October 2007


Happy Halloween to all the anime fans out there, may you find the costumed girl of your dreams tonight, and here are some sweet suggestions.

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The above are just a few suggestions, I wish you all sweet dreams this Halloween night.

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     This episode starts off with Judy up in the farmhouse’s attic where she finds a adventure book, when she looks inside she sees that the book was once owned by Jervis, Julia’s uncle. After talking to her hosts Judy confirms that it is the very same Jervis, and they don’t have high opinions of Julia’s side of the family. George and Elsa talk about their fond memories of Jervis with Judy, and she tells them about the good time she had with him when he visited he school. Judy also finds out that the Lock Willow Farm was owned by Jervis’s family and then he gave it as a gift to George and Elsa for the kindness they had shown him. George and Elsa treat Judy like a real family member once they find out that she and Jervis are friends, and they get a long even better than before. As the days pass Judy gets more in to the flow of the farming lifestyle, but while she tries hard she still continues to goof things up. A few days later Judy wonders if George and Elsa know who her “Daddy Long Legs” is, but at the last minute she changes her mind about asking, she feels that she would have tell them that she’s an orphan and that Jervis and everyone else would find out. Well that’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.

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     This episode covers more of Judy’s vacation at Lock Willow Farm, and how she slowly adapts herself to farm life. Judy also spends a large amount of time with George and Elsa enjoying memories of Jervis’s childhood at Lock Willow Farm, and George and Elsa tell Judy how much she’s like Jervis. A big part of this episode is about Judy coming to terms with her past and being able to have the confidence to admit that she’s is a orphan, and let people decide to like her or not like her knowing the whole truth, as one author stated in a book, “you can not change who you are, but you can decide what you do”. Judy has not developed the maturity or the strength to do this yet, so all she sees ahead is a dark corridor whenever she thinks about telling people about her past.

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      This episode starts off with Kana getting back one of her tests which she scored 65 points but she doesn’t think it was that bad until she finds out that her friend Keiko scored 100 points. A while later Kana finds out that Fujioka scored 66 points, she still thinks of him as a rival even though he has a serious crush on her. Kana makes a bet with him on the next test, but not being very smart she changes her score before knowing his, and of course she guesses wrong still losing to him. She keeps changing her grades only to find out the Fujioka keeps edging her out each time, and after he finally wins he offers his hand to her and she kicks him, Fujioka having a total crush on her is actually happy about the contact.

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     Then at home Kana finds out the even her younger sister Chiaki out scores her on school examinations, and she even gets talked into trying to make dinner which almost turns out poisonous. At school Fujioka wakes Kana before she’s late to the next class, and he tells her outright that he really likes her a lot, she runs home and asks Chiaki about it and she twists the situation again. Than at school she acts like he’s about to attack all the time, poor guy. Later we see Fujioka at the Minami house, Kana invited him over, then Chiaki and Kana come up with a plan to feed him some of Kana’s terrible food, but Haruka ends up coming home and they eat her food instead. Haruka tells Chiaki that she thinks he’s a nice guy, kind of like their father. Kana and Fujioka end up watching TV together with Chiaki spying on them, she then walks in and sits down in Fujioka’s lap, after a while Haruka brings in drinks and snacks. Later, Kana flips out thinking that Fujioka is just manipulating the situation to aid him in his battle with her. Well that’s all for episode three, below are some screen shots.

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     Well, I beginning to have a slight change of opinion on Minami-ke, maybe the shows getting funnier or I’m getting used to the show? I thought episode three was very funny, between Kana’s amusing stupidity and Chiaki’s manipulation of her leads to quite a lot of funny situations. Poor Fujioka, I really feel sorry for him, the old saying goes “love can be blind”, but unfortunately for him love can also be stupid, and he picked one stupid girl to fall in love with. Also whats funny is that Kana always runs to Chiaki for relationship advise, when its clear to me that she knows nothing about boy/girl going ons. Kana not smart enough to talk to her older sister in private about Fujioka, Haruka clearly has the most commonsense when it comes to things like that. I kind of felt sorry for Chiaki, upon seeing her sit in Fujioka’s lap after Haruka tells Chiaki that Fujioka seems to be a little like their father. Now that this series seems to have gotten it’s legs I keep watching.

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     This episode starts off with Mari getting almost no sleep after last night’s incident, Hagino continues to play it off as Mari is just dreaming or just confused. Then we get a scene change to a command ship that looks just like the one we’ve seen Hagino with, and it is searching for a missing ship (I assume its Hagino’s ship). Later the ship that Hagino is from  places a phone call to the school making an excuse for Hagino to leave the school for a while. Hagino boards the ship called Blue and they leave the water and head into space (help I’m confused) meeting four other ships to do something. Then before dinner Mari finds out that the students are required on a monthly basis to cook dinner for themselves, she is completely helpless and almost dangerous when it comes to cooking. That night Mari goes to bed wondering what Hagino wants from her, and Hagino’s ship makes it to the rendezvous point. That’s all for episode three, below are some screen shots.

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     OK, I felt that this series had the elements to make a fairly good science fiction based yuri anime, but enough is enough, this episode almost put me to sleep. All the plot covered in this episode could have been done in five minutes time, not a whole 25 minutes. In takes more then good character design and great animation quality to make a series worth watching, it also requires a good storyline and the pacing of the story is critical, its got to move fast enough to keep you awake but not so fast as to wear you out. After three episodes of Blue Drop I’m quite bored, I care for neither the aliens or Mari, and I will not continue to cover this series episode by episode, I will post a wrap up entry once the series is over.

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     This episode begins with Aunt Elizabeth discovering Emily’s cat broke a vase in her house, she asks Emily why she disobeyed her by bringing the cat along, Emily tells her that the cat hide in her luggage but Aunt Elizabeth says she’s lying. Jimmy bails Emily out by saying he brought the cat along to eat the mice in the barn, and Aunt Elizabeth tells him to get it out of her sight and out of the house. At dinner Emily is told that getting the cows to pasture in the morning will be her job, and that the Murrays don’t use maids for washing and cleaning, also she’s told she’ll attend school to get an education. The next day Elizabeth tells Emily to get rid of her braids because its not proper, she refuses to do so (Emily does her hair the way her father said her mother used to wear it), so Emily gets locked in a dark room. She soon escapes out a window, and wants to run to her old house even though she would be alone. Jimmy distracts her by showing her how butter is made, then Jimmy shows Emily his garden and she is impressed by its beauty. Jimmy then shows Emily the family grave yard and explains to her what the pride of the Murray family is, “always see things through no matter how tough”, and how everyone buried there loved the New Moon farm. Then Emily has a confrontation with Aunt Elizabeth, and Emily and Elizabeth basically come to a understanding with one another. The next day at school Emily is confronted by another girl who takes her books and throws them to the ground saying “go home you don’t belong here”. Well that’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.

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     The first thing I have to say about the Emily of New Moon anime is that as far as I’m concerned it’s a absolutely beautiful anime, the images are crisp and clean, the colors are bright and vivid, and backgrounds are drawn with a focus placed on the natural beauty of the surroundings. Unlike other anime, the characters in Emily of New Moon are dawn closer to real life people then the way most anime portray people. Emily is draw as a real eleven year old girl, she’s cute but not overly so, she intelligent and emotional but she’s not a genius or a emotional manipulation machine, and best of all she’s not a typical anime loli girl. The other character in this series seem to me that they could be people that you could meet in real life situations, maybe that’s because this series is based on books that reflect the author’s real life experiences. For all the people who complain that all the anime out there is geared towards older teens or adult this series proves them wrong. In Emily of New Moon I found nothing that could be considered objectionable when compared to normal television programming. In Emily we have a caring young girl struggling to adapt to her new situation, in Jimmy and Laura we have caring and kind older adults that try to help Emily fit in to her new situation, and Aunt Elizabeth comes off as cold and hard but I get the feeling that underneath her cool persona she’s really a caring person but tough, the kind of person that you can hold on to like a rock in the middle of a storm. If you want a anime to sit down and watch with your young children and not have to worry language or sexual content then this is your anime.

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     This episode starts off with Elise looking at a picture of her friends from the European base, she has a flashback of her forced evacuation, and relives the destruction of her former base. The next morning Togo tells the girls that the must work together as a four member team, and they begin simulation training. A while later Eika is furious because five straight simulations were failures due to Elise’s failure to be a team member, she keeps acting independently causing failure. As the girls are eating lunch the alarm goes off, an A+ level flying worm is detected approaching the ship, the girls launch from the ship and head off to attack the worm. Elise starts to attack the worm on her own, her sonic diver unit prevents the other girls from attacking, and she gets captured by the worm. Eika is about to attempt a rescue when Vic Viper shows up in his new fighter plane and frees Elisa. The worm retreats for now, and Elise receives treatment for her light wound, the doctor tells her not to throw her life away. Elise says that everyone whom cared for her is dead so whats the difference, and the doctor and Oya convinces her that people really care for her. Eika is ready to have a confrontation with Elise but when she sees her practicing alone she convinces her that working as a team is better than working alone. The worm reappears and the Vice-Captain only wants to send out the three girls but Eika argues that things will be different and at the last minute the Captain agrees and gives the order. During the battle Elise works as a team with the other girls and the worm gets destroyed after a short battle, then back on the ship Eika offers her hand to Elise in congratulations but Elise refuses infuriating Eika. Well that’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.

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     Well here we are at the start of the last half of Sky Girls, in this episode the other girls try to get Elise integrated into their team, but due to personnel issues it fails at first. Finally Elise works as a team member with the other girls defeating a worm in the process. The adults in this episode do their jobs, in many other anime the adults are practically worthless doing nothing but causing problems, but here they use their life experiences to give the girls the a little push when needed, and sympathy or a shoulder to cry on when necessary. This episode give a little more background on Elise and why she’s the way she is, but I still feel that she’s way too young compared to the other girls, its almost like all anime producers must include at least one loli for viewers whom like girls of that type no matter how out of place they really are. I think that Col. Togo or Eika needs to give Elise a good spanking every time she acts like a child and risks other peoples lives, maybe that would teach her how to behave. Overall I continue to enjoy this series for what it is, a light science fiction anime with just a hint of fan service.    

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     This episode begins with the girls new home, the ship named Kouryu leaving port and heading out to sea. The ship’s crew is alive with action, breaking in a new ship requires a lot of organization and hard work. later Eika gets mad at Elize because she’s turned the girls sleeping quarters into a romper room like mess of stuffed animals, the other girls say that their fine with it, but only Eika truly understands that they are in the military now. Just as Eika is about to explain it to them, Vice-Captain Shima and Captain Kadowaki are walking past the room and they tell them to get serious, Elize makes a snide comment and Vice-Captain Shima tells her if she’s got a problem she can get off the ship. Everything aboard the ship is coming along nicely until Otoha notices that Ryohei doesn’t look very well, and he tries to blow it off not wanting to show weakness in front of Otoha, but he ends up passing out in the hanger. Because of his condition he gets removed as Otaha’s mechanic, and Otoha overhears this and confronts Ryohei, basically saying that she’s upset at him. The doctor says that she can tell that his heart is hurting more from disappointing Otoha than his head is hurting from the seasickness. A little while later a worm appears and heads straight for the ship, the Captain orders the ship’s main cannon to fire on the worm, but this doesn’t stop the worm, so the Captain orders the sonic diver unit to deploy. Eika and Karen deploy their units without a hitch, but Otoha’s unit fails to launch and the rest of the maintenance crew can’t figure out the reason why. After the battles is joined and the worm is getting closer to the ship, Ryohei shows up and gets Otoha’s unit fixed in a couple of seconds. When Otoha joins the fight the worm is dispatched in hardly no time. Well that’s all for episode thirteen, below are some screen shots.

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     Well thirteen episodes down, and thirteen episodes of Sky Girls left, and we are at the exact same point where the Sky Girls OAV finished. The only real differences between the OAV and the series is, no fourth sky girl (loli Elize), less fan service, and more character development. I find the show to be quite interesting, the interaction between the three main girls is very good, the fight scenes a very well animated, and the use of color and sound is well done. Now for my gripes, too many filler episodes where nothing really happens, the introduction of the loli pilot Elize, and the back plot involving Togo’s second in command. Overall I would recommend this series if you like light science fiction dramas, if you don’t like them you’ll probably be bored. Unfortunately for anime that have small niche audience’s like Sky Girls, Rocket Girls, Hitohira, and Minami-ke the demise of Geneon USA means that their chances of being picked up for US distribution is greatly reduced.

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