Phoenix512's Anime Blog

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

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid OVA

Tessa was giving orders to her crew during an enemy attack when Mardukas suddenly turned into Sousuke along with the whole crew who confess their love to her. That was just a dream as Tessa wakes up in a dazed state. Sousuke was during a battle simulation when Tessa came in half-naked. He was all confused and very neverous as the simulation was reporting back to him in a very ironic way to his current situation with Tessa. She doesn't realize that she's talking to the real Sousuke not the dream one until a few moments later. Her clumsiness just made things worse as she revealed more of her body to him and left the room apologizing many times and embarrassed. After getting dressed, Tessa talked to Mao about what happened just now. She told Tessa that she was lucky that nobody else was around to see her half-naked along with that Sousuke wouldn't tell anyone about it but Tessa is depressed because it was Sousuke who saw her. She wanted to spend the day with him today but that is all lost now. Mao was confused on how Tessa was sleeping on the bridge instead of the base. She remembers that she went to Mao's room and drank with her for a little bit but doesn't remember much after that. She tells her that she's missing her Bonta-kun doll from her room which Mao remembers that she was holding it after Mao left the room. Mao gave Tessa alcohol instead of juice which she got mad at her. Mao shows Tessa that she's been working on giving the M9s more advanced movements unmanned which meant that she had them to do the Tango. It was working well until one of the robots crashed into a wall. Tessa wasn't pleased as she had Mao take a pay cut, submit letters of apology for the entire team and damage assessments by tomorrow. Tessa went to the Quartermaster office about her stuffed animal which she wasn't going to admit what it was when Weber entered the room. He came to the room to drop off some anime that he found in the locker area. He leaves soon after without signing the record book as the supply officer says that no one has reported anything since yesterday. He tells her that he can tell her when it turns up which she says that she will come by again later. Then Grouseaux shows up who was looking for his anime that he left in the locker room. He was rather embarrassed by it as Tessa found out about it and tells her not to speak about it. He's worry about his image even though he says otherwise. She suggests that he shouldn't watch them anymore which made him killed himself but it was a joke. After Grouseaux left, the supply master asked about Tessa's item which she wouldn't say what it was and left as well. Tessa was walking in the hallway trying to figure out what happened to her stuffed animal. She remembers that someone called her last night which it was Kalinin. She left the room with her stuffed animal while heading towards Kalinin.

Tessa showed up at Kalinin's room who was making some Borsch which he called Sousuke to join them but couldn't come due to an appointment. She asked Kalinin what they talked about last night which he wanted to conduct an early warning test on the base and wanted her approval. He stopped the test soon after he hearded word that she couldn't come because she was too tired. Mardukas was the one who told Kalinin to stop the test which she was surprised as she didn't want him to see her like that. Kalinin finished with his Borsch which is based on his dead wife's version of it. This is his best attempt at it which Tessa took a bite and it was awful to her. She had to lie about it being delicious which he took a bite and said it was good too just like how his wife made it. His wife would scold him for being away almost all the time but would make this dish when he came home. She doubted that he love it which Tessa thinks that she was trying to get revenge on him by bad cooking (I think he has a cast iron stomach.) Tessa realized that Sousuke purposely got out of it since he knew it was bad cooking. She decides to go to Mardukas's place who might have a clue about her stuffed animal but runs into a running Weber who hides and tells her not to blow his hiding spot. Grouseaux appears a moment later and asks her about Weber's whearabouts which she lies about it and asks him why he was after him. He was watching a cross between Detective Conan and Future Boy Conan when he saw two pigs kissing each other. After Grouseaux leaves, Weber tells Tessa that he did it for revenge for the other day. Tessa said that he went too far as he tamper with something that he treasured and apologized to him for it. Grouseaux came back and fought Weber with a broom and eventually hand to hand as she tried to get them to stop. Mardukas manages to get them to stop and lectures them for a while which somehow Tessa got lectured as well. After the lecture, Tessa apologize to him about being drunk which he had no idea what she was talking about. Sousuke was the one who told Mardukas that Tessa couldn't attend which he mentions that Sousuke was about to leave for Tokyo. She remembers that she was wondering around drunk when she met with Sousuke and said some things that she wouldn't normally say. She forced him to take her to the sub which she fell asleep on the bridge and he had the animal with her. Tessa runs towards the hanger area which she manages to catch Sousuke before he left for Tokyo and apologizes to him. She confesses her love to him which he mistook it as she loves alcohol. He promises to keep last night a secret and that Mao has her stuffed animal. Tessa talks to Mao about he misunderstood everything and blames her for drinking alcohol. She was about to leave which Mao ask her how her day was which said it was horrible and wished that everyday was like this.

When I first heard about this OVA being about a day in the life of Tessa, I thought it would be focused around high school and such but being around the base was great. Tessa being half-naked and meeting Sousuke like that was great especially when you have the computer calling the play by play ironically. The dancing M9s was great especially when Tessa act all cheerful when punishing Mao for the damage to the base and the M9. The whole thing about the stuffed animal and the anime in the supply office was just great as well. I really think Kalinin has a cast iron stomach as eating military food develops a taste for bad cooking. Poor Tessa as she confessed her feelings to Sousuke only to be misunderstood by him but that is like Sousuke to misunderstand something that basic as usual. It was a great OVA overall.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Lamune Review

Lamune is a light-hearted series about two childhood friends named Kenji and Namani who spend their time going to school and working at their garden. They act like the perfect couple but never admit that they really love each other. Now this series suffers from a major problem which was there wasn't much conflict with the two main characters. They seemed to have problems with the other characters in the series which most of the episodes are based on. All the characters are just genertic in my eyes. It was supposed to be some romance series but it really isn't. I would say that it's more like Aria but it creates a false sense of carelessness. For being a romance series, it fails very greatly. The animation is decent and the only good music in it was the ED. I expected to have them to have some conflict over each other in the later episodes but it never happens. Maybe I expected more from the series but I was disappointed in it. I'll give Lamune a 2.5 out of 5.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

xxxHolic 6

Manga Chapters 8-11

Watankui is at a drug store getting some hangover medicine for Yuuko. He gives her the medicine as he noticed that she had a computer with internet access. After taking the medicine, Yuuko decides to go shopping which she takes Watankui to Ginza via a wormhole in her house. Watankui didn't want to go via the wormhole but Yuuko forces him as various spirits annoyed him while crossing the tunnel. They arrived at Ginza a moment later which Yuuko immediately wanted some alcohol but ended up at a sports store. She wanted to buy a red alumimum bat but she wasn't done in Ginza. They went to an apartment complex which Yuuko came to grant a wish to a customer. Yuuko met this person online as Kindo-chan and the person was called Hanahana-san. They met on a website called The Magical Women plus Special Effects. Hanahana was suprised that Yuuko would be so young and beautiful because of her knowledge. She wrote her an email saying that she wants to stop using the internet because it's on her mind all the time and her family suffers for it. She has tried many times to stop but could not. This time, she's prepared to stop using the internet and move on with her life. Yuuko tells her in order to stop doing something completely, she needs to ask why she must stop and why can't she stop. Hanahana said that she wants to stop because her husband told her to which Yuuko brings up the point that if he says for her to stop, then why should she stop because he told her to do so. Hanahana mentions that it was the first time that her husband told her to stop something as she's been ignoring her housework and her child. Yuuko asks her why she should spend time with her child which she says that he could have bad childhood memories. Yuuko counterpoints with why he can't have bad childhood memories which she says that he's her child and he's cute. Watankui leaves the room when Yuuko asks her why she can't stop using the internet which she doesn't really know why. Yuuko says that she needs to make some sacrifices in order to do it. After the conversation, Yuuko and Watankui decides to leave.

They were about to leave when Hanahana asks her if there was anything else to do besides that which Yuuko said there was none and stick to that promise of stopping. While at a cafe, Yuuko asks Watankui how's things going with Himawari which he says that Doumeki is in the way of anything happening between them. Watankui was about to go home when Yuuko is waiting for Hanahana to go online. She tries to ignore the urge to go online but could not as she needs to tell everyone that she won't be around anymore. Back at the cafe, Hanahana's desktop appears on everyone's computers there which was the sign that Yuuko was waiting for. Hanahana goes on an internet binge which Yuuko reappears from the window. She tries to explain why she was on a website when she's supposed to do email and forums only but Yuuko tells her that quitting means stopping completely not for a little bit. Yuuko says that she must be serious in about quitting or it means nothing at all. She must quit on her own not because of others. She wants internet even though it's the source of pain and suffering for her. She decides that the important thing is her family as she doesn't want to lose them. She asks for Yuuko's help to help her quit which she asks for her son's chair which she accepts the terms. Yuuko asks Watankui for the bat which she writes Iron Cutting Sword on it. She manages to cut the computer in half and nothing else with it. Watankui thinks that the problem is solved but Yuuko tells him otherwise as she needs to decide to stop on her own. If she had help her any more than that, it would have cost her a lot more. Watankui wants to use the wormhole to go back home instead of the train because of money. Hanahana notices that her computer is gone when her son asks her what happened to his chair which she doesn't give an answer to him.

This episode shows how the internet can be addicting along with how quitting must be done seriously or else, it means nothing. It's usually that quitting is a bad thing but if you're giving up a bad thing, then you must quit with all of your heart. It follows the manga story quite well which it remove the part about the shadows from the two workers of the drug store and added a few scenes for fill up the time. The very last scene was added and showed that Hanahana had troubles in giving up the internet. The next episode has a girl asking for Yuuko's help which Watankui gets sucked into the darkness where he encounters a girl.

Yakitate Japan 62

Kanmuri and Kawachi are taking care of a sicken Azuma who managed to revive Kanmuri's spirit. Kawachi notices a smell coming from the fireplace which the wood gives off certain smells when burnt which gives Kanmuri an idea. Kanmuri's father comes down to see the match and talks to Masanobu first. He feels resented by this as he didn't come for other events in his life. After talking to Masanobu, Kanmuri's father feels that pulling either Masanobu or Kanmuri from baking but his organization doesn't anyone who can run the business that well. Masanobu doesn't care if he does inherit the business or not as along he beats Kanmuri. A moment later, Kanmuri finally shows up with an apple tree log which Masanobu doesn't understand the reasoning behind it. As the match goes on, Kanmuri's father wonders why Masanbou is using a rounded, black pot. Some of the members wanted to get revenge on the Manager for beating the crap out of them which the boss tells them to stop it along with asking the Manager to help him to explain the match to him. The Manager initally refuses the request until Tsukino asks him to do since she sees that he wants to understand his children's match so badly. The Manager says that if Kanmuri loses the match, he would fight them. The pot that Masanbou is using is made out of volcanic rock. He's trying to make warm jam which the Manager had to explain that if you warm up cold jam, it would become too sweet. Masanbou then set fire to his jam which created a strong smell and gives it to Kuro-yan. He puts his head into the flaming pot to show an image of Anpan Man. Kuro-yan's face is exactly like Uncle Jam, the father of Anpan-Man.

Kuro-yan praises Masanbou for creating a jam that can be considered as an ulimate jam. The boss thinks that Masanbou is going to win but Kawachi says otherwise even though he has no idea how Kanmuri is going to win. Kanmuri is producing some smoke which was misinterupted as a fire by the boss but the Manager tells them that he's smoking the jam. The boss thought this was stupid until he smell the smoke which was apples. Masanbou thinks that he has already won and doesn't fear Kanmuri's smoked jam. Kuro-yan tasted Kanmuri's jam which look like that he didn't produce any reaction until he started to walk towards the drum. Masanbou tries to stop Kuro-yan from going into the drum but could not. Kawachi laughed at him as he thought that Masanbou was trying to stop the reaction because he thought that he lost but that wasn't the case. He was trying to stop Kuro-yan from burning himself in the drum. The gang members tried to stop him but couldn't. The Manager asks Tsukino to be a fortuneteller and give Kuro-yan a fortune. Kuro-yan changed directions since telling a fortune is close to smoking and headed to the monkey bars since it's close to fortune. The boss praises the Manager for his high ability to assess situations very quickly and deal with them. Kuro-yan considered Kanmuri's jam to be ultimate as well and declares that there's a draw. Masanobu decides to become the successor as he admits that he was defeated by Kanmuri as he overcame his disadvantage in making jam. He's happy that he was able to face Kanmuri with everything he had and given up as a cook but the Manager knows that his feelings of loving to cook are true. Trying to save Kuro-yan's life was the main thing that show this love of cook. The boss decided not to have either son to inherit since their love to cook has made them high quality bakers. He decided to have the Manager to be the successor as he was able to assess situations quickly and have the physical skills to do it. The Manager asks for Kawachi's help but refuses since he told him to shut up earlier and Tsukino and Kanmuri decided to go shopping with Masanbou.

This episode ends Kanmuri's side arc as he doesn't have to go into the family business as his father sees that both sons are very well-off and can't remove them from it. Instead he has the Manager to be the successor which everybody abandoned him when he needed help. I find it funny that Kanmuri's father had no mouth at all. The next episode has Team Pantasia making seaweed bread with some famous person showing up.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

xxxHolic 5

Manga Chapter 26

Doumeki is competing at an archery contest which Watankui and Himawari are cheering for him. Watankui suggested to come here since he was making Doumeki's lunch and get some alone time with Himawari. Doumeki wins the contest even though his good arm was still injured and puts his broken winning arrow in Watankui's bag. On his way back home, Watankui smells something good and follows the smell to an oden stand. He notices a fox kid who managed to scare each other which the kid throws the plates into the air. Watankui catches all the plates who becomes startled by another fox. The fox gives Watankui some oden as most humans wouldn't notice the stand without high spirital powers. The younger fox kept looking at Watankui's bag which he was interested in Doumeki's broken arrow. Watankui gives him the broken arrow as he didn't need it. The fox is interested in rare things which the arrow is actually an Hajaya which is something of extreme spiritual power. The arrow is payment for the oden which the fox gives him some oden to take back to Yuuko. Watankui comes back to the shop which Yuuko notices the crest on the cloth to be Fox Oden. As Yuuko and Mokona sat outside watching the moon, she mentions that tomorrow will be a full moon and needs to prepare for it.

Yuuko has Watankui to take a package back to the oden stand along with a backpack which will help Watankui to deal with spirits on the full moon and Friday the 13th. Watankui doesn't understand why he has to do this on such a dangerous day as he encounters a couple of living shadows. Some spirits begin to chase him as he opens up the backpack to find Mokona who suggests that they should play Shiritori (word game that requires you to say a word that begins with the final kana of the previous word). Mokona starts the game which Watankui decides to play along and makes the spirits disappear. They do this back and forth until Watankui couldn't think of a word and falls down. The spirits clipped the package before Watankui could start the game again. After a while, Watankui and Mokona managed to reach the stand as the fox explains that Shiritori is a defense charm against spirits. Watankui gives the package to the fox which appears to be an empty bird cage but it actually contains two birds whose shadows can be only seen during a full moon. The fox was interested in the birds when he talked to Yuuko last time but one of the birds is injured when the spirits attacked the cage. Without Shiritori, the bird's injuries would be a lot worse. The arrow healed the bird's tail when it was put over the moonlight. The two birds flew away towards the moon which the small fox can take Watankui and Mokona home with the power of the arrow. Watankui and Mokona ate some oden which the small fox wanted to play Shiritori and started out with oden which you can't make any words with it. Yuuko sits alone in the moonlight with the two birds and cheers to the moon.

This story is based on a small chapter that was expanded with the Shiritori game and the moonlight birds. It was a good story where there was nothing serious brooding over them. The second half of the episode is all anime original while the only difference in the first half is scenes with the archery competition. The next episode involves a computer user who can't stop using the internet.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pani Poni Dash Review

Pani Poni Dash is basically Azumanga Daioh on crack. It has the all woman main cast that takes place in a high school which they don't seem to care about love that much. It even has a child genius but this time the genius is teaching the students instead of being a student. It crams all sort of Japanese pop culture references from live-action series to video games. It really has no plot at all even though it has episodes that resemble a plot to it but it really doesn't. There's no normal character in the series as all the main characters and supporting characters are all weird to some sort of degree. It's a really good series to watch but it did drag on towards the end as it wasn't as funny. It has some nice animation and the music was fine when it was there. Pani Poni Dash is something to watch without thinking much and looking for a good laugh. I give Pani Poni Dash a 3.5 out of 5.

Honey and Clover II 4

Shuuji is watching the students preparing for the Hamabi Festival as he remembers a discussion with another staff member about Hagu going with Professor Belshire to study abroad and worries if she's planning to go back to Nagano after graduation. She's wondering if Hagu is worried about being a burden to Shuuji after graduation. He says to himself that it will be the last festival together for everyone and tells them to do their best. Hagu was searching through his drawers when she finds an old postcard of a painting done by Munch. She notices that it has moonlight reflected off the ocean which he couldn't figure out at first until going to a Munch exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. He remembers being with Rika and Harada at a river with the moonlight reflecting in a similar way. Harada decides to go into the river as Shuuji stops him which Rika wanted to go into the river as well. Harada goes into the river which Shuuji holds her back which he wants her to go into the river as well. Shuuji wakes up from the memory which made him remember the accident that took Harada away from everyone along with Rika's pain. She decided to stop eating to escape the pain which Shuuji made her eat again if she wants to see Harada in the truest sense. She decided to bury herself in Harada's work which he realize that he was the third wheel to Harada and Rika and only could watch over their happiness. He was about to throw Rika off the roof when Rika notice him and tells him that they should seperate. As he watches the sleeping Hagu, he hopes that Mayama can be able to carry you to your future. Rika and Mayama sends off a client at the train station. They were about to leave when a train heading to Sapporo just arrived which Rika looked at. Mayama decides to force Rika into the train. She wanted to get off at the next stop but he wants to go to Sapporo. A train attendant asks them for their tickets which Mayama was about to apologize but Rika asks him if they still have a room as she wants to go to Sapporo. They have about 17 hours until they arrive at Sapporo and decided to relax as they don't have anything to do their work with.

Mayama tries to isolate himself from Rika but he couldn't sleep in the room because of his build. They slept in seperate beds as he wore his clothes instead of the robe provided by the train. The next day, they arrived at Sapporo which they head for Rika's home which is outside of the city. They arrived at the ruins of her home which was destroyed shortly after her father's death as Harada helped her to oversee the destruction of the house. She opens a bag of biscuits and puts some of them in the ground and buried them for her dog, Shiro. She tells about her dog who has been with her until high-school and thanks Mayama for bringing her here as she couldn't do this alone. Mayama and Rika slept together for the night which the next day, Rika tried to sneak off but an alarm sounded off. Mayama knew that she would try to sneak off and confronts her about the single plane ticket and apartment. He thinks that Rika is going to end her life once she finished with all of Harada's jobs and says that involving him is a big mistake as he's going to follow her. He begins to cry and asks her to live. Then Mayama asks her to go outside and get some tea as he needs to collect himself but takes Rika's purse. He checkouts the hotel and book a flight which he has tea with her. Then two days later, he sees her off and then realizes that she changed the apartment into a two-bedroom apartment.

It seems that Mayama has managed to begin to open Rika's eyes as she doesn't just see Harada anymore but Mayama as well. Shuuji's love for Rika was so great that he was willing to help to end her life by pushing her off the roof so she can meet Harada properly. He knew that Mayama will be the one who'll be able to move Rika away from the past and into the future and so far, he's right about that. It looks like that Yamada will be sad that she will never be able to have Mayama. The next episode continues the Yamada arc with Nomiya returning back to Tokyo which brings me to this question. When are we going to have an episode with just Hagu, Takemoto, or Moriya? This is just getting ridulcous now.