Thanks again to Ear-Tweak for the scans.
Inuyasha and company are on their way to see the youkai acquaintance of Toutousai named Yourei-Taisei. Apparently, he can train Inuyasha to use the Dragon-Scaled Tessaiga. Inuyasha is determined to do this training no matter what.
They arrive at a village which is filled with humans. Toutousai's cow-youkai steed leads them under the bridge leading to the village where a small section is is blocked off with bamboo shades. From behind the shades, they hear someone calling for help. Going past the shade, they discover a whole other world under the bridge. They find Yourei-Taisei, who is mostly just skin covered in clothing. Inuyasha is not not sure this youkai can actually train him.
Yourei-Taisei tells Inuyasha that he cannot train him, which irritates him. Kagome says, "Osuwari!" to Inuyasha to force him down, where she then inquires about what happened. Yourei-Taisei states that he was attacked by some youkai during the night, and said youkai pulled out his insides and consumed them. Because he has no insides, he appears the way he does. Should Inuyasha be able to return them to Yourei-Taisei, training can begin.
Inuyasha and Yourei-Taisei trade a couple of insults before noticing that a massive amount of youki has penetrated Yourei-Taisei's domain from the human village. Inuyasha emerges from the bamboo shade to see a village full of youkai. He starts to attack, but upon hearing a warning from Yourei-Taisei, Kagome osuwari's him again. It appears that some youkai magic from Yourei-Taisei's innards has caused the villagers to turn into youkai and thus the real youkai is hiding among them. Inuyasha plans to use Tessaiga to do some damage, but Yourei-Taisei places a seal on the sword, stating Inuyasha doesn't have any consideration for others when he slices them. Inuyasha has to find the real youkai by sunrise or else the seal will remain on Tessaiga.
In the village, Inuyasha stops what appears to be villagers turned youkai. Despite their protests, Inuyasha detects that they are in fact real youkai via scent, but cannot unleash Tessaiga. So he uses his own natural strength instead and easily defeats them. Because they weren't the youkai who attacked Yourei-Taisei, the sword didn't unsheathe. Further, the seals on the sword increased because Inuyasha attacked those not involved. This annoys Inuyasha.
Meanwhile, two apparent youkai report to a large, snake-like youkai they call Okugata-sama. She senses the danger, so the human villagers (looking like youkai) and real youkai attack. Inuyasha decides to flee with Kagome in tow, but fighting back has caused the hilt of Tessaiga to be covered in chains. They arrive at a mansion with a human boy who's not been transformed and his sick mother. However, it is Okugata and Inuyasha senses something's not right about her.
She calls to the boy Gennosuke and wonders if others are there. She knocks down the sliding walls with her bulk, causing Gennosuke fear. Inuyasha challenges her, noting that she got ill the previous night when Yourei-Taisei was attacked. Yourei-Taisei didn't see his attacker, but he senses the youki of his guts within her. She transforms into a full snake form and attacks. Inuyasha cannot unsheathe his sword because of all his attacks on youkai that were not involved. Miroku and Sango rush to help, but are throw from combat, apparently by Yourei-Taisei.
Yourei-Taisei encourages Inuyasha to remove the chains, but as he does, he is burned as he'd been by the youki when Tessaiga obtained its Dragon-Scale form. Inuyasha wonders if the sword doesn't want to be unsheathed.
Okugata taunts Inuyasha's inability to pull his sword, and Inuyasha feels that Tessaiga is warning him not to force it out. So, Inuyasha decided to go back to the basics, and unleashes his Senkoun Tessou attack. However, Okugata is able to heal the damage right away. Yourei-Taisei tells Inuyasha to look for the youketsu., which Inuyasha doesn't understand. Okugata launches a wind attack which blows Shippou-chan out of the window as well as Yourei-Taisei. Inuyasha continues to battle, wondering what youketsu is.
The battle does not go well for Inuyasha, so Kagome decides to aid him by firing a Hama-ya arrow. She is stopped by giant insectoid arms which belong to Gennosuke, who tells her not to interfere. Inuyasha is trapped in the coils of Okugata and the youkai poison is everywhere hindering him. It is then that he notices whirlpools of youki all around and senses Tessaiga reacting. Inuyasha wonders if this is youketsu and attempts to grab inside one. He fails and is taunted by Okugata. Within her coils, Inuyasha allows himself to go limp and when Okugata comes in, he attacks her. However, he has found the one whirlpool that is different, and reaching in, pulls out an incense burner. Both Okugata and Gennosuke disappear, but the youki doesn't.
Well, its clear that this whole battle will be Inuyasha's training to use Tessaiga's new abilities. Funny how the one time the gang decides to jump in and help with the fight, they are removed via other means.
Well that ends volume 43. As I said, Takahashi-sensei is doing more of the same, only with different players and settings. I'm sure we'll get more of this in the future, but I'm going to press on.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Thanks again to Ear-Tweak for the scans.
Thanks again to Ear-Tweak for the scans.
Inuyasha and company come upon the remains of the oni that Sesshoumaru-sama dispatched with Tensaiga. The group speculates about what weapon he could have used since his youkai sword of choice, Toukijin, had been destroyed. Inuyasha makes a big deal over not caring, but instead, the group ends up tailing Sesshoumaru-sama.
Meanwhile, Sesshoumaru-sama's group travels on with Sesshoumaru detecting that Inuyasha's group is following them. Jaken tries to inquire what seems to be troubling Sesshoumaru-sama, but is ignored much to his irritation. Since they are at a lake, Rin decides she's going to get a drink but is forbidden by Sesshoumaru. They watch as a large bird comes close to the water, only to have the water reach up pull the bird in. Sesshoumaru informs them that this is Numawatari.
Inuyasha's group arrives at the village where they are told about the man-eating lake. Sango speculates that a youkai has made the lake its home and despite his protests, Inuyasha ends up going to check out the lake. Everyone sees it as a polluted lake, but Inuyasha senses the youkai, and unleashes the Kaze no Kizu attack on the water. This causes a reaction as it turns out the entire lake is infact the watery body of the youkai known as Numawatari. After some yacking, it attacks using water as weapons. Inuyasha launches the powerful Bakuryuuha attack in response. However, the attack was useless because as a wind-based attack, against water it had no effect.
Numawatari mocks Inuyasha's inability to attack as he uses the Bakuryuuha attack again. Kagome is in danger as the water from Numawatari falls all around. Miroku unleashes his Kazaana attack, but in normal fashion, he cannot handle it. Inuyasha transforms Tessaiga into its Dragon Scale form while everyone else flees. He launches an attack and uses Tessaiga to absorb the youkai's youki. That proves impossible since it would require absorbing the entire lake. Inuyasha launches his Kongousouha attack with the diamond shards flying out. None of Inuyasha's attacks work.
Inuyasha is frustrated that his attacks have no impact on Numawatari. However, Sesshoumaru arrives and tells his younger half-brother that he has lost his way.
As Inuyasha wonders what Sesshoumaru meant that he'd lost his way, Sesshoumaru chastises him for not being able to dispatch such a "low-life youkai" as the Numawatari, even with Tessaiga's new powers. This insult enrages the water youkai who attacks. Sesshoumaru weilds Tenseiga and uses it to attack the youkai. Inuyasha is impressed by the attack as his Sesshoumaru-sama's entourage, Rin noting that the crescent moon-shape of the attack is larger.
As Sesshoumaru realizes that his attack didn't kill Numawatari (it got away), Inuyasha demands to know what he' s done with Tenseiga. Jaken explains Tenseiga's new Meidou-Zangetsuha attack. Sesshoumaru silences Jaken, then shows his disgust with Inuyasha and what he's done to Tessaiga. This irritates Inuyasha who goes to attack his older brother, but is slapped back. When Sesshoumaru understands exactly what Inuyasha was trying to do with Tessaiga and absorbing the youkai powers of Numawatari, he's annoyed and walks away stating that Inuyasha doesn't understand Tessaiga at all.
Inuyasha knows what Sesshoumaru implied -- Inuyasha was faltering because he'd not mastered the new abilities. So, its off to the sword's creator Toutousai for assistance. Toutousai immediately sees the changes made to the sword and sees that Inuyasha hasn't been training himself in power to keep up with the sword's new abilities. As such, Toutousai decides to send Inuyasha to see Youreitaisei.
Yeah, we've been here and done this. Inuyasha battles some powerful youkai, Tessaiga has an ability that Inuyasha can't use properly, Sesshoumaru-sama shows up and throws a few insults having understood the situation completely, Inuyasha goes to see Toutousai. Lather, rinse, repeat. But, I'll keep on going because I'm told that somewhere down the road, we get some good Sesshoumaru-sama stories.
Speaking of him, the only thing of interest was that he learned his Meidou-Zangetsuha attack still needed perfecting.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Oh smeg yes! This is the scoop from Anime News Service:
1-27-07 (7:52PM EST)---- New Slayers Movie To Become DVD BOX ExclusiveAccording to the March issue of Dragon Magazine, buyers of all 3 Japanese R2 Slayers TV series DVD-BOX sets will get a disc containing a completely new Slayers feature with theatrical quality animation. The story will focus on a love romance in the southern islands between Lina and Gourry. Megumi Hayashibara's song 'MEET AGAIN' will be the theme.
When the writers injected a bit of romance into the Slayers Next series between Gourry and Lina, I was hoping for more when Slayers Try came out. Sadly, the writers went for a more kiddy anime there and so the romance angle was really dropped (among other things).
Still, in Slayers Premium, the anime writers did at least touch on it by having Gourry say, "I love you" in English to Lina (who speaking in Japanese, didn't understand it but seemed to get the gist of it). Granted it ended in a comedy moment and that may be how the anime writers deal with the romance in the new movie. I hope not, but we'll see.
As to the new "movie," I suspect it won't be very long. I'll be surprised if it makes 30-minutes, but as I already said, we'll see.
As for my purchasing it, well I'm going to be buying FUNimation's re-release and I just don't have the budget to buy the R2 DVD release as well (I already splurged earlier with a purchase from Japan). BUT, I suspect that eventually we'll see this show up somewhere down the road once it is released in Japan. I'll be keeping my eyes open for sure!
Additional (17 April 2007): No sign of the new movie having been released yet. I know a recent issue of "Dragon" magazine talked about it but beyond that, I've seen nothing to suggest when it might be released. The Japanese aren't "sharing the love" if it has been released.
Additional (1 June 2007): I found some scans. I've no idea how I got them (I suppose I was e-mailed them based on where I found them).
I don't know who scanned these or who sent them to me, but I wanted to say "Thanks" just the same. I'm not sure if there's any information here that isn't already known.
Additional (08 June 2007): There's no doubt that HAYASHIBARA Megumi did a song called "Meet Again." As I mentioned in the comments, the news about this movie doesn't appear to be good and yet there appears to have been
Additional (10 June 2007): Thanks to Shansito for this information. Each boxed set for the different Slayers TV series, in addition to getting the DVD's for the series as well as some audio drama stuff, you also got a gift ticket. Once you sent in all three gift tickets, you were then send the "Memorial DVD." The Memorial DVD contained the following:
- The 2-minute "Meet Again" video (which looks like an OP sequence) which is all new animation featuring HAYASHIBARA Megumi singing the song. The animation starts with Gourry and Lina, but later Zelgadis and Amelia are added and Xellos pops in at the end.
- This is a roughly 30-minute clip video. I haven't seen this yet (I hope to soon) but my understanding is that the clips are taken from the three TV series and feature the romance between Gourry and Lina. I'm lead to believe that Megumi narrates this (as Lina).
For those interested, here are the sets from Amazon's Japanese site (at least, this is my understanding):
One related item for those interested in learning more about the world of Slayers (and Lost Universe). There's a great wiki dedicated to Hajime-sensei's creations called KanakaDex which has a ton of information (and still has more to gather for those of you who have said information, especially if you have the original Japanese novels) for you guys to check out. Unlike Wikipedia, this wiki actually likes having information and doesn't appear to have wiki-gods only interested in restricting things to what some stupid "official" English publication says (whether that publication is right or wrong).
Update (27 Feb 2008): A new TV series has just been announced.
OK, I'm picking up reading Inuyasha again from where I left off. Thanks to Ear-Tweak for the scans.
The weird youkai Mouryoumaru is planning to devour the attached, twin youkai Kinka and Ginka (who have been fighting all their life with neither able to gain an advantage). Inuyasha battles Mouryoumaru with the Tessaiga's Kongousouha attack but fails. Mouryoumaru grabs Kinka and Ginka who use their powers to fry Mouryoumaru, causing him to release Ginka. Despite Inuyasha's warning, Ginka use the moment to attack Kinka and stab him with his weapon. Mouryoumaru then uses part of his body to stab Ginka. Inuyasha battles Mouryoumaru and then attempts to rescue the twins from his grasp.
Mouryoumaru grabs Ginka again and Ginka's body separates from Kinka's. Mouryoumaru pulls Ginka into his body to consume him and absorb his power for his armor. Inuyasha is irritated, and Kinka reveals that had he been the one to be released, he would have done the same to Ginka as Ginka had done to him. Kinka is angry with Mouryoumaru for getting between the twins and wanted to devour them. He launches an attack, but it fails without his twin as backup. Inuyasha gets involved again to save Kinka and attacks Mouryoumaru without success.
Inuyasha continues to battle Mouryoumaru without success. Kinka increases his attacks and seems to cause Mouryoumaru pain. This irritates Mouryoumaru who stabs Kinka. He then completely absorbs Ginka, meaning Ginka has now died. Before he can work on consuming Kinka, Inuyasha attacks again. Now that Mouryoumaru armor has been strengthened by the consumption of Ginka, Tessaiga should no longer be a problem to him. The wounded Kinka, being defended by Inuyasha, asks if Inuyasha will kill Mouryoumaru. After hearing Inuyasha's determination, he decides that rather than be consumed by Mouryoumaru he will do something else -- he wills himself to be absorbed by Tessaiga, thus giving Inuyasha's youkai sword his flame powers. With this new power, Inuyasha attacks and Ginka's lightning powers react within Mouryoumaru, damaging him and dropping the barrier that surrounds the baby known as Naraku's Heart.
Mouryoumaru realizes that he really needed to consume Kinka since Ginka's powers resonates with Kinka's and thus when Inuyasha uses Kinka's power, it causes Ginka's power to work against him. Inuyasha presses his attack on Mouryoumaru and manages to get through the armor to reveal the baby, Naraku's Heart. Naraku's Heart unleashes a massive amount of shouki, which allows Mouryoumaru to escape. Inuyasha is annoyed by this turn of events.
The group discusses events that have transpired. Miroku recalls Naraku sending the youkai Nikosen, who's power was absorbed by Tessaiga, solving a problem Inuyasha had with the sword's recent upgraded abilities. Naraku then would have had Mouryoumaru consume both Ginka and Kinka, then have Mouryoumaru and Inuyasha defeat each other. Naraku hadn't counted on Kinka's power going into Tessaiga, which meant that Inuyasha came close to killing Naraku's Heart, thus killing Naraku. Inuyasha is troubled by the way Tessaiga obtained Kinka's power, since it was a gift and not earned in battle.
Meanwhile, some humans in a village are discussing seeing someone go into the mountain. That someone turned out to be Sesshoumaru-sama. He observes the body of an oni, one he'd recently slain. Other oni/youkai emerge, enraged at what Sesshoumaru had done and prepare to attack.
This wraps up the somewhat tedious latest battle between Inuyasha and Mouryoumaru. I now remember why I stopped reading to begin with -- Takahashi-sensei's "lather, rince, repeat" formula for the series. The group has battled Mouryoumaru many times. Since he has Naraku's Heart within him, he's replaced the actual Naraku as the main villain they fight (with Naraku pulling the strings behind the scene). Inuyasha gaining new powers for Tessaiga is old because we've been there and done that repeatedly. Soon, Inuyasha will master the new power and will then face a new opponent who can overcome the new power.
Sesshoumaru-sama's arrival is more interesting to me, though thus far, there's not much to say there.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Well, time to wrap up Volume 10, which is a good one. Too bad Del Rey isn't releasing this one until September 25, 2007. ^_^;;; Thanks again to eXeXeX HOLIC for the scans.
Summary: The injured Watanuki, laying in bed at Yuuko-san's shop/house, is surprised to see Himawari-chan there and wonders why. Yuuko-san answers simply that she is needed there. Watanuki apologizes for worrying Himawari-chan because he's fine. Her serious answer is that he's fine this time.
As Watanuki observes her, he notices the dark aura around her. Himawari-chan notices this and asks him what is wrong, but he denies that anything is wrong. As he does, he remembers being told that he won't be able to go back to the time when he didn't notice anything wrong with Himawari-chan. He decides that maybe denying the truth is the same as lying to her, so he to confess to her the fact that since he met her bad things have happened. She already knows and finishes his sentence for him.
She explains that because she had touched his shoulder in the hall, it caused him to fall out of the window. She's relieved that he finally noticed -- every bad thing that happened from the death of the woman in the accident early on, to the Hundred Ghost Story event where Watanuki was attacked, to the Angel-san event, to the dead woman in the window, to the present happenstance were all because of her.
She knows that Watanuki can see things like youkai and this was confirmed by Yuuko-san. However, she is not a youkai or any other creature that Watanuki has encountered. She is human, howbeit cursed. She was born with the ability to cause bad luck to happen to those she comes in contact with. Only her parents are immune, having created her. She goes into great detail some of the events that happened when she was a child and even how Shinto priest had confirmed her curse.
And so, Himawari-chan having confessed her secret to Watanuki, thanks him for all of the bento meals he'd prepared and says goodbye.
Thoughts: Wow. Just wow. This was an amazing confession on the part of Himawari-chan and shows how much thought CLAMP has put into the creation of this title. Often, characters Watanuki meets have a story that gets resolved right away, but has some impact on Watanuki's growth. Himawari-chan has been there from Volume 1 of the manga and now in Volume 10, her story has come to a head. She too has played a part in his growth, and it is sad that she is so cursed.
Summary: Having heard Himawari-chan's dark confession, Watanuki again apologizes for making her worry and offers to make her something to eat. She wonders if he even was listening to what she said. He did hear, but for him, seeing smile, hearing her say his name, receiving snacks from her, and just being able to meet her makes him very happy. She's not convinced, stating he could die next time. He assures her that won't happen. He has no proof, but his belief is based on teh fact that he likes Himawari-chan the best and that he won't make her cry.
In the end, Himawari-chan decides to accept his offer of food by telling him that a strawberry cake will do. Leaving the room Watanuki is resting in, she slides the doors shut and tells a blood-soaked Doumeki-kun that he has to pretend not to know about the cake as it is a secret between herself and Watanuki. Doumeki-kun agrees but states he'll have to eat the bento with her and Watanuki, something she agrees to.
After Himawari-chan leaves, Yuuko-san immediately tells Watanuki that the price for getting rid of that curse contains a huge price -- it will cost her all of her happiness. She further reveals that Doumeki-kun paid part of the price for Watanuki's life as did Himawari-chan. The third party that paid a price for Watanuki's life was they guy that recently stopped in who looked like Syaoran-kun. He asks why, but doesn't get an answer.
Finally, before he goes back to sleep, Yuuko-san states that she was unable to heal the pinkie finger that he made the yubikiri with Himawari-chan. He's OK with that and wants Yuuko-san to never tell Himawari-chan this, seeing how he likes seeing her smile. He thing inquires about the price Himawari-chan paid for his life. That is a secret. As for the price Doumeki-kun paid, it was in the amount of blood Watanuki lost. As such, both became customers of Yuuko-san and thus both now have access to the store.
As she leaves Yuuko-san's place, Himawari-chan is crying because someone had told her for the first time in her life that they were happy to have met her. As such, she's glad she took his scars as payment for his recovery.
Thoughts: Another incredible chapter, though in slightly different way. Having learned the secret of Himawari-chan, Watanuki's reaction was not unexpected. After all, he only has eyes for her and that comes through very clearly, much more so than if he'd done the old traditional anime/manga love-confession. Though I still want his and Zashiki-Warashi to end up together, this was the chapter that made me think that I wouldn't mind Watanuki and Himawari-chan being together. I don't think it will happen because I don't think she'll ever let him know about her scars. We'll see if I'm right.
Now, as for Himawari-chan and Doumeki-kun now being customers of Yuuko-san -- Himawari-chan's only request of Yuuko-san was in the Angel-san story and that was done outside the store. Further, Watanuki and Doumeki-kun did the work with Watanuki paying the price for Yuuko-san's assistance. However, Doumeki-kun did have Yuuko-san come over to the temple in chapter 108 when that ghost that Watanuki and Kohane-chan needed to be sent on. So technically, he'd been her customer before, only he'd not seen her house much less been in it (remember, the time's he'd come by, all he saw was a vacant lot). It seems like a small plot-hole to me, but the manga had made me think that Doumeki-kun would never see Yuuko-san's store because he didn't need her services. Oh well, it doesn't make this any less enjoyable.
Summary: Watanuki awakens to discover that Yuuko-san is sitting in the room with him. Upon being asked, she tells him he's been asleep for six days, and she's kept Doumeki-kun and Himawari-chan informed. Initially, Watanuki has ideas of making his own payments for to repay Himawari-chan, but on his own realizes this would actually hurt her and he doesn't want to cause her any more pain. Yuuko-san agrees. He decides to work hard so that at the very least, he can cause Himawari-chan to smile, even if a little bit.
Yuuko-san calls him a good child and encourages him to go back to sleep. He's reluctant to since sleeping means he can't do anything to help Himawari-chan. So, Yuuko-san gives him an egg as payment for the water he retrieved for her. She tells him to sleep with the egg and raise it any way he wants.
Watanuki does just that and has a conversation of sorts with the egg. He pours in his wish for Himawari-chan to be happy and the egg responds by agreeing to this and stating that it will be born so that this wish can come true. When Watanuki awakens, a strange little bird is there. It is what emerged from the egg.
Yuuko-san comes in and sees what became of the egg. She tells Watanuki that the bird will not be affected by Himawari-chan's curse, just as (apparently) Doumeki-kun had not been affected. Yuuko-san continues by stating that Himawari-chan has changes as has Watanuki, and she will continue to change. Further, Yuuko-san states that Himawari-chan will become strong.
Thoughts: And so Volume 10 ends with this little bird being born for Himawari-chan. So that means she has a gift coming her way, not to mention that she and Watanuki have a date of sorts where they will eat cake without Doumeki-kun being there. It will be interesting to see where CLAMP takes Himawari-chan. I'm glad they finally went ahead and resolved the storyline of who she is, but I suspect they may have needed to do so for whatever future plans the team has.
This was a great volume, highlighted by the resolution of Himawari-chan's story. I look forward to reading the chapters from Volume 11.
Friday, January 26, 2007
In keeping with what I do with Negima! and xxxHOLiC, I will start writing synopsis and review current chapters of Ah! My Goddess from Japan. Thanks to the guys at GMT for the scans!
Summary: Keiichi and Belldandy return to Nekomi Institute of Technology for whatever reason when they are met by Aoshima, who wishes to give Belldandy-san a present -- a ring. Naturally, K1 is not keen and Aoshima will not let his "senpai" interfere. However, other males arrive to give Belldandy-sama presents. She declines them all and as they walk away, she tells K1 that she already has all the items being offered (or access to them) and a ring she already has received from Keiichi-san.
K1 is floored by this and the two stop to admire some flowers growing nearby. K1 decides that the moment deserves a picture and so he goes to take Belldandy's picture at the flowers. At a nearby bench, and older woman gives Belldandy a flower stating that a picture would be better with it. Belldandy accepts and the woman walks away, leaving K1 feeling like he's seen her before.
Having spoken out loud about Belldandy accepting the woman's present of the flower, his senpai's Otaki and Tamiya arrive on scene. Under the guise of giving K1 a present, the two drag K1 off to the Motor Club facility with Belldandy following. There, they unveil an antique Rolleiflex camera. K1 is impressed by it and thinks they are giving it to him as a present. Of course, they have no such plans and in typical fashion have decided that his present it to fix this classic camera.
Back at their temple-home, Belldandy has a mild reaction to the camera. Meanwhile, K1 struggles and fails to get the camera to work. He feels it is hopeless when Belldandy pops in to check on him. Once the camera lens has Belldandy in its sights (thanks to how K1 is holding the camera), suddenly everything starts working perfectly. The viewfinder opens and K1 is able to take a picture of Belldandy with no problem, stunned that its suddenly not broken.
Thoughts: Well, this is a setup chapter for whatever story Fujishima-sensei is wanting to tell. Aoshima's showing up in this chapter was out of the blue and didn't add anything to the story (yet). The character design for Aoshima has him looking like a butch woman to me at times, but then I'm not a fan of most of Fujishima-sensei's current character designs.
As to the old woman, I suspect she'll be back before the story is finished based on K1's finding her familiar to him. Is it someone he knew from the past (Fujishima-sensei seems to be going back to bring back long-forgotten faces of late)? Is she someone who has traveled back from the future? That seems a long stretch, but I keep thinking, Chihiro-san for some reason.
As to the camera, we have another in a long-line of classic items that Fujishima-sensei decides he wants to draw and build a story around. That the camera suddenly worked when it was pointed at Belldandy is no surprise though.
Overall, like most groundwork chapters, there's not a lot here and it will be a month before we can see where things go.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
No offense to the creators of original English language (OEL) "manga," but I'm not a fan of the genre. I think in part it is the attempt on the part of American companies to expand manga from comics created in Japan to anything that looks similar in style to comics made in Japan (even if the comic were made in America). Whatever. Just call the American version "comics" and be done with it.
Anyway, one dopey OEL title produced by TokyoPop is known as Princess Ai. This OEL title is created by Courtney Love (rock singer who married Kurt Cobain of Nirvana), Ai Yazawa (mangaka and creator of the very popular Nana manga), Misaho Kujiradou (another mangaka/artist), and DJ Milky (pseudonym for Stu Levy, founder of TokyoPop). The title went for three volumes and reportedly is loosely based on Courtney Love's life ("Ai" being a Japanese word for "love"). It sold some copies to be sure and certainly has a small following.
So, why mention this?
Well, TokyoPop has decided that this goth OEL "manga" needs lots and lots more stuff out there for you to buy (try not to barf when you read the press release). So, we now have Princess Ai of Ai-Land for the comic strip section of your local newspaper (already, I hear the weeping of cartoonist who work so hard to try to break into the comic strip pages). Its not in my local paper, but nor is it in my state's biggest newspaper. If it does show up, I suspect it won't hang around long unless some sweetheart deal is established to ensure its survival on the comic strip page.
However, TP doesn't stop there. A five-volume novel collection known as The Ai-Land Chronicles: Book of the Second Revolution is coming. And keeping with the book theme, Princess Ai: Roses & Tattoos is all about Stu's poetry and the art of the manga. Hold the iku moment until the end, please.
Ah, but we know that books aren't enough. You need something for your ears. How about some tunes? The Princess Ai Soundtrack is just for you! Stu (as DJ Milky...ugh) has the dope tracks laid down for ya'll, yo! Rock on!
However, we know this isn't enough. So we have the live-action/anime mix movie known as The Ai-Land Chronicles. Stu will direct this movie because DJ Milky-milk can't be stopped! You may iku now.
Personally, Stu and TokyoPop can do what they want. However, I find it mildly annoying that TokyoPop can put so much effort into this OEL title and trying to make it seem hotter than it actually is but when it came to promoting (and getting right) something like the Slayers novels, all I ever heard were crickets. Its like they are trying to force this product down everyone's throat, saturate the area with hype, and hope that no one notices until they've cashed the checks. Yes, Princess Ai, if successful, will be more profitable to TP, but if you are going to license a title like the Slayers novels, get off your butts and promote it (and don't tone the translation down for a younger audience).
I'm sure some goth and rocker types will buy into this Princess Ai thing, but I expect that no matter how much money TokyoPop throws on false hype (as seen in that press release), this thing will end up being a failure. It will be interesting to watch how this goes.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I didn't really want to believe this at first, but I'm now convinced that there's a new religion in the world, specifically Japan and the United States. That religion is Suzumiya Haruhi, aided in part because in the story, Haruhi could indeed be the "God" of that universe.
Bandai is now taking requests to see how American fans want the series to be released on DVD -- in Japanese TV broadcast order (scrambled to make it fun and brilliant) or in Japanese DVD order (shown in chronological, as-written order). So you can make your choice as to the way you want to see the series.
Personally, I don't care how the show is released in the U.S. since I've no plans to buy it. I enjoyed watching the anime for what it was and indeed would like to know more of the story. But I don't have iku moments because the anime was aired on TV in Japan out of order (even splitting a 2-part summer episode with one from the winter). But I've already ranted about that.
The signs that folks have gone beyond being a fan of the series into something more certainly started with the debate that the show is only to be viewed in the order as seen on TV in Japan, with a viewing in chronological order just as an aside. That's the position of most U.S. fans. Ironically while the mere mention of the series being released in chronological order on DVD throws the hardcore fans into fits of varying degrees, the Japanese didn't seem to have this problem when the show was released in chronological order there. Why not?
The fanaticism shown by fans who refuse to accept the marketing ploy of the TV release is amusing. If the TV version were truly what the anime creators and TANIGAWA Nagaru-sensei (the creator of the original novels and short stories from which the anime is based) intended as the way to view the series, then why put it on DVD in chronological order? Some fans have tried to come up with reasons as to the whys, but in the end, they have no answer, only interesting speculation.
While the Japanese fans may not be as fanatical about how the anime is released on DVD as the American fans who've watched the fansubs are, the Japanese are fanatical in other ways. The novels are best sellers, the anime is a best seller, figures and other related Haruhi products are hot sellers. OK, that's nothing new for any very popular anime series. Otaku love their favorite titles and support them to the max.
Still, the Japanese show an even greater, nearly religious fanaticism about the title in other ways. For example, there's a 4-hour Haruhi event scheduled for March 2, 2007 in Saitama, Japan where the seiyuu from the anime and the audio drama CD's will attend. Tickets for the event went for ~$54 but are now being sold online for as much as ~$540 (for some of the best seats) with the not-so-good seats still bringing in as much as ~$275. Astounding.
Then, I see a Japanese blogger with a photo that had fans everywhere in a near iku state.
Yes, even the children of fanatical Islamic folks know the truth -- there is no Allah, only Haruhi! Banzai Haruhi!
OK, series with style over substance getting mad raves is not new. For years, there's been a huge debate over Neon Genesis Evangelion and if it is overrated or not. For a long time, it was treated by many fans in the U.S. as Haruhi is -- this is the greatest anime ever and how dare you say it isn't, you heathen! Over time, other anime titles have made their splashes (including Haruhi) and so EVA is no longer seen with such fervent adoration.
So why is this bothering me so much? You know, I don't really know. Maybe because I'm a Christian, I don't like seeing religious furor on stupid things. Maybe I'm just getting old and more cynical about fads and those who grasp anything different as the most brilliant thing ever. Maybe I just loathe what I see as a gimmick. I like the new Battlestar Galactica, I think it is miles above the original in story and execution, and I discuss it with friends at work and at times on boards. But I don't worship it, Ron Moore, or anything else here. I see worship with Suzumiya Haruhi and that is what I can't fathom.
Oh well, time to let this go and move on, ne?
Monday, January 22, 2007
Note: If you've never read the Fruits Basket manga that TokyoPop has currently released, there will be some SPOILERS involved as I will be referencing the manga. Someone complained to me about this aspect, so now I've warned you. ^_^;;;
With Fruits Basket being one of the best-selling manga in the United States (each new volume scores well on USA Today's Top 150 Best-Selling Books list and even managed to place during the ultra-crowded Christmas buying season) and with the anime being one of FUNimation's top sellers, it is only natural that fans in the U.S. would want a second series (or season) to be produced. With the manga having ended last December in Japan, the question many fans have had is, "where is Furuba 2?"
From the start, there has been resistance on the part of the Japanese to do a sequel to the very popular anime title. DAICHI Akitaro (大地丙太郎), who directed Fruits Basket, showed reluctance to do a sequel as seen in the interview on one of the FUNimation DVDs. If you own the DVD's, make sure to take a look at this.
In May 2004, I was talking with Japanese fan SUGIYAMA Tamihiro. We discussed the Furuba anime, along with other stuff. Here's the relevant portions of that discussion.
T: I havent read the manga and I'm rather a newbie on this title, so concerning an anime sequel I owe the debate to the fans who are talking on "Furuba" boards. According to them in an interview the director Daichi was rather negative on the possibility. Fans are willing to see a sequel, but they think it wont be soon anyways. Following the conclusion of the manga perhaps? They arent sure either.
A: Any word on why Daichi was negative on the possibility? I loved the series and would love to see more.
T: This I didnt know the detail so I went to director Daichi's private site and asked for a comment on his BBS. His answer was, "In short because I havent been asked to" from the investors. Gees. *lol*
It sounds like a joke but perhaps hes telling a truth, in a way. If a sequel is coming up he would have heard of it anyway. Its left to us to guess why the investors arent pushing forward.
At this point, I began to really doubt that we'd get any more anime and we'd have to wait for the manga (two volumes had been released in the U.S. at that time and fourteen tankoubons in Japan).
Still, FUNimation seemed keen on carrying the project forward and doing what it took to get things done. They even did a project where they sent a 1000 (or so) cranes to Japan to show how serious they were about doing another series. I don't know if FUNimation offered to pony up cash for the series as a sponsor (which you'll note, a lack of sponsorship is a reason Daichi-san states no sequel had been done).
In June 2006, Animetique had this news from Adam Sheehan (FUNimation Marketing Director)which came out of Wizard World Philly convention as to the reasons for no sequel to Furuba.
- The Voice Cast - Most of the voice cast has retired and they aren't interested in coming back to do a second series. They came out of retirement to do the first season. Coming out of retirement again is less appealing.
- The Mangaka - Natsuki Takaya (the mangaka - creator of the manga) didn't like the anime's director, Akitaro Daichi. If they were to do a second season, Takaya would want to replace the director.
- The Producton Company - Unlike Takaya, the production company, NAS, likes Daichi and would want him to do the second season.
Item one is bogus because if you'll look at the seiyuu list, most of them are still working titles in anime to this day. Besides, even in Japan, casting has changed for titles at times when the desire has been there to proceed with a new series.
That leaves us with item 2 & 3, which sounds very much like the disagreement between manga-ka Tsuda-sensei and ANNO Hideaki (of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame) over his direction of the anime adaptation of her Kare Kano manga.
So, I made it my mission to discover what about the anime adaptation of Furuba might have upset Takaya-sensei. I don't think she would have been upset by the little additions such as Uo-chan and Hana-chan coming over to Shigure's house to visit Tohru and help her clean just before New Years. I don't think that Takaya-sensei would have minded having Kyo-kun's true-form story moved to the end of the anime for dramatic purposes. So, I came up with two reasons that she may have objected to his work.
First, Daichi-san completely removed the hat element from the anime adaptation. From the very first chapter, Takaya-sensei made a point of displaying the hat (which I've colored red).
Now notice Tohru's tent as seen in the anime.
Notice there's no hat in the anime.
By volume 2 of the manga, Takaya-sensei had told the story of the hat from Tohru's point of view, but Daichi-san had decided to remove the hat story from his version, apparently seeing it as not important or did not want to have a dangling plot thread unresolved. Now that we know the hat initially belonged to Kyo-kun and was given to Tohru by Yuki-kun (something Takaya-sensei had planned from the start as I understand it), you can understand why this omission would irritate her.
However, the biggest change Daichi-san made was to the character of Akito-san. Now, the seiyuu casting isn't really a problem (it is on the English dub) because the voice is ambiguous enough so as not to reveal Akito-san's big secret. However, Takaya-sensei had always intended for Akito-san to play the part of the god-figure from the zodiac legend. As such, all of the Juunishi (zodiac) are bound to Akito-san and thus Akito-san's word becomes a law which they cannot disobey (at least, not without great effort and pain to themselves, as we've seen in the manga).
So, Daichi-san came up with his own explanation of Akito-san. Now instead of being the god-figure in the legend, the curse goes into the body of Akito-san and as such, Akito-san has been born to die for the Juunishi, so they do as they are told by Akito-san as some sort of obligation (at least, that's how I understood it from the Japanese version). Further, Kazuma-dono works with Akito-san when it comes to forcing Kyo-kun to show his true form in front of Tohru, something Kazuma-dono would NEVER do based on the manga. Not only that, but when Akito-san attacks Tohru in the last episode (something which is in keeping with the character but not in the manga), Yuki-kun, Shigure, and Hatori all rush to stop Akito-san and go against him. None of them, save Momiji-kun, have stood up to Akito-san thus far in the manga because at this point, they cannot do so.
I imagine this modification on the part of Akito-san by Daichi-san is the main reason she dislikes his adaptation of her manga. I suspect that she wasn't consulted about this ahead of time, otherwise I'm sure she would have told him who Akito-san truly was. If she did tell him, then that would give her more reason not to want him to do a sequel.
However, this is all pure speculation and short of being able to interview Takaya-sensei myself, I doubt we'll ever learn the truth.
Still, should there be a sequel, how can the anime rectify things? The hat story is easy enough to pick up. Some minor retconning would have to be done in the form of flashbacks to Tohru in the tent and first moving to Shigure's house, and her version of the story would have to be told early. Other than that, it should be easy to recover that. The stuff about Akito-san's dying for the Juunishi is going to be a huge (nearly impossible) hurdle to overcome as is those members of the Juunishi standing up to Akito-san.
In the end, I no longer believe there will be a sequel to this anime title. Indeed, doing this research where I watched the anime and read the manga at the same time depressed me a bit and makes the final episode of the anime difficult to watch. That said, both will still remain favorites of mine even if we never get a sequel anime series.
Update (27 January 2007): Apparently, Takaya-sensei stated that she does not want another Furuba series, but the site that had this information has since pulled it. If I find something, I'll add it as well.
Update (19 May 2007): Word is at Anime Boston 2007, FUNimation reported they are still trying to convince the powers that be to create a sequel series to Furuba. I don't think it will work, but you never know.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Here comes another three chapters from volume 10 of xxxHOLiC. Thanks to to eXeXeX HOLIC for the scans.
Summary: Watanuki is surprised to see Kohane-chan waiting for him with his umbrella that she'd borrowed. As they talk, Kohane-chan reveals that she does not attend school and hasn't done so since her first year of elementary school. Since she is hungry, Watanuki decides to ask her out on a "date."
The two eat the bento that Watanuki had prepared for himself and Doumeki-kun. She's a bit concerned that this meal had been prepared for someone else, but Watanuki assures her that it is OK for her to eat it. She hesitates at first since she's never been allowed to eat such foods, but proceeds anyway, enjoying it as she does.
Watanuki tells Kohane-chan what happened to the woman in the sakura tree. Kohane-chan wants to know more about Yuuko-san, which has Watanuki list all sorts of bad things about her before ending by saying that he's glad to have known her. Kohane-chan looks somewhat depressed thinking about how nice it must have been for Watanuki, which prompts him to tell her he's glad to have met her too. This makes her smile.
Kohane-chan has to leave to do a TV appearance. She declines his offer to escort her to her destination. So, Watanuki decides to offer her the dream balloon he has with him. He explains what it is and his belief that if she has it, something good will happen. She is concerned that she might deny him of something good by taking his gift, but Watanuki assures her that if something good happens to her, he'll be happy.
She takes the balloon and promises to let him know if something good happens. He even states that he'll come get her since she's so busy and that he might even bring Yuuko-san, Mokona, and Doumeki-kun. She asks him if she can address him as "Kimihiro-kun," which pleases Watanuki.
As she leaves, much to Watanuki's surprise, she asks him who he made a promise with.
Thoughts: Kohane-chan is a sweetheart to be sure and I can't help but feel for her since her mother is so caught up in her child's fame. CLAMP is doing something different with her by breaking up her story-arc. I kinda like that because her story feels like one that would slowly progress. It was neat seeing her used as a vehicle to again push the Himawari-chan arc, even if only a small amount.
Summary: Watanuki mentions meeting Doumeki-kun's grandfather (Haruka-san) in his dreams. Doumeki-kun reveals that his grandfather died when Doumeki was in the fifth grade. Watanuki wonders why Haruka-san would look so young in his dreams and why he'd dream of Doumeki's grandfather to begin with. Since Haruka-san had informed Watanuki that they are similar, Doumeki figures that something will happen since Haruka-san could not only kill evil but make predictions.
As the two continue to talk, Doumeki asks about his grandfather's instructions that Watanuki bring the dream balloon with him. Watanuki states his belief that Haruka-san's request for him to carry the dream balloon was because he would meet Kohane-chan and needed to give the balloon to her. Doumeki-kun wants to know if his grandfather's instructions specifically told Watanuki to give the balloon away or not. The instructions said no such thing, so the fact that Watanuki gave the balloon away seems to cause Doumeki concern. Watanuki doesn't mind being without the balloon since Kohane-chan has it. This prompts Doumeki to ask Watanuki to wait for him after school, something he's not happy about.
A little later, Himawari-chan catches the fuming Watanuki on the 2nd floor of the school, where she greets him with her normal, cheery smile. His reaction to her presence is not like normal as he recalls Yuuko-san, Haruka-san, and Kohane-chan all making statement about Himawari-chan. She immediately senses that he's not his normal self and is concerned that something is wrong. He tries to play it off.
As they begin to discuss Kohane-chan, Watanuki inexplicably finds himself falling out of the window of the school and landing hard on the ground with broken glass and blood all around.
Thoughts: OK, CLAMP has clearly decided to advance the Himawari-chan arc to what appears will be its conclusion. For the last chapter, I mentioned that Kohane-chan's story-arc was the first to be broken up. However now that I think about it, technically Himawari-chan's story is the first. However, I didn't think of her this way since she's a main character and thus far, Kohane-chan is just a guest character (howbeit a recurring one).
Summary: Watanuki finds himself in younger form, in pain, and in the dark crying for his parents. He finds himself pulled from the ground and in a discussion with his parents (presumably). They apologize to him and lament that he's lonely and injured. They assure him that he will meet someone who will be waiting for him. They do not want him to die and leave, but the child Watanuki decides he wants to go with them.
A hand stops him and that hand belongs to Haruka-san. He explains that Doumeki-kun wasn't able to enter Watanuki's dream. Further, upon seeing Watanuki being recalled to life, he tells Watanuki that they should meet again in a real dream.
Watanuki wakes up in Yuuko-san's place. Yuuko-san is there and explains how he fell out the school window. Doumeki happened to witness this and was going to call for an ambulance, but Yuuko-san called him first and told him to bring Watanuki to her. She also seems to know that Watanuki was visited by Haruka-san in his dream-state. Watanuki, knowing that there is a price to be paid for Yuuko-san's services, remarks that the price must have been very high, presumably thinking he'd have to pay it. However, he's surprised to learn that she's already been paid by three people before noticing Himawari-chan standing in the doorway.
Thoughts: Whoa! I can't wait to see this come out from Del Rey since what I read was taken from the Chinese release (which isn't good for getting the story exactly right). I have the essentials of the story, but getting Del Rey's official translation will be sweet indeed (too bad it will be July 31, 2007 before I get that).
Still, as suspected, the Himawari-chan story-arc is being brought to a head with her in Yuuko-san's shop. Yuuko-san's immediately knowing about Watanuki's accident shows how important he is to her.
Three people paid the price for Watanuki's recovery at the hands of Yuuko-san. Clearly this would be Himawari-chan and Doumeki-kun, but who's the third? That will be fun to learn.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Viz recently made a surprising press release regarding their license of the anime Death Note. It wasn't surprising that Viz would license the anime since they've licensed the manga. Still, Viz deciding to enter the online download market with subtitled releases of the anime while it is still on air in Japan is what is so stunning.
The manga, according to Viz, is doing pretty well and is popular. OK, I'll take their word for it. But will this online legal "fansub" attempt on Viz's part truly work?
Why do people download fansubs? Well for the most part, English-speaking fans want to watch an anime title that's currently airing in Japan. Others want to be able to check out an anime completely before they decide to buy the title. A large number of folks who download fansubs from so-called "good" groups do so because these groups' subtitles are accurate with Japanese honorific usage, non-domesticated, readable, and include translator notes. And of course, fansubs are free.
Whether Viz admits it or not, they are very aware of the fansub market and I'm sure want to cash in. More power to them I say. However, will they take any cues from these good fansub groups? Will they try to win over those who enjoy fansubs beyond the fact that they are free?
Certainly, there will be a percentage of folks interested in Death Note that will pay to download these official subtitled versions from Viz. These are the same fans that will buy the R1 DVD's and not really have a problem with mild to moderate domestication, lack of Japanese honorifics, lack of translator notes, etc. As long as they are entertained, that's all that matters.
Still, in order to get a maximum number of folks to buy from Viz, I believe they will need to do the following:
- Ensure accurate but readable subtitles. That means don't domesticate the jokes or other elements because you think people won't understand. There is a means of explaining things that fansubbers use all the time.
- Include translator notes. Seriously, is it too much to ask for this? Some of us would actually like to learn more about our Japanese cousin's culture.
- Include ALL Japanese honorifics. Honorifics add spice and richness to the subtitles and help the audience see things from a more Japanese perspective than an American one.
- Don't kill us with DRM requirements! Actually, this one is the most important because it will hit a greater number of fans. If I can't watch the files I download when and where
I want to, then what's the point of having it?
Just my opinion.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Back when I lived in Japan, the anime Dirty Pair was something I saw on TV. In 1989, the original TV series had run four years prior and the 10-episode OAV series had completed in 1988. I remember my roommate Robert watching this and not having anything much better to do, I watched as well. OK, I thought Yuri was kinda hot.
I always thought it was ridiculous that these two investigators always wore these skimpy (fanservice) outfits, especially when in one of the OAV episodes, their male counterparts all got into heavy mecha armor! So guys need armor to go into combat, but our "Lovely Angels" need naught but what you see in the image above.
Still, Robert watching this series did plant seeds in my mind which lead to my looking for anime in 2002 and my becoming a fan of anime and manga.
ADV licensed the 10-episode OAV series, the two OAV's that were part of the original TV series (but never aired in its original run), and the movie. They've yet to license the TV series nor has anyone else. A few years back, I did watch everything they released as part of a nostalgic look-back to my time in Japan.
Anyway, it was a great surprise to me to learn that Dark Horse has the license to the first light novel for which this anime is based -- The Great Adventures of the Dirty Pair. I don't know if DH has the license for all of them or just this one. Considering this light novel was published in 1979 and the TV series hasn't been licensed, I'm surprised that someone would be willing to take a risk on this novel.
That said, I do hope they are going to do it right as I am planning to purchase it come the end of June. I'll blog a review at that time.
Look at how Mughi looks like some sort of Displacer Beast from the Dungeons and Dragons games. That alone made me want to read this novel. *lol*
Update (12 May 2008): I finally read the novel and wrote the review here.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
ANB Note: This post was originally on my normal blog. I just moved that blog to BlogSpot and decided that this entry belonged in the anime blog. I've not modified it beyond adding an image of Inuyasha, so the links I had to explain things have been left in as this was designed to explain things to a non-anime audience.
Remember, THIS IS A PARODY PIECE! ^_^;;; Enjoy.
From time to time, some smeg head pops in and spams everything they can. In this case, on the anime news group (as well as others), the smeg head spammed us with their theory on 9-11 and the so-called proof to go with it. So, I decided to modify it a bit, using the anime Inuyasha as my guide. I realize that many of you who don't watch anime and Inuyasha, so there are a few extra links to aid you and educate you. However, even if you don't know this anime title, I think most of you will agree that this theory is just as plausible as many of the others that are floating around.
+Why Did WTC 7 Completely Collapse On 9/11?+
On 9/11, three buildings collapsed, supposedly from fire. The Twin Towers, both which were hit by airplanes, had collapsed in the morning. WTC 7 was NOT hit by an airplane. I have proof that it was hit by something more sinister -- Kaze no Kizu!
Watch the video from CBS News and see the collapse of WTC 7 for yourself!
The official government-sponsored reports claim (although admittedly not conclusively) that WTC 7 collapsed from a combination of random fires and being hit by debris from the falling South Tower. Does the video look like a "fire" collapse? Of course not. It does look remarkably like Inuyasha carelessly using the Kaze no Kizu attack from his stupid youkai sword, Tessaiga!
Here's a zoom in of one of them. Why are puffs of smoke going up the building? We all know that smoke never really rises in puffs. But one of the side effects of Kaze no Kizu are puffs of smoke, especially when the attack is partially deflected by a strong youkai like Naraku or Sesshoumaru-sama.
WTC 7 was a 47 story steel framed building. It was NOT hit by an airplane. It was certainly hit by a Kaze no Kizu!
Last year Silverstein Properties said that Silverstein meant "pull the firefighters" out of the building. However... he did not say "pull them", or "pull the firefighters". He said "pull IT" meaning get the anime Inuyasha off Cartoon Network for good. Besides, according to NIST, FEMA, and a New York Times article, there was no firefighting in WTC 7. They were busy watching the Inuyasha marathon and wondering what it would be like to "do" Kagome, Sango, or both at once.
How many of you know that WTC 7 leaseholder Silverstein bought a 99 year lease on the Twin Towers just six weeks before they collapsed? This was done as part of a deal to keep the Japanese from buying it and making it the Inuyasha HQ for North America.
The following article shows that the Port Authority of NY wanted to demolish the WTC to keep it from falling into the hands of the Japanese. After all, these long-running shounen shows with no character progress in relationships or life shouldn't be aired in America.
Steel framed high rises have never completely collapsed from fire! There's no chance of a first time either. Yet on 9/11, three steel framed skyscrapers collapsed in downtown Manhattan. All three came straight down, at near free fall speed. All three had puffs of smoke coming out the sides, and molten metal in the rubble for weeks after the events. This is clear evidence of the Kaze no Kizu run amuck!
So why would Inuyasha travel from ancient Japan to present-day U.S. to destroy the buildings that would have been his HQ in North America? We think that while attempting to stop the evil U.S. Government, the Jews, the N.Y. Port Authority, and the lease-holder from destroying the buildings on their own (while of course blaming poor, innocent Islam-worshiping, "undocumented" middle-eastern men who were praying for the safety of the towers and the complete conversion of America to Islam), he accidentally destroyed the buildings with the Kaze no Kizu attack. But whom was he fighting with?
Therefore, we call for a new investigation into the collapses. We also call for the release of thousands of pictures and other evidence that the government is holding under lock and key that prove that Inuyasha destroyed the buildings. Please support by signing the online petition!
Monday, January 15, 2007
I've got three more chapters from volume 10 where we'll get to see the end of the well-water and "woman in the window" story and a continuation of the Himawari-chan thread. Again, thanks to eXeXeX HOLIC for the scans.
Summary: After making a yubikiri with Himawari-chan, Watanuki looks at his pinkie finger.
It is dark by the time Doumeki-kun and Watanuki take off for the final trip to the well. As before, there is the woman at the open window apparently observing them. Watanuki's pinkie gives him great pain and the wrapping cloth used to help carry the water jug flies into the window. Because the cloth belongs to Yuuko-san and it might have some importance that she hasn't told them, Watanuki decides they should go get it.
They try to ring the doorbell, but it doesn't work. Doumeki-kun states that he'll go and get the cloth and doesn't want to hear any protests from Watanuki. However, the door is open making the debate pointless. The inside of the house looks long abandoned but Watanuki announces their presence anyway (a Japanese custom). The two of them make their way upstairs to where the room where they'd seen the woman sitting at the window. Upon seeing the back of the woman sitting there, Watanuki decides that this woman isn't real, but is instead a doll.
Thoughts: Well, again Himawari-chan appears to have caused something to happen to Watanuki. After all, the cloth wouldn't have flown up to the window had his finger not suddenly given him pain, the very finger he made the yubikiri with her. Beyond that, the chapter is mostly build up for the ultimate conclusion.
Summary: Watanuki felt that the woman in the room was a doll, but Doumeki-kun is not so sure. He's quickly proved right based on his experience at the temple -- this is a deceased woman. Watanuki is incredulous since the body doesn't stink and hasn't begun to rot, especially in the humid Tokyo-area heat. Doumeki explains that in his grandfather's day, this was true but today, the preservatives used in foods build up over time and keep the body preserved after death. The woman's body falls out of the chair and to the floor.
Later at Yuuko-san's shop, Watanuki tells the story to Yuuko-san. The police confirmed once and for all to Watanuki that the body was indeed a corpse and not a doll. Despite his ability to see youkai, ayakashi, ghosts, and the like, this incident has left him shaken. Yuuko-san has observed this and asks why he went into the house in the first place. As he thinks back, he recalls that it was his pinkie finger had given him pain, causing him to let go of the cloth which had flown into the room with the dead woman. Yuuko-san presses the matter and Watanuki recalls the yubikiri with Himawari-chan. Yuuko-san confirms that it was the yubikiri with Himawari-chan that not only caused his pinkie finger to hurt, but also caused the wind to blow the cloth into the house.
Thoughts: Well now, well now. With Yuuko-san's confirmation that Himawari-chan caused the events that lead to them discovering the corpse, CLAMP is advancing this story thread again. They've only been teasing it for ages and so this advancement has been most intriguing. It will be interesting watching where this goes and learning who Himawari-chan really is. I'd love for her to still be around, but not as Watanuki's love-interest. I still want the Zashiki-Warashi and Watanuki to hook up.
As to the preservation item Doumeki-kun brings up, I have been unable to verify the truth of this. Certainly, everything I've read seems to indicate this really couldn't be. So I don't know if CLAMP are making some point about the foods we eat, or are just making up a plot device.
Summary: Watanuki finds himself at Doumeki-kun's temple and observing the night sky. He's joined by Doumeki-kun's grandfather, who's in his young man form. He wonders if Watanuki has any business at the temple since its already night. He offers to fetch Shizuka (Doumeki-kun) but Watanuki states that his reason for being there isn't that important. Doumeki-kun's grandfather disagrees and offers to listen.
It is then that Watanuki realizes they haven't been officially introduced. Doumeki-kun's grandfather already knows Watanuki's name and introduces himself as Doumeki Haruka. Since Watanuki already uses the family name "Doumeki" to address Shizuka, Haruka is the name that is requested to address Doumeki-kun's grandfather. "Haruka-san" it is then.
Watanuki tells Haruka-san about Himawari-chan. Haruka wants to know how Watanuki feels about her. He thinks she's kind and cute. Haruka-san then points out that bad things happened because of her. Watanuki tries to pass it off as coincidence, however he remembers Yuuko-san's constant reminder that there are no coincidences in the world, only hitsuzen (~inevitability). When Haruka-san asks Watanuki's opinion of hitsuzen, he admits that he didn't believe it at first, but recently has begun to accept it.
Haruka reflects on how everything that happens has meaning, including noticing things and asking "why?" He observes that Watanuki has been guided by various things said and done and so Watanuki won't be able to not notice things any longer. He then asks if Watanuki still has the balloons he received from the Yumekai. Watanuki has only one, so Haruka-san asks him to take it with him tomorrow when he goes out. Before he leaves, he states that they will surely see each other in another dream.
Watanuki awakens and gets up. He's happily greeted by Maru and and Moro who inform him the Yuuko-san is working in the treasure room. Yuuko-san has left word that he can't leave for school without preparing breakfast first. He agrees, but is disappointed Yuuko-san isn't around because he'd wanted to discuss the dream with her.
As he goes to school with the balloon, he runs into Kohane-chan.
Thoughts: The Himawari-chan arc continues to progress, which I know fans will appreciate. It is interesting the Yuuko-san is gone again right when Watanuki would have attempted to gain her advice. Most likely this was on purpose, especially since he runs into Kohane-chan in the end.
OK, we are half-way through the volume now. Three more chapters to come soon. ^_^
Saturday, January 13, 2007
(Note: Those looking for the actual end of Inuyasha manga review, go here.)
Back in late 2002, I got into the anime Inuyasha because I'd seen a few episodes on Cartoon Network (I was still watching anime in English in those days) and found myself pretty interested in the show. Unfortunately, they ended with episode 36 and didn't launch a re-run. So, I borrowed a copy of all the episodes through 36 AND discovered that in Japan, they were up to the 80's in episode count. Wow! Naturally, I had to acquire those as well, and continued to do so until the anime ended in Japan.
When the anime ended in September 2004, it was clear that Takahashi-sensei was going to keep writing the manga for a while. So I started reading the current manga from Japan to keep with the story. By mid-2005, I found that I grew weary of the manga and just stopped reading it. But recently, I have found myself curious, so I'll be going back to where I start and start reading again. So you can look forward to chapter reviews of that to be added to the blog.
During the time that I was keeping current with the Japanese release of the anime series, many fans, mostly younger fans, were always asking, "When is the show going to end?" Back in late 2003, I wrote an answer on Usenet. Since the manga is still ongoing, I figured I'd share the love of my original 2003 post since it still works for telling how the series will finally end.
Jaken still remained in Sesshoumaru's service and he also served Rin-sama as well. After Rin gives birth to twins (a boy and a girl), Jaken is given the task of being their nurse-maid. This job he takes gladly and with a great deal of pride since they have bestowed such trust on him. Jaken would meet his end when Shippou and his kitsune gang attack the twins. He dies defending the children who do manage to escape to freedom. His body is never found and thus Sesshoumaru was unable to bring him back to life. Sesshoumaru and Rin have both vowed to kill every fox youkai in Japan.
Despite losing the Shikon no Tama shards in his legs, Kouga manages to keep their power since he had them for so many years. As such, he is still as fast as the wind. Though still in love with Kagome, he accepted his fate that she and he could never be. As such, he decides to keep his promise to Ayame from so many years ago and marry her. Along with Ginta, Hakkaku, and two beautiful female wolf youkai Ayame provides for them, they form a new wolf youkai pack where Kouga's original tribe resided.
Shippou-chan became Shippou-sama after he parted ways with Inuyasha and company. His many years of witnessing brutal and bloody fights, grand manly posturing, & extreme insulting with cussing influenced him to do the same despite Kagome's attempts to shield the lad. After winning a life-or-death struggle with an extremely powerful agent of Naraku in which Shippou killed the beast, Shippou learned to tap into the vast kitsune powers even he did not know he had. As such, the adult Shippou went to form a large pack of vicious fox youkai which terrorize the land. His reputation grew as he managed to fight Inuyasha to a draw in one-on-one combat. After slaying Jaken, Shippou learned the hard way that there are some lines you shouldn't cross. Despite being the supreme illusionist in the world, Shippou (along with his wife, the young thunder sister) spent the rest of his life on the run from Sesshoumaru-sama and his clan.
As expected, Sango agreed to bear Miroku's children and thus the couple got married immediately after their adventures were over. With the now-alive and free Kohaku, the trio returned to Sango's village to rebuild the place and to start a new life along with Hachiemon, the raccoon youkai in Miroku's service. Unfortunately the happy days for Sango and Miroku were short lived. A few weeks after they began to rebuild, Kohaku accidentally set off an old trap left by Naraku. He was killed and this caused Sango to snap mentally. She no longer recognized her husband except for very brief moments from time to time. Otherwise she appeared to live in the past, appearing to talk to former members of the village as if they were alive and with her.
Miroku stayed with Sango and took care of her for the rest of his life. He remained faithful to her until the end, spending the rest of his life in celibacy. Even when Momiji and Botan came to live in the village and offered themselves to our young Houshi-sama, he did not cave to temptation and indeed was not tempted, so deep was his love for his beloved Sango. Over the years, the village thrived and Miroku was the defacto leader of the people. Yet through all of this, he never once neglected Sango. In the end before her death, Sango's sanity returned to her and the now elderly couple spent their final days together in peace and happiness.
Hachiemon married and had a family with another raccoon youkai. He spent his time assisting Miroku in any number of jobs, and eventually became a village elder. Ironically, the village that had once housed youkai hunters was now a village where good youkai and humans lived together peacefully, thanks to the hard work of Hachiemon.
As for Kikyo, she was slain for the umpteenth time and finally thought to be dead for good. As such, Inuyasha was able to give all of his love to Kagome and the two confessed their feelings for each other. However, Kagome wanted to return to the modern times and attend Toudai (Tokyo University). Inuyasha wanted to stay in the feudal era, but tried to live in Kagome's world for her sake. He found life very tough, especially since carrying his sword openly was forbidden and he was looked upon by other Japanese as a very strange gaijin. Since he and Kagome still retained the ability to travel back and forth through time via the well, they would return to his time to visit old friends, especially to check up on Sango and Miroku. After being accepted into Toudai, Kagome began to work on degrees in history as well as archeology. As such, she had little free time and the couple began to drift apart. Inuyasha began to spend more time in the feudal era where he was most comfortable.
Late one evening, Inuyasha waited patiently for Kagome's study group to finish their session. As he waited, a large group of thugs attempted to rob him. While he was able to easily hold off the thugs, one of them called in for reinforcements which quickly came upon the scene. Inuyasha soon found himself in a desperate struggle against well-trained members of the underground Tendo-dojo. Despite his promise to Kagome that he wouldn't kill anyone in their time, he slew all of the thugs that fought him, including the ones attempting to flee. It was considered the worst crime in Japanese history which left investigators and even the yakuza very puzzled at what could have inflicted such damage on a human body.
Kagome knew who had killed the thugs and even though he tried to explain, she decided she couldn't live with some sort of half-youkai killer. Very depressed and dejected, Inuyasha returned to his time and was very surprised to find a very much alive Kikyo waiting for him at the well. Deciding it must be fate, Inuyasha surrendered to his fate and Kikyo took him to the underworld to spend eternity.
For her part, Kagome ended up marrying Houjou-kun, the boy who always asked her out in school. While he always seemed like a good catch, the reality of the matter was that he turned out to be a horrible husband. While she had been willing to give up her career to be a housewife, she had not expected for Houjou to turn out the way he did. After the birth of their second child, Houjou was almost never home. While he did work a lot, he also spent a lot of free time (and money) in certain "establishments" geared toward men like him. His favorite place was "Tokimi-sama's House of Catgirls". When Houjou did come home, he wanted nothing to do with his family. Eventually, he stopped coming home completely.
Feeling very lonely and regretting her decision to break up with Inuyasha, Kagome returns for a final time to the feudal era. A chance meeting with Sesshoumaru and his family gives her the news of Inuyasha's demise. Only her love for her children gave Kagome the strength to carry on and return to the present. She becomes a historian who writes books about the unknown parts of Japanese history concerning youkai and the like. While her work is generally scoffed at as being the stuff shounen anime series are made of, one man takes interest in her work. Eventually he is revealed to be a descendant of Kouga and Ayame. The two continue to research the past and eventually marry. Kagome tries to take her new husband back to the feudal era, but the well no longer allows passage. Despite this, the couple live a happy life and her children consider him their real father.
She will never forget Inuyasha nor her time in the feudal era. As such, she and her family live on the family shrine and for many generations to come tend the shrine grounds. This included an ancient tree where legend states that a hanyou once found himself sealed, only to be awakened by a maiden from another time -- a maiden with the powers of a miko, powers which still keep that tree alive to this day.