Fruits Basket Volume 23 <--Buy From Amazon!
Coming to the final volume of the manga, it is a time for goodbyes and that is what this volume is full of. It is also a time for new beginnings. To start this off, we have the final gathering of the Sohma family where Akito reveals the truth that she is a woman and not a man. I have to say that even though I don't like Takaya-sensei's current character designs, I do like that she made Akito look like a lovely woman. That helps for the start of the renewed romance between Akito and Shigure.
There were many nice moments in this manga including getting to see all of the zodiac members. We got to see how different couples were going planning to go in the near future, which is cool. It seems that most people have a partner except for Momiji, who pines for Tohru, and Kagura, who pines for Kyo. I kinda feel bad for the two of them, especially Kagura. Momiji has had lots of girls interested in him but Kagura has only been tied to Kyo and shows no sign of moving along. Oh well.
It is humorous that Hana appears to be in a relationship with Kazuma, Kyo's adoptive father. Talk about an age difference. Wow. Kazuma scores, eh? ^_^; Actually, so does Kureno. Get the girls as soon as they emerge from high school after marking them their 3rd year. *lol*
Speaking of Hana and humor, the part with Hana and Uo tagging along on Kyo's and Tohru's first date is pretty fun and humorous. Not only that, but way back when, both girls had vowed to crash Tohru's first date and they basically kept that promise. I loved how Hana teased Kyo and read his mind. Of course there was some seriousness about losing one of her best friends to Kyo, but she can continue to have fun with Kyo by marrying Kazuma. *lol*
The strangest and darkest part of the volume is one of Kyoko immediately after the accident that takes her life. As such, we get to see her final thoughts as she dies and are allowed to see that in death, she didn't say she hated Kyo but rather wanted Kyo to take over her role in protecting Tohru. So even though he doesn't know this, Kyo ends up carrying out Kyoko's wish and that's sweet. Also sweet is seeing Kyoko and Katsuya meeting in the afterlife.
Going to the TokyoPop piece of the manga, I still hate this cheap paper that's being used. These limp manga volumes just feel so wrong. That said, TokyoPop at least gave us a color image from Takaya-sensei of Tohru, the rat, and the cat which is very nice. Also, it has a note from Takaya-sensei and I like that.
I'll write a piece to cover my thoughts for the entire manga series but to wrap up the series, I thought that volume 23 does a nice job of things. We get closure for all the characters with only two really getting the short end of the stick. As such, I don't think Furuba fans will be disappointed at what they read.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Fruits Basket Volume 23 <--Buy From Amazon!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Hayate the Combat Butler "2nd Season" Ep. 17
With the alien Maya having crashed into Nagi's room, Nagi keeps Hayate from coming in and seeing the frighted girl, who's looking for her lost spaceship. Nagi agrees to help her find it, figuring she'll then obtain some Pipilma technology to make Hayate notice her with a new, sexy body.
Meanwhile, Hina is in an onsen struggling over how to tell Ayumu that she has fallen in love with Hayate. To her astonishment, Ayumu arrives and Hina is forced to deal with the situation faster than expected. However, Ayumu is gushing over Hina's hair and skin, preventing Hina from saying anything. When Ayumu leaves the onsen to scrub up to make her own skin as soft as Hina's, Hina ends up passing out due to the heat. She's rescued by Ayumu and upon waking up, finds herself using Ayumu's lap as a pillow and dressed in a yukata.
Ayumu confesses that while drying Hina off, she actually found herself a little aroused by it, which embarrasses Hina. Hina asks about Hayate, so Ayumu says that maybe she's stepped toward a non-traditional relationship (implied with both Hayate and Hina). Hina again thinks she needs to tell Ayumu about he feelings for Hayate, but suddenly there's a crowd.
Nagi and Maya find the UFO, which has been "acquired" by the Saginomiya family. Nagi spots Hayate entering the grounds of the Saginomiya property and immediately assumes that Hayate is having an affair with Isumi. Hayate is there to keep his end of the bargain with Ginka, but Isumi wants no part of that. When Hayate attempts to leave, Ginka attacks him, causing him to bleed. She wants Isumi to drink the blood, but Isumi refuses as it wouldn't make her happy. Ginka leaves in a huff but Kotetsu arrives to score with Hayate.
Nagi comes in to find Kotetsu attempting to have his way with Hayate and assumes the worst again.
Nagi flees to the UFO and tells Maya she wants to leave. Nagi gets on board but an attack from Ginka prevents Maya from getting on board. The ship takes off with Nagi trapped on board. Understanding the situation, Isumi kisses the blood-soaked face of Hayate and her powers are restored. She summons "Gibson Jr," a gaijn baseball player in Japan, who uses his bat to send both Hayate and Maya to the UFO.
Nagi is relieved to see Hayate and they rush to the bridge to find out what launched the spaceship. There, they discover a very drunk Katsura-sensei, who decided that since her family was coming here on a trip, she'd hold supplemental classes here as well (for Izumi, Miki, and Risa). Maya arrives to take control of the ship and as everyone is being returned to Earth, Hayate meets Nagi's mother, Yukariko, who has been watching over Nagi. Hayate and Nagi come to at Yukariko's grave and soon all of Nagi's friends are there (courtesy of Yukariko) and a hanami party breaks out. When it is all over, Hayate promises Nagi's mother to protect Nagi forever and hearing this, Nagi emerges and formally introduced Hayate to Yukariko.
This episode had both humor and a nice, touching story with Nagi's mother. First to the humor.
Anyone know who "Gibson Jr." is? I did a Google search but I'm not sure this guy is the same as the one in the anime. Regardless, his method for sending both Hayate and Maya to the UFO was expected and still funny. Really good humor is like that.
(As an aside, I wonder why Ginka had that UFO at all.)
Kotetsu finally returns but the impact of his scene is lessened because he just randomly shows up rather than having been set up in the skipped chapter as being in Shimoda pursuing Hayate. Still, the moment was amusing, though fairly cliched.
What is up with the sudden yuri push between Ayumu and Hina? That was rather unexpected. I suppose that in the manga, Hata-sensei wanted to spice up the whole love-triangle thing (assuming this aspect is in the manga, which I would guess it would be). Heck, this pretty much paves the way for a harem ending.
As to the serious side of the story, I wonder if Isumi's story was done in greater detail in the manga. I kind of hope so because that would add richness to the story as a whole. Regardless, "Yukariko-neesama" has been explained and I liked it that Nagi's mother spoke with Hayate before they returned to Earth. I also liked what Hayate spoke at the graveside. Very touching.
So a fun and touching episode wrapped into one.
xxxHOLiC Manga Chapter 184
SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: Doumeki talks with Mokona about the special egg he carries while Watanuki heads to the treasure room and holds Yuuko-san's kimono. As Doumeki considers what he must do, he sees two Syaoran's with the eye he shares with Watanuki. Seeing this, Doumeki hurries off to find Watanuki while Mokona ponders the choices everyone has made and how this will surely lead to everyone's happiness. Meanwhile, Doumeki finds Watnuki in the treasure room as Watanuki has found his glasses with Yuuko-san's clothing.
Thoughts/Review: CLAMP has combined strange, intrigue, confusion, and even a bit of nothing in this chapter. It still feels like it is marking time, then tagging along, while Tsubasa presses forward with the actual story. This egg thing feels like it might get stretched out for quite a few chapters but we'll see.
So, I wonder why Doumeki saw two Syaoran's. Watanuki must have seen them as well. Not having read the current Tsubasa chapter, I don't know what the smeg is currently happening over there.
Why did Watanuki find his glasses where he did? I can't remember when Watanuki dropped or lost his glasses but I suppose it could have been in the dream world.
Well, naught to do but press forward with this manga until the very end.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
As many of you know, I'm a big fan of the canon Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki franchise. As such, I get lots of questions about things Tenchi to include asking about the possibility of FUNimation or other company bringing back the Geneon USA-licensed titles such as the canon Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA's (OVA 1, Night Before Carnival, OVA 2, which Pioneer/Geneon USA called "Tenchi Muyo!"), the Tenchi movies, Tenchi Universe, Pretty Sammy, etc. When FUNimation began to distribute titles for Geneon and even completely take over some of Geneon's titles, I had high hopes we'd see all the old Tenchi titles make a return to the U.S. Now, I'm not so hopeful.
Since Japan and the U.S. are now in the same Blu-ray region code (we are still in different DVD region codes though), Geneon Japan appears to want to bypass a U.S. distributor completely. I say this because first Geneon Japan released the three Tenchi movies on Blu-ray and included on that release are the original English dubs and English subtitles. Now, they are releasing the first 13 canon OVA episodes on Blu-ray with the same deal -- English dubs and English subs! There's a catch though -- it will cost you ¥30,660 *(~$327 as of this writing) plus shipping which won't be cheap.
So, if they are going to release the BD version with the English dub and subtitles on their own, they aren't going to allow FUNimation or any other U.S. distributor to license the series or distribute it on Blu-ray since the U.S. companies would sell the same set for considerably less (I'd say well under $100). If Geneon Japan allowed this to happen, it would be cheaper for Japanese fans to simply reverse-import the U.S. Blu-ray's and come out ahead of the game. Instead, Geneon Japan feels that if you are a true Tenchi fan, you'll pay their outrageous prices and import the Blu-ray's for yourself. I guess I'm not a true Tenchi fan 'cause I'm not paying that ridiculous price for 13 anime episodes with subtitles desperately in need of a fresh translation.
That still leaves the DVD sets, right? Well, maybe but with Blu-ray being the growing market, companies like FUNimation are trying to obtain all of the distribution rights, to include DVD, Blu-ray, and various forms of digital distribution. Now that I own an HDTV and a Blu-ray player, I'd rather have a BD version since I already own a DVD version. Further, I have the feeling that Geneon Japan wouldn't mind trying to cut out the middle man for the DVD market and attempt to sell R1 DVD's themselves.
Still, if you'd like to pre-order (releases on September 26, 2009) the Blu-ray set from Japan, Amazon Japan has it on sale at the moment for ¥22,688 plus shipping. If anyone does get this, I'd love to hear from you on what all is on the BD set. ^_^
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
クラナド アフターストーリー もうひとつの世界 杏編
Clannad ~After Story~ "Episode 25" (OVA)
As a depressed Kyou sits alone in a classroom, Ryou makes a confession to Tomoya and he accepts. Thus, Ryou and Tomoya begin dating. One day, Tomoya sees Kyou in town looking depressed. She puts on a happy face and they sit on a park bench and talk. Upon learning that Tomoya and Ryou have never kissed, Kyou asks if Tomoya would like to practice on her since the experience should be the similar to kissing Ryou as they are twins. Tomoya goes in for the kiss but at the last second, Kyou backs down and leaves.
Rumors spring up at school about Kyou kissing Tomoya at the park and even Youhei knows about it. When Tomoya denies it and says he's dating Ryou, Youhei is surprised since the two don't match up well. Kyou drags Youhei off and when Ryou comes to talk to Tomoya, he makes an excuse and leaves. Tomoya discovers Kyou attempting to kiss Youhei outside and hides. Youhei stops Kyou because he realizes she's not serious and that she loves Tomoya. Tomoya emerges and Kyou is ashamed that he heard that. Kyou tries to play it off and Ryou senses the distance coming between herself and Tomoya.
On a date, Ryou calls Tomoya "Tomoya-kun" instead of "Okazaki-kun" for the first time and asks that he call her "Ryou" instead of "Fujibayashi." He agrees but there is awkwardness between them that lasts until she eventually goes home. Tomoya is feeling down and walking home in the rain, he finds Botan out. He then discovers Kyou is there but she doesn't want him near, begging him to only think of Ryou. He doesn't stay away and she ends up telling the truth about her feelings and the mess of things she and Ryou are going through.
At school the next day, Tomoya and Youhei are on the roof talking when Youhei gives Tomoya a frank statement that no matter what Tomoya does, either Kyou or Ryou will be hurt. To do nothing will only make both of them hurt more. Tomoya meets with Ryou after school in the classroom and breaks it off with Ryou. She admits that she knew that Kyou liked Tomoya but she went for Tomoya just the same. She says she can become more like Kyou and begs him to give her a chance but he refuses as that's not what he wants. Ryou races forward, kisses Tomoya, then flees the classroom.
The next day, Ryou is absent and Tomoya is depressed. Youhei ends up leaving him after class when Tomoya begins speaking aloud and addresses what he thinks is Ryou. He tells her that he's been unkind to her in that he had been thinking of Kyou while dating her and that it is Kyou he loves. The girl races forward and Tomoya realizes this is Kyou, who's cut her hair like Ryou's. Ryou got angry with Kyou for not going for Tomoya and now it is Kyou's turn to confess. Thus Kyou and Tomoya become a couple and Ryou and Tomoya are friends. Kyou and Ryou have their sisterly bonds renewed and all is well.
I knew this was going to be a tough one to watch from the moment Kyou looked depressed and Ryou was all happy that Tomoya started dating her. I can't imagine what twins who fall in love with the same guy might go through when one is chosen and the other is rejected. Of course, one would feel worse for Ryou considering she's the shy type and doesn't seem like she'd handle rejection that well. It was different in the main anime because Nagisa and Tomoya were so meant to be together, the others didn't really have a chance. That's why, as in the Tomoyo Route OVA, Nagisa is MIA. She has to be otherwise these other girls wouldn't work.
The bad thing is that the title of this OVA gives away the store by saying this is Kyou's chapter, so we know Ryou is getting screwed from the start. The anime writers make Ryou a bit tougher and accepting than one would expect though, but I suppose they had to in order to allow there to be a happy end of sorts. The only thing is, I never could stop feeling bad for Ryou no matter how much effort the production team attempted to put into her moving on with her life and restoring her relationship with Kyou.
Anyway, it was not only strange to see Kyou with Ryou's hair style, but it was also strange seeing her so lovey-dovey with Tomoya after they became a couple. I can believe Kyou would be this way but considering how she was throughout both main anime series, it just seems odd.
Youhei, who's so often just the cannon fodder for jokes, comes off mature and sensible in this episode. Shocking, I know but first he doesn't take advantage of Kyou's attempts to replace Tomoya with Youhei. Next, he actually offers some sage advice to Tomoya in laying it out there that no matter what Tomoya does, either Ryou of Kyou will be hurt. I actually think that the Youhei stuff may have been the highlight of the episode.
I guess this now finally wraps of the Clannad franchise as I don't believe there are any more romantic routes for Tomoya to take and be exploited into a one-episode spinoff. Either way, this is not an episode that I could watch again simply because I hate that Ryou gets hurt.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Hagane no Renkinjutsushi - Fullmetal Alchemist Ep. 16
鋼の錬金術師 FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST Episode 16
Arriving in Central City, Ed, Al, and Winry head into town while Fu and Fan look for their missing master, Ling. Ling is observing the city and feels something wrong with it. However, when he attempts to pull off his free meal scam, he's arrested as an illegal immigrant. Meanwhile, Ed and Al decide to pay a visit to Lieutenant Colonel Hughes at his work while Winry decides to head to his house to pay Gracia and Elicia-chan a visit, stopping to pick up a basket of apples to bring as a gift.
Sheska has to cover to keep people out of the research room, where Colonel Mustang has been doing research on Hughes's murder. Sheska wakes Roy up and he takes off to get ready for a meeting. Lt. Focker shows up and inquires about Mustang being there, understanding that Sheska is in a bad situation and promising not to tell anyone what he saw. Sheska lets Focker know what Hughes is doing and as Focker walks down the hall, another Focker comes the other way forcing the first Focker, who's actually Envy, to change guises.
Colonel Mustang is getting ready in the bathroom when Major Armstrong emerges from a stall. Mustang and Armstrong have a little chat where Mustang reveals he knows more than he did the last time they met. Armstrong reveals that he has not let Ed and Al know the truth about Hughes being murdered. A little later, Roy and Riza encounter Ed and Al and Roy finds he cannot tell them the truth either, so he makes up a story that Hughes and family were sent to the country. However, when Ed and Al meet Lt. Ross a little later, she ends up letting them know the truth, not realizing they've been shielded from the truth.
Ed and Al race over to Hughes's place where Winry already is and has already discovered the truth. Ed tells Al that he'll take responsibility for Hughes's death since it was their investigation of the Philosopher's Stone that caused it, but Al has decided to go with Ed no matter what. Upon letting both Winry and Gracia know the truth, Gracia tells them that Hughes would give up his life to help others and that they should not give up their search as it would make Hughes's sacrifice a vain one. With that, Ed, Al, and Winry head to a hotel where all three grieve in their own way.
In a room full of caged chimeras, Envy reports to Lust about Mustang's research progress. Lust decides that maybe she should get her new boyfriend to talk a bit more to try to learn more. Envy has a plan in mind to handle Mustang. With that, Lust (as "Solaris") goes to meet her new boyfriend -- Jean Havoc from Colonel Mustang's staff.
Meanwhile, Military Police come to Lt. Ross and arrest her for the murder of Lt. Col. Hughes. Riza reports this to Mustang, who immediately orders her to secretly investigate this further.
The whole thing with Ling disappearing and his bodyguards looking for him wasn't that amusing to me but I did find it interesting that he sensed something wrong with the city. I'm guessing that would be the homunculi.
The one moment of comic relief came from the scene with Vato Falman being charged with watching Barry the Chopper. Barry's dark comedy remarks about wanting to turn everything into a chopping session were pretty funny in spite of the ugliness of what he wanted to do. Of course if he were allowed to chop Jean's girlfriend, that would be interesting, though there's no way I see someone like Barry the Chopper getting close to Lust. Anyway, I did think, "How does Vato sleep with a homicidal maniac who needs neither food nor sleep there with him?" Surely, Vato has to have some means of restraining Barry if needed.
The one thing missing in this episode was Ed and Al questioning why Roy and Riza had lied to them. I could understand the moment Lt. Ross accidentally let them know the truth that they'd take off to see Gracia. However, at the hotel, I would have thought that Ed and Al would be questioning why Roy and Riza (and Armstrong for that matter) had felt the need to lie about the situation. That may still come but we'll see.
I wonder what is so important about Roy Mustang that the homonculi need him alive. When Hughes got too close to uncovering the truth, they killed him. Mustang is about there as well and they aren't trying to kill him. Instead, they are shifting the blame to Lt. Ross for some reason. I'll be interested to see why this is.
So, a good episode all around as we continue to forge ahead into new territories.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Negima!: Magister Negi Magi, Manga Vol. 23<-- BUY FROM AMAZON!
For detailed chapter summaries with review, those can be found here.
Story-wise, there are a lot of great things about this volume of the manga. For starters, Akamatsu-sensei took the time to look in on all the other girls, both in the Magic World and on Earth. When reading the volumes as a whole, it doesn't seem like they were apart that long, but when you read a chapter a week and then Akamatsu-sensei takes a week off to catch up every four weeks (or so), it felt like we hadn't seen these other characters in ages.
Regardless, even if brief, it was excellent seeing how Kaede took on a dragon while blind folded. Of course the real winner was Konoka who may turn out to be a beast master before the series is over when she calmly touched the dragon and told it to behave. ^_^ Too bad that dragon had to die at the hands of Fate though. Of course, that was done to show that even though Kaede has become strong, she wasn't exaggerating when she said she needed more training.
Nodoka's teaming up with a group of treasure hunters was way to short for my tastes, but Akamatsu-sensei couldn't get too bogged down with that. Still, we got to learn that Nodoka has "leveled up" and with her new artifacts combined with her pactio artifact, she's a more useful member of Ala Alba. Maybe one day Akamatsu-sensei will do a side story to chronicle Nodoka's adventures but considering how the manga keeps him so busy, I don't think that's in the cards.
While I liked all the little side stories in this volume (loved Eva playing dress up at Mahora and the ever mysterious Zazie getting some face time), obviously Yue's story was the best and longest. When I read Yue's sub-arc, her stock went WAY up with me. I'd never had anything negative against the character before now, but here, she just kicked butt and took names. Further, Akamatsu-sensei did it in a way that was believable. Yue has always been gifted but on Earth, she was always not really interested in learning what was required of her (which is why she's a Baka Ranger). Now, her natural hunger to learn other things combined with her subconscious desire to be a mage like Negi (and remember, before the trip she'd mastered things faster than Negi expected), she has turned into a cool character for me. ^_^
The Negi training is not bad to me at all, especially now that we have a piece of Eva in the scroll. Of course, this is all table setting for what needs to be done in the tournament. ^_^ Slightly more of interest there is Chisame's dilemma when it came to Negi's safety.
Now to the Del Rey stuff. I like learning that the "Sword of Conviction" is actually called "Ensis Exsequens." I did not like that Alethea and Athena went with "Mistress" when it came to Chachamaru-type android on Earth addressing Eva. I guess I should ask them about this but considering the Japanese use the English term "Master" for Eva's servants to address her, in my mind, that's how she should be addressed in the English adaptation. They have Negi call her "Master" so why not the others.
Initially, I was bothered by seeing Sayo address Ku Fei as "Kufy-san." One of the nice things about owning all the tankoubons is that I can see how things were in the original Japanese. To denote her accent, Akamatsu-sensei has Sayo speak Ku's name as "Kuuhe-san" and written in Hiragana rather than Kanji or Katakana. So it appears that Alethea and Athena were trying to capture Sayo's accent a bit with the "Kufy-san" whereas fans simply have Sayo say, "Ku Fei-san." Personally, I would have preferred "Kuuhe-san" but oh well.
Beyond that, I saw no translation issues.
What I do see is a problem with the cover art -- it has been edited. *_*
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we need to see Eva's 10-year old body scantily clad on the cover like that. I understand the concern Del Rey would have about that. When they edited volume 16's cover (corrected link) to give Ayaka's breast some cover, I approved of that because inside, we received a completely unedited and text-free color cover art (not that I needed to see a more ecchi picture of Ayaka but it is the principality of the matter, Smoky). This time however, we do not get that cover art. So that you have an easier time of comparing, I have scanned my regular edition volume 23 cover.
Also disappointing is the fact that the limited edition (LE) cover art was not included. So, I have that scan as well (the entire cover, which was passed to me and forgive me for forgetting your name ^_^;) and am sharing it here.
As you can see, the LE edition is much, MUCH more ecchi. ^_^;
Why didn't we get the two color images? One thought is costs, though considering Negima! is a cash cow for Del Rey Manga, one would think they'd be more keen on treating it right. That said, it is also possible that Del Rey could not get the license for the LE cover. I've been thinking about the whole OAD scheme in Japan (where one gets an exclusive OVA DVD with the purchase of a limited edition manga tankoubon) and I've begun to suspect that not only might the Japanese not license out the OAD's, but they might not license the LE cover art either, much as they will not license the pactio cards. I'm guessing that as far as Kodansha is concerned, that cover is for those who sprang for the LE tankoubon only and everyone else can get stuffed. I hope I end up being proven wrong and that in some future volume, Del Rey published all three of the LE covers.
In the end, volume 23 is full of good character and story stuff as well as fun, fluffy stuff. Outside of the "Master/Mistress" issue, the translations are very good, which helps a lot. The cover issue is the most annoying thing here. However, don't let that dissuade you from picking up this manga if you've been collecting it to date.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Negima! 259 SPOILER Images
魔法先生 ネギま！Chapter 259 (Images)
Here's what I know many of you have been waiting for (and they are REAL early this week) -- the original-sized, sneak-peek images for Mahou Sensei Negima! Chapter 259 SPOILER Images as brought to you buy anonymous Japanese fans (click pic to make bigger, y'all).
I'm guessing there will be more later tonight/early tomorrow morning. Thanks to everyone who pinged me with a heads up! ^_^
Update: Second batch --> HERE!
Ever since Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (aka: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) came out in anime form, I was convinced that KyoAni had developed a marketing gimmick by which they developed a great deal of buzz and generated more ratings by doing something unthinkable -- playing the episodes of their anime in non-chronological order. It is a risky ploy to come up with such a marketing scheme but it worked brilliantly on the part of KyoAni. In fact, I dare say it may have worked too well as there is so much controversy online about the new season at the moment with fans feeling like their chain (or tie) is being jerked.
Fans not only bought into this "scramble the episodes" scheme of the first season, but so many people elevated watching this anime into some sort of religious experience. While I didn't find the anime bad, I didn't find it great in either the TV episode order nor the DVD chronological order (sans the first episode, which in both versions is shown first even though it comes later chronologically). Basically, I was told by fans in no uncertain terms that this was no marketing scheme on the part of KyoAni but rather pure genius the likes of which we've never seen before and as such, should Haruhi be worshiped. Why even Muslim children saw the brilliance of Haruhi as this widely circulated picture of a Palestinian protest in early 2007 showed.
Haruhi fans -- remember how you were back in February 2009 when the mere rumor of a new Haruhi series/season was circulating around the Internet? You were orgasmic at the thought of this prospect, then depressed when KyoAni said, "Nope, its not true" (as part of their new marketing scheme) but then they gave you what you wanted -- new episodes...or rather, the same episode over and over and over and over again with minor changes each time.
Back in February, I predicted what could happen when it came to a new season/series of Haruhi being created.
...this kind of over-reaction to an anime (or indeed to any sequel be it TV, movies, books, manga, etc.) can only lead to one place -- disappointment-ville, anger-ville (or rage-ville), or some other similar place.
I have been proven right.
I have to say that the rage I'm seeing all over the Internet, fueled further by the apology video from Japan, amuses me to no end. I would not be so amused were this franchise truly a brilliant masterpiece instead of a huge marketing scheme. The Haruhi anime is not brilliant. It certainly is interesting on several levels and enjoyable on others, but this anime is far from brilliant or a work of genius. However, since Haruhi fans believed it to be better than sex, I am amused at how KyoAni continues to use that against you and generate more publicity for themselves (and there's a saying about publicity, you know ^_~).
Still, has KyoAni crossed the line?
Well, that remains to be seen. Certainly, KyoAni had a high hurdle to cross after the astonishing success with Haruhi out of the starting gate. They psyched everyone up with the fake "no new season" lie while teasing you with the Haruhi-chan series. Then they came out with this "Endless Eight" arc where they are apparently going to play the same episode eight times. There's no doubt in my mind that the executives at KyoAni thought, "If these bastards thought that airing the first season on TV out of order was brilliant, they'll certainly think that airing the same episode eight times will be sheer brilliance." At the moment, you guys aren't buying that but KyoAni could turn this around depending on how they end the season, thus restoring themselves as marketing kings internally and gods of brilliance to the fans.
Now I'm glad that as I did for the first season, I decided to hold off on watching this second season until it had run its course on TV. ^_^
Thursday, July 23, 2009
魔法先生 ネギま！Volume 28 Chapter 258 (manga)
Mahou Sensei Negima! Manga Chapter 258
SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: The news that the Magic World is in fact Mars has everyone in shock and even disbelieving. Nodoka tells the what is commonly known on the Magic World about it being on an alternate plane of existence. She sites some examples of this and then states how she and Yue had wondered where such a large alternate plane could exist since it needs a physical body to exist. Mars is the answer to their question.
Hearing this, Negi realizes that the Magic World being Mars explains a great deal, though he's still missing some pieces. He asks Setsuna if "Mars" reminds her of anything and she remembers Chao. Negi feels that everything about this world is related to his father, Ala Rubra, and even Chao.
That night, Negi and company arrive outside the ball with Shiori-Asuna and Negi reminding Jack of Arika and Nagi. Chisame, still in her "loli" body, says that she has a bad feeling about things and that the results of his choice to continue down this path may well result in him not returning to Mahora. Negi thanks her but says that this path he's on is so they can return home. Further, he has an opportunity to learn of his mother and father's fight on this world and if he managed to leave the Magic World without taking advantage of that opportunity, he'd regret it.
Jack attacks Negi, but Negi avoids the attack with little problem. Jack congratulates him and notes how much Negi has grown in power. He figures Negi is OK for another three or so good fights but tells Negi to see Eva as soon as he returns to Earth. With this, Jack Rakan has nothing else to teach Negi and leaves Negi with some words for a real man -- protect his women and save the world.
Jack excuses himself to go to the bathroom but as he leaves, he tells Negi that Arika is his mother, no doubt. Jack admits to falling for Arika himself. Jack tells Negi that the Governor-General knows way more than he does and with that, he says he has to take a crap and leaves.
A short distance away, an older-looking Fate drops down and is met by Jack. Fate didn't expect to see him, especially since Jack had always acted like he didn't care what happened to the world. Jack acknowledges this, but says that a girl caused him to see that we all have to wipe our own butts.
Thoughts/Review: Jack's dead. However, I can't help but wonder if his death will be something that delays Negi and Fate confronting each other again in the Magic World. We'll see. (We'll also see if Jack really dies or not.)
The explanation about Mars being the Magic World makes sense and I believe had mostly been figured out by those of us in the west. How many Japanese fans had figured this out, I couldn't say. However, this did allow Akamatsu-sensei to bring back Chao as a flashback and show that way back when, he was laying down markers to establish this revelation. It is things like this that make me a fan of Akamatsu-sensei's writing style. He has a well-planned scheme of things and even manages to put in clues in what might be dismissed as a bit of comedy (Chao's claims of being from Mars).
Arika. Jack's sudden, "Yep, she's your mother and don't doubt it" remark struck me as odd. On the surface, it would seem to end all doubt as to who is Negi's mother. However, she's been officially dead for 18-years. So, for eight years, she stayed out of sight while Nagi continued to be an active member of Ala Rubra and did all sorts of things, including travel around with Eva for a time until 15-years ago, he put the kabash on her. Circumstantial evidence suggests that Nagi may have been the one to trap Al on Mahora to make sure he delivered a message to a son who's not born. Then Nagi goes to Istanbul and "dies," only to not show up again for a few years until he saves a young, parentless Negi who's apparently living alone.
So, what we have here is either Akamatsu-sensei saying, "Arika is Negi's mother" (the simple explanation), or there's more going on here, which is what I suspect. I haven't 100% given up on the Negi=Nagi theory of mine, but I do admit that the waters have been muddied there. ^_~
Interesting that Akamatsu-sensei would make a point of comparing the relationship between Negi and Asuna to Nagi and Arika. One wonders if there is meaning behind this, knowing Akamatsu-sensei's love to drop markers and set the table well in advance of some revelation.
Well, there's no doubt that Akamatsu-sensei knows how to weave a tale. Big fun does seem to be on the horizon. ^_^