August 2007


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     This episode starts off with the girls preparing for the air show being held at their base tomorrow, and Ltc. Togo and the girls try to come up with a name for their team. The best they can come up with so far is “the girls who fly in the sky”, sounds pretty lame to me. On the day of the airshow, military bigwigs try to upstage the sonic divers’ debut by debuting their new fighter plane giving very little notice to Ltc Togo. Right before the sonic divers flight demonstration Ltc Togo finds all the girls in a bad mood; Karen because her brother’s a no show, Otoha because the new fighter pilot made fun of her sonic diver and called her a brat, Eika because her father a general and didn’t bother to show up at the demo. Just as their about to begin their demo a landslide occurs in the mountains and the air show must be put on hold for a while. Karen and Otoha want to go and help, but Eika says to wait for their demonstration, eventually they talk Eika into wanting to go and help in the rescue mission. The team misses it’s chance at the air show but they get great television coverage conducting rescue operations, and the news media starts calling the team  “the sky girls”. At the very end of the episode Togo and Hizuki view the destruction inflicted on the European base by the worms, and then Hizuki shows Togo a view of the team’s new command ship. Below are some screen shots from episode 7.

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     Well episode 7 is finished and I honestly don’t know what was the point of the whole thing was, this was a filler episode no ifs ands or buts. The only new things this episode added to the plot was that finally Hizuki shows Togo that the worms are back, we also see that Togo and the new fighter pilot knew each other from a long time ago, and that Eika’s father is a general in the military. We also got to watch the girls all show some insecurities, Eika wanting her father to show up, Otoha getting mad because Capt Hisaki called her a brat, and Karen pining for her brother (get over it Karen your on a military base there are plenty of guys who will at least show up to see you). No Fan service, no fighting, and no plot progression, so there really was no point to this episode. Oh, and it gets worse the next episode preview shows the girls going on a onsen (hot spring) trip. What the hell is this when every anime featuring teen-aged school girls has to have a beach or onsen related episode, Useless (unless that episode is loaded with fan service). 

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     Lucky Star 21 starts with the girls returning to school after the summer break. The girls spend time discussing how with all the summer classes and studying they hardly had any time to have fun, then Konata tells the other girls that she spent between 330 to 420 dollars at comiket (hell that’s a lot of money, I usually don’t spend that much at a convention and I have a much better paying job then she does). Later the show switches to Konata’s house where cousin Yui comes over for a visit to check on her sister Yu-chan. Later Tsukasa has to deal with her issues of getting up early enough to do her studying because she can’t muster enough energy to study into the night. Then we spend some time watching Hiyori coming up with ideas for her manga but always forgets to write them down so she always forgets them later. Then the high school senior class goes on a school trip to Kyoto and Japan’s old capital of Nara (Nara was the capital of Japan from 710-784, it has a lot of famous shrines and other cultural attractions, and Nara is also famous for its tame deer population). Then after the bus ride to their hotel in Kyoto Kagami finds a note in her bag saying a boy would like to talk to her at 9pm outside the hotel, and she thinks that a boy wants to confess to her. She spends the better part of the day in a dreamy mood, but at the meeting it turns out the guy just wanted a doll she bought. Then we switch to Lucky Channel  where Minoru returns from his trip and Akira rejects the water he brought back and he finds out he’s been replaced, so then he goes on a berserker rampage. Below are some screen shots from the episode.

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Below is a picture of a lost in thought Kagami thinking about meeting the guy whom wrote her the note.

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Below are pictures of Minoru’s rage.

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     Well, as Lucky Star  continues towards it’s conclusion I feel that the show is starting to take a more melancholy mood as its pace increases. The girls spend more time than ever studying, and less time having fun. I felt really sorry for Kagami this episode, she seemed to be in a really dreamy mood as she wondered how the meeting with the boy from the note would go. Then she received a let down when she found out all he wanted was a doll she bought instead of a confession of love. I think that Konata figured what happened and felt sorry for Kagami. Well what did I expect, so far none for the girls have had a boyfriend yet and a boyfriend would probably screw up the chemistry of the show, oh-well better luck next time Kagami.

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     The first couple of minutes of this episode covers Konata’s theory of how to pick out the valuable and rare figures and collector cards out of a stack of unopened boxes and card packs. Then Konata asks Kagami why male otaku always desire a female otaku for a girlfriend, but she never hears female otaku ask for an male otaku as a boyfriend. Then Kagami pays a visit to Konata’s house and then Kagami asks Konata some questions about characters in dating sim games. The girls then spend time basically talking about random things like, dentists, sweets, losing the will to study, and summer classes. Then the girls spend a lot of time together test prepping, and they decide to go see some fireworks in Miyuki’s neighborhood. It turns out that Yu-chan’s gang and Konata’s gang end up going to the fireworks together and they have a very good time at the festival. Well that’s all for episode 20. Below are some screen shots from the episode.

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Damn, I wish our girls dressed like this for our summer fairs.

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One thing I must admit to is that I’m a Kagami fan, and I think she has killer set of legs for an anime girl.

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     Well episode 20 is done and only 4 more remain in the series, Sigh! This episode was all about anime, sim game, and other otaku references. The girls are on summer break and have to spend more time than ever on exam preparation, and only a couple of months remain until they have to take their high school exit exams, and their college entrance exams ( Cultural Note: remember that the high school exit exams and college entrance exams are considered to be harder than actually attending college, this period is called exam hell or juken jigoku in Japanese. If you don’t score high enough you can attend junior college or become a ronin  like in the Love Hina  and Crayon Shin Chan.  If you don’t go to college as a girl you can try and get a job as a office lady while waiting to get married. If you choose not to go to college and can’t get a decent job you can become a parasite single or in Japanese parasaito shinguru.) So in Japanese society the period leading up to Juken Jigoku is considered to be one of the most important periods in a young persons life. Well as Lucky Star  comes to a close I find myself a little down, Lucky Star  is a great way to relax for 30 minutes after a hard days work.

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     Sky Girls 6  begins with the return of the worms, and the destruction of western Europe’s military base, Lt. Hizuki seams to have thought this would happen but just not this fast. While doing her laundry Otoha finds a bra in her dryer and is surprised by its size, or her lack of size, so she starts a quest to locate the owner out of curiosity, or maybe envy.

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     It turns out that Karen discovers that the owner is Nanae, but she does not tell Otoha. She notices that Nanae is very embarrassed by the attention or envy that the Otoha is expressing. Later the launch alarm goes off and the girls rush to get ready for launch, and in the middle of the practice program, Lt. Hizuki changes the program from practice to full combat. Ltc. Togo is not very happy and the girls aren’t ready yet, and the girls end up getting waxed pretty quickly. Later Eika goes and confronts Togo about the simulation, I think that’s she’s starting to figure it out, but he really won’t tell her anything. A while later the girls learn to appreciate how good Nanae is at doing her job, she does a lot of little thing but she does them very well. Later Otoha discovers that Nanae is mystery large boob girl, and she is very embarrassed over the whole situation. Well That’s it for the episode, below are some screen shots.

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     Well I felt that episode 6 of Sky Girls  was almost a filler show, only one major plot-line was disclosed. The beginning of the episode lets us know that the worms had returned, and Lt. Hizuki seems to have thought this would have happened. One major gripe I have is whats the deal between Ltc. Togo and Lt. Hizuki, Ltc. Togo greatly outranks Lt. Hizuki and Hizuki keeps giving half truths and misinformation to Togo, its almost like he’s a plant for the higher ups. Another thing we find out is that the girls, mainly Karen and Otoha are not ready for prime-time combat duty, and they have along ways to go before they can preform actual combat missions. But the main point of this episode is breasts or Otoha’s lack of breast size. Most of the episode is taken up by Otoha’s quest to discover the owner of the large bra she found in the clothes dryer. She basically checks all the girls breast size who are stationed at the base, and she finds her self lacking when compared to all the other girls. Well I guess that Otoha, and Konata from Lucky Star  could form the small breasts pride club, look on the bright side girls at least when your forty gravity won’t be to cruel towards you. And finally, whats up with those transformation scenes (I mean changing into flight suits scenes), those scenes are almost like a maho shojo’s anime transformation sequence, a little hint of nudity then the change into a magic girl (test pilot). 

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     This episode begins with Judy reading her essay to her English class, it is revealed that her essay was published on the front page of the school paper. The professor tells the class that that was the first time a first year student had a essay published on the front page. So Judy sends a copy of the newspaper to daddy so he can read the essay for himself. Judy asks in subsequent letters if he (daddy) has gotten the paper, and read her essay. Judy is disappointed that he has not responded, but she shouldn’t be, remember in the second episode she was told that he would never reply to her in person. Judy takes her exams and fails the math portion, so she must take a retest. Judy falls into a very depressed mood b/c she thinks daddy is disappointed by her exam failure, she also falls ill, and runs off in a snowstorm. After returning to the dorm Judy gets very sick and they have to call the doctor to see her. For all the trouble Judy causes Miss Sloan, she shows real concern for Judy’s health. While very sick Judy writes a letter to John Smith (daddy) saying that he must not care for her, and he probably just throws her letters away, and that since she’s so sick and will probably die it soon won’t matter. John Smith (daddy) sends Judy flowers and a get well letter, and this helps Judy get better Judy later apologises for the nasty letter she sent. Well that’s all for episode 8, below are some screen shots.

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     Well episode 8 reveals some of Judy’s weaknesses to the viewers, if you remember that Judy choose not to reveal her orphanage upbringing to her roommates. She lied about having a caring guardian, and living in a large friendly home. So, other than her roommates Judy is alone, she has no parent, brother or sister, or caring adult that she can confide her successes and failures too. She wants John Smith (daddy) to be that person, but in the beginning she was told that Mr. Smith would never answer her personally but she desperately what him to be a real caring guardian. So Judy must deal with many issues on her own, Judy will have to learn to be strong or become a nervous wreck.

     I’d like to say I’m sorry about the delay in posting further reviews of the Candy Candy series. Candy Candy is a very good classic shojo anime, but I have to get into the right frame of mind to review this series. For those anime viewers who have never seen the series is that after the first couple of establishment episodes the series goes very dark and depressing for Candy. The heights of Candy’s misfortunes, and unhappiness rival any of V. C. Andrews’  novels, thats not to say she isn’t happy at times, she is. But at its heart Candy Candy is a classic 1950’s weepy melodrama, I’m a sucker for that type of stuff. So when I need to swallow some anime downers I’ll review some more Candy Candy. Sorry for the delay.

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     At the beginning of this episode Eika over hears the last part of a conversation between the Togo and Hizuki, they are discussing that the higher ups are wanting the sonic diver unit to start practicing combat missions. Togo is upset by this, but Hizuki tells him that after spending all that money the higher ups expect a return, and if they don’t get it they might cancel the program. Togo has them start practicing for a demonstration for the generals, but he hasn’t told the other girls that the program could be cancelled. Because of Eika’s previous flight training she is the only performing to a high standard, and Togo basically leaves it in the hands of Eika to get the other girls skills up to snuff. So after a little thought Eika starts to train the other girls on how to be a team, and she uses synchronized swimming to help with their timing. After their timing gets much better Togo adds weapons practice to the mix, Eika is great, Karen is OK, but Otoha is terrible with a gun. Eika helps Otoha with specialized training to bring her shooting skills up to the proper level. At the official demonstration everything goes OK until its Otoha’s turn to fire then her unit refuses to shoot its gun. After a while the unit wants her to draw her sword instead, so she uses the sword to destroy the target drones. Later Togo tells the girls that their are promoted to official test pilots, with Karen and Otoha becoming Sergeants, and Eika becoming Master Sergeant. Just as the episode is about to end it looks like Hizuki is being notified that the worms are back. Well that’s all of episode five, below are some screen shots.

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     Sky Girls  episode five follows the typical training phase found in many anime of this genre, first the team members perform as individuals, but they gradually learn to come together as a team. I found the synchronized swimming bit a little goofy, that type of thing been done before, remember how in NGE (episode 9, dance like you want to win) Asuka and Shinji were forced to dance in synchronized manner to improve their timing. Also in this episode Eika must use her leadership and training skills to help the other two girls, as a jet pilot this goes against the normal top gun behavior, in an elite environment everyone normally tries to prove that their skills are superior. Ltc Togo keeps a hands off and low key management style kinda of like the management styles of the flight director in Rocket Girl,  and Col Mustang from FMA. The only thing is didn’t like was the whole issue of the special link Otoha has with her sonic diver, I hope it doesnt turn into some weird DNA link like the pilots had in NGE,  or some type of living mecha like in Eureka 7.  From my experience just give me a piece of equipment that does what I tell it to do and I’ll be happy, the last thing I want is my electronic equipment talking back to me.

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