January 23, 2010

Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 04

In the last episode, we jumped back in time three years to see how Kagura, the Schoolgirl in White, first met Yomi, the Schoolgirl in Black.  We discovered that Yomi wasn't always a bad guy bent on driving the animation company into bankruptcy by forcing them to hire new voice actors for each episode because she killed off the entire cast.  So what does Episode 04 bring us?

We start off exactly where the last episode left off, with Kagura getting into The Agency's HMMWV and the group running off to deal with a new threat.

It's not the entire team, though.  Mr Laser Weasel, Nabuu and Nabuu seem to already be on site, leaving Iwahata and Kazuki to pick up the girls.  Considering that Yomi appears to be The Agency's heavy-hitter, and they seem to expect great things from Kagura,  I'd've thought more of an honor guard (perhaps with bosun's whistles) would have been appropriate.  Maybe they don't stand on ceremony much.

An episode of Ga-Rei Zero wouldn't be complete without Pocky.  But, oh-oh, there's only one stick left!  Yomi snags it with a whimsical "first come, first served."  Coming between Kagura and her Pocky, however, can be a dangerous proposition:

Yomi, though, will not be denied her delicious chocolate-covered biscuit stick.


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January 19, 2010

Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 03

As you may remember, at the end of Episode 02 the Schoolgirl in Black, Yomi, seemed to have finished killing off Our (new) Heroes, including the Schoolgirl in White, her friend Kagura.  So just how in the world is Ga-Rei Zero going to continue?  Do we get another bunch of sacrificial heroes?  Nope. 

We get voiceovers:
Kagura: "On that day three years ago, I met someone important."

Yomi: "On that day three years ago, I met a girl lost in sadness."

The woman in the frame is Kagura's mom.  Yomi exorcised the nasty that killed her, while she died in her husband's arms.

Yomi: "That chance meeting was the destiny of two people who bear the burden of fate."
Both: "That is where it all began."

Flashback episode!


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January 14, 2010

Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 02

So Episode 01 of Ga-Rei Zero ended with every character we'd been introduced to, including the two apparent leads, turned into cold cuts at the hands sword of a schoolgirl dressed in a black seifuku.  How can Episode 02 top that?

Well, first it pees all over the dismembered corpses of Our (fallen) Heroes by bringing the recently defeated (via Holy Water-based Aerial Bombing) Category B monster back to life, and putting the few remaining grunts in mortal peril because of it.  As if their day wasn't going poorly enough!  They're outclassed and outnumbered by one monster, and Our (fallen) Heroes' success turns to ashes to boot. 

 ...and then the Category Cs come back, too.  At this point, you just know the grunts are saying "F*ck you, Ga-Rei Zero, just f*ck you."


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January 09, 2010

Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 01

Brought to you by Glico's Pocky!
I d/l'd this show from BakaBT during their recent freeleech event, knowing nothing about it except for two things: one, there are cute girls in it, and two, the series is a prequel to the manga Ga-Rei... which I have never read.  So, in other words, I didn't know anything about it.  But, hey, cute girls!

Our Heroes.
So these individuals (L to R: Kudou, Tooru, Masaki and Natsuki) are part of a "special action" team, devoted to taking down supernatural forces that threaten Japan (and by extension, the entire world).  They're aided in this task by...

Mami, who's the comms experts.  They're all highly skilled in their individual talents, and they need to be.  They're called out whenever a supernatural disaster is too much for the grunts of their organization to handle... which is what's occurring in episode 01.

The supernaturals are mostly invisible to normal people (even the grunts need technological help to see them), but the heroes can see them easily.  The specters above are "Category C"-level, which is somewhere just above cannonfodder, but there's a lot of 'em in this attack.  They almost overwhelm the grunts, but one squad holds the line and seems to end the disaster.

Until this guy shows up.  It's a "Category B", and it's WAAAAY over the paygrade of the grunts.  Oh, and then the specters regenerate.  The squad is mangled, but our heroes arrive just in time to save the day!

I wouldn't think that's a particularly stable firing platform.
Natsuki's a talented motorcyclist, and her tires are studded with spiritually-charged runes.  Tooru is a sniper, firing rune-encrusted bullets.  He's also good at striking a dramatic pose, no?  He starts plinking away at the Cat B, and she goes to work on the specters...

...first by laying down a protective circle of rune-embossed rubber...

...then by getting a little more in their phantom faces, making her cycle dance on their heads.  While their efforts are quite impressive, and they don't seem to be in any danger, they're not really getting anything accomplished.  Too many baddies, too few heroes.  Until Kudou and Masaki arrive...

...flying a tilt-rotor airplane fire-tanker filled with spiritually-charged holy water!  No more specters!  Tah-dahhhhh!  The Cat B is weakened by this run, and Tooru drops it with a boom headshot.  But there's ANOTHER one.  Our Heroes, guided by Mami, set a trap for it in Tokyo's water supply reservoir system.  But how to get it there?

Oh.  Right.  Natsuki plays bait, the Cat B chases her like a big flaming armadillo, rolling like a ball at high speed down the Tokyo highways and byways.  Eventually they get into the reservoir system, Tooru hits the monster with a sniper rifle, and Kudou and Masaki release the water, passing it through a spiritual filter to turn it into holy water and killing the creature.

Wet and tired, Our Heroes relax with nice hot coffee and witty repartee.


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January 06, 2010

My Favorite Moments In Anime

A few posts back, I put up a youtube of Funky Cat Maybe! and mentioned that "it's one of my favorite anime things ever."  Which got me to thinking... what are my favorite moments in my anime watching?  Those scenes that immediately jump to mind when somebody asks "why do you like anime?"  They aren't automatically from my favorite shows, though some are, but even a 'meh' show can have classic moments.

Below is my collection of those moments.  They're in no particular order, except for the very last; that's my favorite.  Click 'more' and let's take a look!  Warning: there may be spoilers ahead!


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January 02, 2010

Funky Cat Maybe and Hajikero! Iincho

-Funky Cat Maybe, the promo for To Heart 2.

-Hajikero! Iincho, the "prequel" to FCM.

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Brickmuppet Will Be In His Bunk

I was never a big fan of Star Blazers, but this looks pretty darn cool.  Brickmuppet, on the other hand, has just had his Wave Motion Gun go off in his shorts.


(found here)

Here's who's playing Nova in the movie:


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January 01, 2010

Sad Wonderduck In Snow

It's winter, and you know what that means to a Kyoto Animation fanboy, right?

It's Kanon '06 time again!  Oh, sure, I could watch this show whenever I feel like, no question.  But to truly feel right, it's gotta be watched during the cold and gray of wintertime.

Lucky for me, a couple of fansub groups have been 'subbing the recent Japanese Blu-Ray release of the show... and if there was one "killer app" that could force me to upgrade everything to BD, this show would be it.  It's from a time before KyoAni went... um... cartoony with their faces.  I mean, let's compare:

The picture on the left is from KyoAni's most recent show, K-On!.  More specifically, it's the main character from K-On!, in the OP sequence, which is where you find the best animation.  The picture on the right, however, is from Kanon '06, is of a tertiary character, and is from an unimportant scene in the first episode.  Which looks better to you?

It's things like this that make KyoAni fans all stabby.

Anyway, Kanon '06.  My second most favorite show.  Blu-Ray.  The final days of my vacation.  Bliss. 

Too bad my computer can't handle full BD resolution without choking...

Oh, and for all those people who say KyoAni can't do fanservice? 

Okay, I admit, it's the last fanservicey shot KyoAni does ever... but still!  I've always wondered just why they put this scene into Kanon '06, other than the obvious.  Nothing like it ever occurs again in the show.  I don't remember it being from the game, so it's not a shout-out.  It's just... there. 

Which is fine (more than fine!), but it's also kinda odd in context.

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