Feb. 15th, 2011


Kimi ni Todoke (anime series)

There is a season one and a season two (just started).

Season 1 Raving Here )

Season 2 Ranting Here )

Feb. 8th, 2011


Yumeiro Pâtissière (anime series)

I'm somewhat ambivalent about Yumeiro Patissiere. While it's like watching Iron Cheft meets Boarding School Adventures plus Fairies with some (so far,) slow paced romance and is enjoyable that way. I wince every-time one of the girls calls the other fat, or a girl decides she needs to be on a diet. I hate that it's expected culture, apparently in both the US and Japan (and who knows where else these days) for weight concern to be a major thing among girls. Especially when these girls are drawn so damn THIN. And the one woman we see who is heavier, while married, nothing is sad about her weight or if baking treats and sweets contributed to it. So then it was 'untouchable' ? But not when it's (english sub says at least) 13 year olds? Though even given that highschoolers often get pushed down to middleschool, with college goers pushed down to highschool, it's still teenage girls with the self conscious worry about weight threading through their lives.

Another thing I'm disliking? After episode upon episode of the main character being treated, hmm, not quite as an equal because she doesn't have the training, but as a contemporary and fellow student and a teammate - I'm very wincy at the idea of some Italian fellow making bets about 'making her his gf' when winning a challenge. For that matter, I cringe a lot at one girl throwing herself over and over and over again at one boy - like a never ending tide. Despite the fact said boy doesn't like her, doesn't like to be touched by her and while I cannot remember him saying no outloud, the fact that I have to search my mind for that at all, brings up more and more the gender reversal scenario of 'She didn't say no, so she must have liked it'. **shudder**

It's also grring to realize the protagonist (female - the main character) seems to have no skills whatsoever in claiming her personal space or autonomy with said Italian. Damnit, I enjoy the show, but this learned helplessness thing... Her being open and honest and forgiving of when people cheat her - at least she gets called airheaded for it. But the inability to smack someone's hand away? I am aware of cultural differences involved and yet it is still so painfully, invasively annoying. I guess because it ends up reading like one of the bars trying to lock women in 'performance of proper femininity'.

But all that aside, binding friendships, people cooking, and faeries that aren't annoying - for 63 episodes!

PS: Yes, the laugh IS very. very. very. very. annoying. Also the American.

PPS: There is a moment that mentions accessibility that damn near won me over despite all that seemingly approved cultural stalking and molestation.

PPPS: To anyone else who may have watched this? Selfish man is SELFISH.

Feb. 4th, 2011


Sake (anime series)

Oh sweet heaven, another anime where I'm all a twitter. MAH JOHNG is SERIOUS BUSINESS PEOPLE. Saki is like Angelic Layer, but with TILES. It makes me think of YUGIOH, only the contestants are all girls, there's gentle if obvious yuri and thought I know nothing of MAHJOHNG (seriously I play mahjohng solitaire so the most I can do is recognize the tiles) it doesn't feel like people are pulling things out their behinds at the last moment.

I am so pouty to discover it's not a longer anime. SO, POUTY. But now I MUST get my hands on the manga. It is so adorable. ADORABLE. Little baby lesbians EVERYWHERE. Ok technically it's all girls school 'best friend' closeness. But having gone to an all girls school, I know for a fact it is a hotbed of weird not quite lesbianism but don't you dare get between a 'couple' or trouble will happen, with them and their (shipping) fans!

Sometimes I'm busy living my life, dealing with things, so that it feels like a surprise, since I'm not currently thinking of relationships, to realize 'Oh yeah. I am SO gay. SO GAY'.

Feb. 2nd, 2011


Lucky Star (anime series)

I did not expect to find a slice of life, comedy, school life anime so enjoyable. But I really needed something light, where I wouldn't 'think' and thought, why not. And boom, I was hooked. There was all this meta about cliches, tropes, stereoptyes of Japanese people, tourists in Japan, anime and manga. And that was lovely. But what hooked me was teenage girls just talking - watching conversations flow the way they can in real life, naturally. And watching them discuss everything from periods to how to eat certain foods.

I did not realize I needed that. Well, I mean I know I greatly enjoy female focused things, or at least heroines. But knowing I enjoy a thing, and knowing it fits and fills a hole in me / tells a story I want to hear, are two different things. There are no big references to boyfriends and romance outside of friendly teasing. There is a whole lot of girl and family bonding, worries about school, different people having different goals and interests and ways of doing things...

1 Note. I started skipping the 'Lucky Channel' bits at the end after a few eps, because I greatfly dislike the trope of sullen + angry + violent girl and put upon boy. Tsun Tsun can go bite herself.

I wonder if there's Josei Manga that involves something like that? As most seem to center around if not focus on romantic relationships. If I could find Josei like Lucky Star where the 'girls' are grown up, with or without family that would be wonderful. Oh! yes! No disappeared, invisible, non caring, non involved parents in Lucky Star.

Sep. 24th, 2008


Anime: Fairy Musketeers (Otogi-Jūshi Akazukin).

I watched this series on Veoh and fell in absolute love. And I have to laugh at myself because originally somewhere around the 4th or 5th episode I caught a hard sudden dislike because the non-active protagonist (male/Souta) was doing some very cliche things.

I was watching in a very young state of mind and got frustrated that it seemed as if the audience was being talked down to. After all how many times does someone have to be told that the people around them are there to protect them but DON'T go rushing into danger? How old does someone have to be to get that concept?

About two episodes later I realized that two things had confused me. The main one was that the male character had very much been given a "female" role. And I usually accept that particular stupidity in female characters; running into trouble without any plan or power to really help. It was very enlightening to realize that while it annoys me in female characters I've an easier time accepting the impulse because women and girls are supposed to care so much that it blots out rational thought.

But leading into that was the realization that that the character himself didn't realize everything that was going on around him even if I as a viewer did. It seemed obvious to me, but I was never an ordinary 10-13yr old. Looking at his actions as confusion, determination and friend loyalty as appropriate to his age helped smooth out the only true rough patch I ended up having. And I was glad that I was so intrigued by the storyline and world building that I kept watching.

Like I said I watched the fan translation online. The dvds don't seem available via Amazon. I'm unsure if this is a wait and see thing or what. But I know when I can afford it, it'll be in my top three must buy series. Red Riding Hood, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty kick some serious tail in this and the music is really wonderful.

PS: The second best thing about this series was knowing the fairy-tales and legends so knowing and understanding the characters at a deeper level.