Archive for August, 2011

In this lovely tome is collected volumes 4-6 of the manga. Once again it is large so it is easy to see all of CLAMP’s gorgeous detail. We also get all the colored pages! Absolutely stunning! Even the regular pages are pristine and white. Amid camp, school plays, oh and the final judgement, we are treated to one of the best mahou shojou manga ever. Everything concludes most satisfactorily, leaving room open for the next part of the manga: Master of the Clow! If you didn’t get Card Captor Sakura the first time, this is the edition to get. We can only hope that Dark Horse releases that part of the story in such wonderful packaging as well. I do have one question though. In doing the character stats on the side, why don’t they tell us which subject the various teachers specialize in?


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The first episode is “False Friend”. In this episode, Natsume runs into a young man who knew him back in elementary school. The only thing this that Natsume has changed a lot since those days. This young man is worried that a girl he met and likes is a Yokai. So Natsume does investigate and at first he tells the young man she must be human Unfortunately he is wrong. How is he supposed to protect this not-friend from a Yokai when he won’t even believe the danger he is in? The thing is there is more going on with this Yokai than appears at first glance too. In the end, everyone comes to some understanding and while the ending is bitter-sweet as is traditional with this show, it also could not have ended any other way.

The second episode is “Young Days”.

Natsume gets dragged off by his two friends to go see an art show. He didn’t protest too much^^; The thing is, the art show is in an area where Natsume used to live when he was younger. There was a Yokai there who discovered Natsume could see her and so her past time became scaring Natsume, who of course hated it. They do manage to have one conversation about being lonely (why else do you think that the Yokai did what she did?), but then she pulls off a scare that upsets Natsume so much he never goes back that way – until now. Yep, Natsume has really changed from the way he was as a kid, and one of the largest ways he has changed is his attitude on Yokai. Yes, some Yokai are dangerous. So are some humans. Most are just trying to get by and want to be left alone. Or are lonely, which is definitely something Natsume knows about.

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This is very much a Tanuma book. Natsume and Tanuma both aren’t used to being able to confide in or rely on others. Even though they know each other’s secret they still find it difficult. However, Natsume at least will have to get over it because at least for the first part Nyanko-sensei is out of commission and a Youkai is after him. Later, a spirit possesses Tanuma and Tanuma and Natsume must deal with the consequences. We then get an episode where we see how life was for Natsume before his current home and how he came to start to trust humans and to live with the Fujiwaras. Finally, we get a short snippet where we see how Youkai view Natsume. All this and a high school cultural festival!

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Okay, so I wasn’t going to add any more anime this season, but this one is just too cute! First of all, the background is amazing. This story is set in second nineteenth century Paris – and it is gorgeous and detailed. The characters are also well designed. The premise is that a Japanese girl, Yune, travels from Japan to Paris with Oscar to be a shop girl for him. Oscar’s grandson, who does most of the iron-work in the shop, is at first not sanguine at all about having Yune around. We learn both about Paris and about Japan. Oscar having been to Japan knows something of Yune’s perspective, but everything in Paris is new to Yune (who is too cute) and Claude knows nothing of Japan. This leads to some humorous and some more serious misunderstandings. It also gives ample time for each to share the things they are familiar with. All the lead characters are wonderful, including Paris (and yes, a place can be a character). This is a slow slice-of-life historical, but if that is your cup of tea this is a must-watch for this season.

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The first episode is “Name of a Monster”.

First off, I don’t like the opening quite as much as the first two seasons for some reason. The animation is also slightly different. Not bad, just a tad different. But the story, just what we want from Natsume! You don’t have to have watched either previous season, everything is clearly set up in this episode. This time, Natsume runs into a shrine god who wants to return a mirror to the monster she originally borrowed from it (she wanted the mirror to save a tree). It turns out the monster was Reiko. It turns out that Reiko originally thought the shrine god was an old woman and she was disappointed to find otherwise, but she still lent the mirror – and took her name which Natsume returns. He also tells the shrine god she can keep the mirror. Meanwhile, a tiny Youkai teacup is running around Natsume’s home. This worries Natsume, mostly because it means bad fortune will happen. There is a bad Yokai who is after the Book of Friends, and the teacup sacrifices itself to save Natsume from the Yokai, much to Natsume’s sorrow.

The second episode is “Ukihara Village”.

Natsume hears that the priest in the area (Tanuma’s father) hasn’t been purifying the area for several days. Natsume worries about him and Tanuma, but he learns the father is off on a trip. However, Tanuma can sense enough to know something with Youkai is going on. Indeed the local Yokai are complaining about a powerful Youkai who gives off a bad aura. Then a female Youkai pleads for Natsume to help her brother. It turns out there is a Youkai village that very rarely touches the human word. The Youkai giving off the bad aura left the village with his sister and have been trying to get back ever since. Natsume finds the Youkai in question, but it turns out his sister died a long time ago. He is hanging around the shrine Tanuma lives at because it once was one of the ways back to his village. Natsume returns his name and the female Youkai attacks, opening the way to the village. However, she is an outcast. Natsume and the Youkai hold her back and he returns finally to his village. He offers to let Natsume come, but Natsume has people he cares about in the human world now.

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This episode ends Ensei’s first visit to Kiyou. We learn who he really is and why he comes to the capital. Ryuuki shows some maturity. Shuurei is given a chance to go after her dreams. Half the cast manages to get into trouble, but nothing they can’t handle. One thing that is different in the manga – Youshun and Shourin, the Eagles of the Mountain from Sa Provence show up already. Shouka reminisces about their “father”. This manga is as enjoyable as ever!

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Trigun: Badlands Rumble

Fans of the anime series rejoice – this movie brings back everything you loved about the series. Since it is short, it is a bit limited on one level – no Knives, Gungho Guns, or Legato. The good news is Vash, the insurance girls, and even Wolfwood are back. Vash is up to his old tricks of saving people and getting blamed for things that really aren’t his fault. However, as good as Vash’s intentions are, they sometimes have unexpected consequences. Twenty years earlier, the outlaw Gasback is robing people to make a political statement. His henchmen are more interested in the money so they turn on him but are stopped by Vash. Twenty years or so later Vash runs into a lovely young lady named Amelia who is after Gasback. Actually, just about every bounty hunter is after Gasback because of the price on his head. Gasback has already ruined two of his former partners and is now after the third. It is only a matter of time before Gasback shows up in his former comrade’s town, which is now crawling with said bounty hunters. However, for Amelia it is personal. It turns out that it is thanks to Gasback that her mother is dead . . .

For fans this is a must-see. If you have never seen the series, this movie requires no prior knowledge and is a good place to see if Trigun might be your thing.

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