February 2008


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     Episode 4 begins with Rahzel becoming separated from her crew, lost in a rain storm, she sees a lone house and asks for shelter from the storm, the door is slammed in her face, but another woman quickly lets her in. The older woman is mad at her younger sister for letting Rahzel in after she already said no. As Rahzel is shown to a den with a fireplace she sees that her friends are already there, and she gets angry about them being there already. Later the older sister “asks”, no demands Rahzel help in locating a lost treasure located in a cave in exchange for her letting them stay at the house, later that night Rahzel wakes the woman for the treasure hunt. Later the two guys join them, and Rahzel takes a fun attitude towards the whole thing while exploring the cave for treasure. While on the adventure, Rahzel and the woman have a extreme dislike for one another, with Rahzel trying to goad the woman into being kinder and to have more self-worth. During the treasure hunt Rahzel’s actions causes the woman to regain her self-confidence and her self-worth, when they finally find the treasure, it turns out to be a fossil that reflects sunlight giving the woman the will to move forward into the future and to try and make a better life for herself. Well that’s all for this episode, below are some screenshots.

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     Well, after taking several days off from anime viewing due to excess work and personal commitments I should have picked a better episode to blog about. I found this episode of Hatenko Yuugi to be very boring,  at least in the previous episodes there was some fighting or some magical action, but all this episode contained was some pretty common anime tropes, “remember kids, Sailor Moon Says” have confidence in yourself, try your best and so forth and so on. The only thing I found interesting was Rahzel’s answer to a question, she was asked if her two friends were drowning and she only could save one, which one would she choose? She said neither of them, because the other would become angry over the choice, so she would join them, hoping they would try to save her and themselves along the way, talk about a different approach to a King Solomon’s type problem. Oh well, I’ll be hoping that the quality of the next several episodes picks up greatly. 

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My next entry in my favorite Japanese Idol category is Kaori Ishii from the Girlz-High website, she is 17 years old and is a very popular model on the site, below are some pics of the beautiful Kaori.

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     This episode begins the day after the basketball match with the choir club agreeing to share their advisor with the theater club, but the student counsel rejects the proposal, after Nagisa tells them the bad news she collapses. Tomoya, Kotomi, Kyou and Ryou take Nagisa home where her parents thank them and tell them that she’ll be absent from school for a while. The next morning Tomoya is surprised when Tomoyo comes to his house to wake him for school, and then they “gently” wake Youhei up for school too. At school Kyou demands that Tomoya join her for lunch again, while eating lunch Kyou not to subtly tries to force Tomoya and Ryou closer to one another. After lunch Kyou tells Tomoya that Ryou will bring bento tomorrow, when Tomoya goes back to class Kyou tells Ryou to follow him but she feels uncomfortable feeling sorry for Nagisa, and Kyou tells her to go for it since their not dating and make a move before Tomoyo steals him for herself.

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     After school Youhei asks Tomoya if he’s really not dating Nagisa and he tells him that he doesn’t intent to have a girlfriend, just then Tomoyo walks up and asks him why not? He tells her that considering is family situation and his poor habits he’s not that kind of guy. Later Tomoyo tells Tomoya that she has a lot of friends now but she has fun hanging with him too so she’ll keep coming around. The next day at lunch Kyou tells Tomoya that Ryou worked really hard on making the bento, but before they can eat it Botan grabs a piece of it and collapses after tasting it. Later Ryou apologises for the food but Tomoya says the spring rolls tasted good, making her feel better. Later he goes to the library where Yukine has him perform a charm and then she tells him it will cause him to be locked in a room with a girl, at first he thinks of Nagisa but she’s sick, so he then thinks of Kyou. Later on Kyou asks him to help her put some stuff away and they get locked in the equipment shed where she get nervous about him trying something, but she says she would understand it because he’s a guy and guys interested in such things (you bet your life guys are thinking about it).

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      Before long Kyou really thinks that their about to have sex and she gets nervous saying it’s her first time and Tomoya tells her he’ll take care of everything, he begins to strip down to break the curse but she thinks he’s getting ready to have sex with her, finally the doors are unlocked by someone from the outside. On his way home from school Tomoyo joins him and as their walking out about 10-20 guys are waiting to fight her, Tomoya tells her that she can’t fight and risk her student counsel election campaign, Youhei joins them and is about to fight too but she kicks him out of the way and takes on them herself, but before long some teachers show up and Tomoya takes the blame for the fight and gets suspended from school. Well that’s all for now, below are some screen shots.

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     Well nothing seems to ever go right for poor Nagisa, after getting enough members for her club, and going though all the distractions up until this point, she can’t seem to buy a win. But the real point to this episode is about Tomoya’s feelings for Nagisa, even if he tells everyone that he and Nagisa aren’t a couple they really are a couple, when Yukine has him do the charm the first girl he thinks of is Nagisa, when he takes the blame for the fight he is thinking of Nagisa, and when he’s alone in the club room all he can think of is Nagisa. In this episode Kyou plays a large role, she tries as best as she can to set her sister up with Tomoya, while Ryou can see Tomoya’s attraction to Nagisa, Kyou actually takes his word that he’s not dating her.

     But what was really funny was the incident in the equipment shed, when she actually thought that Tomoya wanted to have sex with her she went from being all brash and self-assured to being quit shy and self-conscious, hell, she’d  probably would have given it up. As the series goes on I’m becoming more of a fan of Youhei, for all his faults he’s really a stand up guy, when someone he considers a friend is in trouble he’ll do anything to help them out, if only all the girls fluttering around Tomoya would notice his loyal qualities he might finally get more action in real life and be able to put away the girly books.

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     This episode begins with the three girls running late for class, as their about to leave the dorm they see Miss Sloan arguing with some men trying to deliver luggage to the dorm, and they assume that a new girl is about to move into the dorm. At class all the girls are gossiping like crazy about who the new girl will be, they assume because of all the luggage that she very rich, and will be like a queen.  A short while later the professor introduces the new girl Leonora Fenton to the class, she’s one year older than the other girls because she’s took a year off from school, and like Judy she’s a writer who’s had stuff published in the school’s paper. At first Judy and Leonora don’t hit it off well, she offers Judy criticism and advice about her writing, but Judy takes it wrong when Leonora tells Judy that if she doesn’t change she won’t improve.

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     Julia tells Judy that it was inexcusable for someone to say things like that, but the problem is that Judy tells them even she doesn’t think her poems are really that good. To make matters worse the girls find out that Leonora will be rooming with them, they meet her father, and find out that she doesn’t want to be treated any differently than anyone else. Later in the day Judy and the girls go to the library to look up some information on Leonora and Judy finds a old poem of hers and she reads it to them and Judy has to admit that it’s written at a much higher standard then her writing. That night Leonora tells Sallie that she wasn’t trying to say bad things about Judy’s writing she was just offering criticism one poet to another poet, when Sallie tells Judy this she is happy that Leonora considers her a fellow poet. The next day Judy and Leonora have a talk by the basketball court about writing and Leonora tells Judy she doesn’t have much time but Judy tells her she has a lot of time, a while later Leonora and Judy join the other girls playing basketball, Leonora displays tremendous talent while on the court but a short while later she collapses on the court. That’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.

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     Well, in this episode Judy was in for a big shock, for the first time someone other than the professor has criticized her writing. For the most part everyone has praised Judy’s writing skills but this time Leonora reviews her work in depth pointing out all her weaknesses, she tries to tell Judy that this is only to help her improve, but once you think your great it’s hard to be told you really not that good. After Judy read some of Leonora’s work she realizes that Leonora is a much better writer than her. Leonora really sees right into Judy heart by telling her writing dwells too much in personal loneliness, and all her heroines will be miserable heroines, and that Judy’s writing doesn’t show whats really in her heart. That hits Judy really hard because she really is hiding from the truth about herself, she hasn’t yet come to terms with who she really is, is she Judy the prestigious school girl or is she Judy the poor orphan girl, or is she a hybrid of the two, or is she able to transcend the past completely? Up until now almost all of Judy’s stories has been tragedies about poor suffering girls, the one exception was her winter poem, for the most part Judy’s stories would fit in perfectly on the lifetime channel.

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In keeping with my previous post I will continue to post pictures of my favorite Japanese/Asian idols every week or so. This is part two of my Yuko Ogura entry, and these pictures are from her photo book titled Yuko’s secret room. If any of you have any special requests for a specific idol please leave them in the comment section, please no porn requests.

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     This episode picks up with Nagisa and Tomoya showing Youhei’s sister Mei back to his room, she is shocked by it’s messy condition. She proceeds to properly clean his room when she walks in on Nagisa and Tomoya talking about Youhei’s love for Tomoya, Mia is again shocked by her brothers behavior. When Youhei finally gets home Tomoya clears up the whole gay prank he pulled on Nagisa and Mei, after a while Nagisa offers to let Mei stay at her house for a while, at her house Mei meets Nagisa’s parents and they seem to get along well. The next day at school Tomoya and Youhei recruit Kyou to play in the 3 on 3 basketball match. During lunch Tomoyo joins Tomoya and Youhei for lunch and she gets on Tomoya’s case about being late for school, just then Kyou barges in and complains to her about being in someone else’s classroom and Tomoyo asks Kyou if she interested in Tomoya, this draws a reaction out of proportion to the question.

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     Kyou drags Tomoya away to eat lunch with her and Ryou, during lunch Kyou thinks it’s interesting that he’s not dating anyone, Ryou acts embarrassed and shy when Tomoya looks at her. After school Tomoya attempts to practice at basketball but his bum shoulder causes him to shoot poorly.

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     The next day the basketball match takes place, and Kyou is fired up because of comments made to her by others. They will play a 3 on 3 match against the rookie members of the basketball club. For the first 15 minutes of the game the theater club gets the best of the rookies, and with five minutes left in the game the basketball club switches the rookies with the starters, Tomoya hopes that their 11 point lead is enough to hold up. For the next five minutes the basketball club dominates the theater club eventually taking a one point lead, with almost no time left on the clock Tomoya is about to give up as he is falling to the ground holding the basketball, Nagisa shouts at him telling him to shoot, and at the last moment he shoots the ball and it scores as time expires giving them a one point win. Later Youhei, Nagisa, and Tomoya see Mei off at the train station because she has to return home. That’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.

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     Well, I found episode 16 to be a great change of pace from episode 15, to me episode 15 kind of dragged along without much direction and was very slow paced. While episode 15 had it’s funny moments such as the Youhei is gay joke that he tells Nagisa, overall I couldn’t find much direction in the episode. This episode while still not having much direction was very fun to watch, after the emotional roller coaster rides in the Fuko and Kotomi arcs I think that the producers felt that the viewers needed a break. This episode had a very light hearted and playful feel to it. As the series has progressed my opinion of Youhei has really improved, while he can be dense at times like when he thought Tomoyo was a boy for several episodes, he also is quite caring and loyal to those he considers his friends, he showed a lot of emotion in trying to help Fuko and he’ll almost go to any lengths to help Nagisa.

     The only problem I have with this episode is Tomoya’s wishy washy attitude towards Nagisa especially when he discusses her with others, to me and probably many other viewers Tomoya and Nagisa are a couple in everything but name, even towards the end of episode 15 Nagisa told Youhei that Tomoya was her boyfriend and I felt that she meant it, if she had been joking around she wouldn’t have blushed after saying it. Tomoya might not want to admit how close he’s become to Nagisa but their no denying it, Fuko saw this and made several comments telling them so, when Tomoya has emotional problems he’s drawn to Nagisa’s house and he’s told Nagisa things that he’s probably never told anyone else.

     While Tomoyo, Kyou, and Ryou all inquire about Tomoya’s dating status I think it’s a red herring they’ve have to be able to spot the chemistry between Tomoya and Nagisa, most of us members of the male species know that the female persuasion have a much better emotional radar than we do. The whole basketball match was very fun especially seeing Kyou’s all female fan club, while her personality type might make for a interesting girlfriend (she’d give you hell when angry, but she’d also give you hell in more ways than one when she’s happy). While some guys say that girls are drawn to dangerous type guys, guys also like crazy chicks like Sean Young. Maybe I don’t know Japanese culture or I’ll just chalk it up to anime but how the hell is Tomoya, Youhei, and Kyou’s victory in the basketball game supposed to change the mind of the other club, in my old school everyone would have probably have said so what, and made fun out of the basketball club for losing to amateurs.

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     This episode starts off in the dream world where the junk doll/robot is with the young girl, they are standing together in a golden field witnessing the birth of lights. The girl asks the doll many questions about the world it came from, things like if was a nicer better place than here, and the girl asks the robot if it choose to be born here and the doll replies by taking her hand. 

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     Then at school Tomoya seems to have gotten enough people to join the drama club do they can petition the student counsel for full status, and they go to Kumura-sensei to see if he’ll be the advisor but he already been asked to be the advisor for the choir club. Nagisa goes to the choir club to ask if he can be their advisor and things seem to go alright but one of the other members seems to be against it. Later Tomoya is at Youhei’s place when he has to take a phone call from Youhei’s younger sister, he plays a prank on her pretending to be Youhei, she informs him she’ll be visiting him soon. During a break at school Youhei and Tomoya find Nagisa reading a note telling her to give up on the club, Youhei conducts a investigation and finds out that one of the choir club’s members sent the note. Later Nagisa and the girl meet outside and she tells Nagisa about how they need to get the choir going in order to help her friend, Youhei gets angry and tells Nagisa to to listen to sad stories, but its too late.

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     Nagisa tells the other girl that she’ll give up on the drama club making Youhei very angry. Later Tomoya tells Nagisa that Youhei is angry because he had to give up soccer because of a conflict with a upperclassman so he didn’t like Nagisa having the sympathy card pulled on her. Then Nagisa thanks Tomoya for his help in trying to reestablish the club, but she’s not sad because made many friends and had a good time, she starts to cry and Tomoya comforts her. Tomoya and Youhei go to the library and drink some coffee with a girl named Yukine who reads Youhei’s fortune giving him an idea. Then Tomoya and Fuko come to the aid of Tomoyo who’s getting bugged about joining a sports club. Later Tomoyo thanks Tomoya and tells him that he can be reliable at times and a nice guy, he tells her no problem. Youhei comes up with the idea to play a basketball match against the school’s club to prove a point to the choir club, Tomoya is against this but Youhei keeps pestering him. He tells Nagisa that Youhei  is really gay and that he just misses being around him, but Tomoya tells her he can’t love men leading to a funny scene where Nagisa tries to defend Tomoya from Youhei by telling him that Tomoya’s her boyfriend. Youhei runs off in a fit of depression just as his sister Mei shows up to meet him. Well that’s all for this episode below are some screen shots.

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     Well episode 15 seems to be redirecting Clannad’s focus back towards Nagisa or at least I hope so, I know that Tomoyo’s cute but I don’t feel that there’s enough time left to do any more arcs featuring other girls. If the anime is in anyways going to try and do any justice to how the visual novel handled Tomoya’s and Nagisa’s full story there is no spare time left to mess around. I can tell by now that Nagisa and Tomoya are meant for each other and they are tied together by the red string of fate, it’s quite obvious that Tomoya is the junk doll and that Nagisa is somehow related in some way to the girl in the dream world. I found the whole skit about Tomoya telling Nagisa that Youhei’s gay to be very funny, it actually got Nagisa to tell Youhei that she’s Tomoya’s girlfriend.

     One part I totally agree with is when Kyou yells at Nagisa for being too nice, and at the rate she’s going she’ll never get her own happiness, Candy from the Candy Candy anime  (1976) gets told this same fact by one of her teachers at the beginning of the series, she ignores this advice and has to experience a lot of unhappiness before being rewarded at the end of the series. Also Kyou’s comments to Nagisa about being too nice made me recall some real life comments some Japanese girls made in reference to shoujo anime characters, they stated that it would be nice to be able to be like the shoujo anime girls but it’s impossible, no girl in real life can be that kind and perfect.

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