Archive for the 'xam’d: lost memories' Category

Xam’d: Lost Memories: YES.

It is hard to say how many simultaneous fanboy moments I had here, or if the word “fanboy” is inappropriate for the pure, visceral satisfaction provided here. And the series isn’t even done yet!

As Xam’d winds its way towards the sadly imminent conclusion (I, for one, will be experiencing severe Haru withdrawal, and, I suspect, many others will be sharing in my predicament), events start to coalesce: Akiyuki and Haru have their triumphant reunion (more than a little evocative of similar moments in Eureka Seven, no doubt intentional), Nakiami deals with her sinisterly megalomaniac sister, and all the minor characters wend towards whatever fate is in store for them. It’s thrillingly satisfying in many ways, as the careful, slow development of the characters begins to reach its apex.

The pacing of Xam’d is perhaps one of its strongest assets: the deliberate pacing and careful attention to detail belie the careful planning that went into the series. The concept of Xam’d as being a series held in the hands of the staff, who doles out a card seemingly at random that raises more questions than it answers, is still very much true, with a catch: the cards don’t seem to be so random anymore. Perhaps it’s just the gradual coalescence of the world over time, but cards are never played until (or, sometimes, after) they are needed to understand, and it’s not always accompanied by a dramatic gesture akin to Sakura crossed with Hikaru. You aren’t spoonfed details, you must seek them out on your own.

It’s almost sadly poetic the circumstances that led to The Scene in episode 19–as Haru came into terms with herself, Akiyuki lost his sense of self. Haru came to understand herself through Tojiro’s nasty methods of trying to make her a prime fighting machine, while Akiyuki found himself sheltered and protected by a mysteriously ill yet kind and genial woman named Sumako. And it’s interesting, too, that Sumako is Tojiro’s mother, and doubly so that Akiyuki, in his lost sense of self, reminds Sumako of Tojiro. Sumako earnestly tries to help, or at least support, Akiyuki through his crisis, while Haru finds herself restricted by her son. Both Akiyuki and Haru are able to find and grasp their own understanding of self (Akiyuki, in particular, seems to have grasped much more than that, but full synchronization with the Xam’d) through the assistance of mother and son, but in opposite ways. They both leave an thank-you note for Tojiro and Sumako, respectively, but while Haru’s note for Tojiro is intended to be sarcastic and nearly mocking, and summarily angrily kicked aside in a furious rejection by Tojiro upon discovering it, Akiyuki leaves behind a sincere, earnest, and heartfelt thank you that will no doubt be received with love and warmth. Tojiro rejects what he cannot acheive

There’s a lot that could be said about this particular snippet of Xam’d that my brain is having a difficult time processing it and trying to turn it into some kind of legible, if messy, prose. What does it mean, for instance, that Tojiro restricts Haru from Akiyuki, when his own mother thinks Akiyuki resembles him? For that matter, if Akiyuki resembles Tojiro, which one of them is true and which is false? Is Tojiro’s bitter and cold disregard for Haru’s fixation on Akiyuki a sort of post facto jealousy? And let’s not forget that Tojiro was supposed to have died in the war, but that Akiyuki’s own father helped save his life. It’s a massive web of complexity that doesn’t even seem to have a center or even a focus, just tangled strands that intersect at odd points.

Such is life, I suppose. And yet we cannot seem to live without having connections to other people, for even when those connections cause us pain, they seem to be essential to survival.

(No, I have not forgotten about Nakiami, and, in fact, I keep feeling bad for not discussing her, for what’s going on with her now is just as interesting, but I think the fact that I sync up on some kind of deep level with Haru and Akiyuki keeps overshadowing poor Nakiami. Then again, I watched most of Eureka Seven more interested in Renton and Eureka, and then 48 hit, and Dominic and Anemone’s reunion was, and remains, the most memorable moment of Eureka Seven to me, so, perhaps, there is still hope. Maybe. Or maybe that will be a rewatch job…)

Xam’d: Lost Memories: Pensive Payoffs & Coalescing Free-Floating Thoughts

Yet Another Haru Fanboy post is brewing somewhere here, no doubt, but I’ll try to be evenhanded. Emphasis on “try.”

This post is, more or less, going to cover a huge, expansive swath of Xam’d time (from 12 to 17), and, since in that huge, expansive swath of Xam’d time there has been quite a lot of goings-on (notably in episode 14), is probably going to serve more for me to get my thoughts straight on the series (as they frequently tend to be, since I think best by writing and not just sitting there), and I fervently hope I can do justice to everything that deserves to be addressed without boring nearly everyone else on the planet with it, but, alas, on the latter I doubt it will, less because of impending Haru-tangents and more because I’ve been getting the feeling that I’m probably going to have to rewatch the series at least once or twice if I really want to get justice done.

The most obvious starting place right now would be episode 14, a fairly critical turning point. Akiyuki and Nakiami return to Sentan Island while Akiyuki accompanies Nakiami to the northern Tessik Village, whereupon they reunite with Haru and Furuichi, neither of whom seem particularly thrilled to see Akiyuki–Haru because she’s trying very hard to be a Gritty Dispassionate Soldier (and, to my delight, failing), Furuichi because he, well, he’s got a bone to pick with Akiyuki. Or, rather, not a bone, but a Hiruko.

The twisted triangle between Akiyuki, Haru, and Furuichi that so dominated the first half seems to be a key factor in a major theme of Xam’d: that time-honored standard of having someone next to you, to believe in you, and to support you. We see, almost casually, when one of the while-haired children (not the Fantastic Children, mind) informs Haru that she must “guide her Xam’d to the gathering place”, that the implication is that a Xam’d cannot exist inside one person without there being someone else to guide and shepherd it along. Akiyuki handles himself fine with Nakiami’s help throughout the first part, but he’s driven, more or less, by a desire to see and communicate with both his home and with Haru, so we could apply a little interpretative liberty and state that the thought of Haru was enough to keep him from turning to stone.

Meanwhile, of course, Furuichi is nursing a Hiruko of his own, while still clinging on to the shards of hope that he can somehow convince Haru that he’s pretty good looking and available and willing. But Haru, of course, is still stuck on Akiyuki, even when she’s trying very hard not to admit it, leaving Furuichi’s feelings unrequited, leading, essentially, to his Xam’d spiraling out of control, being unable to control himself, and setting off on a destructive rampage, literally forcibly consuming Haru, who refuses to see him as anything other than a friend.

Of course, the conclusion of this whole mess: Haru thrown in military confinement, Akiyuki spending too much time in the Xam’d form and forgetting who he is, and Furuichi, in what probably wins the “most disturbing scene of the year” award, commits suicide. Furuichi’s conclusion seems to be the most logical: rejected by Haru, he succumbs to his own despair and offs himself. Akiyuki’s memory loss and entrapment within the motionless, fixed mask of Xam’d, stems from Haru’s rejection of him, too, as she explicitly told him that the last thing she wanted was for him to return, forcing her to tell the military about him. She loves him, but she wants him to stay away; if a Xam’d requires the knowledge of love, or what have you, from some outside source, then that kind of rejection would seem to embody itself in Akiyuki’s silence and amnesia. It isn’t a full rejection, but it still has a negative effect.

Meanwhile, while Akiyuki drifts around, meaningless, and with his own disembodied spirit (I’m pretty sure that the floating eye thing is supposed to be Akiyuki’s sense of self; it eats the food he cannot, the attachment it has to him, and the sense that it’s guiding him all seem to point to it being a kind of reflection of himself), and winds up in the care of a mentally unstable person (or is she unstable? I don’t know), Nakiami, ever the unloving type, finds her heart softened by a young child in possession of a Xam’d in a town along the way to Tessik Village. She intially doesn’t want anything to do with him, but eventually sacrifices her Kayak and travels with him to Tessik. Naturally, of course, if the goal of those who are linked to a Xam’d is to help assist the Xam’d to the gathering place, then Nakiami seems to have found hers, along, perhaps, with a sense of purpose not granted by working with Akiyuki and Raigyou, and someone to protect, however reluctantly she might admit it to herself.

Meanwhile, after throwing Haru in the brig (or whatever them landlubbin’ military types call it), Toujirou becomes even less of a human than he was before (mostly as the result of a demand for research results in a short period of time), a feat I thought impossible. From threatening the very researcher he’s supposed to be assisting conduct research (who, himself, has much more personality than I assumed at first glance), it’s getting increasingly clear that he’s acting less and less logically as his sense of desperation increases. It’s almost telling of how far he’s gone when Prois, who’s always seemed to be an apathetic assistant to Toujirou, steps into Haru’s cell, delivers some rather esoteric semi-insults, and then loudly announces that she forgot the key, and that it’d be really nice if Haru wouldn’t escape in the next, oh, hour. I think, more than anything else in the past eight or so episodes, that was the development that shocked me the most–having perceived her as apathetic, that she’d actually do something contrary to Toujirou seems inconceivable, although, given her nature and strange fondness for Haru, it’s not totally implausible.


I told you, he’s inhuman.

And Haru! Oh, yes, Haru! More than nearly everyone else, I’d be tempted to make the argument that she is intended to be the main character and/or protagonist more so than, say, Akiyuki or Nakiami are supposed to be. The concept itself is nebulous, but so much of what happens seems, more or less, to hinge on Haru that she seems to be more important than nearly everyone else, despite not actually doing much of anything. I think, more or less, that I’ve explicated most of my thoughts pertaining to her developments already, but I do want to mention several things: one, she is now fast approaching the upper echelon of characters I like, the kind I actively admire, more for the fact that they go to nearly absurd lengths to stand up for their own personal ideals–in Haru’s case, openly inviting sexual harassment from Toujirou (causing it herself, even) to demonstrate that there is nothing he can do to dissuade her from her desires and will.

Two, and this is probably utterly weird, but Haru gets extra points for being so downright pensive and melancholy all the time. Although I’m positively overjoyed when she smiles for the first time in I don’t know how long when she’s given the opportunity to escape, I cannot help but think that it looks positively unnatural in screencap form–it’s warm, pleasant, and utterly satisfying in its in-show context, but as a screencap, well, she just looks deranged. Considering that my favorite image of her is from the OP and is currently spending a ridiculous amount of time as my background on various electronic devices (as well as my representative portrait of choice on IM clients), this might just be some kind of absurd fixation on her frequently moody state of mind due to its possible relation to my own, rather than being owed to a failure of the art style of Xam’d being unable to translate into still images with ease.

I should probably end this post before it eats up my life trying to put all these stray thoughts about the series into words–I will probably save those for the inevitable rewatch, whenever that might happen (I’m looking at you, DVD releases, whereever you are). There’s still a lot left unsaid, but some of that is still ongoing and might change between now and later, and I need to not think for a few precious more hours before work on my final papers of the semester (and of my undergraduate career, one hopes).

In summation: need more Haru, STAT. 50cc, please, intravenous.

Xam’d: Lost Memories: Haru Is Still Far Away

A Haru screenshot! This isn’t something that happens every day! I have no character favoritism going on at all! Also isn’t my cross-language title pun humorous? That’s exactly what I thought!

Episodes 10 and 11 seem to be a kind of turning point for the series (arguably the entire series could be described as one big huge turning point that never ends and turns in random directions at unexpected times, but I digress). 10 was mostly the turning point for Haru, who, essentially, now has the added problem of being unable to actually live up to her own desires without having the arbitrary structure of the military get in her way. As Toujirou points out to her, she is doing the “right thing” as far as he’s concerned, but the “right thing” is not for the military, and if her performance and reliability continue to degrade, then the looming threat of a court-martial will have to be exercised.

This, of course, sets her off down memory lane, back to the last major (plot-relevant) event of her life: her mother’s death. Almost casually, in the flashback sequence, she mentions that she was upset with Akiyuki, who’d beaten her earlier that day in a race (and, presumably, took great pleasure in informing her that he had, in fact, beaten her, as elementary school children trying to hide affection are wont to do). The race and its aftermath are swiftly forgotten when the news of her mother’s death via military vehicle hits, and off she dashes–and, without realizing it, beating the concerned Akiyuki in the race to get to the hospital (and also forgetting that one of her shoes had fallen off, which must have made the run terribly difficult).

Whether consciously or unconsciously, throughout the series proper, Haru and Akiyuki have, in essence, been in a race of sorts–not a race against each other, but a race for each other. While Haru struggles to deal with the potential reality that Akiyuki might be dead (and making a decision to join the military in the meantime), Akiyuki is trying his best to do what he can to send word to her (and, through her, his estranged father and mother) that he is, in fact, alive, and trying to return home. After the letter is sent and arrives in Haru’s hands, she then tries to find a place to meet up with Akiyuki–which happens to be in direct contradiction to her military orders.

This is where it gets difficult for Haru. Paradoxically, to chase after Akiyuki, she now has to abandon that as a goal in order to acheive it through the military. Part of me wonders how much is an actual shift in her own mentality, and how much is her forcibly supressing her own emotions and feelings–like a good soldier should– by shearing herself of her hair. The hair hasn’t actually been said to mean anything in particular as a plot point, yet undoubtedly taking up the shears in the shower was highly symbolic of her presumably forced abandonment of the past, of Akiyuki, of, well, everything that she holds dear.

[insert a reference to the story of Samson here]

This wound up being more about 10 than 11, but, in an effort to level the, uh, not-favoritism going on here, there will be a lot more about 11 when I get the time to do something on Nakiami, who, herself, is as interesting and nuanced as Haru is, except that I don’t have an inexplicable love affair literary fondness for her as I do Haru. Akiyuki, unfortunately, is just kind of…there…at the moment, but surely things will perk up soon for him, right?

…Right?

Xam’d: Lost Memories: Human and Humanform

Another week, another impressive episode of Xam’d, another justification for my torrid love affair with Haru. As if I really needed justification, but justification means I can explain it to people. Maybe, anyway.

Xam’d keeps shoving themes in my face; if I were really clever and not so eager to press the “publish” button so often, I mght think of them in the same post, but that might lead to really long and unwiedly posts, so either I have to wait until it pops in my head or the series makes it painfully clear for me. The theme that popped in my head this episode (which was probably stronger in previous episodes, but my mind works in weird ways) is that Xam’d, as a series, doesn’t seem to draw a line between what is “human” and what is “weapon”.

Here we have a world, a world that has developed some kind of biotechnology weapon that enables a human being to transform (through some arcane scientomagic, apparently) into a really big killing machine, while simultaneously allowing their human form to exist within the Humanform Weapon, as the bioengineered beasts are termed. It’s not clear how this process works–from watching Nakiami do her work, the human exists in a kind of soupy glowy mess inside the Humanform Weapon*, enabling her to extract them from the weapon itself before destroying the weapon, thereby saving the human “pilot” but destroying the weapon. Even when it comes to the more decidedly mechanical weapons that Haru and Furuichi** pilot, the line betwen man and machine is still blurred–they seem to use some kind of spinal/cranial uplink to allow them greater control over their units. While less drastic than actually becoming a weapon themselves, as the Humanform Weapons do, it definitely blurs the line between weapon and wielder.

The fact that there isn’t a clear line between the two is fairly simple for the cannon fodder units that pop up and are destroyed, but it becomes more critical where Akiyuki is concerned. Akiyuki is, of course, a Xam’d, and, while he may not quite know what he’s doing, it’s clear to Furuichi, at least, that, since he is a Xam’d, he is an enemy, and also that Akiyuki is no longer Akiyuki, but some other being, and possibly Akiyuki as he knew him is dead. It’s the dead opposite attitude to Haru’s outlook that, beneath the Xam’d exterior, Akiyuki is still the same Akiyuki that she’s known all her life, and she still needs to give him that armband back.

This all becomes poignantly clear when Toujirou calls Haru in simply to clarify what has happened to Akiyuki, referring to him as a “casualty” and other sinister hints that reveal that he no longer consideres Akiyuki (who is, very much, a human being at this point) to be human or even alive–instead, he is now another one of those menaces known as Xam’d that must be hunted down and destroyed, possibly without mercy. It’s rote business for Toujirou, who is more interested in his clipboard than Haru, and Haru, for all her conviction to the contrary, that Akiyuki is indeed a human being, can’t even begin to frame why she believes this.

Is Akiyuki still human? Is he now some kind of crazy possessed-by-Xam’d person who has the appearance and manner of his old self, but is fully Xam’d in thought? I’ll just whip out Occam’s Razor and state that, more likely, Akiyuki is still Akiyuki and Xam’d is still Xam’d, they’re just now both in the same person.*** And, although the Xam’d may be, in the end, just a weapon, in the end, it’s still going to be up to Akiyuki to decide how to use it. What’s that phrase I commonly hear? “Love the sinner, hate the sin”? In Xam’d terms, this would be “Love the human, hate the weapon”.

BUT WAIT!

I don’t think we can hate the weapon, either. Fun.

(Is there some credit due to coburn here, after his comment on the last Xam’d post? I’m not sure, but here’s credit anyway!)

*I mustn’t say LCL, I mustn’t say LCL, I mustn’t…
**I HATE FURUICHI. HATE. HATE. HATE.
*** Funny, this reminds me of this other series I’m watching right now

Xam’d: Lost Memories: More Like Lost Lovers

I actually watched Xam’d 7 last night, and then got lazy, and then stayed lazy all day.

Actually, I’m pretty sure what I noticed in 7 has probably already been noticed by those more observant than me, but I’m somewhat intrigued by what’s going on in this regard (because I am, after all, a sappy sentimentalist living vicariously through the romantic relationships of fictional characters, but that’s my prerogative and not yours), and also because it adds in a different layer to what I talked about earlier (the chaotic nature of Xam’d). This is, of course, the long distance relationship of Akiyuki and Haru.

It’s obvious back to the first episode that, under normal circumstances, both had a thing for the other. It was a fairly key moment in Haru’s early development (chasing after Akiyuki while he was berserk under the influence of Xam’d) and in Akiyuki’s (insisting that Akushiba run like the wind to deliver his personal letter to Haru explaining that he was, in fact, alive), but I only just now seemed to latch onto its significance. In a world essentialy gone chaotic (which the world in Xam’d has done, even if the series itself wasn’t mirroring that chaos), the two of them hold on to each other as a kind of grounding point in the chaotic nature of war. With whoever they’re warring with. I’m not sure anyone knows that, even the military leaders.

More importantly, as Akiyuki longs to talk to and be with Haru again, Haru, herself, is trying her hardest to get back in contact with him–by joining the military, allowing her to leave the island and search for him. It’s possible she could have just played the waiting game and waited patiently for Akiyuki to return, but instead she actively pursues him. We already know she’s quite handy in a fight, but she became determined to join the military after she learned he was safe. While Haru serves as a base for Akiyuki to ground himself in while traveling with Benika’s mailmen/warriors, Haru instead uses Akiyuki as an excuse to move forward. Akiyuki, forced into an unfamillar situation, wants things to return to normal as soon as possible; by contrast, Haru is actively pursuing the unfamiliar in order to get back the familiar. They both remain grounded in each other, but take drastically different approaches to the same grounding.

On top of grounding the characters themselves, it also offers an anchor point for the viewer: we may not exactly know what is going on, but those among us who are sympathetic to the characters themselves will find plenty to comprehend and enough to ground them in the series while the rest of the situation fits itself around the characters. With each episode, we discover a bit more about the world and its mythology, but we also discover a bit more about the characters: Haru crying when she notices the escaped Xam’d is “pregnant” and insisting that it’s not an enemy to Furuichi, Akiyuki killing a Humanform Weapon against Nakiami’s orders not to, since she wants to preserve the human life within. Both serve to illuminate both the world and the characters themselves, without forcing the hand too much.

I’d almost say that, more than the crazy action and the fighting against Humanform Weapons and whatever else is going on with conspiracies a-flying and general, uh, chaos (is someone keeping a running tally of the number of times I say “chaos” in relation to Xam’d? You might want to, I’m far too lazy to do so), what Xam’d will actually be about for the characters isn’t so much the resolution of the war so much as staying grounded in reality, in something solid and affirmable amidst the increasing entropy. The best way to do that (and what most soldiers sent away to war tend to do) is simply to ground oneself in love and affection–for a significant other, family in genral, or that pet dog you really love. As the world goes to hell, what matters to people is what they formerly took for granted: human relationships.

I’m entirely unsure how far this line of thought will be pursued, but it is delicious nonetheless. Knowing BONES, this group of individuals in particular within BONES, and the general pattern of modern anime (or even anime in general), relationships will probably play a fairly major part over the course of Xam’d.

Or, uh, they’ll all just shut up and explode, for the BAD END. If so, pre-emptive Haru ;___________;

Xam’d: Lost Memories: I Still Don’t Know What’s Going On Here

But I’m pretty sure that’s the point of it all, and I care less as time goes on.

Considering how precious little we actually know about the world Xam’d takes place in, and the fact that we’ve essentially been dropped into the middle of a story, in the thick of the action, without any real exposition given to us to explain what, exactly, is going on, the series is still somehow utterly compelling and addictive to watch. I’m mostly going to chalk it up to the writers, who are, essentially, sitting behind the TV screen with a full deck of cards, in sequential order, explaining what’s going on in Xam’d in elaborate detail, and are presenting the viewer with a card, seemingly drawn randomly from their deck, at erratic intervals.

The way they’re handling it actually seems to contribute to the enjoyment of the series. I was slightly skeptical of the series upon seeing the very first, very short trailer released for the series, which was essentially a montage of random chaos set to really cool chaotic music. The more I watch, though, the more impressed I am. Chaos seems to be the order of the day, as expressed in the preview trailer and also in the fantastic OP, “SHUT UP AND EXPLODE” by the BOOM BOOM SATELLITES. When I checked the ANN page before watching the first episode I saw the name of the OP song and said “Oh, man, if that song is half as awesome as the band name and title make it out to be…” And, well, it was. It almost perfectly captures (along with the OP animation itself) the essence of the series, both musically and through its title. It’s a fairly chaotic song–but, like Xam’d itself, it’s not chaos without order.

The appeal comes from the fact that Xam’d, to me, seems like organized chaos. Everything feels like you don’t really know what’s going on–you’re given just enough to be able to appreciate, but there’s that ever-present “I need to know more” urge prompted by the writers’ haphazard card-tossing. Other series create the “I need to know more” feeling, of course–Urasawa Naoki creates entire series based around his readers dying to know more–but few seem to be able to do it in quite the way Xam’d is. I’ve seen six episodes, and the more I watch, it seems, the less I actually understand–yet, also, the less I understand, the less I actually seem to care that I don’t understand. Xam’d is on a 26 episode rip-rolling jet ride and you’re strapped to the back of the jet via a rope, and the jet is going at Mach 3.

The feeling of watching Xam’d (or, at least, my feeling watching Xam’d) might be hard to put in words, but there is one thing I can say: I can’t stop watching. I want to keep watching. If you ask me, this should have been BONES’ 10th anniversary series, and not Soul Eater. Nothing wrong with Soul Eater, mind–I still like it—but Xam’d feels much more like an anniversary show with all the stops pulled out.

And, of course, topping off the appeal of all the organized chaos is the very simple and easy-to-understand appeal of  Haru Nishimura:

She is going to kick some rogue Humanform Weapon posterior next week. I will be in bliss.

Xam’d: Lost Memories: The “Orikasa Fumiko Character in a ‘Mecha’ Series” Clause Still Holds True

IN THE BEGINNING, THERE WAS MEYRIN HAWKE.

THEN, THERE WAS SHIRLEY FENETTE:

AND, NOW, I SUBMIT HARU NISHIMURA:

I swear–swear–I don’t do this on purpose. Really, I don’t. I didn’t realize Shirley was voiced by Fumiko until episode two or three, and I’d already declared her made of more awesome and win than everyone else in Code Geass at the time, and in the case of Haru, she was prominently in the first promo art released–long before we knew who’d be playing her in the anime or even her name or even what Xam’d was actually about–and it was love at first sight*. It just happens that whenever Fumiko plays a major female character (who inevitably ends up doing nothing) in a show involving mecha (or mecha-like things designed by Kawamori Shoji), I like her character. However, I hold high hopes for Haru breaking the “useless” trend exhibited by the other two examples of this bizarre inexplicable phenomenon–see screenshot above.

In news that actually pertains to the actual content of Xam’d: Lost Memories, I am slightly unsure–it’s cool, I like it, but it’s also kind of confusing at the moment. Eureka Seven**, arguably, was the same way–confusing at the start, and the process of watching the series was like pieces falling into place and watching the whole get progressively more engrossing from its rather humble starting point. Xam’d, however, opted to go for a more “THIS IS AWESOME” approach to the story setting up, rather than the Eureka Seven approach, which made the series seem almost inauspicious at the start, meaning that when (by series end) people were talking about how awesome and great Eureka Seven was, people started watching the first episodes and saying ‘this isn’t awesome” and bailing.

At this stage (episode 3 of either 26 or 50 episodes, I’m not sure it’s been announced yet) it’s hard to tell much about this series, the world, or anything yet–but it’s definitely a Series to Watch Out For. The best part of the series for me, thus far, doesn’t even involve Haru–it’s the somewhat strained relationship between Akiyuki’s estranged parents. His mother still cares for his father, and he for her, but the two don’t seem to see eye to eye. The whole scene at the end of the second episode where she runs to his office to tell him Akiyuki didn’t come home eclipsed the crazy action and Haru spin-kicking that was the first half of the episode. There’s definitely some World-Saving Butt-Kicking For Justice afoot, but they aren’t forgetting that there’s more to a hero than simply saving the world. Even though we don’t really know that much about Akiyuki. Yet.

* the special kind of shallow love reserved for characters you know nothing about except their external appearance
** Last I checked, the two series were supposed to share a good deal of staff amongst the two–and they do–but most of the important roles are filled by different people, which makes that comparison somewhat unfair, but I think it’s pretty shoved in my head at this point so I’m going to leave it there and stir up controversy!


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