Belated Anime Valentines

Yes… it is past Valentines Day. But yesterday was White Day in Japan! March 14th which is in relation to Valentines so I still thought I might share. These were some anime edits with sayings I came up with as Valentine Cards I made a few years ago to hand out to my anime club. They still amuse me and I like them. I hope you enjoy them too!


This would be me… but of course I would be the one with the book.


I gave this to a guy friend just to be amusing… it was very funny.

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Ponyo Wallpaper & Review

As excited as I was about Miyazaki’s latest movie when it was first announced, I let it conjure in the back of my mind only vaguely knowing it had a goldfish like character adorable though it was. Anything by Miyazaki already has a pedestal in my book. No theaters by me was showing it for the US release sadly. By the time I got impatient enough to find a download of it online I was already pre-ordering the double-disk DVD on Amazon.

The more I learned and saw of Ponyo online the more eager I was to finally see this movie. A movie by Miyazaki inspired by Han Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid? That’s a win win situation! This wallpaper was on my desktop at work for months and I still like to use it on occasion. So after much waiting I received it on it’s release date and have since watched it twice, once with family and once with friends and now I can officially spaz over Ponyo.

This movie is beautiful and adorable! You cannot watch Ponyo and “not” feel happy in the eyes of these five year old characters and this charming port town and the magic of the sea. I found it odd that I heard people commented over the over-simple animation of Ponyo but I find it everything but in the effect. The animation of the ocean is stunning and the lack of detail of lighting and depth helps show the stunning creatures of the ocean that it all feels alive. I will quote from this article as I love how the movie is described though I do not agree with everything he says.

“The beginning of the film is inspired – utterly silent for nearly 30 minutes as the wonder of a lush undersea paradise unfolds before the viewer. Here especially but elsewhere in the film as well the warm and fuzzy feeling of hand-drawn animation is demonstrated to the fullest, and the screen looks like a living, breathing storybook. From clouds of jellyfish to monstrous fish forms to miniature character fish in dresses that look like 1920s Disney characters with black eyes and squeak like Mickey Mouse, the classic Western “The Little Mermaid” animation simply pales by visual comparison.”

I think I will cry when there are no more new Miyazaki movies, but I cherish each one and Ponyo is no different. The world’s he creates make me long to jump into them and live there. I love that Ponyo was traditionally created. I don’t think it’s an art form that should ever die and no 3d or action-packed movie can ever take its place. Some have complained that Ponyo is too simple of a story. In the behind the scenes, Miyazaki himself says he wanted to make a movie the five-year-olds stemming up around him could watch and enjoy that wasn’t Totoro. I think he did transcend audience groups and created a movie a five year old to a 85 year old could watch. Many of us are children at heart and I think this movie caters to that. Forget life, sit down and enjoy the experience!

Toradora and Why We Watch End Credits!

I finally got around to finish Toradora since the friend I had started with ended up watching the rest without me. It was a very cute series! As I think someone else said, it has the feel of a light novel. I adored both Taiga and Ryuji’s characters and think they’re really why I enjoyed the series so much.

Back to the title topic. Now my friend said she hated the ending (and she LOVED this series). Knowing our romantic ideals for our anime is similar, it made me dread the ending of this series a little. Finally I got through it and had that mushy contented feeling at the end and a suspicion why my friend hated it.

She stopped watching it when the credits started!

Almost whenever I go with my friends to the movies, I found they end up staying till the credits are over. It’s hit or miss, but sometimes there’s a little extra clip that everybody else missed out on. Anime I watch the endings by default since it gives me a little feeling of closure and well I usually enjoy the ending songs. I recall that I was dying when the credits started rolling for Fushigi Yuugi after a 3 day marathon of it with friends. I probably would have started rolling around and whining in frustration if it wasn’t from the shock that it couldn’t end like that and I couldn’t look away from the credits. It’s amazing what satisfaction an extra minute or two of video during or after the credits can provide.

In a similar but much worse scenario. Make sure you watched the very last episode of the series! I went through a marathon over night watching Hana Yori Dango with a few girls. I fell asleep first since I can never seem to stay awake and had seen it at least twice before. One of the girls who didn’t normally watch anime got REALLY into the series and because she had to leave for work in the morning, she took the series downstairs to finish it. When I woke up before she left, she glared and told me she hated it, that the ending was horrible! It wasn’t until months later that my friend discovered this girl never watched the very last episode! Hopefully this is a harder mistake to accomplish.

SO this is just a friendly reminder from me to you. Rarely but occasionally, if it feels like there should be something more–sometimes there is! Do yourself a favor and let the end credits play. 🙂

Anime Watching Habits

Ah so many anime to watch… and so little time. According to My Anime List I have 25 series currently watching, 31 series on hold, some series on my plan to watch, and 62 completed… Insert sweatdrop?

I honestly don’t know how to focus on only a few anime. My moods change or I start watching a series at the beginning and then wait for it to be completed or at least let a few episodes to pile up. Often I’m trying to watch different series with friends and end up rewatching favorite series rather than finishing others. I enjoy watching anime more when watching it with someone else, which adds to the complication of finishing series.

I don’t have enough time to just sit down and marathon-through series like I would be all too happy to… and if I did there’s still other activities I enjoy too. Thus the anime gets narrowed to what I’m in the mood for, have time for, or watch with a friend. Which ends up being very sporadic indeed…

I’ve found MyAnimeList.net to be a lifesaver to help me keep track of series and which episodes I left off on. No matter if you watch 3 or 30 different anime at a time, it’s a great anime encyclopedia and helps you keep track of anime you’re currently watching, finished watching, on hold, or plan on watching. It’s also a great source for reviews of every anime that’s out there.

So discussion time.

How many anime is too many–at once?
Bouncing between series vs. focusing on a few at time

Do you watch series as the episodes are released?
Or wait for lots of episodes to devour at once…

Do you drop or prioritize the series you’re watching?
Do you finish a series even if it looses your interest?

Will you watch your anime alone or with someone?

Halloween Anime Style: Top Ten Picks

Shinigamis, Zombies, and Witches, Oh My! Err yeah, it’s occurred to me there are a lot of great series out there very fitting to watch around Halloween time. In the past I’ve hosted an anime club and still have friends over and it’s been in our habit to celebrate Halloween anime style! So following are some of my top recommendations. Feel free to suggest your own 🙂

SOUL EATER Number #1 Pick: What better Anime to watch around Halloween? Crazy style, great animation, and characters in an inventive world of shinigamis, death sythes, witches, demons and more. One of the best anime I’ve seen in a long time, if you haven’t had a chance to check it out now is the perfect season for it (though granted, it’s a good series all year round). The characters alone such as as Soul Eater, Death Scythe, Shinigami-san, Death the Kid, Blaire the Magical Cat, Franken Stein, and Medusa is enough to warrant this series befitting for Halloween. Fun and awesome series, this is one you might even show to non-anime friends.

ANN Summary: Set in the Shinigami technical school for weapon meisters, the series revolves around 3 groups of each a weapon meister and a human weapon. Trying to make the latter a “Death Scythe” and thus fit for use by the Shinigami, they must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and 1 witch. Soul Eater is an anime that centers around meisters and their weapons and their mission to collect 99 evil souls and 1 witch soul. Upon doing that the meister’s weapons will become a Death scythe, which is the highest title for a weapon. Maka, Soul Eater, Black Star, Tsubaki, Death the Kid, and Patty and Liz Thompson are the characters Soul Eater revolves around. Besides taking the time to gather souls these students of Shibusen defend Death City from some of the most powerful of creatures while still attending school and trying to become stronger.

D.Gray-man Number #2 Pick: Exorcists, Akuma, and the Earl and his Black Order is enough to put this series on my Halloween list. Or forget Halloween–this is a series you should watch any way. I also will highly recommend the manga version though the anime is complete at just over 100 episodes. Great plot, great characters, dark and quirky feel splattered with humor and angst.

ANN Summary: Allen Walker, a young man with a cursed eye, lives to destroy a weapon known as Akuma. These weapons created by the Millennium Earl are sent out by his command to purge the world from humans. Allen Walker uses an anti-akuma weapon, Innocence, to counter the Earl’s attempts at destroying humanity. He travels to the Black Order by his mentor’s directions. There he meets with others who also fight against the Milleneum Earl’s plans. But more questions start to appear as Allen and his friends move further along to reach their goal. And these questions that seem to connect to Allen’s past.

Zombie Loan Number #3 Pick: Short and complete series perfect for Halloween. Come on, isn’t the title itself a give away? Very cool anime that’s also a very fun to watch.

ANN Summary: Michiru Kita is a special girl who possesses Shinigami Eyes, which allows her to see a dark ring around a person’s neck. This ring symbolizes the person’s impending death; once they are marked to die, a gray line, which is invisible to normal people, appears on their neck, and once the ring turns completely black, the person dies. Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana, two boys in her class, both have black rings around their necks, but to her surprise, they are not yet dead. It is revealed that after a tragic accident that was supposed to kill them both, the two boys made a deal with a secret loan office called the Zombie-Loan. In return for keeping them alive, the two have to hunt zombies for the loan office. When Michiru gets involved with them, she finds that her life has just become more complicated.

Jigoku Shoujo (Hell Girl) Number #4 Pick: Creepy anime with a concept that truly makes you think, what would you do? When is revenge worth your soul? This anime is for the most part episodic, with the main characters changing and the main constant being Emma Ai… the mysterious dark girl who appears if you make a request for revenge at midnight on the website, Hell Correspondence. The choice is yours to make, and the price is your soul after you die. Every circumstance is different and a few twists and many more questions arise.

Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) Number #5 Pick: What can I say? Awesome series from what I’ve seen so far. Ciel Phantomhive (the boy who I consider to be the anime impersonation of Artemis Fowl) has acquired a demon to be his butler. Dark and humorous with plenty of fan service for girls and action for guys.

Summary: In Victorian-era Europe, a young boy loses everything he once held near and dear to a vicious plot. In his moment of death, he strikes a deal with a demon: his soul, in exchange for revenge. Ciel Phantomhive is now the head of the Phantomhive corporation, handling all business affairs as well as the underground work for the Queen of England. His new partner is a demon butler, Sebastian Michaelis, whose powers as a butler is only surpassed by his strength as a demon.

Vampire Knight Number #6 Pick: For the shoujo at heart, who wouldn’t want Bishie vampires for Halloween?

ANN Summary: Cross Academy is different from other schools. It has a Day Class and a Night Class, with different uniforms and no interaction between these two classes. Secretly, students of the Night Class are all vampires, led by Kuran Kaname, a noble vampire who 10 years prior saved Cross Yuki from the attack of a stray vampire. Now a Guardian of the Night Class vampires, Yuki works along with fellow classmate Kiriyuu Zero, a young man with a hatred for vampires deeper than anything she could imagine. Together, they protect Kaname and the Night Class vampires from having their identities revealed, as well as protect Day Class students from any vampire attacks that occur due to a vampire’s natural thirst for blood. Based on the manga by Hino Matsuri.

Wallflower Number #7 Pick: Sunako’s character alone fits with Halloween–imagine the girl from the ring. Forced from her rich aunt to become the “project” of a gang of pretty boys to turn her into a lady in lieu of rent, Sunako is different than your normal shoujo protagonist. Horror loving, creepy, she’s terrified of light melting her and would much rather hide in the dark and play with her skeletons. Sometimes homical, from chibi to kick-ass, Sunako balances out the sparkly bishonen to make this a very funny anime.

Tweeny Witches Number #8 Pick: I’ll be the first to agree this series doesn’t have an amazing plot (I don’t know if it even has an interesting one), but the visuals are a treat for the eyes. I love the quirky dark witches and feel of this series, trust me it’s not as cute as it title sounds. Flying contraptions and brooms out of a mind I would expect from Miyazaki, this is an interesting world of witches worth checking out around Halloween.

Sugar Sugar Rune Number #9 Pick: I admit I adore this series. If you find the anime too candy sweet, however, try the manga – no magical transformations, cute fillers, and a great plot that moves much more quickly not to mention very cool art style. I bought the entire 8 books and don’t regret it for a minute. Despite the very cute premise there’s actually a very interesting plot, nice romance, and inventive magical world with its rules and politics.

Summary: Two little witches in training, Chocola (Shocola) and Vanilla (Vaniya), arrive in the human world to compete over who’s to be the next queen of the magic world. They have one important rule in mind: “Hearts are to be picked up, but never let anyone get yours!” While humans can produce hearts over and over again, based on different emotions, witches only have one – and losing it can mean death. Now, the witch who can manage to pick up the most hearts from human boys will win! But will they manage to stay friends while at the same time being rivals? As it turns out, not all witches and warlocks are friendly and the bad ones have been outcasted to the human world.. Trouble begins to brew as Pierre, a cold and mysterious boy, begins to win Chocolat’s heart and starts to use both her and Vanilla to his own use.

Bakemonogatari #10 Pick: Perhaps this one can be placed higher on the list, but it’s a last minute addition as I have only seen two episodes thus far. First impression? Stunning animation and presentation. I would only recommend for a slightly older audience. Back story is so far interesting but I’m still early into the series and quite bedazzled by the look of it. Check it out and let me know what you think!

ANN Summary: Although there are still traces of the brief period he became a vampire, third year high school student Koyomi Araragi is human again. He happens upon others with their own supernatural problems and finds that he can empathize. Koyomi becomes involved in their lives, seeking to help them and occasionally asking for advice from Meme Oshino, the homeless man who helped him become human again.

Other Suggestions: Death Note and Bleach (you know, assuming someone actually hasn’t seen either… ) Pandora’s Hearts, Hellsing, Blood the Last Vampire, xxxHolic, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Fairy Tail Anime!

Ever since I began reading this awesome manga I knew it could follow in the footsteps of great series like One Piece and Naruto and now… the long awaited anime is out! I just finished watching the first two episodes last night and will probably end up re-watching them with friends. So far they’ve lived up to all of my hopes. Here is a brief summary of Fairy Tail:

“Lucy is a 17-year-old girl, who wants to be a full-fledged mage. One day when visiting Harujion Town, she meets Natsu, a young man who gets sick easily by any type of transportation. But Natsu isnt just any ordinary kid, he’s a member of one of the world’s most infamous mage guilds: Fairy Tail.”

Here is the opening song!

Just imagine what the One Piece world would have been life if instead of an era of pirates, it was an era of mages. The world runs on every day magic, charms sold in stores, and any decent mage a member of guild of varying respectability. Fairy Tail is among the most notorious of these guilds–filled with powerful (but sometimes trouble-some) mages. Full of life and good humor and intentions, it’s easy to love this guild and it’s members.

While easy to compare to One Piece, it stands solidly on its own. Very memorable and easy to love characters, it’s full of humor, action, drama, magic, and heart. While I find Natsu’s expressions as endearing as Luffy’s, I think his personality’s a bit cooler (at least when he’s not suffering motion sickness which is just funny). I adore Natus’ rival, Gray, and find is unconscious habit of stripping a constant source of amusement… Even more amusing is when these two fight. I suppose fire and ice just were never meant to get along. 🙂

From what I remember, the first two episodes are following the manga very closely. Nothing to gripe about. Characters translated well and are fun to see come to life. I’m really enjoying the color pallet and animation.

If you’ve put off reading the manga, now’s a great time to start watching the anime! So what are you waiting for?

Watch Anime Music Videos

Anime music videos, or rather AMVs, to me are the spice of life to an already entertaining hobby. Throughout the years they’ve broadened my taste in both anime and music, and one of the funnest things to share with a friend or one of the easiest ways to get someone interested in an anime. I wonder how many people got interested in the anime “Princess Tutu” just because of this awesome AMV that portrays how good it actually can be?

Or Mushi-shi, a little known but gem among anime.

Or just make someone laugh.

Okay, enough spamming the post with AMVS. Trust me, I have over 30 GB of downloaded AMVs on my computer and have enough favorites to occupy hours of one’s life. Perhaps I’ll post some favorites from time to time, and yes I have made some of them in the past (shameless plug). So what is my point? To watch AMVs? Most anime fans are aware of Anime Music Videos already, at least they are impossible to avoid at most anime cons.

My gripe is watching them on Youtube. Yes they’re easy to find (plus convenient for blogs) and the quality HAS improved with their implementation of high quality videos. BUT I must encourage fans to look into AnimeMusicVideos.org – the ultimate AMV website. Nearly every AMV ever made is listed in its database by its creator, and 95% of them can be downloaded.

Reasons to sign up (yes you need to be a member to download and watch AMVS, but it’s free and takes seconds so no excuses).

  • The Ultimate AMV Community
  • Advanced search [search by title, music, anime, genre, keywords and more]
  • Want to create your own AMVS? They have the best resources and tutorials by the experts.
  • Find top quality videos! Browse popularity, top videos in any category and time span, as well as star ratings.
  • The user-made banners on top – because they’re hilarious or cool looking and change on every page. Yes this is less important but I still love them..
  • AMVs are uploaded by the one who created it! Unlike most cases on youtube, you’re not commenting to a stranger who uploaded a favorite video. You’re feedback goes directly to the source. Doesn’t that make you feel good inside?
  • Input and cool information about the AMV. See exactly what anime were used, which song and by what artist, any awards won, as well as detailed comments by the one who made it. What was their inspiration, is there any kind of back story? Sometimes they post the lyrics as well.
  • Opinions and Ratings – Give a detailed opinion, rate the AMV based on originality, video/audio quality, action synch, effects, lip synching, and more! Too lazy? Immediate after download or watching, you can give a star rating and a quick comment.
  • Preview and watch online! No excuse now. They recently made it so nearly all their AMVs can be previewed (or streamed live) by all its members.  Actually, this one new feature I discovered the other day is what spawned this post to begin with.