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Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

And here’s the still rather delayed round 2, in which I’ll look briefly at Ookamikakushi and Sora no Woto.

Ookamikakushi

This was the show I believe I was most anticipating from the Winter/Spring 2010 lineup.

Ookamikakushi obviously has its claws in the mystery genre. Hiroshi, his author father and wheelchair-bound younger sister Kana have recently moved to a new town known for its age old religion involving a wolf deity and a special kind of citrus fruit (that resembles a mandarin, but apparently isn’t). Shortly after arriving, Hiroshi is instantly glomped by a hyper-energic girl called Isuzu.


Hmm, that’s a pretty obscene first greeting.


The little sister is not impressed.

Similarily, during his first school day as a new transfer student, he is FAR more popular (with guys & girls) than his fairly average personality and looks would suggest, apparently for no reason.

That is, except for one girl, Nemuru, whom it seems is well known for her less than social nature; and makes it quite clear that she despises his very existance. Despite this, her presence is highly commanding, and she manages to scare others away.


Nemuru does not do polite.


He was so buddy-buddy before, but now he’s terrified?

Whilst Hiroshi is walking around town with Isuzu, we also learn that this town is split into an old and new area. Apparently, some did not like the idea of expansion, and so moved to the old town,  the area across the river. These old town people hate new town people. We also learn that no shop is open after 7 and people are rarely on the streets after 8: the towns nightlife is apparently absent.

Finally, we see the guy who got strangely scared of Nemuru before being chased among alleyways. He is a werewolf (?) perhaps as he reacts to seeing the blood moon. But before anything happens, he is cut down by a masked white haired girl. With her mask off, she strongly resembles Nemuru gone albino. The next day, Hiroshi asks why that guys desk has gone. Nemuru curtly arrives and informs Hiroshi that he has moved town.


Apparently he’s also a lycanthrope? (not a very good one, mind you…)


As Albino-Nemuru cuts him in two with her stupidly large scythe.

Naturally, it seems almost a given that Nemuru is actually the wolf-goddess described in the legends; and it is possible that the construction of the new town has also come hand in hand with some kind of curse? We also see some slightly crazy Isuzu in the intro (that is…slightly more crazy than usual, so that is obvious forshadowing).

I’m not 100% sold on it with just the first episode, but I have got the second and third to digest yet, and I am noticeably interested.

Sora no Woto

This follows a girl called Kanata, whom, in her childhood (as a war orphan?),  saw a woman whom was a military herald. This apparently inspired her to join the army so that she could be taught to play an instrument.

When she arrives at her new assignment, the town is in preparation for a grand festival to celebrate fire maidens whom apparently doused themselves in water and continually embraced a vicious fire demon in order to protect the town. Since she is early, she wanders around town and gets herself doused in wine.

After this, another girl, Rio (whom we eventually learn is her superior and sempai) lets her use the bath and clean her uniform. During this time we notice that Kanata has really good hearing and discerns different tones really well, as demonstated in her listening to her sempai’s rining bell. Unfortunately, a thieving owl steals the bell. Kanata goes after it as she still has time before having to report in.

Eventually, she succeeds, but gets hopelessly lost in a nearby valley in the process. She decides to call for help by blowing her trumpet.

The older girl from before, Rio, is actually dressed up to be the fire maiden in festival, and hears Kanata blaring on her trumpet in the valley. Some of the people think this is surprisingly like another prophecy related to the festival.

Anyway, Kanata is rescued, waking up the next morning after passing out in the valley. Rio reprimands her but isn’t too mad since her bell was recovered in the process. We learn that the garrison is called the Time-Telling Fortress because it has a really nice view of the sunrise and it apparently their duty there to play various morning calls. Rio promises to teach Kanata how to be a good trumpeteer. Unfortunately, at the moment, she is total crap, as the townspeople laugh to themselves at her blaring from the fortess.

Could be interesting, this one. Has a relaxing pace and concept to it. I imagine Kanata will eventually become amazing, or something. Again, it’s not entirely caught my attention yet (depends on where they take it), but its got potential.

Thats all for now.

Ah yeah, I’ve decided after watching the next few Baka no Test episodes that I’m almost certainly not going to bother with it anymore. Lack of sense/plot, a rampant abundance of gratuitous homosexuality, and characters that are too cookie-cutter generic have made me facepalm one too many times, I think. The whole summoned creatures part actually seems surprisingly tacked on, which is a bit of a shame since I reckon it could have been the show’s saving grace if had been done well…

Next up will be Durarara! and Ladies vs. Butlers, when I get around to watching them. As you might imagine, crushing schedule and backlog do not a good update situation make. But stay tuned anyway, yeah?

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Yikes. I have to start with an apology for starting this stuff so late, but I’ve been doing an seemingly exhausting amount of work recently which has obviously had the means to drain away all of my time. Though it’s immensely belated (most shows are about to get to their 3rd episode by now!), its time for the usual evaluations of the anime this season. That said, I guess that there isn’t a huge amount to cover, so though I have alot to catch up,  I still imagine I’ll be able to do it in three or four posts (he says…yet again).

Anyway, I’ll start with Baka no Test and Dance in the Vampire Bund.

Baka no Test (aka. the Idiots, the Tests, and the Summoned Creatures)

The random prediction I made about this in the previews turned out correct: the chibi versions are indeed the summoned creatures (facepalm). Anyway, this is another one of those highly discriminating tiered school systems that manga and light novel writers seem to love the idea of. Special A of course being the other notable one, where the ultimate students get the ultimate facilities. Of course, that focuses on the top, this on the bottom. We hear about Yoshii, who is a complete idiot, so gets assigned to class F. We also hear about Himeji, the token lovely awesome girl who also happens to be sickly and in ultimate discrimation, she gets assigned to F because of her illness preventing her from taking the exam. I’m sure I’d smell a lawsuit there if this were based on the assumption of any other country.

Anyway, Class F naturally has cardboard coffee tables, smelly tatami floors and an unmotivated teacher. Where most schools try their dardest to give the ‘intellectually challenged’ extra special help to make up for their problems, this school does all it can to remind them of just how awful and idiotic they are.

Naturally, Class F immediately starts a revolution, which is apparently allowed in the school charter, by challenging Class E to a virtual reality summoned creature battle with the stakes being Class E’s classroom and facilities (which are at least slightly less drafty with hardwood desks). Basically, students summon a creature which has hitpoints equal to their current total exam score. If their creature gets KO’ed they have to immediately take remedial lessons to get their score up, and can also leave and take more exams to increase health and attack power.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to go very well. Even though the battle goes evenly for a time (as it real idiots vs. slight idiots), the eventual difference in grades slowly becomes clear. Yoshii, the protagonist, has a slight secret weapon: he’s such an idiot he has to help teachers with chores so his chibi has the special ability to affect real-world objects. Unfortunately it also passes on its pain to its user, and in fact becomes totally useless.

So, of course, everyone in class F ends up relying on Himeji, who is of course a super genius only relegated to the class due to sickness. She completes 5 exams in the space of 30 minutes and pumps her creatures score up to 412, turning it into a greatsword wielding warrior girl chibi:

Which, of course, goes onto pwning all of class E simultaneously with a giant super-robot wars style FMV attack.

Which was apparently the class presidents plan all along. Strangely though, he forfeits the prize for some reason, and then a ludicrous challenge letter arrives for class F from… Class A? Oh dear…

Though the concept is fairly dumb, it is at least pretty. I imagine this will be one of the shows that will be fighting over my last couple of remaining slots rather than being guaranteed one. Nevertheless, its good chances as a backup show, especially on those days you want to watch mindless entertainment.

Dance in the Vampire Bund

Again, this one turned out fairly similar to my initial estimations in some respects: Vampires reveal themselves to the world because they buy a entire slice of Japan in order to form themselves a new country due to the efforts of Mina Tepes. However, I didn’t expect HOW they would do this: though the medium of TV show (within a TV show… whee go narrative framing).

It’s played straight, as they bring in various “experts” (ironically, the actual manga-ka guest star is THIS show’s original manga-ka) to determine the validity of vampires, whom of course throw out the concept.

Only to have the proof shoved in their face, first normally as Mina Tepes appears as a girl in the audience and evidence is provided from a recent murder scene.

Of course, still no 0ne take the bait when they they play it straight, so it comes down to the stupid actions the vain special guest star, an actor playing the vampire in a recent live action adaptation of a vampire manga, whom turns out to actually be one (ableit one with the true form of a ‘frog’ which is weird) and also the one resposible for the recent murders.

This idiot is promptly destroyed on live television by Mina, who promptly makes her announcement to the world.

Of course, they’ve turned the literary tradition on its head, not that I didn’t expect it. Since this Mina is apparently the descendant (?) of Vlad, rather than one of his wives as is the case in Dracula.

I have also actually watched the second and third episodes of this. Werewolves appear…and there’s a mighty amount of dubious loli fanservice provided by Mina herself (notably, the scene with the application of super suncream…OH DEAR).  The fact that all of this (the blood and the nudity) is also provided without censoring (fairly rare in an anime) suggests this is shown REALLY late at night. But hey, it makes a refreshing change.

I’m rather interested to see where they take this, so I’ll probably continue to follow this.

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Eh, actually, I think I forgot to blog the previous Kara no Kyokai, didn’t I? Yeah…oh well…

This is the sixth one in the chain and is a bit shorter than Paradox Spiral (5), being only an hour long.

As I noted before, they call these episodes, but when each one lasts 50 to 120 minutes, I think they’re more like individual movies (they were shown in Japanese cinemas anyway).

This one includes 100% more Azaka for your enjoyment, as she is paired with Shiki on an assignment in her own magic school to catch a rogue magus who has killed someone with fairies (well, more accurately, made someone to kill themselves). Of course, Shiki is sent here by Touko because apparently her Mystic Eyes of Death Perception allow her to see the fairies they are tracking, which apparently, Azaka cannot. Strangely enough, however, Azaka seems to see the fairies (and block them with her mages fire) several times in the film, so I have to wonder whether this was a serious continuity error Nasu forgot about or whether it was intentional, and Touko actually just used this as an excuse to see what would happen if Shiki and Azaka, eternal rivals for Kokutou, were paired together. This would suit her personality, I guess, but then, Azaka also misses some fairies at times, so whatever…

I’d also say this one is a bit less grusome than the prior couple. Fewer rotting corpses, slightly more lighthearted plot and all that. Though we do get an exposure to all of Azaka’s incestuous feelings toward her brother, so I guess its just a different form of poison.

What did amuse me though is that Azaka’s thought that Shiki is a rival for Kokutou’s love actually seems to be false. Shiki riles her up about it alot, but never actually seems to be bothered about it. I guess that kills all the obvious evidence for Kokutou x Shiki. I can almost hear the shippers screaming. Though the sexual tension of Strawberry Hagen-Daaz incident is still there from the first movie, I suppose.

Azaka gets to play the Kawaii card a hell of a lot here as well. But then, I guess she is the episode focus, so whatever.

I did like the Gods Word guy. That’s a fun magic concept, making anything you say become true. Saying ‘You cannot See Me!’ and suddenly, they can’t. Logromancy, I suppose. It completely foils Shiki’s usually infalliable eyes and makes her rather inneffective this episode, which is quite a rarity.

I also lol’ed that Seo, from Kagetsu Tohya, showed up. Though she may well be in the actual novels and it was actually Kagetsu that stole her from here, I don’t know…

Araya also shows up again to be deliberately creepy, witnessing a cannibalism thing at the end.

Anyway, here’s some shots:
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Well, you should be!! Jeez, woman…its like Sister Princess all over again.

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Wow, that looks dodgy. Azakas little speech about loving forbidden things is really true! LOL.

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Prototype Rin! (in case it isn’t obvious, Azaka was the template for Rin from Fate Stay Night. Especially the delicious Tsundere aspects. She was also probably a bit of an influence on Akiha with the brother love tendancies.)

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Nothing. Nothing at all. As a side note, do you prefer ‘Shiki-sama no Miteru’ or ‘Maria-sama no Kyoukai’? This episode certainly seems to steer in that direction from time to time, ROFL.

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For some reason, I noticed that Azaka crashing onto her bed was really well animated. There was bounceback and flailing of limbs and all that, as there should be. Most animated sequences of this regard seem to percieve beds as being made of concrete.

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Gwaaaahhhhh! Definately an Akiha vibe going on there, with the vermillion hair as she pours mage fire everywhere.

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And suddenly, Kawaii!

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This guy just ate somebody (no really!).

Hmm, well that was a fun episode. I look forward to more Kara no Kyokai, as always.

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Dang, sorry about the delay, folks. Works been totally consuming my time as per usual, and I really can’t get into blogging when knackered after a day at work. Anyhow, its time for another first impression. I’ll try to get them all done in the next couple of days.

Bakemonogatari has just had its second episode air, by and the by. In general, the preview I gave before isn’t exactly too far off the mark. In other words, our protagonist, Araragi, got turned into a vampire, but then was cured by a supernatural problem-solver /slash/ homeless guy, Oshino. The story of how this actually occured will most likely be told in later episodes, though there was a fast, epilepsy inducing montage of things that presumably happened before the start, as the first episodes intro. I also suspect the Loli-pilot-hat-wearing vampire girl is involved.

However, the first two episodes in fact cover the ‘healing’ or whatever of Senjogahara, the ‘paperweight staple girl’, as I’ve named her. Because she has a curse of sorts that makes her weigh just 5 kg. Near the start, she has slipped on a banana peel (cliche!) and ends up flying miles to caught by the protagonist on a stairwell. He delves into the matter, only to be threatened by her and her wide range of stationary to keep it a secret. Which results in him being stapled in the mouth. Ouch.

Of course, she thought this would be enough to shut him up, but didn’t count on the fact that he’s a healed vampire. Though mostly human now, he still has absurd regeneration. So the mouth staple does little. To help her, he then offers to take her to the same guy who healed his curse. We discover her curse is caused by a crab god which eats emotions.

Anyway, some screencaps:
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Catch this! Most maidens would love to never gain weight, I would imagine. But then, being 5kg is REALLY light.

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Wow, a fully expanded Stanley Knife to mouth is a pretty terrifying thing!

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Correcting your grammar whilst threatening someone? Now THATS STYLE!

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Whoa! Pocket Dimension of vicious stationary!

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How considerate of you. That doesn’t help the fact that it REALLY hurts!

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Said Loli-Pilot-Hat-Wearing-Vampire girl is awesome.

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Given Oshino’s appearance, you can’t help but question his ability to drive out curses, I suppose.

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Staplegirl gets to be immensely kawaii despite her vicious streak.

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And also provides a copious amount of fanservice for everyone.

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A proclaimation that many men would absolutely love to hear from most women, no doubt. I also LOL’ed that she has a stapler and scissor print on her underwear. Says everything you need to know, really…

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No really! Notice Oshino has got his proper Kan’nushi outfit on now, Lol.

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Araragi also manages to have some immensely cute little sisters…

Anyway, this show is fascinating. It manages to take a good chunk of horror and mindfuck, and yet somehow make it amusing and surprisingly light hearted, usually in all the little details, from the obvious like Senjogahara’s pocket dimension of stationary, to the subtle, many more of which I picked up when combing through the episodes again for screencaps. Its made a very good impression on me, and I think it’ll a get a slot.

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