Spoiler Alert! Harvest Moon O gives away the ending of Big O, and it shouldn’t take a genius to realise the Chevalier Death Awards are going to be intensely spoilerific.
I’ve been reading Viz’s release of the Hikaru no Go manga, and although I’m opposed to edits in general, the ones here are amusing by virtue of their half-heartedness. For example, in the scene where Kaga stubs out his cigarette on a Go board, they can’t seem to decide if it’s okay for it to be a cigarette or whether he “put out his gum” (you can smoke chewing gum now?). On another occasion, his cigarette is changed to a firecracker he just happened to be setting off for no reason, but the teacher calls him a “gum chewing brat”, whilst still other scenes of smokers are left as they are. So, are cigarettes evil, or is it firecrackers and gum that are leading our kids down the wrong path? You decide, for Viz cannot.
Harvest Moon O
Farming has been the duty of the Anton line ever since the original Grandpa Anton left his farm to his grandson, but how is that multiple generations of Antons can live in the same town and interact with the same group of people? The answer lies in Harvest Moon O- like Paradigm City of Big O, Mineral Town, Fogert-Me-Not Valley and Flowerbud Valley are all effectively stages on which similar events play out over and over again. Each time a new Anton (or Antonia) agrees to farm, the town is reset and he is forced to remain within its confines until he has built a successful farm, married and had a child. Upon his death, the town resets again, but since the system is constantly updating and refining, the reset town is usually a little bit more advanced, with the eventual goal being to breed the ultimate farmer who can handle the highest level of farming simulation. So, if you’ve ever wondered what that eternally locked shed on the farm in A Wonderful Life is for, the answer is here- it is the control room for the town simulation.
The Chevalier Death Awards
- The Getting In Early Award for Dying Before the Series Even Began: Whilst Belle was already in skull form by the time we met her, the winner can only be Lia, whose death provided the impetus for the entire series even as her spirit borrowed d’Eon’s body.
- The “My Contract Ran Out” Award for Dying From Non-Serious Wounds: The prize goes to Robespierre, who didn’t really seem to be that seriously wounded from being stabbed by Broglie, but bade farewell to his comrades and departed for the next world anyway. Amazingly enough, Robespierre had already come through an earlier death without too much trouble.
- The Gargoyle Award for Dying After Becoming a Grey Monster: Although early casualty Bernice is a runner-up in this department, he cannot match up to the agonising end experienced by poor Durand.
- The “I’m not Dead Yet” Award for Comically Villainous End: Saint-Germain is the winner here for somehow turning into a Gargoyle, digging his way out of a ton of rubble, and appearing in the final episode for no real reason.
- The “Why Did I Sleep With Broglie?” Award for Dying from a Disfiguring Condition: Louis XV wins here after ill-advisedly having HARD GAY with Broglie opening the BOOK.
- The “My Lovers Betrayed Me” Award for Being Killed by Gargoyles: Gargoyle attacks were common in the early episodes, but only Empress Elizabeth suffered fatally for sitting down to dinner with some suspiciously grey men.
- The “I Bribed the Director” Award for Dying Many Episodes After Everyone Thought He Would: This award can only go to Voronzoff, who managed to stay alive far often than his mid-boss role would have indicated.
- The Death in Dignity Award for Taking Poison: Unlike the gory deaths of many of the other characters, Marie was able to enjoy a quieter end after sipping the poisoned wine prepared by Louis.
- The Farewell Limbs Award for Being an Early Enemy of the Week: A prize that can only go to Caron, a man who existed merely to be an opponent of the week and consequently get killed by Lia.
- The “I Took the Head out of Whitehead” Award for Explosively Losing One’s Head: Unsurprisingly, Paul Whitehead wins this award after Robespierre causes his head to explode.
- The “Come and Get Me, Then” Award for Standing Around and Waiting to Be Killed: Anna walks away with the prize (or would if she were alive) after standing motionless whilst Louis slowly walked towards her and ended her life.
- The “It Can Take Up to Fifteen Minutes to Die” Award for Getting Hanged: Despite his generally dislikeable nature, who couldn’t feel a pang of sorrow for poor Peter as he was tearfully led away to face the hangman’s noose.
- The “Save the Last Dance for Me” Award for Taking a Bullet for One’s Master: Teillagory lost his life in a bizarre waltz as he threw himself in the path of a bullet meant for Orleans.
- The Guillotine Award for Falling to the Classic French Execution Method: Robin-Robespierre met his end at the blade of the guillotine, just as history dictated.
- The “Where’s the Anti-Aging Cream?” Award For Dying After Becoming Amazing Wrinkled Within the Space of One Episode: After sparring with Robespierre in a Book vs. Cane duel, Dashwood seemed to have the upper hand, but he couldn’t contend with rapid aging and the Hellscape spell.
- The “It Was My Time” Award for Dying in an Uninteresting Way Compared to Everyone Else: An award created for Pompadour, who was killed by Robespierre in a decidedly non-flashy fashion.
GetBackers Pick ‘N’ Mix Part One
“My hard drive has corrupted, and all my porn is lost!”
“Ah, I remember when little Makubex first found that adult website.”
HARD GAY comes at a price.
“Call that a Zhuge Liang? It’s barely a Liang!”
Ban promises to pleasure the latest client all by himself.
“You aren’t very well-endowed, are you?”
“I hope you don’t mind having HARD GAY in here, but we don’t want other people to know we’re really men in disguise.”
“So, what sort of HARD GAY do you want?”
“Technically, we shouldn’t even be asking for it from you, but…”
“With our work schedule, we don’t have much choice other than to ask you.”
“Yes, that’s what my lovers nickname me.”
Short parody: Fushigi Yuugi
(Miaka: I love Tamahome, but I don’t deserve to be with him, so I’ll just run away and try to solve everything on my own, thus making everyone worry and probably getting caught in the process.)
Miaka is caught the instant she steps away from her Celestial Warriors.
Nakago: Gwakaka, your warriors are no match for me! Not even Tamahome can match my bishie good looks!
Yui: I hate you, Miaka, because not only did you fail to teleport over and save me from some generic men, but you dared to take Tamahome away from me!
Miaka: How can you have feelings for Tamahome? You barely know him!
Yui: I could ask the same of you.
Miaka: Ah, touché.
The Celestial Warriors arrive to rescue Miaka. Tamahome challenges Nakago.
Nakago: Foolish boy, you are no match for me!
Tamahome: Think again, Nakago! Not only is Chichiri’s magic somehow protecting me, but I have Miaka’s love and the power of love on my side!
Miaka is rescued.
Tamahome: I love you, Miaka.
Miaka: I’m sorry, but I don’t love you.
(Miaka: If I admit to our love, something will go wrong, so I’ll just make him miserable.)
(Tamahome: Oh no! I had better go and angst now)
Miaka: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it- I really do love you.
Tamahome: Well, now I’m not so sure we should get together.
(Miaka: He doesn’t love me after all! I must angst.)
Tamahome: Sorry, I was being a jerk just then. I love you, Miaka.
Hotohori: I love you too, Miaka, but since I don’t have a chance with you, I’ll just marry this random woman whilst you leave me behind in part two of the series..
Nuriko: I love you, Hotohori, but since I can’t decide whether I’m HARD GAY, BI or STRAIGHT, I also love Miaka.
Chichiri: I’m not bishie enough to be a love interest, although I was quite good looking in flashback.
Tasuki: I’m HARD GAY for Koji, but I also secretly wish to turn BI and take Miaka for my own.
Mitsukake: I have a tragic doomed love backstory, but am too generic to have much additional development.
Chiriko: I’m too young to have a personality!
On the Seiryu side…
Yui: I love you, Tamahome!
Nakago: I shall pretend to love you, Yui, whilst jumping into bed with Soi to replenish my ‘mana’.
Soi: I love you, Nakago.
Tomo: I love you, Nakago!
Amiboshi: I love you, Miaka!
Suboshi: I love you, Yui, although I am also HARD GAY for my twin brother!
Miboshi: I am just generic and evil.
The history of fruit in anime
Apples may be the world leaders in animated fruit, but even as they try to solidify their power base, other fruits are seeking to dislodge them from the top spot. Whilst bananas use their suggestive nature (Sakura Diaries) to gain power, lemons rely on their bitterness (Red Garden, Nodame Cantabile) and others like oranges (Argento Soma) and grapes (SaiMono) merely wait quietly in the background. Are any of them a match for the mighty apple?
Random trivia: In order to get the same ‘goodness’ and nutritional value as you would have by eating one orange and one tomato fifty or so years ago, you must consume six modern oranges and ten modern tomatoes. Eat up.
HARD YURI corner: Mai-Otome
At Garderobe Academy, young women who wish to forget about men and become full-fledges students of HARD YURI are invited to come and study under the most HARD YURI couple on the planet- Natsuki and Shizuru. Girls are accepted after demonstrating their ability to satisfy their teachers and upperclasswomen (Chie is especially demanding, but pity the girl who gets Maria), and progress through the school by providing extraordinary service in the bedroom.
Unfortunately, all is not well in Otome world, for men such as Sergey Wang have been tasked with subverting girls from the path of HARD YURI, and turning them STRAIGHT with the help of their Zhuge Liangs. Can the likes of Arika and Nina discover the HARD YURI joys of a bath scene with Erstin, or will Sergey win them over with his mighty Wang?
OST Spotlight: Kurau Phantom Memory OST2: Crimson
Whilst it can be hardly denied that the second Kurau OST contains some remix, the quality does not suffer for it. There are times when the slower themes run the risk of blending into the background, but give them your full attention and the quality of composition really begins to stand out, ensuring that this is another blend of beautiful and haunting music that stands proudly alongside the first OST.
Notable tracks: The Power, Moonlight ~Essence~, Tomorrow’s Treasures, Drag Racer, Daily Life ~Heartfelt~, Moonlight ~Farewell~
Mini-rant: Does it really always have to have a deeper meaning?
I don’t know about you, but I still have memories of the English lessons of my school days, and one thing I recall is how, when analysing poetry, I couldn’t help wondering if we were just pulling stuff out of our backsides reading things into it that the original writer had never once intended to convey. Similarly, when it comes to anime, some reviewers seem to think it appropriate to try to over-analyse and ascribe so-called ‘social commentary’ to almost every series they watch. Is such a practice really necessary? Is it their way of justifying the fact that they watch anime to family members and ‘outsiders’ who would otherwise think they were wasting their lives in front of ‘cartoons’?
Whatever the case, whilst there are a handful of series that touch on current events (such as the terrorist situation in 2nd Gig) or perhaps have something deeper to say about society, this certainly can’t be said about the vast majority of anime- and ultimately, what is wrong with that? Anime is marketed as a form of entertainment, and therefore, if anything, it should act as a bit of escapism. Is S-Cry-ed a tale of shifting political tides between a powerful mainland and an island struggling to forge its own identity, or just an excuse for men with special powers to beat each other up? Is Elfen Lied a harrowing tale of the mistreatment of children, or a gore-fest punctuated with fanservice and harem elements? Is Gantz a scathing commentary on the state of contemporary society, or a young man’s fantasy world of big guns and big breasts? Even if the answers lie somewhere in between, we should take care not to aggrandise the motives of a series to the extent that we make it something it was never meant to be. So just sit back, relax, and accept that while anime can indeed be very good, it isn’t really meant to be high art. And if you still want social commentary, why not try a topical news show instead?
In Your Reflection
This week we have a three-way comparison between three pale-haired girls who aren’t quite what they seem- Aquarion’s Rena, Mai-HiME’s Mashiro and Karin’s Anju. Whilst Rena is wheelchair-bound with occasional vampiric tendencies, Mashiro is wheelchair-bound and possessed of her own secrets, and Anju, whilst more mobile (at least at night), is a vampire
Fashion police: Ender
We return to .hack//Roots for a second time to pick on Ender, a villainess with a predilection for showing off more flesh than we ever needed to see. As well as making a rather dull choice of darker colours for her entire costume, Ender’s asymmetrical outfit leaves us to choose between bad and worse- bad being the bizarrely shaped armour and metal thong, and worse being the lack of effort put into her exposed right hand side. Fortunately for us all, she soon switches to using another player character, even if that is ManPai.
Fashion sense: D-
Amusing Search Terms
The old favourites: lolicon, you toube, bouncing breasts
moe kare scanlation: I don’t even know what this is.
“knight of justice”: that’s me- oh wait, it isn’t.
Under Flame manga: Ah yes, that well known manga.
anime love: Love in anime, or love of anime?
Pr0N TOUBE 15: There were 14 others?
Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Night Before: ‘Twas the night before Yu-Gi-Oh, and all through the house, not a card gamer was playing, not even Yugi Mutou…oh, you get the idea.
hack harvestmoon: Stop trying to hack it- unless of course you have a cheat to switch off those damned hurricanes and blizzards.
watch shows of dragonball z: Are you sure you want to?
harvest moon wonderful life otaku: Can you actually be a Harvest Moon otaku? Do you have to dress like an Anton every day and tend to imaginary animals?
noir we had to let you have it
carol vorderman my q: Ah yes, I am the prime internet source for Carol Vorderman.
gay dragonball z: Did you see how Goku was looking at Vegeta? They’ll be comparing their “Super Saiyan muscles” in the bedroom tonight, I’ll wager.
what was the phases of the moon on march: Moon~!
fate stay night visual novel screens: You naughty boy, you want to look at Rin naked, don’t you? Or is it Saber that floats your boat?
diary multi year: Azure Flame will soon be releasing custom multi-year diaries for its users. These diaries are special in that they are invisible and use no materials to create.
large anime doll makers: The thought of a giant Kanaria in my home scares me.
stratos 4 doujinshi: I’ll only make a doujin if it stars the Admiral, and she’s a bit too fat to fit into a manga panel.
chokotto sister nudity: Just download any chapter, really.
.hack//roots tabby -nude -naked –profani: “Quick, let’s look up as many rude things as possible before Mum and Dad get back!”