-I am the bone of my sword-
-Steel is my body and fire is my blood-
-I have created over a thousand blades-
-Unknown to Death-
-Nor known to Life-
-Have withstood pain to create many weapons-
-Yet, these hands will never hold anything-
-So as I pray, UNLIMITED BLADE WORKS-
Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works is, hands down, the best anime adaptation I’ve seen of anything non-manga, period. It sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.
ufotable really outdid themselves here. Ever since their Fate/Zero adaptation, the studio’s really become Type-Moon’s little pet animation studio. For good reason, too. I don’t know if the animated openings for the original visual novel and its Réalta Nua PS2 port were done by Studio DEEN or some other company, but it was really easy to tell that Type-Moon switched to ufotable for the Réalta Nua openings on the Vita version. That distinct animation style, that quality…
There’s really talented staff working at that animation studio, and it shows. The only other anime I’ve followed from ufotable were just OVAs and movies, such as their Tales of Symphonia and Kara no Kyoukai adaptations, which are naturally some high-quality stuff when it comes to animation. But the animation for Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works, a *TV series*, feels like it’s almost about the same quality. In fact, bits and pieces manage to seem just a bit more polished than even their Tales of OVAs or their openings for the Tales of games in general. Dayum, son…
If the banner change hasn’t tipped you off, I’ve been on a Fate/ kick lately.
Of all the big franchises to get hit by the so-called “dirty secondary” syndrome, I believe the Fate/ series is one that genuinely gets hit pretty hard by it. I’m not going to lie, I sound like a giant snobby prick for even using the term “dirty secondary”, but in Adaptation Land, if you’re one to actually care about media besides animation/movies enough venture into what’s often used as source material, you’ll find that the term often holds… well, some painful truth to it.
Although in Fate/stay night’s case, I blame it a little more on Studio DEEN than the fans themselves. Regardless, it’s utterly depressing seeing diehard fans of the Fate/Zero anime write off the original Fate/stay night as being inferior because of the DEEN anime and movie. I suppose ufotable’s new Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works anime is fixing that divide somewhat, but it’s still there to a certain degree mainly because UBW is only 1/3rd of the full experience. Plus, there are secondaries who recommend newcomers to start with F/Z, skip the Fate route – by this, they mean the DEEN anime – then watch the UBW anime (according to them, “the definitive adaptation”; it’s good, but not definitive – it’s only one route), and then after that, watch the upcoming Heaven’s Feel movie… and I’m like “no, that’s wrong, please stop for the sake of your own experience.”
While I did enjoy Fate/Zero and what it had to offer as a spin of the Fourth Holy Grail War, which was constantly and vaguely mentioned in F/sn, it’s merely a prequel at the end of the day (note: different from preceding work) meant as an expansion to an even greater tale that people are unfortunately diluting their own experience of. F/Z spoils more of F/sn than the latter does for the former, and I wish more people that are thinking of getting into the franchise had that in mind, instead of getting fed a bunch of crap from, well, dirty secondaries.
With the context and details that weren’t present in any of Studio DEEN’s animated adaptations, the visual novel is certainly one hell of a ride, even with the shoddy English fan-translation desecrating the Nasutext. I’m 21 now and dislike using the word “epic” to describe, well, anything. But here I find it the word extremely fitting, because it is fucking epic.
I mean, okay, as much as I loved it, it was far from perfect. Like the onslaught of info-dumps, diarrhea of the mouth, cooking scenes that make you hungry, etc. Art-wise, Réalta Nua PSVita should have updated the art to match Takeuchi’s current style. But the pros definitely outweigh the cons of Fate/stay night. Nasu’s world-building is excellent, so as a person who appreciates that kind of imagination in High Fantasy stories such as this, it’s no wonder that I enjoyed it so much.
Alright, enough with my unnecessarily long preambles, and onto the review!
Most people probably got it during the midnight release yesterday and are currently enjoying their hunts as I type this. If I wasn’t so tight on cash right now, I would also be playing MH4U on that sweet limited edition New 3DS right now – maybe Majora’s Mask 3D as well.
…In all seriousness though, I keep forgetting that today is Valentine’s Day, a holiday that’s probably a favorite amongst various chocolate and confectionery industries. If you’re enjoying Valentine’s Day with that special someone, I hope you’re having a great one. But remember: everyday could be Valentine’s Day if you really love them that much. And if you’re single and Valentine’s Day gets you down the dumps for whatever reason, keep that in mind too. You have plenty of time to find that special someone (heck, today could be that day), and until then, it’s not like being single really hinders any day from being fun. So throw those complaints out the window, smile, and don’t be that guy.
Midterms are over and I’ll be back to frequently posting about weeb stuff, real soon. Have a great day, everyone!
Image Credit: 蒼天空 from Pixiv
…Illness when writing that mess aside, I don’t think it needed to be any clearer for comprehension.
I was going to do another Cardcaptor Sakura post or a Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works post, but in light of certain reactions to my previous Kantai Collection post from denizens of the anime community’s infamous cesspool (I say “the”, but in actuality, there are quite a few of them – pick your poison) repeatedly missing the point, I feel the need to clarify more than a few things for others who might also misunderstand the context.
(The real reason is mostly because cramming for midterms in college sucks, and I’m finding an excuse to procrastinate and letting out stress.)
Continue reading Cancerous Ship Girls Rant: The Expansion…
small rant before I get into my first impressions of the first episode, because I’m easily annoyed by the anime(-only) fandom. I’m writing this in bed while the flu kills my body, so it might not be as coherent or friendly as I’d like it to be, but whatever.
Image Credit: Fate/stay night Cafe
I… suppose the rankings aren’t that bad, but I’m surprised that Shinji got voted at all. Why not Gilgamesh? Or even Taiga?
He was well-written in the sense that he was easy to hate (a well-written piece of filth, if that makes any sense), so I’m surprised someone honestly went online, saw a popularity poll, and thought, “Hm, a popularity poll? Shinji. Definitely Shinji!”
Must have did it for kicks. Must have.
Image Credit: あきのん from Pixiv
It’s finally 2015 on my side of the world, guys! I didn’t do a “12 Days of Anime” countdown for the end of 2014, but I’m still up to share some blurbs of my Japanese-related highlights of 2014 all in one post (excluding Fanime, you can see that post here).
Have a special Christmas Shigure
Just a quick post to wish you all a Merry Christmas (and a Happy Holiday in general). I’m not going do anything particularly amazing this year for the blog – yes, just like last year, I’m once again not partaking in 12 Days of Anime. Sorry, guys! – I’m just content with staying warm in my house, spending time with my family. Particularly playing video games and watching movies with my siblings.
Which, in all honesty, is heaven after the extremely hectic college finals I had earlier this month, especially with it basically showering and flooding over where I live. Taking an art class sucks in that kind of weather – you have to do everything to keep your precious artwork from getting wet. Like last year, I might post up some end-of-the-year rambles as treat for the readers that put up with this blog’s bullshit.
Anyways, stay safe, and enjoy the rest of the holiday season.
Everything will be alright.
Recently, there’s been quite a few revivals of my favorite old school
weeb Japanese franchises, mostly connected to special anniversaries. To name a few, Cardcaptor Sakura (North American license rescued, new merchandise and artwork celebrating CLAMP’s 25th anniversary), Digimon Adventure (upcoming Digimon Adventure tri.), Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon Crystal), Dragon Ball (30th anniversary = various goodies), etc.
I’m in a pretty happy place right now – most of the anniversaries are proving to be sweet, but there’s one anniversary that I’m particularly dissatisfied with. A shounen gambling manga series called, 遊☆戯☆王 Yuu☆gi☆ou by Takahashi Kazuki, otherwise probably translated as “The☆Game☆King” or “King☆of☆Games” (but nonsensically rendered as “Yu-Gi-Oh!” in the west, which you’re all familiar with for being popular snark bait) is receiving rather shoddy anniversary treatment, at least for the people who have actually… well, read the original manga (all 36 volumes, not just the first seven).
Sakura goes to Hong Kong!
When we last left off on my rewatch-blog of Cardcaptor Sakura, the first season of the series had concluded with Sakura enjoying her final moments of Christmas day.
In the original television broadcast of Cardcaptor Sakura, the anime was put on-hold until April 6, 1999 for its second season. Gekijouban: Cardcaptor Sakura didn’t premiere in theaters until after the second season had ended and Sakura captured all the Clow Cards (the movie premiered in theaters on August 21, 1999). However, the plot of the film clearly takes place around/between episodes 35 and 36 (it’s winter vacation in Tomoeda and Meiling is still around), so for the purposes of the re-blog, I’m placing it before the second season.
SECOND MOVIE NOW PLEASE, SECOND MOVIE NOW
こにゃにゃちわ! I return from life’s trials and tribulations known as school and work. You know, some college students decide to spend their hard-earned money on textbooks, tuition, and other junk, but I choose to use my money for far more important matters.
Like tossing it at my computer screen and demanding anime companies to bring me more Cardcaptor Sakura.
(I’m only half-kidding.)
After going through some complications with the order, I’ve finally received my Blu-ray copy of Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie. I’ll do a post about the feature itself later (because it’s next on my rewatch-blogs), but for now, let’s take a look at the quality of the release.
Big giant NO
Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! Though more than a day late, I felt compelled to honor the horror festivities we had this season using this humble little Japanophile blog of mine in some way or another. Rather than diving into some bizzarro horror manga by the likes of Itou Junji and such, I’ve decided to ramble a bit about one of my favorite Japanese survival horror video game series that I find myself playing every October: 零 (Zero), otherwise known as Project Zero in Europe and Fatal Frame in the United States.
Sakura will take over the world…soon.
We’ve finally arrived! The final episode of the first season. I was hoping to get to this a lot sooner, but lo and behold… college and work.
Aside from the axed Leave it to Kero-chan! segment, as the first season’s last episode, Studio Madhouse decided to end it off with a bang by packaging it with a handful of goodies – making you want to jump into the second season immediately. It all goes up from here.
Riddle Me This
Here we are: it’s the second-to-last episode of the first season until we get to DO-DO-DO-DREAMING (and the movie)!
This is also the first episode where no Clow Cards are captured at all. In fact, the “antagonist” in this episode was… the full moon (no, not that moon). In Cardcaptor Sakura, magic (at least when it comes to Clow Reed’s magic) draws power from the sun and the moon. The full moon clearly has an effect on Sakura, once again triggering precognitive visions of what appears to be the Final Judgment (the viison with the silhouette of a person who is obviously Ms. Mizuki) and also puts her in a daze.
CCS Month ended, now I declare it CCS *year*.
Sorry for the brief hiatus. With the remains of summer already coming to a close (I return to college AND work @ college in a week) – I’ve been doing all the leisurely things I can possibly do in this hot weather. I’ve already plowed through entire CCS Blu-ray set a long time ago and with the English release of Tales of Xillia 2, I’ve been doing a Tales marathon as well (it doubles as family time with my little sister, since these JRPGs are multiplayer!) as well as gnawing at my VB backlog.
It’s gonna be weird crawling out of the rock I’ve been under these past several weeks. Returning to civilization, what the hell is that? Mind you, I’m still going to write reviews about the anime I haven’t gotten around to reviewing yet that I promised to review ages ago.
Without further ado, time to continue this Cardcaptor Sakura project! Snowy weather hits Tomoeda and our beloved heroine + Tomoyo and their token Chinese friends go on a school trip to learn how to ice skate.
The Change card
Oh boy, it’s a body-switch episode; between Syaoran and Kero at that! But that’s not the only reason why this episode is so amusing, half of it is because of Kumai Motoko and Hisakawa Aya, the voice actresses for Syaoran and Kero respectively.
Often when voice actresses are put into the position of voicing a body switch – in which the characters don’t magically switch voices as well – it’s a great way of truly gauging their skills as voice actresses. And I think Kumai-san and Hisakawa-san did a fantastic job on both ends. It was amusing seeing “Syaoran” speak in Kansai-ben and likewise for Kero speaking in such a serious tone. Overall, Cardcaptor Sakura really had such a great voice cast and I’d love for all of them to reprise their roles in a new CCS-related adventure someday…
This was an excellent episode, and definitely one of my top picks from the first season. Mainly because it’s one of the more outlandish CCS episodes out there – and it helps that there are two Clow Cards in this episode as opposed to the previous episodes where there were only one each.
Note: This episode amusingly starts with a repeat of Sakura’s first episode monologue about Touya and how she wished she would grew big and stepped on the big meanie.
Oh my god, it’s the precursor to Eifie.
Here’s an episode from the first season that I really like and find really memorable. A lot of fans born in the west seem to easily recall The Dash episode from the Cardcaptors dub…. and to my shame, so do I.
And I sometimes want to kill myself for it. I often forget that, yes, there was once a time where I actually enjoyed that piece of trash dub and this episode was what got me into it (and then dropped it and went onto the Cardcaptor Sakura manga translated by Tokyopop + the subbed anime).
CCS? Praise the sun!
Here’s another fun episode to sit through before we fully enter the second season – “Sakura’s Sweeeeet Cooking“. Our little heroine learns how to bake a delicious cake in home econ class! Naturally, she’s pumped. Of course, since this is Cardcaptor Sakura, magical hindrances are abound.
And we return…!
When I first watched this, it was during that time in life where you’d rely on your mother to do the cooking for you. Coming back to it as a young adult and cooking for myself, I can definitely say that…
…I really empathize with Sakura’s fear of sizzling oil while frying foods for the first time. It’s not fun.