My face when Ike’s Lair
Was there actually ever a bad episode of Cardcaptor Sakura? After more than a dozen or so posts of me repeating something along the lines of “this was always one of my favorites” or “this episode was great, but pales in comparison to the rest”, it’s becoming clear to me why this anime has and will always be my personal #1. I’m literally having so many warm flashbacks right now. It didn’t just take me three or four episodes (or more) to get into the show, I got into it right away and it consistently held my interests.
That being said, whether it’s one of my favorite episodes or not, “Sakura and the Other Sakura” is definitely one of the highlights of the first season. It helps that this is one of those episodes that has a manga counterpart, and those tend to stick to you a lot more as well as contain a lot more plot development compared to the anime-specific stuff, at least for the first season.
Nothing much happens in this episode in terms of development or character establishment (if there wasn’t a Clow Card in these types of episodes, I would call them [good] filler), but it was extremely fun nonetheless. The episode title is “Sakura’s Little Adventure” – which is a great title, I see the pun there – but if I were to rename it, “Honey, I Shrunk Sakura“ would be it.
Here we have another episode that involves snooping around Tomoeda Elementary School at night. And of course, because it’s a Japanese school and Japanese schools always have their seven wonders of pants-wetting horror, we get several scenes of our cute little Sakura being scared shitless. Oh yeah, and she gets a cringe scene during class. Too close to home, Sakura. Too close to home.
So yeah, this was pretty much a lighter version of the second episode, since unlike The Shadow, The Song isn’t a scary fellow at all and neither are its powers.
Best daughter 2014 and forever
Here’s another great episode from the first season. It was always a treat to see CLAMP delving into Sakura’s family life and bonds as a focal point in an episode/chapter. If I were to rank Cardaptor Sakura‘s first season episodes on a tier list, the episodes about her mother and grandfather would certainly be about the same as this one in terms of heartwarming.
I swear, almost all of the school-related animations I’ve watched during my childhood always had at least one episode about running a marathon. And in those, someone always gets a leg injury leading to heartwarming help, etc.
Cardcaptor Sakura isn’t exempt from this. This was one of those episodes.
I wasn’t in the manga!
But that really doesn’t matter since she’s an awesome character anyway! (It’s been a long time, but I’m back to continue this. Blu-ray Hype A-Go!)
The thing I really love about the Cardcaptor Sakura anime is that CLAMP was directly involved with it. With other anime adaptations, whenever there is an anime-original character or anime-original ideas involved (Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!, both of the original Yuugiou anime adaptations, etc.), it really boggles the original content down because the original writers had no say whatsoever. It’s usually just the employees at the animation studio thinking their ideas are better marketing (or something) and end up shoving ideas into a pre-made story that just don’t belong.
Here, we have a character that fits in perfectly with the rest of the CLAMP multiverse. The manga’s structure is actually very different from the anime, which modified the manga’s storyline + added their own storyline elements in order to extend it into a longer five-cour anime. But as I’ve said in a previous CCS post, the anime completely emulates the same spirit as the original manga precisely because CLAMP was directly involved with it. NOTHING in the anime insults or devalues the ideas presented in the source material. And for the purposes of what the anime was going for in the end, Li Meilin fits in really well and has become an endearing character not only to the fans, but also to CLAMP themselves.
Image Credit: てつくず from Pixiv
Best Girl. Not-So-Best Anime
Okay, guys. I’m finally getting to this post after an eternity of postponing it.
Mostly because I’m afraid of the backlash. My opinion of this series literally goes against what everyone loves and says about it. Heck, instead of talking crap about Sword Art Online, I just simply dropped it without a word simply because the rabid fanboys are coo coo for cocoa puffs. Thankfully Kill la Kill wasn’t terrible to me, just mediocre in comparison to how much praise it gets, but I still had to wait until the show was finished in order to marathon it instead of following it weekly.
Welp, onto the first and only sad post of the month!
Image Credit: 咩狼（めい） from Pixiv
Because my birthday was like, two days ago, and the feel of attaining the most possible adult freedoms available in California is awesome (I’m 21 now? Yessir!), I declare this month “Happy Month” in which posts and rants about terrible or mediocre things is kept to a minimum in comparison to things that make me smile. Well, at least posts written by me will be happy this month. I rant about terrible things enough outside of the blog as it is, to the point where you could call me a weeb version of AVGN without a Motherfucking Mike holding me back. I was *this* close to ranting about anime/non-anime fans using certain terms un-ironically, but I’m gonna put that on hold for HAPPY MONTH.
Things that I plan on doing, considering my summer college schedule, is as follows: I’ll also be posting about Cardcaptor Sakura mostly (need to finish those lookback posts!). And then No Game No Life, which was actually pretty good for the most part (it reminded me of the Yuugiou manga). That will all happen once I post up my Kill la Kill final impressions (you must go through Meh Land before you get to Happy Paradise. It will the only time I’ll be sad, I promise).
(And it will keep me occupied until August, when my child arrives. The joys of becoming a father are coming, guys. ;_;)
There’s this one anime film that never fails to be very powerful for me, and even though it’s really good and totally worth watching again… it’s sort of hard for me to revisit even when I want to. This film is none other than Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies. I’m sure many of you reading this have watched it too and have also shed more than a couple of tears by the end of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not that much of a crybaby that I’m scared of revisiting the emotional experience. But even though I can go back to animated films that thrive on making its viewers shed manly tears (like the western animated film, the original The Land Before Time), Grave of the Fireflies doesn’t just invoke feelings of depression onto the viewer, it thrives on irritation as well.
Wassup everyone. As I’ve stated here, I’ve been taking a Japanese Animation class this quarter at my community college, and as the quarter is coming to a close, there’s so many final assisgnments that I have to do. For Japanese Animation class, I have to write a term paper regarding one of the animated features we’ve watched in class. The topic I chose was a literary comparison between an adaptation and its source material, and since I’m a lazy man, I chose something I’ve seen/read a dozen of times and know by heart to save me the trouble: Rurouni Kenshin. To be specific, the first OVA.
And I’ve decided to post it here as well, because it seemed like it would make a good anime review for the blog. Note that since it’s supposed to be five pages long and I tend to be total poop when I’m writing under academic conditions (c’mon, everyone procrastinates on their homework!), it may seem a bit rushed in places.
Japanese entertainment is fun to partake in and is a pretty fun hobby overall. And as you all know, I’m totally big on being passionate about your hobbies. I mean, damn, I wouldn’t have created this blog if I wasn’t. But remember, at the end of the day, hobbies are just hobbies. If you can’t take a moment to sit down and laugh at your own expense, and get extremely bothered by jokes, then it’s seriously time for you to dial back on how much you take your hobbies seriously.
This page is the perfect example of “all in good fun”: parody of an overly religious nut of a mother posting misinterpreted/stupid shit about anime and how evil it is. It’s simply hilarious.
This year’s Fanime was a livelier experience than usual, mostly because half of the convention center wasn’t
destroyed under construction for once and also because this year was the con’s 20th anniversary. The line to pick up badges went abnormally fast this year – going by almost instantly. We got kind of screwed because we picked up our badges at the Clockwork Alchemy line, which is usually the faster line, but got delayed for a few hours this year in comparison to the Fanime line (the line wasn’t long, but it took a while for the registration to actually start up). Nevertheless, we still got our badges faster than usual so we actually got to do things during Day Zero, so it was all cool.
There weren’t many bad things that happened this year. I met some pretty cool people, there were so many awesome cosplayers, and I had loads of fun with my friends this year. I became completely drunk at the hotel during the last night, which was pretty much the highlight strangely enough (I have never gotten that drunk before). You’d think the highlight would be having a ramen dinner at Ramen Tenma with friggin’ LilyPichu (a friend of Mr. Lex), but I don’t really give two shits about League of Legends and barely watch her channel, so.
So, let’s go over the things I bought at Fanime this year (which isn’t much compared to last year – Cardcaptor Sakura drained my wallet) and also the token weird experience.
So, I finally decided on which online retailer to pre-order my Cardcaptor Sakura Blu-Ray collection from: RightStuf. NISA had a nice poster, but I decided to forgo chipping away another 20 bucks on their pre-order deal, since I have a bunch of posters laying around in storage without frames to put them up.
I know I said I didn’t care about watching the English dub that will be included in this new set (again, no one is Sakura besides Sakura Tange, plebs), but I’m genuinely curious about it. At first I thought they were doing a redub, but then I remembered that it’s NISA. One of the companies that brings us Japanese anime in sweet, affordable ways – and English dubs are expensive. Reading the description, the English dub track is described as a monaural track. See, if they were really redubbing the series, the audio wouldn’t be so outdated, indicating that the dub that will be included on the set already exists.
The first thought that came to mind was, “Oh my god, they’re not gonna include… the Cardcaptors dub, are they?” Which wouldn’t make sense. Most people who are willing to shell out over $200 for this set wouldn’t want to see that monstrosity. Plus, it’s only a partial “dub”, less than half of the scenes would have English audio that doesn’t go with what’s being shown on screen – the rest will be silence.
But then I remembered… there was one dub, one very obscure dub, that was actually faithful to CLAMP’s original animated tale and was in English – the Asian dub presented by the Hong Kong-based studio Omni Productions that aired on Animax Asia some time ago! The voices in that dub were meh to me (for English dubs, I preferred the Media Blasters dub of Cardcaptor Sakura the Movie: The Sealed Card – that’s the dub I most accept as an English version of Cardcaptor Sakura), but considering how god awful Nelvana’s dub of the series was, I would have appreciated it if that was our dub instead. Anyways, here’s a short voice clip of Animax!Sakura:
The pronunciation of “Sakura” and “Tomoeda” irks the living hell out of me, but the voice is overall more easy to take than Sakura Avalon’s valley girl voice (that sounded way too old to be Sakura anyway), especially since she’s in-character and not being brash and rude like her Nelvana counterpart. Despite preferring a redub with the Media Blasters cast, I think many fans of English dubs will appreciate NISA adding the Omni dub as a bonus. Not as a total weeb, but as a Cardcaptor Sakura fan, I’ll always recommend the remastered Japanese audio first and foremost though.
Image Credit: 芹野いつき from Pixiv
Americanization in imported media should have been a practice that we’ve abandoned long ago. Sure, we get stubborn folks like Capcom who insist on relocating series like Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) from Japan to Los Angeles and digging a deeper hole for themselves as the series progresses, but for the most part nowadays, especially in anime, you hardly see downright stupid crap like calling onigiri “jelly-filled doughnuts” as if western children have no idea what a ball of rice is (hint: ‘MURICANS HAVE RICE FIELDS TOO)… right?
Unfortunately for today, the practice of shielding our children from other cultures still persists in some anime aimed at the kodomo – shounen crowd that we manage to bring over here, though thankfully it’s a lot less than what we got several years ago. We have the unfortunate 4Kids titles (we can never, ever talk sense into old guys who think they know what kids like), and some other titles sprinkled here and there by companies that really don’t have much respect for anime as a cultural form of foreign animation, other than as a marketing vehicle towards kids. It was worse back during the 90s and early 2000s, when my (and many others’) beloved Cardcaptor Sakura got chopped up into the putrid Cardcaptors.
You’d think Doraemon, a very iconic JAPANESE anime/manga that gained popularity all over the world as such, would be able to remain Japanese when it’s finally able to make its way to the United States and be able to escape that sort of xenophobic treatment. Haha, yeah. right.
Pray to become starry sky tomorrow…
So finally, after about 50 years, here’s another write-up of a visual novel (
I fully admit that I’m absolutely damedame). The title of the day is Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-, a moege/charage by Favorite and one that is available with a fan-translation (by Staircase Subs).
I have to say that the art is simply gorgeous. The delicious illustrations are, of course, drawn by Shida Kazuhiro. He’s really good at drawing absolutely heart-melting loli characters and cute females in general, and honestly provides one of the strongest aspects that Favorite brand visual novels have going for them.
Also, beware. There will be major spoilers (even if I don’t go too deep into them and mostly just share my thoughts).
SHE LIVES, SHE LIVES!
NISA, THANK YOU! YOU RESCUED MY PRECIOUS CARDCAPTOR SAKURA FROM THE VOID. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU FOREVER, MARRY ME.
I FORGIVE YOU FOR ANY BAD TRANSLATIONS YOU’VE DONE IN THE PAST. HELL, WHAT THE HAY? THEY DON’T EXIST ANYMORE. MY MONEY IS ALL YOURS, HONEY!
bsdhbjadb Holy crap, dat Blu-Ray. Dat box. Dat art book. Dat poster. There’s even a new English dub,
which I don’t really give two shits about because only Sakura Tange can be Sakura you PLEBS, but damn are they putting some tender-loving care into this release. Tender-loving care that this series deserved long ago by western anime companies. Sure, Geneon put some commendable efforts into their subbed releases of the TV series and English dub of the second movie, but they still acknowledged the existence of that diarrhea stain Cardcraptors and didn’t go through the effort of redubbing the entire series like what Broppon Ichi is doing right now.
THANK YOU, BASED NISA GODS.
I’m okay now. Back to being a rationale, level-headed member of society.
UNTIL I BUY THAT PREMIUM BLU-RAY SET, THAT IS.
Update: In other news, I’ve been having a blast this quarter, guys. School is actually pretty fun now that I’m focusing on my major, and I’ve been playing Studio Ghibli/Level-5′s Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for the PS3, which I’ll do a review on soon. I know I said I’d post final impressions about Kill la Kill (not gonna be a 100% positive one – just a warning), along with the newer season’s anime like No Game No Life, and rest assured that those will come. I’ve been watching a ton of anime as of late and will be making a bunch of posts these coming months. Also, Fanime 20014 is just around the corner, and I’m honestly pumped up for the most weeb month of my life.
Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star- (visual novel) write-up will be up in the next day or two, so look forward to that.
Image Credit: タカはん from Pixiv
As some of you might already know from my Twitter, this week already marked the start of Spring Quarter over at my college institution. I’m taking three courses this quarter: one art class, one Japanese language class, and one Japanese Animation class. I’m not a film major (though I admit that such a thing isn’t anything unbefitting for me), I’m majoring in Graphic Design (getting both the AA and the BFA degree) and minoring in World Languages and Literatures (Japanese) + transfer. My reasons for taking Japanese Animation is simple: I needed a class to fill up time and the 12-unit minimum for Financial Aid, and what better than a class that’s fun and interesting, and most importantly, relevant to your hobbies? It’s anime, yo. Though since it’s academic, we’re not watching anything mindless like, say, some moe harem.
The best part of this [once a week] class is that most of its four hours is spent watching fantastic and influential anime films and discussing the aspects of each film, such as the narrative, how it relates to the context of the historical period, and the art form on a critical and analytical level. There’s a list of films we’ll watch over the course of the quarter on the class syllabus they handed out to us, and damn is it a good list, though I’ve already watched a handful of them! The first day, we watched two segments of The Cockpit and Panda! Go, Panda! The Rainy-Day Circus.
Along with the stuff I said I was going to get around to doing in Sakura’s birthday post, I’ll most likely write about the films we watch in class at least once a week. Even though I already reviewed some of them, it’s nice to revisit stories every now and again and share updated reactions. There are also essays to be expected for this class, and I will most likely post them up on here too (with bold markings of my name and class info so I don’t get reprimanded for plagiarism even though it’s clearly my shit).
It’s a really fun and engaging class, though of course there was clearly a Kill la Kill fanboy among us in the classroom, who also annoyed me by calling a deep and realistic character “flat and boring” (but I digress). To be frank, I love all of my classes this quarter! This is what college is all about. Focusing on your major/minor and taking classes on subjects you love. Oh yeah, and debt, but that’s besides the point (and I’m still in junior college for another year or so, I haven’t run into that much yet).
Good thing about this quarter too is that it’s spring, it’s hot, and a bunch of cuties are running around right now and holy shit I think I’ll will find time for a relationship adadfak.
Come, my friends, ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! was never an anime that I held to a very high standard. Sure, the animation is breathtaking, the characters are wacky and lovable, and I always found each episode to be an overall enjoyable experience, but I never found the capacity to take it all that seriously in a critical sense, because it’s not meant to be taken seriously. Mind you, this is a good thing. Heck, the first season became one of my favorites back in Winter 2012.
That’s not to say it doesn’t have the capacity to leave me a bit disappointed. It might be a moe-tastic show that may not amount to anything more than that in terms of appeal, but the characters did manage to grow on me during that time, and I found myself caring about their personal conflicts if such things were ever brought up.
“Dark Flame Master’s Secrets of Kissing 101″ O3O
You’d think seeing a Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! movie would be somewhat of a hyper experience. And yet there isn’t really anything much to say about this film. I mean, aside from the really amusing introduction scene with Rikka’s “dream wedding”, and of course, the last bits of the film, I found myself almost being put to sleep while watching… because it’s a recap of the first season. Like, it’s not even a retelling of the story, it’s really just Rikka recounting the events from the television series in her head. I really don’t understand how anyone could have thought a glorified recap episode would be fit to be shown on the big screen, but hey, I’m not KyoAni. They might be geniuses and I might just be a moron who has no taste in cinema.
The suffering continues…
My interest in actively discussing Puella Magi Madoka Magica died down significantly during the past couple of years. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the original anime series and enjoyed watching both of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Beginning Story and the Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Everlasting Story films, but I wasn’t a crazy enough fan for the series in the vein of, say, Neon Genesis Evangelion that I was super excited with seeing the same story played over again. Especially since (for example), unlike Rebuild of Evangelion‘s constant divergences that make it clear that it’s a new story/continuation, the first two Madoka movies were just recaps of the same 12 episodes of the anime series. There was nothing really new to talk about aside from the spin-off materials, so the wait for Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Rebellion Story was killer because I really wanted to know what was gonna happen after the TV anime’s conclusion.
That said, I was really excited to see this film. Partly because (again) “YAY, NEW MADOKA CONTENT“, and also, I had this feeling that Gen Urobutcher wasn’t exactly finished messing with the audience. I’ve described the original anime as a series with no shock absorbers, and I went in expecting this to be the same case. I thought I was prepared for the inevitable shock, whatever it was.
But I was wrong. I let my guard down. 「残念だってね。」