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What am I watching for the summer season? June 27, 2006

Posted by Lupus in Anime, Ramblings.
4 comments

Everyone’s doing their summer season line-ups, so there’s really no reason for me to post links and pics to every single summer season show. This post is to summarise what shows I’m likely to watch, and in what order of anticipation.

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The only Hachikuro fanart I can find on danbooru and it’s loli-Ayu. At least Hagu only LOOKS loli.

1. Honey & Clover II

Honey and Clover

2. ハチミツとクローバーII

Is so awesome that no words

3. Hachikuro II

Can do it justice.

4. Hachimitsu to Clover II

No words.

5. NHK ni Youkoso!

The manga started a little depressing but very funny. Now, in its fourth volume, I find it far more depressing than funny, as both Satou’s and Misaki’s problems really come to the fore. I’ll be watching this anyway because it is Welcome to the NHK!, but I don’t know if I’ll have the power to persevere through an entire season of it.

6. Coyote Ragtime Show

With a name like that and such strong production value, this is looking like it could be in the vain of similarly named Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. If it ends up like those shows than it will definitely be worth watching.

7. Tsuyokiss

I’ve been brainwashed by Ayyo. [zombie]cool x sweeeeet.[/zombie]

8. Tonagura

I hate harem show, but at least this one looks like it’ll be pretty, and possibly even funny. Hopefully on top of the prettiness it’ll have some substance to back it up.

9. Otogi Jushi Akazukin Bundan

I saw sketches for this in a magazine a few weeks ago, and I fell in the love with the cute but detailed character designs. I downloaded the first episode of the OVA but I still have to watch it. Again, hopefully there’s enough content to allow me to stay awake through the oh-so-pretty moving pictures.

This short list doesn’t mean I won’t watch the other shows, just that there is very little incentive for me to download them. If a show gets really good reps, I might give it a go. Hopefully there will be as many quality shows this season as there were last!

First Impression: TO LOVE Ru – Yabuki Kentaro’s new(ish) serialisation June 26, 2006

Posted by Lupus in First Impression, Manga.
9 comments

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Haruna-chan is so cute. Mikuru? Stuff her, Haruna-chan is MY idol.

Firstly, TO LOVE Ru, the new serialisation by Black Cat author Yabuki Kentaro, is NOT penned by Yabuki-sensei. Rather, the story is written by a fella who goes by the name of Hasemi Saki. Those who were disappointed by Black Cat's less than stella story and characterisation can rest assured – TO LOVE Ru definitely benefits from its author.

The story is basic, and very, VERY cliched. An alien comes to earth and decides, all by herself, to marry our hero. This alien's name is Lala and she is the princess of planet Deviluke, whose king rules much of the known universe. She comes to earth by teleporting out of her spaceship, right into the bathtub of Yuuki Rito, our unfortunate hero (by which I of course mean the luckiest-s.o.b. in the world). I say unfortunate because he already has a girl he likes (the second girl in the above image, Haruna-chan) and because of a startling revelation in chapter 6, which I won't spoil for you here. Since Lala is literally the heir to the entire universe, many suitors want her hand, and one by one they come to Earth to see this person who has so bewitched the princess.

Yabuki's drawing skills have not deteriorated after the manga that made him famous (as opposed to someone who drew the story of a feudal Japanese swordsman), and the girls in TO LOVE Ru are as alluring as the ones in Black Cat. More so, in fact, since this is a VERY fanservicy manga. Just in the first chapter alone, we see Lala naked and Haruna-chan in a swimsuit. Lala gets naked again in the second chapter, and Haruna-chan shows up a few times in her underwear. Chapter 7 takes it a step further and borders on hentai – I love Yabuki's girls so I'm not complaining one single bit, but it was a little surprising since there was absolutely no fanservice in Black Cat.

The story so far is, as I said, cliched and not that interesting, but it's pretty funny. Lala's guard-captain Zastin, who looks a lot like Creed, turns out to be nothing like Creed. Lala also has a number of inventions, and they too bring some humour into the story. Rito's expressions when he gets into trouble because of Lala is great, and did I mention Zastin? Zastin x dog = win.

Although it's still pretty early in its run, I already think TO LOVE Ru will become far superior to Black Cat or Yamato Gensouki, Yabuki Kentaro's previous works. It's easy to see the influence of a new writer as the jokes are actually funny this time around. If you like Yabuki's art, and you like a little bit of light humour, TO LOVE Ru is highly recommended. If on top of that you like fanservice, there is simply no reason why you shouldn't read TO LOVE Ru.

Scanlated by KEFI.

Bleach Chapter 232 – “The Mascaron Drive 2” June 25, 2006

Posted by Lupus in Manga, Review.
5 comments

*These entries are based on JoJo’s Chinese scanlation of Bleach. M7’s scanlations sometimes feel a bit dodgy, so even though they’re released equally fast, I’ll rely on the Chinese scanlations.

———–

First off, a nice spread for everyone out there:

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I always love these normal clothing pics. Ichigo looks really weird in glasses though. (click on the image to get the full version)

The Summary
Rupee attempts to show off his release, and Toushiro, remembering how strong the Arankaru were after releasing, rushes at him with his Ban Kai in an attempt to stop it. Rupee nonetheless manages to release, and strikes Toushiro a blow with a long tentacle like thing which is easily blocked. Toushiro, as little kids often tend to do, lets a little victory get to his head and gloats about how weak Rupee’s release form is. Unfortunately for him, that is only one eighth of Rupee’s power – smoke clears, and we see that Rupee has not one, but eight tentacles. I guess Arankaru needs some tentacle loving too. Anyway Rupee launches all eight in a simultaneous attack at Toushiro, who proceeds to be utterly destroyed. He falls, his Ban Kai completely shattered, and Rupee turns to the other Shinigami. And with a smirk, he says, “See what I said? Didn’t I tell you to fight 4 on 1? Oh, I’m soooory. It’s 4 on 8, isn’t it.”

Meanwhile, Ichigo messes up Grimmjaw really well. We see him dripping with blood, and he once again asks Ichigo what he’s done, noting that his power doesn’t belong to a Shinigami. Ichigo replies as he did last week, saying he has no time to answer – and he hits Grimmjaw again with another point blank “Gekka Tenshou”. Grimmjaw falls, even more covered with blood than before, but he manages to use a “Hollow Flash” (can someone tell me what English translation teams are calling it?), which buys him enough time for Ichigo’s Vaizard power to run out. His mask breaks, Grimmjaw laughs, and the last thing we see is Ichigo getting hit and falling towards the ground.

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Another spread – Black vs white. Rupee isn’t on this, so his role would probably be fairly short-lived. (click on the image to get the full version)

My thoughts
So, even though this chapter isn’t as awesome as the last one – which it couldn’t possibly be since there’s no Urahara – it’s still pretty nice. Rupee delivered some good old fashioned tentacle rape on our poor little shouta, and Ichigo gets what he deserves for being cocky. After last week’s short moment of victory for our hero, who has been losing ever since returning from Soul Society, Ichigo once again gets what he deserves for being a reckless idiot who thinks he can do everything by himself. And Grimmjaw hasn’t even released yet, but we won’t get to see anymore Ichigo bashing because Shinji is bound to come to his aid. If he doesn’t, I’ll eat my shorts, and everything that’s inside them.

I feel like nothing much really happens in each chapter of Bleach. It’s not like the pace is slow or anything, it’s just that Kubo uses really large frames when he’s drawing action scenes, and often 15 pages is over before you know it. This is by no means a huge complaint, because Kubo makes Bleach’s action really exciting, fast paced and entertaining, but I don’t like waiting a whole week to find out more about the story, and then only get such a small nibble each time. It’s like I’m on some drug that I can only get once a week, and each week they give me just enough to stop me from going insane, but not too much so that I would stop craving it. This is a sign of how good Bleach is. Also I think this is the good thing about reading serialisation, since each cliff hanger really leaves you wanting more, where as marathoning an entire series in one go or reading tankouban doesn’t leave much to the imagination, as you can just press on to see what happens.

Read JPMeyer’s discussion on weekly vs marathon vs DVDs for more.

Australia proceeds to round 2 June 24, 2006

Posted by Lupus in Uncategorized, WTF.
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I’m like totally WTF too.

Why are marriage rings worn on the ring finger? June 23, 2006

Posted by Lupus in Uncategorized.
6 comments

ring

Saw this on a blog.

知道结婚戒指为什么要带在无名指上吗?
1.伸出你的两手,将中指向下弯曲,对靠在一起,就是中指的背跟背靠在一起

2.然后将其它的4个手指分别指尖对碰

3.请确保以下过程中,5个手指只允许一对手指分开。

4.请张开你那对大母指,大母指代表我们的父母,能够张开,每个人都会有生老病死,父母也会有一天离我们而去。

5.请合上大母指,再张开食指,食指代表兄弟姐妹,他们也都会有自己的家世,也会离开我们。

6.请合上食指,再张开小母指,小母指代表子女,子女长大后,迟早有一天,会有自己的家庭生活,也会离开我们。

7.那么,请合上小母指,再试着张开无名指。

这个时候,大家会惊奇的发现无名指怎么也张不开,

因为无名指代表夫妻,是一辈子不分离的。

真正的爱,粘在一起后,是永生永世都分不开。

Translation (by me):

“Do you know why marriage rings are worn on the ring finger?
1. Take your hands, and bend your middle fingers. Put them together, with their backs touching each other.

2. Now, touch the tips of your other fingers together.

3. For the remainder of this test, make sure only one pair of fingers are apart at any one time.

4. Please take your thumbs apart. The thumbs represent our parents, and can be taken away. Where there’s life there’s death, and our parents will one day leave us.

5. Please put your thumbs back together, and take your fore-fingers apart. They represent our siblings, who will have their own family and life, and they will leave us too.

6. Please put your fore-fingers back together, and take your little fingers apart. They represent our offsprings. When the children grow up, they will also have their own family. They too, will leave us.

7. So now, please put your little fingers back together, and try to take your ring fingers apart.

And you’ll find to your surprise that, no matter what you do, the ring fingers won’t come apart.

The ring finger represents husband and wife, and they are bound together for life.

Real lovers, once joined together, can never be taken apart again, as long as you live.”

If you try hard enough, you can force representation into any you see. Take Evangelion for example. But this, I heartily approve. Spread the love.

Bleach Chapter 231 – “The Mascaron Drive” June 19, 2006

Posted by Lupus in Manga, Review.
6 comments

*These entries are based on JoJo’s Chinese scanlation of Bleach. M7’s scanlations sometimes feel a bit dodgy, so even though they’re released equally fast, I’ll rely on the Chinese scanlations.

——-

I didn’t think I would be blogging Bleach manga, but the end to this chapter is too much. I can’t hold it back anymore. BLEACH RULES. The current Bleach arc is about 10 times better than the previous Naruto arc. I’m hoping that the new Naruto arc would be good, but right now Bleach is owning Naruto.

This chapter picks up with Toushiro-chan and his merry friends fighting 3 Espadas, while Grimmjaw runs off to fight Ichigo.

Yammy?  WTF?
Yammy with a “Y”. So is he “of yams” or “related to yams”?

The Soul Society receives news of this new threat, and immediate releases the Shinigami’s limitations. Rukia prepares to rush to their aid, but Orihime isn’t allowed to follow. Since she isn’t a Shinigami, she would be sent to some other place instead, so she has to wait while special preparations are made for her, before she’s allowed to leave for the land of the living.

Back to the real world, Ichigo faces off against Grimmjaw. They throw some insults at each other to warm things up, and Ichigo goes straight into Hollow mode to lay down the ownage. Grimmjaw looks positively scared as Vizard Ichigo rushes in and smacks Grimmjaw with a zero-range “Gekka Tenshou “.

Back to the Yamtastic Quatro, the Shinigamis are having trouble against the Espada. Without Ban Kai not even Toushiro can beat Yammy, who’s only no. 10. Rupee, who’s no. 6 of the Espada, boasts that he’ll release his Zanpaktou and take all 4 of the Shinigami on. That’s at least 2 people who we know have Ban Kai, and two more who are vice-captain level.

Then we jump to Urahara’s shop, where Chad and Renji were training. They both try to rush to the Shinigami’s aid, but Urahara stops them, saying that he will go instead.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH I CAN’T KEEP MY FANBOYING DOWN. URAHARA IS GOING TO FIGHT!!! I’ve been looking forward to this moment since I first saw him show his Zanpaktou, and I’m really, really excited. URAHARA! He’s going to fight. And he’s going to go see the Shinigami’s! The next chapter can’t be released soon enough. *dances around like an insane little fanboy*


Urahara is easily the coolest single Bleach character. If you haven’t noticed already, I’m a a HUGE fan of his.

Ichigo isn’t about to be overshadowed by that shady little shop owner though, and he absolutely owns Grimmjaw. But somehow I’m not expecting him to win since 1) He only has 11 seconds in Vizard form and 2) He has not the slightest idea how strong Grimmjaw will be when he does his release. Additionally I’m expecting that he’ll have a lesson to learn, since Shinji decided to let him go even though the other Vizards were trying to restrain him last chapter. So, come next chapter, we might see Ichigo get beaten up by Grimmjaw again and Shinji and his friends will have to come rescue him.

What about the Shinigami’s? Toushiro can’t do anything to Yammy without his Ban Kai, and that narcissitic guy whose name I can never remember is easily getting beaten up by Rupee, who’s going to be releasing next chapter. From the previous Arankaru release we saw that they become exponentially stronger, as even Uru-chan got beaten to a pulp. How strong would an Espada in release form be? Would Narcissist have a Ban Kai like everyone are guessing? Would Urahara get there in time, and how strong would he be?

Man so much to look forward to next chapter! I can’t wait!

Sasuke loves Naruto`s girl form June 19, 2006

Posted by Lupus in Site News, WTF.
6 comments

That was the top search engine term to my blog yesterday. Totally unexpected, totally wtf. I never even mentioned Naruto’s girl form… or maybe I should’ve included that in my Naruto’s super-saiyanish transformation. Another interesting one is “is there a super saiyan 9”.

Anyway I think these are awesome.

Doraemon-Gundam New Header Image Finally Up June 18, 2006

Posted by Lupus in Site News.
1 comment so far

Finally got my custom header image uploaded, and as you can see it has Doraemon-Gundams. That is without question the coolest robot in Anime history, even if it’s just a fan creation. I could not conceal my boner when I first saw the pic, and I knew I was instantly in love.

The header image itself still needs adjustment, since I forgot the tabs that this theme comes with. Hopefully I’ll be able to make something that’s really good.

Anyway, my exams finish tomorrow, so I’ll have plenty of free time to catch up with my anime, manga and all that jazz. 4 weeks of holidays! Wootage.

Naruto Chapter 311 – “Nickname” June 17, 2006

Posted by Lupus in Manga, Review.
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*These entries are based on JoJo’s Chinese scanlation of Naruto. I love Hige’s review of Naruto, so I’m not going to try to compete with him. Instead I’ll skimp on the summary and pile on the hate. Okay, not hate, since I’m still reading it, but I’ll mainly talk about what I think of each chapter. Check out Hige vs. Otaku for better summaries, pretty pictures and more in depth analysis.

———–

Another transitional chapter, so not much happened. We were promised action last week, but all we got is more Sai, and a little bit of Kakashi. Well, no use crying over spilled milk, and Sai made a funny this chapter, so that redeems it a little.

Two major revelations this chapter: why Sasuke is so overpowered, and Kakashi has developed a method for Naruto to become very strong, maybe even surpassing Kakashi himself.

Naruto and Sakura continue to lament how weak they are compared to Sasuke, but while they are talking with Kakashi, Sakura says that Sasuke’s growth is abnormally fast, adding that maybe Sasuke was using medicine or other forbidden jutsu to hasten his growth. Initially I attributed Sasuke’s power to his genius and the Sharingan, but maybe he isn’t a ‘real winner’ like I thought he is. This prompted me to think, hey, maybe the seal was giving him power without manifesting, but I went back to chapter 307-309 and no where did I see his seal. Is the seal gone, or is his hair still covering it? He hair seems to be shorter than I remembered, but it’s been a long time since I saw the younger version of Sasuke. Anyway I’m glad he’s using illegal substances and not naturally so much stronger than Naruto, otherwise it would make Naruto look pretty bad as the protagonist – if this was a game I would be crying “OMG Sasuke is so overpowered NERF!”

The second important thing is about Naruto getting stronger. Naruto surpassing Kakashi? Sounds great to me, but there’s a catch – “But this method is only suitable for Naruto… or should I say, this method can only be used by Naruto.” Does this mean that it requires the Kyuubi? Naruto has already said he wouldn’t use the Kyuubi’s power anymore, and we all know how stubborn Naruto is. I don’t think Kakashi would require Naruto to use the demon, since he knows how dangerous it is, but then why is this trainig method only usable by Naruto? It would be completely out of character for Naruto to rely on the demon fox at this point anyway, and continuing to rely on the Kyuubi would make the previous developement between Sasuke and the Kyuubi meaningless. Naruto would need to get stronger without using the demon fox, and I’m hoping Kakashi can provide the answer.

Next week on Naruto: What is Kakashi’s training, and what disaster is about to befall Konoha? Next chapter: “Training”!!

Death Note Live Action Movie: In Cinemas in 8 East Asian Nations Near You June 12, 2006

Posted by Lupus in Manga, News.
8 comments

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Saw it here.

Death Note Live Action Movie is probably old news, but this is exciting nonetheless. Not only is it screening in Japan in a week, it’ll also be coming to a cinema near you if you live in one of these lucky places:

  • Taiwan
  • Korea
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • Not only that, but according to the article, many film publishing firms in Europe are also negotiating to bring the movie to the West, so those lucky Euros might also get this movie in their cinemas. Australia as always is gonna get jiped. BUT, with the power of digital distribution, I’ll still get to watch this movie anyway! Ah, blessed internet and hard working fan-subbers.

    Now let’s just pray no Hollywood smart-ass director gets the idea to remake this movie.