Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good News For Fans Of K-ON!

Second season, yes!! The airing date hasn't been announced yet, but I'm looking forward to it. ^^

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

If I were in Japan this February, I would definitely go to this XD

According to the official Japanese Mai-Hime website, a "Hime Night" event is going to be held at Ikebukuro's Cinema Sunshine at night on Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 20 to celebrate the re-release of Mai-Hime on Blu-Ray.

The guests for the first night will be Nakahara Mai (the seiyuu who played Tokiha Mai), Shimizu Ai (Minagi Mikoto), and the show's producer.

The guests for the second night will be Shindou Naomi (Fujino Shizuru), Nanri Yuuka (Yuuki Nao), and the producer again. (The ANN encyclopedia entry for MH lists two producers, though, so it'll probably be a different producer on each night?)

The first 13 episodes of Mai-Hime will be screened on the first night and the last 13 episodes will be screened on the second night. (In Blu-Ray, I'm presuming.)

More details on what will happen at the event and ticket information will be released at some point in January. It would not only be very cool (for me, being a seiyuu-otaku) to see the MH seiyuu live, but also to collectively fangeek over the show with other fans of the series. XD

And only 1 more day until the final episode of Sasameki Koto! ^^ (Whoops- I initially thought that it would be 12 episodes since it's listed as 12 on CR- not that I'm complaining about getting one more episode than I  expected. ^__^) Can't wait!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Yuri Anime Final Impressions: Kämpfer

Kämpfer tries to be two different things at once: a sexy action series and a zany romantic comedy, with harem, gender-bending, and yuri tropes thrown in for extra flavor. It fails on both counts, but at least it seems to know that it can't take itself seriously...until the end, when it tries to force laughably bad melodrama onto the viewers and (intentionally) make them laugh at the same time. And even if a terrible series knows that it ain't exactly Cowboy Bebop, that doesn't change the fact that it sucks.

After having Natsuru transfer to the all-girls' side of his high school, Student Council President Shizuku decides to pursue male-Natsuru, even while competing against Akane (the meganekko who prefers male-Natsuru), Sakura (the girl Natsuru likes, who prefers female-Natsuru), the rest of the students enrolled in the girls' side of the high school (who all prefer female-Natsuru), and eventually, Mikoto (Natsuru's childhood friend, who prefers male-Natsuru). Different things happen, like a bra-shopping and karaoke outing, the school cultural festival (this was the best part of the series, imo; I'm a sucker for otaku references, like the cosplay worn by the guys trying to sneak into the girls' side, or the Utena/Sailor Moon/Suzumiya Haruhi references during the beauty pageant), different girls taking Natsuru on dates, a group sleepover at Sakura's house (of course, with Sakura's real objective being to sleep with female-Natsuru), and a trip to stay at a hotel with a pool and public bathing area. During the hotel arc, we find out that Sakura is eeevil, and has a harem of White Kämpfers (as opposed to the Blue and Red Kämpfers, which were the only groups known up to that point) that attack Natsuru and co. Sakura tries to make Natsuru seduce Shizuku, and of course, he fails. Eventually Sakura's White Kämpfers attack Akane, Mikoto, and Shizuku while Natsuru is under Sakura's control. Natsuru breaks free, a battle ensues in which clothes shred like tissue paper and the characters scream and charge forward with the worst insert song ever playing in the background...Sakura and the White Kämpfers lose and retreat, of course. And an explanation is given for the existence of the Red and Blue Kämpfers (but not the White ones) that doesn't make any sense. That ends the series proper.

But wait! There's a Christmas special afterward that features the Entrails Animals (dare I say that Harakiri Tiger makes a better protagonist than Natsuru? Aside from that awful Muppet-voice...) switching bodies with Natsuru and co., and going on a Christmas Eve date with Sakura. We kind of find out who Natsuru ultimately chooses (wtf), and Sakura turns out to be Santa. The end.

The art is consistently crisp and clean-looking, but average. The story's a joke, but it had some entertaining bits. Kämpfer isn't the worst show airing this season (that honor goes to Sora no Otoshimono), but it's still a disposable series.

Story: Wtf?
Art: C+
Overall: D+

I wonder why Akane is the only character whose personality changes when she becomes a Kämpfer. Eh...not really.

Completely unrelated anecdote: Yesterday evening, several of my relatives from Colombia came over for a post-Christmas holiday dinner. When one of them asked me "¿Tú me recuerdas?" ("Do you remember me?"), I said "Hai!" when I meant to say "¡Sí!" A few other times throughout the evening, I found myself mentally translating English into Japanese when I intended to say something in Spanish, and having to re-translate it before I said it. TT__TT Didn't mention it, though, since who mixes up Japanese and Spanish...?

BGM- "Howling" by abingdon boys school

Friday, December 25, 2009

YES!!!!! More Mai-Hime!!! XD

In manga form, that is. :3  (Although I would LOVE another animated Mai series.)

The all-new Mai-Hime EXA manga will launch in the February 2010 issue of Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh, which is due out on January 27. ^^ (Dengeki Daioh's the same magazine that To Aru Kagaku no Railgun is running in.)

This one looks more promising than the previous manga adaptation of Mai-Hime- at least as far as the art goes. ^^; (It looks closer to Hirokazu Hisayuki's original character designs.) While the first Mai-Hime manga was drawn by Satou Kenetsu (art of Seikon no Qwaser), the art in Mai-Hime EXA will be by Kōteiryū (art of Maji-Kyū 4-Koma Fate/stay night). Mai-Hime EXA will be written by Sukukaze Ryo (original concept of the Demonbane OVA, story of the .hack//cell manga, story of the Idolmaster: XENOGLOSSIA manga and novels), instead of Kimura Noboru, who wrote the first MH manga (along with the script, screenplay, or series composition of several different series). Hopefully Sukukaze and Kōteiryū will do a good job with this new series. :) (And just as importantly, hopefully "Yatate Hajime" will allow them to do a good job. At least, what I would consider good. *cough*Don'tmakeTatetheleadagain.*cough*)


a PV for Ryukishi07's Ookami Kakushi anime has been released!! XD Episode 1 of Ookami Kakushi will premiere on January 7.

I'm really excited for this one. Hopefully it'll provide more of Ryukishi07's signature mystery-horror goodness until season 2 of Umineko appears. (What a brilliantly cracked finale. :-) Poor Ange, though. I like her much more than Battler.) Fans who are following the Higurashi manga in English, of course, can also look forward to the next volume of the Curse Killing Arc on February 23.

BGM- "Honey Bee" by v(neu)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yuri クリスマス

Yay, Christmas! XD I can't believe it's already here, quite honestly... Even though the Christmas season will soon be over, I wanted to put together a small list of all of the yuri/yuri subtext anime episodes I can think of that take place on Christmas Eve or Christmas (or feature the characters preparing to celebrate it). My opinion of each episode will be underneath each description.

Aoi Hana episode 11 ("Fireworks in Winter")- While spending Christmas Eve with Akira, Fumi remembers who her first love is.

It's kind of funny that this episode aired in the summer. Easily one of the single best episodes of anime that I've watched this year. (Of course at this point, nobody who reads this blog would be surprised that I'm raving about Aoi Hana yet again. ^^)

Azumanga Daioh episode 17 ("Osaka's Scary Story / Feeling Different / Running Teacher / Incredible Santa / Christmas Meeting")- More of the usual hijinks with the Azumanga girls, culminating in the ultimate karaoke performance on Christmas Eve. Plus, Chiyo's "father"- 'nuff said.

Candy Boy episode 2 ("Can I have this,"- Kanade and Yukino go shopping for Christmas presents for each other the day before winter break.

I've never really gotten into Candy Boy (although I like the art), but I'm sure fans of CB's signature blend of slice-of-life fluff and light yuri already really dig this episode.

Devil Lady episode 11 ("Box")- Asuka summons Jun to kill a Devilbeast at a department store on Christmas Eve, causing Jun to miss her planned evening with Kasumi- and Jun finds that her "prey" is still more human than Asuka anticipated.

Very good, and different from most of the titles listed here. For people who like DL's trademark fusion of crack horror, human drama, and yuri, this is an immensely entertaining episode.

Hidamari Sketch episode 12 ("December 25: Goodbye Ume-sensei")- Sae's sister Chika visits her, and mingles with the residents of Hidamari Apartments on Christmas Eve. After Chika leaves, Yuuno reflects on how much she has enjoyed the year since she moved to Hidamari.

A really sweet finale for the first season. I liked the ending in particular, since Yuuno's reflections on living in a dorm for the first time do ring true. There are a few little Hiro x Sae moments, and Shinbo Akiyuki's direction still shines here.

Ichigo Mashimaro episode 12 ("Present")- Chika, Ana, and Miu realize that Matsuri still believes in Santa Claus, and they and Nobue decide to dress up as Santa and his reindeer and leave Matsuri a present to preserve her belief in Santa.

Such a dopey-sounding premise...but *such* a good episode. I love Ichigo Mashimaro's dry sense of humor. :-) And as always, Miu is an evil genius. (Although some of the other characters have their shining moments, too.)

Kämpfer episode 12 ("Christmas Day: Miracle of the Entrails Animals")- The Entrails Animals switch bodies with (female) Natsuru and company, and wind up going on a date with Sakura on Christmas Eve.

Wtf was this?

Kashimashi OVA ("A Girl Falls in Love with a Girl")- Yasuna, Sora-sensei, and the rest of the gang help Hazumu win Tomari back on Christmas Eve.

Silly but cute. A lot of people didn't like this OVA, but I thought it was entertaining.

K-ON! episode 7 ("Christmas!")- The members of the light music club throw a Christmas party, inviting Yui's sister Ui and her friend Nodoka. Sawako-sensei shows up unexpectedly, and they exchange gifts. On New Year's Day, the light music club members visit a local shrine and pray for their club's success.

Just a fun holiday episode. ^^ The flashback to Yui and Ui's childhood Christmas was incredibly cute, and the rest of the episode was plain funny. (My favorite moment = Mugi thinking that "this is the best Christmas" she's ever had.)

Maria-sama ga Miteru season 1 episodes 10-11 ("Forest of Thorns", "White Petals"), and season 4 episode 7 ("Blank Map of the Future")- In "Forest of Thorns" and "White Petals", the Yamayurikai plan their Christmas party and a flashback reveals the story of Sei's first love. In "Blank Map of the Future", the Yamayurikai throw a Christmas party and Yumi asks Touko to be her petite soeur.

I absolutely love these episodes, even if they aren't the most uplifting ones in the Marimite canon. (Especially "White Petals.") And come to think of it, today would be Sei's birthday. XD お誕生日おめでとう、聖様。

Ninja Nonsense! (or Ninin ga Shinobuden) episode 10 ("Ninja Christmas"/Ninja, Cursed")- In the first half of the episode ("Ninja Christmas"), Kaede shows Shinobu, Onosokomaru, and the other ninjas how to celebrate Christmas properly on Christmas Eve. She tells Shinobu that she should spend Christmas Eve with the person she loves. Shinobu says that she's already doing that, and after several unsuccessful guesses Kaede finally clues in. In "Ninja, Cursed", Shinobu unwittingly unleashes a not-so-terrible curse on the other ninjas and Kaede as they prepare for the New Year.

Just cute, silly fun, especially in "Ninja Christmas." With a dash of self-aware otaku humor, to boot.

R.O.D. the TV episode 10 ("A Christmas Carol")- On Christmas Eve, Nene, Michelle, Maggie, and Anita attend the 10th Annual Young Writers' Award reception, where Nene announces that she's beginning a new novel. When they return to Nene's apartment, the Paper Sisters tell Nene about how they first met two years ago on Christmas Eve.

There isn't really any yuri (text or subtext) in this episode, but it's still very good. Seeing Nene snap out of her writers' block and begin her new novel = absolute win.

It's good to be home. Merry Christmas!!

(Plus- saw something cool at the Hallmark at my local mall today yesterday. They had a Christmas card in Japanese. ^^ It's just a minor thing, but I thought it was neat.)

BGM- "White Light" by Amuro Namie

Update on 12/17/2011: When I wrote this post, I screencapped streams, even for the series available on R1 DVD, because I can't screencap DVDs. I stupidly didn't realize that that would encourage people to watch, say, Kashimashi fansubbed rather than buy the English-translated DVDs that Media Blasters released. For anyone who can watch it without region restrictions, Nozomi Entertainment has Maria-sama ga Miteru streaming legally. You should watch it there or on DVD rather than illegally. Azumanga Daioh, Devilman Lady/The Devil Lady, Hidamari Sketch, Kämpfer, K-ON, Ninin ga Shinobuden/Ninja Nonsense, and R.O.D. the TV are also available on R1 DVD. Hidamari Sketch and Kämpfer are streaming legally on The Anime Network.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oooh, ahhh... *キラキラ*

Crunchyroll just announced their Sasameki Koto contest today! ^^ Anybody who identifies the episode and time code for each of the five "kiss" scenes marked by CR will be automatically entered to win one of 2 free premium 6 month CR memberships being given away. (If only more contests could be won by watching yuri. :) )

I've really been enjoying the Aoi-arc (Yuri-Fes ftw!!), which drew to a close with today's episode. The next and final episode should be the summer festival one. It will be a nice, feel-good way to end the series...but I still want another season!! lol ^^; I would love to see the later manga volumes of SK  animated. What has been adapted has been fun, though.

Love Sumi's imagination. ^^
(Aoi has a pretty nice imagination too, but I find Sumi's lasciviousness self-honesty more appealing.)

Looking forward to the final episode!
(For me, it'll be a post-exam treat.)

BGM- "Kiss" (Sasameki Koto OST)

*The katakana in the post title can be romanized as "kirakira", which roughly means "sparkling." The More You Know =☆

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wintery Yuri Fun

"Won't have as much time for posts from now until winter break begins on December 23."

Biggest understatement ever. ^^;; Sorry about the lack of posts recently. Only 3 more days of class! And then final exams will be taken, papers will be handed in, a few people might drink themselves silly to celebrate, and all will go somewhere for winter break. After finals have finished extracting what little soul I have left, my hebetudinous flesh-husk will migrate back to Florida and bask in the (relative) warmth of the subtropics. ;) (The snow here is really pretty, though.❤)

On that note, since we're in the middle of the holiday season, I'm posting a batch of Christmas/winter-themed fan art for yuri/yuri-subtext anime and manga.

From Aoi Hana (*squeal*):

From Azumanga Daioh (the third pic's my favorite ^^):

From Cardcaptor Sakura:


From Choir!:

From Ga-Rei -Zero- (featuring appropriately-colored lettering :) ):


From Girl Friends (cute! Oh...and the latest chapter of Girl Friends was ❤. Finally, progress!!):


From Hayate x Blade (reminding me once again why I love Ayana):

From Ichigo Mashimaro (episode 12 of Ichigo Mashimaro ranks as one of the funniest Christmas episodes broadcast anywhere, ever; I must re-watch it during winter break XD):


From Kannazuki no Miko:


From K-ON! (another Christmas episode I'll have to re-watch; there's also the Aoi Hana finale... *begins planning yuri Christmas-special marathon for winter break*):

From Lucky Star:

From Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha (more motivation for me to watch StrikerS. XD I've gotten farther through season 1, and it has been getting better):


From Mai-HiME (a クリスマス デート):

From Maria-sama ga Miteru (can't have too much Sei this holiday season):


From Negima:

From Noir (love Santa Kirika and Chloe, even though Mireille's head makes her look a little bit like a Martian):

From Saki:

From To Aru Kagaku no Railgun (Kuroko's having a very merry Christmas, indeed; aughh, I want to see episode 11, now!!!):

And since I probably won't publish another post by then, a Happy First Night of Hannukah to everybody who will begin celebrating it tomorrow!! :)

 BGM- "Itsuka no Merry Christmas" by B'z