Once upon a time

Princess Tutu

What I thought would be a childish endeavor turned out to be one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.

Once upon a time… a man died. In his last story was the tale of a kind prince who was to defeat a monster raven. Yet now there would no longer be a conclusion to that story, but strange things have begun to happen within this town of stories and reality. A young girl, Ahiru, attends ballet school with her friends under the tutelage of Neko-sensei (who is in fact a cat, as his name suggests), yet she is wondering about the mysterious boy student, Mytho.  “Looking at those lonely eyes… there must be some sort of reason for them.” Well, Ahiru causes Mythos to twist his ankle in a little accident and plans to apologize to him.

But wait! What’s this? Mytho is trying to catch a falling baby bird! “The prince is falling. The main character is going to die. What will happen to this story? … Will the prince be saved?”

“That’s right! I’ll save the prince.”

“Have you remembered who you are?”

“I am… Princess Tutu!”

What she also remembers is that she is just a duck.


“Who are you? Have you remembered Ahiru-chan? Yes, you are a duck.”

How this duck takes the form of girl I’ll leave to the viewing.

Back to the story of the prince and monster raven… During his battle with the raven, the brave prince, using a forbidden power, took out his own heart to seal the raven away. The pieces of his heart scattered across the town and found their way into the cracks of people’s hearts. Princess Tutu endeavors to return those pieces back to the prince, but where will that lead the story? While gaining a heart could mean bringing back both warmth and tranquility, doesn’t it also mean bring back unhappiness, pain, and loneliness as well?

This series had great character development. One gets their original impression of the various main characters as they meet them in the beginning, but the characters are rapidly changing. As the story develops the characters are forced into new roles and play parts that wouldn’t be expected. I was really surprised about how some characters turned out.


Just what are his intentions?

Although the plot seems simple enough, there’s definitely something going on that you can’t quite put your finger on. Why are stories and reality becoming mixed together? Isn’t it strange for characters from story to have come to life in this town? Just what is going on? I invite you to watch this great anime to find out with the words of Ahiru,


“Will you dance with me?”

And if you don’t…


“You will have to marry me!”
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Who’s supposed to teach me?


Defeat

I wish to become a better player of the game Go, but learning by myself has great drawbacks. Where I live there aren’t any Go clubs nor does there seem to be anyone who is interested in the game. Go problems, instructional books, and playing online only take me so far. It’s frustrating not having anyone around to play with outside of the internet.

We still don’t know the name of the flower we saw that day


Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai

Happy, sad, and sentimental. That’s what I felt while watching Anohana.

This anime is all about the characters. The relationships they have now and the relationships they had when they were kids. These six friends hung out all the time, but now have grown apart. The reason? Tragedy struck them one day when one of the friends had an accident.

The story follows Jinta Yadomi who while living at home is visited by “the beast of the summer.” We learn that Jinta has quit going to school and is dealing with something from his past. While watching the first episode I originally thought that he really might just be delusional, but mostly because he himself thinks so: “My Stress. My Trauma. Yeah, it must be… that I created Menma because I wanted to apologize to her. ” Meiko “Menma” Honma is girl who has recently appeared to Jinta. Only he is able to see and interact with her, yet it does seem like Menma is somewhat able to interact with the world around her as well.

Beast of Summer attacks!!!

During the first episode we meet all of the main cast of characters and find out about a little of their past. However, their once great ties have severed and the friendship that was so warm has grown cold between them.   Menma has appeared apparently to have a wish of hers fulfilled and the story goes along with that. Menma herself doesn’t seem ready to reveal her wish to Jinta, so the story progresses as he tried to figure out just what this wish is. He has an idea why she may have appeared, but he too is not ready to face that truth.

"But I always do a 'Peace' sign when someone takes my photo, so there might not be many other photos."

Since the perspective doesn’t stay fixed to Jinta we’re given more opportunities to see how the other characters relate to each other. By trying to fulfill Menma’s wish Jinta begins to enter back into the world that he has abandoned. Naturally those who knew Menma are caught up in Jinta’s search. These old friends have grown apart, but the love for Menma might just be what’s needed to heal their secret pains and bring them back together again.

Super Peaceful Busters

This was one of the greatest pieces of sentimental work I’ve ever watched and I highly recommend watching it.

Voice Actor Profile I – Shinichiro Miki

Shinichiro Miki has been the voice of some of my favorite characters and you may have heard him without knowing it.


Charizard

Yes it’s true, even if you’ve never seen Pokemon with the Japanese audio you will have heard him as Ash’s Charizard. That’s because he’s the Japanese voice for this guy and has done other roles in Pokemon:


Kojiro / James

This is where I first came across this actor without realizing it when I was a kid watching Pokemon not even knowing what anime really was. It’s weird to think that any time I heard Charizard I was listening to this guy who I now recognize through some of my favorite anime characters. It’s like finding out that the English voice for Vash the Stampede was the second Black Power Ranger (it’s just weird!). Many years later I find Shinichiro Miki’s voice in some of my favorite characters, most recently Colonel Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.


Roy Mustang

I honestly can’t remember how Mustang sounded in the first series (Shinichiro Miki replaced the voice), but he does a great job in Brotherhood. It is somewhat chilling to hear his furious rage voice which this picture portrays. That flame alchemy is no joke! Much more powerful showcase than the first series.

I first began recognizing the voice of Shinichiro Miki in association to Takumi Fujiwara from Initial D. The characters Shinichiro Miki  plays are all so different and each have a different feel to their voice. I admire any actor who is able to play a wide variety of characters.


Takumi Fujiwara

The calm sort of voice from Takumi is nothing like the playful Kisuke Urahara.


Kisuke Urahara

If you haven’t seen Bleach just know that Urahara is awesome… by far the best character of the series.

Shinichiro Miki has also been a part of another full metal, Fullmetal Panic!


Kurz Weber

Haven’t seen Fullmetal Panic? Then you should watch it, if only so you can then watch Fullmetal Panic? Fumoffu. Fumoffu is one of the funniest comedies I’ve ever seen. I showed a random clip to my public speech class at college once and had everyone laughing.

He also did the voice for Shannon Casull from Scrapped Princess.

After seeing such a variety of characters already, I can’t wait to see what characters he plays next.

Evangelion (1995)

It’s been bugging me how I haven’t watched this series yet, since I’ve been hearing about it for a long time now. Lately I’ve begun getting back into anime and I’ve been making it a goal to watch the series I’ve been most curious about. Whether through the fan base or other resources, I’ve heard good and bad things about Evangelion, so it will be interesting to see what my final impressions will be. Unfortunately for me, I may already know some spoilers about this anime. One is bound to accidentally come upon knowledge of a series that has been out for a long period of time, but I hope this anime isn’t ruined for me because of that.

As of now I can give some of my impressions about the characters. Rei Ayanami is the most mysterious character given that she speaks very little and has few interactions with the other characters. I hear she is the anime character who has inspired characters with short bluish hair, pale skin, and a quiet personalities (Yuki Nagato comes to mind). It is weird to find out that the Japanese voice actor for Rei also did the voice for Lina Inverse. Then I find out she sang all the Slayers openings and I felt kind of dumb for not knowing that sooner. Asuka Langley is… well at first I thought she would be like the prototype of a tsundere character, but really she just seems mean and full of herself. She certainly talks a lot and never has anything good to say to anybody but her beloved Kaji. Shinji is playing a role of a coming to age kind of character. He is meek and afraid, but has heavy responsibilities laid upon him. He deals both with his encounters against life and death situations and the every day life and not so every day life of a teenager.

It is interesting to see the differences in animation and the shifts in the anime media while watching an older than modern anime. I can’t really think of Gainax taking fan service too far, but I’m far more used to a more excessive dose of fan service packaged with an anime (it’s just become the normal case). During the bath house scene in a more modern anime, I’d expect to see the female characters directly instead of only just hearing them while watching Shinji. I wonder if this is representative of the change in how this kind of material has evolved or rather is just the taste of the creators, keeping things more appropriate. Gurren Lagann also had a bath scene and I think things went further than just hearing some viewer teasing conversation across the way.

I’m finished watching up to episode 16 and so far the series is good, but not yet great. I can think of other series that pulled me in much better than this one.  There is still many things to explained that haven’t been revealed and I would say this definitely makes me want to continue watching. I can’t really judge the story and plot yet. The story will probably be the strong point of this series, but that is just my guess at this point.