Sesshoumaru has been met by a strange looking humanoid child who claims to have knowledge of the Meidou, the attack that sends people straight to hell. Sesshoumaru's use of the Meidou via Tenseiga has been incomplete (a perfect attack forms a sphere). As the child leads Sesshoumaru's group, they are pursued by Inuyasha and company. Arriving at their destination, Jaken fears a trap and an attack from above seems to prove it. Sesshoumaru counters with his Meidou Zangetsuha. His opponent is Shishinki, and he claims that Sesshoumaru's father stole the Meidou from him. To bring the point home, he attacks with a fully-formed Meidou at Sesshoumaru which takes a chunk out of the rocks behind them. He then reveals that his face is partially missing when he removes his mask.
Sesshoumaru is not impressed with Shishinki's face or story. However, Shishinki can back up his words by having his smaller, perfect Meidou completely absorb Sesshoumaru's larger, incomplete Meidou. This is all observed by Inuyasha and company along with Myouga, who provides commentary. Shishinki launches an attack at Inuyasha, which he counters with Kaze no Kizu. Shishinki decides to stir the pot by questioning Inuyasha getting Tessaiga instead of Tenseiga. Sesshoumaru decides he's heard enough, but again has his Meidou absorbed by Shishinki's. Shishinki continues to taunt, this time stating that it was Tessaiga that stole the Meidou when he fought Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha's father and that Tenseiga didn't even exist.
Sesshoumaru does not want to hear the news that Tenseiga was actually cast off from Tessaiga along with the Meidou Zangetsuha technique. Shishinki continues to push Sesshoumaru's buttons by taunting him regarding Inuyasha getting the original sword. Sesshoumaru sheaths Tenseiga and Shishinki attacks. Inuyasha defends his older brother with a Kaze no Kizu. Before Inuyasha can do more, Sesshoumaru knocks him out of the way and attacks Shishinki using only his natural abilities. Shishinki sends multiple Meidou attacks at once for Sesshoumaru to avoid, but Sesshoumaru continues to come.
Sesshoumaru isn't pleased about what his father has done, but continues to attempt to reach Shishinki while avoiding all of the Meidou attacks. Myouga wants Sesshoumaru to know the truth of what his father intended and has Inuyasha get him closer. Myouga states that only Sesshoumaru could handle such a powerful attack because there would be no way Inuyasha could. Shishinki states that Sesshoumaru's father could have given Sesshoumaru Tessaiga rather than split it into two swords and give the powerful Tessaiga to Inuyasha. Sesshoumaru has heard enough and finally manages to reach Shishinki, knowing that in the end, Inuyasha having Tessaiga actually made Sesshoumaru a stronger youkai. The attack doesn't harm Shishinki, so Inuyasha unleashes a Kongousouha attack which Shishinki's Meidou absorbs. However, Tenseiga seems to react to Tessaiga's presence.
As Shishinki's Meidou approaches, Tenseiga and Tessaiga begin to resonate. Sesshoumaru ponders things for a moment before unleashing Tenseiga and working a perfect Meidou. He defeats Shishinki's Meidou and ultimately Shishinki. Sesshoumaru does not appear happy about the situation and Inuyasha decides that he's going to have his say because Sesshoumaru shouldn't resent Tenseiga. Sesshoumaru tells Inuyasha his eyes are empty sockets and that they are destined to fight until they die. With that, he and his group leave and Myouga notices something about his master's true objective regarding his sons.
Returning to Kaede's village (Kikyou's old village) Inuyasha talks with Kaede about Kikyou's final end and of Kagome. Kagome returns to the modern era only to find her family has gone to an onsen, it is Sunday so there's no school, none of her friends are home, and she's bored. She ultimately falls asleep studying and finds Inuyasha has come and placed a blanket on her while watching over her. She's touched by this and he has brought her the bow, telling her to keep it with her. He starts to leave, but she stops him, leading him to tell her his desire for her to stay in the modern times to stay safe. However, she's promised Kikyou to finish the work and will stay with Inuyasha. The two start to have a moment, only to be interrupted by her little brother as her family have returned from the onsen.
Byakuya investigates the battle site of Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, and Shishinki. He summons rock creatures to tell him what happened. Meanwhile, Sesshoumaru leaves his group behind to confront the youkai sword maker Toutousai. He sends a perfect Meidou Zangetsuha at Toutousai. Toutousai tells Sesshoumaru that his father had no doubts that Sesshoumaru would be able to perform the Meidou Zangetsuha but Sesshoumaru knows that the perfected Meidou Zangetsuha and Tenseiga will now be absorbed by Tessaiga. Sesshoumaru is angry by this knowledge but Toutousai reminds Sesshoumaru that his father wasn't going to allow him to place Inuyasha into a bad life. He insists that Sesshoumaru look beyond to his father's ultimate desire, but Sesshoumaru doesn't want to hear it. He must throw away Tenseiga as well as his hatred of Inuyasha and only then will he have passed his father. He leaves to return to his group as they are attacked by Naraku.
Naraku attacks Sesshoumaru's group while Sesshoumaru is away but his attempt to get Kohaku's shard fails as its current purity repels Naraku. This allows them to flee while Inuyasha and company are on the trail. Naraku, in a cloud of shouki, decides a new tactic and assaults the group from above, attempting to corrupt the shard. Byakuya arrives to delay Inuyasha's group from aiding Kohaku and the rest of Sesshoumaru's group.
Inuyasha's group all battle Byakuya and after some time, are able to force him to retreat. Kohaku, Jigen, Rin, and their youkai steed flee Naraku, who smashes them with the gaseous shouki. He places his youkai-hunter gas mask on Rin and his Shikon shard becomes more corrupt. He attempts to protect Rin and stands up to Naraku. Naraku forces Kohaku to attempt to remove his own shard, but Sango arrives to prevent Naraku's success. Naraku isn't worried about Sango, especially since she's alone and as an angry Sango faces Naraku, she notices something different about the Hiraikotsu.
Naraku attempts to sew seeds of distrust by stating that Kohaku had been avoiding Sango, but this was something he already knew. Naraku's jyaki is growing stronger but Sango has decided to fight. Inuyasha and company sense the jyaki and rush as fast as they can. The jyaki causes Kohaku to attack Sango, though he still can speak his own mind. Naraku taunts Sango about saving her little brother, and Sango attacks with the Hiraikotsu. Naraku stands to take the blow in full confidence, but the unexpected happens when the boomerang cuts him in half. Further, Hiraikotsu begins absorbing Naraku's jyaki and (apparently) passes through Naraku a 2nd time on the return to Sango. Naraku is not only stunned by this, but finds his body will not reform and so immediately flees. Hiraikotsu now has the ability to absorb and destroy other youkai's jyaki. While Kohaku is unable to move on the ground due to the Shikon corruption, the group is now safe.
Hmmmm. Sesshoumaru is always a welcome appearance in the manga. I am a bit weary of his constant, "Inuyasha sucks" attitude though. The comment he made about the two of them fighting until they die could mean they will fight each other or that the two of them will have to fight other youkai and evil forever. I tend to think the later as I suspect Takahashi-sensei will eventually cause Sesshoumaru to accept Inuyasha.
Kagome returning to the modern times...*yawn* "Wow! I've been away for so many years and yet I'm still in middle school and haven't aged a day." However, I did like Kagome being alone though the moment with Inuyasha was predictably interrupted. The only real item of interest was this line (in English), "At this time, I didn't think that the day would come when I'd have to choose between the two worlds." I sorta dealt with this here. *lol*
Sango's "version up" on Hiraikotsu was nice. Now she's not so worthless on the battlefield.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
SPOILER Summary: Genshiken are meeting and Ogiue-san and Ohno-san are arguing over cosplaying for the club's event at the school festival. Ohno-san tries to convince Ogiue-san to cosplay at the event, but she finds the whole thing repulsive and embarrassing.
Sometime later Saki, Madarame, Tanaka, Kugayama, Kuchiki, & Sasahara are in the Genshiken club room and discuss how poorly Ogiue and Ohno get along. They remember how cool it was for Saki to cosplay the previous year, something she still hasn't gotten over even if she's hanging out with Genshiken members without her boyfriend being there. The subject of getting Ogiue to cosplay comes up, but who can broach the subject with her?
Ohno and Tanaka are at his home where he is currently sewing a costume. Ohno finds a large collection of "lolicon" costumes in the closet, something which she's not suited to cosplay in. This causes Ohno to unleash herself upon a screaming Tanaka.
At the university festival, all of Genshiken are preparing for Ohno's photo shoot where otaku will be charged to take photos of her doing cosplay. Ohno is angry with Tanaka and he attempts to enlist Saki to help calm his girlfriend down. She decides she will help him but before she goes behind the divider curtains where Ohno is about to change, Ogiue enters the room. Ogiue asks what they were talking about, but all the members say it was nothing.
Saki talks with Ohno, and learns that Ohno was angry, not because Tanaka had made the costumes, but he had done so with such passion. She's really forgiven him already and even mentions that Tanaka has made several costumes for Saki to wear, which of course she has no intention of doing. Saki exits and sends Tanaka in, who's ready to apologize to Ohno. Saki sees Ogiue and suddenly decides she wants to get Ogiue to cosplay.
Leading Ogiue behind the divider, she shoos Tanaka away and starts working Ogiue over. Ogiue is protesting about not wanting to cosplay but Saki is a master and states she doesn't want Ogiue to try on a costume, but merely place on in front of her so they can see it in the dressing mirror. Ohno realizes what Saki is up to but is not wanting to force Ogiue to cosplay until Saki reminds her how she (Saki) was forced to cosplay by Ogiue last year.
Outside the changing area, the guys make a bet and take a vote on whether Ogiue will really cosplay or not. Meanwhile Saki works her magic and Ogiue is in a costume of a character from the guy's favorite anime. Ohno is reluctant at first to admit that Ogiue looks good in the costume, but eventually does. Tanaka loudly asks if Ohno is ready for the event, so she hurriedly gets into her KOS-MOS costume for the photo shoot.
Saki and Ogiue emerge as well, Ogiue having returned to her normal clothing. The two learn of the bets the guys made, which shocks poor Ogiue. The guys want Ogiue to cosplay with Ohno at some point, something she refuses to do. Saki confides to Madarame that her ultimate intent was to bridge the gap between Ohno and Ogiue and cosplaying was a means to that end. Saki predicts that one day Ogiue will cosplay in front of the guys.
Thoughts: Another fun episode to tie up things until the 2nd TV series comes out. Ogiue-san getting "talked" into cosplaying was a good chapter in the manga and this anime adaptation of the story is very good. I'm not too happy on how the art, animation, and character designs were at times. It didn't seem very good for an OVA.
Yeah, more 日本語ラップ(Japanese rap). The song on the album is over 7-minutes long, which would explain why there is an "AM Version" and a "PM Version" on YouTube for the video (which is how the Japanese split the song to have two separate videos.
For some reason, I imagine this version of the song playing as the intro to a live-action version of Full Metal Panic.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Thanks to Freelance for the scans.
Chapter 479: Inuyasha (in youkai form) continues battling the mirror creature of Kanna even though he and his group knows his attacks are harming her. They plead with Kanna to stop but she does not, pressing on with her attacks. Byakuya and Naraku find this absurd because to them, Kanna is an emotionless thing. Inuyasha's attacks cause Kanna to lose limbs but she doesn't stop. Ultimately, Tessaiga meets the mirror creature's sword and power flows into Inuyasha, causing him to return to hanyou form. This leave Kagome and Inuyasha facing the severely wounded Kanna and mirror creature.
Chapter 480: With the battle over, Tessaiga looks normal. Inuyasha sheaths the sword and he and Kagome plead with Kanna to leave. Naraku will have none of that and orders Kanna take out Inuyasha's group in a suicide attack. Kagome tells Kanna she's free which seems to touch her. However, she obeys Naraku and has the mirror creature explode and send shards everywhere. A shard gets in Kagome's eye and Kanna is able to pass a message to Kagome -- the light in the Shikon no Tama will destroy Naraku. Kanna is apparently destroyed and Naraku didn't get his wish. All that's left is her mirror and Kagome vows to hold what was in Kanna's heart since she knows Kanna didn't want to die.
Chapter 481: A lone bandit in the middle of the night is beset upon by a woman who takes his skeleton. Inuyasha and company come upon the body later. At a nearby village, they learn there have been other such attacks. As it is a full moon, Inuyasha is in human form and so can do nothing and is kept company with Kagome. Inuyasha remarks on Miroku's condition. Elsewhere, Miroku and Sango are hunting the bone stealer and Sango is also concerned for Miroko's health (relating the the Kazaana). He lies to re-assure her. The two see a woman with a bone ox drawing a cart full of skeletons. Some wild dogs attack the woman and she extracts one of their skeletons. Sango attacks the youkai woman with her Hiraikotsu, and the youkai flees, happy about the discovery of Hiraikotsu and its wonderful bone.
Chapter 482: Sango and Miroku follow a bone trail and come to a Japanese mansion. An attractive human woman states that a youkai has taken her form and she's the only one left as the youkai killed her family for their bones. Miroku notices the youkai presence in the next room and a giant bone youkai knocks down the paper divider walls to reveal itself. The bone youkai catches Hiraikotsu in the fight that ensues and Miroku is forced to use his Kazaana to rescue it. The bone youkai has damaged the Hiraikotsu and the girl attempts to comfort Miroku. Sango's warns Miroku and the girl is repulsed by him and revealed to in fact be a youkai. The large bone youkai wants the consume the Kazaana to heal itself. As such, they've sealed Sango and Miroku in the mansion leaving Kirara to go to Inuyasha (still in human form) and Kagome.
Chapter 483: Sango and Miroku attempt to escape the mansion as the bone youkai poisons the air. The female youkai causes human skeletons to attack. She tries to goad Sango into using the boomerang aspect of Hiraikotsu. The two are in desperate straights when Inuyasha, Kagome, and Shippou-chan arrive. Kagome breaks the barrier forcing the female youkai to encase Miroku and Kagome in a giant sphere of bone. She adapts her human female form and since Inuyasha is in human form, he can't smell her as youkai. Kirara attacks and reveals the girl is the one stealing skeletons. Inuyasha and Kagome are caught and Miroku and Sango can't escape their prison. The giant bone youkai causes the bone sphere with Miroku and Sango to come to him, planning on consuming the lot of them.
Chapter 484: Miroku uses the Kazaana to allow them to escape out of the bone youkai. Miroku is hurt in doing this, but he damages the bone youkai in the process. The female youkai repairs her father and they demand the Hiraikotsu. Elsewhere, Shippou-chan rescues Inuyasha (still human) and Kagome while Sango attempts to bargain for Miroku's life. The youkai won't bargain since they'll just kill them and take what they want. So Sango uses youkai-slaying poison on the Hiraikotsu and launches it at the bone youkai. It kills him but before his daughter can dispatch Miroku and Kango, Inuyasha bursts in, now a hanyou again, and kills her. However, Hiraikotsu is terribly damaged.
Chapter 485: Inuyasha summons Toutousai out since humans can't enter his mountain. Inuyasha wants him to fix Sango's Hiraikotsu, but he can't, nor can he make her a new weapon that would compare to what she had. The youkai flea Myouga arrives and states that there's a youkai named Yakurou Dokusen who could fix it since he is a master of poisons and medicines. He leads them to where Yakurou Dokusen lives where they discover many, many barrels of sake. One barrel contains Yakurou Dokusen, whom Inuyasha extracts. He examines the remains of Hiraikotsu and refuses to repair it because it was purposefully damaged. Sango doesn't deny it and suddenly Yakurou Dokusen changes his mind and decides to repair it.
Hiraikotsu is placed into one barrel where it melts as the poisons are extracted, but will be repaired when the poison turns to medicine. Sango must enter the 2nd barrel to battle youkai within and must do so before Hiraikotsu is completely dissolved in the other barrel. She agrees and enters the barrel, which amazingly is larger inside than out. She can breathe within the liquid and finds herself facing a large number of youkai.
Chapter 486: Sango wields her sword to fight off the youkai so she can save Hiraikotsu, but discovers the sword won't be enough. Outside, Inuyasha and company are worried and Yakurou Dokusen ends up tossing Inuyasha into one of the sake barrels. Myouga is in a bowl of sake and states he's watching over Sango. Shippou-chan drinks some, gets drunk, and says he can see Sango. Inuyasha seems to confirm it as well, which Kagome doubts until Miroku explains it is magic sake. As Sango ponders her youkai opponents strange actions, Yakurou Dokusen notes Miroku's condition in that he's being eaten by poison. He offers to heal Miroku, if for no other reason than to keep Sango from damaging Hiraikotsu again to save him, should she succeed in her current task. Meanwhile Sango comes to realize her youkai opponents are all pieces of Hiraikotsu.
Chapter 487: Sango and the youkai have a conversation where they demand to know why she poisoned them. Sango remembers her past when as a child in the youkai hunter village, she was given the Hiraikotsu. Hiraikotsu has been with her ever since and they want answers. Outside, Miroku is offered the drink but the potion won't cure him, only allow him to use Kazaana without pain. Inuyasha comes up as he knows Miroku has been getting worse and demands to know what will happen to Sango if Miroku dies. For her part, Sango is being attacked by the youkai and when she asks to fight with Hiraikotsu again, they demand she never sacrifice them to protect a human. She cannot give this promise and the youkai vow to end their relationship with her. Miroku decides to take the potion despite what Inuyasha says because he wants to fight and protect Sango.
Chapter 488: The Hiraikotsu youkai demand Sango give up Miroku and promise not to never do what she did again. She cannot and as she struggles, Miroku has drunk the potion and is fighting his own battle with life. Hiraikotsu's youkai tell Sango that Miroku's body is being eaty by shouki and because he will be a burden, she should give up on him. To do otherwise would be throwing her life away. She disagrees and wants them to lend the pair of them their power. The liquid in her jar begins to clear (also observed outside by Inuyasha and Kagome) and the youkai begin to dissolve. They do not understand love, but they have learned of Miroku's resolution and his own struggle. Therefore, they will once again serve her and thus they reform as the boomerang Hiraikotsu. Miroku has also survived and the two go off together. Yakurou Dokusen reminds Inuyasha that Miroku has not been healed and the wound still exists.
Elsewhere, Sesshoumaru-sama gets a strange visitor.
Thoughts: I decided to try to get "caught up" with current Inuyasha manga, and so did an entire volume. I'll be doing that again.
Well, the end of Kanna seems to indicate that maybe Takahashi-sensei really is going to eventually end the series. It was tragic for Kanna, but she obeyed to the end. The bone-youkai story didn't do much for me, but it was the perfect vehicle to allow Hiraikotsu to get a "version up" (as the Japanese would say). Maybe Sango can be a better fighter but we'll see.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
SPOILER Summary: Nagi promises an episode filled with a slide-show of her manga work, but Hayate foils that. Meanwhile, Nagi receives another rejection of her manga submission from a contest. This leads to her screaming in frustration which brings Hayate running. Nagi has been told she doesn't have enough life experiences, and so decides that maybe she needs some new experiences.
Hayate and Maria discuss the situation where Hayate learns that Nagi draws manga on a regular basis and sends them in but with no success. Maria thinks that this is good for Nagi to suffer these rejections, showing that money can't buy everything.
Nagi quizzes Hayate on his life at 13. She's shocked to learn he was a Daiuchi (I gather a kind of bouncer) at a mah-jong establishment. Nagi is stunned by the experience gap between them. Hayate tries to let her know that living in a mansion and stuff is an experience in and of itself. She's happy about this until she learns that Hayate also submitted manga at 13, only Hayate won prizes.
So, Nagi decides she will gain experience points by helping Maria around the mansion. Maria is not happy about this and Nagi ends up destroying an entire room "cleaning" it, which leads to a very unhappy Maria, who lets Hayate know this. Having "mastered" cleaning, Nagi decides to go shopping, but ends up just buying the entire supermarket. Then she and Hayate head to the shed to clean it out, only to find it filled with artworks by Klaus. That leads Nagi to seal him in the shed.
Nagi decides she must serve others and they come upon Isumi in the yard "bouncing" off a bust of Detective Conan. She apparently arrived at Nagi's mansion after losing her eraser at her own residence. Nagi wonders if there is a wormhole that connects the two places, but decides Isumi must be served. So she makes tea for Isumi, filled with any and every tea blend she could find. Hayate intercepts the cup before she can serve it to Isumi and discovers it is nasty. So he makes a different tea for Hayate to serve. Nagi likes that.
Elsewhere, Nishizawa-san eats a ¥1000 omelet.
Back at the mansion, Nagi has invited all her friends and those in high society. She goes to prepare a meal for them, and Hayate discovers it is just a hodge-podge of everything in the kitchen. It is nasty, so Nagi prepares something good which everyone loves. Hina realizes that it was Hayate who prepared the good food, but promises Hayate she won't tell. When all have gone, Nagi wants to continue with her manga because serving others made them feel good and she wants to serve others with her manga (entertaining them).
The next day, a drunk Katsura-sensei is still there and comes across the pot of hodge-podge that Nagi made. She eats some and has an "experience." Nagi witnesses this and though Hayate denies it, Nagi knows the pot was hers because she signed it. Nagi is depressed to know that Hayate prepared the good food and figures that the reason she fails at manga is that she really has no talent for it. She runs away and is pursued by Hayate. They talk and Hayate convinces Nagi to press on, only Nagi has to "go down a level" on her manga.
Her next creation is still completely strange, though Isumi loves it. Katsura-sensei returns from her drunken stupor, the "food" having fixed her back problems!
Thoughts: An enjoyable episode to be sure, though the food and drink jokes are super old. The slapstick comedy reactions to the food are funny to me, especially what happened to Katsura-sensei.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Rupan Sansei: Tenshi no Sakuryaku (Takutikusu) ～ Yume no Kakera wa Koroshi no Kaori～
ルパン三世 - 天使の策略（タクティクス）～夢のカケラは殺しの香り～
SPOILER Summary: Jigen, Goemon, and Fujiko assault a castle while Lupin attempts to sneak in. Four women, aka: Bloody Angels, quickly dispatch the foursome where it is revealed that these are not the real Lupin and company, but other girls in the organization that are assisting the four main Bloody Angels to train. Apparently, they want Lupin and his gang dead for some reason.
Elsewhere in the world, Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon have a date at Area 51. Wearing disguises as dopey scientists, they are able to get through the military check point and onto the base. Inside, Inspector Zenigata has his men ready, though the young female scientist Emily Obili doesn't feel they are ready enough. Apparently, Lupin's target is to be a red, glass-like sphere which contains is some sort of metal known as "Original Metal. "
Lupin and the others arrive still in disguise and Zenigata lets them through. When Lupin reminds Zenigata about Lupin's ability for disguises, Zenigata assures him all is well. Lupin plans to steal the ball from under Zenigata's nose and has his fake one ready, which he shows Zenigata. This is supposed to be the item that Lupin really steals. After Lupin makes the switch, Zenigata is ready to make the arrest.
Lupin has his escape ready and the three of them take off with Zenigata in pursuit. Goemon removes any obstacles in the way, but cutting through one wall proves a mistake as they run into troops. The trio split up with some "rocket troops" unable to shoot Lupin at near point-blank range. The trio meet up again and find themselves in a large room with a UFO. As Fujiko waits and watches in the distance, Lupin steals the UFO and though Zenigata makes a valiant effort, Lupin escapes by flying the thing out of there.
After crashing the UFO, they are picked up by Fujiko and taken to the home they are staying at on a cliff top. Lupin explains about the Roswell incident and decides that the glass sphere needs opening. So, he teases Goemon and provokes him into using Zantetsuken on the ball. However, while Zantetsuken has almost always cut anything (as witnessed in their escape), it not only fails to cut the glass, but is damaged in the process.
With that, Goemon departs. Jigen also departs leaving Lupin alone with Fujiko. He decides they haven't had any QT in a long time and so its time to rectify that. Fujiko ends up knocking Lupin out and takes the sphere for herself.
Fujiko goes to make a deal with the purple-haired woman (dressed as a man). Despite the bundle of cash, Fujiko is suspicious and rightly so. The purple-haired woman turns tables on Fujiko and takes the sphere. Fujiko manages to get off a shot which shatters the sphere, something that supposedly is indestructible. A fight between the two ensues with Fujiko apparently as surprised as her opponent about the fake sphere. Fujiko barely manages to escape in a car and her attacker, "Lady Joe," reports in about her failure.
At the casino in Las Vegas, Lupin has lost his last money gambling and tries to get a room unsuccessfully. After being tossed out, he's met by the blonde Bloody Angel who offers assistance and gives him a card, stating her name is Sophie, an Insurance Inspector. He's more than happy to go off with a pretty blonde, especially one offering him food. In his car, she inquires about the sphere and Lupin, who seems to have a large bag of money now, decides he'll educate her on the Roswell Incident someplace nice.
In New Orleans, Jigen is walking the streets and comes across a green-haired woman being accosted by thugs in an ally. She, of course, is another Bloody Angel. Jigen quickly rids her of the trouble and after she excitedly embraces him in thanks, he realizes she's stolen his gun. She gives it back with a bullet and somehow convinces Jigen to go with her. The three thugs reappear in the ally and want to be paid for their part in this scam, but the group of women also in the ally simply kill them.
In Alaska (?), Goemon comes to a mountain where an old man is fishing and requests he fix Zantetsuken. The old man agrees and Goemon heads to a local Japanese establishment for some sake. The okami (hostess) there seems to be Goemon's type, but guess what? She too is a Bloody Angel.
Back in Vegas, Sophie is going to poison Lupin and learn where the Original Metal is. He gives up Jigen upon drinking his beverage , which Sophie reports believing Lupin will die. Still in New Orleans, Jigen is in a jazz night club where "Bomber Linda" is singing and she attacks Jigen. But of course, he didn't have it and survived the attack. She reports her failure and when Sophie learns of it in a taxi, she is ticked. Opening her purse, she finds a "gift" from Lupin stating he still has the original.
Kaorou the Ripper shows her true colors to Goemon and with her enchanged sword Benizakura, she and Goemon prepare to battle. Meanwhile Lupin visits a scientist about the Original Metal as Goemon and Kaorou battle. Benizakura overpowers Zantetsuken, forcing Goemon to have to escape.
Zenigata visits the Pentagon where he's given some information on the Original Metal. He contimplates this over a large hotdog at a diner where he's joined by Emily. Elsewhere Goemon and Jigen meet up with Lupin where they learn about the Bloody Angels, who are an anti-American group of female assassins. As they discuss this, Zenigata finds them at their hideout and sends is forces in to smoke them out. Three troops come out to report to Zenigata and upon leaving, Emily realizes they are Lupin and company.
They make their escape and in some American city, they are on a city bus going to the local small airport. Lupin and Jigen board a small single-engine Cessna while Goemon has disappeared. Oh wait, he went back to Alaska to get Zantetsuken repaired a 2nd time. So Lupin and Goemon discuss how they need to get to this island where a treasure is being held when they get drowsy. Turns out their pilot is Sophie but Lupin and Jigen have the drop on her. A fight ensues where Sophie makes an escape. Zenigata and Emily are in an F-15 (or something) and shoot down the Cessna on the island.
Lupin and Jigen meet up with Fujiko, who has a large amount of cash from her encounter with Lady Joe. Both Jigen and Lupin have some fun at Fujiko's expense when Sophie, Lina, and Lady Joe arrive with their forces by boat. Lupin and Jigen discuss given the Bloody Angels Fujiko, which of course is rejected resulting in a battle. Bomber Linda goes after Jigen and uses a magic cloak to constantly disappear and apparently can teleport as well. Lady Joe battles Fujiko and Fujiko ends up losing all her money.
Jigen is on the run and down to one bullet when Bomber Linda arrives in the building he's hiding in, filled with massive stacks of bags. He thinks he has the drop on her, but her magic protected her. However, Jigen knows that magic fails, and finds he still has one bullet left, the one Linda had given him in New Orleans. He shoots Linda, who goes insane and starts shooting up the place. The bags were gunpowder and the building soon explodes, but not until Jigen gets to minimum safe distance.
Sophie is hunting Lupin only to discover he has the drop on her in some ruins of a city. Lupin shoots at her, but it isn't a bullet, only a party favor. He is kind to Sophie despite all she's done to him. She explains her hatred of America came from her boyfriend having joined the military and having been killed. So she joined Bloody Angels to get her revenge and for her, stealing the Original Metal, a prize of America's, would gain her some revenge.
Back in Alaska, Karou and Jigen again fight, only Zantetsuken has been repaired and he quickly dispatches her.
Zenigata arrives with his masked troops again, which is observed by Jigen. Emily is with him and they are on the move to get to Lupin. Lupin is still taking with Sophie and she realizes he's in danger. She saves him, raising her crossbow, only to be shot by Emily. Zenigata arrives to find the shaken Emily and places Lupin under arrest. However, Lady Joe arrives and all of Zenigata's troops turn on him. Turns out his troops are all from Bloody Angels and of course are all women.
Lupin, Zenigata, and Emily escape, though Lupin and Zenigata are cuffed together. Lupin discovers the truth about Emily and it is revealed that Emily is in fact the boss of Bloody Angels. Lupin and Zenigata escape the reinforcements that arrive and Zenigata decides to work with Lupin. The two are now on top of a Mayan pyramid and the Bloody Angel troops fire their machine guns non-stop, but never hit a target. They get out of one situation, only to find that Lady Joe has Fujiko. Jigen and Goemon come to the rescue and free Fujiko. Another battle ensues with the Bloody Angles unable to do anything. Lady Joe is arrested as are the few surviving assassin troops.
Emily thinks she's made an escape, only to find her destroyer ship sliced in half. She's confronted with Lupin's gang and Lupin is still angry about what happened with Sophie. Emily attempts to bargain for her freedom with the Original Metal but Lupin isn't having none of that. However, Lupin won't kill her in cold blood. We learn that Goemon was given the original metal on the bus so that he could repair Zantetsuken. So Emily tries to use money to bribe Lupin, but then pulls a piece and Lupin then kills her, the red sphere with the copy Original Metal falls into the sea.
As Lupin and gang relax on a sail boat, Zenigata is trying to retrieve the Original Metal from the sea. They finally do so, only to discover it is a fake. Naturally, that send Zenigata Lupin's way. Lupin is teasing Fujiko about the Original Metal (she doesn't know the truth of what happened to it), but finds that Zenigata managed to swim to their boat. The arrival of Zenigata with the truth foils Lupin's plans for Fujiko.
Thoughts: I will always have an affection for Lupin III because of my introduction to the franchise via the most excellent Castle of Cagliostro. Of course, this special doesn't make the ballpark that Cagliostro resides in, but it is mildly entertaining, if predictable. The only thing I really didn't like was the "moment" between Zenigata and Lupin. Zenigata states that he's only now realizing that Lupin isn't evil. Sadly, that flies in the face of previous Lupin titles where the two have teamed up. Heck, even in Cagliostro, Zenigata allows Lupin to have a head-start as thanks for his assistance, and his remarks to Clarissa let us know that while he'll never stop chasing Lupin, Lupin isn't bad.
There are a lot of other dopey things about the special, such as assassins who fire almost non-stop, but can't seem to hit the intended target. The four main Bloody Angels who trained so hard to kill Lupin and company are so inept when it came to the real thing. And the story is just weak. But as I said, I was mildly entertained.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Sorry for the delays. I've had major computer problems. ^_^;
SPOILER Summary: Hayate has just been challenged and is supposed to fight Azumamiya's butler Nonohara. However, because Azumamiya started the fight and then called Nonohara to fight it for him, Nonohara feels he must teach his young master a lesson and proceeds to give Azumamiya a beating. Hina steps in and stops it. During her talk with Nonohara, she slams Azumamiya pretty hard verbally, "hitting a vital point" on him. This is applauded by the butler Himuro.
Azumamiya understands the lesson Nonohara is trying to teach and so challenges Nagi leaving Hayate to battle Nonohara. Hina steps in again to take Nagi's place since Nagi has no kendo experience. Nonohara is pleased that the lesson has been learned but Azumamiya is not too happy to have to battle Hina. As the four square off, Hina makes short work of Azumamiya.
Meanwhile, Hayate battles Nonohara, who is super fast. Himuro wonders if Hayate is up to fighting Nonohara but Nagi insists he is. Hina looks up just in time to witness Nonohara perform his "Safety Shatter" ultimate move on Hayate, which send him flying across the dojo. This stuns Hina, but Himuro states that all combat butlers have ultimate moves and that it is strange not to have them.
Hayate knows he's in trouble and he really wants Nagi to get into the Kendo Club. So he has to come up with a way to counter Safety Shatter. He imagines training in order to do this, but realizes that most training of this kind done in an anime requires a full episode. As such, training to counter the move is out of the question. Nagi has faith in Hayate's abilities and in desperation, Hayate comes up with a plan to counter Nonohara's Safety Shatter.
Using a ninja technique, when the attack comes, he simply grabs the unconscious Azumamiya off the floor and places him in the line of attack while Hayate escapes the blast. The stunned Nonohara has just blasted his bocchan and Hayate moves to counter. Nonohara is at a serious disadvantage now and Hayate uses this to land a blow on Nonohara. The match is over and Hayate has won. Nonohara takes the unconscious Azumamiya away and hopes that Hayate will have his own ultimate move for their next encounter. Meanwhile, Nagi states she absolutely refuses to join the Kendo club because of the stinky masks they have to wear. Hayate however, agrees to join and to train with Hina.
Nagi decides to thank Hayate by providing him with a special training area. Inside a tiger-faced cave, Tama awaits with wings on. He was forced into this and so decides that they need to get this "training" started immediately. As they battle, Nagi is happy to think that Hayate liked her gift so much, he couldn't wait to start training with it.
Elsewhere, Nishizawa-san does an ultimate pancake flip move. Klaus ponders different shows and movies. Isumi stares out of a train window in Japan as people go by. Tama is described as a puppy and "plays" with Hayate. Klaus goes through the the house and talks. And finally, Nagi goes through various emotions while reading a manga.
Thoughts: Well, now I know where the title "Combat Butler" comes from. Sheeze. This was mostly a humorous parody of the shounen titles where characters have ultimate moves and battle. The only weird thing is how the other two butlers serve a master, yet the young master in each case is submissive to the butler.
Then, there was the ultimate filler. The last third of the anime was filled with the most in your face filler I have ever seen. I couldn't help but chuckle as the blatant "we must kill time" aspects of the different mini "tales."
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
SPOILER Summary: In an apartment, Nishizawa-san attempts to wolf down an entire large pizza and wonders what Hayate had for dinner. In his room, Hayate awakens and pulls out his student ID card, happy his return to school wasn't just a dream. And so he vows to be the best he can be. He immediately runs into Hina, who'd spent the night and who wondered where Hayate had gotten off to after the party.
After she leave, Hayate sees Nagi, who finds his excitement cute. He's surprised to learn that his school uniform with be his butler uniform and that further, there are several butlers attending high school at Hakuou . Nagi hopes that they'll be in the same homeroom, but Hayate doesn't see how this is possible, considering Nagi's only 13. To his great shock, he learns that Nagi has skipped several grades and that this kind of practice is not uncommon at Hakuou. Once he accepts this, Hayate decides he too hopes he's in the same class as Nagi.
They come to school early because Hayate is so excited, something Nagi promises won't happen again. Hayate and Nagi's talk is interrupted by a guy being showered in flower blossoms. The guy, Himuro, is being showered by a young boy named Taiga. Himuro is Taiga's butler and addresses him as "Taiga-bocchan," indicating Taiga is a "young master" (the son of someone important in this case). However, Taiga clearly worships Himuro and Himuro recognizes he's got an easy ride. In his discussion with Hayate, he manages to steal Hayate's necktie without Hayate realizing it and then gets away with Taiga in tow, much to Nagi's and Hayate's frustration.
Hayate returns home for another tie and he and Nagi return back to school. Katsura-sensei is his homeroom teacher (and Nagi's as well) and so tries to make up for her earlier mistake by giving Hayate a powerful introduction on how cool he is. The more Katsura-sensei talks, the more nervous Hayate gets. Fortunately, Hayate was able to turn on the charm and win over the hearts of all the class, especially the girls, even winning the approval of Izumi-chan, Miki-chan, and Risa-chan (who were the ones who discovered Hayate hadn't passed his exams in the previous episode).
At lunch, Nagi and Hayate are on a remote part of the school grounds where Hayate is about to serve lunch. He's thanking Nagi for all she's done and she's feeling the mood is "just right" for the two of them when Hina shows up. She was on her way to the Kendo Club room and this was a shortcut. Hayate is a bit surprised to learn that Nagi is in no clubs and that she only briefly stopped by the Kendo Club earlier in the school term. Hayate decides they should check out the club after school.
Nagi isn't sure about coming by but does so because Hayate wants to. Hina is pleased to see them, but the guys in the club aren't happy when they learn Hina addresses Hayate as "Hayate-kun" and he addresses her as Hinagiku-san (addressing each other by their given names, even with honorifics indicates a closer relationship). Azumamiya-kun objects to Hayate's presence and challenges Hayate to a fight. If Hayate loses, he can never come back (which would suit Nagi fine). Hayate accepts, wanting Nagi to be in a sports club.
Himuro arrives and Hayate is annoyed and demands his tie be returned. Himuro is again being showered with flower petals and Himuro points out to Azumamiya that the petals are being deflected away from Hayate by his battle aura. Azumamiya decides he will have to go all out, but when the announcer points out that the story is heading for a stereotypical outcome, Azumamiya reveals that he won't be doing the fighting but his combat butler NONOHARA Kaede.
Thoughts: Not as funny this week, but fun just the same. The introduction of three new male characters was unexpected. Looks like we might get some "battle at school" parody next week, but we'll have to wait and see. I can't help but feel sorry for Taiga. He looks like he's in kindergarten and yet apparently feels the need to constantly shower his own butler in flower petals. I really hope there's some fight between Himuro and Hayate where Himuro gets his tanned rear kicked hard. ^_^;;;
Friday, July 6, 2007
Summary: At the Mountain Ridge Coffee Shop, Megumi's boyfriend breaks up with her. She is OK with that, but wants to know why.
Back at the Morisato residence, Keiichi is going gooey over the way Belldandy is peeling an apple for him. Skuld notes this outside the room and decides to replace a slice of K1's apple with a fake slice that's really a bomb. Urd also notices K1 and Bell and decides that K1 because K1 isn't speaking words of love to Belldandy, she'll use one of her pills to make it happen.
Meanwhile, K1 is obvivious to Skuld and Urd and wonders if he could say something about how beautiful Belldandy's body is. She observes him and figures he wants her to feed him (a Japanese fantasy) and so offers him a slice. As K1 is totally getting into the mood, someone outside the temple screams his name. He opens the door and find a very drunk and stinking Megumi at the door.
Megumi enters after and has a bottle of "Fallen Angel" with her. This brings Urd out, who immediately accepts Megumi's offer to share the bottle. With Megumi and Urd partying, Megumi decides she doesn't like the look on K1's face, so Urd fixes that by somehow putting him into the "Mega Purple Ranger" costume. This has Megumi, Urd, and Skuld in stitches and K1 manages to beat a retreat out to where Belldandy is pouring tea. He wonders what's wrong with Megumi. Belldandy surmises something painful happened to Megumi.
On cue, Megumi emerges begins crying to K1 about being dumped. The knowledge that Megumi was dating someone stuns K1, as does the fact that she's been dumped three times now. She feels hopeless, but Belldandy assures her this is not the case. This makes Megumi feel bold again and she reveals that all three guys dumped her for the same reason -- she's the infamous MORISATO Megumi, Queen of the Ridge (from her winning the motorcycle race many, many volumes ago) and the one most seen like the perfect younger sister. Basically, the guys can't keep up with her even though they think she's hot.
This news stuns Keiichi which causes Megumi to go off on him for being a loser in various ways, including knowing where he hides his porn. As she goes off on him, Skuld decides it is her turn.
Thoughts: Another forgotten face has returned, this time in the form of Megumi. I always hated that despite everything she's seen and experienced, she doesn't know the secret of the megumi (at least, not officially). It is nice to see her back though. I hope Fujishima-sensei does something nice in this story.
I was reminded that we are approaching the 20th anniversary of the manga. I had been thinking that Fujishima-sensei was bringing back all these faces from the past because he could be taking a "goodbye" tour of characters before ending the series. He still could be doing that, but more likely, he's preparing for the big 2-0.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Chapter 180 of Negima! came out with five color pages showing the cast. As I figured, all non-Japanese characters would be played by Japanese actresses. This only leaves the role of Negi in question, which of course will no doubt be played by a Japanese boy. Some of these girls look way too old. I gather that the ages of the actresses is from 12 to 22. Yeah, a 22-year old girl looks like she should be in middle school. *rolls eyes*
Here are some images for you (which were blown away because of where I had them stored...oh well, I can re-upload IF someone requests them):
And the manga version of the class role:
Well, this is typical Japanese dorama casting -- don't bother trying too hard to get the look right and most certainly no gaijin!
Here are some other pages (notes from O_o -- thanks!):
Misa (bottom left)
Sayo (bottom right)
Setsuna and Konoka (that seemed pretty clear)
Yue (bottom left)
Ako (top left)
Nodoka (top right)
Ayaka (bottom left)
Mana (bottom right)
Makie (top left)
Chachamaru (top middle)
Eva (top right)
Kaede (middle left)
Fumika (middle middle)
Fuuka (middle right)
Zazie (bottom left)
Satsuki (bottom right)
Well, I don't expect much from this, but no doubt I'll watch just to see a train wreck. *lol* I'd be interested in hearing what you guys say about this.
Update (4 August 2007): There's an official live-action website from Shounen Magazine.
Update (5 December 2007): I've seen the first episode. Its awful and so bad that I'm not even going to bother reviewing it as I'd planned. Even if you don't know Japanese, the horrible acting just screams through. Ugh. Awful. Why Akamatsu-sensei agreed to this (beyond the money), I don't know. They did get some characters proper hair color (Chachamaru for example) but...*shudder*