Ozuma Episode 3

A Thousand Years of Doubt

Maya decides to leave the ship so she won’t put everyone “in danger” and gets captured by Gido, which was inevitable. The more interesting part of this episode is the little flashback of her past with Gido and the other guy. So Maya is part of a special group of people called “Ideal Children”–clones with enhanced DNA. If you had read the show’s synopsis, guess that wouldn’t come as a big surprise. =P She’s more special than that in some way, though, and has a connection to those sand whales called Ozuma. Plus, it appears that Gido is the clone of Sam’s older brother since they look so similar.

So far, this just sounds like your standard clone story, and it probably won’t develop much more than this with only three episodes left. Still, the characters are interesting enough to keep watching, particularly the clones and the captain. On with the Maya rescue mission?

By the way…what a waste of food! *sighs* What? I’m starving. -_-

First Impression: The Legend of Korra

The Legend of Korra

Thanks to Justin and Doofus, I decided to check out the new Avatar series. First off, for those who don’t know, I didn’t grow up with Avatar. I was finishing up high school when it first aired and wasn’t watching much television anymore, let alone Nickelodeon. I regret it now, because I’ve always heard great things about it. You know, how it’s the best American cartoon ever and resembles anime so much. Just recently, I watched the first three episodes of the old Avatar and the first two episodes of this. Both series are indeed impressive, but I like the start of the sequel the best.

Honestly, I’m loving everything about it. As the new Avatar, Korra is training to master the four elements, but air-bending doesn’t come natural to her. She’s too impatient and hot headed, for one thing. The main attraction of this series for me is to see how she manipulates elements with slick moves and tries to fit in at Republic City, where benders and non-benders mingle together. The animation is excellent, and there’s lots of humor in the character’s facial expressions and dialogue. This is all true of the first Avatar as well, but I just take a stronger liking to Korra and this type of setting. Her enemies are anti-benders called the Equalists, so this should be pretty interesting, eh?

I’m very curious to know what the rest of you guys think, especially old fans. I believe the third episode won’t air until late April, so I’ll make up my mind about blogging it after that. *blogging* :3

Happy Birthday, Alex! ^_^

Muahaha, now it’s Alex’s turn to get all old and ewwie. His days of bossing me around and getting away with it because he’s a baby are long over! >:3

In all seriousness, I hope you all will join me in wishing him a Happy Birthday. He is the life of Meepinganime and has kept it running strong when I wasn’t around, with plenty great posts, reviews, and design layouts. His favorite things are TigerxBunny and EdxRoy doujinshi, so be sure to send a bunch of those to me, which I shall handle with great care until I see him. ^.^

Review: Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~

Ginyoku no Famu

Eight years ago, I dreamt of a second season to Last Exile. I still remember little bits and pieces of it—Lavie and Claus went to rescue Alvis from a monster at a water park, and Alex Rowe came back…fortunately not in swim trunks. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since the first season ended, because I remember it like it were yesterday, and I still love it just as much. When the real second season was announced, I was both shocked and extremely excited. Did it turn out to be like my dream? Well, not exactly, but it’s still a delight in and of itself. Plenty of eye candy and nostalgia!

Unfortunately, a lot of old fans don’t feel the same way towards the sequel as I do. They immediately thought it sucked because the new main character, Fam, is moe and starts the series by sleepwalking her way into trouble. Her personality is similar to Lavie’s because they’re both impulsive, but she’s much more happy-go-lucky, silly, and innocent. Point taken, she does get a little annoying. She rants about her dream to bring back the Grand Race, says inappropriate things without thinking, and she’s rather immature about politics and social class. At the end of her scenes, her childhood best friend and navigator, Giselle, just shakes her head with “Oh Fam.” But you see, that is what we have to do too. We just have to accept her quirks and move on. She’s nowhere near the worst, and I’d take her over a tsundere any day. And she’s certainly no reason to look down on the whole series with hatred. Come on, Last Exile isn’t ruined. Besides, I thought her relationship with Giselle was rather reminiscent of Claus and Lavie. ^^

I must admit that the plot hasn’t been Last Exile’s strong suit, for it’s much better at world building and strategic airship battles. After S1, I was confused as heck about what Exile was, where it came from, why Alvis was the “key” to it, why the war existed at all, and so on. The sequel seeks to provide some of these answers, as well as establishing a fascinating story that is much easier to follow. I had even called it “brilliant” in the beginning. By halfway point, things get pretty heated up to the point of thrilling. The only problem is the execution of it. Some episodes feel unnecessary, out of place, or are just not focused enough on other important characters. The finale is definitely not to everyone’s liking, making some plot elements and character deaths feel utterly pointless. I understand all that, but if you can, just try not to take everything too seriouslyAfter all, the heroine is a teenage girl. Last time, we had a teenage boy.

The new villain, Luscinia, is in many ways improved over Maestro Delphine. He actually has a history, interesting relationships with other characters, and is not pure evil. I’d say that the more interesting new characters are on his side–the five generals and a poor little girl who’s being manipulated in her decisions to lead her people. In fact, I wish that the series spent more time fleshing them out than Fam. And on Fam’s side, we’ve got a bunch of the old characters back–Dio, Tatiana, Allis, Vincent, and more!

In the end, what really made this series for me was the nostalgia. It was great fun to see the old characters and hear the old music again. I also liked that they kept the old title screen. Of course I prefer season one, as it has had eight years to sink in. Back then, it was new and fresh and left a great emotional impact on me. As interesting as the new characters are, I won’t be missing them nearly as much. But still, I can’t deny that the animation, story, and villains are improved here. There’s much to appreciate if you can get over Fam and other nit-picky flaws, especially if you’re an old fan like me. To the skies, everybody~ =D

Mimi’s Score: 8 Meeps out of 10 (Very Good)

Alex’s Score: 7 Meeps out of 10 (Good)

Doofus’ Score: 7 Meeps out of 10 (Good)

Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~ Episode 23

Grand Master

Woah…happiest ending ever! Luscinia entrusts Sara to Fam after she makes a little speech about dreams, goes down with Exile, and Sara brings back the Grand Race. Yay! Okay, so maybe it didn’t leave as great an impact as S1’s ending, but I still enjoyed it. The music was amazing, and it was especially nice to see Claus and Lavie again…though one thing is still lingering in the back of my mind. What happened to him?? D: And poor Fam…she fought for the race all season and didn’t even win, lol. Ah well, Dio and Lucciola’s spirit deserved it!

There are of course things that could have been improved upon. For instance, Fam’s secret background didn’t go anywhere, and it would have been very interesting to see that evolve earlier in the show instead of her lighthearted adventures. I thought Alvis was going to have an interesting role, but nothing happens with her either. There have been issues with character development–Millia is the only one I see who has changed significantly. The deaths are a little pointless–Vasant (abrupt) and Sadri (just wanted to retire from life), which drew no emotion out of me. At the end of the day, a little girl says “let’s get along everybody” and that brings peace. Yeah, it’s silly.

But again…I’m not exactly disappointed or anything. Even with its flaws, and even if it never gets better than S1, I still feel a special kind of love for it. *ends cheesy speech there* :3

Review: Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru was love at first sight. While the premise about a foreign card game called “Karuta” might be off-putting at first, you’d be surprised by how warm, beautiful, and epic a series about it can be.

Now, I’m not really a ‘game’ person. I couldn’t even tell you how to play Poker or Chess. When it comes to these things in anime, I have managed to enjoy Hikaru no Go and Shion no Ou purely because of character drama. So I was initially wary of this anime, wondering things like: What the heck is Karuta? Another game that will be hard to follow? Well much to my pleasant surprise, it’s the easiest thing ever to understand. As I said in my first impression, “the basic concept is to identify a specific card out of a bunch that are spread out and grab it before the other person. Written on each card are the last couple lines of poems, which the players identify by a card reader speaking the first line.”

While the game’s simplicity helps to get into it, it later proves to be fascinating by how emotionally and physically draining it gets on the players. I mean, they have to memorize all these cards and their positions that change in each game, concentrate on hearing the card reader, and be able to keep their energy up after lashing out at so many of them. For a card game, I sure didn’t expect it to be this intense. Not to mention the dramatic, slow-motion effects that come with each swipe… Karuta is also an art, as there is a deep meaning/story behind each poem.

Aside from the game, I’m pleased to say that Chihayafuru shines in every other way. The characters are passionate, endearing, and more “life-like” than your typical anime characters. The art is eye candy. The music is melodic and sweet. And there’s plenty of warm fuzzies to go around. My favorite characters would have to be the main trio, Chihaya, Taichi, Arata, who start out as childhood friends and compete each other in Karuta years later. There’s just something epic-feeling about watching them work hard to reach their dreams. The best part is being able to feel all their joys and frustrations which are so strongly conveyed. With the amount of set-backs they’ve been through, you can expect the character development to be superb.

Karuta manages to stay entertaining throughout the anime because of the different kinds of opponents Chihaya goes up against. No two games feel exactly the same. But during the middle of the series, they begin to lose a little suspense due to Chihaya’s winning formula: Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and remember your friends. =P My only major complaint really is that the anime doesn’t exactly…well…end. In truth, Chihaya’s journey is far from being over, and a new awesome character gets introduced. It almost feels like we just finished watching 25 episodes of build-up, and now the real stuff is about to begin. A second season would fix things quite nicely!

Despite being incomplete, this has been an amazing, heartfelt experience from beginning to end, accomplishing more in the way of character development than many other anime of its length. The moralistic, upbeat nature of it often made me feel like the happiest person ever. Chihaya herself falls in my special list of strongest female protagonists in anime. All of the characters will be deeply missed, but I’m still hoping…!

Mimi’s Score: 9 Meeps out of 10 (Great)

    

Chihayafuru Episode 25

Moonlight Clear and Bright

The tournament ends, with Sou Hisashi and the snowman girl claiming victory once again. Although it leaves everyone feeling a bit dreary, it doesn’t take long for Chihaya, Taichi, and Arata to pick themselves back up and practice…practice…practice. And poor Kana-chan discovers she has to make class A in order to become a card reader. Well, I’m sure she can make it in a few more seasons. *patpat*

So…we knew that the series would leave off incomplete, but at least they didn’t pull a terrible cliffhanger on us. Instead, it just shows that they’ll never give up their dreams and seems to promise more material. Like, will they get five more club members to be able to keep their room? Who’re they going to be?

While it’s awkward to call something so incomplete to be “satisfying,” I am pretty content with the character development for the main ones….and I’m going to miss them terribly until (hopefully) another season comes out, or the manga material gets translated beyond this point. *crosses fingers* I’ll save everything else I have to say for the review~