Well, an interesting thing happened on April 21, 2010, the Crystal Tokyo Anime Blog turned three years old. I know it’s a little late, but I just realized my blog had reached this point last night, so like a belated birthday gift I’ll be doing this little anniversary post.

      First of all, I’d like to thank all the readers of this blog, and all the readers that took the time to leave comments, even the negative ones, sometimes those are the most interesting ones. What I’m going to do with this post is to take a look back to the beginning then I’ll cover what you the readers have chosen as your favorite content (by your page views), and then I’ll go over the status and future of the blog.

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       Well, it’s time for a blog update. The past two weeks have been sheer hell, I came down with the seasonal flu and it kicked my ass. After finishing work I barely had the energy to watch any anime let alone keeping up with my episodic posts. So, now that I’m some what recovered I’ll be catching up with Kimi ni Todoke and all the back episodes of Yumeiro Patissiere. Well, these past two weeks have show me that at times being a solo episodic blogger sure can suck.

      Well, here we are, Valentine’s day, the day when our thoughts turn to love, or the possibility of love. If you have a precious loved one by all means enjoy the day with him or her, and if you don’t have a beloved, go find one, quickly.

       In Japan, Korea, and Taiwan they celebrate Valentine’s day differently from how we observe the day here in the west. For those fans new to anime and Japanese culture, on Valentine’s day only the girls give choko (chocolate)  to the boys/men. There are three types of choko gifts that the girls usually give, guri, tomo, and honmei. The first type is know as guri-choko (duty or obligation choko) and this type of choko doesn’t have to be handmade and it can be the generic store bought type, this type of Choko is given to almost all male coworkers and so forth.

        The second type of choko  that girls can give is called tomo-choko  (friendship choko), this type of gift is usually given between girlfriends, but can be given to close male friends.

        The last type of Valentine’s gift is called honmei-choko  (loved one or favored choko), the girls give this type of choko to their boyfriends, or guys they want to make their boyfriends, and this type of gift is usually handmade or very fancy store bought.

        If you think that this stops after high school you would be wrong because in the work environment this practice is viewed as an office popularity poll where the ladies can send messages to the men about how they feel they are being treated. If a man is considered an asshole he is given no gifts or very cheap gifts, sending a message to treat the women better. On the other hand, if a man is popular he is given fairly nice gifts by the OL (office ladies). Some women like to play games with men they don’t really like by giving a gift to the man that could be considered either a Guri-choko or a Honmei-choko,  confusing the man as to her intentions.

     Now you might asks what does the girl/woman get out of this? Well, thirty days later the boys/men must return the favor to the girls/women. This is called white day, because in the past, the return gift was usually marshmallows or white choko. Nowadays, boys/men can give any type of choko or cake in return. But, be advised, if you received a Honmei-choko gift and you want to say you’re interested in her, the return gift will be of equal or greater value, like 2-3x more costly. Now do you see why a lady might play games with a guy they don’t like, the return gift will hit him in the wallet.

       Now, if I lived in anime land, I would like to recieve honmei-choko from the following girls/women; Yui from K-On!, Kureha from Sora no Woto, Taiga from Toradora!, Kuroko from Railgun, and Beatrice from Umineko.

        Picking what girls I would like to get candy from was the easy part. So, now I’ll switch roles and decide what guys I would give choko to if I was a girl, and my choices are Ryuu from Kimi ni Todoke & Kanon from Umineko.

So, who would like to get honmei-choko from, and who would you give your honmei-choko?

       Well, here we are getting ready to say goodbye to 2009 and getting ready to welcome the birth of a new decade. For many people this year couldn’t end soon enough considering the shitty economy, so maybe it’s fitting that we closeout this year on the night of a Blue Moon.

      Regardless of how you feel about the past year, tonight is a night to be spent in the company of family and friends, so drink up and enjoy the night.

      But, above all, you should ring in the New Year with your significant other, and if you don’t have one just glance around the party and I’m sure you’ll spot a cute girl or cute guy in the same situation. Give-em a smile and say hello, and give into your naughty side for one night and ring in the New Year properly.

The naughty side wins.

       Whether or not your New Year’s Eve ends with a bang, or a drunken toast, or best of all, both, may you wake to the dawning of glorious new year, best wishes.

The fall anime season.

       Well, as the beginning of the fall anime season approaches, it’s time to give some thought to what series I should cover. I’m pretty certain that I’ll cover White Album II, and Winter Sonata. Letter Bee, and Kaidan Restaurant look very interesting. I’d like to cover Kimi ni Todoke (Reaching You) but I have this strange feeling that this series will win the most over blogged award, and I really don’t think that having fifty bloggers instead of fifty-one covering the series would hurt the anime community.

       I would like to know if any of my readers have any suggestions for any of the new series they’d like to see me blog in an episodic manner. Click on the graphic at the bottom of the post to see a list and description of the fall anime shows. 

Continuing projects, show droppage, and my blogroll.

        I’m going to continue working on covering all of the Candy Candy anime episodes, and I’ll also keeping doing my Japanese Idols posts, and my Weekly Anime Motivational Poster posts (many of the idol pics and motivational posters get downloaded several thousand times). I’m also thinking of adding another classic shojo anime series as a long term blogging project.

       I going to drop my episodic coverage of Emily of New Moon, while I loved this series, I just fell too far behind, and I see no point in continuing. I’m also dropping my episodic coverage of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, while I really love and enjoy this anime, covering the series in a episodic manner seems to suck all the joy out of watching the show, for a detailed review of the series read the Anime History Blog (he does a much better job covering the series than I ever did).

       When I started my blogroll, I linked to a few blogs that I really enjoyed reading, but the time has come to say goodbye to several of my former favorite blogs. I really can’t justify keeping links to blogs where the anime posting level has fallen to a post every 3-6 months, so goodbye Cinnamon Ass, Hop Step Jump, Lolitron, Memories are like the Wind, and Picture Perfect Paranoia.

Fall 2009 Anime Season Chart.

      When I got home from work today, I checked in on some of my favorite anime blogs, and I got the best laugh I’ve had in the last week or so watching a Meme being born. This Meme saw its birth occur in 21stcenturydigitalboy’s anime blog inside the comment section of this post courtesy of Ghostlightning, the owner of the anime blog, We Remember Love.  When I first read the whole comment section I laughed so hard I almost spit soda all over my notebook. So, if you need a good laugh, check it out.

This one’s for you Digitalboy, and Ghostlightning. You must click on image to view at full size.

Really get into the bones of it Motivator

the Bakemonogatari Harem

      About every year or so, a harem type anime series , or at least a anime series that is loaded with girls comes along that makes me wish that I was about the main character’s age and had my choice of those girls. Examples of anime from the past where I would have wanted to have my choice of the girls are; Love Hina, Kanon, Clannad, KimiKiss, Ai Yori Aoshi, Shuffle, Azumanga Daioh, Da Capo, Lucky Star, and now my newest favorite Bakemonogatari.

      I think that the reason why I like these kind of series is that in my younger days, me and my friends were kind of like those harem leads; a little clueless and confused about the fairer sex. But, unlike those Japanese male harem leads we were horny dogs, and any fairly nice looking girl was a target of opportunity, almost nothing was off limits. I think that this phase lasted up until about age 20 when I finally realized that was more to an relationship than getting a girl to jump in the sack with me. But, these harem type anime make me long of those good old days, and what makes these series interesting is that the girls are ready for the taking if the lead would just get off his ass and go for it.

     So, this brings me to Bakemonogatari, I find the cast of girls surrounding Koyomi to be quite an interesting bunch and tasty bunch. Now, I’ll go down and describe each girls in detail, and at the end, I’ll make my choice.

The girls of Bakemonogatari.

Karen and Tsukihi Araragi

Karen and Tsukihi Araragi (Koyami’s younger sisters)

Pluses: Well, they’re both young and cute, and they live in the same house as you making them highly available.

Minuses: If you even consider them you must be crazy, they’re your sisters for god sakes.

Conclusion: While his sisters are really cute, they’re totally off limits for you. I think that the best thing to happen would be if Koyomi had some males friends that found his sisters attractive then maybe they’d stop riding his ass if they got a little loving.

Senjougahara Hitagi

Hitagi Senjōgahara (the star of the fascination movement)

Pluses: She’s very attractive, and she one of the very few tsundere girls to even admit to having that trait, she’s straight forward, and hell, she’s even undressed in front of you. She’s told you that she loves you, and she’s agreed to be your GF.

Minuses: I don’t know, but something just bothers me about her, while I find her an extremely interesting girl, she still has major issues.

Conclusion: While I wouldn’t mind hitting that, I’d always have to keep one eye open in case she snaps.

Nadeko Sengohu

Nadeko Sengoku (friend of your sisters)

Pluses: Nadeko is young and cute, you see her quite often because she’s your younger sisters’ friend, and she’s clearly crushing on you.

Minuses: Nadeko is about three or four years younger than you, and she’s a friend of your younger sisters. If you dated Nadeko you would be accused of robbing the cradle, and your sisters might think that you’re an asshole.

Conclusion: Nadeko is clearly attracted to you, and you’ve know her for a longtime, so this could be a high risk/reward relationship.

Hanekawa Tsubasa

Tsubasa Hanekawa (Koyomi’s long time friend)

Pluses: Tsubasa is very attractive,  intelligent, quiet and thoughtful, and she’s your long time friend. You also know that Tsubasa struggles with her inner nature to be a completely good girl, and that deep down inside she wants to be a little wild.

Minuses: Tsubasa has a terrible family life, and you know that she’s the subject of occasional physical abuse and maybe even worse things.

Conclusion: For all her problems Tsubasa is literally the girl next door type, and even better she harbors a hidden wild side. This is almost the perfect situation; with you, Tsubasa could unleash her hidden wild child and let off all her hidden desires to your benefit making for some rewarding study sessions.

Suragu Kanbaru

Suruga Kanbaru (you stole her crush)

Pluses: Suruga is very athletic, strong, and attractive.

Minuses: Suruga is a raging lesbian who’s attracted to your GF.

Conclusion: Are you crazy, leave this one alone because she tried to kill you once before.

Shinobu Oshino

Shinobu Oshino (the loli vampire)

Pluses: She was once a smoking hot vampire, and now, well……..she’s quite a loli.

Minuses:  Shinobu’s a almost totally catatonic loli vampire, and she’s not good for much interaction.

Conclusion: While it’s only a small step to take from sharing your blood with her to sharing other personal fluids I don’t see this relationship being very rewarding.

Mayoi Hachikuji

 Mayoi Hachikuji (the lost snail)

Pluses: Mayoi, literally is the true eternal loli, while you get older she stays the same.

Minuses: Well, first of all, she’s dead, and secondly while never getting older might be a plus, it would be kind of weird having a ghost loli as a GF as you got older.

Conclusion: While having a ghost loli for a GF might be fun and safe since I don’t think that statutory rape laws apply to dead girls that no one else can see, I think having Mayoi appear and disappear would be quite annoying. Plus, don’t piss her off, because she’s got one hell of a bite, ouch!

The winner of my Bakemonogatari harem prize goes to……………………….

My winner is Nadeko

      While it was a tough choice picking what girl I would want if I was Koyomi, it came down to a three way race between Nadeko, Tsubasa, and Hitagi with me choosing Nadeko as my winner.

      One of the biggest deciding factors came down to the simple fact that out of all the girls Nadeko seemed to be the most normal of the whole bunch, and that her supernatural problem was a result of other peoples problems with her, and not her having a major personal/family issue.

        Another factor in this decision was one of the emotional age/maturity level between Nadeko and Koyomi (and boys and girls in general). So, while Koyomi is several years older than Nadeko he’s really at about the same maturity level as she’s currently at. Koyomi’s a virgin boy who’s clearly attracted to Nadeko, and she’s a virgin girl who clearly is attracted to him, so I thinks it’s a perfect match. All they have to do is keep their relationship on the QT for a year or so, and then after another year or two when Koyomi’s a college junior and Nadeko’s a high school senior all people will say is that they make a cute couple and wonder if they’ll be invited to the wedding in a year or so.

      Plus, if I was Koyomi’s age, I wouldn’t mind it a bit to come home to find  Nadeko waiting for me dressed as below, Sweet!

Welcome home Koyomi