< Piro >
Monday - February 13, 2006
I really gotta be more careful about writing ranty rants and leaving them up for more than a day :P Thanks for all the kind feedback (and the not so kind :P) I am sorry about the missed comic today - i spoke about why i flubbed it yesterday over on my fredart blog - (it has to do with one of my cats, who should be fine, so don't worry) Nothing is as big an eye roller as hearing someone worry about their pets :P I DO however want to pass along this information to people with cats: Keep an eye out for lumps in the areas where your cat may have had it's shots. They have been finding that some shots (Feline Lukemia, the 3 year Rabies vaccine, etc) can cause sarcomas (a tumor) at the injection site. Here is some good information on Injection Site Sarcomas that you should read up about.
Guh. The past four or five weeks have been a real pip, and having Hime's little problem come on the tail of it put the kebash on me over the weekend, but i think i'm slowly getting my head on straight. Aside from the normal stream of "why did you take the funny out of Megatokyo" emails, my impression is that most are fairly happy with the recent comic offerings. I still have do my follow up to my last Manga review - as usual i got sidetracked, and to get myself into the spirit of things i'm going to give some quick impressions on some of the things i've been watching recently.
For a number of years i found myself really slacking in keeping up in any way with current anime offerings. I really don't blame that on the lack of quality shows - there have been many good ones over the past few years, but i just sorta had little desire for to fill in the cracks between things with anime. I think it was a couple of years of burn out, really - after all, i've been a sad pathetic fanboy of this stuff for over twelve years now.
I don't think it would be of any surprise to anyone to know that i am influenced by far more than Anime and Manga. Just because i wasn't watching anime doesn't mean mean i haven't have any inspiration, it just came from other sources (aspiring manga artists - please take note of that... SERIOUS note). Of course, this didn't keep me from fan-boying over Kanon when it ran, or waiting with great impatience for more Haibane Renmei episodes (i'm sure you're more than sick of hearing about that series from me) but in general i skipped a lot of series, some of which may surprise you (for example, i still have not seen Cowboy Bebop, Onegai Teacher, and only last year finally watched Trigun) My crack dealers tried hard and waved many things under my nose, but i just wasn't biting... until recently, at least :)
These burn-outs come and go, and over the past six months i've been finding myself keeping up with current stuff. One thing that really helps these days is the anime blogging community. Back when i first poked my head onto the net and was shocked and amazed to discover that Kimagure Orange Road was more than just several OAVs, the online anime community was pretty much Newsgroups (rec.arts.anime, etc), networks of friends, mailing lists, and websites devoted to specific series. You have to remember that usually a series had completed its entire run in japan before any of us japanese impaired fans had fansubs to look at. :) Nevermind the fact that some stuff these days seems to get subbed overnight (coughfatestaycough) Today there are a lot of very hard working individuals who i think do an amazing job of giving us a wonderful overview of just what is current, what's worth watching, and what should be avoided at all costs. I tend to link several at random here and there, but one of the best aggregator of anime blogs is blog好き, and thats a great place to start. Of course, the fact that he has Suigintou in the header graphic doesn't hurt :)
My current faves? I wont count Rozen Maiden Traumend because it's over (and it was major awesome), but of the series currently running, I'm mostly looking forward to Magikano, Karin, Kashimashi Girl meets Girl and REC. (what? no Fate Stay Night? Am i messed up in the head? Relax, i'm definitely liking it, just not as much as these others :P Ok, maybe i am screwed up in the head.)
Magikano is the kind of anime i've actually been avoiding in recent years - an unabashed harem anime with enough sexual overtones and insane humor to wither an oak tree :P That aside, what makes the show shine is the fact that these girls are friggin characters, and you can't help but like them (especially when Ayumi goes primitive. its so cute :). Also, i really like the art style and the animation quality of the series. The way the eyes are constructed, in particular in Ayumi's, i'm liking much. Not sure why, but the expressions they can get across work really well for me. A fun show, not to be taken too seriously of course, but fun. Not to mention a ball when witch hunter momoi shows up :P
Karin is a story about a teenaged vampire girl with a rather unusual problem. The art style takes some getting used to (not to mention that the opening for the show looks like its for a porn anime >_<) but the story is fun and it's been an enjoyable watch. It's a mix of serious and silly, and i honestly think Karin's friend Maki doesn't get anywhere near enough screen time. That and Winner needs to get run over by a concrete truck. Many. Concrete. Trucks. Oh, and so does TokyoPop for renaming it "Chibi Vampire" for its up and coming release of the manga. You do a great job with this kind of thing so often, TP, but "Chibi Vampire"? I'm so tempted to not buy it just to protest the name (but i probably will anyway).
Kashimashi Girl Meets Girl has a the hallmarks of an anime that i would normally run away from quite fast - boy turned into a girl by aliens, love triangle ensues between him/her and his two friends, both who are girls... ya. you get the idea. But then, there's more to this than you might think - a lot more subtlety, really. It's a good story. Fact is, i liked the manga, and the Anime is really doing a very nice job with the story. It's cute, its fun, its amusing as hell more often than not, and everyone is just gonna have to just come to grips with the fact that Tomari-chan is too good for any of em. :)
The most unusual one of this rather short list is actually quite new, and only two eps have aired so far, is REC. At only 9 episodes and only 12 minutes each, its going to be kind of an odd series, but the story piques my interest. Boy falls falls for voice actress who is a bit quirky and cute to boot. Some people have been majorly turned off by one particular element of the first ep, but if you are familiar with the manga, it kinda is just part of how the story works. Gee, kinda reminds me of some other story...
(required disclaimer - no, don't go digging into REC to find out where things might be going with MT, it won't really help you :P)
There. I suppose i sat here writing this more to keep my mind off of other things going on, but it worked :) Anime, manga, and all forms of entertainment really do serve a specific, and important task in our lives - they make us feel better about things, they make us think, laugh, cry, want to find out where the creators live and burn their houses down... life is a complicated mix up, and entertainment in most of its forms helps us remember that we're not the only ones with varying good stories, bad stories, boring stories, varying levels of production quality and expectations. It's all just part of the mix.