September 30, 2008

Ryoumou Unpatched!

In the final episode of Ikkitousen Great Guardians, Ryoumou was possessed by a magic user, and her dragon taken from her.  She was then sent to fight Hakufu, which would have been an interesting, if short, battle: Hakufu with her dragon is more powerful than anybody.  Ryoumou at full power can (barely) stay with her; without her dragon, I'd think Hakufu'd make short work of Ryoumou.

Anyway, Ryoumou attacks by surprise, punching Hakufu through a concrete floor... and then we see her:

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September 21, 2008

Ikkitousen Great Guardians: This One's For Steven.

I admit, I'm way behind the curve on watching Ikkitousen Great Guardians.  I'm only up to ep05 at the moment, and I'm really not enjoying it all that much.  Sure, sure, there's fanservice everywhere, and that's nice and all, but the creators seem to have a hard time figuring out if this is going to be a serious series (like Dragon Destiny) or a comedy.

As a result, we've gotten a good intro episode, two serious eps (02 and 03), and now two particularly stupid ha-ha episodes (04 and 05).  And when I say "particularly stupid", I mean "as stupid as you can imagine Ikkitousen can be, except worse." 

Episode 05 is so mind-numbingly dumb that I've taken two days to watch 12 minutes of it.  My IQ level, none too high to begin with, plummets every second I watch.

However, it's not entirely bad.  It's a beach episode, and at roughly the 9:38 mark, this appears on the screen:

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September 15, 2008

MOAR ARIA!!!!11eleventy11!

Okay, so they're not new episodes, exactly.  Something called "picture dramas," actually, which were included on the ARIA the Origination DVDs.

A picture drama is more like an comic book with audio.  The seiyuus read their lines over still pictures, in other words.  For a show like, oh, Dirty Pair, this would be awful.  However, this is ARIA we're talking about here: slow-paced, relaxing, casual.  There was hardly any action to animate to begin with (though the animation quality was very good in the final series), so this is perfect.

And the art is pretty solid, too:

It's ARIA... of course the costumes are cute.  Everything in ARIA is cute!

The camera pans over the picture, so there is SOME motion, but you're still just looking at one still shot... but then again, who cares?  It's more ARIA!  More ARIA is always better than no ARIA! 

I haven't had a spare minute to watch the three Picture Dramas that have been 'subbed yet, but they're pretty short, around about seven minutes or so.  Maybe Monday, after I get back from performing my civic duty and showing up for the Jury Pool at the Courthouse.  Be a good way to unwind, that.

Thanks, BSS!  First you finished up ...the Origination when it was dropped, now you do this for us fans (not to mention the KimiKiss special)?  You like us, you really really like us!

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September 09, 2008

Tacos Tacos Tacos...

Last year, BeeTrain brought out the third and final installment of their "girls with guns" trilogy, El Cazador de la Bruja (NOIR and Madlax being the other two).  At the time, Pond Central was still cursed with dialup, so I wound up dropping the show after four episodes, all the while vowing to catch up with it down the road.

Well, I finally did.  During the past few days, I've watched the whole series, and enjoyed it greatly.  It's not as good overall as NOIR, but there's a lot more humor in El Cazador, so that part evens out.  We won't even be talking about Madlax here, as it's not even in the same league as these two.  The main characters, Nadie and Ellis are very likable, and work well as co-leads.  The setting is one you don't see often in anime: Mexico-ish (the show doesn't explicitly state they're in Mexico, but I'll go out on a limb here), and the animators got the look (or what they think Mexico should look like) down cold.  The plot is a little weird, with some supernatural elements thrown in.  There's action, drama, comedy, and for those who who had problems with the director's decision not to show blood in NOIR, there's blood here, but never excessive, and always plot-based.  Unfortunately, the supernatural aspects (which to me seemed silly at times) alone knocked El Cazador down from the level of  the (more or less) reality-based setting of NOIR.

Of course, saying that El Cazador isn't as good as NOIR, which is on my short-list of favorite shows, is kind of like saying that Willie Mays wasn't as good as Babe Ruth.  It may be true, but you're still making a serious comparison to the best of all time, and there's no shame in not quite matching up.

I would highly recommend this show to anybody who likes NOIR, The Dirty Pair, or a bit of action with your drama/comedy mix.

I give you fair warning, though: there's an earworm 'round these parts.


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