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Dagger

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Everything posted by Dagger

  1. My mom, my little sister, and I all chipped in to get my Dad the latest iPhone. (He sure loves his toys and gadgets, so it was an easy choice.) We actually gave it to him a few weeks ago, and he's been gleefully playing with it ever since. I got my mom the CD audiobook of Haruki Murakami's [url="http://www.amazon.com/1Q84-Haruki-Murakami/dp/0307593312/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324783469&sr=8-1"]1Q84[/url] for her to listen to during her long commutes. It's one of my favorite books of all time, and massive to boot. It was published in three fat hardcover volumes in Japan, so it should last her a while.
  2. Dagger

    Anime Fall 2011 Anime Season

    I'm watching more than I expected this season, at least for now. Yay. [b]Hunter x Hunter[/b] puts a big goofy grin on my face with every episode. Honestly, it doesn't even really matter what happens in the story. The characters are a breath of fresh air (and yet delightfully familiar at the same time, thanks to the 1999 series). I don't know how to account for my reaction except to say that it's just so much [i]fun[/i]. [b]Un-Go[/b] makes me smile, too. What can I say? I love detective stories. The actual mysteries haven't been anything mind-blowing at this point, but they do the job well enough, and the character interaction is so enjoyable to watch. [b]Guilty Crown[/b] makes me angry. What a waste of lovely animation. I'm actually baffled by the sloppiness and lack of imagination in the writing and story department. It almost seems like you couldn't come up with such an absurd pastiche of plot shortcuts and cliches without actively trying. Yet the series seems to be taking itself 100% seriously, which is perhaps its gravest sin. Too bad. I'll watch it just for the visual fireworks, but the moment it starts looking as shoddy as its script, I'm outta here. Haven't seen the second episode of the [b]Last Exile[/b] sequel yet, but I was super pleased with how they've [spoiler]brought back Dio,[/spoiler] who is still one of my all-time favorite side characters. I was listening to the Kaleido Star soundtrack the other day, and it inspired me to check out [b]Chihayafuru[/b]. Only after I started it did I realize how much I've been craving a series like this. And it's so darn pretty, too. Also trying to keep up with [b]Tamayura[/b], although it's easy to let episodes of a show like this pile up unwatched, since it doesn't have the sense of urgency that you'd get from something heavily plot-driven.
  3. Dagger

    Anime Fall 2011 Anime Season

    I'm so busy with work and school right now, but I'm definitely going to make time for [b]Hunter x Hunter[/b]. It's the first anime in a while that airs at a reasonable hour and that I'm actually interested in watching live, as it were--not that my TV is anything to write home about, haha. The first episode got my hopes up and brought a lot of good memories back.
  4. Dagger

    Anime What are You Watching/Reading Now?

    [quote name='Sangome' timestamp='1310548928' post='708362'] [color="#9932CC"][font="Microsoft Sans Serif"] On a much happier note, I got caught up with [b]Tiger & Bunny[/b] the other day. Man, I love this show to death. I'm not huge on shounen, but this is just a great show. It's restored my faith in a lot of modern anime, which says something, since I've had a hard time getting into a lot of it in recent years.[/font][/color] [/quote] Wow, maybe I should check this out. It kind of flew under my radar, but I've seen so many people saying good things about it. I'm watching more anime this season than I have in a long time, so it's a great new crop of shows as far as I'm concerned! And for the first time in my life, a visual novel I love to death ([b]Steins;Gate[/b]) has finally, [i]finally[/i] gotten a non-excruciatingly painful anime adaptation. It's quite good, actually, and seems to have been well received in both the Japanese and English-speaking fandoms. It's like Chaos;Head and Togainu no Chi were sacrificial victims offered up to ensure that at least this one title wouldn't get eviscerated in the transition from game to animation. Well, I don't know what kind of voodoo the producers had to perform to make sure Steins;Gate would be spared the Nitro+ anime curse, but I could practically cry from happiness that the TV series doesn't suck. Yet.
  5. Dagger

    Anime What are You Watching/Reading Now?

    I recently had the incredible good fortune to see the new Makoto Shinkai movie ([b]Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo[/b], aka Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below) in theaters. No need for me to wax eloquent about the visuals--they're ravishing, obviously. When the trailer first popped up online, I wasn't sure how I felt about the Ghibli-style character designs, but I think they were actually just right for this film. Many elements of Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo come across as an homage to various Miyazaki movies, and yet the atmosphere and the plot and the way in which those elements are used ended up being unlike any Miyazaki movie I've seen. Despite the epic scale, the story is fundamentally and utterly rooted in the characters' emotions... I'm struggling to capture my reaction in words, and this is purely a personal response, but it frankly felt richer and deeper and more perfectly whole to me than any of the Ghibli films to which it invites comparison. I was sure I could see where it was going at the beginning, but many developments came as a pleasant surprise to me. I really look forward to seeing it again in the future. I can imagine myself watching this many, many times.
  6. Dagger

    Anime Howl's Moving Castle

    I think I made a thread about this sometime last year, but that was more of a general Miyazaki/Ghibli discussion, so I figured it would be better to start fresh. Anyway, the English Howl's Moving Castle trailer can be found [url=http://aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=19966][u]here[/u][/url]. Suffice it to say that this movie is pretty much guaranteed to become my favorite Miyazaki film--I've been in love with the book for years, and I can't imagine such a good director screwing up one of the most charming stories I've ever read. On that note, I really encourage people to go buy the book (it's by the British author Diana Wynne Jones); I'd be awfully depressed if the movie's June theatrical debut did nothing to boost sales. It's a delightful, romantic, charming piece of work--and incredibly funny, to boot. I hope some of Ms. Jones' sly comedy has been carried over into the film. Thus far I've seen nothing to keep me from having absolute confidence in the movie's creators. For one thing, the character artwork is [i]perfect[/i]. Miyazaki isn't known for filling his movies with bishounen, but Howl's design is excellent--almost exactly what I had first imagined when reading the book. So he gets major points for making Howl appropriately attractive. Sophie looks great as well--which is unsurprising, given how often eccentric old women have appeared in earlier Miyazaki films. And of course the animation in general is going to be ravishing. So who else is looking forward to Howl's Moving Castle? For me, at least, June can't come soon enough. ~Dagger~
  7. Dagger

    TV Game of Thrones

    I read the first novel many years ago, because a few friends heartily recommended it to me. I don't have an inherent aversion to gritty fantasy, and I'm all for morally ambiguous (or outright cruel and conniving) characters, but there was one character I actually liked in the entire cast. (The young girl--I've forgotten her name.) I found every other major player reprehensible. Maybe it'd be more fun to watch them sabotage and manipulate each other in TV series form. I dunno, did anyone else have that kind of reaction?
  8. Dagger

    Anime What are You Watching/Reading Now?

    I loved Texhnolyze, but I don't know if I could bring myself to watch it again (even though I probably should--I think a lot about it would sink in much better on a second viewing, at least for me). It might be the most relentlessly--and effectively--bleak anime I've ever seen... The most recent thing I watched was the first episode of C. The CG usage reminded me of Gankutsuou, and the character who came to tempt the protagonist (I forgot both of their names already, haha) obviously stole the show. Really high expectations for this one.
  9. Dagger

    Japan.

    I was walking down the street today, and a pair of nice-looking Korean ladies said they were students and wanted to ask me a question for a survey. I didn't have to go anywhere in a rush, so I told them sure. Next thing I knew, they were preaching about how the earthquake is some kind of Biblical sign of the end times. It was much easier to extricate myself than it would've been in the U.S., but the whole encounter was pretty startling. While there are always people who interpret tragedies like that in the States, I never imagined I'd encounter the same sort of stuff in Japan.
  10. Dagger

    Japan.

    I feel so fortunate to be in Kumamoto, which has been relatively unaffected by the disaster. The scale of this thing is absolutely staggering.
  11. Dagger

    Anime What are You Watching/Reading Now?

    [quote name='Sangome' timestamp='1298621439' post='705243'] [color="#9932CC"][font="Microsoft Sans Serif"][b]Chrono Crusade[/b] started airing on Syfy this past Tuesday, which I am going to be watching, as I've wanted to see it for years. Too early to really judge, but I've reached a bit of a problem with Rosette -- character-wise, I already love her to death...but her English voice is the first one in a long time that I really just do not like -- and I am the furthest thing from a sub snob. I'm sure it'll get better as the series wears on, since it was just the first two episodes, but...augh. The fact that she was prone to screaming a lot did NOT help.[/font][/color] [/quote] I had the exact same problem when I first started watching this. I [i]think[/i] I did end up seeing the whole thing dubbed, but I can't quite remember. I'll admit that I'm the kind of person who totally lets an irritating voice (in either Japanese or English) ruin my impression of a character, so I actually really disliked Rosette for at least the first half of the series. I ended up enjoying the second half and the ending a lot more than the beginning, though, for whatever it's worth--and my unfair dislike of her went away eventually. The spastic comedy just did not do anything for me, especially in the opening episodes. I have a few movies and OVAs I need to watch, but right now I'm sloooowly working my way through [b]Tamayura[/b].
  12. Dagger

    Anime What are You Watching/Reading Now?

    I recently rewatched all of [b]Soukyuu no Fafner[/b] and then saw the movie, which was glorious--truly a dream come true. I never imagined they'd create a proper theatrical sequel to a midlist mecha series... six full years after it first aired, to boot. I mean, in what world does that happen? I have no idea who made the Faustian bargain that was no doubt required to produce [url="http://fafner.jp/h-and-e/"]the film[/url], but I'm grateful for it. It picks up pretty much right where the TV series and OVA left off, elevating minor characters while giving the main cast their due. The animation is spectacular, the music is epic, and the storyline is appropriately confusing but makes just enough sense to hold everything together. Can't wait to get it on Blu-ray. As for TV series, lately I've been watching [b]Hourou Musuko[/b] (the most singularly perfect anime I've seen in ages) and [b]Madoka Magica[/b] (very creative and laden with the potential to become something mind-blowing). Dropped [b]Gosick[/b] and decided to keep reading the novels instead. Whereas Hourou Musuko takes advantage of its animation, soundtrack, etc. to become--if anything--more emotionally evocative than the manga source material, Gosick uses those elements as a crutch to compensate for the fact that its actual storyline has been greatly simplified. It's still kind of interesting to see how they're adapting it, but I'd rather finish getting through the novels first than risk getting spoiled by the anime. Hoping to see more of [b]Level E[/b] soon, too.
  13. Ever since it was first released in North America (sometime last spring), ROD has been one of my favorite anime titles. For those of you who don't know, Read or Die is a three-episode OAV that revolves around bizarre superpowers, secret agents, and a couple of surprisingly powerful rare manuscripts. Although it's fairly violent and features quite a bit of fan service, ROD is no more inappropriate than, say, a Bond film. And despite its oddities--for example, the main character is a bookworm who fights solely by using her ability to manipulate paper--the OAV has a lighthearted, almost cute atmosphere that makes it instantly loveable. Read or Die also has the most innovative and interesting action sequences that I've ever seen. It doesn't hurt that its animation is very smooth, slick, and modern-looking; when it was first created, ROD was (and may still be) the most expensive OAV ever made. This shows in everything from its detailed backgrounds to its sheer originality. So if you've had the chance to watch this and feel like discussing it... well, you know what to do. ^_^ ~Dagger~
  14. Dagger

    Anime Totally Unrelated Titles

    [quote name='Lilt' date='28 October 2010 - 12:23 PM' timestamp='1288286615' post='701361'] This might not be an unrelated title, but so far I still have no clue on this one. [b]Durarara!![/b] - One of my favorite series of all time but I'm not even sure how to pronounce this one, so I usually call it "DRR!!" as I've seen it written sometimes. I originally thought I had figured out the titles connection to one or two characters, but both of my guesses are spelled differently. [/quote] The Japanese sound written as "ra" here can also be transliterated as "la." So change it to "Dulalala" or even "Dullalala"... and you can pretty much see what the author was going for.
  15. Dagger

    Anime New Subforum Follow-Up

    I've closed the [url="http://www.otakuboards.com/index.php?/topic/43941-vote-for-a-new-anime-forum-round-2/"]Vote for a New Anime Forum (Round 2)[/url] poll. One Piece and Bleach got roughly the same amount of votes, which put them way ahead of the other candidates. But there are still a couple of issues I'd love to have your input on. [list] [*][b]Should subforums continue to be anime-only, leaving the related manga thread(s) in Manga Alley?[/b] [/list] This is how we've managed the FMA forum--all FMA anime discussions go there, but the FMA manga topic is in Manga Alley. The downside of this, of course, is that it separates closely related topics according to their media. On the other hand, if we change our policy to allow relevant manga topics in an anime subforum, it could take a lot of activity away from Manga Alley. [list] [*][b]Should each anime subforum cover a single anime or groups of anime?[/b] [/list] Do you think Bleach or One Piece can sustain a subforum? One possible alternative is making a forum for all Shounen Jump-related anime, although this might tread a bit too close to the idea of doing subforums by genre, with we previously discussed and rejected as being too vague. Any other relevant suggestions are welcome, including those not covered by my questions. Also, the choices aren't necessarily limited to just One Piece or Bleach, but they're both reasonable candidates for the time being.
  16. Dagger

    What to visit in Tokyo/Kyoto?

    Well... I dunno what qualifies as "secret," but perhaps the most purely otaku thing you could do would be to attend Comic City Tokyo, which will take place on January 23. (Comic City Osaka is on January 9, but it sounds like that's before your arrival.) It's a Comiket-esque (located at the same venue and all that) doujin convention. Going by memory, there isn't any major corporate participation like at Comiket, but there's a really cool area where people sell a huge variety of original artwork in various forms--postcards, prints, folders, stationary, etc.--as well as handmade goods and accessories. I would almost say it's worth attending for that and the overall experience alone, even if you're not that into doujinshi. I'm at a loss for what to recommend in Kyoto; I mean, I guess you could stalk Kyoto Animation and Nintendo? ^^;; If you have a favorite anime or manga or game that takes place in/around Tokyo or Kyoto, it would be fun to go visit the real-life versions of places featured in it (which is what I did in Venice for Aria, haha). Of course, that might not be applicable to any of your favorites.
  17. Dagger

    What to visit in Tokyo/Kyoto?

    I lived in Kyoto for a year, and I've been to Tokyo several times, so I can give you a lot of suggestions... but I guess it depends on what you're interested in. Do you like Japanese food? (Beyond standard fare like sushi and tempura, I mean.) Are you interested in historic/cultural/scenic destinations, or just stuff related to modern pop culture? How much time do you plan to spend in each city? Feel free to throw questions at me/us, too. The more I know about your preferences, the easier it'll be to help you out. All that aside, though, you're going to have an absolutely amazing time. Both Tokyo and Kyoto are too awesome for words, and there's just so much to do.
  18. Dagger

    Anime Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

    So I dig the style and all, but is this actually entertaining? The shock value doesn't sound that spectacular or anything, and potty humor only works if it's... well, funny. I'd love to know what you guys think (just a tad too lazy to start watching it without any input, haha).
  19. Dagger

    Anime Favorite Fights

    Man, I'll have to think about this before I can offer more of a reply, but the following scene from Jubei-chan 2 immediately came to mind. [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZWLpxTfnB8[/media] "The uninterrupted best sword fight in anime history" is hyperbole. Given the fact that this comes from a midlist TV series that aired in 2004, though, it's pretty darn impressive. Love how the style is carried to such an extreme. Also worth noting that it was directed by the guy best known for Fruits Basket. At first it seems like you're not seeing much... then you realize just how much you [i]do[/i] see in some parts, and it's amazing. Much better on a nice big TV, of course.
  20. Dagger

    Anime Ultimate Anime Showdown

    I bet you guys have already seen this classic Trigun/Bebop crossover AMV, but just in case, here it is! "Spike comes to collect the sixty billion double dollar bounty on Vash's head and comedy ensues"--yep, that describes the scenario perfectly. [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9e_WIoJJnI[/media]
  21. Dagger

    Anime Gunslinger Girl

    Gunslinger Girl is a thirteen-episode series that just finished airing in Japan. Created by the studio Madhouse, which is renowned for its slick and innovative action sequences, GSG revolves around the lives of five seemingly innocent young girls.... who are in actuality trained killers. This set-up may sound somewhat familiar; when I first read a synopsis of the show, I figured that it would be similar to Noir. Having never seen very much of Noir, I'm unable to compare the two series, but I like to think that GSG is fairly original--both in terms of content and execution. After experiencing all sorts of tragedies, the girls are taken in by a social welfare organization that replaces their battered, disabled bodies with mechanical limbs. While they look like ordinary children, they are far stronger, tougher, and faster. The organization (which, as you may imagine, has priorities other than "social welfare") conditions them to forget their past suffering and become professional assassins. Although certain parts of GSG may be disturbing, it's gorgeously animated and deadly serious--if you're a fan of comedy, do yourself a favor and try to avoid this series. It unfolds at a rather sedate, deliberate pace, but never seems overly slow (unlike, say, .hack//SIGN). The opening theme is heartbreakingly beautiful, and, interestingly enough, sung entirely in English. Meanwhile, GSG's ED has Italian lyrics and is clearly inspired by operatic arias. Despite the fact that I haven't finished watching Gunslinger Girl, I think it could easily become a classic. At the very least, it's already a fan favorite--and that's got to count for [i]something[/i], right? I'd love to know what you think about this show. ^_^ ~Dagger~
  22. Dagger

    Anime New Subforum Follow-Up

    All right, here's a plan.... - Combine the anime and manga forums. - Merge the FMA subforum back into the general anime/manga forum. - Add the Convention Center as a subforum. - Add a Shounen Jump forum (not subforum). This means we will still have two forums listed under the Anime & Manga category, so it doesn't really change anything visually for the moment. If necessary, we can make the Convention Center a forum (rather than a subforum) later, once we work out what we're doing with it. We can start off by moving the Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece anime and manga threads into the SJ forum and deal with other series as they come up (Psyren, for example, is also SJ). Let's just include ongoing stuff, since there's plenty of that, and it would be quite a hassle to hunt down all the threads for past Shounen Jump anime, etc. And yes, I'd say it's time to deep-six the thread directory. Let me know if you have any other concerns.
  23. Dagger

    Anime Gundam 00

    [url=http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=8190][u]The latest Gundam TV series[/u][/url]. Direction by Seiji Mizushima (FMA); series composition by Yousuke Kuroda (Gungrave); character designs by Yun Kouga (Loveless); music by Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell); opening theme by L'Arc-en-Ciel; main character voiced by Mamoru Miyano (Light in Death Note). Even if this show were totally awful in every other regard, I'd watch it just to see Kouga's artwork. I'm weak like that. But the staff (both animation and vocal) is awesome, and 00 shows a lot of promise. The first episode doesn't do much besides show off super-shiny mecha battles, so I'm looking forward to finding out what comes next. ~Dagger~
  24. Dagger

    Speaky de Foreign Speak?

    I majored in Japanese, so hopefully I'm somewhat decent at it by now. Passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 1 in 2008, which sometimes sounds impressive, but it happened to be perfectly tailored to my main strength (reading comprehension). I've just about given up on writing kanji by hand... I can barely remember any, and it's just way too easy to type them into a computer or cell phone. I read more Japanese novels than English novels nowadays, because I can't blow through them quite as fast, which makes it feel like I'm getting more reading time for my money, haha. Recently finished 1Q84 Book 3 by Haruki Murakami. Unfortunately I only seem to be capable of retaining one foreign language in my head at a time. Japanese has by now thoroughly overwritten my four years of studying French. ETA: I'd like to learn Korean someday. Ideally, knowing Japanese will help facilitate that somewhat....
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