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I'm apperently not very skilled at this whole "update on a regular basis" sort of thing, so please look forward to more spontaneous updates in the near future.

Believe it or not, I moved into a new apartment by myself almost two months ago and I went a month without cable and internet, so I had a lot of time to occupy and decided I had better get started on this ever growing pile of "TO WATCH" stuff I had had lying around.

Just after I had moved my TV and VCR/DVD deck in (which was about a day after I had moved everything else), I sat back and watched my un-completed Bubblegum CRASH OAV set. By Uncomplete, I mean I have 1 out of the 3 episodes in the OAV. Not to mention, it is on VHS, so we can debate visual qualities later. However, even though I've had this OAV for quite sometime and had seen it before, it had been ages since I had seen it. Bubblegum CRASH, while compared to its prequel Bubblegum Crisis, its no where near as good but it hold true to some of what BgC fans come to expect - hot girls, hot mecha, hard/punk rock - but also it seems the advancements in anime technology and style that came about in the early and middle 1990s are also adding thier own spin on an old Cyberpunk classic.

Soon after I did BgCrash, I broke out some VHS fansubs that I still need to get on DVD. The big thing on my list was Marmalade Boy. I had started watching the series agin from the beginning more or less to try and get myself reaquainted with the characters. I really do want to get this series on DVD, but I am going to have to either wait a little bit longer or I am going to have to find a good deal coming up at AWA here in about a month. However, I have been watching Marmalade Boy very sparingly. I first started watching the fansubs about the last semester of high school, more actively in the summer following it. I only got up to episode 28, which is somewhere near the middle of the series I believe. However, I remember exactly how addicting the story was. This is why I have to be sparing with it - since there are four boxes out now, they can probably cover the entire series, which means I will be spending a bunch of money right away just to meet my fix. Whoever coined the phrase "Anime - Crack is Cheaper" is right.

However, while this blitz of nostalgia and old VHS was going on, I was doing a good bit of small DVD investment as well. It's hard for me to remember exactly all of the DVDs I picked up, but there can't be that many anime DVDs. I finished off my Giant Robo DVD collections, including the GinRei Special. Now I need to get some friends over for a weekend so we can watch all of GR because anime that good needs to be shared. I also picked up the Matsumoto Reiji Classic My Youth in Arcadia. I've not sat down to watch it, but I might if there is another Friday by myself or something. Arcdia, from the last time that I watched it, is something that cannot be rushed and must be something one is in the mood for, much like a glass of good scotch. The appreciation for good scotch that connessours are usually rambling about is generally what I myself have both said and heard from other fans who have been graced to watch this film. I can understand why not many people, especially newer fans, would not like this film. There are not overtly sexual female characters who likewise get called "XXX-tan" nor is there a running gag and humor. Matsumoto tells very detailed and dialogue rich stories, which even as a fan, can get dry and boring. Damn, I sound like an elietist, but its true. Matsumoto's work is on the borderline of a privlidge to watch. Of course, sinc AnimEigo did the translation and authoring work for the North American release of Arcdia, the final product is absolutely fantastic. Another movie I picked that I had not seen in a while was the second Urusei Yatsura movie, Beautiful Dreamer . This film, like the other UY films I believe, is directed by the same man who directed the TV series andhas become a big name as of late becasue of his direction of films like Jin Rou, Oshii Mamoru. I like to watch Oshii do the TV version of the UY TV series, but I don't nessecarily like his work on the films. I think it is the unique way of how he sees and interperets things and I'm not fond of prolonged exposure to that sort of thing. The TV series is set up so rarely a continuous story runs the full length of a normal TV episode; instead, each epsiode is composed of two parts, usually the stories are unrelated to each other. It also may be that I like Takahashi Rumiko's method of storytelling and characters, and that's where the TV series is based, out of her manga; however, when a film project comes up, there are probably a pool of ideas dicussed and then the story is written. This is where Oshii can gain a lot more control over how the series is presented. Beautiful Dreamer is a psychadelic trip of a movie; literally, Bill Murray's Grounhog Day on acid. It's a good film, but be warned: saying it is strange, weird, unique or what have you is only a tip of the iceberg.

I've also been playing catch-up on all of my downloaded stuff, too. I am making head-way into Touch, which is becoming more and more of a favorite of mine. Like Takahashi, I really like the way Adachi Mitsuru writes simple stories and complex characters in them - yet all of it is just as dramatic and interesting as a regular TV drama. It is definately not like the anime of our modern time now. I even scored a torrent of his mid-1990s shounen baseball anime, H2. Because of formatting issues though (for some reason, the group decided to use OGG) and this makes it a little more cumbersome to watch. Though, I have checked out a couple episodes of a drama of H2 that was running earlier this year or even last year and I like the premise of the story. Hopefully the anime will be just as good. I've also considered picking up the manga for this series, as well as completing my collection of Touch.

Speaking of sport anime, I've also bee watching the late 1980s to early 1990s classic YAWARA. I'll admit, that after watching a lot of 2003 anime and I picked up YAWARA that it was a refreshing shock, like diving in a cold pool on a hot summer day. The animation, which even I would describe as dated, is blissfully 80s. The story is semi-far-fetched, a girl who has been trained all her life by her Judo master grandfather reluctantly working to capture not only the National Citizen's Acheivement Award but also a gold medal from the Barcelona Olympics. But the emotion and tactics demonstrated in the anime are very true to life (or rather, as true to life as an anime can get, I suppose). The series has a very slow start though; the first episode really gets you geared up but between there and about the 11th or 12 episode, the only real perks are the few fight scenes. Once the story moves forward through, it is engrossing to say the least.

Zipang, which, intrestingly enough is brand spanking new (Well, April start time, I believe) has garnished some interest from me, too. I've downloaded the first episode and done nothing with it other than check a few brief interests in it. I think that it is probably the only anime I've ever checked out because of controversey from the fan community. And with school just starting, and having a lot more reading to do than normal, I think I will have to do some very strategic planning to get this series watched through as well as perhaps trying to pick up a couple of other series.

Last and certainly not least brings me to Moble Suit Zeta Gundam! I'm up to about disc eight now and we're getting to Char's meeting with Haman and the rest of Axis Zeon. Needless to say, I'm excited, but I've just got too much stuff going on right now to just plop down and watch it all now.



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