Phoenix512's Anime Blog

Spoilers will abound along with opinions of love and hate of anime.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bleach: Memories in the Rain OVA

The OVA starts out with Ichigo fighting the Grand Fisher hollow and then cuts back to when Ichigo was a kid. He sees another kid about to jump into the river bank and tries to save her. His mother was screaming out for Ichigo and the scene jumps into the day before at school. Orihime wonders why Ichigo was so tense. Tatsuki tells her that she needs to tell him something important; she needs to do it at the end of the day. Ichigo and his family were heading to his mother's grave when they met up with Rukia. Meanwhile, Tatsuki tells the story of how she met Ichigo to Orihime which was a martial arts class. Rukia and Ichigo talked alone about his mother's death. Rukia brought up the idea that Ichigo's mother was killed by a Hollow by accident. Ichigo yell at her for mentioning the thought and runs off. Tatsuki told Orihime that after Ichigo's mother died, Ichigo walk back and forth around the river bank trying to search for her. Ichigo blame himself for his mother death and suddenly sees his mother from a distance. The rest of Ichigo's family was tending to her mother's grave with Rukia watching them from a distance when Rukia's hollow detector rang.

A hollow attacked Karin and Yuzu but it could kill them, Rukia attacked the hollow. She knew who the hollow which was the Grand Fisher and was trying to buy time for Ichigo to get here. Ichigo was memorize by the sudden appearance of his mother but shook it off and realized it as the fake that it was. The fake was revealed as the kid that Ichigo tried to save years ago. Ichigo managed to catch up with Rukia and Fisher so he can become a Shinigami. The kid is actually a part of the hollow which acts as a lure for people with high spirital energy. Ichigo begins to fight the hollow and tells Rukia not to interfere. The battle wasn't going so well for Ichigo that Rukia wanted to help him but she remembered something in the past. Her captain told her that there are two kinds of fights: ones that defend life and ones to defend pride. If she interruppted a fight of pride, it would destroy a person's pride. The Fisher change the appearance of the lure to Ichigo's mother and stabbed him through the lure. Ichigo stabbed the Fisher with his soul slayer and injured it severly. The Fisher transferred itself into the lure and escaped. Ichigo had a talk with his father about his mother. His father told him to live to the fullest because that would Ichigo's mother would want. Then Ichigo told Rukia that he wants to get stronger to kill the Grand Fisher.

At the end of the credits, there was an omake with some of the major Shigimari in various scenes from the anime including some that haven't been shown yet. This OVA is a condensed version of the Grand Fisher battle but it takes more elements from the manga than the anime. If you only watched the anime version of the battle, then you should watch the OVA as well.

Ichigo 100% 12 and Review

I won't tell you what happens but I will give you an overview of the episode. Toujou's new script will be used in the movie club's new movie for the contest but finding the right heroine is another story. The episode covers Junpei's search for the heroine while facing other problems. This episode is the prequel of the first Ichigo 100% OVA which came out before the first episode of TV series aired. It doesn't give any closure to any hanging plots which is disappointing but the manga is still ongoing. There's no true end yet but it makes you want more.

Overall, the series is a nice way to introduce people to the ongoing manga for people who want more (like myself). The characters in the story especially the girls are very real and either can either love them or hate them. The animation quality is very good and the music fits the mood pretty well most of the time. At times, the story was moving a bit fast. This was noticable from the way the character's personalities quickly change. There was no gradual change. It was pretty quick. This series suffers from not having enough episodes to fully support a gradual change of characters. Easily, the series could continue for another 12-13 episodes. That's my only major qualm with the series as standing alone without the manga. The second OVA is out now on raw. I'll give a review of the second OVA once it's subbed for now, I'll give my score on the series. I'll give the series 3 out of 5.

Yakitate Japan 31-32

Azuma, Kawachi, and Subawara trained under Sophie for a month. She plans to go with them to Monaco but Kawachi was suprised by this. Since the bakery is being supported by her brother and the training was being paid by Pantasia, she had nothing else better to do. Kawachi didn't want her to come because he didn't want her to see him at his worst. The night before they went to Monaco, the chest that Kanmuri gave to Kawachi was ringing. The chest contained a cell phone. Kanmuri tells Kawachi that he's the ten billion yen Rodin and don't throw away the chest yet since it contains something else. Rodin is the sculptuor of the Thinker. The mysterious content in the chest won't be revealed for awhile. Kawachi proposes the idea of using Rodin's Thinker as their bread in the exhibition of the Monaco Cup in three days. They made the bread in three days but Kawachi purposely destroys the bread. Subawara wanted Kawachi to commit Seppuku which the honorable suicide for a samurai to atone his sins but Kawachi had a way to spare them embrassment.

The exhibition of the Monaco Cup begins with the introduction of the judge, a clown named Pierrot Bolneze. Compared with the other countries bread, Japan's bread is biggest one that because Kawachi is the mold for the Thinker bread. This was part of Kanmuri's plan to increase the odds since the odds are determined in the exhibition. In order to get 10 billion yen, the odds needs to be 200 to 1. Of course, the Manager and Kanmuri are enjoying Kawachi's torture. Three hours into the exhibition, Kawachi need to go to the bathroom but it lasts for eight hours. Of course something had to give, Kawachi broke out of the bread shell when the guest of honor was near him. Security was chasing Kawachi while he was trying to find the bathroom. The final odds for Japan are 300 to 1 which their bet will win them 15 billion if Japan wins. Kawachi's stunt cost team Japan two points in the prelims which they can only get a max total of 8 points instead of 10 now.

The next episode begins with a parade of the contestants in the Monaco Cup. The French team gets a huge applause while team Japan got boo at and fought with each other while walking. There are two prelim rounds before the Final Leagues. Each round has a total of 5 points and the 16 countries with the highest combined score will move on. The first prelim round consists of roulette wheel with each slot has a name of an ingredient. Each team member gets to spin a roulette ball and gets the ingredient that the ball lands on. They could use any kind of flour, yeast, and water except for sea water and the three ingredients that they get to make their bread. Kuro-yan mentions that one team didn't get either sugar or salt as an ingredient that they tried to get salt from their own sweat. Team Japan's balls all land on the egg slot which there is only two on the entire wheel. So they get three baskets full of eggs. Kawachi and Subawara thought they were doomed but Azuma has a plan which is to make Japan #21.

Meanwhile, Kanmuri, Tsukino, and the Manager were watching the Cup online when the Manager did an Tsukino impression which was great in my opinion. Azuma asks Pierrot for the flour that he wanted but he called him Old Man. Pierrot would get him the flour but if Azuma calls him an old man, he would hang him on the trapeze swing (Pierrot is 22 by the way). Team Japan makes Japan #21 which is a square looking cake. Pierrot is ready to begin judging the breads by himself. In order to quickly judge the bread, he creates 134 clones of himself. The episode ends with Pierrot about to judge Japan #21.

These two episodes start the Monaco Cup officially and the introduction of Pierrot who will have some great reactions during the Cup. The comedy is still top-notch and there will some great Pierrot moments. Kawachi has become pathetic at this point in the series. The next episode will have Pierrot's reaction to Japan #21 and possibly the start of the second prelim round.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Updates and News

I have added Honey and Clover and Mahoraba ~HD~ to the non-blogging list since the summer season of anime is coming up. Speaking of that season, I'm currently trying to decide what to blog for that season. Right now, I'll do Shuffle and the new season of FMP once episodes will come out. I have already watched the prologue of Shuffle and made a post about it. The only series I won't definitely blog is the second season of Da Capo since I haven't seen the first season. All other series will be up in the air.

In other news, the first episode that I editted for a fansub group was released a couple of days ago. If you're a Detective Conan fan, I suggest that you download episode 136. I don't exactly do every episode but I'm currently working on my third episode of it.

Expect to see Yakitate Japan 31-32 in a double take and the review of Ichigo 100% with an impression of the final episode in the next couple of days.

Mahoraba~Heartful Days~

Honey and Clover


Shuffle Prologue

The gate between the normal world, the Shin (good), and the Ma (evil) dimension has shifted. 10 years later, the habitants of the Shin and Ma dimensions live in the human world now. Two new students transfer to a local high school. One is from the Shin dimension and the other is from the Ma dimension. When the teacher was introducing the students, the guys got all excited because they thought they were two beautiful girls but two guys entered instead. They were not the two new students actually but the student's fathers. The red hair girl is Lisianthus or Shian for short and she's the princess of the Shin dimension. The blue hair girl is Nerine or Rin for short and she's the princess of the Ma dimension. The main character of the story is a boy named Rin-chan who has to select between Shian or Nerine as his wife. Depending on who he chooses, he will be either the future king of the Shin or the Ma dimension. There's two other girls in the mix, a purple haired girl who's a demi-human and his childhood friend named Kaede.

The animation looks pretty nice and the overall story is setup pretty well. Rin is going to have a tough time to choose the only girl from him. The people in his life will make the decision even harder for him. The first episode of the series will aired on July 7.

Tsubasa Chronicle 9-10

Three secret agents are on their way to help the village with the evil Lord but a barrier surrounds the village. Anyone who has the ability to use secret arts can't get inside. Meanwhile, Syaoran and the others contact Yuuko via Monoka to find a way to break the castle's barrier. It's found out that Fai's tattoos acts as a restriction to his magical powers. In exchange for Fai's staff, Yuuko gives them a black ball to break the barrier. Chu'nyan want to go to the castle but Syaoran wouldn't allow her to go. So she had to stay with Sakura while Syaoran and the others head off to the castle. Syaoran kicks the black ball which dispels the barrier surrounding the castle. After going around in circles in a hallway, Fai detects some strong magic from a nearby wall. Kurogane destroys the wall and find Kiishim waiting for them.

Kiishim changes the scenery with a bunch of rocky pillars on an acid lake with a small gazbo in the middle. She attacks Syaoran and the others with acid bubbles. Fai and Kurogane found a way to destroy the bubbles with poles broken with a streetlamp post. Meanwhile, the rebel villagers ask Chu'nyan to come with them to the castle but Sakura tells her she can't as she is needed elsewhere. Fai noticed that Kiishim is weaker at the top and tells Syaoran to move on. With the help of Kurogane, Syaoran escapes the battlefield and continues his search for Sakura's feather. Kiishim made the bubbles bigger so they are harder to destroy while Syaoran faces the beef-up Lord's son.

The next episode has Chu'nyan noticing more and more that Sakura is acting like her mother. The rebels begin their attack on the castle. Kiishim combines all the bubbles into a giant hand to kill Fai and Kurogane. As a last ditch effort, Fai jumps towards Kiishim while Kurogane did a suprise attack on her from leaping off Fai's back. Kiishim stabbes Kurogane with her long nails but they only pierced the hammer that Fai gave to Kurogane to earlier. Kurogane smashes the jewel that allowed the Lord to control Kiishim. Meanwhile, Syaoran defeated the Lord's son with a nasty kick to the head. Kiishim gives her thanks to Fai and Kurogane for freeing her while the Lord meets up with the rebel villagers.

Chu'nyan realizes that her mother's spirit is inside of Sakura. Sakura takes Chu'nyan to a burned down tree. Chu'nyan's mother spirit was trapped inside of the castle and went inside of Sakura's body when she entered the castle. Sakura has Chu'nyan to restore the tree but cannot at first. Chu'nyan realizes that the secret arts must be only used for the happiness of people not for yourself. Chu'nyan's mother gave Chu'nyan a mirror to fight against the Lord. While heading to the castle, Chu'nyan and Sakura met up with a controlled villager and was taken to the castle. Syaoran meets up with the Lord face to face but the Lord was prepared to kill Sakura and Chu'nyan with the villagers as puppets to attack Syaoran.

These two episodes continue with the main story of the manga while adding in the rebel villagers into the mix. The Lord is definitely a coward who has to control everything while not doing anything with his own two hands. The next episode will probably end their visit in this dimension and moved on to the next dimension. This is about the point where I read up to in the manga. From this point on, I don't know what's going to happen next.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Ah! My Goddess 23

Due to recent appearance of the Lord of Terror, Yggdrasil's self-defense abilities have been damaged. God prepares to send Lind, First class goddess, special duty category to stop Urd but decides to her on standby due to Belldandy releasing the seal on her powers. Belldandy waits for Urd to use her powers so she can track her down. Meanwhile, Urd is punishing Marller for her failure and hears about the ultimate destruction program from Keiichi for the first time. She tries to read Keiichi's mind to find out more about it but he doesn't know much. The urn knows about the ultimate destruction program which remakes the world into a demon world. Urd starts to destroy the protection on the program. Belldandy races off to Keiichi's location when she detected Urd's power. She shot an arrow at the urn hoping that its destruction would restore Urd back to normal but that was a bad idea. When the urn was destroyed by goddess's hands, the final protection of the program was lifted and Fenrir was summoned. In Norse mythology, Fenrir is a wolf that devoured Odin during Ragnarok which is the Norse version of the end of the world. It immediately knocked out Belldandy eventhough she got a warning from the good Urd.

Urd and Marller watched as Fenrir destroys the city. Marller is a little bit unsettled by this destruction. Meanwhile, Skuld is trying to find Belldandy when she notices a cell phone on the road. It rings and Skuld answers the phone. God tells Skuld that he would turn the other way on Belldandy unsealing her power and the purpose of the program. Currently, God can send only one person on the fighting squad but before sending down the person, he would like to try to use the program's vaccine which is in the shape of a flute. Only a first class goddess can use the vaccine. Skuld is able to track Belldandy's location and on a mission to give her the flute. Belldandy reawakens and managed to seal Fenrir with the Wind Cage. Then she tries to remove the negative energy from Urd but there was too much and she was a little too weak to do it. Urd wanted Marller to sacrifice herself to Fenrir so it could escape from the Wind Cage but Marller wanted no part of that and escaped. Urd tried to transfer some its power to Fenrir but it took all of Urd's power instead. Urd and Keiichi fall off the roof and Belldandy saved them from a nasty landing. The Lord of Terror took control of Fenrir and was about to destroy Belldandy when Skuld came to the rescue. Belldandy was able to summon Midgard which was a collection of snakes. They thought they defeated the Lord of Terror but it managed to take over Midgard.

Once again, no new developments with Keiichi and Belldandy relationship. Urd is finally back to her normal self. The one thing that the Japanese got wrong was Midgard. Midgard is actually Earth in Norse mythology. The serpent was called Jormungand which inhabitted Midgard's oceans. It grew so big that it could bit its own tail and there was only one not many. The next episode will have the goddess trio fighting against the Lord of Terror/Midgard with the possibly of Lind joining the battle.

Gundam Seed Destiny 36

Dullindal explains some of the features of Destiny and Legend. Destiny is basically an improved version of Impulse without the whole mix and match Mr. Potatohead deal while Legend has the Dragoon system which something like the funnels in some of the UC Gundam series. Athrun starts to question Dullindal about Logos and the order to destroy Archangel and Freedom. Dullindal responded with another question of why they didn't help ZAFT and about Kira not being able to realize his true power. The Earth Alliance is helping with ZAFT to take out Logos. Meanwhile, Rey has a chat with Dullindal with Meer spying on them. She notices a picture on the floor of the time when Athrun met with Kira, Cagalli, and Miriallia.

She goes to Athrun to convince him to serve with ZAFT because Dullindal and Rey determined that he's useless to them now. Soldiers to go Athrun's room and tried to arrest him. Athrun breaks the window and takes out the soldiers from the rooftop. Athrun takes Meer and starts to run but Meer stops him to ask him why he's running away. Athrun tells her that he doesn't want to be a puppet of Dullindal and that she shouldn't be one either. Meer gets rather angry with Athrun telling him that she's Lacus and it's ok to be a puppet. Athrun ends up leaving Meer behind and enters into Meyrin's room. Soldiers quickly arrive to inspect her room. Meyrin hides Athrun in the bathroom and answers the door with just a towel on. After the soldiers left, she diverts the soldier's attention by hacking the alarm system. Athrun and Meyrin head to the mobile suit hanger and was about to take a mobile suit when Rey showed up and started to fire on Athrun. Athrun shoots Rey's gun out of his hands and boards the mobile suit with Meyrin. Rey and Shinn pursue Athrun and Meyrin with Legend and Destiny.

Now I think about it, episode 36 of Seed had the same turnaround point for Athrun when he pointed the gun at Lacus in an abandoned theater. Anyway, I must applaud Athrun for finally leaving ZAFT. I don't know how Rey got those pictures of Athrun and Kira unless he stole them from Talia because Lunamaria only gave Talia the pictures. I must I forgot something or the show wasn't thinking. Meer and Meyrin got some character development with Meer wants to be Lacus while Meyrin helps Athrun without asking why he's in trouble. I'm seeing Meer and Lacus getting into a cat fight with Meer trying to kill her. Shinn seem to have some doubts with chasing Athrun. The next episode will have Athrun facing off against Rey and Shinn in Legend and Destiny.

Edit: There's one thing that struck to me little bit odd. When they showed the EAF ships, Cagalli's former bodyguard was one of the ships and wearing an EAF uniform. I was hoping that he would help Athrun to escape but I was wrong or maybe he'll have a role soon. Also, women in the Gundam series have a way dying without being saved from their demons. I think Zeta Gundam probably has the record for the many women who died in this way.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bleach 37

Sado encounters Enjouji Tatsufusa, 3rd officer of the 8th Squad who can swing his sword very fast. That trick was apparently was all show as Sado knocks Tatsufusa into the sky very far. A minute or so later, rose pedals begin to fall from the sky announcing the appearance of the 8th Squad Captain, Kyouraku Shunsui. The rose pedals were being thrown by Nanao, Shunsui's vice-captain and after got annoyed with him, Nanao dumped the entire basket on Shunsui. Shunsui tries to convince Sado to withdraw by drinking. Sado refused because he's a minor and worried about the others being attacked by captains. He uses his power against Shunsui but he easily deflected it the blast. Shunsui continues to avoid Sado's blasts and easily knocks Sado to the ground about 10 to 20 feet away from him. Sado tells Shunsui that he's here to rescue Rukia and willing to risk his life because Ichigo wants to rescue Rukia badly.

A flashback soon occurs during Ichigo and Sado's middle school days. Sado gets beat up while not fighting back and Ichigo comes and beats up the bullies. Sado talks about the Mexican coin around his neck which came from his abuelo in Mexico. That coin meant more to him than his life. The bullies were listening to their conversation through a cell phone left behind. Some days later, the bullies ambushed Sado and tied him up with some strong wires. The head bully was about to destroy Sado's coin when Ichigo kicked him in the head. Then Ichigo calls for five ambulances on the head guy's cell phone before beating up the remainer of the gang. Ichigo and Sado fight for each other and hit back for each other's sake. The flashback ends and Sado goes all out on Shunsui. The attack fails and Sado falls from a slash from Shunsui's soul slayers.

A Sado only episode. I figure that the fight between Sado and Shunsui would only take an episode. The flashback really shows Sado's character and how Ichigo and Sado became the best of friends. My only problem with this episode is that it should have been shown as episode 36 and vice versa. It slowed down the tension of Ichigo's fight with Kenpenci. I would rather have the fight to be continouous throughout instead of going off on another subplot for an entire episode. The next episode will continue the fight betwen Ichigo and Kenpenci for sure this time along with the fate of Sato.