Daydream Sanctuary Features

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Manga Discoveries: Some New Shoujo Guilty Pleasures

I do not know WHY but recently I've been reading so many shoujo manga. I love the main four demographics (shounen, shoujo, josei, seinen) but among the four, the one I like LEAST is actually shoujo. So I really find this situation awkward . . .

Anyway, I've been catching up on Recipe for Gertrude, Perfect Girl Evolution, and Otoyomegatari (oh, that one's josei). Next will be Watashi ni xx Shinasai (Shigure x Yukina!!!!).

I was not only catching up, but I've been checking out new series as well. Apparently, most of them are shoujo. And sadly, they are actually nowhere near great. However, they all had something that delights me so much, which is: AWESOME BISHIE/S!!!!

So yeah, there are my new Guilty Pleasures....a.k.a. Series-That-I-Think-Suck-Or-Have-So-Many-Flaws-But-Has-An-Awesome-SOMEONE-To-Make-Me-Read-More.

Oh man. Ah well, at least none of the leading ladies of the shoujo manga I've discovered recently aren't as annoying as Sakura from Sakurahime Kaden (which is another guilty pleasure. It gives me damn headaches but I love the bishies, especially AOBA!!!!)

Alright . . . moving on . . . this post will feature the following:
Faster Than a Kiss, Heart no Diamond, Hime-chan no Ribbon (+Colorful), Ryuu no Hanawazurai, and Ultimate Venus

Faster Than a Kiss by TANAKA Meca
After losing their parents, Fumino and her brother hop from one relative to another. Getting tired of all those moves, she finally decides to quit school and work to support her brother on her own. As they sat on a park bench, her teacher appears in front of her and agrees to her demands of marrying and supporting both her and her brother!! Is he serious or just playing around...!?

:: Why I thought of checking out the darn thing ::
namelissis made a post saying that the leading guy of this series looks very similar to Zen from Shirayukihime. Yeah, that alone made me think of reading it (I ignored this before because of the "kiss" in the title. I hate mushy manga)
:: My thoughts on the series in general ::
Idea was really unique and I was really impressed at the beginning. However, I could no longer count how many times the leading girl being so sad that her husband hasn't touched her yet (but he already sexually harassed her for so many times. the only thing they didn't do is kiss and make love. I don't get the "no touching" disappointment), and how many times she has blushed, and how many times she ran away, and how many times she got rescued, and how many times they had a loving hug after a serious event. It's so repetitive. I celebrate on chapters that don't turn out like that . . .which are rare.
:: About the leading lady ::
She's actually okay but she got me so disappointed that . . . you see, she is capable of fighting. But I only saw that tough side when she's beating up dudes to protect her girl friends. But when she's in danger, it's ALWAYS leading guy who will do that job. AND I COULD NO LONGER COUNT HOW MANY TIMES THAT HAPPENED. Oh jeez, what's the use of making the leading girl a fighter if those skills are not gonna be used at all? Yes, rescues are romantic, but pathetic girls make me vomit.
:: WHAT makes me not let go of this ::
THE HUMOR!!!! Oh god no matter how many times they repeat those jokes, they're still so hilarious! Bwahahahha!!!!! ALSO THE BROTHER COMPLEX!!!
:: WHO makes me not let go of this ::
I FREAKIN' LOVE KAZUMA (He's nothing like Zen, namelissis, and I like Zen more, but he's pretty similar to Zettai Heiwa Daisakusen's Prince Johanne though~) He's soooo funny~ Him and his cosplay fetish. Haha! And I have a liking to former delinquents~
Ryuu is love as well~

Heart no Diamond by SHINJO Mayu
Himeno's chest will hurt if any boy touches her because she has the diamond of the heart. However, when she was young, she befriended two boys -- the gentle Mamoru and the blunt Keigo -- who are able to touch her without harming her. Without knowing about the diamond of the heart, both Mamoru and Keigo promised to protect Himeno. When some people threaten to take Himeno's heart, who else will protect her but her knights?

:: Why I thought of checking out the darn thing ::
The "diamond" word in the title caught my attention *likes that pretty gem*. And I saw the chapter cover having bishies with CARDS. I didn't need to think anymore~
:: My thoughts on the series in general ::
The plot wouldn't have been stupid if it was used in a fairy tale, in my opinion. But how the manga made things happen was really so stupid for me. Many things are so predictable and how could the bad guys be too typical, too evil, and too stupid? And how the legend of the heart shape thing was learned . . . was just like that? I didn't see . . . the story. Oh my headaches.
:: About the leading lady ::
OH GAWD she's the typical kindhearted young girl who is so pretty yet couldn't protect herself. And because she is so special, bad guys go after her and it's up to her knights in shining armor to protect her 24/7 because she's a USELESS princess. Can I strangle her?? PLEASE???!!!
:: WHAT makes me not let go of this ::
THE KNIGHT AND CARD STUFF!!!!!! This might've been cooler if there's more action . . . BUT KNIGHT WITH CARDS IS STILL SO COOL!
:: WHO makes me not let go of this ::

Hime-chan no Ribbon (+ Colorful) by MIZUSAWA Megumi (original)/KOMIYUNO Shiho (remake)
Tomboyish Himeko is a popular and athletic middle schooler, who can beat pretty much all her male classmates at sports. Sometimes, though, she wishes she could be more cute and feminine, particularly around boys she likes. One day, a girl with the same face appears to Himeko and introduces herself as Princess Erika from a magical kingdom. Erika gives her a magic ribbon, which allows her to transform into whoever she wants. Being beautiful and feminine is, for the first time, within Himeko's grasp!

:: Why I thought of checking out the darn thing ::
I've been seeing it around. And I was curious on what's with the ribbon in the title. And when I found out it was a remake, I looked for scans of the original title.
:: My thoughts on the series in general ::
For a magical girl manga, I'm relieved that it isn't one of those "magical girl saves the world" thing. But still, this series is typical shoujo manga, but not as typical as the original. For some reason, though it's typical shoujo, it still got me interested to find out what happens next. Bottom line: Story sucks but strangely it's pretty interesting.
I fear this might be something like Shugo Chara, which is a HUGE disappointment. The original had like 60+ episodes . . . . . oh please don't make an anime of this to make it a pathetic mainsteam shoujo . . .
I hope the remake will improve the original. Art is much prettier already, and there had been changes . . . . hopefully they'll be for the better~
:: About the leading lady ::
Being good in sports and preferences to shorts over skirts DOESN'T make a girl a tomboy! I'm getting sick of the tomboy stereotypes. And oh, in the original, the leading girl gets rescued SO OFTEN by the leading boy, it makes me so sick. Not to mention she's so stupid and reckless too. My head . . . oh my head . . .
:: WHAT makes me not let go of this ::
The magical kingdom thing . . . and the idea of having a "double" in two worlds. Also . . . I like elegant females with Erika's hairstyle . . . they remind me of my goddess Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura
:: WHO makes me not let go of this ::
As usual, my favorite is the knight in shining armor~ This one is the brattiest among the bishies featured in this post . . . . his kindhearted side was shown more obvious in the original, but I think I like both. YAY FOR BRATTY BOYS! Hahahaha!

Ryuu no Hanawazurai by KUSAKAWA Nari
Teenage Shakuya, the next head of the Dragon Clan, suddenly finds herself with two fianc├ęs! The first vanished years ago but has now mysteriously returned. But betrothed number two is not about to just step aside. What's a girl to do? Her mother decides that at the end of a year, Shakuya will marry the man she has the strongest feelings for. How that will be determined is by "magic tattoos" on both of Shakuya's hands, each representing one of her suitors. As her love grows, so do the tattoos! And complicating all of this is that fact that whenever Shakuya gets upset, she turns into a fearsome dragon!

:: Why I thought of checking out the darn thing ::
Kuroneko003 commanded me to check out the other manga by Kusakawa Nari xD Hahahaha! Ah well, it's stupid of me not to do that earlier, because I love the mangaka's other work, Recipe for Gertrude, a lot~
:: My thoughts on the series in general ::
I find it unique that the feelings of the girl is so obvious to the point that everyone can see it (the actual level, actual proof, etc.). But making the fiances compete to get her heart . . . I find it foolish to use romance as a game like that. I prefer how Hanasakeru Seishounen did it, for the girl and the guys don't know the identities of the candidates. It's more fun if they don't know. But in this series they do, and seeing the chapters spend on saving the girl and the guys flirting with her as much as they can . . . it's getting me bored. Why not put some adventure in this at least? I hope it's more than just some love triangle romance manga. But it . . . *sigh*
:: About the leading lady ::
Typical kindhearted princes with a wild side (in other words, she's pretty wild yet so soft and can be vulnerable). And though she's the one with the magical power, she needs two bishies to protect her. The hell . . .
Moreover, Her dragon form is ugly. Guh. (If the bishies were the ones that has a dragon form, they wouldn't be pretty useless like her. IT'S ALWAYS LIKE THAT!!! WHY???!!!)
:: WHAT makes me not let go of this ::
I love Recipe for Gertrude so . . .mangaka bias? And oh, I find the interactions of the two leading guys so much fun (they're rivalry's fair too~ They also know how to work together. They're no idiots. Yay!)~ Even the baby tigers. Haha!
:: WHO makes me not let go of this ::
I like Lucien but KUWAN IS REALLY MORE OF MY TYPE (He also looks pretty similar to Roy of FMA)!!!! Police bishie that seems intimidating but can also be very loving . . . and scary when jealous . . .AND HE BITES!!! ROFLz . . . that part got me sooooooooooo amused~

Ultimate Venus by SHIGEMATSU Takako
Poor Yuzu is an orphan who's too clumsy to hold a job. She's reduced to living in a playground -- until a handsome stranger named Hassaku informs her that she's heir to a fortune, and whisks her into a world of wealth, power, and more hot suitors than she can shake a scepter at! But there's a catch: Hassaku must turn this klutz into a lady of refinement, or Yuzu will lose everything!

:: Why I thought of checking out the darn thing ::
Kuroneko003 has been mentioning this often. And well, we have similar tastes in shoujo (she likes more shoujo than I do though), so I thought of giving this one a try.
:: My thoughts on the series in general ::
I do not know why but even though the story's pretty nice, at times, I find it boring. The stories that don't involve the leading girl much are the ones I find more interesting actually . . . the other characters had the chance to shine, but I feel they're not enough . . . Ah well, but story-wise, this is the most decent one among the ones in this post. I'm very impressed with its twists and surprises. I'm pretty relieved it wasn't as bad as I expected.
:: About the leading lady ::
I find her a little boring (I'm also sick of her mother's rule talks) but I'm impressed she doesn't always rely on her bishies to get away from trouble. She gets rescued, yes; but she also kicks balls, and that's hell better than crying helplessly or acting like a stupid martyr. But hhhmm . . . I still find it a little unfair for her to have all those bishies easily . . .
:: WHAT makes me not let go of this ::
The story isn't really fantastic but for some reason it still keeps me interested on what happens next~ And oh, I looooooove the master and servant relationship here~
:: WHO makes me not let go of this ::
IYO IS SUCH A DARLING~ Masaya also amuses me~ I like Hasaku too, and Yuzu can have him all she wants. I WANT IYO!!! SO IYO, GO BACK TO BEING THE LOYAL SERVANT BOY OR JUST BE ALONE!!!! This doesn't need to be a reverse harem, please . . .

Okayz, for batch overview:
Most Decent Storytelling: Ultimate Venus
Most Likeable Pairing: Kazuma x Fumiko (Faster Than a Kiss)
Most Entertaining: Faster Than a Kiss
Most Decent Leading Female: Yuzu (Ultimate Venus)
Most Hilarious Bishie: Kazuma (Faster Than a Kiss)
Most Badass Bishie: Kuwan (Ryuu no Hanawazurai) and Kazuma (Faster Than a Kiss)
Most Adorable Bishie: Iyo (Ultimate Venus)
Favorite Bishie Ranking in this Batch: (1) Kazuma [I love hilarious bishies] (2) Iyo [I wanna huggle him] (3) Kuwan [he's sooo hott] (4) Mamoru [prince charming!] (5) Daichi [I love rebellious boys~]
Favorite Series Ranking in this Batch: (1) Faster Than a Kiss (2) Ultimate Venus (3) Ryuu no Hanawazurai (4) Hime-chan no Colorful (5) Heart no Diamond

Other Notes and General Comments:
- I am not afraid to bash leading females I hate because for some reason most leading females of shoujo manga are REALLY SO PATHETIC! But of course, there are exceptions. And definitely, I may hate the character, but I don't hate her fans.
- Oh please, I don't hate the leading girl just because my favorite bishie is in love with her. I don't have such stupid hallucinations. If I said such, I'm doing it for humor or for exaggeration.
- honestly, my hatred towards a leading female has nothing to do with my opinion of the seies in general. however, the behavior and actions of the main character affects the story of the series, so I guess it shouldn't be a surprise for me to dislike the quality of a series because of how much I think it's leading female sucks . . .
- the guy in the preview image of each series is my number one bishie of the said manga. AREN'T THEY SO GORGEOUS??!! xD Hahahaha . . . .

Monday, December 28, 2009

Season Preview: Winter 2010

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Credits to chartfag for the image above.
Just click the image to see it's zoom version

Omateseshimashita minna! :)
It again took us long but I really made sure that before 2009 closes, I can already post the previews for the next year's first anime season. As with previous previews, summaries of each series are posted as well our reactions and comments.

So feel free, take your pick and get ready for Winter 2010!

Ryuugamine Mikado is a boy who longs for the exciting life of the big city. At the invitation of his childhood friend Masaomi, he transfers to a school in Ikebukuro. Masaomi has warned him about people he doesn't want to cross in the city: a champion fighter, an informant, and a mysterious gang called "Darazu." Nervous from Masaomi's stories, Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first day in the city, the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle. From then on, the existence of supernatural cases and a gang called the Yellow Turbans will rise to the surface, and Ikebukuro will pushed to the breaking point.

Sapphire_pyro says:
GUARANTEED FAVORITE OF THIS SEASON!!!!! Baccano is one of my top favorite anime, but I don't really need to be biased to this to appreciate it because IT REALLY IS JUST AS AWESOME!!!!! The previews and the trailers already blew me away. I even ordered a G-Fantasy magazine just to get my hands on something DRRR (I haven't gotten it yet though). I TOTALLY CAN'T WAIT FOR IT!!!! DEFINITELY BLOGGING THIS!!!! And only this I guess . . . . I can't pick more than one series anymore . . .~

xtine06 says:
My senses got interested in watching this one. Sapphy has gone all crazy over this one and all of the time, when she is interested, I am interested too. So I guess count me along with Sapphy who will watch this series next season.

Dance in the Vampire Bund
The story revolves around Mina Tepes, princess-ruler of all vampires, and her "protector," Akira. Like other vampires, Mina has been in hiding with her people for many years. Seeking to end centuries of isolation, Mina gains permission to create a special district for vampires, "The Bund", off the coast of Japan by paying off the national debt of the Japanese government. Mina then reveals to the world the existence of vampires and her desire for both races to live together. Tensions, however, run high as fearful humans and extremist vampire factions begin to interfere with Mina's wish for peace with the human world.

Sapphire_pyro says:
This is bloody awesome and I like the leading guy but it bothers me so much that the leading girl is a loli! Uuuuugggghhh . . . . . I want her as a grown woman. Not a loli!!! *not fond of lolis . . . . even gothic/dark lolis* I can imagine her as a grown woman but . . . it's not as exciting . . . .and it's difficult for me to ship. Aaaarrrggghh . . . why lolis damnit.

xtine06 says:
I am giving this a chance. My thoughts will be decided when I watched the first episode.

Sora no Woto
In a future land marred by long-lasting war, a quiet decline has begun. 15 year old Kumika realizes her dream to enlist in the army and joins a unit of five in protecting a fortress. Together, they create music that reverberates across the skies, over empty towns and empty seas.

Sapphire_pyro says:
As many have described it, it's like K-ON going military. Haha! The story looks interesting. The trailer had been really nice. There seems to have been good budget on its production. Hehe. I guess it's worth checking out~

xtine06 says:
K-on going military. Hahahhaahahaha. I'm gonna see this one. Music is one of my favorite plots, and I won't let this one pass on me ^^

Hanamaru Kindergarten
Anzu goes to a prescholl with her friends, the shy Koume and the eccentric Hiiragi. Together, they try to gain Anzu attention from their male carer Tsuchida, though he is clearly more interested in the pretty Yamamamoto who supervisesthe class next door.

Sapphire_pyro says:
I am not into kiddies at all . . . much more if they're female. *prefers baby boys* but this one is just too ridiculous for me.
Yeah, it's cute. I like the grown-ups in the series. But seriously, kids looking at porn magazines and one of them is making porn star poses just to attract the teacher she's in love with? Why do children want to flirt so disgustingly at such an age? It's hilarious in a way but . . . . this isn't my type of humor. And I hope no children would follow such an example.

xtine06 says:
I am not interested with the plot. I will pass this one.

Nodame Cantabile Finale
At a top music academy in Japan, Shinichi Chiaki's arrogance is matched only by his top-notch piano playing. But when Chiaki and the teacher get into a fight, he's demoted to the reject class. Chiaki is left to pursue his dream of being a conductor while surrounded by a bunch of loser musicians and one annoying girl, Noda, who has proclaimed herself Chiaki's girlfriend. It doesn't help that Noda, who insists on being called Nodame, lives right next door to him

Sapphire_pyro says:

xtine06 says:
OF COURSE!!!! NODAME!!! CHIAKIIIII!!!!! This is a must watch this season!!!!!!!!!!!

Gag Manga Biyori+
Gyagu Manga Biyori is hyperactive, random, and nonsensical, revolving around various plots and characters throughout the series. It makes absolutely no sense. The 1st episode is about stickers included in snacks

Sapphire_pyro says:
It sounds fun, but it's a sequel of a show I haven't heard of before so . . .pass.

xtine06 says:
Err..I haven't watched the previous seasons sooooooo, I can't watch this.

Qwaser of Stigmata
In St. Mikhailov Academy, Oribe Mafuyu meets a silver haired boy called Alexander. He is a Qwaser, a being who can manipulate iron and draws his power from breast milk. A mystery surrounding an Icon transforms the academy into setting for various conflicts between the different Qwasers.

Sapphire_pyro says:
I like shows with biblical references but . . . . oh come on, does it really have to be breast sucking for their power-ups??? That's just disturbing. I appreciate that the author's trying something different . . . but oh come on. That was just so awkward. Aside from that, there are stupid things like the typical bullying bitches but the story's actually pretty interesting. It's just too disturbing . . . I wonder how the hell the anime's going to censor those . . . .or will it?

xtine06 says:
After reading the first part of the summary, it got me interested, but after the breast milk part....I was...0_0 SERIOUSLY. What's the point of having breast milk as the source of power? Can't it be from anywhere else? Oh please!!

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
Akihisa attends an academy where test results determine classes. In A class, prodigies can enjoy reclining seats and air-con, but Akihisa's F class sports decrepit tables and broken windows. He rallies F classes to take on higher classes and claim school supremacy by summoning fantasy creatures to battle.

Sapphire_pyro says:
I am really sick of stories with loser leading guys but strong females that protect him and also provide ecchi fanservice. I think I spotted a bishie from this when I watched the trailer, but I highly doubt I'll get hooked to this.

xtine06 says:
Well, I am not into the plot so much so I will pass this one out.

Hidamari Sketch
Yuno has been accepted to her dream school: Yamabuki Arts High School. To attend the school, Yuno moves and starts to live in a small apartment building named the Hidamari Apartments located near the school. Once there, she starts making new friends like her classmate Miyako and the second year students, Hiro and Sae. Surrounded by good friends, Yuno starts moving towards her dream of being an artist.

Sapphire_pyro says:
I have never seen a Hidamari Sketch episode and the premise didn't appeal to me much either. Maybe I'll try an episode one day, but I highly doubt I'll get hooked to this. I think this series is for those who like moe . . . and I'm not really the type.

xtine06 says:
Familiar with the title, but I haven't watched the other previous episodes. Maybe someday? But not now :)

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3
Akane Motomiya and her friends Tenma and Shimon are pulled by a demon into another world, where Akane becomes the Priestess of the Dragon God. The people of this world tell her that she is the only one who can stop the demons from taking over; meanwhile, the demons want to use her power for their own ends. Luckily, Akane has the Hachiyou, eight men with powers of their own who are sworn to protect the Dragon Priestess.

Sapphire_pyro says:
I have never heard of this and it's already on its third season? o_O Ah well, the bishies may be pretty, but I sense it as a Fushigi Yuugi wannabe and I think it's reverse harem. That sucks.

xtine06 says:
You know me guys, the bishies are LOVE. I wonder if I can watch it without watching the OVA and the movie??! But I am so interested with the cute guys so if ever I found a way to catch up this Christmas break, then I will definitely watch this one.

Hiroshi moves into Jogamachi, a serene village with a river that divides the old and new, where ancient traditions still remain. Bewildered, he settles in and befriends his classmates, but Nemuru Kushinada's only words are a warning to stay away from the old part of town. There, terror and mystery awaits.

xtine06 says:
The plot got me interested. What is the terror and mystery all about???! I will check this one out.

Omamori Himari
Yuto Amakawa is an ordinary 16-year-old high schooll boy protected by Himari, a beautiful, sword-wielding cat girl spirit. He is descended from a family known for subjugating demons. With his protective charm no impotent, Himari appears before him as his new guardian.

Sapphire_pyro says:
I am very sick of ecchi animanga with a loser leading guy with a childhood friend that wakes him up every morning and has a one-sided crush on him, and his leading lady is a supernatural being that protects him. Why are they too the same??? Uuuuggghh . . . at least the ecchi here is are not unbelievable "accidents". She was REALLY flirting with him and wants him to do . . .. things. In other words, it's staright to the point. No teasing and other crap. This would've been pretty interesting if it weren't for the cliches (there's also the usual stupid beach episode!!!!) . . . pass!

xtine06 says: tired of such plots after Wagaya no Oinari-sama. I'm gonna pass plots such as these for a while. Maybe after a while, I'm gonna consider watching plots similar to this again.

Ladies vs. Butlers
Akiharu Hino looks like a juvenile delinquent, but he enrolls into an academy that was once a school for upper-class ladies. Placed in the school's new servant training department, where students are raised to be butlers, Akihira finds himself stuck in the middle of its bickering cliques.

Sapphire_pyro says:
I see more ladies than butlers. And I think there's ecchi fanservice. Not interested.

xtine06 says:
I like the plot but I am afraid of the ecchi and fanservice blahs so I will pass this.

Nayu shocks her schoolmates on the first day of middle school by wearing black lace panties. She aims to spread the word on the merits of underwear and help other girls concerned with their development - by opening an underwear club.

Sapphire_pyro says:
It's faservice for perverts or those with underwear fetish. I can't believe the leading girl, on how idiotic she could be for not thinking that people could mistake her for being a pervert after groping a classmate's breasts and also investigating them inside an unlocked classroom. The hell . . . the story's too stupid for me that I couldn't read more of the manga.

xtine06 says:
OMG. What's the plot the revolves around panties? What a very weird plot. I really find it weird that a story is made to revolve around panties.
My verdict? I WONT WATCH this.

Weiss Survive R
The story follows the main characters Takeshi and Michi as they get lost in the Card Battle world to have to win card battles to return home. A new character will debut in the project with designs by Takuya Fujima.

Sapphire_pyro says:
I thought this was just some shounen show involving cards . . . but now I see pictures with perverted fanservice??? Why are kiddie shows being so perverted in this era? This might make "rape" or "prostitution" no longer a crime. I'm beginning to fear the future.

xtine06 says:
Eee....I tried watching this and I can't stand it. I can't believe it even continued to its second season.

Kaito Reinya
Reinya, wears a signboard for the Faminya convenience store near a police station by day. By night, she is a whimsical thief chased by bumbling police offices, led by the handsome Keiji-san and the cool Keibu-san. Joining Reinya on her escapades is her trusty assistant, the mouse Chutaro.

Sapphire_pyro says:
Eeeerrr . . . . Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne wannabe? The art is prettier in Kaitou Jeanne . . . and the story seems more interesting . . . maybe too shoujo but at least less kiddie. I won't bother myself with this one.

xtine06 says:
This one has a kiddie sense. So I won't be bothering myself with this one.

Heartcatch Precure
Love Momozono visits a show of famous dance unit "Trinity" and becomes a dancer, too. However, Labyrinth Kingdom subordinates wish to collect the audience's unhappiness. Love gets the power to change into Cure Peach and he is joined by her good friends Cure Berry and Cure Pine to fight them.

Sapphire_pyro says:
I have never watched a Precure episode so there's no way I can relate to this one. And I don't think I would plan to watch one at all, because there are already so many seasons and episodes. That will be too troublesome for me to marathon =_=

xtine06 says:
I watched the first season and I wanted to see this one out of curiosity.

Axis Powers Hetalia - Episode 49

It's actually a Kiku (Japan) episode about Japanese modernization with Alfred (America) and Francis (France) as the western influence representatives. But it felt more like an Alfred episode because his ending theme got featured!

And it was a huge surprise for me that his moment with his twin brother Matther (Canada) had been included in this episode! I'm so happy! YAY!


Matthew: Say, Kumajirou-san. Do you know why I never get noticed?
Kumajirou: Who?
Matthew: Matthew. You know, the guy who feeds you.

Poor darling. He's the one taking good care of his pet YET it still doesn't recognize him. It no doubt made him more frustrated . . . .
but his dear pet is also the one who cheers him up and provides him some bright ideas:

Kumajirou: You are Matthew. Find something to show you are Matthew.
Kumajirou's gestures had been so cute~
Matthew: That's it! So if my face isn't memorable, I'll jsut emphasize with something else!
I see the enthusiasm and liveliness in your face . . . . but your voice doesn't really match to it. Hahahaha! I really wonder how you manage to sound THAT SOFT dear Matthew

Anyway, he took his dear pet's advice and shows up to his brother:

Matthew: And that's why I painted this maple leaf on my forehead here!
THE AHOGE'S MOVING!!!!!!! Hahaha *suddenly got amused on moving ahoges because of Bakemonogatari*
Alfred: Oh, a maple leaf, huh?
Matthew: With this, I won't get confused for you any-

BAM! Alfred placed something on Matthew's forehead.

Matthew: Huh? Did something just happen?
Alfred: You just got awesome is all.

EVIL TWIN BROTHER!!!!!!!!!! *hugs both of them*

Hmm . . . their eyes look a little different on the parts with the twins. Well, it's also like that in the webmanga but . . . I didn't expect the anime to follow the webmanga version even in that style. Ehehe.

Alright, for the main part:

That's Kiku in Meiji milkman costume~ It's always so awesome when Hetalia characters wear their country's clothes~
Anyway, the main reference of this episode is during the Meiji era, when Japan is opening its doors to other countries. From what I've read and remembered, America had the most influences, so I don't get what France is doing there. But he's perfect for those jokes though. Haha!

Before it all began, Kiku had been a hikikomori for many many years!

I love how Hetalia presented that aspect of Japan. It's sooooo cute~

And I was laughing so hard on the part when the other guy told Kiku that Francis had brought a cute kitty~

He only opened the door on that. But he still doesn't want to go out, but he wants the kitty in. Hahahahahaha!

But anyway, Kiku's study on the new culture still continued.


Anyway, Kiku studies Francis' actions by imitating him:

Kiku's not able to imitate Francis perfectly but he does it soooo cutely~ I LOVE THE KISS PART!!!! KIKU!!!! YOU DID GREAT TOO!!!! FRANCIS JUST HAD THE ROSES WHILE YOURS HAS THE PINK HEARTS! BOTH ARE SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Francis eventually noticed what he was doing though . . .

Francis: Boy, Francis-niisan is soooo cool~ He brings tears to me eyes~
Kiku: Boy, Francis-niisan is sooooo c- Ah!
I also do something like that to the person who loves to imitate my actions (she does that to annoy the hell out of me). I believe my blogmates xtine06 and ninjovee know who I'm referring to.

And oh, during that era, the ESP thing had been pretty popular (I have encountered Japanese stories/manga/novels with that stuff if the setting is around that time.)

Kiku was encouraged to join the trend. Some have been real, most have been fake. Kiku apparently seems to be a real clairvoyant:

Cartoonists have such horrible times in the past and even until now, huh? Himaruya-san, did you just draw your nightmare in that part of the strip? Haha!

The episode ended with the promise that it's Alfred's turn next time.

Why do they look so gorgeous in those scenes . . . . *melts*

Okay, since the airing of the next episode is on January 8 (I dunno if it's mobile or web), then episode 50 will be delayed for a week? Oh the wait sucks . . .

~ Translations are based on scanlations. Credit goes to original scanlators.

Review: The Thirteenth Tale

The word "thirteen" in a title often grabs my attention. There's a popular superstition of it being an unlucky number, and I love going against superstition.

Anyway, what got me more attracted to this is the pile of books in the cover. It hints that it will involve about the love for books. Now who else will understand that more other than an actual book lover? Hehe.

I read the plot at the back, and it promised me an interesting story with good gothic mystery. I've heard that it's a good book so I didn't think twice on buying it when I first saw it.

I only had time to read it during the holidays. I had been busy in visiting relatives and going to tourist spots during those days. But on times when I was just lazing around, I read this novel. To my surprise, I've managed to finish it earlier than I had planned. It was really good!

The Thirteenth Tale
by Diane Setterfield
Vida Winter, the most famous novelist in England and quite possibly the world, has never been forthcoming when it comes to her past. Her entire life is a secret, and for fifty years reporters and biographers have attempted to discover the truth. With her health quickly fading, Ms. Winter enlists a bookish amateur biographer named Margaret Lea to bear witness to the tragic story of the Angelfield family, their eccentric beginnings as well as their demise. Margaret, who has family secrets of her own, must unravel the mysteries of the past in order to reconcile not only Miss Winter with her ghosts, but also Margaret with her own.
==== What I Liked:
  • There had been several stories in just one novel. I love how they have been put together. You don't only get to read the stories of the actual characters, but even portions of those the novelist character has written or made up.
  • I'm happy that we also get to know what happens on the minor characters. Some may not have such a huge role in the main plot, but it still feels like there's something missing if what happened to them afterwards hadn't been mentioned. It will suck if they just come and go.
  • I like the twists in this story. I like it when things I don't expect happen (fine, some were expected, but most honestly weren't). I also really love it when a novel makes me confused and lost for a while because of some things that don't make sense but will later things will be so crystal clear. I love mystery but I don't like it when most parts will remain a mystery until the end.
  • I really like the narration style and the switch in points of view. They are in-character (how they narrated events had been different. There is also development or changes in narration style even if it's by the same character); and you get a different perspective of certain events but they're not exactly repetitive (but if it had been, that only shows confirmation that the first narration was accurate because of the risk of it being a lie).
  • I like the idea on what "ghost" the story had been referring to. You don't always have to take it so literally.
==== What I Did Not Like:
  • Though I did love the narration style, the part of the giant recalling what was narrated to him seems to unnatural. I mean, to be able to recall all those words in such detail and style? Like he's impersonating the original narrator? That's just too awkward . . .
  • I think most of the main cast have mental problems. I know these problems are inheritable, but I don't think there's a problem in having some main characters that aren't delusional, right?
  • I understand the love for books in this novel but I don't think it has to go to such extremes. *sigh* I don't want book lovers to follow such an example and have delusions like those.
==== Fangurling:
  • I love the cast but I find it difficult to pick a favorite character. I don't hate a particular character either (but hhhmm . . . Margaret's becoming a close candidate. I want her to get over it already.)
  • I don't have a favorite pairing but I'm fond of the Charlie and Isabelle relationship. The obsession is pretty creepy, but that's what got me so intrigued~ Fortunately, the incest here appears to be one-sided, so I wasn't disturbed. Hehe.
  • The part with Ambrose and the writer had been pretty romantic . . . but for their short romance to break just like that. It got me pretty frustrated.
  • I think this novel had shown different types of sibling/cousin love in their extremes. The "extreme" part got me a little disturbed, but I adore sibling love and can sympathize with them since I have a sibling myself~
==== Comparing to Other Books:
I can't compare it to the books it's using as basis (specifically the likes of Jane Eyre, Woman in White, etc.). Apparently, they're even the favorite novels of the main characters (I would choose the Sherlock Holmes novel over their favorites anytime though, unlike what the main character did). I don't like the implication of those classics being the best because they're the favorites of our book loving characters.

Anyway, back to what I'm trying to say: I can't compare this novel to those popular classics because I haven't really read those in the first place (I only have an idea of the overall events thanks to book reports done by my schoolmates).

Except for Wuthering Heights, because it has been the one assigned to me. Hhhmm . . . okay, between the two novels (WH and TTT) . . . I can't say which is better but I like the story in Wuthering Heights more. The Thirteenth Tale may be more complex but Wuthering Heights was just more charming to me. Hehe.

==== Overall Thoughts:
This has been an enchanting yet eerie novel. For some reason its words had some magic that draws me in and makes me keep on reading. It had managed to give me some chills too, because I had troubles in reading it alone in a room at night, hehe.

Of course it's not without flaws, but overall it has been beautifully presented that it had been easy for me to ignore most of them. This book had me so thrilled~

This may not be one of my top favorite books, but I do love it very much and consider it as one of the greatest novels I've ever read~ I'm definitely checking out the author's next novel once it's out~

==== Verdict:
Rating: A- (OH MY GOD! Amazing, fantastic, oh really wonderful!)
Favoritism: 3 out of 5 Hearts ---> LIKE

Akagami no Shirayukihime - Chapter 14


My OTP . . . in color . . . looking so lovely . . . I love this chapter cover~ and the chapter itself is just as WOW!

Three days after the incident, it was time for Zen to go to the island and deal with the negotiations.
During those days, Shirayuki has been acting differently, and Zen's friendly trio, Kiki, Mitsuhide, and Obi, have of course noticed that. Haha! They know something happened . . . and Zen's responsible . . . but they couldn't figure out why.
Obi assumes that it should've started after the couple have been alone together. He remembers that Shirayuki's hand had been so hot when he gave her a ride home.

On the island, Mitsuhide speaks to the village chief about the deal. They will promise protection in exchange of using the birds for the Clarines army. The chief agrees, on the condition that he will accept an apology from the viscount and also 10 million dales. Zen says he could try getting that apology (I doubt he needs to try though. He pwned that viscount so much) but he doubts that the money will really resolve things. The chief realizes that the awesome prince had seen through his bluff and apologizes for what he said. With that, negotiation's over.

Later that day, Zen went out for a walk. Mitsuhide joined him. He asks Zen if something happened between him and Shirayuki, and Zen confesses that he kissed her. Zen also mentioned about Shirayuki's reaction and his feelings for her. Mitsuhide wanted to add something, but he changes the topic saying that he obeys Zen not because he's the prince.

Back in the castle, Shirayuki has been doing more work than she's supposed to, wanting to distract herself probably. Ryuu suggests to her to write her problems on paper. This made Shirayuki take a break finally for she has worried Ryuu.
Outside, she asks Obi if he could bring her to the forest. Obi agrees but when he has been tempted to take her hand, Zen calls them. At the sound of Zen's voice, it made Shirayuki hide behind Obi.
I assume that Obi has sensed that Shirayuki simply can't face Zen at the moment. She helps her go away (the incident seemed exagerrated and comical at the same time). Zen wonders what the hell Obi said to Shirayuki, but Obi just told him the truth (that he really didn't do anything and Zen had been such a loser for making her like that for days, LOLz). I think Obi wants Zen to deal with his problem with Shirayuki already, and he sure got what he wanted: Zen chased after Shirayuki in the forest.

The game didn't last long (thank goodness Zen had said those magic words to make her stop. Wasting pages with just him running after her would honestly suck). When Shirayuki had stopped, Zen asked her to take a walk with him.
He updates her about the birds, also tells her that he used to hang out in that place. He finds it peaceful when no one's around that place, and being alone with Shirayuki in that same place makes him happy as well.

This made Shirayuki finally tell Zen what she truly feels about him. She loves him but she doesn't know if she could hope to continue seeing him in that way.
Yeah, she's one of those leading girls who was late in realizing that she loves the leading guy. At least she admits it and doesn't avoid him for no reason. Also, she doesn't bring up the "we can't be together because of our status and this and that" crap. She's just lonely if they can't be together like that anymore. Aaaaww . . .
Anyway, it turns out that Zen is actually hoping for the same thing. He's sorry that he might not be able to protect her or give as much to her in return, but he wants to be with her. He asks to give him strength and for her to take his hand.
I love Zen for actually apologizing his weaknesses. Most princes in shoujo manga will just say that he'll protect her no matter what. But things don't always go smoothly!!! And I also love it that Zen admits that the protection and strength won't be one-sided, but mutual! They need each other's help! Not one depending on the other and will just make up for the pretty face. Shirayuki's more than that!
Anyway she did take his hand, and Zen finally found the partner he's been searching for since long ago. I find it so cute that Zen's the one who's looking for his soulmate. I dunno . . . I find it more common for the ladies to wish for something like that. OH ZEN YOU LOVER BOY!!!!!!!!

Chapter ends with a kiss~
Not a cliffhanger but I'm once again DYING to see what's going to happen next~

Okay, it's now time to make fun of Zen and co. for my favorite parts:


So cute~

Very handsome~

Damn you heartrob~

KYAAAAAAAA~ *faints*


These three should have a group name or something xD All three are freakin' loyal to Zen and are the ones who notice if there's something wrong between the two. Hahahahaha!


Zen doesn't only have a loyal trio, but it appears that he has fanboys as well!!!
Yes, I'm just teasing.


I guess from that scene it's much more obvious that Obi has feelings for Shirayuki as well (She's such an awesome woman I can't blame him!).
Fortunately, he loves Zen just as much (not in a romantic sense of course, oh you BL freaks. Haha!)
Since he loves them both, of course he also ships them. Haha. The thing he did for these two to do some action already made me go LOLz:

It was so amusing. As if Zen's gonna bite or something. Oh Obi, I love you~

I just realized (or remembered at least), that Mitsuhide doesn't call Zen with the "prince" title. He does that only with Zen, Kiki, Obi, and Shirayuki I guess. I just really like it that he treats Zen as an equal . . . . and even has the guts to tease Zen~ I love you, Mitsuhide~

Zen hasn't changed. He's still freakin' obvious. Mitsuhide easily saw through him. Haha!

I laughed so hard when Mitsuhide thinks that Zen might've just dreamed it all! Wahahahaha! (He had been right that Zen dreams of such though, hahaha xD). I'm so amused on the fact that Mitsuhide think that Zen just had some hallucination. Wahahahha!

It was also so hilarious that he thought the same on Shirayuki's reaction xD Hahahahahhaa!!!!

Aaaaaaaaawwww . . . Mitsuhide patting Zen's hair like that and putting his shoulder around xD Oh Zen is really glompable xD
As expected, Zen complains about Mitsuhide being heavy. He's tsundere on Mitsuhide xD Wahahahahaha!!!

And OMG, Zen talks about his love life wishes to Mitsuhide as well:

Aaaawww . . . . Zen having this feeling that an ideal partner will come to him. Daaaawww . . .
Wait, he said "too", right? Is he referring to Mitsuhide and Kiki??? About having found the one he's destined with? Ah, maybe he's just saying something general. But I really hope that it was the case (Mitsuhide x Kiki also act so canon!!! xD)

I find it so romantic when the guy kneels before his girl. Him putting his sword infront is also very knightly. Kyaaaa~

"Shirayuki, My royal title is probably not something that can protect you. And I don't know if I can return as much as you give to me. But still, I want to be with you."


"I want to be beside you. For that, I will protect our mutual desire. It may sound strange, but for this reason, I want to borrow your power. Because without a doubt, you give me strength. So, won't you please take this hand?"

Saying that he wants to protect but he needs her help. Saying that she gives him strength. Pleading her to take his hand.

Oh Shirayuki, I know he doesn't need to kneel before you for you to do that~

Oh my god . . .Zen is so happy that he can finally hug and kiss her anytime as much as he want. He's like about to cry tears of joy. HE'S THAT HAPPY!!!! He finally found THE ONE. The person who he will need a lot. Aaaaaaaaawwww~ I find it so adorable that this lover boy believes in souldmates stuff~
And Shirayuki's smile is just so lovely~ Aaaaaaaawwwwwwww~

But well, with their social status, some trials and problems are to be expected. I trust that these two can face those, but I'm still worried of what they might face.
Oh I'm sooooooooooooooooooooo excited to see the later chapters xD Kyaaaaaaa~