‘Lo everyone, it’s been a while ^_^. My computer is all fixed and lovely, so I thought I would get up out of my bed of laze and do something imaginative for once…

So I wrote a short fic about one of my favourite alternative pairings, Evangeline and Chachamaru from Negima. Its pretty short, so it probably borders on relationship crack (short storyline-less fragments of story about relationships) rather than an actual fiction.

Since people seem to object to me posting “Not Safe for Work” material on my main page, I have placed the fiction on a separate page which you should be able to see in the sidebar to the right…

If you can’t, then the link is here.

Please leave some comments, good or bad ^_^. I might well extend it to a few more parts if I can be bothered and am struck by a few more particles of inspiration. Also working on a script for my take on a Strawberry Panic H-Game, though I think that may not see the light of day O_o.

Tell me what you think people. (If enough of you have stuck with my site through the many days of non-posting, that is…)

Arg…Me explode.

July 22, 2006

Turned the computer on today and the power supply exploded. Until I can get the problem sorted, Yuri to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito will probably not be updated quite as frequently >_<

Sorry for the inconvenience minna-san.


Now everyonewho reads here will know that I have an extremely bad taste in anime (c.f. 10 anime I am ashamed to have watched), for instance, I have watched all the episodes and specials of Love Hina O_o). Usually, though, when I start to watch a series, I tend to stick to the end. I mean, I watched all 26 episodes of NGE for crying out loud. I also braved all 52 episodes of Full Moon wo Sagashite and all of the awful third series of Cardcaptor Sakura. However, midway through watching some anime, I sometimes get so bored with it moving through plot points that I give up, or I felt that they were just so mediocre that I forgot that I was even watching them and forgot to watch the end.

For extremely bad series such as UG: Ultimate Girls, this perhaps is an acceptable, nay common practise. However, for me this also tends to overflow into the domain of what is considered “classic anime” and it raises a few eyebrows.

Have your flamewars at the ready for a list that would cause instant ostracisation from any respectable anime society in the land…O_o

Cowboy Bebop – Episodes watched – 22

| Because Faye is hot
This is probably the big one. For some reason, I never really got into Cowboy Bebop and I found myself watching them just out of curiosity about why it was branded as such a classic anime. Somewhere around episode 22 I forgot I was watching it and I never touched the series again >_<. Although the characters were engaging, I found the story rather slow, disjointed and episodic rather than the long running arcs that I am used to following, and so I often got lost as to what was actually happening in the series. I think there are some people shouting “BLASPHEMY!!!” over there, so I must run…….

Air – Episodes watched – 6

I went through this already here. Although I braved the entire series of Kanon which I thought was rather mediocre itself, I was only able to stomach 6 episodes, although I have been reliably informed that things actually happen in the latter half of the series.

I believe Air was suffering from what I will call “Sunrise syndrome” that so afflicted Mai HiME and Mai Otome. If you spend the first half of the series introducing the characters andfluffing around and put all the exciting stuff in the last half, then you will lose some of your audience before the exciting stuff starts. Also, it gets harder to pack all the necessary story into the latter half and things start getting left out. However, in contrast, the fluff episodes in Air were dull, which is what put me off the series.

Sailor Moon S – Episodes watched – 1

Actually, this should probably go on my “Anime I can’t watch without tearing my eyes out” list. I got introduced to Sailor Moon S as a classic (and possibly the first) yuri anime. However, after one episode, it was clear that I would not be able to stand the stereotypical “monster comes, fight it, end of episode” style that so plagues mahou shoujo anime of that era. Also, I was not keen on the art style and so gave up, which is a shame, because I wanted to see Uranus and Neptune get it on. Oh well.

Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu no koto – Episodes Watched – 4

This used to be a “dinner anime” for me and the other half (to watch while eating dinner, of course), but was quickly replaced by Speed Grapher. I think we both agree that it’s trying too hard and has ended up cute but dull.

Shoujo Kakumei Utena – Episodes watched – 1/2

This one is kinda similar to Sailor Moon S – Since it was a classic yuri anime, I was trying to watch it and…actually, thinking about it, I got interrupted in the first episode and then never picked it up after that, so it might still be good. However, it is very long, so I’ll have to wait till there is a lull in “good” current season anime to watch it ^_^

FLCL – Episodes watched – 3

Even though FLCL is only 6 episodes long, I have failed to finish it -_-. Although some would also consider this blasphemy, I have to make it clear first that I despise Gainax. Although they make acclaimed animes, they almost always spoil them by “Going Gainax”, i.e. ending with some artsy bullshit that’s so confusing that you wonder whether you’re satisfied or not. Well, I’ll tell you the answer: You aren’t. Nothing got resolved! Ever! The only really notable exception to this rule is probably Mahoromatic which sort of had a proper ending with Gainaxy edges.

FLCL is pretty much the embodiment of Gainax endings in an OAV, and I just got so unbelievably confused that I couldn’t really be bothered to watch the end. End of Story.

Samurai Champloo – Episodes watched – 5

Actually, since I left Samurai Champloo, I have wanted to go back and finish it, but there’s always been better fluffy anime to watch at the same time, so I’ve never really bothered. The best way of describing the series is “Cowboy Bebop, with katana”, so I guess I’m afraid that it’ll turn out the same way. Might well get back round to watching though…

Ghost in the Shell – Stand Alone Complex – Episodes Watched – 1

To the chagrin of Adam, a friend of my girlfriend, who is heavily into Ghost in the Shell, I’m not really that keen on the series. I can’t really place exactly why I can’t get interested in it. Maybe I just need encouragement from commenters swearing that the series is awesome. Come on people!

Any mecha series ever – Episodes watched – 0

Cause mecha sucks.

PS. Actually, that’s a lie. I did watch all of Kannazuki no Miko and NGE.

| No fapping on company time!

According to Metro newspaper this morning:

Channel 4 is expected to show coverage from Britan’s first marathon masturbation event, which is expected to take place in Central London next month and involve many hundreds of exhibitionists.

A 60 minute documentary eititled W***athon will then be screened in the autumn. Channel 4’s Andrew MacKenzie said “Masturbation is something many people do, but is not something people talk about. This is exactly what we should be showing in our 11pm time slot”. Scotland Yard commented that it would be unlikely to intervene, as “Obscenity laws are always open to interpretation”.

The event is the brainchil of the San Fransisco Centre for Sex and Culture, which has held many of these events for safe sex in the US. Prizes will be awarded for number and length of orgasms, though inviligators have not disclosed how they would be spotting fakers ^_^.

Britain, stepping into a bright new era of…err…something sticky.


| Is guro really that hot? The Japanese think so!

I was reading the paper on the way to work today, and it came to my attention that the paedo-politicians in the Netherlands that Lolitron blogged about a few months ago have not been overruled by the courts, and they have been allowed to run as a political party. Luckily for the Dutch children, they only have three members and one is unlikely to gain support, as he is a convicted child molester. However, it got me thinking about something that had been bugging me for a while now about the content of anime (both in the non-adult and adult industries) as opposed to say, the American adult film industry.

For instance, in the Toppest 10 hentai anime review in Oniichan no ecchi a while back, the top few contain at least violent rape and bondage, with some scattered tentacles, enemas, scat and guro thrown in for good measure (c.f. Bible Black O_o)

| Is loli twincest really that hot? THE INTARWEB THINKS SO!

Also, even in mainstream anime, even though I blog about it in a rather blase fashion, lolicon and yuri are rife without anyone really so much as batting an eyelid (Well, except Mimei Sakamoto, anyway O_o). But on mainstream Japanese TV, full though it is with dubious JDramas and rivetting quiz shows, these themes are completely and mysteriously absent.

In British TV, for example, any shows with lesbian or gay relationships are to be celebrated as a great step forward in television history (unless they really are very bad, c.f. Queer as Folk), with the currently running Sugar Rush (Channel 4), and the BBC Production of “Tipping the velvet” as prime examples. But in no way is this mainstream.

In the Western adult industry, although lesbian themes are relatively mainstream, any fetishes to do with bodily fluids such as scat are considered very niche, and violent rape and guro are more or less underground.

I guess the main point of this short editorial is a question: Are the Japanese really that perverted that they need these things so close to the public eye? I sure as hell don’t want to see scat in any porn I watch, and guro? Who watches that kind of thing? *shudders*

| Is crab bestiality really th….oh you get the idea -_-

My theory is that in contrast to their inoffensive, vanilla-flavoured pre watershed TV, everything post-watershed and on DVD is shifted up in acceptability terms by a notch. What I mean by this is that general nudity (fanservice) and lesbian (yuri) themes become commonplace, whereas violence and extreme sexual practises become borderline acceptable.

Of course, the fact that it ISN’T REAL helps a lot ^_^

Basically, I can see that a lot of anime (especially the shows that I like) seems to be comparable to what gets shown on Channel 5 post watershed (Digikerot might know what I mean by that). And beneath the polite honourable shell of Japanese men and women is a sexual deviant clamouring to get out.

And I haven’t even started talking about the incest O_o

I know I’m slightly late on the uptake for SHnY wrapup posts, but I had to get home and access to the rest of the episodes ^_^.

I thought that to really do the series justice, I would trawl through all 14 episodes and post 14 screenshots, one from each episode that encompass the essence of the greatness of the series. And so I did. It was difficult, I can tell you…I am still undecided on some episodes with more than one particularly awesome scene, but I think these 14 pictures sum up the series pretty well.

In summary, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu is a mould-breaking series, and extremely refreshing to watch, even with the flamers on 4chan spamming “ZOMG HARUHI SUCKS LOL”. Every episode might not have been awesomely great, but as a series, it worked on a level that not many shows have reached (I’m convinced that even the great Neon Genesis Evangelion had quite a few “filler” episodes (And that’s not even counting the arse-worthy last 5 ^_^;;).

KyoAni should be proud at the huge attention to detail that they went to to make this series the way it is. If it came out on DVD this side, I would definitely buy it. Anyway. Here’s the summary, and hoping for a second season!!

Episode 1 (Episode 11.5 – Asahina Mikuru no Bouken Episode 00)

Awesome “pull” episode (to pull in potential watchers). We are unwittingly subjected to spoilers for the entire series and Itsuki’s terrible acting and lengthy nonsensical explanations O_o. MIKURU BEAM!!! just about won over the shot when Shamisen started talking and Yuki hit him on the head with her wand.

Episode 2 (Episode 1 – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya I)

Haruhi’s hair is probably one of the awesome points of this episode, especially because they purposefully go for the “copypasta different hair on the same head animation technique”. This episode is also the first one we see the “Hare Hare Yukai” dance. ED sequences will never be the same again. Thanks to SOS-dan for providing girlfriend with the dance steps O_O.

Episode 3 (Episode 2 – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya II)

Severe lack of good screenshots in this episode, although I loved this line. Also, I think, conclusive evidence that Mikuru is NOT Kyon’s sister. Mikuru abuse by the Computer Society President was also a high point, especially Haruhi’s axe kick. Awesome.

Episode 4 (Episode 7 – The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya)

Tsuruya shows up again, but fails to get a screenshot ^_^. I promise I will get her one by the end of the review! More spoilers get shown, and clever people will have noticed that Yuki is now minus her glasses. Yuki’s “only catching the balls that are heading directly at her” shot is only just edged out by the whole 30 second shot of Haruhi randomly dancing on third base. Priceless.

Episode 5 (Episode 3 – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya III)

EXPOSITION EPISODE! Loads of awesomeness in this episode. Haruhi gets called “God” by Itsuki, much to Kyon’s chagrin, and Yuki finds her love for libraries. But how can those compete when Mikuru says “Kinsoku Jikou desu~” and winks. No wonder Haruhi spends most of her time at SOS-Dan costume (and normal) raping Mikuru O_O.

Episode 6 (Episode 9 – Remote Island Syndrome Part 1)

Yay, the essential beach episode! Asidesfrom the OMG DEAD at the end, nothing can compete with Yuki reading while waterskiing. Yuki just gets more and more awesome each episode ^_^;;

Episode 7 (Episode 8 – Mysterious Sign)

Random filler episode with FIGHTAGE! Apart from Yuki’s Lambda driver impression and Itsuki’s Full Metal Panic! references (SECONDO RAIDO!), You just can’t beat “Scarab healed your wounds!”. I was expecting a little green number to pop out of the cave cricket after that. Priceless.

Episode 8 (Episode 10 – Remote Island Syndrome Part 2)

How many people worked this out from the beginning? I can honestly say that I was pretty suspicious when Arakawa said that they had only been working for a week, but I didn’t guess the whole thing O_o. And for the fans – Haruhi does a Phoenix Wright impression and wins all.

Episode 9 (Episode 14 – Someday in the Rain)

Controversial but awesome episode. Top of the picks were Yuki covering Mikuru’s dignity with her head and her books and Haruhi offering Kyon to share an umbrella at the end. But top of the list is when Tsuruya spins by Kyon at the lockers and delicately places a handkerchief on his head. (See, I told you she would show up sometime ^_^) Arigatousu!

Episode 10 (Episode 4 – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya IV)

Obvioucly the highlight of this episode is the Yuki fight, and everyone’s seen the screenshot of her blocking the knife while Kyon looks on in surprise. But for me, the most awesome part is when a speared Yuki pulls out one of the metal poles, and throws it down; and before it touches the ground, it transmutes into a desk. Attention to detail, my friends. Also, dare I mention adult Mikuru’s cleavage shot?

Episode 11 (Episode 13 – Day of Sagittarius)

LOL at this entire episode, especially the 8 bit MIDI soundtrack. Unfortunately, I have to do yet another screenshot of Yuki being awesome, though it was a toss up between the shot of her waving the mouse in the air or her pounding away on the keyboard like a madwoman. So in the end I went for this. Permission Y/N?

Episode 12 (Episode 12 – Live a Live)

O_O How can I even begin to select a scene from this episode. Second in line was definitely Tsuruya’s “Doesn’t this look megas good on me? Nyoro”, but beaten hands down by when Haruhi starts singing “LOST MY MUSIC”. In the first verse she winks, and 48 men in the audience have to be taken to hospital for nose related blood loss.

Episode 13 (Episode 5 – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya V)

Another Exposition episode with less screenshot opportunity, though Loli Haruhi was obviously a high point. In the end, I went with the scene when haruhi expounds the entire reason for life and the world being the way it is, and for once, Kyon is speechless as the train whistles by in the background. Artsy.

Episode 14 (Episode 6 – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya VI)

The buildup…the final episode!!! And Kyon saves the world! This line has to be the best line ever said to save the world in any televised series ever. “Ponytails turn me on” indeed ^_^;;

And that concludes the SOS – Super Overview Slideshow!

I hope you have all enjoyed it and been outraged at all the scenes that I missed out, but don’t worry, hopefully I’ll do another wrapup like this for another series and you can beat me down with flames that time as well…

Until then

Mata ne-su!

Another short post today until I go home and start working on my Haruhi wrapup.

I’m sure people have noticed that in recent years, there has been a trend toward single season series (13 episodes) rather than series spanning two seasons (26 episodes). Discounting Shounen series such as Yakitate!! Japan and Prince of Tennis, which go on for ever (or until the audience become so mind-numbingly bored that they stop watching), there has been a huge decline in the number of full length shows, especially in the popular category.

Of the recent seasons, I can only think of the Mai-Hime/Otome series, Speed Grapher, Higurashi, Black Cat and Shakugan no Shana that have lasted the full 24-26 episodes. However, other hugely popular series have been assigned 12-14 episode seasons, such as Ichigo Mashimaro, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’s, Rozen Maiden, Full Metal Panic: TSR, Paradise Kiss and even the great Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu.

Meanwhile, to complicate things, some really just bad, or just inexplicable series get 26 episode seasons. For example, (though I myself am not complaining) both Strawberry Panic! and Simoun are going to run for the full 26 episodes, even though I would count these shows as “niche”. Canvas 2 ran for 24 episodes, and I wouldn’t even have acknowledged its existence, if it weren’t for timely purchase of Megami magazine. And to top it all off (though probably completely irrelevant), Demashitaa! Powerpuff Girls Z is going to run for 52 episodes.

I definitely won’t be watching ^_^. However, I do approve of this. In fact, the art here is arguably better than thenew show itself. I would watch it if the art quality were this good. And the plotlines also.

Anyway, getting back to the point, I was wondering what exactly decides whether a series is going to run 13 or 26 episodes, whether it was merchandising potential, or just plain time slots on networks. For example, are SP! and Simoun just going on networks that have ample time slots to show them and therefore can run the full length, while Haruhi cannot?

Also, is it just because more anime are produced per season that the number of 13 episode shows is increasing?

I for one would like to see more anime shifted to earlier on in the evening that isn’t Pokemon Advanced or Duel masters or some form of battle kids show. Surely there is enough money in anime for TV companies in Japan to put it on at some time other than 0200 in the morning? Or do they really make more money out of rubbish JDramas and Quiz shows? If there were more time slots for anime I’m sure the number of episodes per season would rise.

And though I do enjoy watching compact 13 episode seasons, I think this would benefit some anime greatly (though the only one that comes immediately to mind is “Midori no Hibi“)

So, 26 episodes or 13? What’s the general opinion?