Blogging for the Fall 2008 Season

This is just an announcement that I have finally decided what I will be blogging during the Fall 2008 anime season.  I will be blogging Clannad After Story, Chaos Head, and Rosario + Vampire Capu2.  I will be giving in depth blogs about each episode of the three series upcoming.  This is all for right now, I gotta get back to writing my main post for tonight

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya:”Aliens, Time Travelers, and Espers Read This Post!”

I’m continuing my blog series on Kyoto Animation tonight with one of the most popular anime series as of recent history, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.  The amount of sheer fandom that this show has achieved is somewhat staggering as well as puzzling.  You would think that a show of some random girl running around looking for aliens while dragging a group of other students with her would make for a mediocre show at best.  However, I guess the people in charge of the show really shocked world and decided to show us that a high school themed show about a guy and girl can seem fresh and funny.

I have tried to figure out how this show grabbed the hearts of so many anime fans to the point of rabid loyalty, but it is beyond me.  Don’t get me wrong this show is good I really enjoyed it and I still watch it even now, however, you won’t see me running around with a Haruhi t-shirt on, have a large amount of Yuki figurines, or even better a Mikuru pillowcase on my bed.  However, the latter type of fandom is the type of fandom that this show has generated.  Now I’m not saying that if you have the above mentioned items your strange or that typical “otaku” guy or girl although the Mikuru pillowcase could raise some eye brows but whatever.

Kyon's famous reaction to Haruhi's ideas

Kyon's famous reaction to Haruhi's ideas

The show features very good animation and the character designs to many people seem somewhat ordinary.  I believe they are nice and get the job done, but it’s not how the characters look but how they interact with one another and the environment around them.  The monologues that happen inside Kyon’s head are actually very suitable for the show as he tells what he thinks in his head about the events around him.  For some reason it really adds to the comedy of the show.  Kyon is the guinea pig of Haruhi, she likes him so he’s always caught up in her ideas.  Although he never leaves so he must not mind it too much.  He helps keep Haruhi in check while at the same time enjoying the costumes that Haruhi throws on Mikuru.  Haruhi is very over the top about everything as she runs around like a little dictator demanding things of her servants.  However, her blunt attitude can be very annoying to fans, but I didn’t really mind.  I thought it was much better than the one dimensional harem girl characters that many people guys seem to love.

Mikuru says "Classified Information"

Mikuru says "Classified Information."

Mikuru is as Haruhi puts it the “decoration” of the show. She is the source of every element of fan service the show manages to create minus a few bunny girl costume appearances by Haruhi that I’m sure had several Otaku reaching for tissues to stop the nosebleed.  Yuki is the silent type with glasses (see knocking out two archetypes there) while she doesn’t say much, she is interesting with her ability to cast incantations on objects as well as her very serious, and deadly combat abilities.  Koizumi is the character who really is the “follower” of Haruhi, kind of like a butler who just smiles as he watches his master have fun but can be serious if pushed. (like the destruction of the earth)

The show is about a girl named Haruhi, who is apparently God that can create and destroy universes at a mere thought, however she doesn’t realize this.  She’s looking for aliens, time travelers, and espers, but doesn’t realize that Yuki, Mikuru, and Koizumi are those three beings who are keeping an eye on Haruhi to help ensure that she doesn’t destroy the earth.  Kyon really just was in the right place at the right time and he gets caught up in everything.  Haruhi was displeased with all the clubs so he gave her the idea to create her own club.  So she creates a club to search for aliens and what not that turns into the ever popular SOS Brigade.  Besides one incident that happens with her almost destroying the earth without realizing it, that is really the entire story of the series.  Sound exciting?  I didn’t think so.

Nosebleeds begin now

Nosebleeds begin now

The show is made up of fourteen episodes with really only six contributing to the main storyline.  Seven of the other episodes are filler pretty much.  They are very entertaining and offer many good laughs, but do nothing to advance the story.  The last one is the movie that the SOS brigade shoots in the series, it is completely useless and offer nothing to the viewer except maybe a few laughs.  Now in regard to the episodes they were not aired in chronological order.  Not a huge deal really but it does have its flaws no matter which way you watch the show.

If you watch it in broadcast order (out of order) the first episode is the movie Haruhi makes during the series.  This takes up the entire episode and the viewer doesn’t even see Haruhi really except for at the end where she stands up and smiles after watching the movie.  It really throws viewers for a loop.  In fact I almost didn’t even continue watching because it was just so ridiculous and I was slightly confused.  Also if you watch out of order the characters will make many reference to things that have already happened chronologically, but the episode airs later on so you don’t really know what they’re talking about.

If you watch chronologically you fix all the problems of not knowing what is going on and you will understand all the references to other episodes.  However, the sixth episode chronologically (14th episode in broadcast order) will seem like the end.  Not a big problem but after episode six the remaining episodes are all filler and will not advance the story at all.  I recommend watching it both ways but I would watch broadcast order first.  Then whenever you watch it chronologically it’s interesting to pick up on all the references you didn’t understand before.


Haruhi from her performance in Episode 12

My thoughts on the show lean toward calling it a very good show.  The amount of animation going on in the background as well as the coloring and filters that appear really make the animation shine.  The character’s personalities make the show interesting and entertaining.  While the story is non-existent for more than half the series the events that happen really do show some good comedy.  Episode 12 the cultural festival, done by Haruhi (Aya Hirano) was good and offered a nice mix up to the show to actually hear half of a song and one verse of another. (I have the full versions of both of these songs on my i-pod God Knows and Lost My Music)  Really and truly this show is plain fun and funny.  Now I just pick an episode and watch and I am still entertained by what happens.

In closing thoughts if you have somehow managed to NOT watch The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya you really should find it and watch it.  It is one of my favorites, it’s a light mainly fast paced comedy that is just plain easy to enjoy.  The flaw that half of the episodes actually move the main storyline is somewhat overlooked by having funny fillers for the most part, but I really hope in the second season they focus more storyline than extras.  I wouldn’t mind them broadcasting episodes in chronological order either.  However, those are slight flaws and will hardly destroy your enjoyment of the show.  This wraps up my blog post on Haruhi tomorrow I will write about the “sad girls in the snow” show.  If you can’t figure it out here’s a hint:

What could it be?

AIR:”The first show in my blog series on Kyoto Animation.”

Recently Kyoto Animation is a company that has made itself known as a company that delivers high quality shows in reference to animation and by many people all around just plain good shows to watch.  So starting today I will be talking about the shows that Kyoto animation has produced and discussing what I like about each show and which ones are my favorite.  I’m sure every anime fan as of late has seen at least one show that has been produced by Kyoto Animation.  If not then you must be one of those anime fans that only watch Bleach and or Naruto.

The first show I will be talking about is AIR, which is an adaption of Key’s visual novel.  I really enjoyed this show it was a slow paced heartwarming show that was very peaceful.  It’s about a young man named Yukito  who is seeking a girl with wings who flies in the sky, who he heard of from a story his mother told him.  He meets a girl named Misuzu who seems very cheerful and friendly and has her own special word she says, “Gao.”  (This just screams moe and it adds to how awesome she is)  Yukito decides to stay with her and her aunt, which starts the events that will later be played out in AIR.  The show has soft colors and the OP really helps one achieve the feel of the show during each episode.  The show just really are cheering for both characters as they have their own journeys and goals.  The two main characters are really some of the most likable characters in anime.

This anime is not for everyone. (Please note for Naruto and Bleach only anime fans)  Many will not like the pace that the show moves at.  However, if you can enjoy the slower pace then you are in for a show that has its emotional points that will more than likely have you trying not to get teary eyed.  Like I said earlier the OP to the show really sets the mind of the viewer into the feeling of the show.  While at the beginning it looks like everything is perfectly fine except for the protagonist searching for the girl with wings.  We soon learn that not everything is as happy as it seems.  The viewer finds out that Misuzu has a mysterious condition that keeps her from making any close friends.  You also learn she has dreams of flying high in the sky each night.

It's Misuzu, she says "Gao".

It's Misuzu, she says "Gao."

Her problems will either have the viewer sympathizing for her, or just make the audience shrug since there is no real explanation for her condition except she’s always been like that.  Although you will find out the reason for her condition later.  You learn also of other conditions involving the other girls that the main character meets.   By many this is considered a harem show because it involves a main male character and female characters who are seemingly attracted to him just being a nice guy.  Also the fact that it is based off of a Key visual novel helps solidify that assumption.  However, I don’t really see it a harem the main guy just helps out the girls, and the girls really don’t seem to be hoping for a shot to be with him forever in harem terms.

Like I said earlier I believe this show is wonderful however, the one problem I do have with it is the way it is told near the ending.  The main character dissappers and it goes into fairly long flashback spanning a couple of episodes.  Although the information contained here really makes you understand the whole “girl with wings” content, the part after the flashback throws the whole flow off.  The main character is missing and seems to have taken the form of a bird.  It is rather odd not to have the main male charcter there.  You find out though those dreams are slowly taking their toll on Misuzu and her final dream of flying will kill her in her sleep, as she wakes up in pain many mornings.

The mysterious dissappearance of the male character is not an all bad thing though because it really allows the relationship between Misuzu and her aunt, Haruko Kamio, to come alive.  The viewer sees how the feelings of Haruko really change for her niece as she helps her fight against her illness.  You really see the bond formed by the two and the emotional moments that the two share near the end of the show.  The last scene of AIR between Misuzu and Haruko is one of the greatest scenes in anime in my opinion.

Photo from one of the greatest scenes ever

Photo from one of the greatest scenes ever.

In closing thoughts I strongly believe that if you haven’t yet you should really watch AIR.  The flaws with plot holes and broken story telling are really overshadowed by the animation and the emotional scenes in AIR.  I believe this is a show that will have you cheering for both characters the enitre time.  This wraps up my post on AIR.  Tomorrow my next post will continue the with the blog series on shows of Kyoto Animation with one of the most popular shows in very recent anime history The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. So be sure to read tomorrow or “HEADS WILL ROLL!!”

Read tomorrow or "HEADS WILL ROLL!!"

Read tomorrow or HEADS WILL ROLL!!"

Priceless Video? “Because the episodes are worth how much?”

My post tonight is going to talk about the pricing of DVD’s of anime.  How much do you as a consumer really think an episode of anime is worth?  Do you think that what the companies such as Funimation and Bandai are charging are fair prices overall?

I know that many people will ask you that it depends on which series it is because everyone likes different series.  My two favorite series are Elfen Lied and Maria Sama Ga Miteru two series which are completely different from each other and I would actually pay quite a bit more than a reasonable amount of money if they ever released a second season of Elfen Lied or a fourth season of Maria-sama ga Miteru.

Sei taking a nap on Shimako's lap. Can't wait for the fourth season

Sei and Shimako from Maria-sama Ga Miteru

However I must say that there would be stipulations on what I would pay for and how much I would pay.  I would probably consider paying at most $60 for a limited edition DVD of either set (Elfen Lied or Maria-sama) if it came with a decent amount of extras.  I mean non-disc extras.  I would want a plushie, (I would take a Lucy/Nyu plushie in a heartbeat), figurine wouldn’t be bad, stickers, manga volume, etc. If it was just the DVD I would pay around $40.

Let me get this out of the way first, I am a subs watcher I have heard enough bad dubs that I prefer subs over dubs.  Now do I completely disregard dubs, no I still see a few every now and then, but if I had a preference it would be subs.  (By bad dubs I mean Elfen Lied and Ikkitousen to name two)  However, even though I prefer subs I would not pay $30 for a DVD of four or five episodes of subs.  Which is what some companies now are doing to cut costs.

It does not make sense to me, I know that the American anime industry isn’t doing very good right now, but why in the heck would I pay $30 for something that many people make for free?  I mean I know they have the license so legally you would have to buy it if you wanted to see it, but this is just ridiculous when professional companies want to do this in my opinion.  Put a subtitle track on it maybe an extra like a character biography or something, some artwork on the case and there you have a $30 DVD.

It may seem like I’m contradicting myself some since I just said I really only watch subs, but I will not pay $30 for a subtitle track.  If you put a dub on there I could see that because you put way more time and resources into it so I could see myself paying more and rightfully so because you have done a complete job in localizing it for your selected region so they should own rights to that.  I understand paying more for limited editions with all the extras, (although some of Bandai’s $80 DVD’s are pushing it) I see myself paying more money for full seasons, but not just for subtitles.

I know that the price has gone way down as compared to earlier years, and your ability to find anime is just a click a way or a drive away.  The cost of licensing fees has gone way up and I can see that as being a main reason for them trying to cut other costs as much as possible and still make some profit.  However, maybe some companies (Funimation) could slow down a little bit and not license everything under the sun that lately has been coming out.

It’s just my opinion though of seeing people pay $30 for subtitles, I may be a minoirity in the industry but that’s just me.  What do you guys think?  On average what would you pay for sub only DVD’s.  Let’s say one DVD of a series with four episodes.  The series is a middle ground for you, you don’t hate but you don’t turn into a fanboy/fangirl over hearing the name of the series.  What would you pay let me know.  I would pay around  $10-15 just to let you know.

Hectic Harems: “Because A House With Five Girls And One Guy Is Normal.”

Tonight I talk about one of the more recent staple genres in the industry.  The Harem anime where one seemingly normal high school male is the center of affection from at least five main attractive women.  This one genre is responsible for more eye rolls by women viewers, and probably more male viewers watch them than what would probably admit in forums.  It is called the male fantasy of anime, and the word fantasy could probably not describe a genre better because they possibly could not be anything  but fantasy.  I’m going to look at several harem anime problems f and discuss why this is something of pure fantasy.

I have seen quite a few harem shows since I started watching anime, because I think the genre is hilarious and I find it to be somewhat intriguing to find out what antics they throw out to us next.  Although how popular they are is somewhat disturbing due to the frequency they release them.  Although half of the time I find I’m telling myself “yeah right…” to half of the details that lay the possibility of having five girls always surrounding one guy.

Kaede and Rin cooking. Her dad's on a one year business trip

Kaede and Rin cooking. Her dad is on year long business trip

6. The first detail is the mysterious absence of parents at all times.  Now let me get this out of the way because I know their are exceptions like the Key Animation shows like Kanon, AIR TV and Clannad but nearly all of the shows the main guy and girl character have no parents at all.  Now some shows go about by explaining like some tragic accident, a year long business trip or something of the sort.  No parents at all and you have a girl living with you because she doesn’t have parents either.

5. The next one is one of my favorites.  The main character has always been living with a younger (or portrayed as younger) sister who is not really his sister at all because she’s not blood related however they have been together for the past ten years, and they even see each other as siblings….until those hormones start flowing. (Da Capo Anyone?)

4. Next the girl who seems to be the “main” girl of the series always has had some tragic event happen to her in her past usually dealing with the main male character.  She’s like a Martha Stewart that is always happy and cheerful and willing to do anything, but four years ago there was a fire and her house and family perished, or a car accident, or she was really sick at one time and almost died.

3.  The mysterious ability of having all finances paid.  These high school kids attend school, don’t work and somehow they are able always have money for meals that usually include ALL FIVE girls, field trips to the beach, camping, etc.  Where do they get their money from? I want to know.

2. The girls seem to get along just fine while all five are rabidly competing over a the same guy.  They all want him they all know that and somehow instead of one knifing the other they all get along and understand that they all love him and each girl should get their own chance without interference from the others.  Yeah right like they won’t get jealous of each other.

1. The main one and is often the whole reason why the harem genre is considered to be the favorite anime series of “That Guy” you know the stereotypical guy that everyone believes watches anime, greasy long hair, glasses, overweight, bad hygiene, no social skills etc. is the the horde of five teen beauties flocking over a normal guy for no reason except maybe he’s nice.  The most hilarious being all the girls would rather be single if they couldn’t go out with the main character.

Yes I know it was six reasons which is odd number but I figured it was okay.  What do you guys think of the harem genre useless genre full of fanservice, genre that has had some funny shows but is growing stale? Let me know

Unfinished Anime: “Because we all like getting half of the story.”

Kanu Unchou from Ikkitousen Dragon Destiny

Kanu Unchou from Ikkitousen Dragon Destiny

I was commenting on Amayalee’s blog a few minutes ago on an article of the top 5 coolest women of anime with her choice being Lucy/Nyu as number one.  Elfen Lied is my favorite anime and I loved Lucy’s character (Nyu was just plain funny and so helpless it was somewhat sad) so I began showering here with praise and gave her remarks of my approval.  The only character (in my opinion) who is as awesome as Lucy is Kanu-Unchou from the three seasons of Ikkitousen.

Lucy from Elfen Lied

Lucy from Elfen Lied

However since I was thinking of Elfen Lied it made me think about another subject in anime that drives me crazy and irritates me.  Whenever an anime does not finish the story and just stops halfway as compared to the manga.  For example Elfen Lied the anime is only thriteen episodes and one OVA which is like episode 10.5.  I wish so badly that they would make another season of Elfen Lied which would finish up the manga.  However, I strongly doubt that’s going to happen anytime soon, but you have no idea how happy I would be if a company in Japan decided to go on the endeavor of animating the rest of the manga.

The other example is the anime Tejho Tenge.  I thought the anime had great potential however, it was ruined by having an anime series with 24 total episodes and having at least ten of those episodes being about a flashback.  Now don’t get me wrong I understand the importance of backstory which helps reveal pasts and explains the circumstances of the current setting.  However, whenever there are around six straight episodes about a flashback it gets a little old. If you think about it that is a month and a half of not seeing the current characters. After the six episode flashback we get two episodes of current events progressing the story then we are plunged back into flashbacks.  I put up with it because I wanted to see the awesome fight tournament.

Big problem, it NEVER played the tournament, even with two OVA episodes.  I was so angry.  One of the last statements the main antagonist makes near the end is “We’ll finish this in the finals.” Finals referring to the tournament that never happens.  Then I realize that the story continues on in the manga.  I found the manga do be a thousand times better than the anime, and so did about everyone else.

These are series I can think of off the top of my head and I’m sure everyone can think of a series they enjoyed that does’t get finished in the anime but the story continues on in the manga.  Now I know ratings have something to do with the show continuing series, but unfinished stories just annoy me to no end.

An Introduction

Hello anime and gaming fans alike. I started this blog to share news, information, and my opinions and thoughts about anime and video games mainly, as well as to talk and blog with other people who share similar interests to me. I am 19 years old I attend Oklahoma State University and I am a MSIS major.

Just to let you know if any of you are members of then add me as a friend.  My name is blitzero21 and my avatar is a picture of Nyu from Elfen Lied staring at rice balls. Send me a message on gametrailers saying you know about my blog and you can add me as a friend and I will add you back.

I’m also a member of anime-eden forums and you can add me as a friend as well. Just do the same thing as the gametrailers site and let me know you know about my blog by sending me a message.