Archive for the 'shinigami no ballad' Category

I Cannot Touch You, But I Can Kill You.

So, I hope everyone’s rushing to the local bookstores at the crack of dawn on March 25th to buy the light novel!

I finally, after some ill-deserved neglect, finished Shinigami no Ballad. (Yes, it took me months to watch six episodes. Yes, you may call me a turtle, since that’s what the T stands for anyway) And yes, it was a grand series. It’s very simple in format, actually; every episode revolves around a lost loved one of some kind. In the anime, the only episode where a character actually dies is the first one. In the other episodes, the deceased has already died, and Momo is merely there shepherding their loved ones with messages and kindness. Yes, kindness. Yes, Momo is a shinigami. Yes, she is crying in the screencap there.

The stories are less “serious” than those of Shigofumi, which deals with the theme of death in a much more searching, philosophical bent (and also with more guns). What it is good at, though, is portraying that even in grief, there is hope. You may not actually have a sympathetic (and rather cute) shinigami girl visit you to cure you of your sorrow, and things that have troubled you since the passing of your loved one, but the message is clear in every episode: death is final, yet life moves on, and grief turns to hope. There’s also great episodes like the second one, where Momo “shocks” the lead character into confessing to the girl he loves and thereby improving his life, despite not actually dying in the end (the lesson learned in this episode is “life is short, but it’s what you make of it that counts” or “carpe diem” or something like that, I’m bad with these things). Every episode leaves warm fuzzies inside–maybe not overwhelming warm fuzzies, but they are there, and they are most certainly warm and fuzzy.

It’s the counterpart, therefore, to Shigofumi’s brooding nature: it’s not necessary the worse the wear for not having deep and profound truths on the nature of death, as sometimes simple messages are the ones that get across best. Personally, I can’t wait for the novel to get released here (I am meeting frustration in preordering it, however, as my local bookstore, which I fervently support, due to being local and cool and all,  seems to have no idea that the book is even going to exist at some point in the future. Alas), as I’ve wanted to see how the novel stands up. I have heard nothing but positive acclaim for it, so my hopes are moderately high, but judging from the anime, I won’t be disappointed.  And, yes, you should buy the book. Because you want to see more books that “read like anime,” don’t you?

Shinigami no Ballad: Warm Sorrow is Preferred Here

So I’m only halfway through Shinigami no Ballad (which isn’t saying much as the series is six episodes) but it’s impressed me every episode (all three of them). I’m a big fan of Mochizuki Tomomi’s direction (especially in Zettai Shounen, expect a post on that once I finish rewatching it), and he’s certainly at top form in this anime. Witness what is becoming one of my favorite Mochizuki camera angles ever:

The camera in INSIDE THE ALARM CLOCK. How is that not awesome?

Random comments on silly camera angles aside, the series really is warm. The story of episode one is probably the saddest one, although, by the end of it, it’s kind of heartwarming. The other two episodes I’ve seen have all been much less sad, but the important thing that ties these episodes together is that they’re all simple tales of romance. And there isn’t much more I like in anime than a softly-told romance (hence my predilection for yuri), so that just makes this series even better, in my opinion. And it’s always been my opinion that Mochizuki does soft real well–he directed Twin Spica, after all.

Short post, I know, but more people need to watch this little gem of a show. It deserved more than six episodes, and it’s a must-see for Mochizuki fans (all five of you). I hear it was based on a light novel series–maybe if my Japanese reading ability ever gets up to snuff I’ll read them.

UPDATE: The light novels are LICENSED so I don’t have to worry about reading Japanese! I can read them in English! Hooray for laziness!


NOTICE SHAMELESSLY STOLEN FROM G.K. CHESTERTON

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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