Archive for January 5th, 2008

SURPRISE! Rosario + Vampire Has Fanservice!

That has got to hurt.

Yes, I’m following up a post on Ookiku Furikabutte with Rosario + Vampire, which is a show about…panties. And more panties. And hamster-esque things with bat wings that announce that they are bats to the viewer. They do not have panties, but every other female in the show does. And boy, do you get to know that fact fast.

Seriously, that was a lot of panties. The show doesn’t shirk from the fact that it’s totally trashy and meant for a puerile audience. We didn’t even get thirty seconds into the first episode before there were two pantyshots. From a girl who has no name, and will not ever have a name since she existed for the sole purpose of flashing the viewer with panties. Twice. I’m dead serious when I say Rosario + Vampire is utterly shameless.

That may be, perhaps, why it’s moderately amusing in the first episode. The whole episode felt like the author of the original manga knew that he was writing a trashy manga, and so he just didn’t even bother trying to hide things and just made crap up. I’m certain that it’s only in anime-land where a school named “Youkai Gakuen” does not sound creepy and ominous to someone. I’m certain that most romance comedies don’t have declarations of love 12 minutes into the first episode. I’m pretty sure that is one hell of a long tongue that orc-person had. And his saliva looks suspicious…

I expected absolutely nothing but fanservice from this series, and that is exactly what I ended up with. The first episode was moderately amusing, mostly due to the fact that, again, I got the major impression that it just didn’t take itself seriously. It could have been a little more over-the-top, I guess, but it’s decent enough. At least it’s something to watch this semester when my brain is shot from my senior thesis and I need a spot of panties to get me through the day. It’s like tea for the British.

Well, that was certainly an exciting game of baseball

Put ’em up, pardner. This here baseball field ain’t big enough for the two of us.

After watching the obligatory initial practice game, which, since this is a sports anime after all, was every bit as thrilling and exciting as a real game, Ookiku Furikabutte has gotten quite amazing. Like the only other sports anime series I’ve seen (Hajime no Ippo) it handles the ups and downs of playing a sport well, and generates real tension during the actual baseball game. The scrimmage match was played against Mihashi’s old teammates (you know, the ones who ridiculed him for being a terrible slow pitcher) and the focus of the match was not the game but, rather, Mihashi overcoming the fears and doubts of his past.

I know, I know, you’re feeling like you want to shout “This is symbolism!” at the screen right now, but the series intentionally makes no effort to hide it. By the end of the game, Mihashi’s old teammates have apologized to him for their mistreatment of him during middle school, as they’ve now seen that, when paired with an effective team, Mihashi is indeed a formidable pitcher. All this and a thrilling game of baseball that’s more fun than real baseball! It’s a win-win situation!

One thing I’ve noticed I like about this series: in a genre where the main character is usually a star player and an arrogant dick, Mihashi is…a star player and insecure of himself. It’s an interesting change up, and that’s probably part of the reason that the manga won the Osamu Tezuka Award and Kodasha Manga Award–not only does it offer an interesting change in lead character for sports manga, it also handles it with aplomb. It’s just refreshing to have a sports anime that doesn’t focus on how manly the main character is, and instead handles a much more complicated issue: how human athletes are.

With the triumphing over adversity of Ippo and the high character-driven emotional content of shoujo (the author is orignally a shoujo/josei author…of BL manga, hence the somewhat unsubtle gay undertones, and the massive fujoshi fanbase), Ookiku Furikabutte is another seinen title that fuses the good parts of shoujo and shounen and creates a truly wonderful story. And, trust me on this one, we could use a lot more titles that fuse shoujo and shounen.

Sochie-sama ga Miteru

This screamed “wallpaper me!” at me, so I did. It works pretty well, if you don’t mind TONS of blank white space. But that’s where you put your icons, though, right? I would, if I had any.

I need to watch Turn A Gundam again soon. Maybe after I watch Wing…


I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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January 2008