June 2008


     Well, here are my two newest additions to my motivational posters for this week, please click on the image to view at full size.

 

     This new anime series is based on a series of novels written by Atsuko Asano, the novels also received a manga adaptation by Toshitsugu Īda and the series was published in Shonen Manga Magazine. The opening song is titled Aoi Kakera and sung by Chara, the opening tune has a upbeat feel to it but also has a low fidelity feel to the music, the opening features Ran and her female friends just hanging out around town and doing stuff like window shopping, and trying on clothes.

      This series begins with our main protagonist, Ran, a first year junior high school girl, having dreams/visions of a mysterious girl she doesn’t know. Then we see that Ran and her friend are both on the school’s track team and they get teased by some of their older teammates about being new students, and later we meet Ran’s childhood male friend/boyfriend who is waiting for her after school. While walking home from school with Rui, Ran again hears a female voice telling her that “it will begin soon”.

      Later that night we see a computer worker being haunted at work then being attacked by a ghostly person and a “ghost” dog. In the morning we get to see Ran’s family, her older brother Rin, her mother Reina a wannabe horror novelist, her father Ronpei, and their two cats Kisshou and Kenketsu. While sitting down for breakfast together her family sees the newscast about the computer worker demise.

     At the breakfast table Ran’s mother makes the comment that it sure is strange that so many strange incidents have been occurring in their small town, just then Ran hears the same voice from before startling her, she chalks it up to her imagination. On her way to meet Rui the mysterious voice tells Ran that it’s not her imagination. While out shopping with Ran, Rui figures out that something is bothering Ran and at first she won’t tell him what’s wrong, but a while later she admits to him that she is hearing a voice, and he tells her not to worry about it. He reminds her of the time when they were kids and voices lead her to finding the kittens that now live with her family, but just then she is mentally attacked by the voice, and it tells her all he is doing is sweet talking her up.

      Just as Ran begins to recover from the attach, Rui is attacked causing him pain in his head and neck, Ran begins to search the crowd for the attacker and focuses in on a dark haired girl. As the girl runs off, Ran and Rui begin to give chase but the girl gets away. Later we see the dark haired girl sitting alone at home having flashbacks from her childhood, it seems that she was made to feel weird because of her powers. It also seems that Ran has made a psychic connection to the dark haired girl’s dreams and her feelings of pain and loneliness.

      Just as Ran’s homeroom is about to begin their teacher introduces a new transfer to the class, Midori Naha, the very same girl that Ran and Rui chased the other day. After the introduction is finished Ran can hear Midori’s thoughts and Midori can also hear Ran’s thoughts and they seem to be able to communicate by telepathy. Midori causes Ran’s pencil case to fly open and fall on the floor and Rui helps her cover this up, but Midori says she’ll now attack Rui, and Ran rushes to his aid and her powers activate causing school items to attack Midori but she stops the attack, and Ran is confused about what is happening.

      Midori tells Ran that her thoughts caused the attack, and she tells Ran to show her more of her powers or else, and she begins to attack Rui again. Ran gets very angry and the sky above the school darkens and lightning begins to flash and as Ran is about to attack Midori, Rui intervenes stopping Ran from attacking Midori, Midori tries to goad Ran into showing off more of her powers but Ran slaps her in the face and tells her that if she has something to say, say it with her mouth. So the episode ends with a face off between Ran and Midori, well that’s all for now.

       Well, I feel that this is a pretty interesting first episode there were several things I liked about the first episode. The animation style pays great attention to background and everyday surroundings, while the animation style is nicely drawn and the the colors are vivid and crisp, the character designs are reminiscent of a style from a few years ago, even though this is a shonen series it has a somewhat dreamy quality found in typical shojo series.

Things I liked about this anime.

1. Ran’s family seems normal and nice, no real weirdo’s there.

2. Ran is cute, but not lolied up.

3. The other girls are normal looking for anime, some cute, some plain, and even some that are somewhat chunky.

4. Rui, Ran’s Bf, while having no special powers he isn’t a helpless, stupid, bumbling, clumsy oaf around girls.

Things that I found typical for anime of this type.

1. Ran running late to school, why are anime girls always running late to school, would they be late to their own funerals?

2. Why is the mysterious girl always dark haired, I know that this is anime but you have thousands of colors to choose from.

3. And why is the transfer student always strange in some way, don’t transfer students in Japan just end up being normal.

4. Midori friend or foe, but more than likely a tsundere girl, doesn’t almost every series have one of these girls lately.

      Overall I found this to be an interesting and engaging first episode, nice animation quality, good music that fits the story properly, interesting characters, and a fairly well written beginning storyline. I’ll cover a few more episode before I decide if I’ll do a episode by episode review or If I’ll just watch this series for enjoyment. 

      This episode of Moetan  begins with Ink, Sumi, and Nao getting ready for their senior exams, and Ink has a flashback to the magical kingdom, with Arcs getting in trouble with Alice again for making comments that her breast are too large. Sumi and Ka-kun seem to be in love and he vows to return with Sumi to be with her, and Ah-kun vows to return with Ink to help her along with her relationship with Nao.

       As a “joke” Alice sends them back to the human world but sends the two guys back as animals again to keep them out of trouble. At school Ink’s grades seems to be slipping due too her worrying about her relationship with Nao. Sumi sees that something is bothering Ink and she has a talk with her about the situation, and comes up with a solution to the situation, if Ink can’t transform anymore, so what, nothing a little cosplay can’t solve. So they go shopping for the materials to make Ink a Pastel Ink uniform, and Later the king asks Alice to return to the human world once again.

      Once Ink arrives at Nao’s house she has to use the front door (no magical powers anymore) and Mio isn’t fooled in the least bit by the costume, so over tea Ink confesses the magic girl story to Mio and how she used it to be near Nao. Well, Mio tells Ink that Nao is in the bath and Ink almost explodes from the thought of a wet Nao.

       Just then, Ah-kun interrupts Ink’s thoughts and tells her not to think of such things, but as Ah-kun looks at Mio he immediately thinks of bath scenes of almost every girl form this series. Just as Mio lays some justice on Ah-kun, her brother Nao finishes his bath and sees Ink inside the house, but soon calls her Pastel Ink, and Mio is surprised at his stupidity.

      Then we change scenes to Sumi’s house where Sumi seems worried about Ink, so Ka-kun suggests she cosplay into Tempura Sumi, and Ka-kun gets treated into a non magical strip tease until Sumi notices that he’s watching with intense concentration. Back in Nao’s room the English lesson seems to be going well, but finally Nao asks her why she’s teaching him English? After not answering for awhile Pastel Ink finally tells him that someone who wishes the best for him asked her to help him.

     Just as Mio is watching breaking news about Alice on TV, Sumi shows up at the door just like Ink did (it sure sucks to not have magic powers any more).  Mio lets her in and shows her to Nao’s room where she makes sure that proper teaching is going on. Later at home, Ink is in the bath when Ah-kun asks her what happens when the tests are over, and after Ink throws him out she vows to go to college with Nao. Well, that’s all for this episode.

      Well, the end of Moetan  quickly approaches, after the defeat of the main enemy in episode 10 all that’s left to do is wrap up some loose ends. As the series ends Ink, Sumi, and Nao are about to end their current phase of life and are about to embark on a new journey.

     Final exams and high school graduation approaches the crew, will Nao score high enough to get into college, will Ink’s and Nao’s relationship every progress to the point where her frustration is ended, and will Ah-kun and Ka-kun have to remain as animals in this world (well, I bet Sumi hopes not), these questions will most likely be answered (or I hope so).

     One of the funniest things about this episode was seeing Ink and Sumi having to deal with losing their magical powers, seeing Sumi and Ink having to walk and knock on a door instead of flying was just too cute, also watching them both freeze their asses off in the cold was pretty funny.

     In most magic girl shows the magical girl when transformed has some ability to confuse or fool the people around them into not seeing who they really are. This disguise ability only goes so far, most magic girls will try to never transform in front of other because this usually will ruin their cover. While the transformed magic girl is usually only slightly different from her normal self most people never figure out their real identity, but sometimes close female friends will correctly guess their true identities.

      This issue of having a secret identity for the magic girl can be a source of joy and frustration when their crushes is involved. While it’s great for them to get the attention from the guy while they are transformed it’s also a source of frustration for them. While the guys that they like might lavishes attention on their transformed selves they can’t see that the cute, sweet, and loving girl sitting next to them in class, or living next door to them is the same girl that they watch in wonder, after all it’s the inner qualities of the magic girl that’s makes them magical.    

  

Note: (for those new to this series, Kaiba is the name of the main character in this series, Warp is the name that Popo gives to Kaiba in the first episode, and Warp is also the name of the King/Prince that rules the world, and Chroniko is the name of the female body that Kaiba’s memories inhabited for several episodes, and Kaiba will often give her/his name as Warp when asked for one)

     This episode starts off with a flashback to a time when Popo, Neiro and his sister were young, with Popo stating that someday he’ll be a king and the two girls pledging to help him. Then we see that Kaiba is still alive but in another body, and then we see the King (Warp) getting a report that another memory tank was destroyed by rebels. Later, we see a rebel meeting where Neiro is getting praised by the rebel leader (Dada) for destroying the largest memory tank so far.

      After the Dada leaves, Popo calls out one of the rebels for trying to get a replacement body for his sister, this is strictly forbidden in the rebel movement, humans must live only to their normal lifespans. Soon the boss (Dada) orders the execution of the offender and all other members who use memory chips.

 

      Later we get to see Neiro and Popo together after the meeting, and we get to see some flashbacks from Neiro’s and Popo’s past. Then Popo gets summoned outside by Cheki (his sister) for a situation that might involve his mother, he gets brought outside to identify whether or not a old robot is his mother, from earlier flashbacks the robot is probably his mother, but like Judas he denies her several times. Later, Popo returns to the scene of the denial and seems to regret his decision to deny his mother.

     Then Popo has a discussion with another member about how Warp is still in charge of everything, and that he is aware of the fact that the body that Kaiba inhabited in the first episode was found and that the memory chip is missing. Also the person that discovered Warp’s body also found a statue (Meiri) that interests the King greatly. Then Popo is taken to a factory to see where Warp’s body is being held.

      We see  that a collector has managed to acquire lots of copies of Warp’s body, he tells someone that so many copies are made because very few can hold all the abilities of the real Warp, only about one in every two thousand bodies can take the full power, and that the real body bears the proper mark. After hearing this, Kichi attempts to shot the collector but his security system disarms and injuries him, he offer Kichi a deal. He’ll transfer his memories into the body and Kichi can take over as king and he’ll reap the rewards of being the king’s helper. Just then the ostrich like creature from the first episode breaks in and snatches the body away from both of them.

 

     In the fight that ensues Kichi manages to kill the body collector and tries to escape with the body just as Popo and the other guy shows up. Then we find out that the Warp sitting on the throne is fake and is almost powerless and that the body that was taken is the real body of Warp. Later, Popo is summoned to see Dada and the other other guy tells Popo not to go, he says that if he knows about Popo’s mother exchanging her real body for a robot body, and Popo using a different body than his original body, and that Popo has altered Neiro’s memories that Dada most likely knows about this too. He also gives Popo the memory chip belonging to his mother saying that she had already been scrapped,  and that he’ll help Popo deal with Dada.

     At Popo’s meeting with Dada, Popo and his allies attack and subdue Dada before he is attacked, after they unmask Dada and his helpers they discover that their are actually three Dada’s and that they are all are fake Warp bodies. Popo forces the three to take them to a secret chamber where they find ancient machinery from two thousand years ago, and they also see the approach of the memory eating plant “Kaiba”.

      At the end of the episode we see Hyo-Hyo with the real Warp’s body, and we find out that Hyo-Hyo is a copy of Neiro’s memories, and a technician tells Hyo-Hyo that now that they have her boyfriend’s body he’ll soon restore her memories. Well, that’s all for this episode.

       This episode was very interesting for several reasons, mainly we find out the story behind Kaiba’s/Warp’s body. So, the body from the first episode is the real body of the King and that the current Warp sitting on the throne is a fake, so that means that Kaiba is probably the true king.

     This episode also shows that Hyo-Hyo is a incarnation of Neiro, so Neiro has been looking after her boyfriend Kaiba/Warp for most of the series. This episode also puts into question Popo’s true nature, good or evil? On one hand he might be “good” because he fights against oppression, or does he really want to take over himself. Also he shows weak character when he denies his mother several times just like Judas did to Jesus.

      Also it is shown that Popo has altered Neiro’s memories, did he do this because Neiro loved Warp instead of him, in several flashbacks Warp’s body is shown wearing a Popo mask when he’s around Neiro. This whole “super Warp” body issue brings up a question in my mind, if you have a indestructible body why would you need several copies? Also, is the approaching of “Kaiba” the planet consuming memory eating plant the beginning of the end for the main world?

 

 

 

     Well, here are my two newest motivational posters for this week, click on the poster to view at full size, enjoy.

     My next entry in my Japanese idol category will be  Miu Nakamura, Miu began her modeling career by entering and winning the 2006  “Miss Young Magazine” contest, she bested over 16,500 other contestants. After winning the contest she was quoted as saying, “I’m 15, and I’m going to go for it by selling my naughty side and becoming a mysterious type of sexy girl.”

     Miu became a model for  imouto.tv  then she became a model for  minisuka.com,  Miu has appeared in several photo books and modeling DVDs, and lately Miu has been doing some minor voice actress work for some anime series. Miu’s modeling shoots consists mainly of school uniform, swimsuit, bikini, and various cosplay sets.

     Miu’s hometown is Iwate, Japan, and she born on March 14, 1991 (age 17). Her vital statics are height 155cm (5′-1”) , weight 98Kg (105 lbs), B84-W56-H86 (33”-22”-34”). Below are some of my favorite pictures of Miu, enjoy.

     Well, this will probably be my last Candy Candy manga page update, for all of you lovers of great shojo romance please check my manga page for it’s content, and enjoy for that’s all there is of the Candy Candy manga.

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