Archive for September, 2010

Hikaru no Go #74

Today’s episode is: Forever inside you.

There is some excitement at The Weekly Go. A company wants to sponsor a junior pro tournament (18 or younger) between Japan, Korea, and China. Korea and China both have a number of young pros who do very well, but they are not so sure if any young pros from Japan could compete equally with them, except for Akira. The editor says Hikaru might be able to – he has won all his matches since he started playing again (8) and the best players in Japan have noticed Hikaru, and there is a rumor that he is Akira’s rival. From his perspective, the future of Go looks bright, with not only Akira and Hikaru, but Waya and Ochi doing well and Isumi going pro this year.

Meanwhile, the game between Hikaru and Akira continues. This is actually the first full game they have played. Sai played all or part of all the other games between them. We get more reminiscing. It doesn’t take long for Akira to acknowledge to himself that Hikaru is his lifetime rival. However, in the process of the game, he sees Sai in Hikaru’s moves and this startles him. Eventually, the games pause for lunch, though both Hikaru and Akira seem reluctant to leave. After everyone else leaves, Hikaru finally gets up. Akira stops him by saying it seems there are two people in Hikaru, and one is Sai . . .


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We are finally at the end, so two for one today!

The first episode is: Now the Snow Melts.

Mr. Carpenter is buried in the church cemetery. Emily feels desolate. She can’t eat, has trouble sleeping at night, and refuses to get out of bed. Well, the sleeping part I can understand given the nightmares she has . . . Aunt Laura, Cousin Jimmy, and even Aunt Elizabeth are worried, though they let Emily do as she will for now. Emily feels that her imagination has deserted her, that her writing will never amount to anything, and that everyone she loves is gone. She is drawn out to the Disappointed House in the middle of the night, but her memories of what she and Teddy promised each other long ago seems to mock her. In the morning, the others find Emily asleep on the cold stairs. Emily goes through her writings, and finds nothing good in them. She finds a letter to herself from when she was eleven that upsets her even more since she feels she has achieved nothing since then. Emily starts burning her manuscripts. When the others discover this, even Aunt Elizabeth is alarmed. She slaps Emily to wake her up and stop her from feeling so sorry for herself, without the pride to keep going on. Emily is shocked to her senses and finally releases all her pent up feelings – until she faints. Emily caught a cold while she was outside. Aunt Elizabeth tends Emily. When she thinks Emily is still asleep, she admits that while she wanted to instill the Murray pride in Emily she went about it in the wrong way. Since Aunt Elizabeth had to take charge of the Murray family from a young age, she had to curtail her dreams, but she wanted Emily to fulfill hers. In fact, Emily’s vibrancy when chasing her dreams is what Elizabeth loves most about her niece. Emily does hear this, and the two apologize to each other for everything done and undone. Emily gets better soand takes up normal life, and even finds joy in everyday things again. She still wonders if her inspiration will ever return, but Cousin Jimmy assures Emily that it will – and it does.

The second episode is: A Visit from Spring.

Emily is writing again in her spare time. Aunt Elizabeth finds some of it out while looking for a blanket, but doesn’t seem to mind the way she once would have. Unfortunately, Aunt Elizabeth slips on the stairs and sprains her ankle. Dr. Burnley orders Elizabeth off her feet for a month. To help while the hours, Elizabeth agrees (and the others join in) to hear Emily’s latest story in the evenings. They enjoy it so much that they encourage Emily to have the story bound and passed among their friends. It goes pretty far: Lofty John, Rhoda, Father Cassidy, it even makes it to Ilse and Perry. When Emily gets the book back, it is full of notes from people who read and enjoyed it – including one from an American editor who wants Emily to come to New York to hone her craft there. Emily is flattered, and it is a dream come true, but a wild rose thrives far better in the countryside so Emily decides to stay. And it is a good thing she does, because Teddy Kent comes home. It turns out the rumors of his engagement have been greatly exaggerated. He still feels the same about Emily and the two decide to spend their lives together. They are married in a ceremony where all their family and friends are. Emily even feels her father there. She and Teddy live in the Disappointed House, have children there, and pursue their dreams there. Teddy is a world renowned artist, and Emily is a published author with many books to her credit.

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Kaichou wa Maid-sama Final

I am of two minds about this anime. On the one hand there is an excellent premise – Misaki is known as the tough-as-nails man-hating student body president of a school that until recently was an all boys school. The job she finds to help her family that she can manage given everything else she is doing is that as a maid at a maid cafe. The one boy who seems to be able to stand up to her, Usui, learns her secret. Misaki and Usui are both interesting characters. On the other hand, Misaki really is clueless about romance, Usui comes to her rescue a little too much even though she is supposed to be such a strong person (granted, everyone needs a helping hand sometimes, but still . . .) and the way Usui treats Misaki, it is no wonder that he confuses her. I also wish we got a bit more into Usui’s background, and some aspects of this show were a bit . . . weird to me. I don’t mean bad, just . . . weird. And of course they had to throw in the rival student body president and the childhood friend to complicate things. Still, if you want a romantic comedy, this might be worth checking out. I generally laughed at least every other episode, perhaps more.

My rating: 4/5 for an excellent premise and making me laugh occasionally^^;

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Hikaru no Go #73

Today’s episode is: Shindou vs Touya.

Hikaru runs into Kurata, who is excited to see the match between him and Akira. As Hikaru points out, it is thanks to Akira’s loss to Kurata in the Meijin title preliminaries that is allowing him to play Akira now. Akira is now going to Morishita’s study group. It is kind of funny the rivalry there is between the Morishita study group and the Toya (former Meijin) study group. It seems rather one sided^^; Morishita sure likes to put the pressure on^^; Akira looses his game to the Ouza, but it was a close match. Hikaru finally gets the date for his match with Akira – in two weeks. The day before, Akari sees Hikaru and she says he’s changed. Hikaru invites Akari over for relaxing game before the big day. The next day, Hikaru, Waya, and Ochi all have matches. Waya says that Isumi has already passed the pro exam – it is still going, but Isumi has won all his games and there is no way for him not to pass at this point. The guy who became pro two years ago and put down Isumi isn’t happy – he is good enough to become a pro, but he knows he will never advance like Isumi will Akira is still understated, but he actually talks with Hikaru. The two reminisce a bit. The game begins, and Akira plays very aggressively. Hikaru responds in kind.

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This week’s episode is: The circus boy.

Perrine and her mother stop to take Perrine’s photograph again (she gave the last one away), and a boy travels by. Perrine sees him by the wagon entrance, and when he disappears she thinks he is a thief. It turns out that the boy got on top of the roof of the wagon. He then runs away. Perrine is so funny about her photograph, so girly thinking she has to do a fancy pose^^; They get to a pretty good size down and do some good business there. While the mother develops the photographs, Perrine goes out to buy bread, and the Barron insists on following her. Outside the bakery, the boy from earlier runs out amid shouts, runs into Perrine, drops three loaves of bread, and then runs off. The Barron then takes off with one of the loaves of bread. Perrine pays for that one, but refuses to take the others the boy dropped. She punishes the Barron for being a thief as well. Later, our travelers are on the road again and again they run into the boy. Perrine isn’t happy to see him, but her mother insists on being kind. In the end, the boy gets invited to lunch with them. It turns out the boy, Marcelle, is from a traveling circus, or rather was. His parents left him behind with an aunt to go to school, but he hates it and so run away. He got so hungry, that is why he stole. He knows the route the circus takes, and in the worst case he figures he can meet up with them in Paris. Marcelle is adamant about not returning to his aunt. Perrine’s mother decides the boy is too young to travel alone, and so invites him to travel with them. In the end Marcelle agrees

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Hikaru no Go #72

Today’s episode is: And so they began to run.

Hikaru makes a play that at first his opponent believes is a weakness, but is really a trap. The opponent resigns. Hikaru wins his next game as well. People are starting to notice him again. Akira, mean while, wins the latest in a series of title match preliminaries. His next opponent is the Tengen, who beat him handily during his first game as a new pro. The pro exam preliminaries have begun, and Isumi is busy with that. Everyone is hopeful for him this year, and given his new found confidence they have reason to be hopeful. The staff of Go Weekly gets the news that the former Meijin has joined with a Chinese team that competes with other teams around China. Ogata wins his second title. Kuwabara is starting to get worried . . .

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Hikaru no Go #71

Today’s episode is: The First Comeback Match.

Hikaru’s mother is happy to see her son is happy and energetic again. In fact, Hikaru can’t wait to go play his next scheduled match. The guy there knows that Hikaru has been forfeiting up to this point – a pity for him Hikaru chose his match to return on. It is actually the same guy who beat Hikaru in the Wakajishisen. It doesn’t take him long to discover that Hikaru his not the same player at all. Back at Haze Junior High, the Go club is meeting for the last time. The girls won their first match, the boys got to the finals, though they lost against Kaio. They also hear the news that Hikaru isn’t at school because of a match. They are all happy for Hikaru. All the ninth graders are graduating soon, but Akari encourages the one younger member to rebuild the Haze Junior High Go club. Waya is helping Isumi, Nase, and Honda prepare for the pro exam. Isumi tells them that Hikaru is over whatever was blocking him. The others are very happy. The proctor for the lower dan tests tells the reporter that Hikaru is back, and the reporter is so excited he goes and calls Ogata. When Kuwabara hears the news, he isn’t surprised. Meanwhile, Akira is playing an advancement game the same day Hikaru is. Another guy wonders when Akira leaves after his game if Hikaru is really Akira’s rival – he then realizes that Akira doesn’t think a lower dan game is worthy to watch. The truth is, Hikaru and Akira are set to play each other at the very beginning of a title match very soon. Akira can wait to play Hikaru and see for himself where his rival is at.

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