Trend-Ender 03: Gun X Sword Sunday, Sep 30 2007 

If Quentin Tarantino had gotten it into his mind to create an anime series, Gun X Sword would have been it. Seriously, it’s that good!

Actually, I think the creative team behind Gun X Sword must have gotten together, got drunk, watched every Tarantino film ever made (it wouldn’t take that long, you know…) then sat down and penned the plotlines.

It has everything you’d need in a series:

  • A man in black, who’s fiancee was gunned down clawed to death on their wedding day
  • A young girl out for revenge, looking for the man who kidnapped her older brother
  • Giant robots (You knew that was coming! If there’s no robots, there’s no point!)
  • Gun fights
  • Sword fights
  • Wicked good hand-to-hand combat scenes
  • Funny scenes that are actually funny (Good writers there! Yay!)
  • Believable villains (flawed individuals that could have been ‘good’ in another situation)
  • A big, bad boss-man reminiscent of ‘Bill’ from the ‘Kill Bill’ movies (He looks like him!! He acts like him!! If he didn’t have a claw hand it would be him!!)

One episode (it was in the first twelve but I can’t remember which – my bad) was taken straight from ‘Pulp Fiction’. I laughed so hard I nearly died. The two main leads, Van and Wendy, were sitting in this cafe, when two tables over a couple starts doing the ‘I love you…’ scene from the beginning of ‘Pulp Fiction’, almost word-for-word. I had to rewind it and watch it again three times to make sure it had actually happened (it had – and was totally worth it!).

I’ve only watched the first 12 eps so far, but I’m expecting the english dubs to arrive soon (The subtitles were so small! My eyes!). I might add more to this later!

Rating:

I give it 10 ‘Western shoot-em-ups’ out of 10! (Van is the coolest!)

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!

Enter the Trend-Ender! Part 01: Ouran Episodes 1-5 Sunday, Oct 22 2006 

As usual, I’ve done it again. I’ve come in at the end of a trend. Well, the end of a series this time, actually…

So I take it by now that everyone’s heard of ‘Ouran High School Host Club’? I just discovered this show last week, and what can I say but I’m hooked!

Haruhi Fujioka is a newly enrolled high school student at the Ouran Academy, a school where two most important aspects for all the students are 1) wealth and 2) prestige. Haruhi has a big fat zero on both accounts seeing as she’s a scholarship student from a ‘regular’ family. While looking for a quiet place to study, she opens the door to the Third Music Room, and is shocked to discover a group of handsome boys, referring to themselves as the Ouran High School Host Club. In her haste to escape molestation from Tamaki Suou, the host King, she knocks over a vase worth $80 000 (8 million Yen), and is forced to become the host club’s dog/baldrick/slave until her debt is repaid. Thus begins Haruhi’s misadventures in the Ouran High School Host Club!

This has actually got to be one of the first anime series’ I’ve seen in a while that I’ve laughed out loud at almost every episode. Here’s a list of episode highlights!

Ep 01 – You are a Host Starting Today!

  • The look on Haruhi’s face as she’s labelled the Host Club’s dog
  • The clueless innocence of the rich girl’s who’ve never heard of ‘instant coffee’ (head tilts to the side, while saying questioningly ‘Instanto?’)
  • Haruhi’s ‘Commoner coffee preparation by a commoner’ followed by her derisive ‘Damn rich bastards’ mumbled comment
  • Lightbulbs! Hehehe, and the order of everyone who realised! (First, Kyouya – well, he knows everything about everybody, so duh! Then Hani, closely followed by Hikaru and Kaoru, then Mori, and last but not least our Host King, Tamaki!)
  • Tamaki’s famous line of realisation ‘Haruhi… You’re a girl…’ followed by him turning beet red.

Ep 02 – A High School Host’s Work

  • The look on Haruhi’s face as she walks into the Third Music room to discover a tropical paradise (A mixture of ‘shock!’ and ‘what the hell have these idiots done now?’)
  • Tamaki getting depressed over losing clients to Haruhi, then him demanding she goes back to her girly ways – stresses his point by whipping out an enlargement of her 9th grade photo when she still had long hair, and was wearing the girl’s school uniform
  • Tamaki getting depressed again when he can’t be the one to teach Haruhi how to waltz
  • The entire host club kidnapping Haruhi and dressing her up as a girl – and Tamaki’s reaction, of course…
  • The first kiss debacle – although Haruhi does get her 8, 000, 000 Yen debt cut by a third!

Ep 03 – Be careful with Physical Examinations

  • During the Host club’s cherry blossom veiwing festival, Kyouya wanders about selling photo collections of all the members (while the members try and figure out when the photos were taken in the first place!)
  • Tamaki suddenly realizes that the twins spend more time together with Haruhi than he does… and Kyouya wonders why he didn’t realize this earlier
  • Physical examination day comes along – and the boys create a plan to hide Haruhi’s gender (plan includes Tamaki cosplaying as Haruhi – laughter ensues)
  • Tamaki’s ‘inner-mind theatre’ results in him deciding that he and Haruhi are the main romantic leads, and all the other guys are ‘homo side characters’ (pretty much fell out of my chair laughing when I saw this line!)
  • The twin’s ‘red card’ Tamaki for harrassing Haruhi during her examination

Ep 04 – The Invasion of the Female Manager

  • Episode opens with a girl playing an RPG on her computer, where one of the characters freakily resembles Kyouya – her father comes home, shows her a photo of his business partner’s family, and wouldn’t you know it, Kyouya is in the photo.
  • The girl leaps into her private plane and heads to Japan to meet her prince
  • Haruhi discovers that Hikaru, Kaoru and possibly Hani have all been using eyedrops for their dewy expressions – Tamaki denies that he has, stating that all his tears are real
  • Haruhi refers to Kyouya as an evil magistrate
  • Girl from france – Renge – shows up, she’s stating that she’s Kyouya’s fiancee. Kyouya flatly denies this
  • Renge decides to change all of the host clubs characters – Tamaki, Kaoru and Hikaru all look at her, completely horrified, and call her an ‘Otaku’ (RPG gaming nerd in this case!)
  • Somehow the character changing turns into a film shoot – Renge gets attacked by two of her ‘extras’ and is saved by Haruhi – Renge suddenly decides her favourite is now Haruhi instead of Kyouya, which distresses Tamaki to no end!

Ep 05 – The Twins Fight

  • We’re introduced to the ‘Which one is Hikaru-kun Game!’ where the clients have to guess which twin is which – Haruhi get’s it right with no problems, stating that the way she can tell them apart is that ‘Hikaru’s actions are 1 level meaner than Kaoru’s’
  • We’re also introduced to Nekozawa, of the black magic club, seller of ‘Beelzenef’ voodoo dolls! Tamaki is certain he was cursed the previous year for stepping on Beelzenef in the school hallway, but Kyouya states that he wasn’t.
  • The twin’s then get into an argument, finally calling each other an ‘erotic imp!’ and a ‘pervert!’, while finishing up with a ‘I’m not talking to you any more!’
  • They show up at school the next day, Hikaru with bright pink hair, and Kaoru with blue – every time they see each other they start a riot, throwing everything in sight, including Hani’s bunny doll, Hani himself, Mori at one point, and Tamaki (covered in food from the food fight they start)
  • Tamaki’s ‘inner mind theatre’ travels to a place where Haruhi is providing him with a heart shaped lunch box – decides to try and steal Haruhi’s lunch, which she has given to Hikaru as he want’s something different from Kaoru – hence the food fight.
  • Kaoru whips out a Beelzenef voodoo doll, ans begins to write Hikaru’s name on the back – Haruhi whacks them both on the head, and tells them to stop being stupid or they won’t be able to visit her house
  • The two boys smile craftily, and make a huge show of making up – the entire fight was fake, all they really wanted was to go to Haruhi’s house on their next holiday. Tamaki states that twin’s with time on their hands truly are devils.

That’s the end of part one of the trend-ender post – right now it’s time for eats! Then I’ll watch some more episodes of Ouran! Wheeee!