Phoenix512's Anime Blog

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

Thursday, June 29, 2006

School Rumble S2 6

Harima is a knight who's about to go to a tower to save Princess Tenma in his new manga which he worked on most of the night and decides to take a nap somewhere as Yamuko reads it. People gather to the debut of class 2-c's play of Sleeping Beauty with seven main characters. The play starts with an evil sorcessess who cast a spell on a princess which made her sleep for 100 years in a tower. Six heroes emerged to rescue her from the curse and traveled to the tower which they were stopped by three sumo wrestlers. They were about to fight until Eri asks them nicely to allow them pass and they allowed them to do so. The heroes encountered a gate with vines and thorns covering it. They slashed the vine down only to have it come back to life. Eri defeats the cursed vines while Yakumo was reading Harima's manga when she hears about class 2-C raising the bed which contained Harima. She tries to wake him up but the bed raises up with both of them in it. Everyone discovers to their shock that Harima was sleeping on the bed.

The guys in the crowd are displeased by this since Mikito was supposed to be the princess but one of the guys mentions this developement as a great thing. Meanwhile, Mikoto was being questioned by the gym teacher for wearing the dress. Akira tells the heroes to keep going while Eri questions this since she has to kiss him. Then two spirits of a powerful sword descends down and asks them a riddle before they could get the sword. The riddle is rather basic one where what walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening which the answer is human but Tenma answers it incorrectly saying it's a monster. The spirits disappeared after that and not giving the sword to them. Harima finally wakes up to see that he's part of the play and manages to keep up with the act. So now the six heroes fight against the minions of the sorcessess and one by one, they get killed until Eri is the only one left. Eri was about to kiss Harima when the bed drapes close completely. She opens the drapes and finds Yamuko in the bed as well. Yamuko decides to play the sorcessess and fights Eri for the right to kiss the princess. Eri gets mad as Yamuko accidently hits her with her staff in the face. Yamuko whispers something to Eri which makes her drop her sword. Yamuko is forced into kissing the princess with the blessing of Tenma. Yamuko was about to kiss Harima but Akira descends down to the stage and kisses Harima instead. So the ending of the play was that the princess lived together with the female spy. Akira thanks Eri and Yakumo for covering up for the absence of Mikito.

The principal was talking about the post festival event which Karen tells Imadori that it will be interesting instead of boring. The popular band club hijack the stage which makes everyone began to dance. Hanai apologizes to Mikito about the play which she doesn't mind at all. He pushes her towards Asou who was dressed as a prince and began to dance which everyone was in shock. Yamuko apologizes to Tenma about the play which Tenma tells her to apologize to Eri for interfering with the play. Yamuko apologizes to Eri about the play which she was grateful for since she wouldn't have to kiss Harima and danced together. Yamuko tells her that she and Harima aren't going out but only helping him. In the end, everyone had a great time except for Harima who was crucified to the ceiling for sleeping on the bed.

This episode ends the cultural festival arc which began the second season off with the play having unexpected surprises and some clever rewrites and acting by two stand-ins. It also builds up a rivality between Eri and Yamuko who will probably fight for Harima at some point. It was a great episode. The next episode has the boys and girls going on a picnic.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Yakitate Japan 61

Manga Chapters 149-152?

A bunch of gangsters make their way towards the Southern Tokyo branch of Pantasia with the Manager standing in their way. Kanmuri was looking at an article about the Austrian court chef named Tsutsumi Masanobu as the first Japanese chef to receive the honor which you can only qualify for it only once. Kawachi thinks that Kanmuri is looking for a career change while Azuma tells them about the battle outside of the store. The Manager is holding his own against the gangsters until Kanmuri shows up which they all bow in front of him. Kanmuri reveals that his father is the head of the biggest yakuza group in Japan as his mother was a daughter of a rich family who loved his father's charm. They eventually got divorced which Kanmuri took his mother's name instead of his father. Kanmuri's father had another son which he wants one of them to run the family once he dies. Kanmuri's brother is Tsutsumi Masanobu who is the Austrian Court Chef who doesn't want to lead the family as well. The next battle of the Yakitate 9 will involve Team Pantasia against Tsutsumi and the loser of the battle will become the next leader of the family. Kanmuri can't go against the family as they would cause trouble for Pantasia. Kanmuri is somewhat confident that they can win since his skills with bread is better along with the support of Azuma and Kawachi who makes a point that Tsutsumi is based in Austria and doesn't know much about Japanese food. Tsutsumi choose the 9 square which reveals Shinanomachi in red which reveals jam a second later. They have to make the jam this time instead of better which worries Kanmuri greatly. He tells the freezing Kawachi and Azuma that two of the most famous Austrian foods both contain jam in them. Austria is famous for its jam-making tours which their kindergarteners can make jam just like the French kids in bread. Tsutsumi meets with Kanmuri and praises his extensive knowledge. He hands him a Berliner which Kawachi tastes it and becomes a ballerina. Tsutsumi mentions that real jam can be made only be someone who studied Austrian culture and any other jam is just a mere fake. While on a train, Tsutsumi asked someone if the seat next to him was taken which was not. The guy knew who Tsutsumi and praises him for being so great. The guy mentions that he has a son who's not so special which Tsutsumi mentions that he was a complete idiot from birth. He mentions about his genius brother Kanmuri and didn't like being compared to him. He tells the guy to make his son have a strong inferiority complex along with a deep hatred. Team Pantasia arrives at Lake Nojiriko which Kanmuri is surprised by Kawachi's knowledge of the area and even his selection of ingredients. Azuma was on his knees which Kanmuri suggested that he may have to fight by himself if he collaspes which he does a second later.

Azuma has acute tonsilitis which he will be fine in three or four days. With Azuma out of the picture for now, Kanmuri and Kawachi decided to get rhubarb at the moment. Meanwhile at the Hashiguchi estate, one of Kanmuri's father's thugs thinks that a cooking battle in choosing the next head is rather odd and wants to use thug ways. The father mentions how Tsutsumi kept hearing about his genius brother all the time and that the battle will be full of pride and spirit. Then he talks about he wanted to be a manga aritst. Kanmuri has Kawachi tasted some rhubarb which he creates a crown of rhubarb on his head along with a crown for Kanmuri. He suggests that they should use freeze-concentration equipment to lower the item's water content while containing its taste, fragrance, and color. Kawachi believe that they can defeat him now but Kanmuri thinks otherwise as Tsutsumi shows up. He tells Kanmuri that he's going to use volcanic rocks to make jam fondue. Kanmuri goes to ten different wine shops and explains that volcanic rocks won't make the jam stick to the pot because of the far-infrared rays emitted while boiling. This allows to bring the jam's flavor out more compared to warming it up after being frozen being the freeze-concentration equipment which destroys the taste, texture, and fragrance. Kawachi asks Kanmuri what he's looking for when he accidently knocks a wine rack and didn't break anyone along with finding the item that Kanmuri was looking for which was Kifu wine. Kawachi tastes the wine which he gets images of Gifu in his head. They think that they could beat Tsutsumi now but he shows up and asks for calvados which he's going to use it to make jam flambe instead of jam fondue. Azuma disappears from his hositpal room while Kawachi is surprised by the lodge this time since they usually have crap places to stay as Kanmuri thinks that they are going to lose. Kawachi apologizes for his shortcomings while Azuma shows up and tells them to not give up.

This episode reveals Kanmuri's family history which the next battle involves a battle of brothers to keep their dreams alive. With Azuma being sick and all and Kawachi is useless as usual, it's up to Kanmuri to battle against his brother in the subject that he has the advantage in. At this point, I had only read up to the point where Kanmuri and Tsutsumi meet each other face to face and will do the differences for up to that point. One change is that the gangster who threaten the Manager with a sword actually had a gun in the manga. I'm guessing they still are toning down the violent aspect along with omitting the part where the rest of the heirs were all killed. Also, Kawachi didn't have the reaction with the Berliner which in the manga Tsutsumi was talking to a taxi driver and had him to stop from eating it or he will turn into a ballerina. Of course, the difference with the Yakitate 9 and Yakitate 25 is still in effect. The next episode will be the actual battle which Kawachi is useless as ever along with Tsukino in a harem costume.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Jigoku Shoujo 19

An old woman named Fujiie praises Inori for being like a doll as she thinks why she didn't realize the situation she was getting into. Later that night, Inori was outside feeding the koi when Fujiie tells her that she shouldn't do any housework and leave it to the maids. Fujiie tells her to take a shower and as Inori gets undressed, she shows up and is disappointed in her for gaining weight. As punishment, she forces Inori into the bath a few times. Meanwhile, Emma's grandmother asks Emma that if the wind is picking up which she replies that it's lukewarm which it causes people to cry at night. Inori enters Fujiie's son's named Yukio room which she cried next to him as he tells her that his mother just wants her to be beautiful forever. She's been working on something for the upcoming doll exhibition which she destroys her current work for being too ugly. Inori asks Yukio if he wanted a massage earlier but he says that he doesn't want her to do that anymore. She wants to help out though which he tells her that she can make breakfast for him tomorrow. The next morning, Inori makes some breakfast but it was already made for him and is forced to eat Fujiie's custom made breakfast and told to sit straight just like a doll. Inori cries on Yukio as she's afraid of his mother. Fujiie was spying on them and forced Inori into a room to empty her heart. A bunch of workers asked Fujiie if they could clothe the doll she has made which she says no since the doll's eyes aren't dead yet. She wants a doll that filled with gloom and despair while Inori sent a request to Hell Correspondance as she wants to see everyone back at the orphanage. Tsugumi receives a vision of Inori as Emma visits Inori. She shows Inori the doll which scares her as Fujiie has been spying on her since she was a child. Everyone was happy for her being married into a rich household but it has become a nightmare for her. Emma explains the conditions of the revenge as usual as Hajime and Tsugumi found the house already.

Tsugumi and Hajime agrued once again about Hell Correspondance being good or bad as they see Inori and meet with her. Hajime talks to Inori about stopping the revenge as she doesn't mind going to Hell but doesn't want to depress the others. She explains that she want to explore the outside world while at the orphanage but she can't do that now as she's ordered to act like a doll. He suggests that she should talk to Fujiie about her problems but she can't and doesn't want to disappoint everyone at the orphanage. He asks her if he can do anything for her but before she could, Fujiie's maids showed up and take her away. Hajime is convinced that she won't pull the string for the sake of the others while Tsugumi says that she will experience great pain for now. Fujiie was working on a doll when one of her workers tells her about Inori which she dismissed them for tonight. She goes to Inori's room and asks her where she went which she said she went for a walk. Fujiie ties up Inori and take her to the bath to punish her. Emma shows up in Inori's room and asks her if she's going to pull the string which she yell out her complains about being a doll as Yukio asks what's wrong. Inori pulls the string which the revenge is granted. The dolls talk to her which they insult her age and her body is turning into a doll. She says that humans are simple and tramps as dolls means everything to her and controls them like a God. Fujiie is ferried to hell as she says that Emma is beautiful like a doll which she says that she will make all the dolls in Hell but the model is her dying self. Inori says that she will make Fujiie's portions as well to Yukio but he wants her to be a doll as well.

This episode didn't have the expected outcome that her life got better but she was trapped in the same nightmare as before. Yukio is like her mother that he wanted her to be like a doll, never moving and empty. She was better off leaving the family than committing the revenge. She got no reward for getting rid of Fujiie and going to Hell for it. There was lots of darkness in this episode which could have been the symbol for being no light at the end of the tunnel. The next episode has Gil de Ronfer who is from Hell who wants to see Emma and wants to fight her. This should be very interesting.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Jigoku Shoujo 18

A girl goes to a woman's home named Shimono who cooks her breakfast and says it's terrible. She throws the bowl in disgust as she will threaten to kill the girl's dogs named Yuki and Pinky if she doesn't do it again. At a supermarket, the girl is shopping for food a couple of people are gossiping about her. The girl is rather rich and is currently learning from Shimono which she cooks for her in exchange. Shimono used to be a schoolteacher who hated children and quit once she got her parents' inheritance. The girl's parents were fooled by Shimono's false pleasant face along with that they worked late and assumed that she will take good care of her. The girl returns to the house and finds Yuki dead as Shimono kill it because her schoolteacher showed up and thought that the girl talked about the arrangement which she didn't. The girl buries Yuki in her backyard as Shimono wants some tea. The girl asks Shimono if she can leave to go home which she tells her to study hard because she's supposed to be her private tutor. The girl named Kamikawa comes back home which she goes to her room and grabs Yuki's leach which she blames herself for letting go on that day. She decides to access Hell Correspondance in order to save Pinky from Yuki's fate. Kamikawa's mother comes home and asks about her father which she says that he's spending the night at some other place along with saying that she can't find Yuki and Pinky which the mother suggests giving up. The next day, Tsugumi was about to head to school when she has a vision of Emma which she gives the doll and conditions of the revenge to Kamikawa. Hajime asks Tsugumi for clues when she asks him why he has to stop the revenge which he just says of course. Hajime manages to find Shimono's house and takes a walk around it and sees her watering some plants. He asks a person in the Yamada store about her which she doesn't leave the house much and doesn't have any children. The person mentions that she went out with lots of guys but never got married. Hajime thought that Shimono had a daughter until a woman mentions about Kamikawa always visiting who walk her dogs a lot. Hajime sees Kamikawa entering the house as she gets yell at for suggesting of running away as she's being forced to pay for what the dogs did to her right leg.

It has been three days since Emma gave Kamikawa the doll and hasn't done anything with it. Hajime talks to an informant about Kamikawa which there hasn't been any mysterious death except for her dogs are missing. She doesn't have many friends which her dogs were very important to her which two weeks ago, the dogs went missing. Around at that same time, she started going to Shimono's house. Kamikawa gets slapped as Shimono blames her for Hajime's presense around her house. She thinks about pulling the string but she doesn't as she doesn't want to go to Hell. Shimono discovers that Pinky had three puppies. The next day, Kamikawa sees that Pinky is dead which she didn't have much time to mourn as Shimono demands her to cook her breakfast as she thinks that Kamikawa is planning to steal her inheritance. Kamikawa remembers the day when she tried a new route which she lost control of the dogs and went to Shimono's backyard and messed up her garden and leg. Kamikawa tries to plead with her but was unsuccessful and was forced to become her servant. She regrets for not pulling the string at the time. Meanwhile, Tsugumi gives Hajime a change of clothes and asks if Emma is doing something bad which he replies back taking a life under any conditions is just bad. She tells them that they are people out there who do worse things and don't care at all which he tells that this is different. He notices a police officer and a teacher at the Shimono which she immediately blames her for bringing them there. Hajime and the others immediately head into the house as Shimono blames them for trying to steal her inheritance. She kicks a piece of dirt which reveals some bones as she thought that Kamikawa saw the bones and use the dogs as blackmail to keep her silent. Hajime talks to Kamikawa and tries to take the doll away from her as she doesn't need it anymore until she sees the puppies drowned in Shimono's bathtub. Kamikawa decides to pull the string as she blames herself for not being able to stop the murders sooner. Shimono killed her parents for the inheritance which she will kill anyone and anything to hold on to it. A giant baby grabs the police car along with two police officers with dog heads tortured Shimono as part of the revenge. During the ferry, Shimono's reflection in the water was dog-faced. Kamikawa still regrets for not pulling the string earlier as Tsugumi and Hajime watched her.

This episode was truly sad as Kamikawa's dogs were killed by a bitter old woman who became paranoid of holding on to her inheritance that she killed her parents for it and willing to kill anyone and anything to hold on to it. The helpers didn't seem concerned with Hajime's interference this time around compared to the previous episodes. It look like that Kamikawa wasn't going to do it until the death of the puppies occured. Once again he came so close to stopping a revenge but foiled once again by fate. Tsugumi is beginning to doubt Hajime's quest on stopping Emma as she thinks that she provides a great service. The next episode has a girl named Ujiie Inori who wants revenge on an old woman who's making her unhappy which Hajime tries to stop another revenge from happening.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Jigoku Shoujo 17

A black and white scene starts the episode with a run-down room and chair rocking back and forth and a girl saying "Save me." The color returns as Hajime and Tsugumi are driving in a foggy forest as she hates the fog as she can't prepare for the worst. They hear a music box in the distance and suddenly stop the car to avoid hitting a person. Tsugumi channels Emma as she gives a warning to them not to come. They find a mental hositpal and entered it. They tried to find a person in the place but was unsuccessful as they walked around the place. The duo hears the music box again which they find the room with it as Tsugumi says this room is similar to the one in the vision. They were about to leave when a blonde girl enters the room. She introduces herself as Nina as Tsugumi and Hajime introduce themselves to her. They find out that she's only patient here along with doctors and nurses as a nurse walks by. Hajime decides to talk to the nurse and runs off. Nina asks Tsugumi why she's here which she makes up a lie that they're here to talk to the head doctor. Hajime loses sight of the nurse and enters a room with a doctor extracting some blood from a worm. Tsugumi admires Nina's beauty as she touches her hair as she touches Tsugumi for being so warm but Tsugumi notices that her hands are cold. Hajime returns as Nina mentions that the head doctor is out which Hajime doesn't know that she's talking about which he got a kick from Tsugumi. Nina asks them if they are staying for the night which they say that they have a hotel room in the city but the fog forces them to stay for the night. Hajime and Tsugumi believe that the girl is the one who requested revenge but there are no computers along with the fact that the place is rather strange. Tsugumi became upset as she wants to leave this place immediately. The helpers are spying on the duo as Wanyuudou thinks that Emma is supplying them information unconsciously. They don't even know what she's thinking with this request as she's meeting with Nina right now.

Emma tells her that she can't take revenge on her behalf and leaves as Hajime and Tsugumi walked past her room. He asks her if she met with Emma which she doesn't really answer and says that she has what she wants now. They go to the dining room to have some dinner which they are shocked by the food. Hajime gets some tea as Nina says that her father left her alone here and didn't know her mother. He asks Nina about Hell Correspondance which she did accessed it and wanted to take revenge on her father for making her all alone. She doesn't feel alone anymore as Tsugumi and Hajime are here and wants them to live with her here. She tells them that there's no head doctor here as she's the only one here and touches Tsugumi which scares her. Suddenly the lights all shattered which Hajime and Tsugumi run away from her. Hajime doesn't realize that Tsugumi was replaced by some vine doll which it was killed by Hone as they are ordered to save them even though he's a threat to them. Tsugumi finds Hajime in the forest but he was a vine doll as well which she fainted. Moku saves Tsugumi from being captured by Nina and the vine doll. Hajime finds the real Tsugumi in a church and takes her to the car. He gets the car started after some trouble but can't go anywhere because of the vines. Tsugumi was being choked by Nina while Hajime was being choked by vines when Emma appeared. She tries to stop Nina from killing them as she isn't Nina at all. The real Nina died a long time ago as the current Nina was just a doll. Tsugumi and Hajime wake up to see the hositpal worn down on the outside and inside. They hear the music box again and go to Nina's room which was the same scene as she saw in the vision. They find a doll that look like Nina which Hajime finds a picture of her and her owner. The doll carried the feelings of the real Nina which became dust after Tsugumi hold it.

I was wrong in the preview of episode 17 but there was some interesting things about Emma was revealed. I really think now that Emma is leaking information on purpose now as she warns Tsugumi and Hajime to go away along with ordering the helpers to save them from Nina. The helpers are getting more concerned with Emma and Hajime now which someone big is going to happen soon. This episode had more supernatural elements this time around with the doll making the illusions and such. It was a nice diversion from the regular revenges. The next episode has a girl named Kamikawa Miki wants to take revenge on a bitter woman which Hajime and Tsugumi will once again try to stop the revenge.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Shakugan no Shana 24 and Review

In the final episode of Shana, the fate of the world hangs in the balance as Balle Masque is creating massive amounts of existance and only the combined forces of Shana, Wilhelmina, and Majorie could stop them. Will Shana destroy Yuji in order to prevent the misbalance of the world or save him and find some other way to save the world?

The series was a bit flawed as there wasn't a major villian at last more than a few episodes except for Syndey and Domino but they weren't interesting though. Shana just revolved a series of villians trying gain existance while having a romantic triangle angle with Shana, Yuji, and Kazumi. The good guys got all the character development while the bad guys were just bland. I felt the three episode arc about Shana's past should have been reduced by two episodes as it detracted from the main storyline. Flashback episodes should be only one episode long for any series below 26 episodes. Also, I hated how everyone went all crazy about Shana as she eats melon bread in a cute way and ignore how she insults everyone and telling them to shut up all the time. She got better during the series but I don't really like Shana. The other characters were much better than Shana overall.

As for the ending of the series, lots of things were unresolved as a movie is being planned to deal with ending the story. For now, the series is ended with a happy note but many things are unresolved. Overall, Shana has its shortcomings but it's watchable and has a decent story. I'll give Shakugan no Shana a 3 out of 5.