September 2008

       Here’s some new motivational posters for your enjoyment. I put these out for everyone to get a laugh (or at least I hope they do) if you post these somewhere else please give me a link or a track-back to my blog, thanks.


       This episode begins with a younger salary-man getting chewed out for insulting the firms biggest client, and he gets sent by his boss to apologize or lose his job. While the man is driving to the client’s house he experiences a host of supernatural events culminating in a female ghost appearing in his car’s backseat causing him to crash his car.


          The next morning Ran and her father are being treated to a meal cooked by Rin when Ran receives a desperate telepathic message from Midori telling her that she is at the Tsutano hospital. Ran rushes to the hospital to see Midori, where she finds out that Midori is ill from winning a pork eating contest, she won first place and $1000. As Rui and Rin also rush to her side, Midori tries to use this moment to confess to Rin but a nurse with a large injection for her and a ghost that Ran sees breaks up Midori’s big moment.


         Ran follows the ghost into the hallway with Ran and Rui following close behind, Ran is the only one in the group that can see the ghost. The ghost leads them to a room that seems to be occupied by the young man (Yoshino Tatsuhiko) from the night before. Once Midori sees that she’s been left behind she leaves the room to join them, and she get physic vibes from the man’s section chief.


      Once Ran and the others enter the room Ran gets vibes from the man and Ran sees a red face on the man’s elbow. Midori and Ran then join powers and search the face on the man’s elbow. Once they use their power they get a message asking for help from a girl who appears to be held prisoner somewhere, she asks them for help and she tells them to follow the guide. Back at Ran’s house they find a injured stranger inside and then the girls get more physic vibes from the man. The man tells them all he knows is that he has to take someone named Ran to the Kitougami house.

        The group follows the guide to the Kitougami household and along the way Rui looks up some information on the family, they were once wealthy but to tragedy befell the family and now they are considered cursed. As they get close to the Kitougami house it begins to rain, and they make their way inside where they meet a worker named Sumida, and when he asks them what they are doing here they show him the guide, and he knows him and he is named Maruzou. It turns out that the man is the estate’s doctor Satoe-san, and the group gets invited into the parlor for refreshments.

         After talking with the staff for awhile Midori and Ran see the female ghost again, and they ask Satoe if the sick person has a image of a person’s face on their body, upon hearing this she tells them to leave now. But, just then the master of the house (Yuka Kitougami) arrives and she asks what the fuss is all about? After reading Yuka’s thoughts Ran and Midori begin to asks questions about a girl, possibly her granddaughter, or maybe her sister. She gets very upset and demands to know how they know about her, and Ran and Midori tell her they saw the girl, and they tell her that they know everything about her being imprisoned.

        They end up staying the night but are warned not to eat the desert by Sumida, after their meal they hear a commotion in the hall. The doctor is missing, and the young sick girl (Yuri) is very ill, as Ran and the crew rush into the room Ran and Midori see that the face image is on Yuri’s elbow. Well, that’s all for this episode.

       Well, this episode was the start of another two part adventure with this episode setting up the mystery and leaving the solution for the next episode. But, the real meat of this series is all about the interplay between Midori and Ran. Midori is always doing things to pull Ran’s chain, and Ran is always throwing water on Midori’s self-aggrandizing.

         Again in this episode Midori is still crushing on Ran’s brother Rin, she always trying to come up with situations to be alone with Rin. This is actually pretty funny, some of her ideas are almost Rube Goldberg like in nature. I guess it would be too simple and wouldn’t help the plot if she just told Rin that she likes him and wants to be his girlfriend, if I was Rin’s age and in the same situation I’d hit it.


       This episode begins with Sora arriving at the airport and falling asleep on the bus ride into Tokyo. After being dropped off by the bus a good deal away from where she needs to be Sora has to walk a long way to get to her location. While walking, she takes in the sights of the city, and she also has a chance to use her magic. At a intersection Sora uses her magic to stop a tanker truck from crushing two people, one of the people she saved seems knows something about magic, and when he finds out that she’s going to study magic he asks her why is she bothering to study if she can already use her magic to such a great extend?

       Sora eventually arrives at the bureau of magic, but she is late for the start of class and causes a commotion when she enters the classroom. Sora gets chewed out by the teacher (Kawada)  for being late to class. Afterwards, she has to introduce herself to the other students, and they are told that they will have a written test on basic magic. Then they get a break before the start of another class and Sora meets a girl named Yamabuki Hiori who seems kind of friendly to her.


          The first magical assignment they get is to turn a fish tank full of water into ice, Sora gets very emotional because the boy (Midorikawa-kun) she met at the intersection snubs her and she creates a very dramatic ice structure. One of the other girls wants to make it a competition between her and Sora, but the teacher tells them that magic isn’t a competition, and the goal of this training is to allow the students to decide what kind of mage they will be.


       After class Sora talks to some of the other students, and then she heads off to find the instructor’s house, students live with a instructor while attending class in Tokyo. She has to find her way to the Shimokitazawa district of Tokyo, along the way she takes in the sights and sounds of the area.

        Once Sora arrives at her instructor’s house she introduces herself to Hara (her instructor/dorm dad) and she thanks him for being her instructor. He tells her where her room is, and he tells her to rest up until dinner. Sora also finds out that other students will be staying there too. Once Sora gets to her room she sees that she’ll be staying in a room that’s decorated for a boy. Sora then opens the window to get some air and she notices that the boy from the intersection and class seems to be staying there too. Well, That’s all for this episode.

       Well, after viewing episode two we find out some more about how the magical system in this world functions, and how it governed.

1. Whether a person as the ability to use magic is determined by their DNA.

2. A person may train to use magic and be called a mage at age 16 or older.

3. A person training to be a mage must undergo one month of a live-in apprenticeship/training program.

         Now that I’ve given you the basic rules governing the system, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. What this series is really about is how Sora will react to meeting new people and experiencing new things, and how those people around her will change due to meeting her.

         Also, another key character in this series is the city itself. I know that several blogggers have expressed their displeasure over the use of real pictures/photo realistic backgrounds throughout the episodes. But, with the liberal use of these backgrounds and the weaving of music and background noises makes the city come alive, it has it’s own pulse and rhythm. I like watching Sora, a small town country girl, interacting with the sights and sounds of the city. Overall, I find this series to be a nice stress relieving distraction, it’s easy to get pulled into the ebb and flow of Sora’s awaking to the larger world around her.


      This episode begins with Ran waking up in a dark room to discover that Suga-chan’s brother, Shouhei is being kept there too.  He is badly injured and he tells Ran about a small shrine and the “three caches”, she also sends a telepathic message to Midori, Rui and Midori try to find Ran’s location while Rin goes to fetch a car. After Rin gets a taxi, he has to threaten the driver to take them to the “three caches” shrine which Rui has learned the location of by using information the Ran gives them.

      Ran tries to search for a way out of the building that she is being held in, but it’s too tightly guarded for her to escape with Suga-chan’s wounded brother. As she is searching the building she is being held in she see Shimotsuki-san trying to explain the situation to Suga-chan, he tells her that her kidnapping was a mistake. She accepts his explanation and asks to leave, but he says no, and he uses his “third eye” powers forcing her to change her mind. Ran sees all this happening and she also hears the old man say that Suga-chan looks like his daughter.


       Then Ran’s powers interacts with the old man’s mind and she is able to see into his past, he senses the intrusion and starts to head towards the room that Ran is hiding in. As Shimotsuki-san  is trying to unlock the room that is hiding Ran; Midori, Rui, and Rin head towards the temple on foot because the road is closed due to flooding on the mountain. Just before Ran is about to be attacked, Rin breaks down the door to the building and he begins to fight with Shimotsuki-san’s guards, Rui begins to treat Suga-chan’s injured brother, and Ran and Midori give chase to the old man who is trying to make off with Suga-chan.


      They follow him into the heart of the three caches shrine, there Midori and Ran confront him. Midori tells him to give up and hand over the girl, but he tells her “no way” since he’s finally able to see his Michiko again. Ran and Midori’s powers give them a direct view into how cruelly the old man and his daughter was treated because they were from the three caches clan. He tells them that he plans revenge for all the cruelty he and his family received, but Ran tells him that he is wrong, and then he shouts to them that they have no idea what it was like. Midori tells him that she understands what it’s like being called a monster, and that she even considered the idea that she was actually a monster.


      A little while later, Suga-chan has a reaction and she tells her “father” that revenge is wrong and that he has become as twisted and monstrous as those who treated them cruelly. The old man begins to attack Suga-chan, and he begins to choke the breath of from her. He begins to realize he is wrong and that he truly lost his daughter, he then releases her and rushes out of the temple and leaps off the mountainside. Before he falls to his death Suga-chan uses some internal telepathic power to save the old man from his fall,  and she brings him back inside the shrine than she collapses on his body. Just as Rui and Rin arrive in the shrine with Suga-chan injured brother the whole side of the mountain give way in a massive mudslide. Ran and Midori combine their power to spare all the people inside the building from the carnage, the building and shrine are destroyed by the mudslide.

        Later, back in their town, Ran, Rui, Midori, and Rin are sitting on the riverbank reading Reika’s brothers’ newspaper story wrapping up his investigation of Shimotsuki. After the previous events Shimotsuki-san is being investigated for kidnapping, fraud, and other crimes, and most likely he will be facing a long criminal case. Suga-chan has chosen to stay by Shimotsuki-san side to help him recover, we also learn that she has totally lost her three caches’ power, but we aren’t told whether she was really the reincarnation of Shimotsuki-san’s dead daughter or not. Well, that’s all for this episode.

        In my opinion this was the best episode of the series so far, I was kept on the edge of my seat for almost the whole episode. Unlike previous episodes Ran was truly in danger of getting hurt, and watching Rin, Rui, and Midori frantically rushing to her aid was very exciting.

      But one thing that I didn’t understand was Ran’s helplessness or her lack of willingness to use her powers to protect herself. In the early episodes when Ran and Midori were fighting with their powers, Ran displayed a tremendous level of power. But when she was cornered by Shimotsuki-san and his men all she could do is call out for help to Midori, if even just used half the power she used when fighting Midori she could have easily defeated all her attackers. I guess she’s just too nice of a person to even think about using her powers to hurt people.

        One thing that I really like about this series is Ran’s brother Rin. Rin is a big tough dude, not a 95 pound pretty boy with swan-like grace, when he decides to throw down it’s smashing down doors and a real fight with Judo and fists, he takes a punch but also gives as good as he gets.

      But in the end this episode was all about the issue of even if they call you a monster your not really one unless you act like one.

        Here we go with some new posters for this week, the first three posters I originally posted in the Crunchyroll forums, and the rest are brand new. Click on image to view at full size, enjoy.

The Crunchyroll posts.

Now the posters for this week.

     My next entry in my cute girl/Japanese idol category will be Moe Kirimura, Moe has been a idol and model for over seven years, and she has had many photo books and DVDs published. Moe was born on 9/13/1989 and her vital stats are H-161; B-83, W-63, H-84. Below are some pics from her junior idol days and some pics of her current full idol status. Click on pic to view at full size.

Pics from her junior idol days.

Pics of her current modeling.

        This episode begins with a girl from the island of Hokkaido and the town of Biei leaving her house to visit her mother, we find out that her name is Suzuki Sora and that she has been accepted into a magical internship program in Tokyo. When Sora visits her mother who is working at a farm, her mother tells her that she has been accepted into the training program, Sora rushes to her mother and is filled with tears of joy. Then Sora rushes off to tell her father, it turns out that her father is most likely dead because Sora goes out into a field containing a large solitary tree where she tells her father that she will become a mage keeping their promise.

        Later, Sora calls her friend Michiru to tell her the good news, and they agree to meet and talk about Sora’s upcoming training. When they meet up, Michiru tells Sora that she is heart broken over a boy named Tooyama-kun, she likes him and he and his family will be moving soon. Sora tells her she is sorry, but she also says that she never noticed the romance, and Michiru tells Sora that it was really one sided, but she says that Tooyama-kun did say he wanted to see winter in Biei with her. Later Sora tells Michiru to meet her at 8PM when Sora will use her magic to help Michiru confess her feelings to Tooyama-kun.

        At home, Sora shares her last dinner with her mother, and her mother gives her lots of good advice about her training and life, like “life is trial and error”, “do your best”, and “don’t over work yourself”. Then Sora heads out to meet Michiru, when they meet up Michiru heads off to tell Tooyama her true feelings. Once Tooyama and Michiru are alone Sora unleashes her magic to aid Michiru, Sora creates magical snow where Michiru is able to tell Tooyama that she loves him, and that she keep her feeling hidden under the snow like the growing winter wheat.

       Back at home, Sora’s mother notices that Sora is quite happy and asks her if anything happened? Sora tells her that something nice happened but to Michiru not her, then her mother tells her that if she’s not happy she can always come back home. In her room, Sora gets a text message from Michiru thanking her for tonight, and she tells Sora that her and Tooyama agreed to stay in touch, she also says she’s so in love. Sora then lays back in her bed thinking about all that the word “love” entails.

        The next morning Sora’s mother sees her off from home, and Sora wishes that she had a younger brother or sister to stay with her mother. But, her mother tells her not to worry, go meet new people, and experience the outside world. As Sora’s plane is taking off she gets a text from Michiru telling her to hurry back after training so she won’t be so lonely. Well, That’s all for this episode.

        Well, I had been waiting for this sequel for some time now, the original Someday’s Dreamers anime has always been on of my favorite anime of all time. In the original series I was able to easily slip into the slow paced comfortable world it created and immerse myself in it’s gentle storytelling.

      So, here I go with my review of episode one of Mahō Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto: Natsu no Sora (Someday’s Dreamers 2). Episode one establishes the identity and values of the main lead (Sora Suzuki) and the people she grew up with, Sora is a gentle and caring country girl with wholesome values, and she feels that her magic should be used when it’s needed. Sora’s view on the use of magic is almost identical to Yume’s (the lead from the first series) usage of her magic.

     While both series feature girls at the cusp of womanhood who possess magical powers, the magic use will be secondary to the real plot of the series. I feel that the real point to both series will be all about growing up and maturing, learning about life, meeting new people, and maybe finding someone or something to love.

      Maybe some fans of anime might find this type of storytelling boring, but I love to be slowly pulled into a story and experience the joys of discovering new things and people along with the lead characters. To me, a older anime fan, It’s like looking back at my youth in a nostalgic light, it takes me back to a time and place when visiting new cities and meeting new people was kind of like magic.  

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