Sorry for the delay in my weekly (or at least bi-monthly) motivational posters feature. I had a hard few weeks at work, and I had to keep the 3D GF happy. So, here’s a few new anime & manga motivational posters for the week of 6/29/2009. Feel free to share and enjoy these posters, but please at least give me a link or track back if you’re going to post them to a board or forum, Click on the poster to view at full size, enjoy.
June 30, 2009
June 27, 2009
This episode begins with the chill of winter visiting our K-on! girls, Mio looks like she’s working on a project, and we see Ritsu walking down the street alone and she looks lost without her precious Mio-chan. All the girls are waiting for Yui in the clubroom, when she finally gets there she’s says she feels too cold to play guitar. Yui says she should try playing with her gloves on, and Ritsu says she’d like to see that, that doesn’t go very well for Yui.
After a while, Mio and Yui notice that Ritsu is zoning out, and when they ask her what’s the matter she says it’s nothing. Later, Yui invites everyone over her house for a hotpot on Sunday, but everyone has something to do. As they’re walking home, Mugi says she has something to do and quickly takes off, the girls speculate on whether she’s meeting a BF or something, this causes Ritsu to blush.
It seems that everyone has their little secrets; Mio asks Ritsu what’s bothering her, Azusa wants to do some shopping and she doesn’t want Yui there, and Mugi has mysterious places to go. Then the next day we see what everyone was hiding; Azusa ran off to buy some stuff for a cat she’s watching for a friend, it looks like Mugi giving the working life a try, Mio is heading off the write a song, Ritsu has been ruminating over a confession letter she got, and Yui is keeping encased in her warm bed.
As the day progresses, we see how each girl deals with her situation. Azusa at first is uncomfortable with the cat but soon she and the kitten get along just fine, and soon she names the cat Azu-nyan #2. Mio arrives at a cold and windy beach and says this is the perfect place to write a song. Ritsu starts playing around with her hairstyle, but she thinks she looks weird. Mugi is trying her best to be a good trainee at a world famous burger chain. Ui and Yui are out and about doing some grocery shopping, and they talk about how no one is coming over.
Then a funny thing happens, Mio finds out that she can’t get any writing done and she wishes she had went to Yui’s place instead. Ritsu who was shopping with her little brother gets left alone when he goes off to hangout with a friend. Azusa gets really nervous when she thinks the kitty is getting sick. Mugi is making some mistakes at work, and she’s so upset she starts crying. But, a silly text message from Yui about hotpots gets all the girls’ attention, Azusa calls Yui and is in a panic about the cat, and Yui and Ui stop by her place to look at the cat, it was just a hairball. Soon, Yui gets text-ed back by everyone, she finds out about Mugi’sjob and every one elses status, and everyone meets up at a table outside Mugi’s job site.
Once all the girls get talking, Mio asks Ritsu what she thought of the song lyrics she left in her mailbox the other day. Poor Ritsu, her heart was sent all aflutter for no reason, and she tells Mio to not do such old fashioned things like leaving hand written notes. The next day in the practice room Mugi tells the girls she’s going to work till the end of the year. Then the topic switches to warm hands, and how much it would cost to rent Budokan, if they’re going to play there they’re going to have to rent it after all. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, this was a pretty mellow and cute little episode, everyone except Yui and Ui seems to have had a little secret or personal crisis, and even though all the girls intended to spend their Sunday alone they still ended up together at the finish. Like I said in my episode 12 review, Yui is the glue that holds all the girls together, her silly hotpot text saved the day for the other girls. Yui’s message stopped Mugi from full meltdown, it got Mio away from her cold perch, it solved Azusa’s cat problem, and it stopped Ritsu from going crazy over her guy issue. Well, this series has always been more about girls bonding than girls forming a serious band, and that’s the way this episode ended, girls sharing tea and sweets, how sweet.
June 26, 2009
Well, when I saw that Junichi Sato (Goldfish Warning, Sailor Moon, Magic Users Club, Doremi, Kaleido Star, Tutu, Aria, and many other anime) was involved in directing a new project I became very interested. I was delighted to see that Junichi Sato was directing Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto~ (Sea Story), I have been a big fan of Maho Shojo genre for many years, and when I hear Junichi Sato’s name I think magic girls. So, here follows my review of episode one of Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto~ (Sea Story).
This episode begins with a ring sinking down into the sea and being found by two beautiful young girls (Marin and Urin) who live underwater. Then we go right into the OP and it consists of scenes from the girl’s underwater experiences and scenes occurring on land. The opening tune is called “violet” by Marble and it’s a very mellow and low key tune that’s gives the beginning of the series a slow paced feel.
Shots from the OP
After the opening, Marin (the older sister) wants to go to the surface to return the ring to its owner, Urin (the younger sister) tries to stop her, saying that the sky dwellers might hurt her. Urin also tells Marin that the Turtle elder went to the surface and never returned, Marin is not dissuaded by her sister’s arguments and says that they won’t hurt her. Marin goes and gets some sort or golden bracelet, but before she can leave for the surface, Urin says that she can’t let her sister go alone, so she also grabs a bracelet. Marin and Urin hitch a ride on a stingray, and they say hi to a boy named Sam as they head towards the surface.
After Sam sees Marin and Urin off, he runs into another girl who asks where Marin went? When she finds out that they went to the sky she becomes worried and thinks to herself that we’re protected here, but the light and darkness of the sky is very powerful. After they surface, the girls look around while holding their breath, then they go below water and say the they should try the Melkator rings. After they put the rings on their wrists, they surface again and find out they can breath the surface air.
In the town that’s near the sea, we see that some sort of festival is taking place, everyone is walking around enjoying the activities. The scene switches to a young girl named Kanon, she’s walking through town wearing some sort of outfit, then we see her enters some sort of fortune telling booth. Kanon sees her mother inside and complains that she wearing her outfit, her mother says nobody will know the difference. Kanon gets really mad when her mother insinuates that fortune telling is scam act.
As Kanon’s mother leaves, she makes a crack about Kanon’s boyfriend, Kanon gets really angry and we see a flashback of Kanon getting dumped (?) by her boyfriend, and she throws a ring into the sea. Then we see Marin and Urin walking through the town trying to find the ring’s owner, Urin doesn’t like the surface and wants to return to the sea, but Marin stops because she sees a mysterious girl (a Shinto priestess?)standing on some rocks singing a folk song about the town. Marin thinks the song is beautiful but Urin forces her to continue the search for the ring’s owner so they can quickly return to the sea.
As a depressed Kanon is hanging out in her fortune telling booth, she hears some girls calling out about a ring with a fish design on it and she rushes outside and grabs the ring from Marin and smashes it to the ground. Marin then picks the ring up and Kanon grabs it and attempts to throw it away but Marin stops her from tossing it away, Kanon asks Marin to mind her own business. Just as Marin finally gets Kanon to calm down about being dumped she sees her old BF with another girl and her blood begins to boil again, and this time she tosses the ring into the forest. Marin goes after the ring, and Urin tells Kanon that you sky dwellers are mean, before going after her sister.
As Marin is looking for the ring she gives some of the locals a dose of fan service, and Urin tells her sister that they should go home because that girl (Kanon) can’t feel kindness and beauty, but Marin says that she can sense that the ring should be returned to the other girl. Later, Kanon changes into her school uniform and heads outside, she hopes that the other two girls aren’t looking for that ring. As she walking by the seaside she sees her old BF with the other girl and gets angry again, but she soon calms back down after remembering Marin’s words.
As day turns to night we see that both Marin and Urin are still looking for the ring, Urin wants to get the hell out of town and back to the sea, and Marin’s outfit keeps giving fan service to the town. As Kanon’s almost home, she hears a girl comment about why some other girls are walking around town in swimsuits, so Kanon goes searching for them. When Kanon finds Marin she says she won’t find the ring, but Marin tells her she’ll find it. When Marin and Kanon sit down, Kanon asks her where she found the ring? Marin tells her that she found it while walking near her home, and Kanon thinks she’s stupid because she knows she threw it into the sea. Urin is still looking for the ring when she sees a torii (shrine gate) along her path, so she enters the gate and follows the path.
As Marin is talking with Kanon, and Urin is walking down the path, the town’s starts it’s fireworks display scaring the hell out of Marin and Urin. Urin begins to run down the forest path in fear, and Marin crouches down and plugs her ears, Kanon wonders what’s going on with that girl. Marin soon calms down and begins to enjoy the show, but Urin continues to run down the path, eventually tripping and falling and ending up near the base of the shrine, and Marin soon realizes that her sister must be frightened and heads off to find her. Urin starts to calm down when she sees a shiny object lodged at the base of the shrine, she’s found the ring, she attempts to get the ring but the base is too heavy so she begins to push on and kick at the base of the shrine, and some seals begin to break.
Finally, Kanon suggests to Marin that they check the temple for Urin. At that moment, Urin manages to get the ring but her efforts tears the two seals open, and Urin says she hears someone calling her. Is it her sister? No. She hears a voice asking her to remove the lid from the sealed shrine. Marin and Kanon begin making their way down the path to the temple. Urin begins to push and push at the lid until it slowly opens, then a great swirling mass of black vapors escape from the sealed container.
As the black vapors escape the container bad stuff begins happening around the town, the seas gets rough, the moon gets blacked out, it starts to rain, and the vapor even touches the ring. Urin starts to become frighten so she grabs the ring and hides behind a tree. As Marin and Kanon make their way to the shrine all hell breaks loose, lightning begins to strike the countryside, it even strikes a statue near Urin and its eyes begin to glow, Urin cowers in fear and calls out for her sister. Well, that’s all for this episode.
The ED song is called “Tōmei na Inori” and it’s performed by Masumi Itō, and the song is very low key and relaxing in nature, the background scenes fit the mood of the song.
Shots of the ED sequence.
Well, this was a pretty interesting opening episode, full of light and darkness. The contrast between light and almost dreamy underwater home of Marin and Urin and the fast paced and noisy world of the “shy dwellers” was very well done. At times, certain points of this episode had pacing that reminded me of Aria or Sketchbook, and other points had the fairy tale feel of Tutu. But, this being a opening episode it’s hard to get a real gauge on the direction the series will take, most of the episode was spent giving us a introduction to some of the main characters and their personalities.
Marin and Urin come from the “other world”, a world mostly lacking any real hate or danger, so they’re basically pure hearted girls who seem to be free of any petty malice or vices found in our world. Marin is pure, almost to the point of being naive, she looks for beauty and love above all else. Urin is mostly the same as Marin, but she’s quite a bit more leery and distrustful of the upper world. Kanon seems to be a bit too serious for her age, and she seems to let her feelings and emotions express themselves a little too openly.
Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto~ is supposed to fall into the magic girl genre of anime, so I’m betting that Marin, Urin, Kanon, and maybe the unnamed Shinto priestess will form some magic girl team. Marin and Urin clearly fit the mold, two girls from a magical realm enter our world with the aid of a magical item (the rings). Kanon has, or at least she hints that her fortune telling is the real deal and takes offense when her mother suggests otherwise. Now, getting to the unnamed Shinto priestess, don’t all anime Shinto priestesses and Miko have some spiritual powers? Well, I’ll be looking forward to see how this series develops, I’ve always loved the way Junichi Sato has directed shows from the magic girl genre, and I’ve liked how he’s done the slice of life genre shows.
June 24, 2009
This episode begins with Gali taking Marika to a restaurant located on the sea shore called Oden, the owner of Oden is a friend of Gali’s called Archimedes. As soon as Gali and Marika enter his restaurant, Archimedes throws them to the ground and we soon find out that he’s dodging some debt collectors. Soon Archimedes tells them that his restaurant is about to go bankrupt, Gali tells him that he wants to help, and he tells Gali that he can begin by paying off his tab. Gali says no way, he can’t do that.
Archimedes cooks up some food for Marika, Gali and pet, and soon Gali starts complaining that his serving is smaller that Marika’s. But, Archimedes uses a water scale to show Gali that his and Marika’s dishes are the same size. Marika says that his food isn’t bad at all, that being the case, Archimedes asks them why his shop is empty? Gali says his face is scary, and after an attempt is made to fix that, it’s ruled a failure by Marika. Then Archimedes suggests that he make more food catering to young girls, Marika suggests French or Italian, Archimedes says no problem, but his fusion cooking attempt is ruled a failure by Marika.
As Archimedes and Gali are fighting, Marika opens a letter addressed to Archimedes, it says that if he doesn’t pay off his debts they’ll take his restaurant. Archimedes begins to cry, saying it’s all over for him. But, Marika begins to think that his Oden, French, and Italian weren’t that bad individually, she begins to spin around and comes up with the idea that he should do a sushi conveyor belt style restaurant. As, Marika is spinning around, Archimedes comes up with is Eureka moment, and he runs off naked through the streets shouting Eureka over and over.
His Eureka idea is combining food with a revolving screw to create a revolving Oden restaurant. A few days later, Marika and Gali visit his shop and business is booming, Archimedes hugs and kisses Marika in thanks for the great idea. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, another day in Gali Hubble, and another meal cooked up by a famous historical figure for Marika. Marika & Gali has found a pretty enjoyable and interesting, if not strange, way of introducing historical figures and their scientific discoveries to the viewing audience. It has become a ongoing pattern in this series for Marika to meet someone famous in a situation involving food, Madame and pasta, Fleming and noodles, Newton and his apples, and now Archimedes and Oden. One interesting thing about this episode was that Archimedes’ shop was called Oden, but what he served Marika and Gali looked nothing like any Oden dishes I’ve even seen (most Oden dish that I’ve eaten has been some variation of a hot broth with ingredients) not a jello looking dish. This episode also managed to cover many of Archimedes discoveries and stories related to him.
June 20, 2009
This episode starts off with Marika experiencing a terrible dream where she’s a little child being frightened by some weird marching stuffed bears, and in this dream she calls out for her mother and father. When Marika awakens, she goes out to her room’s balcony where she wonders how her mother and father are doing, and Gali shows up and asks Marika if somethings bothering her? After Gali tells Marika that she’s being sentimental her takes her to a ramen cart for some food.
It just so happens that the ramen cart is run by MC JF (John Fleming from the promo episode 00), MC JF converts his ramen cart into a D.J station and Gali introduces MC JF to Marika. MC JF can tell that Marika’s not feeling the love, so MC JF starts spinning and singing his Love Coil song for Marika. As the song gets rolling, Gali joins in the singing and dancing, and they even get Marika to join in the singing and dancing. After the song finishes Gali tells Marika that since she sang and danced she must be feeling better? No, Marika tells Gali that she was having trouble sleeping and now she’s fully awake and might not be able to sleep.
Marika comments that the song was weird, Gali takes exception to the weird comment, and he tells her that now she knows Fleming’s left hand rule of motors. MC JF tells her the middle finger stands for current, the index finger the direction of magnetic current, and at this point Marika starts to get confused, then she gets dizzy, and she finally collapses to the ground. When Gali checks on Marika he finds her fast asleep and he tells MC JF to just let her sleep. So, today’s lesson is the Fleming Left Hand rule, or as Marika puts it, if your having trouble sleeping just study Fleming’s rules. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, this was a very cute little episode dealing with sleep and Fleming’s rules, also we’re beginning to see Marika show a little bit of weakness. At the start of the series Marika was portrayed as kind of a tough little goth girl with most stuff just rolling off her back, but in the last episode she got a little upset about the bridge into the city going missing, and in this episode Marika is starting to miss her parents. I wonder how long Marika’s going to have to stay in the strange town of Gali Hubble before she gets to meet the wizard, and gets told to click her black goth boot heals together three times and say that there’s no place like home?
June 20, 2009
This episode begins with Yui waking from a weird dream about Mugi’s eyebrows, and we see that Yui has a very bad cold and her sister Ui is caring for her. Ui tells Yui that she’ll contact the school, Ui looks like she doesn’t want to leave her sister but Yui tells her she’ll be OK, so get to school. Then at school, Ui lets Azusa and the other girls know about Yui illness, they try to figure out whether she got her cold from Ritsu or from cosplaying a bunch of outfits that Sawako brought for them to try on. Mio tells Azusa to begin to practice lead guitar in case Yui is unable to perform at the cultural festival.
When Ui gets home she goes to check on her sister and sees that she’s in pretty bad shape, looking worse than before. The next day after class, Yui shows up for practice saying she feels better. They begin to rehearse and Yui’s guitar playing is perfect, but it’s not Yui playing, it’s her sister Ui. She almost pulled off a perfect impersonation of her sister but she was caught because she used the wrong nicknames for the girls, and Sawako says that Yui’s breast aren’t that big. After Ui explains how she learned to play the guitar and why she tried to replace her sister the real Yui walks through the door. Yui wants to practice with the band, but she’s as sick as ever and can’t really practice.
Yui tells Azusa that she’ll be counting on her for the guitar lead but Azusa says that she’d rather not play at all if they can’t play together. Before Azusa can leave the room Mio stops her, Mio tells Yui to go home and rest until the day of their performance, and then she tells Azusa to practice the lead not because of Yui’s absence, but for the future. Back at home, Yui says all that she can do now is rest and try to be ready for the concert. On the day of the performance, Azusa is looking out the window for Yui and Mugi tells her not to worry, Yui texted her and said she’d be there on time. Nodoka enters the room and doesn’t look a bit worried about Yui absence, Nodoka tells them a weird story from her and Yui’s childhood, the meaning being that when Yui has her heart set on something she’ll be there for it, so don’t worry.
Soon, Sawako shows up bringing Yui with her, Azusa gets upset at Yui for making them worry, and Yui has to give her the warm and fluffy treatment to get Azusa to forgive her. Just as they’re about to head downstairs Yui starts looking for her guitar, she left it in the music room the other day but can’t find it, Mio tells her that Ui took it home for her and Yui must have forgotten her sister told her about it because she was so sick.
Yui doesn’t know what to do, Sawako hands Yui her old guitar and says she should be able to use this instead, and after a few seconds thought Yui rushes out of the room and says she’ll be back. Ui enters the theater and sees that it’s getting pretty full, as the band is announced and they start playing, Ui notices that she sister isn’t on stage, Sawako is filling in for Yui as she rushes home to get her guitar.
As Yui is rushing back to school she thinks about how different she is now from her first day in high school, she was worried that she’d never do anything and had nothing to worry about then, and she thinks about how important the club and her friends are now. Yui makes it to the stage by the end of the first song and the thanks Sawako for filling in for her then she apologises to the girls for always being to one to cause them trouble.
Well, once Yui is ready to play, she gives a little talk about the K-On! club to the students and they begin playing light & fluffy with Yui doing lead guitar and vocals. After the song is over they do an encore performance of the same song and want to play another song for the students but Nodoka tells them that their time is up and the girls leave the stage to the applause of the students. Well, that’s all for this episode and this series, all that remains is a extra episode next week.
Well, I felt this episode ended? K-On! in a most enjoyable manner. While Mio might have been every ones moe moe princess this series was really about Yui (the heart and soul of the K-On! club) and her personal growth and how she affected the other girls. Without Yui the K-On! club would have never gotten enough members to stay alive, and her innocent and lively nature was the glue that enabled the girls to form their strong bonds of friendship with each-other. As Yui commented while running to the cultural festival, she was a girl who felt no purpose or had no goals, she just went along with no worries, but after joining the K-On! club it gave her a sense of purpose and something important to care about. It was a shame that the writers didn’t do more to flesh out Mio’s and Ritsu’s relationship, there was a good chance that they could have given their friendship a little more depth like Konata’s and Kagami’s friendship in Lucky Star. Also, poor Mugi, they gave her personality almost no depth other than she’s a rich girl who like sweet things, and likes to watch girly bonding stuff.
Overall, the final song, light & fluffy summed up K-On! perfectly. K-On! was a very nice dose of light entertainment, nothing to serious too stress my brain, it was just the right portion of fluffy moe to relax me after finishing my work week. In closing, all I have to say is “rock on, girls”, until next season, may all your tea & cake be sweet and filling.
June 19, 2009
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This episode picks up with Gali taking Marika to the best restaurant in town where they order two bowls of soy sauce ramen. Marika looks around the strange restaurant and asks Gali if he’s sure this is a real restaurant? Yes, of course Gali tells her, and we get introduced to the shop’s owner, Heinrich Hertz. Gali tells her that Heinrich studied electromagnetic waves in the past, but Marika says he just looks like a thug. Heinrich uses a machine to convert electromagnetic waves into bowls of megahertz ramen noodles for Marika and Gali, and we even see the stuffed plush Pet eating some noodles.
Gali loves the taste of his ramen noodles but Marika says while the ingredients are top notch all the different ingredients just interfere with each-other. When Heinrich overhears Marika’s comments he starts to get angry and goes back to his food machine and whips up a batch of special salt ramen for them, Gali loves this dish but Marika still thinks that its average, which angers Heinrich even further. So, Heinrich turns his machine to maximum frequency and creates his masterpiece for them. This time Marika says that this dish is the best so far, all the ingredients are in harmony with each-other and balanced, but she says that Madame Curie’s pasta is probably better.
Heinrich is all bummed out over losing, and Marika tells Gali that it’s time to leave. As Marika and Gali are walking out of the shop, Heinrich asks Marika for her name. She pauses for a second, and tells him that he can call her the wandering glutton, and a few seconds later Heinrich’s food machine explodes from the strain. Then Heinrich tells us that today’s lesson is that electromagnetic waves interfere with each-other, and Marika says that Madame Curie’s pasta is the best. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, Marika’s strange adventures in the town of Gali Hubble continues with a trip to a noodle shop ran by Heinrich Hertz, and I felt the way that they covered the principle of electromagnetic waves and interference was pretty funny. I thought that using ramen noodle dishes and their ingredients to demonstrate harmony or discordance was pretty good and different from anything I’ve seen in along time. Also, after several episodes I thought that Pet was just a stuffed plush doll that happened to move around but we also got to see that Pet likes to eat ramen noodles on occasion.