Sunday, 25 April 2010

Anime - Itazura na Kiss (High School to Scrubs)

Continuing my look through various anime Rom-Coms it becomes hard for me to pick one now since there are so many of them out in the anime world, looking through various anime sites and suggestions without spoiling the story itself, 'Itazura na Kiss' was next on my list and found the concept quite decent but not fantastic.

The series follows 'Kotoko Aihara' the female protagonist who seems to be a bit on the dumb side of things but she is kind and very determined throughout the series, she falls in love with the male protagonist 'Naoki Irie' who is the complete opposite, his very smart and and can do almost any task but suffers from being a twat from time to time.

Naoki ignores Kotoko at school but what brings them together however is an incident where Kotoko's home is destroyed by an earthquake and her Dad is good friends with Naoki father so Kotoko goes to live with Naoki family.

I think in the viewpoint of Kotoko 'Itazura na Kiss' story is split up into five chapters throughout 24 episodes.

Chapter 1 - High School
Chapter 2 - College
Chapter 3 - Switched College Course
Chapter 4 - Job
Chapter 5 - Episode Conclusion

So your getting an anime with a lot of progression but the pace within every episode is very good and keeps you engaged.

I was also surprised at the amount of character development put into this, I think my highlight is Naoki's weaknesses, although his prefect at everything he does, he feels too prefect and doesn't develop any goals for himself, he could go to the best universities in Japan but he can't see any reason why he should, its very interesting.

This picture pretty much sums up there personalities.

You also meet alot of secondary characters throughout the series which centres around Kotoko and Naoki relationship, some friends and some colleagues that deliver support or dilemmas.

The ending is well done summing up the anime very nicely and made me feel satisfied to the end.

Art is decent with a mix of new and old colours, its nothing fantastic to look but I can understand why the studio would stick with this kind of art.

It a really gripping anime when it comes to it romantic and dramatic parts however my only major gripe with it is that its rarly funny, I can't remember any parts where I at least chuckled where parts that were supposed to be.

Romantic - Yes, Comedy - No, however this should not put you off if you want a great Romance anime to watch, its got enough drama and suspense to suit your needs if this is the type of thing you want to watch.


Sunday, 18 April 2010

Anime - Special A (Suit you Sirs and Madams)

I am still watching anime Romantic Comedies because I don't believe most of the time that they are all the same and I always want a good laugh when watching a series. So searching for one I came across 'Special A' a (Posh) High School Rom-Com anime.

The reason I call it posh is because it revolves seven main characters who most of them are brought up by rich families and they are at all ranked seven in there tests, they are known as Special A at Private Hakusen Academy. This has allowed them to stay at a huge greenhouse including privileges like there own blazers, own kitchen, own tea sets, etc.

The only one that isn't rich in the Special A is the main protagonist Hikari Hanazono who is ranked number 2nd in the group, she is kind and always determined to beat 1st ranked and love interest Kei Takishima at pretty much anything and fails most of the time.

Other Speical A included are Brother sister duo Violist Jun Yamamoto and quiet Megumi Yamamoto both 3rd and 4th, wanderlust 5th placed student Tadashi Karino, 6th place Akira Toudou and Animal lover 7th place student Ryuu Tsuji.

The story is quite strange for me, the first episodes show as what typical High school shenanigans until it gets to the middle of the series where it shows quick character development and even has serious drama parts, which I feel is a bit too late with all the silly episodes I was watching before.
It then seems to spilt into five love relationships when counting down the last episodes (one relationship only taking one episode to develop), I believe that the anime puts too much minor characters into the anime because some are ignored and never mentioned again.

Plus you never get a reason how and why Special A was created in the first place, although Tadashi Karino mother is the school director, she is rarely seen and mentions a bit about the greenhouse near end.

I do say Hikari that is quite an exquisit white blazer you have there.

Although normal students seem to admire Special A at times, Special A are never seen learning or go to any normal class, its like they are stuck in some top seven Private school while normal students go to public classes.

It doesn't help that some characters are unlikeable for example Akira's main gag is to hit Tadashi in pretty much every episode she's in, its becomes very boring and annoying. Most slapstick and jokes are over used and are not funny.

The ending pretty much predictable and sums up my disappointment with more questions.

The only good points I can think about is the art style of the anime looks decent showing various countries locations successfully and I'm not a Moe criticizer since this anime contains quite a bit of it.

In conclusion 'Special A' was a disappointing mess for me, It really felt rushed and they had 26 episodes to get it right plus there was nothing shocking or fantastic about it. I did watch it to the end so I wanted to rate this anime in 'Megumi Yamamoto' style:

Note: Any errors I have made in the review or anything wrong I have pointed out, please comment in the comment box.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Twilight Deathgrip

I am a big Biffy clyro fan and I have serious issues with Twilight plus there fanbase.

So when I read this article on how Simon Neil believes that reailty music TV shows like 'The X Factor' at the bottom he talks about how he would like to make a song for the movies:

Neil also confessed that the band would be happy to compose a song for the next installment of the Twighlight (fail) movie franchise.

He said: "I don't think there's any shame in it - I think Twilight fans are just the sort of people who would have been going to see Bauhaus 20 years ago - but we don't really have any vampire songs right now."

The bit I put in Bold I laughed at, Simon must of forgotten that Biffy Clyro have made a vampire song:

Still if this song was included in one of the Eclipse dramatic scenes, It would be hilarious.


Sunday, 4 April 2010

Five British references in NANA

In all 47 episodes excluding the fill in episodes, there has been some references of different western influences in NANA some include America and Germany etc, so I've decided to do five British references that are in the episodes, hopefully when i watch more anime I can do more of these, so lets start:

1. BLAST likes Sex Pistols- No surprises there

No surprises to this really since BLAST have that punk rock look throughout the series but vocalist and one of the main characters who is in BLAST 'Nana Osaki' mentions it in the early stages of NANA when taking to her roommate, another main character 'Nana Komatsu' and mentioning back to Yasu's music collection who also has a Sex Pistol album.

Sex Pistols are mentioned a few times in Episode 8, Komatsu mentions Ren looking like Sid Vicious the Pistols bassist and when Shin first auditions for BLAST he is asked to play the bass 'Seventeen' to show that he is worthy to play bass for BLAST.

Even though i'm not a fan of Sex Pistols its good to see british music appericated in Japan even in anime.

2. Yasu's music collection - Radiohead lol

While Reria checks through Yasu's CD collection in episode 35, you can just see some band names like Rage Against The Machine and The Sex Pistols, one that caught my eye was a Radiohead album which was quite surprising since this anime took place in 2001, around that time Radiohead had a few albums around there belt.

Even though Radiohead is on the CD the title is removed, it could be because of copyright however some have it the other way around for example I know in Yasu's collection that 'How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb' is a U2 album however you cannot see 'U2' on there. Still by the look of the CD I believe that the Radiohead album is 'OK Computer', I will post a picture of it here:

Note: Even though the NANA anime takes place in 2001 then YASU must of had a really early copy of 'How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb' since that was made in 2004. Music Fail.

3. Trapnest go to England - 'Why helo thar Trapnest'

Although not technically a reference, Trapnest actually go to England to escape the media in episode 40 - 42, also they are there to make a kind of wedding music video plus a photo shoot.

While in England Ren moans about only eating bread (I guess he doesn't like are food) and only craves for

Although these England episodes last only a few episodes, not alot is shown only Big Ben, House Of Parliament and Tower Bridge are shown in good detail.

4. BLAST vs Trapnest - Oasis vs Blur much?

This one was kind of reminder, I mean two bands releasing there singles at the same time, absolutely determined to get the number one spot, while both singles are hyped as hell.
You could say that this could of been the Oasis vs Blur in Japanese punk rock. Except this is for singles than albums

Although both bands are more friendly to each other, than trading bad rumors to both bands, It still felt like that rivalry was there between BLAST vs Trapnest even at the televised event where they promote there singles.

5. Takumi's sister lives in England.

Mentioned quite alot but never seen in the anime, Takumi (The guitarist of Trapnest and smeghead of the series) has a sister who lives in England and members of Trapnest wanted to meet her, however for unknown reasons we never see her, even when they go to England.

We never get an explanation and its most likely that Takumi doesn't care about her. Unless it is explained in the Manga which I am yet to touch on.

I enjoyed the NANA anime and I've heard that the story continues, so I will pick up the manga soon, but I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good romance drama.