Archive for the ‘Anime/Manga’ Category

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To Become A God

October 21, 2010

Death Note is the name of this manga and anime series. I was on the edge of my seat, while watching the episodes on cable tv. And I enjoyed it so much, that I read the manga, within one week. Of course, the manga is slightly better than the anime. But only by a little, as it’s the same dialog and movements included in each the anime episodes. The only thing that differ between the two, is that the manga has a little more story on the supporting characters.

What is Death Note? Well, I’ll tell you. But, for those planning to read the manga or watch the anime, you may not want to read this following post. Though, what I will explain is covered in the first episode or manga chapter, anyways. ;-)

Death Note starts with a death god name Ryuk, who is basically bored with his world. He travels into the human world and drops his supernatural death notebook in a school yard, on purpose.  A young high-school kid named Light Yagami finds the book, discovering it’s powers to cause death to anyone he chooses, just by writing the name of that person inside the book. Light first test out the book on a criminal and the criminal dies. And this is when Ryuk introduces himself to the frighten kid, highly amused and entertained by his own mischievous experiment. But Light’s fear quickly turns into a firm plan, to rid the world of all criminals and to become a god of the new peaceful world. As Light began killing off many criminals, even those who were only accused of crimes, he attracts the attention of authorities. Mainly his father, who is an police chief, and his father’s crew. And also a genius detective named “L”.  No one knows that the mysterious killer of criminals or alleged criminals is Light. And on the same token, no one has seen or know who this genius detective L is either. This series is all about a cat and mouse game, of L vs. Light, as the young student slowly descends into madness and darkness.

This anime/manga, is one of the more thought-provoking ones. As L and Light play their complex game, of trying to stop one another. It’s up to you, the viewer, to make up your mind who is the good-guy and who is the bad one. At the start, I wasn’t so sure if Light was a bad guy, as I often wish for a world of peace. And I have no care toward criminals, in general. But after three episodes, I was pretty sure that Light was the bad guy!  He is not my favorite character, even though I do like Ryuk, who is the demon who caused all the trouble in the first place. I also like Misa, Light’s girlfriend and partner in crime… well, I feel sorry for her mostly. Ryuk and Misa fall into the gray areas of life, I believe. But as for the good guy, I am a huge fan of L.  But it doesn’t matter which side you’re on, this anime is most entertaining and never dull. ;-)

And I think the lesson of this anime is: It’s never good (no matter how pure intentions are at the start) for man to aspire to become a god over others. Humans are too weak for the job, and what seems like a way to do good, will ultimately turn into something twisted. By the end of the series, Light had practically turned into a power-hungry monster, so far away from his original plans… Or his original self.

-D

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Man Vs. The Forest

September 29, 2010

“Princess Mononoke” is a movie by Studio Ghibli, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It’s not particularly a “family-move”, as there is a little profanity and LOTS of blood and violence. But, the best way to describe this movie (in my opinion) is that it’s a Japanese version of the movie, “FernGully”. :-p

Miyazaki has a love for nature and often put into his films the themes of taking care of forests and lakes. This film is set in the Muromachi period of Japan and concentrates solely on the struggles between man and nature. It’s a story of supernatural guardians of the forests in a war with the humans who insist on consuming the forests resources. It’s very in depth, in it’s plot and the moral of the story.

Also, of course, there a plenty of creatures in this story that are highly fascinating. It would not be a Miyazaki film, without a strange creature or two! ;-)

I do love the Forest Spirit, which is a god with the power to give life or to give death. During the night, he is called the “Nightwalker” (seen in the picture above), and he changes into the shape of night. And during the day, his appearance is that of a great elk with a human-like face.

On a cuter side of things, I also love the tree sprites, called “Kodama”. They help guide the main hero of the story, Ashitaka, through the forests. They are the cutest little creatures ever!

There are thousands of Kodamas in any given forest and they are a sign that a forest is healthy. These creatures can appear and disappear at will. But some people find them intimidating, even though they are a lot friendly. The Kodamas have a deep reverence for the Forest Spirit.

This movie is a lot interesting, entertaining, and reminds us all to be more caring and respectful toward nature. :-)

-D

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Ready, Set, Let’s Go!

August 31, 2010

This is one of my favorite anime movies, from Studio Ghibli. It’s called, “My Neighbor Totoro”! And yes, this one features the characters mentioned in my previous post, the Sootballs. ;-)

It’s a story about two daughters of a professor, who move to the country, and discover the friendly forest spirits nearby. It’s also a story about facing fears and the love of a family. It’s not the most deepest story in the Studio Ghibli collection, but it is a lot of fun! And the voices of the daughters, Satsuki and Mei, are done by Dakota Fanning and her sister-Elle Fanning.

Whenever I’m feeling lonely or sad, this is THE movie that helps me cheer up. I can’t stay frowning, with the huge lovable Totoro discovering rain and umbrellas for the first time. Or Mei chasing around an forest spirit. Or the Sootballs having a meeting in the rafters. Not to mention the wonders of The Cat Bus! :-)

I happen to love a few songs of this movie’s soundtrack: “Stroll”, “Totoro Song”, and “The Wind Forest”.

I guess, I love this movie so much, because it reminds me of the simplicity and innocence of childhood. It’s easy for me to forget my real adult troubles, for a few hours, and to be a child for a moment, as I watch this film. I get excited for Mei, when she first finds the forest spirit in her backyard. And I hold my breath in anticipation, when Satsuki rides the Cat Bus! :-)

-D

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Fun With Soot!

August 30, 2010

I admit it, I seem to like the most weirdest things! In Miyazaki’s animated films, “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro”, there are Sootballs! Sootballs are very cute dust-spirits, who love to eat star-shaped candies (as seen in the photo above), and they tend to haunt old houses. Each Sootball has it’s own personality and feelings, which adds to the child-like wonder to Miyazaki’s films.

I love these little guys (or girls?) because they are way too cute and add some excitement to the stories. The Sootballs don’t own any speaking parts in the films (if they can speak, that is…) and they have no annoying chanting songs (like elves or dwarfs…), but their presence alone and silent expressions are very entertaining. :-)

What are they, exactly? Well, Sootballs are spirits or sprites, who inhabits a house and haunts it. Much like ghosts, but more friendlier. Sootballs inhabit dark places and immediately flee in the presence of light. But once they’ve decided that the people living in the house are good people, they will leave to haunt the next house.

It’s just one of those weird things in anime, that mysterious lore which always have me asking, “Why?”. Why do the Sootballs only inhabited the houses of bad people, when they are clearly nice creatures? And how do they feel, after making friends with a family and having to leave them? Do the Sootballs have such feelings or sentiment, to start with? And what is their overall purpose in their hauntings?

I know, it’s a children’s movie and I shouldn’t think too hard on it. But, I still do. :-p

-D

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School Daze!

July 22, 2010

I am in love with this manga, named “Oresama Teacher”. I began reading it in Febuary of this year, and I look forward to the new issues, every month. ;-)

It’s a story about a girl named Mafuyu Kurosaki, who was the toughest and the leader of her school gang, always winning fights (single-handedly) against rival gangs of seven guys or more. But, she fell into major trouble for fighting at school and was sent away to a school for reforming delinquents. Her mother is highly disappointed and threatens to disown her, if she doesn’t reform and become a good a proper young woman. So, Mafuyu cuts her hair (she’s the one with gray hair, in the photo above) and makes a goal to start her new year in the deliquent school as a sweet little girl, wanting to be more feminine.

However, in this school of very rough students and several gangs within it, she is being pulled back into her old gang-life. She meets two mysterious guys, Hayasaka and Takaomi. She struggles with the issues of love, of trying to stay out of trouble so her mother won’t disown her, and balancing her habit of getting into fights at school. :-p

This manga is a lot hilarious! And I identify with Mafuyu, in many ways. No, I was never the one to get into many fights at school, but I understand the high demands she had faced in her past and now in her present. She’s just a girl trying to find her way in life, to have friends, and to stay out of trouble… yet trouble always seem to find her! Especially with Takaomi around. ;-)

-D

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The Sixty-Billion Double Dollar Man

July 15, 2010

An oldie,  but an goodie… “Trigun” is the name of this anime and manga. I’m a huge fan of it’s main character, “Vash: The Stampede”, so much that I’ve named my cat Vash. :-)

This anime takes place on a futuristic desert planet, that resembles the wild western days.Vash is called “The Stampede”, and he is mostly feared by all, because whole towns and cities happen to be destroyed when he’s passing through them. That’s why there is an huge reward on his capture, dead or alive, of sixty-billion double dollars!

But the real truth of it is, Vash is not the monster that everyone believes he is… he’s actually a pacifist and had this rule to never kill anyone, even in battle. Towns and cities happen to be destroyed by accident or when his foes come after him, having no regard for the town’s property or human life. Vash himself is a very unlikely hero, as he’s goofy, a womanizer, and have a love for donuts! He’s easily sentimental and will cry at the drop of a hat.

However, in his battle skills and hidden abilities, Vash is no one to fool with! He may not kill you… but he will kick your ass, and have you on the ground repeating his favorite motto, “This world is made of love and peace!” ;-)

I have read most of the manga, but I have seen all of the anime. Usually the manga is better than the anime, when it comes to manga vs. anime,  but not for Trigun. I personally liked the anime more than the manga, not to mention the soundtrack for this anime. I did rush out and buy “The First Donut” cd, when it had first hit stores, some years back. I haven’t regret it, as I enjoy many of this album’s tracks, which brings back great memories of the anime.

Love and Peace!

-D

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The Way Of A Leaf

July 5, 2010

I was not remotely interested in this manga named “Naruto”. In fact, I had planned to avoid it altogether, as my thought of ninjas have been that they were all blood-thirsty paid assassins, with no ties or loyalty to anyone, besides the worth of a coin and how much they would get to kill off a person. In the Ninjas vs. Pirates argument, I’ve always chosen Pirates… :-p

But, my best friend kept being a pain… bugging me to read the manga with him… over and over again…. waking me up in the middle of the night with strange Naruto messages on my cell-phone, leaving Naruto notes in my mailbox, and sending Naruto themed flowers to my job… How he got that Naruto poster on the ceiling above my bed, I’ll never know! :-o

Kidding… heehee… but he did whine A LOT, for me to read the manga. ;-)

Finally, I broke down and read it… my arms folded the whole time, swearing that I wouldn’t like it! :-/

But…. and I grudgingly admit this… I do like Naruto. It’s not a bad manga, at all. I can related to how Naruto grew up, that loneliness and darkness, I know it well. And most of all, the way of this ninja village – it’s moral code and beliefs, mirrors my own personal codes. So, I guess not all ninjas are ruthless and heartless killers for hire. :-p

This manga is about a boy named Naruto, who has an fox-demon sealed away within him, called The Nine Tails. He lives in a village of ninjas, learning to become  an ninja, along with other adolescents who wish to be one too. But his grand wish is to get stronger, becoming Hokage (leader) of this ninja village (Hidden Leaf) someday.

This manga has the action that matches that of “Trigun”, also the deep messages and emotionality of “Fruits Basket”. So, if you are a fan of either anime/manga, you will enjoy Naruto. :-)

ALSO… there’s a cutie in this one, that I can’t help loving… his name is Hatake Kakashi! That’s the white hair guy, on the far right of the photo above. And in this one too:

 Sigh… I also added a music video of him, in my Vodpod collections (see the right side bar of this blog, under the calendar. –>)

-D