June 06, 2007

One year later

It's hard to believe, but it's a year ago yesterday that Gregory left us.

Gregory, I still think of you often. Many of us do. I know you would've liked some of the recent anime shows, like Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, and Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. I remember how we used to yell "AAAAA" at each other online when Noir or Gunslinger Girls took a particularly nasty twist; I think we could've done the same with Ergo Proxy. And considering your penchant for cuteness, I think you'd have liked Otogijuushi Akazukin.

Peace, Gregory.

Posted by elthar at 07:05 PM

November 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Gregory

Today would have been Gregory Blake's 38th birthday. Even now, nearly five months after his passing, I often think "Boy, I can't wait to talk to Greg about this," as I watch an anime episode.

I recently watched a series that I think Gregory would've enjoyed. Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl ~ is a high school romance with a twist; two girls are in love with the same guy, but the guy gets hit by an alien spacecraft (it is anime, after all) and the aliens rebuild him as a girl.

Although there are elements of the show I could have done without, namely the Annoying Teacher and Lecherous Father, they didn't distract from the real essence of the show, which is the interactions among the three girls as they learn more about each other and themselves. It was a tender little story, and I would have loved talking with Gregory about it.

So here's to you, Gregory, on your birthday!

Posted by elthar at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2006

Farewell, Gregory

It is with very deep sorrow that I announce the passing today of Gregory Blake, owner of this blog. He underwent surgery in Boston a couple of weeks ago, and the recovery was just too rough for him.

He was a great friend, and he will be truly missed.

I do not yet know what the future of this blog will be, but will post updates as appropriate.

Posted by elthar at 10:13 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2006

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

 Image Anime 3458

This has been a crazy season for new anime. There are so many new shows out there (as I mentioned in an earlier post). Now, after a few weeks, the real winners are starting to make themselves clear. Two in particular that stand out to me are Suzumiya Haruhi no Yutsu and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. I'll post more about Haruhi later, since I just got done watching and episode of Higurashi and it is more fresh in my head.

I'm only three episodes in (and about to watch a fourth) and this show has completely sucked me in. Keiichi has recently moved to a small town and started school. At this point the show was seeming a little silly, lots of typical school hi-jinx. After school Keiichi goes off with one of his school friends, Rena, and she shows him a junkyard where she goes to collect things. She runs off to explore and he waits for her. While waiting he runs into a photographer who tells him about a murder that took place right around there a few years ago.

The most striking thing about the show is how it shifts gears. One moment things seem all happy and cute, only to turn around and become quite dark and ominous. Keiichi begins to think someone is out to get him, and I've started to wonder who to trust in all this. Currently Keiichi looks like he's about to snap. I hope he gets some answers soon.

This show also ended up surprising me a lot. For the first fifteen minutes or so I wasn't that impressed. It felt kind of mindless and cutesy. Something which changed just enough by the end of the episode to pull me back to watch the second. And it is going to be a 26 episode series, which means we're still only barely scratching the surface of the story. Here's hoping the rest of the ride is as interesting as the first bit.

Posted by snooze at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2006

Rozen Maiden - Traumend

I'm making an effort to catch up on a number of shows that have finished airing but I haven't finished watching. On today's agenda was Rozen Maiden - Traumend, the sequel to Rozen Maiden. I enjoyed the first series quite a bit. It was fun, a bit serious, a bit silly, and overall a decent show. When I saw there was going to be a sequel I was hoping it would continue being good. I wasn't disappointed. The second season had a darker feel from the start, introducing a two new dolls. One of them another younger doll, and another doll who was all up for the Alice Game to start.

I wasn't in any great hurry for the game to start myself because I like watching the interaction between the characters. But time marches on and brings us closer and closer to the final confrontation. In the end it was handled fairly well, with a few twists and turns on the way. And somewhere in there we get just enough ammo for another season (hopefully?). Recommended if you liked the first season. If you haven't, go and watch that first.

Posted by snooze at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2006

New Anime

It's that time of year where there are lots of new shows starting up in Japan. Here's a quick rundown of my thoughts on a few of them.

  • Aria - The Natural - I know this isn't technically a new show, but the second season has started out quite nicely and by the second episode they've already done one of my favorite stories from the manga.

  • Simoun - After one episode I rate this interesting w/potential. So far we've just got the slightest introduction to the story. But the animation is quite nice. The music is wonderful (includes some Bach I've heard). Yuri content. I can't wait to see more story.

  • xxxHolic - One of my favorite CLAMP mangas finally gets its own series. So far I dig it, but will still wait to see how other characters are portrayed and stories are presented. Hopefully will be better than Reservoir Chronicle was

  • Disgaea - Based on a PS2 game of the same name. This looks to be a fairly kid-centric telling of the story. Art and Voices seem to match the game. I'll have to look and see if the voices are the same. Not sure if I'll keep watching for long, but seems decent enough

  • Strawberry Panic - Imagine Marimite, now suck out everything that was good about it. I always got a warm happy feeling when I watched it (well, except when it made me cry like a baby). This feels like an attempt to cash in on the popularity of it. There are high school girls, there is a yuri vibe, there is no heart. Next!

  • Air Gear - Feels like a typical shounen series. Though I found myself drawn into it quite a bit as I watched. Kids with motorized inline skates who compete against each other for status. A fun looking series. I'll keep checking it out for an episode or two more.

That's it for now. Next time up I'll talk about Ouran High School Host Club, NANA, KIBA, Zegapain, Soul Link, and Utawarerumono.

Posted by snooze at 10:25 PM | Comments (1)

January 16, 2006

Anime in the News

Yesterday, the New York Times had an article about some of the anime that is currently showing in the US. It's pretty good, though a little bit simplistic. The one thing I liked about it was that it was explaining a little of how these shows are different than the stereotype of what many people think anime is (Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh). The point where I feel the article falls a little flat is in its examples. While I enjoy Naruto, I think Fullmetal Alchemst might have been a better one to go into detail with. My guess is they were went with a show that was on at a watchable time.

It is nice to see some mainstream media coverage of anime that helps to show a bit of why I enjoy the method of storytelling so much.

Posted by snooze at 12:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 30, 2005

Initial Views: ARIA the Animation

Aria-1 Aria-2

ARIA is the story of Akari Mizunashi and her day to day life on Aqua as a Undine (gondolier). This is slice-of-life anime at its best. The series started out as a manga and has been translated into animated form beautifully. The stories tend to be fairly simple glimpses into Akari's life. Wether it is giving a free ride to a young girl and showing her what is special about Aqua or practicing her rowing with her friend Aika. You always find a relaxing bit of story. So far, one I'll be watching.

Posted by snooze at 03:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

October 24, 2005

Turner Classic Movies and Miyazaki

ICv2 has posted information about a marathon of Miyazaki films on TCM in January 2006.

ICv2 has learned that in January 2006, Turner Classic Movies, a prominent cable and satellite network, will run nine animated features by the great Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki.  Miyazaki's movies have received scant exposure on American TV so the showings on Turner Classic Movies should expose a wide audience to these masterworks.

A complete list of the films (and airdates) will be released next week, but ICv2 has learned that TCM will show such Miyazaki-directed classics as: Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, and Porco Rosso, as well as Whisper of the Heart, which was directed by Yoshifumi Kondou, though Miyazaki wrote the screenplay, drew the storyboards and produced the film. [ICv2]

I'm pretty psyched. I've wanted to see Whisper of the Heart for a while. I'm also hoping for Kiki's and The Castle of Cagliostro.

Posted by snooze at 10:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 22, 2005

Dear Geneon

Please learn the difference between you're and your. This is the second disc you've messed it up on.

Posted by snooze at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)