Manga of the Week: A Thousand Years of Snow! Monday, Nov 27 2006 

Hatori Bisco: Before ‘Ouran High School Host Club’, there was ‘A Thousand Years of Snow’. Though, during the reading of this manga, you can see where a lot of the ‘Ouran’ Character designs came from! This was a two volume manga with a supernatural basis, focussing on a Vampire named Touya (who looked quite a bit like Kyouya Ootori from ‘Ouran HSHC’), a Werewolf named Satsuki (who looked quite a bit like Tamaki Suou from ‘Ouran HSHC’), and their relationships with a certain girl named Chiyuki (who thankfully didn’t look much like Haruhi Fujioka, or I would have gone out of my mind!).

Chiyuki was born with a weak heart, so weak in fact that she’s not expected live for very long at all. One night while looking out her hospital window, she sees a young man jump from the roof of a neighbouring building – running to his aid, she discovers the surly Touya, who tells her (in no uncertain terms) that he is a vampire, and that he has no time to spend lolly-gagging around with filthy humans. With that, he leaves Chiyuki alone in the snow, leaving nothing but a shoe behind.

He returns the next day to recover his shoe, and berates Chiyuki for not telling him she was a patient. If she’d told him, he would have gone easier on her, apparently, heh.

After meeting a few more times, Chiyuki suddenly has a relapse, and Touya does the only thing within his power to prolong her life, even if only for a little while longer.

So begins Hatori Bisco’s ‘A Thousand Years of Snow’ – I’ve been looking in stores for it, but sadly to no avail as yet – scanlations are available though! Once more, remember to support the industry and buy the artist’s works once they become available!

Rating: This one gets 3.5 ‘Hot Vampire Bitey Scenes’ out of 5, seeing as the ending was, well, non-existent – I was expecting a third volume, but I guess this is all there is! Great story and artwork though! Find it and read it – it’s great! 🙂

InuYasha: Cartoon Network Did it Again! Saturday, Nov 25 2006 

/begin angry rant

As was predicted by a certain individual back on the 16th of August *points at self* Cartoon network got up to episode 54 of InuYasha, then canned the rest of the series! Again! Hahaha! Bloody hell, Cartoon Network (Australia)! Pull your finger out and get the rest of the series! It’s available! We all know it is, because you can buy it on Dvd! Sheesh!

/end angry rant

Baka-Tsuki – my new heroes! Saturday, Nov 25 2006 

On my usual web-wanderings, I came across this fantastic site:

http://project.baka-tsuki.net//index.php?title=Suzumiya_Haruhi#.2B.2BSticky.21.2B.2B

Where this great bunch of people are translating my latest obsession, the Haruhi Suzumiya novel series! Woot!

They have now finished the first 5 books:

  • The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi
  • The Sighs of Suzumiya Haruhi
  • The Boredom of Suzumiya Haruhi
  • The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi
  • The Rampage of Suzumiya Haruhi

They have also released the first 3 as .pdf files in their forum which, naturally, I nabbed very quickly!

They are still currently working on:

  • The Wavering of Suzumiya Haruhi
  • The Intrigues of Suzumiya Haruhi
  • The Indignation of Suzumiya Haruhi

These folks are doing an awesome job – keep up the great work, Baka-Tsuki! We’re counting on you!

Anime of the Week: Red Garden! Saturday, Nov 25 2006 

Well, I haven’t really seen too many people discussing this one yet, but it’s an absolutely fantastic anime!

Synopsis:

Episode 01 – Goodbye Girls

The story is set in New York City, and revolves around 5 girls. One of these 5 died in the first episode, a girl by the name of Lise. The other 4 were all connected to Lise in some way, but not really involved with each other.

Rachel seems to be the party girl of the group, Claire appears to be the rebel, Rose is the sweet innocent girl, and Kate appears to be the poor little rich girl.

None of these girls can remember what they did the night that Lise died – it’s as if their memories have been erased. When they are told in school the next day that Lise is dead, it’s a great shock to all of them. All four of the girls react to the news in different ways, but are in general upset.

This is when the weirdness kicks in: Kate suddenly sees a large cloud of butterflies hovering in the sky, which draw her to a rather dodgy looking area in the city. Rachel also appears there, drawn by the same butterflies, as do Rose and Claire.

As they are pondering why the butterflies appeared, Claire asks if anyone can remember what happened the night before – and confirms that none of them have a memory of that night.

Just then, a mysterious woman and man appear. Giving no reason for this but the sentence ‘We are your teachers…’ The woman reveals a shocking revelation to the girls – ‘Last night – you all died.’

The girls – looking very much alive at this point, and very shocked – can’t comprehend what they’ve just been told. Before that sentence can sink in, however, the woman gives the girls another order.

‘See that man over there… You have to kill him. With your bare hands.’

The approaching figure drops to all fours, and starts charging at the girls, growling and roaring like a maniac, as the girl’s stare at him, terrifed…

Gaaah! I love this story so far – there’ve been 5 episodes released so far, and the storyline just keeps getting better and better. The artwork… hmmm, apart from some of the ‘pinocchio’ noses, it’s quite lovely, and the theme song is pretty twisted – it’s mighty happy for a horror anime! I’m definitely going to keep watching!

Death Note 03 and 04! Tuesday, Nov 14 2006 

Yeah yeah, I know – just get on with it!

Death Note 03:

* L has somehow narrowed down the possiblity of ‘Kira’ being a student (from the times most of the victims died). Light decides to play with the minds of the cops a little more by orchestrating deaths outside of the usual times he’s specified in the past. And so then: while Light is still at school, involved in regular class activities, prisoners and assorted other bad folks are being knocked off via heart-attacks sent by the death note – Light Yagami: one smart bastard!

* We find out that the lead detective on the ‘Kira’ case is none other than Light’s father! This is how Light has been accessing all the police information on the ‘Kira’ case and managing to stay at least one step ahead of the police and L’s investigation. Light Yagami: one smart bastard!

* Somehow, Light manages to turn almost the entire police force against L, the genius who is supposedly on their side. I stand by my early comments on smartness…

* We find out that L has actually involved the FBI, in attempts to find out where the police information is being leaked from.

* Light finds out that an FBI agent has been tailing him as part of this investigation (How Ryuk informs him of this is chuckle-worthy: ‘I’m only telling you this because I’m creeped out’ – LOL @ creeped out death-god! )

* Ryuk explains how humans are different from death-gods: eg. death-gods inherit the remaining life-span of the human’s they write into the death note, while a human using hte death note gets nothing in return

* Ryuk also explains about the death-god’s eyes, and the pact which can be made – a death-god’s eyes can see a human’s name and remaining years just by looking at their face. By making a pact with a death-god, a human can gain this same ability, but lose half of their remaining life-span… ah, decisions, decisions…

Death Note 04:

* Opens in the Shinigami world, with the death-gods all sitting around, wondering where Ryuk is, what he’s doing, etc. Revelation! Apparently, Ryuk has two death notes! Hmmm, interesting…

* Light refuses the death-god eyes deal, saying if it had been a deal on the death-god’s wings he would have been more interested – after all, wouldn’t it be more god-like to rule the world with a lovely set of wings? Light Yagami: one twisted individual!

* Light begin’s experimenting with the death note again – this time, just as to how specific he can be with details of the death, eg. actions beforehand, place, time etc.

* Light leaves a playful message for L using a suicide note he forced one of the inmates to write before his death (‘L, do you know’…)

* Light finds out that the death note has its limits, but will allow people to do reasonable things before they die eg escape from prison, write notes and draw pictures, anything withint their normal capabilities. Ridiculous requests are ignored and death by heart-attacks happen as the default.

* Light puts together a cunning plan to find out the face and name of the FBI agent tailing him

* We meet Ray Penbar, FBI. Who, we find out, does not suspect Light of anything what-so-ever and turns out to be a pretty decent bloke.

* Light, his date, Penbar and Ryuk all get on a bus, which suddenly gets hijacked by a wanted criminal.

* Light manages to see Penbar’s FBI Id badge, with full name and spelling – now he has all he needs to finish him off! Light Yagami: one evil bastard!

* The busjacker picks up a piece of paper Light drops on the floor, and can suddenly see Ryuk lurking in the back shadows of the bus. He shoots all of his bullets into him (ineffective: bullet’s can’t harm death-gods), then flees the bus and dies in a traffic accident on the street almost immediately.

* We find out this is the death that Light planned for the crook, down to the finest details

* ‘Next time it’s your turn, Ray Penbar…’ Aaargh!

I can’t wait… This show just keeps on getting better and better! Long live Death Note, and the subbers for subbing it so well!

Trend-Ender 02: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya! Tuesday, Nov 14 2006 

My latest obsession…

I’d heard great things about this series. Great, great things. That’s why, after watching the first episode, I felt strangely deflated. “What the hell was that?” was my first impression – The storyline was bizzarre, the artwork looked slightly dodge, and what little plot there was didn’t make much sense at all… Then in last minute of the show, everything suddenly became clear to me, and I became a massive fan!

After I realized that the very first episode of TMoHS was actually a movie that the characters were making for their school cultural festival, I breathed a massive sigh of relief! Haruhi Suzumiya herself only appears for a few seconds in this episode, seeing as she’s the director of said film.

The second episode made a heck of a lot more sense. Characters were introduced (Haruhi, Kyon, Yuki, Asahina), the ‘SOS Brigade’ was created (Haruhi’s after-school activity club: searching this boring world for Esper’s, Alien’s and Time Traveller’s), and the bizarreness of Haruhi’s character becomes apparent to us all!

After episode 2 I became hooked – I’ve now watched all 14 episodes, and I am wishing there were more!

Haruhi’s misadventures include (in no particular order):

* Stealing the club room from Yuki, the only member of the literary club
* Kidnapping Asahina from an empty 2nd year classroom, because all clubs need a Lolita style character
* Dragging Kyon around constantly, while he complains loudly to her, and silently within his mind (also narrates the entire series)
* Blackmailing the computer club into giving them a brand new computer (takes photos of computer club president harrassing Asahina)
* Dressing Asahina up in all sorts of bizarre outfits (bunny-girl, maid, nurse etc.)
* Kyon finding out that certain members’ of the SOS brigade actually are Esper’s, Time Traveller’s and Aliens (while Haruhi never has an inkling – ah, the irony!)
* Baseball tournaments!
* Epic battles between Esper boys and time/space consuming giants in the place only known as ‘Closed Space’
* Kyon being attacked by a knife weilding freshman
* A kiss!!!! Wheeeeeee!

Hmmm, that’s all I gotta say – just don’t give up on it after the first episode! It’s a really cool, original series (with incredibly catchy theme songs!) and definitely worth a look – People who are about to finish exams and have a whole lot of free time on their hands should definitely find and watch it!