Phoenix512's Anime Blog

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

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Honey and Clover II 10

Yamada visits Hagu to give her some food which the doctor tells her that she's with Shuuji. She asks the doctor about Hagu's condition when they hear a boy complaining about his own rehab. The doctor tells her that he got into a car accident last month and that rehab is a battle against pain which even adults have trouble with. Most people would stop rehab once they gained a certain amount of control back but Hagu needs to regain her full movement. The doctor believes that Hagu's fear of not being able to draw is stronger than her fear of pain. Hagu and Shuuji shows up which Yamada gives her the food which emits a very bad odor. Hagu likes it while the doctor became very sick along with the boy and his mother (while Yamada thinks that her cooking is good even though Shuuji said otherwise.) Later that night, she notices a bottle of sake with Morita's name on it and thinks about him. She remembers the promise that he said he would leave a phone behind when he disappears again which he didn't keep. Mayama keeps Carlos out of Rika's room when he receives an email from Yamada. Takemoto inspects some pieces that Yamada had when Morita shows up and asking where Hagu is. Yamada asks where he been and tells him where Hagu is which he takes off in order to avoid the faculty. Takemoto wonder about Morita and how he knew about Hagu which Yamada asked Mayama to find him. He tries to chase after him only to hurt himself while jumping out of the window. He decides to confess his feelings to Hagu regardless how powerless he is.

Hagu and Shuuji were working on their rehab when they heard the cries of the boy again who wants to quit rehab. Shuuji takes Hagu outside who wants her to release her emotions which she says that if she does that, she wouldn't be able to stop. She's afraid that Shuuji would hate her one day for this but he won't do that even after all the things that she did as a child. Hagu admits that she's scared and asks him what living means. She tells him about how she saw God when she was little and wondered how she would live without drawing. She made a promise that if she can't draw anymore, she would return to God. Morita finds Hagu and Shuuji which Shuuji leaves to get a drink and approaches Hagu at that moment. Shuuji finds that Hagu is gone which Takemoto shows up and tells him that Morita found out about Hagu's injury. Morita takes Hagu to his place as Hagu asks him about the places he visited and promises that she would get better. Morita asks her to stop drawing as it's absurd to think that you need to leave something behind in order to have meaning. He believes that living is just enough and being together is enough. Hagu was surprised by Morita's words of kindness as he never really show this side to him before. Shuuji and Takemoto couldn't find Hagu as they realized that she's with Morita. Shuuji tells Takemoto that he's going to take a sabbatical as he can't balance both Hagu and his work. He wants her to choose between Morita and him which she picks Morita that he would travel around the world. Takemoto can't believe that Shuuji would do this and that he won't give up on Hagu.

This episode has Morita returning to the lives of the main cast after his little sideplot with his brother. He show a side of Hagu which he rarely expresses which is his kind side. I didn't expect that Morita could be the one who will save Hagu or that she would have that strong of feelings towards him. Hagu must make a difficult choice soon as she must choose between Morita, Takemoto, and Shuuji. It seems that Shuuji would be happy regardless of the person she chooses while Takemoto has the least to offer to Hagu but wants to see it through to the end. The next episode continues with Hagu's story.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Black Cat Review

Black Cat is about an assassin named Train who decides to foresake the organization called Chronos and become a sweeper which is someone who captures criminals without killing them. Along the way he joins up with another sweeper named Sven who has the ability to foresee into the future with his eye, a girl made up of nanomachines named Eve, and a thief named Rinslet. Their overall goal is to stop another former Chronos assassin named Creed who wants to take over the world with another organization that uses Tao magic.

The characters seemed to shift between serious and comicial which I didn't mind it too much as the comedy aspect wasn't overbearing. As for Train's sudden change of personality, I did not like how that happen. I think the writers were too lazy to come up with a gradual change and decided to move the story timeframe by six months. I liked assassin Train compared to sweeper Train. Sven and Eve were pretty good characters but Rinslet was the one who got the least amount of character development. Also, it should ended at episode 19 but in order to get a decent episode count they decided to do a four episode arc with Eve which was a bad way to end the series. The reason say that is it should end with Train and Creed which happened in episode 19. I felt the last four episodes were more like one massive teamup with all the characters and such. I like the action sequences along with animation and music.

Overall, Black Cat is a good series to watch but I felt there should be more or just end at episode 19 for a better way to end the series. So I give Black Cat a 3.5 out of 5.

Monday, September 04, 2006

School Rumble S2 7

Tenma and the others decided to have a picnic in the forest which Harima and Hanai are hauling their stuff. For Hanai, he had some extra luggage in terms of Imadori who hid in the huge bag as he was just lazy to walk. Tenma opened the bento that Yakumo made which only contained rice as Tenma forgot to the rest of the food in it. So Tenma and Eri decided to make onigiri which Harima immediately objected as he didn't want to eat their onigiri from what happened last time. So he suggested that he would cook since he brought cooking supplies which the girls accepted. Hanai thinks that Harima's cooking would be bad and were about to get into a fight until Arika suggested that they should have a cooking contest which Imadori decided to enter as well in order to get a kiss from Miko. The rules of the contest is that they can cook anything they want but have to gather their own ingredients. Harima heads for the streams for his ingredients which he encounters a huge crab while Hanai gathered some wild plants and mushrooms until he sees a wild boar and attacks it.

Harima and Hanai come back and began to cook the meals while Imadori was taking a nap. Imadori made some curry which it was actually good and said some fancy chef words to make it sound complex but it was actually instant. Arika disqualified Imadori for it and got punched by Miko after showing a pair of D cups made from curry. Harima was the next one to showcase his meal which the judges experienced something of climbing a waterfall because of the Mozuku crab but Osakabe and Sasakura mentions that it was too salty since he did the flavoring in the wrong order. Hanai showed off his meal which everyone experienced being in a jungle with wild boars and felt sad. Then Hanai's sensei mentions that he forgot to remove the scum from the plants while telling Miko to go after Hanai. In the end, neither Hanai or Harima won as Eri's crossdressing maid end up winning.

Harima decides to get a job at an anime studio called Studio Homet. Sara and Asou work at a Chinese restraurant which their manager has to go to his wife since the baby is coming. Asou wanted to close the restraurant even though there was a reservation but before he could, a bunch of people came in and was forced to serve them. Yakumo works at a cosplay cafe which she is wearing a bunny costume. Hanai sees the sign outside and has his own image of Yakumo which was completely different from the actual costume. Even though it wasn't very sexy, she managed to get all the customers to stare at her all day. Nishimoto helps around at his family video store which he got some of his classmates to help out sorting videos. One of them finds a hidden door that contains treasure in it which Nishimoto guides them into the door. At WAS Burger, Ichidou and Lala worked there which Imadori wanted a kids meal. Ichidou couldn't give it to him and made her cry which Lala started to beat him up. Tenma works at a bakery and basically puts bread in a bag. Everytime she gets done with one batch, another batch is finished and gets tired immediately. Then she thinks the bread is Karasuma and collaspes afterwards. Arika works at a bookstore and mentions to Eri that she has another part-time job but it's a secret. Her job is a secret agent. Back at the restraurant, Sara and Asou managed to finish with the customers when the manager comes back saying that it wasn't his wife. Harima gets kicked out of the studio saying that it wasn't for him as Karasuma enters the studio as his manga is being made into an anime. The guys who helped out Nishimoto earlier are walking home from seeing the Sumo-Swimsuit series. Yakumo meets up with Tenma who decided to quit her job from the bakery while Imadori got his toy from the meal but beat up because of it. Harima, Tenma, Yakumo, and Eri sees Arika riding on a motorcycle with a girl being chased by a car which she manages to blow up with a grenade.

Well nothing really happened much in this episode as it was a wind-down episode to get away from the Cultural Festival. The cooking contest and the reactions remind me too much of Yakitate Japan. It was interesting to see some of the part time jobs that some of the students do (especially Arika's secret agent job.) I wouldn't mind having an entire episode based around that idea. The next episode revolves around Tenma's diet and a girls' basketball team.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fate/Stay Night Review

Fate/Stay Night is about a high school student named Emiya Shirou who gets caught into a magical war for the Holy Grail which he's the weakest Master. In order to have a chance in victory, he managed to summon a Servant under the name of Saber who was a heroic legend back in the day. Another Master and fellow classmate named Rin Tohsaka allied herself with Shirou to help him understand the rules of the war which occured every 10 years. In the final episode, Shirou faces off against a former Master in the previous war while Saber faces off against his Servant in order to save the life of Iliya who being used as a sacfrice to summon the Holy Grail.

Now when the series was being comfirmed as an anime, everyone was like, "This is going to be awesome." I was like, "Ok... I don't understand why everyone is going insane because of this series but ok, whatever." I think I tend to have a different hype sense with anime compared to most people. Most people were hyped about this series while I just thought "It's just another series." I think that Fate is an ok series but not this very great series that people put it to be. There was good character development overall and a sense of growth between them. I like the Hero concept with the Servants along with some good fight scenes. The thing that I didn't really like is like how they pull all these twists out of nowhere. It's like they couldn't do the story the normal way and decided to add odds against them like every episode towards the end. The music and animation was great.

Overall, Fate/Stay Night is a decent series to watch but it's up to you if you want to believe the hype of the series or not. The series was made for the fanboys of the Type Moon game and benefit them more than the normal anime fan. I'll give Fate/Stay Night a 3 out of 5.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Jigoku Shoujo 26 and Review

Jigoku Shoujo is about a girl named Emma Ai who takes revenge on behalf of others through a website called Hell Correspondance. She assisted by a team of Helpers to enact a scary illusion of the person's sins before she sends them to Hell. In the final episode of the series, Emma manages to avoid being sent to Hell and tries to get Tsugumi into enacting revenge on Hajime for not forgiving Ayumi for what she did to him. The end of the episode is open-ended which the next season will continue off. I personally think now that Emma is somewhat of a rogue agent of revenge now which she will immediately appeared when people could enact revenge on someone regardless if they requested it or not.

The series started off with self-contained stories of people requesting revenge and end up getting a better deal from it even though their souls will go to Hell in the end. Then the series started to have a consistant human characters with Tsugumi and Hajime which she has a link to Emma that allows her to see who's the next victim of revenge. Hajime tries to stop Emma multiple times from commiting revenge but usually falls short. Eventually he and Tsugumi will disagreed on the idea of revenge as she thinks it's a good thing until she sees a good person being sent to Hell for no reason at all while Hajime regrets thinking that he wanted his wife dead after she cheated on him. These two characters created an outside force trying to interfere with Jigoku Shoujo along with being to see what happens when a revenge occurs on the outside world. Through the course of the series, small parts of Emma's character was revealed until the final few episodes where her backstory was completely revealed. I wish that more things behind the system was revealed along with some character development of the Helpers (maybe in season two.)

The animation and music was really good. Overall, Jigoku Shoujo is a great show that gives an interesting aspect on the topic of revenge but it sometimes gets stale which doesn't happen for long periods of time. Another thing I wished to see in Season Two is something that involves Heaven and tries to stop Jigoku Shoujo from commiting revenge all the time. I'll give Jigoku Shoujo a 4.5 out of 5.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Honey and Clover II 9

Karou has left the city soon after he finished the takeover as Morita wonders if he did the right thing by staying with his brother instead of moving forward. He thinks back when he talks to Karou as he says that Morita stayed with him because he had to. Karou says that he couldn't see the light and doesn't have anything as he wonders what it would have been like to be Morita. Morita talks to Shiroyama which he says that exacting revenge isn't suited for someone with imagination which Kaoru is too kind to do it. Shiroyama says that Kaoru was very smart which Morita being by him prevented hurting himself. Shuuji asks Takemoto and Yamada to stay away as he tells them that Hagu is forcing herself to feel her right hand or otherwise she needs surgery. At that moment, Hagu calls out for Shuuji and tells him that she can feel her hand and goes into unconciousness since she refused to sleep along with painkillers. Yamada and Takemoto walked by home thinking about Hagu's inner strength to regain the use of her hand along with the possibility that she may not ever recovered. Yamada was looking at phones when Nomiya shows up. She tells him that she wants to help out as much as possible but thinks that she can't really do anything for Hagu. Nomiya tells Yamada that she shouldn't think that as she will drift away from Hagu by thinking that which she really needs the support of others in overcoming the challenge ahead of her. Yamada decides to listen to Nomiya's words while Miwako and Yamazaki were watching and praised him for the advice. While on the roof, Miwako manages to overload Yamazaki by saying that they are going to be friends forever. Yamada is making a sweater and thinking that she and Hagu are in different worlds which she will drift apart someday. The next day, Yamada gives Hagu the sweater she made which she notices that Yamada had a feather on her from cutting her father's jacket. Then she notices some more feathers which she looks like an angel to her.

Shuuji talks to the doctor head of Hagu's rehab which they had her touch some surfaces on various degrees of roughness. The doctor mentions that he should give Hagu a massage on her upper body. Takemoto was looking at some flowers when Yamada shows up but he can't really pay for them. She takes him to a place where they can pick out some flowers which they give to Hagu. She cries after receiving them which Takemoto and Yamada discovered from Shuuji that she can't feel anything on her fingertips. Shuuji says that they can't give up but they need to focus on their lives as well. Takemoto asks Shuuji about a guy who showed up last night which it was Hagu's father which he didn't really see her and left with a woman (I'm guessing stepmother.) Takemoto realizes that the place Hagu wanted to return isn't the same anymore and thinks that she can't take much more. He notices that she has been biting herself and eventually started to bite Shuuji as well. He receives a fax from Shin saying that they are working in Morioka and wants him to join them by mid-April. Takemoto is having doubts about whenever to accept the job and leave Hagu or stay in Tokyo and support her as getting money to support himself would be hard. If he spends all that time making money, he wouldn't have time for Hagu. If she gets better, what would he do then? He can't be a burden to her and give up his career for her. Takemoto finally understands the words that Mayama told him about saving up money in order for the love of his life to relax which he can't do for Hagu. He doesn't want to be apart from her as everyone is nearly alone.

Hagu begins her rehab to regain full use of her right hand which it will be a long road ahead for her but with the support of Shuuji, Yamada, and Takemoto she won't be alone at all. Yamada was wavering a bit as she thought she couldn't do anything for Hagu as they were from different worlds but Nomiya managed to get her back on the right path. Takemoto is facing a very difficult decision which he must decide between his career or Hagu. He wants to stay with Hagu but he cannot easily support himself while helping her at the same time. He needs money but at the same time, he doesn't want to leave Hagu. Only Takemoto could make this decision and no one can make it for him. There was one scene that was extremely confusing which was the part where Takemoto mentions to Shuuji about Hagu's father. We never actually see him there the first time around before Takemoto brings it up. I felt that there was an important part missing from that. The next episode continues with Hagu's rehab and Takemoto's decision between a career and Hagu.

Jigoku Shoujo 25

Hajime and Tsugumi are in the water as they see a light. Then the episode goes into the past with Sentarou waking up and telling his father to sell the sandles that he has been making instead of giving them away. He wants to help out his father but he tells him to play with Emma. She shows up a moment later crying as she was picked on by Koukichi. Sentarou decides to confront Koukichi and tries to fight him but his friends hold him back. Koukichi says that Emma is a monster as bizarre things happened around her like a dead butterfly coming back to life after holding it. The villagers say that Emma will cause a great catastrophe one day if she stays which Koukichi told her to leave. Sentarou breaks free and tries to fight him but ends up get beaten instead by the numbers game. At the river bed, Emma explains that the butterfly wasn't dead and apologizes for what happened. The story advances to winter when the village decides sacrifice Emma to the Mountain God which they tried to make it an honor but it's really to get rid of her bad luck. Sentarou tries to get them not sacrifice her but he has to try to find a replacement which was not possible. Emma undergoes the ceremony which her parents have a plan to protect Emma from the villagers. Some time later, the village is experiencing hardships as Sentarou makes runs to the mountain where Emma is hiding. Meanwhile, Emma is on the boat where she has sent many people to Hell.

The village's crops have failed along with lives of the villagers in danger when winter comes around. Later that night, Sentarou and Emma sing a song which they are happy. The happiness ends as the villagers discovered the two which they captured Ai as Sentarou is unable to do anything as he was pinned to the ground. The Helpers wanted to save Emma so many times as they were grateful to her for being not sent to Hell. Sentarou wanted to save Emma but his father would not allow him to stop the ceremony of forgiveness. The villagers kill both of her parents along with Emma and forced Sentarou to bury them but she was still alive. They continued to bury her as she felt betrayed by Sentarou and the villagers as he ran away. Sentarou returns to the village which he sees Emma burning it down as she sings that song. Sentarou runs away from the burning village which the story ends there. Hajime and Tsugumi saw the whole story as she doesn't understand Sentarou while Hajime does.

Emma was a cursed girl who only brought destruction to the village which Sentarou wanted to save her but could not as the villagers pressured him into their way of thinking. She was like Hell Boy who couldn't really died at all. The question now is how Emma became Jigoku Shoujo in the first place. The final episode has Tsugumi making a difficult choice.