just dropping by

7 Jan

inu-yasha1.jpgit’s been awhile since i had spent a portion of my free time to anime. i’m always full of plans of how i’m going to expound on a favorite series, or rhapsodize over some deeply affecting scene, or describe how some wacky character cracked me up, etc., but somehow things (like work, sleep, appointments) have a way of interfering with my plans *sigh*

having got that off my chest, i will instead talk about some of the titles that i managed to watch lately: School Rumble (ssn 1, ssn 2, OVA), Howl’s Moving Castle, Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa, He’s My Master, Scrapped Princess, Abenobashi Magical Shopping District, Mahou Tsukai Tai.

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of this mini-pile, i guess it won’t come as a surprise that H. Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle gets tops marks from me. although the story is fairly predictable (it’s based on a book by Diana Wynne Jones), the excellent animation, beautiful music, interesting characters, and miyazaki’s deft touch elevate this film into something else. naturally i watched the japanese version, although i did like the fact that Billy Crystal voiced Calcifer and Christian Bale (yayy!) provided the voice for Howl in the Hollywood version of this movie). this may not rank as HM’s best work but i loved it.

s-rumble2.jpgSchool Rumble must be one the funniest series i’ve come across in a long time. a single paragraph won’t suffice to describe what i think about this whacked-out funny show, so let me just sum things up by saying that i chortled like a banshee at a couple of episodes (i usually watch well past midnight so you could just imagine how my neighbors feelt about that). i’m glad now i didn’t read any review of this series, because i was suprised at how much i enjoyed not knowing what was going to happen next.

what’s the show about? here’s a borad a hint: its a high school comedy where A loves B who loves C, who of course loves somebody else, and so on… (described by its bemused fans as a “love polygon”), and with characters so colorful you begin to feel how lifeless and dull your high school years have been in comparison. and oh, despite their idiotic and dense personalities, i’m rooting for Kenji Harima and Tenma Tsukamoto. this one’s a keeper. i have already wathced it 3 time and will probably watch it again soon.

FMP: Conqueror of Shamballa picks up where FMP the series left off — with Edward Elric existing in an alternative world (ours) where science, and not magic, reigns supreme. you need to be familiar with the storyline to really appreciate its details. It’s a blend of action, drama and comedy [check OAV? movie? time], and the touching premise of the Elric brothers’ filial devotion runs through the whole feature like a well-worn pair of shoes.

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He’s My Master is one of those generic comedy series that’s obviously geared towards pubescent males (with a lot of fanservice features thrown in). frankly i couldn’t wait til the 3rd episode was over so i could move on to the next feature. it just didn’t sit well with me… Same with Trouble Chocolate. i couldn’t even manage to finish the opening episode. i guess, i’m just not into this male-teenage-dork-with-a-gorgeous-female-robot thing. i have a smallish pile of similar shows that’s gathering dust in a tucked-away corner of my cabinet (can’t even remember their titles). i’m not sure if i’ll ever get to the point of watching any of them; maybe i’ll just let them sit there until somebody comes in and takes them off my hands.

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I revisited Abenobashi MSD (i had seen it about 2 years ago) and, like School Rumble, it’s chock-full of parody elements. i’m glad now that i had taken the time to watch it at a more leisurely pace. though not exactly a personal favorite, it was sufficiently funny to to make me willingly sit through the whole series (13 eps).

mtt1.jpgAs for Mahou Tsukai Tai (Magic Users Club)… well, let’s just say i much preferred the OVA to the TV series, which was funnier and more dynamic. it took me a long time to find a decent copy of this title so i was rather excited to get my copy about 2 weeks ago. i wish they has taken the time to really polish the story because this could have been a whole lot better. i found some parts of it funny (*giggles*). The series started fine, but i found the second half tedious and boring.

Scrapped Princess is part action, part fantasy series with a healthy dose of comedy thrown in as well as several dramatic moments. The premise looks deceptively simple (at the start it felt like a medieval adventure romp) until the story moves into the middle episodes. oddly enough, i kept thinking about “The Matrix” while i was watching it. Great artwork. it won’t get into my list of favorite shows but i’ll definitely keep this one.

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