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InuYasha – Review

This anime is about a junior middle school girl, Kagome, who lives in a Shinto shine with her family, her mother, brother, and grandpa.  Her grandpa tells her about a sacred jewel, the Shikon Jewel, that possesses great powers.  Shortly after, a centipede demon comes to claim the jewel and pulls Kagome into a well on the grounds.  She finds herself in Feudal Japan!
Kagome comes to find out that she is the reincarnation of a priestess, Kikyo, who protected the Shikon Jewel with her life.  InuYasha, a half demon who had a relationship with Kikyo, was shot by Kikyo’s arrow fifty years before, which sealed him to a tree.  It is Kagome that releases him from this.  During a battle with numerous demons, Kagome, who tries to wield a bow and arrow like Kikyo did, shoots the demon in the spot where the jewel was swallowed.  The Shikon Jewel is shattered and spread throughout the area.  It’s up to Kagome to find and retrieve all the pieces of the Shikon Jewel before they fall into evil hands.

InuYasha, who wants the jewel for himself to become a full demon, decides to help her.  They make friends with a lecturous monk, a fox demon, a flea, a demon slayer, and her demon cat who all help them collect the pieces.  There are problems around every corner; InuYasha’s brother, Sesshomaru, is a major rival.  Naraku is the main antagonist, responsible for the feud between InuYasha and Kikyuo.  If I explained every problem that comes up in this anime, I’d be here all night writing this and soon you would tire of reading it.

The anime is mostly an action/adventure type anime, but there is a major romance that happens between InuYasha and Kagome.  The characters are so deep; each one has their ups and downs.  Kagome can be annoying at times, but she has good intentions.  InuYasha is really immature, but he’s really funny.  Sesshomaru is one of my favorites.  He’s stoic…strong, silent, and sexy (especially in his demon form).  The other characters are great, too.  Like I said before, they are so deep.  There will be times when you won’t like certain characters, but there are times when you see their vulnerability and their charms.

The music is another thing that I can’t completely write out.  The anime is 193 episodes in all, including The Final Act; there’s also four movies, and 56 volumes of the manga.  There’s twenty songs, I think.  My favorites, though, are “Every Heart” by BoA (4th ending) and “Fukai Mori” by Do As Infinity (2nd ending).

For me, the English dub is best.  I think the voices match better with the characters.  The artwork, though it’s not my style, is one of the best.  I would recommend this to anyone whether they prefer more fighting or more romantic aspects to anime.  Both my husband and I love this anime and our preferences are almost complete opposites.

Story: 10

Characters: 9

Music: 9

Voices: 9

Artwork: 9

Overall: 9.5 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

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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!

D’s Vampire Saga – Newest Album

This album is fucking EPIC!  *forgive the explicitives*  I’m so excited.  I finally got the album and have listened to it’s entirety.  Vampire Saga is by far my favorite from the band, D.  As much as I loved Neo Culture, that’s saying something.  Asagi’s voice is as effervescent as ever.  ^_^  This will be one of those albums that you’ll love every song.  As of right now, I’m loving “Prayer of the Purified Rose,” “In the Name of Justice,” “Day Walker,” “Love Within the Coffin,” and “King of Darkness.”

Vampire Saga was released in January, but I just got it and I really wanted to share it with everyone!  I’d give this album a straight 10 out of 10!  Once again…EPIC!

1. Muku naru bara no inori (Prayer of the Purified Rose)
2. In the Name of Justice
3. Underground Road
4. Day Walker
5. Midori no tsubasa (Green Wings)
6. Tsuki to umi no seiyaku (The Pledge of the Moon and Sea)
7. Ai wa hitsugi no naka ni (Love Within the Coffin)
8. Akaki hitsuji ni yoru bansankai (Dinner Party Due to the Red Sheep)
9. Taiko no kiba (Ancient Fang) – Instrumental
10. Desert Warrior
11. Mayonaka no (Midnight Quarter) – Quartet
12. Black Swan
13. Der König der Dunkelheit (The King of Darkness)
14. BONUS – Silver Acorn Bullet

*Is it just me or should Asagi play a live-action Sebastian Michaelis???  Yeah, I thought so too!*

^_^ Sayonara!

Visual Kei – Bands I Love

I wanted to post something that was informative and fun.  I’m always asked about Visual Kei and what it is exactly.  Visual Kei is what originally got me into Japanese music.  It’s similar to a lot of goth and glam rock that you would hear anywhere else.  It actually means “visual style.”  This is because the members of the band wear elaborate makeup, hair, clothing, and can be very eccentric.  It’s often mistaken for cosplay.  Majority of the time, the males dress as females or they simply seem androgynous.  These males who dress as females are sometimes referred to as “lolita boys.”

Visual Kei started in the late 80’s, but grew very popular in the 90’s and has stayed a very popular genre.  The following bands are certainly not the only ones.  These are just a few of my favorites.

Malice Mizer – This band went through a lot in their time.  They have three eras, which are distinguished by three different singers.  The sound changed with each one.  A very popular singer, Gackt, was one of them; his era was the longest and most popular. I’ll post two videos for this band since the style is different with each era; the first is Gackt and the second is Klaha.

The Gazette – Formed in 2002, this band has had quite a few songs featured in anime.

Phantasmagoria – This band is probably my favorite.  Their music is so addictive.  They took a couple years off, but they did release an album last year.

D – I love this band!  The lead singer, Asagi, has a very unique voice.  I love their style, too.

Versailles – This is a fairly new band, but I love the drama in their music.  It’s almost like vampire meets Phantom of the Opera.

Some other Visual Kei bands to look for:  Nightmare, Parfait, An Cafe (also called Antic Cafe and Antique Cafe), D’espairs Ray, and Alice Nine.

This is just because I felt like putting in another video.  This is An Cafe – Cherry SakuYuuki.

^_^ Sayonara!

Hana Kimi – Review

So, this is my first review of a drama.  This is also the first drama that I’ve seen.  I found it pretty interesting…in a really good way.

Hana Kimi is a Japanese Drama based on a manga about a girl, Mizuki Ashiya, who pretends to be a boy and enters an all boys school in order to meet Izumi Sano.  She’s from the U.S. and met Sano went he was there for a competition where he does the high jump.  Mizuki found out shortly after that Sano quick the high jump because of an injury, which we later find out that she caused.  She feels that it’s her responsibility to make him jump again.

Mizuki does everything in her power to get Sano to make the high jump again, but Sano is stubborn and thinks that Mizuki is just annoying and nosy.  He eventually does find out that she is a girl and she does make some progress with him, but it’s been so long since Sano has even tried the high jump that it’s going to be a long and painful journey to make it.  Nakatsu, a friend of Mizuki’s, begins to fall in love with her (not knowing that she is a girl), which makes for an interesting sinario.

Drama is probably the best word to describe this…drama (Lol.), but there’s twists around every corner that keeps you guessing.  I won’t tell you too much, but Mizuki’s family doesn’t know that she’s going to an all boys school, Nakatsu thinks he could be a homo, and Mizuki has to keep the fact that she’s a girl completely secret.  There’s also tons of comedic moments, mostly Nakatsu; he’s my favorite.

You’ll really fall for all the characters.  Each boy in this school has their own quirks and charms.  Nanba, the head of dorm 2, is a “player” and he’s always getting into trouble with all his girlfriends.  Sano (right) can be a complete ass, but he has his funny moments too when he’s drunk (the littlest bit of alcohol makes him want to kiss anyone around him).  Nakatsu (left) is the most awkward of the bunch, but he’s very sweet and keeps an eye on Mizuki (center) protecting her.  Mizuki is a lead female character that I actually love.  She’s kind and fun and even though she’s never been in love before, her relationship with Sano can be very cute.  Even though I love Nakatsu, I was rooting for her and Sano the whole time.

Maki Horikita does a fantastic job of being Mizuki.  She does look very androgynous.  Shun Oguri, though I’m not a fan, does a great job of portraying Sano’s character.  Toma Ikuta, Nakatsu, is one I became a quick fan of…he’s cute!  The acting was fantastic in my opinion.

I wasn’t a big fan of the music used for this drama, but it was ok.  It consists of 12 episodes, though it seemed like more than that, which is a good thing!  The manga has 22 volumes.  I all but demand you to watch it!  I swear I’m on my knees begging!  It’s fantastic.

Story: 10

Characters: 9

Acting: 10

Music: 7

Overall: 9 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

My Favorite Bands/Artists

These are by no means in any special order.

Gackt – His voice is beautiful (as well as other parts of him).  There are some songs that seem a little pop and some that seem a little more rock-ish so it appeals to both sides of me.  He has some very heartfelt songs that I want to listen to over and over again.  I started listening to him when he sang for Malice Mizer and continued to listen to him after he went solo.  My favorite songs by him at the moment are: Ghost, Returner, Redemption, Seiipai no Sayonara, Farewell, and Seki-ray.

Phantasmagoria – Visual Kei at it’s best!!  Riku *faint* is amazing…voice, beautiful…appearance, beautiful.  Need I say more?  Unfortunately, they band stopped making music together a while back, but their songs are worth listening to.  My favorites are Eternal Silence ~Gensoukyoku~, Variant Jihad, and Neo-ark.

Versailles – Another visual Kei band; with another beautiful creature as the front man.  There are some very dramatic intros and their PVs are fantastic.  My favorites are: Sympathia, The Love From a Dead Orchestra, and Beast of Desire.

D – This band is the same as the other two visual Kei band’s I’ve described, but with a bit more femininity thrown in.  My favorite is: Ouka Saki Some ni Keri.  Yeah, just one, but it’s amazing!

Kokia – Her voice is unlike any other I’ve heard before.  She has a little bit of an operatic sense, but it’s very gentle.  Most of her songs ballads.  Favorites: Ai no Melody & Cyouwa Oto ~With Reflection~.  Both of these songs are featured in the anime movie Origins: Spirits of the Past.  Ai no Melody makes me cry everytime I see the video…just watch it.

Well, I think I’ve wasted enough of your time for today…at least with videos.  ^_^  Sayonara!