Blog Archives

Chobits – Review

This anime is almost as cute as it is humurous.  Chobits is about Hideki Motosuwa, a boy who is attending a prep school in Tokyo.  He dreams of owning a persocom, or Chobits, a life-size personal computer, but they are so expensive.  On his way to his apartment one night, he finds one in the trash.  He takes in home and…it works!  There’s only one thing; it may work, but it has been completely wiped out.  The only thing this beautiful persocom can say is “chi.”

Hideki decides to keep her and hopefully she can learn.  Chii, as Hideki calls her, spends the majority of the anime learning new things, which is really funny.  She is sent out to buy underpants for herself and, while she’s walking down the street, she starts lifting up girl’s skirts shouting “underpants!”  Hideki’s neighbor and friend, Hiromu Shinbo, has a mobile persocom, Sumomo, who helps Chii in making sure she gets things right.

The big plot behind all this is where Chii comes from and her relationship with Hideki.  Persocoms are not supposed to have emotions, but somehow she does.  They have to find out where she comes from so that they can figure out why she is having emotions.

Hideki is your typical Japanese anime male character.  He is generally a nice guy, but he gets embarassed very easily.  Chii is just plain cute!  Sumomo is one of my favorites; she’s fun and always ready for anything.  While the majority of the anime is comedic, towards the end it becomes very dramatic.  Throughout the anime, there is a romantic relationship building between Chii and Hideki.

There are four songs in all.  The opening theme is “Let Me Be With You” by Round Table and Nino.  “Reason to Be” by Rie Tanaka is the first theme, the second is “Mermaid Princess” by Rie Tanaka, and the third is “Awkward Love” by Rie Tanaka and Tomokazu Sugita.  The opening is my absolute favorite of them all.

There’s 8 volumes for the manga and the anime is 26 episodes long.  I, for one, feel that the ending isn’t enough.  The last episode, I wanted to complete the entire story, but it just left me a little underwhelmed.  That’s not to say I didn’t love the anime because I did!  It’s really a fun anime for anyone wanting to watch a romantic comedy.

Story: 9

Characters: 8

Music: 9

Voices: 8

Artwork: 9

Overall: 9 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

Vampire Knight (Anime) – Review

I was introduced to this anime through a friend who wanted me to read the manga.  I haven’t read the manga yet, seeing as I already have three ongoing mangas I’m reading, but I do plan to in the future.  There’s alot in the anime that I like.

Vampire Knight is about Cross Academy, a high school where vampires attend night classes.  Yuki Cross is the main character; her earliest memory is, as a child, being attacked by a vampire and also rescued by one, Kaname Kuran.  This was ten years earlier.  Yuki and Zero Kiryu, a vampire hunter, are guardians at the school.  They protect the secret of the “Night Class” students.  Within a few episodes, you find out that four years earlier, Zero was bitten by a pure blood, the only type of vampire that can turn humans into vampires.  He’s spent those years fighting the slow and painful transformation.

Yuki, once she finds out, promises to help Zero when he becomes a vampire.  There is a type of vampire called, Level E, which are crazed vampires who have lost their humanity.  All human-turned vampires are destined for this fate.  Yuki basically promises to kill Zero once he reaches this state, if he ever does.  Kaname is a pure blood and acts as leader of all the vampires in the “Night Class” while also acting as protector of Yuki, whom he loves.  Yuki also loves him because he is her first memory and he has protected her for the ten years since.  However, you always feel that Kaname knows more than what he leads on.  Zero also loves Yuki, but hates Kaname and all vampires for what happened to him and his family, who were killed by a pure blood.

I don’t want to spoil the anime, but I feel like if I explain the story anymore, I will.  The characters are actually really good.  Yuki got on my nerves a little at the beginning, but she’s very caring and can be a little funny.  Zero (right) is an almost stoic character.  He never smiles and he’s very reclusive.  Kaname (left), my favorite, always appears as though he’s thinking about something, like there’s something coming.  So, whenever you see him just looking out the window, it’s suspenseful.  You almost get the impression that he’s the puppet master pulling the strings of everyone.  A couple of the other vampires are great, too; I love Hanabusa and Ichijou.  Hanabusa is so funny while Ichijou is little of everything.

I love the opening and ending songs for this anime.  For the first season, the opening is Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi by ON/OFF and the ending is Still Doll by Kanon Wakeshima.  For the second season, the opening is Rondo by ON/OFF and the ending is Suna no Oshiro by Kanon Wakeshima.  I do like the fact that they kept the same artists for the opening and ending, but used different songs.

There is a second season, Vampire Knight Guilty, which is good, too.  It is a continuation, but there’s new problems, too.  Unlike a lot of anime, where the second season feels rushed, this one flows very well, I think.  Each season is 13 episodes.  The manga is 13 volumes, but is ongoing.  If you enjoy vampires and romance, this is an anime for you.

Story: 10

Characters: 10

Artwork: 9

Music: 9

Voices: 9

Overall: 9 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

Black Butler (All-in-One) – Review

Finally, I’ve come to review my favorite anime of all.  I do have about five favorite anime, but I think this one above all is my absolute favorite.  Kuroshitsuji, or Black Butler, is just…EPIC!  There’s more than just anime for this one, too, so I’m reviewing it all in one!  There’s the manga, the music, and the anime…and a musical, which I haven’t seen yet, and a videogame, which I have yet to play.

Black Butler is about a demon, Sebastian Michaelis, who makes a contract with a boy, Ciel Phantomhive.  The contract is basically that Sebastian serves Ciel as his butler until he takes his revenge against whoever killed his parents; after that, Sebastian get’s Ciel’s soul.  It’s set in Victorian England.  The first season of Black Butler is about Sebastian helping Ciel take his revenge.  The second season is just the continuation, but introduces a new demon, Claude Faustus.
I don’t want to give anything away so that’s all I’m telling you.  HA!  On to my review.

Sebastian really is “one hell of a butler.”  He’s attractive, but so very mysterious.  He’s funny when the time’s right; I’ll say one word…cat fetish.  Ciel, even though he’s just a boy, is very mature.  I love his character because you don’t expect him to be the way he is.  Granted, once you find out everything he went through, you’ll be more sympathetic and understand.

There are so many characters that I can’t describe them all, but I will tell you about a few of my favorites.  Grell Sutcliff is my favorite character second to Sebastian.  This guy is hilarious and utterly drool-worthy.  Grell is a Soul-Reaper and is absolutely in love with Sebastian, or Sebas-chan as he calls him, which I’m guessing would be like calling him Sebby for short.  Undertaker is, well, the undertaker, and he’s very creepy, but in a fun way.

Claude Faustus, who is only in the second season, is another demon.  I know that a lot of people hate Claude and his contracted, Alois Trancy, but I actually like Claude.  He’s an interesting character.  I really wish I knew more about him than what the anime shows.  I really do hate Alois though…he can just die!  Some other important characters are Elizabeth, Ciel’s fiance, Madame Red, Ciel’s aunt, Queen Victoria, William T. Spears, another Soul-Reaper, Prince Soma, an Indian Prince, and Soma’s butler, Agni.  There’s also the others who help in the Phantomhive manor: Finnian, May-Rin, Bardroy, and Tanaka.  Oh, and I can’t forget Pluto, the hell-hound.

The story can be very dramatic and at times there are some real loving moments.  Sebastian is devoted to Ciel in every way.  You come to realize just how important Sebastian is to Ciel and it can be very heart-wrenching.  One episode in particular where you realize this is the episode involving the camera.  This camera shows, in the photo of a person, the most important thing to that person that has passed on to the next world.

The first season is out in English now, but the voices aren’t the best.  Some of them are ok, but the Japanese version is better.  Jun Fukuyama voices Grell, which is just perfect!  Daisuke Ono is Sebastian, which is another perfect match.  In English, the voices are done with an accent, which I think was a mistake.  Finnian’s voice is the worst, Jason Liebrecht, no offense, I just think it was a bad match.  Undertaker is way better in Japanese, too; it’s so much more creepy.  The anime is at a total of 36 episodes.

The manga is so much more in-depth and is ongoing as of right now, 11 volumes.  The anime stretches past the manga so the manga’s story hasn’t gotten to the point of even the first season of the anime yet.  Usually I don’t review anything until it’s finished, but the manga is great, too.  The artwork is beyond great and there’s so many more minor storylines.

As for music, in the anime, it’s so good.  The opening for the first season is Monochrome no Kiss by SID, the first ending is I’m Alive by Becca, and the second ending is Lacrimosa by Kalafina.  The opening for the second season is Shiver by the Gazette and the ending is Bird by Matsushita Yuuya.  You’ll want to get all the songs.  However, there’s some you’ll want even more if you love this anime.  You’ll want to get all the character songs, too, as well as the soundtrack.  The character songs are all great!  My favorites are the songs for Grell, Prince Soma and Angi (their duet), and Sebastian.  All the songs are sung by the character’s Japanese voice actors.  I love them!!!

I can’t possibly describe all the good things about this anime, manga, and the music.  I hope that the manga continues with the story in the anime and maybe past that so there can be a Kuroshitsuji 3!  Watch it!!!!

Story: 10

Characters: 10

Artwork: 10

Music: 10

Voices: 8 (in English); 10 (in Japanese)

Overall: 10 out of 10

This is a video of the first ending credits.  The song is one of my favorites and the video is…KAWAII!

^_^ Sayonara!

The Cat Returns – Review

Ah!  The Cat Returns!  One of my favorite Studio Ghibli films; I’ve seen it so many times.  Hayao Miyazaki, please make a sequel!!!  ^_^ (I’m such a kid…)

Haru is a normal high school girl who’s going through the normal teenage stuff; the boy she likes doesn’t notice her and she lacks self-confidence.  On her way home from school, she saves a cat from being run over and he thanks her.  Yes, the cat thanks her.  Later that night, cats come to her house, the King specifically.  These cats tell her that the cat she saved was the Prince and to thank her, they will be giving her gifts.  Haru’s mother tells her that she actually told her when she was a kid that she could talk to cats.  The next day, she finds out that the gifts are catnip and mice!  One cat comes to make sure she’s enjoying her gifts, but tells her that she’s been offered the Prince’s hand in marriage.  Haru’s shocked reply is mistaken as an agreement, which is very bad.

Haru overhears a voice that tells her to find a big white cat and ask to be taken to the Cat Bureau.  The voice tells her that they will be able to help her.  This is how we meet Fatso, I mean Muta.  ^_^  He takes her to the Cat Bureau to meet the Baron, but before he can help her, she is kidnapped, or should I say catnapped?  They are taken to the Cat Kingdom, where she is now the same size as the cats.  Haru is taken to the palace where she realizes she’s becoming a cat.
The Baron rescues her, but they have to get to the top of the tower in order to return home and in order to get to the tower, they have to get through the King’s maze while guards are coming after them.

Haru is such a great character.  She’s normal in almost every way except that she can talk to cats.  Baron is the best though; he’s noble, brave, and so sweet.  Muta is hilarious, especially his fights with a crow named Toto.

The voices of the characters are some of the best.  Anne Hathaway voices Haru, which is perfect!  Baron has a British accent, which I think fits him the best.  The main song in the film is Kaze ni Naru by Ayano Tsuji.  I love this song so much.  Every time I listen to it, it immediately reminds me of the movie because it fits so well.

My biggest problem with the film is that it ends!  I want so badly for her to go back to the Cat Bureau and see Baron again.  There needs to be a sequel.  Seriously.

Story: 10

Characters: 10

Artwork: 9

Music: 9

Voices: 10

Overall: 9.5 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

Ore no Imouto – Review

Ore no Imouto, fully named Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, translates as My Little Sister Can’t be This Cute.  This was an anime that I was hesitant to watch.  I was doing an only anime/manga craft swap and my partner had this listed as her favorite so I watched it to get an idea of what sort of things she liked and as it turns out, I loved it, too!

It’s about a teenage boy named Kyosuke who lives with his younger sister, Kirino, but they hardly talk because they are so different.  In fact, she never seems to really notice he’s there.  One day, Kyosuke finds a DVD in their house.  The case is of a magical girl anime, but the disk inside is actually eroge (an adult PC game).  After he asks, at the dinner table, if anyone knew about a magical girl anime, his sister acts a little weird, but doesn’t say anything.  Later that night, she reveals to her brother that she is an otaku, a person who has an anime/manga/videogame addiction.  She shows him her extensive collection of adult games that focus on a little sister theme.  Kyosuke, is told to help her with life advice, and also is helping her keep her secret from their parents.

The whole series is about the relationship that the brother and sister find with each other and how Kyosuke helps Kirino find friends she can talk to and gain confidence.  Kyosuke is probably my favorite character.  He’s so cute and loves his sister and is willing to sacrifice his dignity to help her, which he has to do numerous times.  Kirino is stubborn and continues to act like she’s taking her brother for granted.  The friends that she makes, who are also otaku, are Ruri and Saori.  Ruri, or Kuroneko, often wears cosplay and is an opposite personality to Kirino.  She’s always insulting Kirino and getting into arguments, but they become great friends.  Saori is a little crazy and very tall.

In the manga, more information is revealed about Saori, however, in the anime, you don’t get much information.  There’s one episode where you see a well dressed wealthy girl, which you find out was Saori, but that’s all you get.  It doesn’t go into any more detail.  Manami is Kyosuke’s childhood friend and you know that she is secretly in love with him.  She does make a small move in one episode, but that’s another thing that you never get anything else on.

It is a 3 volume manga, but is a 14 (including a 12.5) episode anime that features an alternative ending (just like an eroge game).  You decide the ending.  Both endings are good, but I do prefer one over the other.  I love the fact that it has two endings.  The artwork was a major surprise to me; it’s fantastic.  The opening song has actually become one of my favorite songs of all time!  It’s called Irony by a new Japanese girl group called ClariS.  The ending song is the same as the opening.  The Japanese version is the only version out right now, but the voices are good.

This anime was so cute!  It may not be for everyone though.  It’s not really romance, it’s not really a full comedy, but it’s also not a full drama either.  There’s some near Ecchi moments, but it’s not too much.  It’s just plain cute!  If your into the cuter anime/manga, then you may love this!

Story: 10

Characters: 9

Artwork: 9

Music: 10

Voices: 9

Overall: 9 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

Kiki’s Delivery Service – Review

Kiki’s Delivery Service is another one of the many Studio Ghibli films that will steal your heart.  There’s nothing like Studio Ghibli to make you feel happy and free.  It’s the only way I can describe it.  I grew up on Totoro and Kiki’s Deliver Service was my second Studio Ghibli film I ever saw.  I’ve seen it so many times since then.  I’m 22 and I still love watching these films and I feel like a carefree kid again when they’re done.

Kiki is a young witch who just turned 13.  It’s a custom that whenever a witch turns 13, she takes off on her own for a year to train her abilities.  She is excited about becoming independent and leaving home for the first time just her, her broom, and her best friend, her cat, Jiji.  Her mom and dad see her off on a clear full moon.  The clear night quickly turns into a rainstorm and she gets into a train to stay dry.  After falling asleep, the train moves and takes her to a sea-side town.  She decides that this is where she’ll live.  There’s only one problem.  Kiki has nowhere to stay and not much money.

She finds a bakery and a nice woman who works there says she can stay as long as she can watch the store sometimes.  Kiki decides that, since flying is the only skill she has, she’ll start a delivery service.  It takes off!  However, she starts to lose her confidence as a witch and her powers begin to fizzle.  She can’t talk to Jiji anymore and she also can’t fly.  Her boss is understanding and tells her that she needs to rest.  She has to find her confidence and the reason she flies in the first place in order for her powers to return.

Of course, there are some characters that I have to mention.  Kiki is so sweet and helpful.  She wants to help everyone and is quick to lend a hand.  Jiji likes to take the safe way out of every situation.  He’s always trying to tell Kiki to slow down.  Tombo is a friend Kiki makes; at first, she doesn’t like him, but later on they become really good friends.  He’s funny and is always nice to Kiki.  Osono is her boss at the bakery who is pregnant during the movie, but she’s always busy and willing to help Kiki with anything.  Ursula is a painter that helps Kiki out during her hard times when her powers are at a low.  She teaches Kiki that you have to believe in yourself.

This movie is truly magical, which is expected of a Studio Ghibli movie.  The English voices fit the characters perfectly and the music is one of my favorite parts.  There are two songs by Sydney Forest that I find addicting.  I’m singing along to them as I’m writing this.  The beginning song is called Soaring and the ending song is called I’m Gonna Fly.  In the Japanese version the songs are different.  The opening is Message of Rouge and the ending is Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta nara, both by Yumi Arai.

As with all Studio Ghibli movies that I’ve reviewed, I can’t say anything bad.  These are close to my heart.  I know they’ll be close to your’s too.

Story: 10

Characters: 9

Artwork: 9

Music: 10

Voices: 9

Overall: 9 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

Ouran Host Club – Review

I will warn you now…this is going to be a rather extensive review.  This is one of my favorite anime and I have seen it, all the way through, three times.  Ouran, for me, is one of the best anime I have seen.

Fujiyoka is a girl who just started her first year at Ouran Academy, a private school.  She is a commoner who is there on scholarship.  The anime opens to Haruhi looking for a quiet place to study.  The libraries are full and noisy so she sets off to find an open room.  She comes across an old music room that, she thought, wasn’t being used.  Opening the door, she is greeted by the Ouran High School Host Club!

This group of quite attractive boys believe that she is a boy accompanied by the belief that “he” is into boys because “he” is at the host club.  Haruhi, who is dressed in casual clothes, short hair, and glasses, doesn’t appear to be a girl at all.  In the process of trying to escape their leader’s grasp, she knocks a vase off its pedestal.  They inform her that this vase costs approximately 8,000,000 Yen, or $80,000.  Of course, she offers to pay it back, but she can’t afford it so they tell her that she will be the host’s dog until she pays them by through work.  The boys do find out that she’s a girl by the end of the first episode, but they decide that instead of being their “dog,” she will work off her debt by being a host, thus, dressing as a boy the entire time.

The anime is ultimately about her time spent as a host, but it’s also about the relationships between the boys and herself.  A lot of people think of Haruhi as a “lesser being” because of where she’s from.  “Lineage counts first, wealth a close second.”

The characters are some of my favorite characters of all anime I’ve seen.  Tamaki Suou, the “Princely Type,” is a rich French-Japanese boy who at times can be completely dense.  He comes to think of Haruhi as his “daughter,” and he her “Daddy.”  However, it turns out to be much more than that.  Kyoya Ootori, the “Cool Type,” is the genius boy who wears glasses.  Tamaki calls him the “Mommy” of the group.  Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin, the “Little Devil Type” or otherwise known as “Twincest,” are known for their forbidden love because they are twins.  They are my favorites, especially Hikaru, who is the more dominant of the two.  Takashi Morinozuka, or “Mori,” the “Stoic Type,” is the quiet one, but he protects his cousin, Honey, with his life.  Mitsukuni Haninozuka, or “Honey”, the “Lolita Type,” is this super-cute boy who is always seen with his bunny, Usa-chan, and eating cake.  Mori and Honey are both martial artists, though they may not act like it at all.

One of my other favorite characters is a minor one.  Umehito Nekozawa, is President of the Black Magic Club.  He always dresses in a black cloak, because he can’t be in the light, and carries around a cat puppet named Belzeneff.  There are a couple of episodes focused on Nekozawa.  Tamaki is scared of him to a very comedic point.

There are plenty of moments where problems ensue.  Hikaru and Kaoru get into a fight, Honey goes missing, Haruhi is kidnapped by a girl’s school, and other character’s have problems that need to be solved.  Every episode has a new problem being brought up.  There’s an episode that involves the school’s newspaper club; they have a problem with posting rumors and fake articles.  It’s one of the funniest episodes simply because of how Tamaki acts.  He is the ultimate source of comedy in this anime.  Although, the other characters have their moments, too.

Ouran Host Club is classified as being a drama, though it has more comedy as well as romance.  Tamaki bases the club on his rule that they must make every woman happy no matter how young, old, poor, or wealthy.  This causes him to want to help in quite a few situations that could possibly cause trouble.  It’s filled with so many moments where you laugh until you can’t breathe and then want to watch again and again.  However, there are times where the characters touch your heart and make you fall in love.  (Damn Hikaru and Nekozawa for being animated! ^_^)

There are so many other minor characters that I could go into.  Haruhi’s dad plays a big part in most of the anime; I’ll let you watch it and figure out why he’s funny, though.  Renge, who becomes a part of the host club, is a power-hungry girl who is madly in love with Kyoya.  I don’t want to spoil too much of the anime for you so I’ll leave it there for now.

For me, this anime is a must see for anyone.  Sadly, those who aren’t into the romantic comedies won’t be too thrilled with it.  It’s so much fun and you’ll want to keep it in your collection forever.  There are two songs, both of which are fantastic.  The English Dubbed anime has the songs re-done in English.  The English songs are as follows: Sakura Kiss by Kristine Sa (opening) and Sprint by Justin Houston (ending).  The Japanese versions are: Sakura Kiss by Kawabe Chieco and Shissou by Last Alliance.

As far as voices, I thought the English was fantastic.  Vic Mignogna does the voice for Tamaki, Caitlin Glass voices Haruhi, J. Michael Tatum as Kyoya, Todd Haberkorn as Hikaru, Greg Ayres as Kaoru, Luci Christian as Honey, and Travis Willingham as Mori.  The Japanese version, I watched enough to hear the voices of each and thought that they were fine, but not near as spot-on to the personalities of the characters as the English.

Host Club consists of 26 episodes.  There is a manga, which is at 18 volumes, 83 chapters.  There is a visual novel (Playstation 2 & Nintendo DS), but they are only in Japanese at the moment.  There are rumors, however, of them being released in English in the future.

Story: 10

Characters: 10

Artwork: 10

Voices: 10

Music: 10

Overall: 10 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

Love Monster – Review

Love Monster, when you first hear it, doesn’t sound like much.  It’s just another cheap titled Shojo manga.  However, it does have some way of getting you to finish it; there’s constant drama in this longer manga.

Osora Hiyoko, or Hiyo, is a normal human girl who is dealing with her high school entrance exams.  Her mother wants her to attend a prestigious school, but Hiyo’s grades aren’t going to get her into it.  After receiving the “We regret to inform you…” letter, she receives a box explaining that she has been accepted into S.M. Academy, a private school.  She finds out that in order to attend, you must have a recommendation.  Hiyo is informed that her father sent in a recommendation.  She decides to attend the school without knowing anything about it only because she respects her father’s wishes.

Soon after arriving, she meets the Student Union President, Tenma Kurou.  During the opening ceremony, meant only for her (she’s the only new student), she is told that the school is actually Saint Monster Academy and is only meant for monsters and also that she is Kurou’s fiance.  Everyone in the school believes that Hiyo is a human, but Kurou, a crow monster, knows different.  There’s a legend of a white crow who is sent when the world is in turmoil and this white crow is supposed to defeat the demon king and create a peaceful world again.  Hiyo is that white crow, but she has lost her memories of the time when she had her wings.  The problem is, Hiyo cannot fly and has no power whatsoever in order to defeat the demon king.

There’s a lot of people who are set out on taking the white crow or just splitting her and Kurou apart.  Maki, a cat-girl, who wants a crow for herself, Haine, a rival school’s Student Union President and grey-winged crow, who wants Hiyo for himself, Hiyate and Chiya, Kurou’s siblings, who want to split the two apart, L Bradford, a vampire who falls in love with Hiyo, and Miyako and Marilyn, ancient priestesses who want to kill the white crow are only a few of the characters who try to harm the white crow or her relationship with Kurou.

At first, I didn’t like Hiyo because of her childish nature, but towards the end of the manga, she began to grow on me.  She’s always getting into some sort of trouble, which Kurou has to get her out of.  Kurou, I liked from the beginning, as well as Haine and L Bradford.  Kurou is cocky, but he’s the strongest monster in the school.  Haine, at first, is the same, but he quickly changes into a kind-natured person.  L Bradford seems like he’s just a child, but he’s actually older and his aging has stopped because human blood no longer fills him so he is constantly becoming weak and tempted by all those around him.

With 12 volumes, I found that there were times where I became bored with it and wanted to drop it, but it soon picked up pace.  The artwork is so-so.  The way the monsters are drawn, in my opinion, is a bit childish.  It’s fairly easy to follow along with as far as storyline and the way it’s written.  There isn’t much mystery to it, which is something I would’ve liked to have seen.  Everything that was going on was pretty much expected.  It’s predictable.

Ultimately, the story was fine and the characters were good, but it’s not something that I’ll remember well or want to read again.  If you’re looking for something to quell boredom and want something that’s a bit more romantic, then go for it.

Story: 8

Characters: 8

Artwork: 6

Overall: 7 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

Midnight Secretary – Review

Midnight Secretary quickly became one of my favorite manga so far.  If you have an affinity for vampires, it’s a good read and definitely a good alternative to other vampire manga/anime that deal will high school teenagers.  This is for mature audiences only.  There is sexual content and nudity.

Satozuka Kaya is a secretary who takes great pride in her work.  Her face is very child-like, therefore, she pulls her hair in a tight bun and wears glasses to make herself appear more mature.  She works at the Touma corporation as an assistant, but is transferred to the private secretarial position for the Director, Touma Kyouhei.  Soon after starting, she finds out (by accident) that her boss is a vampire.  He decides to keep her as a secretary since it would benefit him.  She soon begins scheduling his “meals” with numerous women, but soon, after an accident with a client, he is weakened and needs blood immediately.  Kaya offers herself up to the vampire and Kyouhei quickly realizes that her blood is the only blood that will satisfy his thirst from then on.

Their relationship grows, but they have some inner problems.  Kaya isn’t sure whether she is just a “meal” for him, just his secretary, or something more.  Kyouhei believes that Kaya is only doing her secretarial duty by keeping her boss in good health, which is what she says, but he wants her to let her guard down.  Kyouhei is also a very prideful vampire and it’s looked down upon to fall in love with a human.

There’s also those who try to seperate the two.  Kyouhei’s brother, Touma Masaki, and a female vampire, Marika.  The vampire clan becomes a big deal towards the end of the manga since Kyouhei is “losing his pride” as a vampire by loving a human and drinking fake blood.

Kaya can be very childish at times, but most of the time she’s fighting herself mentally trying to trust her boss.  Kyouhei is a very dominant person.  He’s egotistical and hardly ever smiles.  At first, Kyouhei doesn’t want Kaya as his secretary because she isn’t good-looking, but she quickly shows him that she’s capable of doing any work he throws her way.  He says that she’s the only secretary he’ll ever have and that she’s his forever.  Kyouhei refuses to let anyone else have her, which causes some problems when she is transferred to another corporation.

The progression of the characters is fantastic.  Both Kaya, Kyouhei, Masaki, and Marika grow so much during the course of the manga.  I loved watching as Kyouhei let his guard down and Marika began to accept that his pride had only grown more.

I liked the way Kyouhei is drawn.  At first, I didn’t, but after becoming acquainted with him…it fits.  The men are drawn in a bit more of an old-fashioned way, but Kaya is beautifully drawn.  As far as, ease of read, it is.  It reads very easily and the story is easy to follow.  Everything is explained in detail, from the way blood tastes different for the vampires to his weaknesses to the dealings of the corporation.

Midnight Secretary has now become part of my top five manga.  I loved it!  It’s a must read for anyone interested in romance or vampires.  It consists of 7 volumes, 34 chapters.

Story: 10

Characters: 9

Artwork: 9

Overall: 9.5 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

Howl’s Moving Castle – Review

This review has been long awaiting post.  I originally did this review after the film came out in English.  However, I’ve done some editing based on new opinions and watching it many more times.  I believe it’s a must to watch a Studio Ghibli film at least twice before reviewing it; you’ll get a much better opinion that way (especially if you grew up on them).  I’ll try my best to not be bias seeing as this is one of my favorite movies.

Studio Ghibli films leave an everlasting impression.  You fall in love.  Howl’s Moving Castle certainly is no exception.  This is a movie you will want to watch over and over again.  When times are rough, you’ll watch it to escape into this world of witches and wizards.

Sophie (pictured above) is a girl who works at a hat shop that was owned by her father.  She’s very ordinary in appearance compared to her beautiful sister and their mother.  When Howl, a wizard with a bad reputation, saves her from a couple of indecent soldiers on her way to see her sister, she is thrown into a feud between Howl and The Witch of the Wastes.  The Witch then casts a spell on Sophie making her very old.  Sophie’s only option is to leave.  She travels out into the Wastes and ends up taking refuge in Howl’s Moving Castle as a cleaning lady.  She has to find a way out of the curse while also dealing with a war going on in the world around her.  She makes a deal with the fire demon, Calcifer, that if she helps him with the curse holding him to Howl, then he will help her out of her’s.

Not only do you fall in love with the story, but you fall in love with the characters.  Each character is so different.  Most of the time I hate the main girl characters because they’re usually so frail and ignorant, but Sophie is courageous, mature, and kind.  Howl (left) is a handsome wizard with a bad reputation for eating the hearts of lovely girls, but he’s really a kind and loving person.  You’ll love the other characters, too, like Calcifer (right), the fire demon, & Markl, Howl’s young apprentice.  Calcifer is your main comic relief as Sophie is constantly torturing him.

Usually, I have at least a couple problems with any anime, but with Howl’s Moving Castle and any other Studio Ghibli film, I have none.  Correction, I do have one problem…it ends.  Even the voices for the English version are fantastic.  I’m not a Christian Bale fan at all, but he was perfect for Howl.  And as with all the films, the artwork is exceptional.

Ultimately I can say nothing bad about this movie.  I may be a Studio Ghibli fan who was raised on Totoro, but I can honestly say that there’s nothing bad about this movie.  Watch it!!!

Story: 10

Characters: 10

Artwork: 10

Music: 10

Voices: 10

Overall: 10 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!