Still Alive

Even if I’m not feeling very well. Still, while I’m waiting on the first two shows of the new year to download, I’ve managed to get my 2007 “worst” list finished. Now all I’ve got to do is get, prep, and upload the screenshots for it. Even managed to get a good start on the “honorable mentions list.” I’d like to get a little further into it though, in case I forget something that really should have been on the first list, like last year.

The two shows? H20 and Rosario + Vampire. AEN, the group doing the latter, is said to value speed over accuracy, and lack anyone who understands proper English. I’ll probably end up getting a better fansub later. One thing I noticed in the Youtube raw — the first panty shot is only seconds into the hard opening. It’s followed quickly by two more. We may be talking Najica Panty Blitz levels here.

Oddly, like last year, I seem to be having problems with my router again. It’s been acting strange for the last month, sometimes refusing to let my computers talk to each other or the net; it’s dropped a lot of connections tonight, and I got kicked off of WOW three times. I’ve had to reset it three times since the beginning of December; I wonder if I need to flash the bios again? I doubt it, but it’s up to something not good.

Update: just watched H20. After hearing about the crotchplant, I was expecting a dumb show, along the lines of GSNK, perhaps. That’s not what I got. I’m not sure what I do have, but it’s completely crossed me up. The H20 has nothing to do with water; instead it’s the names of three girls involved with Takuma: Hayami, Hamaji, and Otoha. The fourth girl, Hinata, seems to exist only to accidentally do crotchplants, get felt up by Takuma’s cane, and have simliar inept but sexually charged accidents. Hamaji is the cheerful one, but we didn’t see much of her this episode, thanks to the other two. Hayami is the withdrawn girl — not autistic, but there’s something strange about her, and she’s very unpopular.

It’s not comical, and it’s not played that way. At all. Our introduction to her is when she’s getting the crap beaten out of her in the rain by two guys. It seems that Yui, the “alpha beauty/bitch” of the school, regularly has her henchmen beat Hayami up on flimsy excuses. The council president, all the other students, and presumably, the invisible staff of the rural middle school all turn a blind eye. Takuma tries to intervene, but in deference to his blindness, Hayami keeps him out of it and the henchmen simply warn him off.

Despite that, the really peculiar one is Otoha. She calls herself “the spirit of the sounds of time” and says that Takuma is the promised one… to whom she’ll lend her powers temporarily. It’s up to him to do with them what he will.

She’s serious, and she is not making it up.

I left out a lot here, but to sum it up, we’ve got fanservice, paranormal abilities, some religious references, poetry, a young boy whose bitterness at his blinding has faded to a sense of melancholy in which he refuses to wallow, school melodrama, a bit of pathos, and a lot of cute girls. It’s a bit off my beaten path, but the girls are cute enough to keep me watching for a while. Someone better get a handle on Yui right quick though; I don’t cotton to watch pretty girls get beaten up by so-called men. That’s one of my hot-button Issues with a capital “I”.

Well, Rosario has finished downloading too. I’ll go watch it and see how bad AEN’s translation is now.

Update 2: first panty shot at the 12-second mark (if you allow for a 5-second AEN splash screen).

Update 3: Ok, more panty shots than I could shake a stick at, and almost all of them were Moka’s. Not to mention she’s got a pretty fair cleavage, even in her “normal” form. The animation is crappy, the premise is silly, and the translation wasn’t as bad as I expected — though it certainly wasn’t top notch, by far. Of the two shows, I’m more intrigued by H20, but then, I did watch GSNK all the way through on the strength of Mayu and Reika, so I’ll probably follow this one too.

One thing I noticed though… I don’t think Tskune is a full human. No idea how the manga went, but I noticed the following:
1. The school is supposed to be sealed by a magical barrier that would KILL any human entering (assuming it’s not a bad translation).
2. When Tskune is thrown into a vending machine, he’s surprised to find that it didn’t seriously hurt him, though it did knock the wind out of him.
3. As he’s entering the area the school is sealed, he’s talking on the phone to someone he knows who states that “her precious” is going there. They’re cut off by the tunnel/barrier. The impression left is that she’s an aunt talking about her daughter… which could mean, depending on several factors, that he’s 1/4 youkai himself.

However, one of the youkai notes that “it smells like human around here” so he’s at least half, and probably majority human. Still, this means that he’s got either a family friend or a cousin hidden at the school that could also be an ally, in addition to Moka, who is absolutely girlishly smitten with him. After all, he’s her first. (First meal on two feet that is…she’d been drinking the bottled stuff instead of draft, if you get my meaning.) And finally, although his presence is against the rules, the point of making the students stay in their human forms is to get them to understand that they have to live in the dominant human society. By extension, his presence there could be considered a test, one the students would fail if they attacked him.

Not that I expect that to actually play a part; it’s too logical. No, conflict being necessary, he’ll be discovered by various parties that try to eat him, and Moka will have to keep coming to his rescue. I have to wonder where the plot is, in all this.

Oh, and unless AEN blew the translation, next week we add a succubus. As long as it isn’t Mayu or Reika, we’re ok, I guess…

Edit: Went back through and checked all the references to the person he speaks to on the phone. Her name is “Kyo-chan” and I would guess from the context that she is not his aunt (mode of address is all wrong) but she is the niece of his mother; i.e.: she’s his cousin, and the “precious” she speaks of is Tskune himself. So there’s not a relative or friend there, and it cuts out one argument for him being part youkai, while setting up a possible romantic rival for Moka later on. A severely outgunned one, as in Hayate.

I really don’t like that; for there to be any credence given to the rival, she’s got to be on a reasonably level playing field. Where the male lead and one of the girls share a special bond, the others easily become afterthoughts, doomed to disappointment. The audience knows how it “should” play out, and how they want it, so the other girls are just in the way. A rare exception to this is in SnS: Shana and Yoshida aren’t nearly equal in “power” or in experiences with Yuuiji, but Yoshida understands her own heart better, and is far more confident on the emotional battlefield — so it doesn’t come across as a lopsided contest.

Oh well, it’s late and I’m rambling.

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15 Responses to Still Alive

  1. jgreely says:

    The core group of girls are: vampire (Moka), succubus (Kurumu), witch (Yukari), and snow fairy (Mizore). Their last names match their character. Respectively: Akashiya (red night), Kurono (from black), Sendou (wizard child), and Shirayuki (white snow). Our Hero is Aono (green field).

    Tentatively, I’m classifying R+V as a monster-of-the-week harem panty-fighter. If the anime takes plot cues from the manga, I suspect the overall story will be “I must become stronger to defend the girls (and survive their affection)”.


  2. Ubu Roi says:

    That’s going to be interesting, seeing as right now, he couldn’t survive squat without the girls. Unfortunately, I agree, I’m getting the “panty fighter” vibe from it, and that’s not a plus in my book. *cough* Ikkitousen *cough*

  3. So is the succubus the one with blue hair? The vampire has pink hair, and obviously the witch is the short one who carries the wand. So there’s blue hair and purple hair, and I’m guessing the latter is the snow fairy. (50% chance of being right, anyway.)

  4. jgreely says:

    My color vision is of the sort where “blue” and “purple” are difficult to distinguish sometimes (the only thing I can reliably see as purple is a purple Sharpie). In the picture in your winter season post, from left to right: succubus, vampire, witch, snow fairy.


  5. Ubu Roi says:

    Just watched the Ayako-Bakawolf version. Kyou is definitely his cousin, and the translation makes less of Tskune’s bouncing off the vending machine.

  6. Pingback: Suck My Blood « The Animanachronism

  7. jgreely says:

    I don’t know about that; I think a determined succubus could provide some stiff competition. And Moka only has a one-day head start, if Kurumu is introduced in episode 2. From the screenshots you can see that she’s also in their homeroom class, sitting in the back of the next row, so she’s in a good position to interfere.

    (And since all of my knowledge about the series comes from volume 7 of the manga, I’m trying to avoid saying anything that could end up being a spoiler, or simply irrelevant to the anime continuity.)


  8. Ubu Roi says:

    Yeah, I spotted her when I went back and watched it again. Kurumu is going to have to work at it though, Moka puts the “vamp” in Vampire. Only girl I’ve seen that eager to tackle a guy she just met was Mayu, and it took her, oh, ten minutes to warm up to Shungo that much. But she was a succubus too…. (Ok, ok, I have seen others, just kidding).

  9. jgreely says:

    Ah, that’s Moka’s secret: she’s a glompire.


  10. It looks to me like his biggest problem is going to be anemia. She feeds off him twice in the first episode alone, doesn’t she? (Well, maybe she doesn’t take much.)

  11. Ubu Roi says:

    Twice and he narrowly avoids a third. See upcoming post…

  12. jgreely says:

    Thought I should mention that the Wikipedia entry for the series includes detailed spoilers in its character descriptions. Some of it may not apply to the anime, but you never know.


  13. JB says:

    Did Kikuyo Inoue’s nekomusume teacher show up?

    The wikipedia article also has some sample manga pages:

    Some threatened violence, but a lot more comic than issue 7.

  14. Ubu Roi says:

    Yes. See here, last picture. It doesn’t show her, but it’s who Tskune is reacting to.

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