The following contains spoilers for people who have not read the original visual novel or any of its translations. I repeat! The following contains spoilers for people who have not read the original visual novel or any of its translations.
I am not responsible if you ruin the story for yourself.
Please be gentle ;_;7
Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works second season aired over a dozen hours ago in Japan, but I only just watched it a couple of hours ago. 780p encodes are all this terrible computer can handle. /sadface
Anyways, I wasn’t disappointed by what I saw. But that can be attributed to me already having experienced Unlimited Blade Works through the VN and just wanting to see it done faithfully by talented animators. It’s Ufotable, so it doesn’t take much to satisfy in that regard, but I wonder if the hype was worth it for people who only ever watch anime? That was a pretty killer wait and the hypetrain was like over 100,000,000km. Well, whatever.
Gigantic franchises with multiple iterations often have newcomers thinking to themselves, “Where exactly do I start?”
Usually, folks assume that every franchise that contain iterations that fall into the same in-universe “timeline” require them to start at the very beginning of its chronology. And usually, all it ends up being is one big incorrect assumption.
I realize that it’s already April 2nd in Japan, but since it’s still Sakura’s birthday/CLAMP Day here at least, I should get off my lazy bum and continue with these posts!
Now that our little detour in Hong Kong is over and done with, the second season blogging of Cardcaptor Sakura is finally underway. Whereas the first season is pretty hefty (35 episodes!), this is actually relatively short – it’s just comprised of the very tail-end of the Clow Card arc, and let’s just say that the second season of CCS is as “long” as one average anime series (one cour, 11~12 episodes).
The SOS Brigade will be entering a baseball tournament!
Sup everyone! We’re entering one of the first volumes that comprise of “short” stories. In terms of this book, we have four:
- The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody
- Mysterique Sign
- Remote Island Syndrome
The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya, the short story that this entire volume is named after, is sort of a filler. It’s a funny chapter about the SOS Brigade’s attempt at baseball, but nevertheless it’s really weak compared to the other Suzumiya Haruhi arcs, mostly because nothing truly jaw-dropping happens. It’s kind of justified though, since the chapter itself is actually the pilot of the series that was published two months in The Sneaker before The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya ever came out. So it’s only natural that the most we get from this story are very basic showcases of the cast’s personalities and nothing really spectacular. Also, just in case you were wondering, yes – it’s exactly the same as the anime.
Danger draws near combat waitress Mikuru!
We’re onto the second Suzumiya Haruhi novel now in my series of light novel posts, and I’m still dying to get through all of the adapted stuff so I can talk about material that has yet to become an anime and will probably never become an anime (;_;).
The second novel is the making of the SOS Brigade’s amateur film, “The Adventures of Asahina Mikuru”. You’ve probably seen it in the anime, and of course, it’s not much different.
I have no interests in ordinary humans.
If you guys have been following this blog since my early high school days (back when I had a sense of humor. 2006? 2007? Man, I don’t even know how long I’ve been around in the anime blogosphere anymore), you may know that not only am I the biggest Cardcaptor Sakura geek out there, but I’m also a gigantic Haruiist. It’s the closest thing I have to a religion besides maybe my strange fascination with Buddhism.
Well, anyways. There’s scarcely ever any new material for Suzumiya Haruhi nowadays. Tanigawa Nagaru hasn’t written a new novel in over three years. Kadokawa hasn’t issued any new anime adaptations by Kyoto Animation because he hasn’t written a new novel in over three years. I’m definitely going to watch the The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan anime adaptation when it airs, but it… just isn’t the same.
The only thing that remotely satisfies my cravings is re-reading the light novels and re-watching the anime. So… here I am. Might as well write about it.
-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.