Archive | August, 2007

yakitate japan: bread, anyone?

13 Aug

Yakitate Japan (should have been “Ja-pun” if you ask me) was surprisingly entertaining and funny. Seriously, i didn’t think that a series about bread and bakers would be all that interesting, but you’d amazed at how much story they can pour into a single bun. the play on words (you have to read fast to appreciate the humor in some of the gags they came up with) and the characters — particularly the judges — who are cast into transports of joy and blissful trance in reaction to the taste of baked goodies are simply out-of-this-world.

Talk about absurd. it looks like the series (3 story arcs so far) isn’t winding down anytime soon, which leaves me wondering what the writers will come up with to complement what they’d already done…

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 more importantly, could those over-the-top gastronomic reactions ever be surpassed? or is there anything more unlikely than a sunglass-wearing, black-shirted muscle-bound baker with an afro hairdo?

all-purpose catgirl nuku-nuku

13 Aug

i’m still working my way through All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku-Nuku (TV series). It’s a fairly well-loved oldie (late 1990s i think) and just happens to feature the iconic voice of my favorite seiyuu Megumi Hayashibara as the super girl android who will do anything  to protect her ‘brother.’

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sadly though, i realized too late that this was not the original OVA (which was released in the early 1990s) that i had wanted to see all this time. in this version, they toned down the original antagonist of the series, Mrs. Ryonosuke, and added another baddie. this time, the focus is mostly on Nuku-Nuku’s travails as she learns — with hilarious results — how to co-exist with her human (high school) classmates.

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elf princess rane: a goofy delight

13 Aug

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the last few days have given me enough time to sift through the latest additions to my anime archives. one of them happens to be an oldie title that cost me considerable time and resources to secure.

as advertised, Elf Princess Rane turned out to be rollicking romp. it’s a type of anime feature that requires repeated viewings from a serious anime fan to appreciate the true dimensions of its chaotic, demented plotline and its zany, self-absorbed characters.

despite its short length (2 OVA episodes), it’s well stocked with standard anime parodies — watch out for its adventure-crazy, reality-challenged protagonist (Takarada Go), his innumerable sisters, and this guy with the huge, wavy hair rane1.jpg(he’s a riot!) — and verbal puns that will make your head spin. Beware, though, you need to be a really fast reader (or a sharp listener if you opt for the english version) in order to keep up with what everyone is is saying. most of the characters here talk funny, some are just plainly weird.

full metal panic!: a rip-roaring experience

13 Aug

it’s been a while since i had last made changes here. i think this is the first this is the first post i had written in a long time. and what a pleasure it is to go back to a long-time favorite anime that has given me a lot of pleasant memories…

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cast of characters. one of Full Metal Panic‘s (FMP) main selling point is the fantastic chemistry between the main protagonists: sgt. sosuke sagara, a highly trained 17-year-old combat expert sent by MITHRIL to protect kaname chidori, a beautiful and brilliant but temperamental high school student. In theory, they’re like oil and water. And given their respective backgrounds, you know that there are bound to be some explosive confrontations. but when sparks begin to fly, the interplay between these two can range from funny, violent, touching, to ludicrous, and occasionally sweet.

so, what makes this pair special? hmm, let’s see… how about sosuke‘s hilarious inability to blend in with his new surroundings and his over-the-top misinterpretation of ordinary events? sprinkle that with kaname‘s often violent and exasperated response (which isn’t all that hard to understand, mind you) as she tries her best to minimize the damage that sosuke’s actions invariably create. to put it simply, they are a joy to watch. no other anime couple has completely and effortlessly won me over as much as sosuke and kaname have.

other notable characters include the cute but klutzy capt. tessa testarossa, skirt-chasing kurz weber, the highly capable and sexy military babe melissa mao, kaname’s best friend kyoko tokiwa, etc. most of the major characters act and sound like real people; they are vividly brought to life, thanks mostly to the spot-on performance of their seiyuus.

the story. this anime combines hardcore action (battle scenes involving robots [arm slaves!], tanks, planes, surface ships, submarines and plenty of infantry hardware), comedy, romance and science fiction, which accounts for its continuing popularity among its legion of male and female fans. It is loosely based on our own timeline (parallel reality) with many notable differences. basically it deals with MITHRIL (this name should ring a bell among tolkien fans; another familiar term: Tuatha de Danaan), a stealthy and powerful paramilitary organization whose agenda includes fighting against various terrorist groups and ensuring that the “whispered” (individuals with special knowledge and abilities) do not fall into wrong hands. sosuke, melissa, tessa and kurz are members of this organization. both tessa and kaname are “whispered”.

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animation. great artwork! FMP looks and sounds far better than most of its contemporaries. animation is crisp and clear, and you can see that considerable attention has been to devoted to make the action scenes look dynamic and free-flowing.

other points. the dubbed version (english) of this anime is topnotch; it’s one of a few titles that i would willingly watch both in english and japanese.

FMP, which is adapted from the popular light novel series penned by Shouji Gatou, is available 3 anime adaptations: Full Metal Panic!, FMP? Fumoffu, and FMP: The Second Raid. There is also a short OVA: The Second Raid OVA.i’ve watched all three at least 5 times. my favorite is FMP? Fumoffu.