November 2007


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     This episode starts off with Karen helping Takumi gather supplies from the storeroom, then Otoha gets mad at the maintenance crew because they are cold towards Aisha, and Ryohei tells her that they are uneasy around her, and someone else tells Otoha it’s because Aisha never shows any emotions. While gathering supplies Takumi finds some old fashioned camera film, and when Karen and Takumi return to the group he begins to take picture of everyone, but when it’s Karen’s turn, she runs off without letting him take her picture. All through the day Takumi goes around the ship taking pictures, and he finally catches Karen off guard and gets a picture of her. Later Otoha tries to get Aisha to smile for a picture but she doesn’t see a point to smiling or treasuring past memories. Just as Takumi is getting ready to take a picture of the group on the outside deck, the ship is attacked by the worms. Once in the air the sonic diver units are having a really tough time fighting the flying worm, the worm’s speed is so great that the girls can’t even land one hit on it. Things are going really badly in the fight, the ship is hit many times and the crew is battling the flames, and the girls are losing the air battle. At that moment Aisha makes some sort of mental contact with the worm, affecting it’s behavior, she basically freezes the worm in mid-air allowing the sonic diver units to finish the worm off, after the worm is destroyed Aisha passes out from the effort. After the battle Aisha earns the respect and friendship of crew for her efforts during the fight. Well, that’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.

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     Well were through twenty episodes of Sky Girls already, and only six more remain, this episode was all about memories, and the preservation of memories. Karen and Takumi got to spend some time alone talking, Takumi is the perfect guy for Karen, he’s easy going and relaxed, the kind of guy who will wait in Karen’s case for about five years for their first kiss. This episode also features Aisha’s integration into the crew, before this combat mission most of the crew was very weary of her due to her lack of emotions, but after Aisha’s role in defeating the worms is spread throughout the ship they finally consider her part of the “family”.

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     This episode continues the Mako-chan storyline as he/she has dinner again at the Minami household, and Kana gets enjoyment out of the fact that she started Makoto on his journey of cross-dressing. Kana wants to continue her mission of transforming people, at school she thinks that if she could wear Keiko’s glasses it will make her look more intelligent, and seeing wearing glasses is just too funny. Then back at home Kana decides to give self-defense lessons to Chiaki’s friends, we see that her stupidity knows no bounds, but some of the girls are stupid enough to fall for it. when Kana is in the school library she runs into Fujioka and they talk for a while, then they meet two 3rd year girls, one of whom is the “official banchou” her name is Yu, but Kana thinks that Fujioka should battle her for the title banchou. The issue is settled by a game of rock, paper, and scissors, with the girl throwing the match to Fujioka. Then Kana finds out from the two 3rd year girls that there are many legends surrounding Haruka while she was in middle school and that Haruka was the original banchou, then Kana gets one of the girls to write down all of Haruka’s legends in a notebook. Later that evening at home Kana makes a reference to one of the incidents listed in the notebook drawing a shocked response from Haruka, later we get to see Haruka’s memory of the incident. Well that’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.

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     Well, Minami-ke episode 7 continues with the Makoto/Mako-chan cross-dressing storyline, what I find interesting is that he/she is now buying more girl clothes on his own, I know that it was his attraction to Haruka that caused his initial cross-dressing but now is it his continued attraction to Haruka or has Kana forced him to get in touch with his inner girl? Speaking of Kana, she is a good natured, caring girl at heart, but she has got to be one of the dumbest girls I seen recently in anime, I mean we see girls in anime that can be pretty clueless but Kana is a real rock. While most of the previous episodes were centered around Kana and Chiaki and their friends and the situations revolving around their school relationships, in these episodes Haruka is usually the voice of calm and reason and the stability in the household. While Haruka gets a lot of screen time we really don’t get to know any of her history or what makes her tick. So, I was really pleased seeing a episode featuring her background from junior high school, long live banchou Haruka Minami.

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     This episode begins with Nagisa, Fuko, and Tomoya siting around a table and Nagisa tells Fuko that the day of her sister’s wedding is approaching and permission has be granted for it to take place at the school, Tomoya is uneasy about this news. In the school hallway Fuko, Nagisa, and Tomoya continue to try and hand out the starfish, but nobody seems to notice/see Fuko, Even when Tomoyo is shown a starfish by Tomoya she can remember the gift, but she doesn’t notice Fuko. While Tomoya still remembers the starfish other students can’t recall it even when they are shown one, Fuko runs off in sadness, and Nagisa asks Tomoya whats happening? Tomoya tells her that he thinks her existence is in danger because her condition is getting worst. At Nagisa’s house everyone continues to help carve starfish, later that night Nagisa breaks down in tears over her worry for Fuko and Tomoya comforts her. When Tomoya visits Youhei’s place he is told by Youhei that he did some research on Fuko and he believes that she is a fake Fuko or something else, and he wants to go to the hospital to look at Fuko’s face, Tomoya is worried that if Youhei sees her face he’ll forget her too.

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     The next day at school Youhei can’t remember Fuko after visiting the hospital, and almost no students remembers Fuko either. Later on Youhei mentions Fuko’s name out of the blue, and Tomoya tries to get him to remember her, he struggles with his memory but he can’t remember her but he does remember a feeling, Tomoya says he tried hard enough so there is some hope. On their way home from school Nagisa and Tomoya buy Fuko a present in honor of her sisters wedding, and when they get to Nagisa’s house her father is in pain trying to remember Fuko but he can’t see her, and Nagisa’s mother tries to pretend that she still can see Fuko but she breaks down in tears saying that she went to the hospital to visit her and once she saw her she can no longer see Fuko but she knows she still should. Tomoya and Nagisa go with Fuko to spend the night with her at the school, and that’s where the episode ends. Below are some screen shots.

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     Well, the dream that was Fuko is slowly starting fade from the present, Fuko’s memory is fading from people in reverse order, people who new her in passing are losing her first, and the ones who care for her are also forgetting her but more slowly. Nagisa fears that she’ll forget her too, but Tomoya tells her that since she loves her so much it won’t happen, I don’t think that Tomoya really believes that to be true, Tomoya even expressed the fear that he’ll even forget her too. Tomoya tells Nagisa that he thinks this is being caused by Fuko’s worsting condition in the hospital, but I think he’s wrong, very wrong. What I believe is happening is that Fuko’s gentle lonely spirit reached out and touched Nagisa and Tomoya, and in their love and kindness to her set in motion the fulfillment of Fuko’s dream. Fuko’s who in reality is lying in a hospital bed in a coma is only sustaining her life force/spirit by sheer force of will, and that will has only one goal seeing her sister become happy, as Fuko comes to understand that the dream is almost reality she’s slowly letting go, the long struggle is almost over, her body/spirit can finally relax and be at peace. While her departure is very gentle to people who only casually knew her, it is very painful to people who really cared for and loved her you just can’t rip out a piece of someones heart and not expect it to hurt. I’m almost at the point where I feel that there might not be final salvation for Fuko like there was for Ayu at the end of Kanon.  

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     This episode begins with Judy reading her short story to Sallie, and Sallie thinks it’s pretty good, but Judy has her doubts because the entries for the school contest will probably be very good. Sallie stops the English professor and has Judy give him the story to look it over, and he says since he on the judging committee he can’t help her rewrite it but he can give his opinion on the story. When Judy shows up at his office, he tells her that there are some good parts to the story but most of it could be called plagiarism. This hits Judy really hard, once back in her room she starts crying and tells Sallie and Julia that the professor was right and she won’t write another short story. Sallie tries to cheer up Judy but Julia tells her to leave Judy alone, she tells Sallie that this is the first time Judy’s failed and she’s giving up already. Julia’s words pisses Judy off and she tries writing again but she finds writing really tough going, she misses dinner and gets really hungry. Julia offers Judy some of her expensive biscuits but Judy still mad at her, so she refuses, but hunger is getting the better of her. The feeling of hunger inspires Judy to write a story involving orphans, hunger, escaping, and finding a lost love, the next day Sallie and Julia both think that the story is pretty good, so Judy enters the story in the contest. Both the English professor and Julia ask Judy how she knows some much about the feelings of orphans, and all Judy says is she just used her imagination. The story Judy wrote ends up taking second place in the contest, there was no first place prize awarded. Well that’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.

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     In this episode of Daddy Long Legs things are starting to get serious, as we learned in the previous episode the girls are now 2nd year students (juniors) in high school, and where they were happy and carefree in their fist year now there starting to get much more serious, with the girls planning for the future. You hear many of the students talking about attending college, careers, and future goals. Sallie is now on the student counsel and devoting her time and effort to that task, Julia is aiming to be the number one student in the school and really works hard at achieving that goal, and Judy up until now has just been happy attending high school, now she is forced to think about the future. Judy chooses to attempt to win the school’s short story contest, her first attempt at story writing fails, while her story is interesting it is clearly a construction of pieces from her favorite books, she get very depressed by the professor’s criticism of her work. While Sallie tries to comfort Judy, Julia is pretty harsh towards her, and I think that Julia was right in goading her, Julia tells Sallie that Judy’s never failed before, and that’s true, Judy must learn to accept failure, pick herself off the ground, and make improvements by correcting her mistakes. Overall a very nice episode, this episode shows how the girls a changing from just girls in school to young women thinking about the future.    

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     This episode starts off with Emily writing in her diary about how she gets along with Ilse, they argue all the time but she enjoys her company. Also we find out that Ilse and Emily go to visit the sick boy (Teddy) often but his mother lies to the girls telling them that’s he’s asleep and so forth. Finally the girls find Teddy at home when his mother is out for the day, so they go outside to play, and they watch Teddy do his sketch work. They find out that he has to hide his drawing skills from his mother, Emily gets upset that he has to hide his talents. Then we learn that Teddy’s mother is having a hard time with money, and the town is suspicious of her. Then we find out that the farm hand (Perry) can’t read or write, but he finds one of Emily’s textbooks and attempts to practice writing. Next a lot of things happen, Aunt Elizabeth forbids Emily from writing, reading fiction, or poetry, then Teddy’s mother doesn’t want him to draw. Perry finally admits to Ilse and Emily that he can’t read or write but he wants to learn how so he can become something like a member of Parliament. Then Teddy has a confrontation with his mother and he ends up getting permission to draw from his mother, and Teddy does a sketch of Emily, Ilse, Perry and himself.  That’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.

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     In this episode we learn that Emily and Ilse have become good friends enjoying each others company, Emily and Ilse try to get Teddy out of his house to spend time with them. Teddy’s mother is very over protective of him, even though Teddy is suffering from a illness his mother keeps him caged up inside the house, his mother also doesn’t want him to draw. Also we learn that Aunt Elizabeth thinks that Emily’s reading of novels and poetry is a waste of time, and she wants her to stop writing. Perry is illiterate but wants to learn how to read and write so he can make something of himself. Overall this episode shows us that some of adults from this time period have some serious issues about the education of their children, Aunt Elizabeth thinks that creative things are not practical, Teddy’s mother thinks that drawing is a waste of his time, and poor Perry can’t even read and write and he should be in school with Emily and Ilse. But what this episode does is establish the core group of characters for this series and it also sets up the basic goals that all the children have for the future, Emily wants to be a writer, Perry wants to learn to read and write, Teddy wants to draw, and Ilse wants to find her passion. we also see the beginning of the crush triangles, Emily likes Teddy, Isle likes Teddy, Perry like Emily, and who knows whom Teddy likes.  

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     This episode starts off with showing how the ship is recovering from the intrusion of the worms, no major casualties, and only some minor system damage. We get to meet some of the people that Lt. Hizuki brought aboard with him, Professor Suou Kiriko head of the worm countermeasure unit, and we also are introduced to Aisha Krishnam. Otoha confuses her with her childhood friend, and Eika thinks that she’s the same pilot that defeated her in the first episode. Eika confronts her by asking her if she’s ever been to the same base as her, she says that she was involved in the prototype testing, but she has no memories of her, Eika asks her if she thinks she’s a fool, and she says that she doesn’t remember anything. Later we learn that most of the ship’s food stores were destroyed and that it will be three days to get more supplies so it’s lo-cal meals for now. Otoha had it with little food so she wants to use the sonic divers to fish for food, Col. Togo goes to the bosses for permission, and the Rear Admiral thinks it’s a joke but the Admiral says he’ll give permission for combat formation training (wink and nod). The combat practice is very successful netting a large quantity of fish resulting in an above average dinner feast.

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     Otoha gets interested in the strange new girl and goes on deck to talk to her, Otoha tries to make small talk with her but gets nowhere. Elise overhears the other girls talking about the rumor that Aisha was the origin of the worms and goes on deck to confront her, and just as Elisa is about to hit her, Otoha stops her. The girls go to the professor for some answers about Aisha and she tells them that Aisha’s father developed a nano program and experimented on his daughter, and the resulting consequences was the birth of the worms which think of humans as a cancer growth that needs to be treated. So the professor explains that as the worms tried to cure the planet of it’s human infection mankind struck back with nuclear weapons attempting to defeat the worms. After the worms disappeared Aisha was found in a capsule with instructions from her dead father that she should continue in his stead, so the girls learn that Aisha has always been an experimental subject and that the sonic diver units evolved from her DNA. Elise feels bad upon learning of Aisha’s situation and goes to apologize to her and that’s how the episode ends, below are some screen shots.

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     Well we finally find out the origins of the worms, and in in immortal words of Charlton Heston from The Planet of the Apes “Damn you all to hell”, when he finds out that we ruined the planet and left the apes in charge. So we come to find out that the worms were created by humans (Aisha’s father) playing around with nano tech., this plot-line is nothing new we’ve seen it before in shows like the Matrix, and Planet of the Apes, also this is the ultimate expression of the nano tech. “gray goo theory” which means that if we screw up with nano tech. the machines can run wild turning the whole surface of the planet to gray goo. One thing I didn’t get was how we got from Aisha’s fathers experiments on her to the worms running wild around the planet. Also we get to wonder about Otoha’s special link with her sonic diver unit, that will have to wait to a future episode.

     Well it’s been a hell of a long time since I visited this series, I should have finished this months ago but I got tied up with other things. So seeing that each episode of Rec. is only one half the length of a normal anime episode I’ll try and finish the series within two weeks, but you never know, work commitments might crop up and get in the way.

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     This episode begins with Matsumaru and Aka getting used to living together, Matsumaru wakes up late for work and walks into the bathroom while Aka is inside, he gets called a perv and he tells her to lock the bathroom door, and they both admit that they are used to living alone. On their way to work Aka worries that if they arrive together it might draw suspicion to their relationship, but before they can spit up Matsumaru’s coworker sees them together but he’s not suspicious. At the first public event of the campaign Matsumaru ends up in a mascot suit with Aka doing the voice work, they don’t seem to be drawing a lot of customers. Finally after two days work, Matsumaru and Aka are rewarded by getting a lift from a little girl who says she just loves the comercial. Aka is brought to tears because the little girls remembered her voice and her lines, on the way home from work Aka shines with happiness. That’s all for this episode, Below are some screen shots.

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     Even though each episode of Rec. is only twelve minutes long it still is able maintain three ongoing plot-lines with a fair amount detail. The first plot line is Aka’s budding career as voice actress, this anime shows that not all voice actresses start off in anime but most have to work very hard just to grab a minor role. The second plot line is how Matsumaru’s job as a advertising salary-man can also be frustrating. And the third and most important plot line in Rec. is the budding relationship between Aka and Matsumaru, this relationship is at times funny, frustrating, and touching. Even through both of them are adults their are not really comfortable with the current state of affairs, living together as a couple but not quite lovers. Sex or the thought of sex is just under the surface, in the first episode they had a one night stand in a moment of weakness, no let me rephrase that, they came together that night because at that moment they needed the physical closeness/connection to ease their loneliness. Now both are attracted to each other, bumping into each other like moths and then backing away like their afraid of touching the light again. Well I look forward to seeing how the relationship develops, in the end they are just a lonely girl and a lonely boy when put together each one gives something to the other that they lack like, friendship, kindness, and human companionship. 

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