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Sea Lion



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 307

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:00 pm Reply with quote
I recently purchased The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Season 2, and I have gotten through Endless Eight and am now a couple of episodes into Sigh. By the last few episodes of Endless Eight, I was fidgeting and my mind wandered, but I have to give the writers and producers some props for having the guts to even try this. You can't tell me any American TV show would think of doing four episodes of basically the same script, with only a few variations in costume and dialogue. At least I didn't have to experience it more than 15,500 times!

Here's two theories I have about TMOHS, one much more mind-blowing than the other: 1. spoiler[Mikuru is actually Kyon's sister from the future. They look very similar, and it's the only reason I can come up with for why they'd send someone as useless as Asahina back in time to deal with a demi-god. This does add a considerable ick factor when you consider how often Kyon fantasizes about Mikuru.]

2.spoiler[Haruhi isn't the one with the godlike powers -- it's Kyon! Think about it: In the very first episode, Kyon kicks it off by saying he used to believe in aliens, time travelers and espers, and who should he encounter, in that order? Yuki, Mikuru and Itsuki. Also, Haruhi's a little too perfect -- super intelligent, able to talk anyone into doing anything, great at any sport, a prodigy in art and music -- almost like a magical girlfriend. She could be a construct of Kyon's imagination depicting the perfect girl. The other members of the SOS Brigade spend more time around Kyon than Haruhi, so why couldn't they be keeping an eye on him? It's a perfect cover for a god's babysitters to tell him someone else is the god, and they're really watching her. Oh, and there's the whole thing about Kyon not having an actual name -- Kyon is a nickname.]
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Dorcas_Aurelia
Baka RangerBaka Ranger


Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 5344
Location: Philly

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:02 pm Reply with quote
Number 2 is a pretty common theory, possibly even the predominant one.
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errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2626
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:39 am Reply with quote
Just finished The Vision of Escaflowne and enjoyed it very much. I would rate it at the high end of very good and may rate it higher if it proves to have a high re-watch value. I found it interesting that it targeted both shojo and shonen audiences with its tangled personal relationships and its mecha battle scenes. I think it the blend was highly successful, giving the series depth it may not otherwise have had.

I loved the epic plot and the world construction but neither would have amounted to much were it not for the way I came to care about the characters over the 26 episodes. Paradoxically, Hitomi was the only character that appealed on first blush - doing her block at Van after he slayed the dragon was a great introduction. All the others started off as standard anime types aimed at a teenage audience. Where Escaflowne really shines is how the characters eventually must act against type: they confront their illusions and their limitations.

On that last point, one of my gripes is how Hitomi, spoiler[at the end, chooses to return to Japan. And this just after she and Van prove that the fate alteration machine is no match for their love. I'm not simply being sentimental here: Hitomi's choice in putting her culture ahead of her love is quite at odds with the message of Escaflowne.]

That said, I also found very welcome how it transpires that no-one in the story is entirely villainous. Even Dornkirk / Newton is pursuing a worthy ideal - a world without conflict - even if his methods are misguided and he doesn't really see the implications of what he is doing. His own law that "Every action has an opposite and equal reaction" is alluded to several times but he just doesn't get it. His short-sightedness while constantly peering into an eye-piece is a great irony.

As with all the best plots, every character has their reasons and the other antagonists also have their motivations, including Volken, Naria and Eriya. One of the achievements of the anime is that the viewer comes to sympathise with the plight of these antagonists. Even the most annoying character, Dilandau, who appears the typical insane villain that spoils so much of anime, turns out to be something very different in the end. This particular plot twist seemed a bit contrived unlike the many others that surprised me without seeming quite so forced.

I also thought the music was outstanding, especially the orchestral / chamber music pieces which I presume were written by Hajime Mizoguchi. The songs and electronica were less convincing which is surprising as Yoko Kanno is normally spot on.

On the down side every character was spoiled by their ridiculous noses. I guess you can say it's a memorable design. The show was also unconvincing when the shojo or shonen elements began to dominate excessively, particularly the fraught romantic triangles that tended toward the silly at times.

Some of the minor characters could be irritating. In particular, Mr Mole and Merle took quite a bit of getting used to. Merle's unswerving loyalty to Van eventually won me over. As a rule I dislike characters who are inserted purely for comic relief.

Most importantly, though, the centre of the story is Hitomi: a very likeable character that justifiably earns the respect of her friends as well as the consternation of those seeking to bend fortune to suit themselves. Unfortunately she is also the show's greatest weakness as her decision to spoiler[return to Japan] reveals. There's something just a little too sickly nice about her, something of the traditional yamato nadeshiko about her where she is the object of desire of all the male characters. I would have liked a more assertive character who would have made the men the objects of her ambitions. That way she may have chosen to spoiler[stay on Gaea].

An aside: I thought I recognised the road tunnel, the steps down to the bay, and the steps up to the shrine in the Japanese sections of the anime. Sure enough, a bit of research revealed that it's set in Kamakura, which is also the setting for Elfen Lied where these three locations have memorable roles.

On a completely different note, I'm four episodes into Claymore and I think it's even better than Escaflowne. Since being blown away by Noir I've been very disappointed with the Girls with Guns genre. This is the perfect antidote.
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 6710
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:46 am Reply with quote
I actually just recently finished rewatching the first season of Haruhi Suzumiya for the 7th time and Season 2 for the 1st time (so only twice), but this was the first time I watched them intertwined. Interestingly, the DVDs are almost in perfect in order. The only time I had to stop in the middle of a disc was to squeeze Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody in between Boredom and Mysterique Sign; everything else was in perfect order.

As for the show, it's still as amazing as the first time. You'd think it'd start losing some gas, but no, it's still awesome.

Sea Lion wrote:
spoiler[Mikuru is actually Kyon's sister from the future. They look very similar, and it's the only reason I can come up with for why they'd send someone as useless as Asahina back in time to deal with a demi-god. This does add a considerable ick factor when you consider how often Kyon fantasizes about Mikuru.]

spoiler[If you remember the conversation Koizumi and Kyon have on the bridge at night in Sigh IV or V, you'll see that that could make sense. What he says is that Asahina was sent back to entice Kyon over to the Time Travelers side by using her moe-ness and huge boobs. And it's actually been pretty effective considering how much Kyon fantasizes about her and how often he sticks up for her, even to the point of almost striking Haruhi (LOVE THAT SCENE!). So while Asahina thinks she's their to watch over Haruhi, she's really their to get Kyon's trust. Then again, Koizumi is Koizumi, and he can be hard to believe.

I've thought about the sister theory, but it doesn't make sense when you look at Older Asahina. The way Older Asahina interacts with Kyon the first time is more of how a lover (or at least one sided lover) would act. She seems more gentle than a sister, and she also talks as if they once had/have a "thing". Also, Older Asahina makes it a point to not interact with Young Asahina at all because it'd probably cause some kind of riff. If that's the case, Young Asahina would not be allowed to interact with Imouto (little sister), which she does several times.]


As for the second theory, that's the one I mostly believe. It makes sense considering spoiler[Kyon is actually the one who wrote the alien message that started the whole thing, not Haruhi].
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Bento-Box



Joined: 08 Sep 2009
Posts: 1030
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:39 am Reply with quote
Just finished Eva 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance.

Absolutely amazing.

Rather than posting everything here... I wanted to find a thread for the Rebuild 2.22 but I couldn't find one. Can someone please link? I really want to discuss several key plot points and see if there are any viable theories floating around here yet.

Thanks!

Needless to say, I ranked this bad boy Masterpiece. Depending on how it ends, I may have a new favorite. The original Eva and it's two "re-tellings" were already sitting at #2 on my list. After watching 1.11 and 2.22, I don't think I could ever go back to the original. It's scary that my list is going to change so drastically. I'm used to CCS filling all my thoughts, but now Eva has completely taken over.

I <3 You, Evangelion. Anime cry
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Brent Allison
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 01 Jan 2011
Posts: 662
Location: Athens-Clarke County, GA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:26 am Reply with quote
I'm still trying to watch through Fractale, Yumekui Merry, Level E, Star Driver, Index II, and other anime from the last fall and winter seasons. Earthquake coverage derailed my viewing routine, and some issues from work made getting back on track more difficult. I'm about 20-25 episodes behind on my personal quota. Sad
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ManOfRust
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Posts: 1935
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:36 pm Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
I also thought the music was outstanding, especially the orchestral / chamber music pieces which I presume were written by Hajime Mizoguchi. The songs and electronica were less convincing which is surprising as Yoko Kanno is normally spot on.

While I would not recommend the movie over the series, if you can track down the soundtrack to the Escaflowne movie I think you will enjoy it. The music is similar to the series, but to me seems more polished and maybe has a bit more dramatic flair to it. It's one of the few anime soundtracks I own where I like almost every piece of music on the CD.
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r3vival



Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:18 pm Reply with quote
It's getting harder and harder to catch up on all the old shows I've never seen with all the simulcasts going out nowadays which is definitely not a bad thing! Even so I am currently finding the time to watch Ayakashi and hope to watch Mononoke afterwards since these came out during a downtime for myself as far as watching anime. Recently with everyone talking about the Noitanima timeslot I have seen the name Mononoke dropped a number of times and figured I had to watch it.
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errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2626
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:52 pm Reply with quote
ManOfRust wrote:
While I would not recommend the movie over the series, if you can track down the soundtrack to the Escaflowne movie I think you will enjoy it. The music is similar to the series, but to me seems more polished and maybe has a bit more dramatic flair to it. It's one of the few anime soundtracks I own where I like almost every piece of music on the CD.


Thanks. I'll try to track it down.
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DieHardBleachFan



Joined: 05 Oct 2007
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:43 pm Reply with quote
Just finished up Level E and Kore wa Zombie desu ka? in the past couple of days.

Level E- I'm inclined to give this a rating of Very good. It's a an enjoyable, fun series, but got too silly/boring in the middle When the show first started out, I kind of fell in love with it, but then it kind of dragged a little long for my liking near the middle, thus bringing down the quality. Thankfully it picked up during the last few episodes and ended really strong.

Kore wa Zombie desu ka?- This one will also get a rating of Very good. Again, I had a lot of fun with this series. I was funny and very sweet throughout and kept my attention all the way to the end. I also loved the last episode and thought it was the perfect way to end it.
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IchigoSasuke52



Joined: 06 Apr 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:30 am Reply with quote
I'm watching Hikaru no go. Its pretty good series. Its has a mix of comedy and drama in it which is nice so its not just a one sided anime. Haven't finished it yet just hope that it ends good and not leaving you with no ending and not saying what happens with Hikaru and his rival.

Also just finished kimi Ni todoke second season. It was good but if your not happy how it ended just read the manga after like i did cause it farther ahead n now I'm even more exited to see what happens especially with ryu.
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PetrifiedJello



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 3782

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:41 am Reply with quote
A couple of days ago, I fired up Blood+, and found myself intrigued by the first 3 episodes, but after that, there was an eerie feeling this was going to be nothing more than "girl tries to balance life as 'vampire'-killing superhero". Stereotyping a series is a bad thing to do, because several times I've done this, the stereotypes were shattered.

It's a little slow, so I wanted to put it off for now. The art and animation, plus the story (despite being predictable to this point, but remember, 3 eps only) seems poised to get better from here. Best I be in the mindset for such an unveiling.

I decided, despite all the freakin' unwatched anime out there, to re-watch Ouran High School Host Club because it's just that damn entertaining. However, I discovered something weird during the 3rd viewing in that the title is completely wrong. Should it not be Ouran Academy Host Club? Especially when one episode features a doctor who was looking for his daughter and told to go to the high school, not the academy.

Superficial, obviously, but worth noting only because the "light bulb" seemed to take a while before noticing this, which should have been evident on the first viewing.

Of course, this revelation will also have others going "Damn! PJ's right!", which gives me great satisfaction to know I'm not the only one who missed it.

*snickers*

Tonight, I will try to revisit Blood+, but now that Viz has thrown up their recent titles into the Netflix pool, there are several I want to jump into, and considering 3 I added to my queue have over 100 episodes each, it's time to get busy.
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 6710
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:21 pm Reply with quote
I caught the first episode of Sengoku Otome this morning. I'm not gonna start a discussion thread (despite never starting one before!) because I'm probably not going to be following it for long. For such a weird premise, it took itself a little too serious for my liking. Maybe if it told an actual joke or cracked an actual gag, I'd be more interested, but right now it's just not fun enough. I'll give it a few more episodes (maybe only 1), but I don't see much promise.

I also watched the first two episodes the Hen Zemi OVA. I don't know about this. Maybe the subs were bad, but I was having a hard time following it at times. It's just so zany and off the wall, and it felt like it was trying to be too raunchy. That said, though, I didn't really dislike it. I guess I like watching the normal girl get weirded out by the perverts. Hopefully the TV series tries to be more of a comedy than squeeze in as much raunchiness as they could.

In case no one is keeping score, in the last few days I've declared to buy Freezing despite not liking it at all, watched the S&M OVA Nana to Kaoru, watched the fetish driven Hen Zemi, and bought Queen's Blade on blu-ray (the way boobies are meant to be seen). So what's next you ask? Next I'll be tackling Seikon no Qwasar. I'm in a very perverted funk lately, but I ain't complaining.
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SgtMustang



Joined: 05 Feb 2010
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:48 am Reply with quote
just got done watching paprika on bluray. Such a great movie. I love the humor in the movie especially. Looks good on blu, no eva or akira, but a good sharp image. Really is a shame the director passed, the way the story is structured, the pacing, the way the chars are developed, and how the animation is brought together, really shows how talented and creative he was.
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ailblentyn



Joined: 28 Mar 2009
Posts: 1552
Location: body in Ohio, heart in Sydney

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:30 am Reply with quote
I made a post somewhere up there to say that I was starting Harlock Saga.
I finished it.
I did enjoy it, and thought it had no real faults... that wouldn't be fixed by lots of Emeraldas — who is the most compelling character of them all, surely!

What's really a shame is that the rest of the manga wasn't animated. I haven't read the manga, but I do know that in Wagner's plot the first installment, Das Rheingold, (the basis of Harlock Saga) is certainly not the best one. And I understand the later arcs of the manga are the ones that give Emeraldas a rôle.

So yes to Harlock Saga, but how disappointingly incomplete it is!
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