you then.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
To those of you in the U.S., I hope you have a good Thanksgiving. I have many things I am thankful for in spite of having lost my job in time for the holiday season. However, I know that things could be much, much worse.
That said, I do thank you guys for supporting this blog and the Tenchi Muyo! FAQ over the years, both with Amazon purchases and ad revenue. I really do appreciate it all, more so now. ^_^
Anyway, I was looking through my various collections of anime images I've picked up over the years and I found a stash of Clannad wallpapers that I picked up from some Japanese site sometime who knows when. Maybe you've seen these and maybe you haven't but regardless, I thought I'd share with you all as a way of saying "thanks." I think most of them are 1600x. ^_^
The one with Fuuko-chan and Nagisa gets me every time I look at it. ^_^;;;
The Null Set blog has a few more nice wallpapers of Nagisa for those interested.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
魔法先生 ネギま！Volume 26 Chapter 234 (manga)
Mahou Sensei Negima! Manga Chapter 234
Summary/Synopsis: A captive Asuna is told by Homura how Shiori managed to imitate her, thanks to the perfected bookmark artifact of Shiori's -- Signum Bioregens. So Shiori-Asuna heads off to rejoin Negi's group, even having Asuna's personality and appearance while the real Asuna is being held captive in the same place as Anya, guarded by Homura. Asuna questions why Homura keeps addressing her as "himesama" (princess). Homura is surprised that Asuna really doesn't know who she truly is, considering her importance in the Magic World.
Anya insults and threatens Homura, who does not take kindly to this, threatening to kill the girl since her instructions do not say she must keep her alive as they do for Asuna. Fate arrives with Brigitte, Koyomi, Tamaki, & Tsukuyomi, telling Homura that Anya is from Earth and not to be harmed since they don't want unnessisary casualties, lest they lose the mantle of justice. Homura apologises and Fate receives the reports of the failures of Brigitte, Koyomi, & Tamaki as well as the success of Tsukuyomi. Despite the failures, Fate praises all the girls for their work and gives them the rest of the day off.
Asuna goes off on Fate for doing what he's doing (including looking down on others) and not even trying to honestly discuss the matter with others such as Negi. Fate decides that the quickest way to have Asuna understand is to have her remember her own role in this situation. He begins using cancelation magic to force Asuna to remember her past, only to discover that the medication she took is still in effect. Fate is not concerned since she'll remember soon enough. Inside her mind, Asuna meets her younger self, the younger version wondering who the older Asuna is.
On Paru's ship, Kaede and Negi are in a magic circle getting ready to perform a pactio. After some small talk, Kaede kisses Negi and scores her artifact card. With this done, Kaede acknowledges that she is now Negi's retainer, thus he is her master. Several of the other girls come busting through the door, wondering how Kaede's kiss experience was. All the girls have a serious discussion of the matter of their first kiss with Negi before Kaede tries out her artifact. It appears to be nothing more than a tattered cloak, but when she wraps herself in it, the cloak sinks to the ground with nothing in it before disappearing.
The others are amazed at what they see, but then wonder why Kaede would get an artifact to make herself disappear when her shinobi skills are already such that she can make herself invisible now. Kaede reappears from the floor under the cloak and reveals that her artifact somehow has a house in it with a kitchen and everything. Everyone is amazed by this revalation with Chisame and Kotaro realizing how useful this artifact could be.
Paru decides that Ku Fei needs to get an artifact next. She hesitates, stating she wants to rely on her own power. Paru will hear nothing of this, reminding Ku of the movie Raken showed them. Ku says she'll do it and it is only then that Paru realizes that Ku has feelings for Negi. Ku tries to deny it but Paru and the others are onto her and the chase is on.
Thoughts/Review: Another good chapter as I see it. It is nice seeing what happened to Anya, though I would like to see exactly when she got caught (likely shortly after the dispersion spell Fate cast). Having Asuna's memories unblocked has me very interested seeing as how we should get to witness more events from the past from Asuna's point-of-view. The interesting bit is Raken's foresight in giving Asuna a pill to help block Fate's cancelation spell. Actually, I know it was to keep Asuna from remembering things naturally, which is what she was doing at the time. However, how did he know this would happen?
I think the pill will give Asuna proper time to assimilate the data of having been a princess in the magic world. She'll remember her memory-dreams and the like and combined with her training, I think that she'll be able to accept all this and in the end, will surprise Fate and his group. Had the pill not been there, Asuna would have likely been overwhelmed with her memories and been a tool Fate could more easily use.
It is about time Kaede scored a pactio. Seriously, she's been involved with Negi since volume 3. I think the original plan may have been for her artifact to have been that large shuriken, but then she's been using it since volume 3. Fortunately, Akamatsu-sensei simply re-designs the pactio card and now we get her artifact -- the tattered cloak. Basically, she has an invisible, portable base for the group to use, assuming she can get everyone inside. That is indeed, useful since they can heal up, get some sleep, and eat in relative safety (assuming the artifact is undetectible once it becomes invisible).
Well, we are heading into the darth month -- only two chapters coming out in December from what I understand.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
めぞん一刻 2007 Live Action Dorama
It is 2007 and GODAI Yusaku takes his daughter Haruka to a park. While there, he tells her a story of how he met her mother and how different he was back then. Back in 1983, Yusaku is a rounin trying to get into college and living in a single-room apartment. Also in this apartment building is the middle-aged, mysterious Yotsuya-san, the slutty-acting Akemi, the mother who loves to get drunk (Ichinose-san), and her son Kentaro. The adults find excuses to come by Yusaku's room to drink and and party. Yusaku decides he's had enough is says he's going to leave.
At this time, OTONASHI Kouko arrives to take over the job of manager (kanrinin) of Maison Ikkoku. Yusaku immediately falls in love with Kyouko and decides to stay. Kyouko, upon learning about her tenants, decides to help Yusaku to get into college by passing his entrance exams. As he works on this over time, Yusaku learns that Kyouko is the daughter-in-law of the apartment's owner and that her husband has been dead a year (after he visits the grave with them). He also learns that Kyouko has no plans to fall in love again, so he makes her promise to give love a chance again (even if not with him) should he pass his entrance exams. Despite al the obstacles in his path, Yusaku passes his entrance exams, only to discover that Kyouko has someone else interested in her.
I remember renting a DVD for Maison Ikkoku after Viz started releasing them, having liked Takahashi-sensei's other anime adaptation stuff I'd seen (Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2). Since there weren't many DVD's released at that time, I took a big risk and bought all the manga. I was a bit annoyed by the then flipped release of the manga, discovering that the translation for the subtitles weren't good (changing "entrance exam" to "midterms" for some stupid reason as an example), and by learning that Viz removed a few chapters. Despite that, the story as a whole was one I found most excellent while being extremely frustrating.
When I learned that there would be a live-action TV special for Maison Ikkoku to be released in 2007, I was pretty excited. I then learned that the show didn't do so well ratings-wise (apparently) so no TV series would be forthcoming. Despite this, I picked up the title but never got around to watching it until today. So how did it do? OK for the most part but there are some problems.
Lets start with the sets. Outstanding! I actually got a chill when I saw the shot of the road that goes up the hill toward Maison Ikkoku. Then, seeing the exterior of Maison Ikkoku, I went, "Oh yeah!" After that, as the camera gave us a tour of the inside of the apartment, I nearly squealed in delight. So many little details were there. It truly was the manga/anime come to life. Even the hole in the wall of Yusaku's room is there. Everything is pretty much as I remember it (since I sold my anime and manga way back when to pay medical bills, I can't recall if there are little things missing or not, but from what I remember, it is pretty good). That is a big plus.
Next are the characters. Kyouko-san is played by ANZAI Tomoko, who is cute enough to be in the role. However, I never once believed that she ever thought about Yusaku in a romantic way. Oh, she tried to pull it off, but I never believed it like I did in the manga or anime. I think of the scene where Yusaku carries Kyouko-san up to his room to apparently sleep with her. In the manga and anime, I believed that she would willing allow Yusaku to take her. In the live-action version, I didn't get that feeling, only a somewhat uncomfortable feeling of a rape that nearly happened.
Also, in anime or manga, it is cute when the girl holds her arms up in front of her chest to wish someone good luck. However, seeing this done in a live-action piece, it looked stupid, so Kyouko-san looked stupid. Sad, really but Tomoko-san I think did try her best.
Yusaku is played by NAKABAYASHI Taiki and he does a good job in the role. I believed he became Yusaku. His reactions to Kouko-san -- believable. His annoyance with the other apartment residence -- believable. His actions around his friend Sakamoto -- believable. He addresses Kyouko as "Kanrinin-san" most of the time with the occasional shift to "Kyouko-san" when he felt closer and of course in his fantasies, calling her "Kyouko." All this is in line with the manga and anime and is a plus. So I had no trouble accepting him as a character come to life.
Both Ichinose-san (KISHIMOTO Kayoko) and Akemi (TAKAHASHI Yumiko) are played believable to their anime counterparts. I would have imagined Ichinose-san looking just a little older (and heavier) and Akemi should have had red hair. Kayoko-san certain got down the Japanese fan stuff that Ichinose-san did when getting drunk (big plus) and I never saw Akemi working at Chachamaru's bar (a small negative).
Yotsuya-san is played by KISHIBE Ittoku. While clearly Ittoku-san is a good actor, I still think that he's too old to be the part of Yotsuya-san. In the manga/anime, he comes off as looking 30-ish to me, not mid-50's. Still, because Ittoku-san is such a good actor, he is able to overcome this enough to obtain a pass.
Story-wise, the special starts off as the manga/anime through Kyouko-san's arrival. At that point, the writers adjust things to work within the 2-hour confines of the special. As such, Mitaka doesn't show up until the very end (as a tease to what was thought to be start of the TV series) and Kozue (the girl who's in love with Yusaku) doesn't show up at all (unless it is a cameo somewhere that I didn't notice). An actress was cast for the role since the plan was to have a TV series and we'll see if she shows up in the 2008 special or not. Yusaku's grandmother does show up at the end of the special. SUGAI Kin pulls off the little old Japanese lady roll quite well. ^_^
A lot of material is covered in two hours and the production staff make sure to hit the highlights. Unfortunately, while they do hit the highlights (and some are a delight to see or a hoot to see), often any emotional impact is lost. For example, there's no real buildup to the element of Yusaku discovering that Kyouko had been married and her husband is now dead, so there's no emotion in the scene. It just happens. The other residence just start confronting Kyouko about Yusaku but with no real buildup, it doesn't mean much. The moment with Kyouko and Yusaku spending New Years Eve together doesn't have any kind of romantic feel to it and that is a shame. Also, the first instance of Yusaku running away meant nothing.
Another problem with the special is that it dragged at times. I felt bored, not because I knew the story (I cite the live-action Honey and Clover as an example a series where I'd watched the anime and already knew the story, yet wasn't bored), but because the pacing isn't good. In the anime, I know things go slow as they do in the manga. However, this slow pace wasn't boring to me because I saw how things were being laid for Kyouko and Yusaku's eventually becoming a couple. Here, the slow pace doesn't work on setup and just made me think at times that I'd rather watch something else.
Having now watched this special, I can see why a TV series never came about. I do give the production team kudo's for trying to make a faithful adaptation for the otaku fans while at the same time providing inoffensive changes to story to work within the confines of a 2-hour special. The casting is mostly fine with a few problems with the chemistry between Yusaku and Kyouko. The sets are fantastic with great attention to detail. The changes in the story are non-offensive as they work for the 2-hour time restriction but the pacing of things is terrible. However, if you are a Maison Ikkoku fan, I would say to go ahead and watch this yourself. There are more than enough good things in this to justify spending a couple of hours to watch this.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2 Episode 11
宇宙戦艦ヤマト2 Ep. 11 (TV, Anime)
The crew of Yamato are amazed to discover Desler is still alive but press ahead just the same. Desler sees Yamato is moving toward them slower than expected, so he decides to give some homesick humans a taste of home. As such, Yamato is surrounded with what look like fireflies and many crew members done spacesuits and head outside to capture these, placing them in special, sealed containers. Analyzer gets in on the act, even giving a container to Yuki, which Sanada takes in order to investigate the mysterious lights.
After Yamato receives another message from Teresa (which sounds automated), Sanada discovers that the lights are actually a bacteria of some kind, which becomes apparent when they stop lighting. Susumu is annoyed that these things are all over inside the ship after he expressly ordered they not be brought in. When he orders them removed, Saito refuses the order, uninterested in giving up his pretty firefly-like lights (as do others). When the lights go out, Saito gets mad and he and Susumu start fighting. The fight is stopped when gravity control is lost.
Susumu manages to make it to the bridge where he's informed that the bacteria brought on board eats through metal. An open container of bacteria caused the gravity controls to be lost. Sanada works to restore gravity control as Desler orders a single assault carrier to attack Yamato. It launches its "dive bombers" which attack with gusto, leading Susumu to order the main guns return fire rather than the anti-aircraft weapons. Desler makes visual contact with Yamato to let them know it is he that ordered the attack as Yamato takes a pounding. Sanada gets the gravity restored, but it is too much.
Today, we have an exercise in complete and total stupidity, to say nothing about a breakdown in the chain of command and Susumu's complete failure as a captain.
Clearly, no one respects Acting Captain Susumu Kodai because they ignore his orders when they feel like it (save for the bridge crew). It was bad enough when that oaf Saito ignored the orders, but to have the regular crew do so as well is just stunning. I doubt the series does this, but in real life, if Susumu isn't advised to pass out punishments AND doesn't punish idiot crew members (including Saito), then he deserves to suffer the consequences of his inaction.
Next on the agenda is Susumu's orders after coming under attack. (Of course, we are ignoring the fact that he should have placed Yamato under alert the moment Yuki spotted the Gamilus fleet on the time radar so that when they came under attack, they immediately were ready.) If you are under attack from "dive bombers," why would you order your main guns to fire rather than your anti-aircraft pulse lasers, which you've been using quite well until this episode?
Finally, we have an analyzing robot named "Analyzer." Pardon me while I laugh. He grabs a bunch of these "fireflies" and can't even analyze that they are potentially harmful? He used to be good at that kind of thing in the first series. This series, he's been pretty worthless.
We won't go into Desler stupidity because he's a villain and they are supposed to do stupid things like toy with their prey for revenge and enjoyment, but then die anyway. Not that Desler can die since clearly he can be brought back to life thanks to Comet Empire technology and the desire for revenge.
Speaking of Desler, at least now we know how he survived, having been found and saved by the Comet Empire. The question is why a Comet Empire small craft happened to be near Earth in order to not only find Desler's body in space, but also to bring him back to their HQ and then bring him back to life.
No new jobs for Yuki this time, though she should be given a stupidity detector and whack people on the head with a harisen who flag as stupid.
So basically, this is an episode filled with complete and total stupidity just so Yamato can take a beating in an attack.