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[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]The ones at the end of Arlong Park, mostly. Of course, it's a your mileage may vary kind of thing, but I really think they nailed the emotion of Luffy trashing Nami's room with extreme prejudice.

Also, Vic Mignonga as Nezumi is just brilliant. Way to play against type, Edward Elric.[/FONT]
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The last couple of weeks, I've been rewatching "The Wallflower." I love that show. I don't really think I can explain the allure it has to me, though I want to make mom watch it because she keeps both

[COLOR="Navy"]I normally just watch what I've recorded which is mainly the shows from Cartoon Network. [b]Fullmetal Alchemist, Bleach, Naruto, Ghost in the Shell, Trinity Blood, IGPX, Cowboy Bebop, Sa

I swear, each month it feels like I lose more interest in anime. I mean I have all the series I want on dvd, and I'm pretty much at the point where I don't even care what's on tv (in terms of anime).

[SIZE=1]Watched [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_the_Stranger"][B]Sword of the Stranger[/B][/URL] last night after missing the university's Anime Society's showing of it last semester. Pretty good movie overall, particularly the fight scenes (I swear Luo-Lang thought he had a lightsaber in the end), a good way to spent 102 minutes if you're a fan of the samurai/ronin/man with no name genre.
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  • 4 weeks later...
Time for yet another overdue update!!

Let's see ... I watched [b]Simoun[/b] and absolutely loved it. I don't think I could describe [b]Simoun[/b] without sounding half-crazy, so read about it [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simoun_%28anime%29][b]here[/b][/url]. Everything about it is wonderful; absolutely the best thing Studio DEEN has ever made (yes, including [b]Higurashi[/b] and [b]Marimite[/b]). Tons of good characters, interesting visuals and a story that isn't afraid to go off in its own direction rather than follow convention.

I picked up [b]Red Garden[/b] again after putting it on hold for a while. There are a bunch of elements that could lead to a good series, but overall it doesn't gel well enough to make the whole great. Frankly, I could have done without the nonsense regarding the centuries-old feud between the two families -- it's underdeveloped, save for Herve's concern for the fates of his sister and cousin -- and the conclusion is completely unsatisfying. The focus on the four main girls is by far the most interesting aspect of the series.

Watched the first two [b]Kara no Kyoukai[/b] movies. They look fantastic and have a great atmosphere, but I'm underwhelmed by the story so far ... the first movie particularly feels like a 20-minute anime episode stretched out to 50 minutes. But I'm keeping in mind that the seven [b]Kara no Kyoukai[/b] movies are more like a [i]really[/i] long series than standalone movies, so I'm trying not to be too hard on it. Hopefully the third movie picks things up.

Lastly, I should finish up [b]Ayakashi[/b] tonight. It's a horror anthology featuring three stories -- the final story in the series, "Bake Neko", spun off into the excellent [b]Mononoke[/b] a year later. It's not difficult to see why: "Bake Neko" is the most distinct, visually creative story in the series, and the Medicine Seller is of course an awesome hero. He's also [i]way[/i] more expressive in this story than he is in [b]Mononoke[/b]. It's so weird to see him actually pissed off.
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I finished reading two manga series recently: [b]Hot Gimmick[/b] and [b]High School Debut[/b]. Both shoujo, but very different. In fact, I'd say it's good to read the latter if you start with the former, like I did. [b]Hot Gimmick[/b] is pretty dramatic at times - although not nearly as dramatic as [b]Hana Yori Dango[/b] - not to mention controversial since it's about a girl becoming a guy's "slave" and of course [spoiler]the fact that she falls in love with him and chooses him at the end of the story[/spoiler]. I actually liked it, a lot. A little too much. But I can see where the controversy and hate comes from.

And then there's [b]High School Debut[/b]. It's, like, completely different. It's still about a girl falling in love with a guy (obviously; this [i]is[/i] shoujo after all), but you could say the relationships are much healthier and realistic in this one. It was real refreshing to read this series, actually; like a nice summer breeze. It was quite cathartic actually, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who's not afraid of shoujo.
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I should mention that I'm rewatching [I]Ristorante Paradiso[/I] in my Anime Club, since we needed some filler and I had the video files. Not only is the anime growing on the other members with each episode, but it has become known as "[Nehs]'s Bad-Touch Anime". It's a good cool-down from all the [I]Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann[/I] we've also been watching, amongst other things.I don't pay attention some of the time, since we've got some yaoi fangirls running the show and therefore at least of the productions at any given time will be squeed over whether there's subtext or not. I love my college's Anime Club though. They're a bunch of pervs, but awesome pervs nonetheless.

As far as what I'm plodding through myself, the list's too big to put down. I will say that I've recently gotten a hold of some [I]Beet the Vandel Buster[/I], [I]D. Gray-Man[/I] and [I]HunterXHunter[/I] thanks to a friend of mine at school. Another friend almost pelted me with [I]Code Geass[/I] too.

...and [I]One Piece[/I], [I]Vinland Saga[/I] and [I]Katekyo Hitman Reborn[/I] are still mighty high on that list of mine too. Anyone who hasn't noticed me attempting to get back into the swing of things here using the [I]One Piece[/I] thread probably needs to check the manga section more often. *shot, drawn and quartered*
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[quote name='Ace'][FONT=Comic Sans MS]I'm watching some of my favorite One Piece moments on Hulu now thanks to FUNimation's dub uploads. I'd never seen some of them in anime form before, and I gotta say, it's kind of impressive. You can tell the voice actors really put their hearts into the dub, and the final product is really impressive. Somehow, hearing the lines out loud just seems to make them carry more weight.[/FONT]

[FONT=Comic Sans MS]I still hate fillers, though.[/FONT][/quote]

where is hulu at in dubbing One Piece???

I personally have been watching the subs on animefreak.tv.com and they are quickly catching up to the manga.... ([spoiler] espisode 441 they are breaking out of the prison with Ivan-san still trying to resuce Ace. The battle feel so much more real when ur not reading them in the manga. Plus I'm looking forward to the huge battle at Marine HQ coming up[/spoiler])

other than One Piece i've been keeping up with Durarara!! [URL="http://www.animefreak.tv/watch/katanagatari-online"][COLOR=#810081]Katanagatari[/COLOR][/URL] and [URL="http://www.animefreak.tv/watch/dance-vampire-bund-online"][COLOR=#0000ff]Dance in the Vampire Bund[/COLOR][/URL]. all of which have been really good so far.
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[size=1][color=navy][u]Watching[/u]

[b]Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood[/b] - I've been keeping up with this on Adult Swim, although, I skipped this past episode since that's an episode that would've pissed me off. So far, it seems to be on par with the original series. I won't say it's a flaw just yet, but this one seems to be more comedic than the original, and while I don't mind comedy, too much of it is a turn off for me, especially if it's not funny to begin with. Not saying that it hasn't been funny, I'm just taking caution now.

[b]Samurai Champloo[/b] (vol. 1) - It seems like it's been forever since I've last watched this. I finally got in the habit of renting anime through blockbuster. I forgot all about the 2nd episode... [spoiler]That bird stole their food. "Err. THAT DAMN BEAST JUST JACK MY GRUB! (middle finger in the air) :laugh:[/spoiler] If there's gotta be comedy in my anime I definately prefer it to be on the level of Samurai Champloo. Good stuff.

[u]Reading[/u]

[b]Samurai Deeper Kyo[/b] (ch. 235) - Man, I gotta find a new place to read this at because the quality took a huge nosedive and it's hard to read anything. Anyway, I definately like the twists that's been coming up as of late, although, it can get predictable at times with the foreshadowing that goes on. Like the characters in One Piece except Yuya [spoiler](I was actually happy that she got stuck down)[/spoiler], they continue to excel. This series definately needs a FMA:B reboot, and needs to be handled by one of the better animation producers out there. The anime does this no justice at all.

[b]One Piece[/b] (ch. 576) - This entire arc's been a bumpy ride for me, but overall it's been pretty good. There were some great moments, and then there were moments that just made no sense. Some of the results left a bad taste in my mouth, almost making this arc feel like a waste of time. [/rant] That's enough of that. The latest chapter was probably the best chapter in this entire arc. If there would be one that can top it, I'd say [spoiler]Whitebeard's arrival[/spoiler]. You just won't get another entrance like that again.

Bleach and Naruto... Blah, blah, the usual stuff, although Bleach continues to go on this bumpy ride as well. Naruto has taken another downward turn.
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I started reading this manga called [b]Tokage Ouji[/b] the other day, and boy is it weird. The title translates out to "lizard prince", and it's about a princess and a lizard falling in love. Yeah.
Basically think of the princess and the frog story, and there you go. Very very odd, although the art is good. It's so short, only nine chapters, but I could only get through two before I had to stop for the day.
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  • 3 weeks later...
[font=franklin gothic medium][color=green]I thought I'd check out Kekkaishi (sp?) because it's the latest series picked up by Adult Swim. Saw the first 2 episodes and I pretty much quit from there. Seriously, you'd think they can come up with different roles for these leading characters in shonen. I'm tired of seeubg the "airheaded, underdog" role. (I've come to the point of even hating that role now)

Adult Swim picked this up because...?

Edit:

I've also checked out [b]Kenichi[/b] since it's on VOD. I don't like this at all. If I had to compare to it anything, I'd say it's a light hearted version of either Ikki Tousen or Tenjho Tenge. And don't get me wrong either, I don't like Ikki Tousen at all (TT's manga is really good though), but at least some of the fights are worth watching. (In I think Dragon Destiny, if not it's Great Guardians). The reason I call it that is because Kenichi seems to have a lot of fanservice in it, but from the 2 episodes I checked out it never got to the extreme. There's no clothes ripping as far as I saw, but breasts do buldge out a lot. It don't help that the artwork is ugly as well. The way breasts are buldging through shirts is hideous. I only checked this series out because of my curiousity/love for martial arts. (I don't know if it's handled well. I only checked out episodes 42-43) Horrible series for me. I think I'd rather watch Ikki Tousen over this and that's a bad thing there.

Edit 2:

[u]Reading[/u]

[b]Bleach[/b] - Still an up and down experience going on with this one, although I did enjoy the latest chapter

[b]Naruto[/b] - Same as Bleach (didn't enjoy the chapter though)

[b]One Piece[/b] - Still enjoying it but there have been some rocky moments where it caused me to get a bit tired of the current arc.

[b]Change 123[/b] - Now, I do not read/watch anything that has excessive fanservice, harem, school life and dating/romance. Too much fanservice is a turn off for me (and that's what's really killing this series for me), and I just can't get into the other stuff. What has me curious about it though, is the leading female character. [spoiler]She has 4 personalities, and 2 of those 4 are personalities I'd like to see in most, if not all female characters.[/spoiler] It also helps that there's a lot of martial arts in it, but the fanservice tends to get in the way quite a bit since there's a lot of T&A shots. The artwork is great too. I'll probably continue reading this, because this series does have one of the most interesting female characters (probably the best) I've seen in a while. (I don't read many mangas to begin with)[/font][/color]
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Let's begin the list.

Actively reading --

Naruto -- Not much to say here. Run-of-the-mill shounen with ninjas and a ton of chapters. Getting a bit stale at the moment, unfortunately.

Bleach -- Typical Shounen, this time with shinigami shenannigans. Upcoming Bankai has me anticipating upcoming release.

One Piece -- Shounen, but with interesting quirks of personality in relation to the manga above. Interested in upcoming releases thanks to the recent deaths and near-deaths of important characters. How refreshing.

Fairy Tail -- Just picked this up yesterday or so, and I'm currently on the seventy-first chapter. I hope to catch up by today or, at the very least, by the end of tomorrow.

Mahou Sensei Negima -- Shounen (harem) manga, but I like the dark magic theme that has been present in the later chapters. There are a few possible plot holes I'm miffed about, but it still holds my interest.

Veritas -- Shounen manga (actually, manhwa) that has a main character that doesn't follow the typical mold of most heroes nowadays. He actually, -gasp-, loses in fights. It's a "fight with styles that have special powers" sort of manga, like Tenjou Tenge meets Avatar the Airbender. I guess.

Beelzebub -- Anti-heroes are fun. The main character is basically considered a most brutal and powerful delinquent, making him a prime candidate as the prince of hell's (a baby) role model and guardian during his stay on earth. Wish he would stop trying to get rid of the baby, though -- it's annoying, and I'm fairly certain it'll never happen.

Defense Devil -- I am extremely agitated at the genre swap of this manga, but I continue reading it if only because I've gotten pretty far into already. Had a very promising start, but has since just turned into a typical ecchi shounen. I am disappoint.

Tegami Bachi -- I've read only a bit of this, but I am greatly intrigued. The introduction that explained how the world functions was rather well done and didn't really feel strained to me. There are a few possible plot quirks, but I'm willing to let them slide a bit until I get further into the manga. It's shounen, with some good battles and, really, indulges in a few bizaare things, but it doesn't seem as if the battles are going to be the focus at this point. More plot-heavy than the manga listed above. Love the child of Maya.

Akagi -- This is a manga about Mahjong and the birth of a genius player. It's a very interesting read and is a bit more serious than Hikaru no Go, even if the plot isn't as heavily detailed. It still works.

(Finished Pluto just recently). Excellent read. Recommend it. It's from the same author who did Monster (which I've only read a bit of, sadly), if I recall, and the psychological aspects are planted solidly in the book. It also has a distinct feel of realism -- it doesn't seem as if the author plays any favorites and that consequences truly do exist. There's also some interesting political points going on here, and a few statements of morality if you look close enough.

On temporary hiatus, but still reading :

Skip Beat -- A very good Shoujo. Plan to reread all of it at once here soon. Better men have made better summaries than I could do now, and I'd rather not butcher the very strong premise of the story.

Bakuman -- A decent manga about aspiring mangaka. I've actually learned quite a bit by reading this manga (and see some of its aspects present in real life, such as Defense Devil's genre swap). I recommend it, but I haven't read enough to do so highly.

Id -- Very well done. Great fight scenes, decent characters, and consequences are not taken lightly here, either. I enjoyed it greatly, but read too much at once and burnt myself out. Very well drawn, too.

Koukou Debut -- Shoujo with relatively believable characters as the focus. I haven't finished this and, same as Id, I simply burned myself out. I'll pick it up soon.

Gash Bell (I really should finish this one up... I'm like twenty chapters from the end...) -- Same as those above, I burnt myself out. The anime is horrible in comparison to the manga, which is relatively strong in its action while also having a progressive storyline.

(I'll edit those below with more details later. Ran out of time -c-)

Until Death Do Us Part.
Hikaru no Go.
Majin Tentei Nougami Neuro (same as Gash...)

On temporary hiatus, but still watching --

Lucky Star.
Samurai Champloo.
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[font=franklin gothic medium][color=darkred][u]Reading[/u]

[b]Change 123[/b] - Errr.... This one is really a sleeper series. There is so much ecchi/fanservice (whatever it's called) all over the place, and I'm shocked that I made it this far in the series because I definately can't stand needless fanservice being tossed in my face everytime I click "next page". If I had to compare it, I'd compare it to Tenjou Tenge. I would say Ikki Tousen, but TT has a decent story (from what I've read of it. It's been a while since I've read it).

And the story really is the draw point of this series. That and the leading female protagonist. Motoko Gettou. Think I'll quote wikipedia here.

[quote name='wikipedia']Change 123 follows Motoko Gettou, a "not-so-average" teenage girl. Orphaned at an early age after the death of her mother, she was taken in by her "Three Fathers". Each of whom is a master of a certain style of martial arts or combat-training. Under the care of each parent, a young Motoko was subjected to excessively rigorous training. So much was the physical and mental strain that Motoko developed three split-personalities, known as HiFuMi. Consisting of the ever hard-headed Hibiki, quick and agile Fujiko, and cute and immature Mikiri. Each individually skilled in combat skills learned from each master. As a high school student, one day a man begins to harass Motoko as he catches her alone down an alleyway. A classmate of hers, Kosukegawa Teruharu, happens to stumble across, but is quickly scared away by the man. Set in resolve, cowardly Kosukegawa returns to help Motoko, only in time to watch as an infuriated Hibiki kicks the harassing man directly across his path straight into a car. Returning to herself, a shocked Motoko promises Kosukegawa she will do anything if he doesn't tell her secret. From here poor Kosukegawa must manage a flurry of combat fighting and ecchi madness as he is brought along for the ride of his life into the chaotic lifestyle of HiFuMi. But what initially developed as a friendship seems to have become more to Kosukegawa as he longs to tell Motoko his feelings for her. If he can only manage to survive long enough to confess let alone find the opportune moment.[/quote]

Like I said before, this is something you'd never catch me reading on a regular basis, but HiFuMi is/are a great character(s). Although, as great a character(s) HiFuMi are the leading male is that much more annoying, and I think this is why I generally don't follow these harem series because I just don't see it possible for wimpy guys like these leading characters get themselves in situations most guys could only dream about... Creators of this harem stuff really have some imagination. Anyway, the guy's heart is in the right place, but he goes on and on about justice till it gets maddening. It don't help that he's a Kamen Rider (whatever that is) otaku. In a sense, everything about him is probably what I hate to see from real life fanboys that have fangasms out the wazoo about __________. But like I said, it's HiFuMi and finding out her story that's the focal point.

Side characters, or rather the memorable ones with the martial arts background are also great as well. Errr... If I had to compare this to Ikki Tousen I guess this is where I'd start comparing it at. Almost every female character that gets a lot of panel time is a martial artist. (Also is the centerpoint of fanservice too >_>)

It's not the best series. Fanservice and the leading male character is a turn off, and can annoy people greatly, but seeing HiFuMi's story unravel and other side characters is very interesting and keeps me coming back. (Take it from someone that hates the romance, harem, school life genre)[/font][/color]
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  • 2 weeks later...
Man, this last week or so has been real good for my active manga.

[b]Dengeki Daisy[/b] updated, like, four times and it probably updated again since the last time I checked. Which is real awesome since the story is getting good. It somewhat feels like the author is thinking of ending it soon, I dunno... we'll see.

[b]Faster than a Kiss[/b] [i]finally[/i] updated for chapter 26, which is awesome since that was a horrible cliffhanger last time. Then there was a short chapter from [b]Vinland Saga[/b] (I felt so happy that they got a horse). Finally, [b]Kamisama Hajimemashita[/b] chapter 17 came out and gosh do I love this manga. It's been licensed by Viz now, although I have no idea when they'll actually start releasing it but, I'll definitely be buying it.
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  • 4 weeks later...
[size=1][font=franklin gothic medium][color=darkred]Not really watching or reading anything at the moment. The 1st episode of [i]Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig[/i]'s about to come on. I really need some new stuff to check out, but I don't know what, so I'm gonna do a little venturing with both manga and anime.

Here are some stuff I'll be checking out soon.

[u]Anime[/u]
[b]Darker than Black[/b] - I tried watching this once before but I stopped after the 3rd episode I believe because I was kind of lost. This time I'm gonna go into it with a different mindset. Go in for action and characters (what I should've done from the getgo), if I catch on to the story then it's an added bonus.

[b]Fate/Stay Night[/b] - For the past couple of days I've been trying to look for input on this series, and from what I've heard across the net, it's a split. On one hand I hate what I'm hearing about the leading male. He alone sounds like he can ruin the series, but on the other people are saying that the action and the rest of the characters make up for it.

[b]Shana[/b] - I'm very skeptical about this right now because of the look. I tend to stay away from anime where characters seem to have that "cutesy" look going on because it tend to be real girly. But people have been comparing both this and Fate/Stay Night to each other.

[b]Claymore[/b] - Another one of those that I've seen being compared to Fate/Stay Night. Like Fate/Stay Night, I'm hating what I'm hearing about the leading male character. Potential series killer.

[b]Mai-Hime[/b] - I don't know. I'm not a fan of romance, but at the same time I don't really mind it. Considering that I'm a fan of Change 123 (Because of HiFuMi), I figured I might as well check this one out. Hopefully the fanservice won't be a turn-off because I hear the action is really good.

[b]Twelve Kingdoms[/b] - Something I've been curious about for a long time now.

[b]Moribito[/b] - It's about time I finish this series up so it can get placed in my top ranked again.

[u]Manga[/u]
[b]Psyren[/b] - I've been told about this once before, but at the time I was going through a little dry spell. Still am because I'm having quite a low tolerance for idiotic leading characters. Anyway, I've been wanting something new and figured I'd start here.

[b]Hunter x Hunter[/b] - I started this series a while ago, and it was great, but for some reason I stopped reading it. Gon has that "carefree" attitude, but he certainly is a bit different from all the other knuckleheaded leading characters. It's about time I got back into this one.

[b]Fairy Tail[/b] - I might regret coming back into this one since I don't really care for the characters outside of Erza and Gray, and they can only do so much to keep me interested. But we'll see how things turn out when I get back into it.[/font][/color][/size]
__________________________

[font=franklin gothic medium][color=darkred][u]Watching[/u]
[b]Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood[/b] - Been following this on adult swim. Bradley is like the buffest old man I've ever seen (No need for enhancements or anything). I prefer Brotherhood over the original now. (more on that for manga)

[i]Moribito[/i] - The 1st volume arrived in the mail yesterday, and while I've already seen the first 11 episodes on adult swim, I had to drop the series because of the time slot. I look forward to finishing this series.

[u]Reading[/u]
[b]Psyren[/b] - A frickin breath of fresh air. It's like this series is what other shonen series are trying to become but is failing in the process. The pacing is handled nicely. The artwork looks similar to Bleach. The fighting is nicely done, and for crying out loud the characters are enjoyable. No series is perfect, but this one is pretty close.

[b]Fullmetal Alchemist[/b] - I'm also enjoying this one too. Mainly because Ed and Al are a lot more tolerable and enjoyable here than they were in the original anime. I hated them and could've dropped the series because of them. (Side characters kept me from dropping though)

I've yet to get back into Hunter x Hunter yet.

[i][u]Dropped[/u][/i]
[b]Naruto[/b] - I know I shouldn't let what fans talk about dictate what I read or watch, but dangit, some fans (no one here btw) truly know how to ruin stuff big time. Acting as if it's the perfect series out there and want to bite your head off because you don't agree with some of the plot points or what have you.

While I haven't dropped it yet, One Piece is heading in that same direction. (As well as Bleach)[/font][/color]
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  • 2 weeks later...
Right now I've been re-establishing my Bleach log. Before I really got into I missed a lot of information that could make sense for later on. But I discovered something that I hadn't noticed before in the ending credits of the latest Bleach arcs. I first noticed it in the Zanpakuto arc ending credits. I saw a character with a cloak completely covering their face. At first I just figured it was another zanpakuto but I realized that the character never showed up. I had forgotten about it but it came up again when I saw the character again in the latest arc ending credits. I think this character has something to do with the ending of the story because it keeps coming up.

I guess I'm asking...has anyone else noticed this character. If you are interested in locating the character its in the zanpakuto arc ending when its circulating through all the zanpakuto and he's in the pool hall with Uryu and Nnoitorra in the latest ending credits.
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[u]Watching[/u]

[b]Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan[/b] (episode 8) - At first I was skeptical going into this because I'm iffy about Studio DEEN and their last samurai themed anime that I saw being Samurai Deeper Kyo. I did not like how it was animated at all. Fights lacked big time. Here, while the fights don't reach that intensity in Rurouni Kenshin/Trust and Betrayal, but they are still fairly decent to watch when there are fights. If I had to compare this to something it'd be Peacemaker Kurogane (I need to watch the rest of that). Both seem to have very few fights, but tell an interesting story (from what I've seen so far) about the Shinsengumi. The artwork is great, although almost everyone of the guys in this series look like a bunch of pretty boys. It's been entertaining so far but I don't think this is for everyone.

[u]Reading[/u]

[b]Hunter x Hunter[/b] (ch 6) - At least I think that's where I left off at. I'm re-reading this because I tried picking up where I last left off and was lost. I don't remember too much of anything about Nen.
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[color=royalblue]I've been pretty light on anime and manga as of late, which is a bit sad, but I think it's just how I am right now. Uhhh, let's see...

[u][b]Anime[/b][/u]

[b]Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood[/b] - I've been watching the Adult Swim broadcast but I haven't watched it in a while. I think it's getting to a new point that the first anime hasn't done, so I might as well get back into it.

[b]Monster[/b] - Another one I was watching on TV (Syfy) but haven't watched in ages. I mean, it's broadcasted on Monday nights and the end of the school year meant I was hiding in the art building a lot at night so I would forget to watch.

Other than those two, I haven't been keeping up with series all that much...

[u][b]Manga[/b][/u]

[b]Fullmetal Alchemist[/b] - Again, the US release, finally got all caught up with the US releases when I bought five volumes in one go. Considering I (had) invested in 17 volumes, it made little sense to just stop. So now I'm up to 22 and still worship at Arakawa's feet for her artwork.

[b]Otomen[/b] - Okay, this one is like, out of nowhere. Not a popular series or anything, but I picked up volume 1 one day in the bookstore and can't help but feel it's like my guilty pleasure. The artwork is nice and crisp and a bit different, but still shoujo; the story predictable (not helped by the author's notes in the volumes being placed before they should be) and plotpoints cheesy and sometimes ovrer-hammy, but dammit, I can't help but love this series. And it's odd, because I'm rather discriminatory in my taste (in other words, I won't read/watch crap), so obviously there is something different and unique with this series. Maybe 'cause it's being told from a guy's POV. What's also nice is that it is never too dramatic. Sure, it can be over-the-top, but it doesn't wallow in the dramallama.

[b]Oyasumi Punpun[/b] - Again, a random series that a friend of mine shared with me. It follows the life of the main character Punpun as he goes from grade to middle to high school. While the rest of the artwork is really freaking amazing, Punpun and his family are drawn as bird...penguin...things. Also, despite the fact that his family is drawn cutsey, this is SO not a kids manga, it's got, uh, naughty things in it that make it completely worthy of the 18+ rating. I haven't poked at this in a while, but I would like to read it s'more.
[b]
Yotsuba&! [/b]- Not much to say about this other than the fact that I CRIED TEARS OF JOY when I saw that YenPress had picked it up. I don't like the (very very small) changes they made from the ADV release (Yotsuba refers to herself in the third person fairly often, plus they left in Japanese honorifics which is just odd), but I'm just happy to have the series being released here again.[/color]
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Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I tried to watch [b]Dragonball Z: Kai[/b] on Nicktoons a couple times. Not to rag on the series or anything, but it really is hard to get back into this series. I probably would've been able to had they actually have the artwork/animation look similar to how they have the intro. I was also hoping for something new, but it's the same story just trimmed to 100 episodes and probably better colors and new voices here and there (I guess). While I'm already teetering towards not watching it anymore I am fairly curious about what's been taken out so I may skip a dozen episodes before coming back to it and dropping it afterwards lol.
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According to my resident DBZ fangirl, all DBZ Kai is is just the original DBZ with all the filler cut out. I knew that the filler was cut out, yes, but I assumed it was reanimated altogether. Some scenes apparently have new animation, but for the most part, it's the original series, just whittled down. I thought something looked awfully archaic when I caught a glimpse of it last night...

Right now, for myself, all I've been watching is Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on AS. I missed the Keikkaishi premiere last Saturday, but I'll try to catch the second episode this weekend to see if I like it at all.
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[u][b]Watching:[/b][/u]

[b]Cat's Eye [/b]This series was extremely hard to find. There weren't even any for sale in on Ebay or Amazon. This anime is from the Lupin the III and City Hunter age. It's about three sisters who steal their father's art in order to locate him after his sudden disappearance. At the same time, one of the sisters is dating the inspector who is trying to catch them. I've been wanting to watch this anime for two years now so I am happy to have found it. I am really enjoying it so far.
[b]
Ef tale of melodies [/b]I have only watched one episode of this so far. From what I have seen, it looks pretty interesting. I heard a lot of things from people about it. I will watch it once I can devote more time to it.
[b]
Angel Beats [/b]I have only seen a couple of episodes of this as well. Very well balance of random and good story.
[b]
Mushishi [/b]I started with the live action as an introduction to this series. It is somewhat slow paced but if you give this series a chance you will be rewarded. It is very rewarding visually.
[b]
Ghost in the Shell Movie: [/b]This is just an old classic that I feel like re-watching for old time's sake. Beautiful music, stunning animation and a very unique plot line.
[b]
Utawarerumono [/b]I saw this several years ago and I barely remember anything about it so I am re-watching it as well.
[size="2"]
[b]Yumeiro Pâtissière[/b][/size] Des kept bugging me to watch this. I am glad he did. This cute series is rather addicting. It is making me want to bake. It is about a girl who is going to school to learn how to be a pastry chef and she has the aide of this magical helper from the Sweets Kingdom.
[b]
Durarara![/b] Not my favorite series but I will finish it to see where the creators decide to end it.

[b]Reading:[/b]

[b]Watchman [/b]This is the one comic that is taking priority over the rest. I only just bought it last night at a used bookstore. It is a quick read so far.
[b]
+Anima [/b]I read a few of the volumes when it first came out. I remember liking it so I would like to finish it.
[b]
Ouran High School Host Club [/b]My curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to see where the anime left off so I'm reading this.
[b]
Fruits Basket [/b]I have no excuse for this one. I just been putting it off.
[b]
Kimi No Todoke [/b]Same as Ouran, my curiosity got the best of me.
[b]
Skip Beat! [/b]I heard this was good so I thought I would check it out.
[b]
Vampire Knight [/b]This manga is on the backburner. I am sure I will get around to it at some point.
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It's been a few months, so why don't I post in here again? :P

[b]Akagi[/b]: Good series -- not as good as [b]Kaiji[/b], but Akagi is an electric lead character, even though the series is mostly about the cutthroat way he decimates his opponents in mahjong rather than any growth on his part. It gets a bit repetitive at times, though.

[b]Hataraki Man[/b]: Liked it a lot. The stories are episodic for the most part, but they do a good job of presenting a portrait of a modern working woman, with some subtle criticism about capitalism that is pretty much unheard of in modern anime (haven't seen enough older anime to decide whether this was the case back then too). I'm kind of interested in seeing the live action drama because I get the feeling the story would work better in that medium.

[b]Kemonozume[/b]: Starts off strong as an interesting take on the [i]Romeo and Juliet[/i] type of tragic romance, but it tails off by the end as the story grows progressively less interesting.

[b]Paranoia Agent[/b]: Very good series, even when it turns away from the main story in the middle and presents some standalone episodes. The social criticism really works for me, the story is interesting enough and the visual style is typically imaginative Satoshi Kon. Glad I finally saw it.

[b]Mobile Fighter G Gundam[/b]: I always got the feeling this was seen as the black sheep of the [b]Gundam[/b] franchise, but its reputation is surprisingly strong, at least where I look. Honestly, [b]G Gundam[/b] might be my favorite of all the series I've seen. Yeah, it's really goofy, it has a notoriously crappy string of episodes in the middle and it is undeniably the most shounen of any [b]Gundam[/b]; however, the story is legitimately good and exciting. The weakest of the holy mecha trio I've seen directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa ([b]Shin Mazinger Z[/b] and especially [b]Giant Robo[/b] are better), but nonetheless it is a series worth watching.

[b]Afro Samurai[/b]: Good if you just want bloody action -- it's what [b]Ninja Scroll[/b] should have been.

[b]Alien Nine[/b]: Totally weird OVA about middle school girls who have to fight aliens on campus. There's this bizarrely sinister undercurrent to the series that contrasts with its light and poppy presentation, and the subtext about the growing process is legitimately interesting. However, there are also some major storytelling issues; the story doesn't conclude so much as it just ends, and that's it. Still, it's so different and weird and subversive that I'd recommend it.

[b]Infinite Ryvius[/b]: Anime's [b]Lord of the Flies[/b] -- it sticks a bunch of teenagers into a precarious situation in deep space and watches the chaos unfold. Flaws are deep, and virtues are iron-clad; there's also less pure angst than one might expect. Story also moves at a good pace, too, and I love the hip-hop based soundtrack. (Still pretty sure [b]Ryvius[/b] is the first TV anime to make such extensive use of hip-hop as background music.) Seems to be the kind of series that falls through the cracks, so I encourage people to give it a shot.

[b]Skip Beat![/b]: And now finally to what I am currently watching! 17 episodes in, and I'm surprised that the romance has really heated up only recently. I like the approach, though: The romance has blossomed mainly as an indirect result of the main character, Kyoko, becoming a better actress and earning the respect of her potential suitor, Ren. Gotta say that Kyoko is a badass heroine. I love her fire and her absolute refusal to let anyone walk all over her. Ren's development is refreshing, as well: He's sort of an antagonistic suitor at first, but his antagonism toward Kyoko actually makes sense even if it's a misunderstanding (he believes she does not show enough respect toward her profession) rather than him being a huge a-hole, but his stance changes as he gets to know Kyoko better, and it feels natural instead of forced. Ren is cool.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that Marina Inoue is fantastic as Kyoko. She nails the sweetness, the sarcasm, the anger, the hot-bloodedness and especially the comedy. There's one part in the series where Kyoko has to dress up as a chicken mascot for a talk show, and Inoue is absolutely hysterical during the whole thing. Edited by Shinmaru
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[u][b]Watching[/b][/u]

-[b]FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood[/b]: I've been watching is subbed since it premiered last year, and I've also been watching the dub. Took me awhile to get used to the English voices again after a year of Japanese!FMA, but I got around it eventually [s]I'm still not a big fan of Al's new voice though :x[/s]. I kind of miss the feel that the original series had, but I'm enjoying Brotherhood just as much [s]I just wish they'd stop torturing me with cliffhangers at the end of every episode AHHHHHHH[/s]

-[b]Jyuushin Enbu- Hero Tales[/b]: Created by Hiromu Arakawa, yes, the same who created FMA, I'm enjoying it so far.

-[b]Mobile Suit Gundam: 0083[/b]: Yet another rushed Gundam OVA. This series has a lot of potential, but because its an OVA and limited to 13 episodes, most of the story feels rushed, like most Gundam OVAs.

-[b]Moribito[/b]: I remember a friend of mine could never shut up about this when it originally aired on Adult Swim. I lost cable around the time it started, but I still managed to catch a few episodes occasionally when I was in a place where cable was available. I finally sat down to watch it today, and it seems like it'll be pretty good. Kind of makes me want to read the books it based on [s]but apparently only 2 have been translated, boooo[/s]

[u][b]Reading[/b][/u]

-[b]+Anima[/b]: Not the best series I've read, but it's entertaining.

-[b]Bakuman[/b]: After reading the 3-chapter preview that Shonen Jump had for this series, I decided I'd keep reading it online [s]because Viz is stupid and thinks that having only Naruto and One Piece in SJ and raising prices on every other series will keep them from going under[/s]. It's fairly interesting.

-[b]Ultimo[/b]: Stan Lee meets Hiroyuki Takei (creator of Shaman King). Need I say more?

-[b]Kingdom Hearts[/b]: Ya know how everybody has that series that they really don't know why they continue to watch/read it, but they still do anyway? This is mine. Good lord, this series is so rushed its not funny. But that's usually what happens when a video game is adapted into a manga.

-[b]One Piece[/b]: Must...catch...up....*is about 400 something chapters behind* I blame Viz for it's previously slow distribution when it came to this series.

-[b]Tales of Eternia[/b]: Because I'll never be able to fork over $100+ for the actual game, this is the next best thing. And it's not really rushed like most Game-To-Manga adaptations and is a good 9 volumes long. Edited by RedJ
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[quote name='RedJ' date='02 June 2010 - 06:02 PM' timestamp='1275526944' post='694332']-[b]Tales of Eternia[/b]: Because I'll never be able to fork over $100+ for the actual game, this is the next best thing. And it's not really rushed like most Game-To-Manga adaptations and is a good 9 volumes long.
[/quote]
[font="Comic Sans MS"]It would definitely be wrong of you to download a PS1 emulator and some bios along with the iso files for this game, even though it's been over ten years since it was released and there's no way Namco can make any more money off it, particularly since they refuse to release the PSP version in the US. I would definitely look down on you for that.

I've been watching Hare+Guu, which is pretty hilarious and weird. I recommend it. I have about 6 episodes of the last OVA to go, i think.[/font]
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Comcast finally added something free that's actually worth checking out.

[u]Watching[/u]

[b]Baccano[/b] - There are 2 episodes on it right now, and I only checked out 1 so far. I plan to check out the other a little later. 1st impressions though... I don't know what to make of it. It jumped around so much and I don't really know what's suppose to be going on. [spoiler]]But seeing people come back to life after being shot up definately caught my interest.[/spoiler] The voice acting is also nice. No ringing on the ears and nothing dull.

[b]Claymore[/b] - Yeah, Raki's definately going to be the one I want to strangle in this series. I only saw the first 2 episodes, but the 2nd episode I wanted to kick him in the face. His voice didn't make it any better. (How old is he suppose to be anyway? I will not accept 16 year olds who don't go through puberty :) ) Anyway, Claire (?) is certainly different from other female characters with the starting role. One thing that bothers me a bit though when it comes to the action. [i]Single flashes of light[/i]. I read in a review that a lot of the fights are like that and while it won't turn me away (hopefully), it will leave me feeling cheated.

[b]Peacemaker[/b] - I pretty much caught up to where I left off. Episode 7. I still don't really care for Tetsunosuke, but I am looking forward to how everything turns out.

[u]Reading[/u]

[b]Bleach[/b] - I started reading from the Soul Society arc onwards. (Truthfully, I'm just gathering pictures to attempt to color in photoshop) Nothing really to tie together that I don't really know.

[b]Psyren[/b] (121) - This series has really taken me by surprise. I'll admit that it's probably not for everyone, but I favor this manga over all the current running manga at the moment. I have to admit that I am surprised at the current events. Shocking and exciting stuff going on. Junas is a beast. Edited by Magus
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