Lots to update......

Anime Viewing:

As I was carousing through Media Play by accident last week or so, I happened upon the first two Flame of Recca 『烈火の炎』 DVDs. I began watching this series a few years ago, right around 1998 or 1999 on fansub, but I didn't get very far with it. I had the first four episodes and I had always wanted to see more, but was never able to actually get more of it; then it was licensed.

But now, I've gotten my hands on the series again in the updated DVD (as opposed to a first generation VHS copy). I really liked the remastering job from the Japanese LD/VHS to DVD that this series made, but when I was watching through the first volume the other morning last week, a flood of nostalgia and even some surprises came over me. First, and most notable, is the animation quality. I generally like animation styles like this as it mimics early to mid-1990s popular style of animation, but in terms of TV series, there really was some serious financial backing behind the animation studio.

The story is interesting; so far we have a mysterious princess and her ninja servant, the last of his clan, supposedly sent through time for thier own safety and are, ironically, now being hunted. There are some excellent ninja and martial arts sequences, but also Flame gains bonus points in the fantasy aspect with the use of Asian supernatural elements.

Next is the opening theme. It's amazingly catchy but amazingly forgettable. I enjoy it a lot when I am watching it, but I am not going out of my way to find a copy of The Oystars' CD or a Flame OST. The ending theme is likewise but I don't find it quite as enjoyable as the opening, "Nanka Shiawase" 『何か幸せ』.

All in all, I am looking forward to getting some more freetime in the coming weeks so I can venture into the second DVD and actually get to the episodes I haven't seen yet.

Moving onto my fansub adventures, I'm catching back up with the new Aa! Megami-sama TV series 『ああっ!女神さまっ』. I watched episodes three and four this afternoon. I must say that the in-episode computer generated and animated scenes are used sparesly and I actually think are executed quite well. The things I was most impressed with in these episodes was the debut of Holy Bell in the third episode and the introduction of the Buddhist priest in that same episode. I really liked the Priest (who is named, but I cannot remember his name at the moment) character; he had a jolly feel about him and his character sat really well with me. I'm hoping that we will see more of this character as the series progresses. I think it's honestly a shame to simply have him in only one episode.

One thing I nitpicked originally was the pacing of the series; but the pacing has been adjusted and seems to be moving at a much better pace. I also liked in episode four that they elaborated on the play between Morisato Keiichi and Mishima Sayoko. It was something that I felt went a little too under-developed in the OAV series.

And for the reading....

I've begun reading Busou Renkin a few weeks ago because I'm a fan of Watsuki Nobuhiro and his Rurouni Kenshin series. When I found out he had a new series that was more popular and running a full run, I figured I need to at least read it.

I picked up the first volume before Christmas and read it, but I need to glance through it one more time to make a serious post on it. Just shows how much of a good read this was.

Gives me more of an excuse to make a seperate post concerning Busou Renkin.

As I was grabbing dinner at Waffle House last night, I was catching up and reading one of my issues of Young JUMP; namely my more favorite stories of Koukou Tekkenden Tough 『高校鉄拳伝タッフ』 and Kuni ga moeru 『国が燃える』. Tough didn't leave me with any surprises except that the fights are paced really, really slow in this manga. I like this manga mostly beacasue it is a fighting arts manga. My only real complaint about Tough is that for readers who aren't, let's say martial arts inclined, it doesn't do a whole lot of explaining with the techniques and other various waza.

Kuni, on the other hand, has surprsied me recently. Last Autumn, the manga was suspended for publishing an unauthenticated picture of the Rape of Nanking by Young JUMP; however, the manga is back now, and is now writing chapters that appear after the end of the Pacific War. It's not like Kuni is not used to jumping around. The chapters jump all over in terms of timelines. It's a good read on a chapter by chapter basis, but nothing that really seems to go in any perticular order. I think I need to go and get the tankouban and see if they form a much more coherent and consistant story.

Up next:

Viewing Journal:
Turn A Gundam TV episodes 1-5
Touch TV episodes 6-10
Aa! Megami-sama TV episode 5
Aura Battler (Sei Senshi) Dunbine TV episode 6-9 (10?)

Manga Readings:
Busou Renkin Volume 1
Katsu! Volume 1
Varying chapters out of Young JUMP



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