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What I'm Watching v.17

Yakitate!! Japan ( 2004-10-12 to 2006-03-14 )

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Number Of Episodes: 69

Plot Summary: Azuma Kazuma isn't terribly clever, but he's got a good heart and great skill - at baking. Since childhood, he's been on a quest to create the perfect bread to represent Japan internationally. Now, he seeks to enter the famous bakery Pantasia, in hopes of reaching his goal. But plots abound.

Source | Forum Discussion


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What I'm Watching v.16

Kannazuki No Miko ( 2004-10-02 to 2004-12-15 )

Genres: Drama, Mecha, Romance, Supernatural

Number Of Episodes: 12

Plot Summary: This story centers around Kurusugawa Himeko, a normal student who attends Otobashi Gakuen. She leads a bright and enjoyable school life with her two friends, Himekawa Chikane and Ogami Soma. Chikane is a daughter of a distinguished family. She excels at both studying and sports is wise and beautiful. Furthermore, she has a friendly disposition and is very popular among the other students. Ogami Soma is Himeko’s childhood friend. He has problems expressing his emotions directly, but he is very sincere. On Himeko's 16th birthday, her fate changes.

Source | Forum Discussion


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What I'm Watching v.15 (Review)

Berserk ( 1997-10-07 to 1998-03-31 )

     Short review today. I know you didn't like Berserk Petri but I loved it. I loved Berserk so much that for the first time ever I'm going to read a Manga. The reason because Berserk ended with such a big cliff-hanger and it doesn't seem like there will be a season 2 anytime soon. Speaking of the ending, the only thing I didn't like was the ending. Not how it ended but how it was portrayed because it was very disturbing and people who have watched it know what I'm talking about (not going to spoil it). After watching the first episode of Berserk it seemed like the series was all brainless action and it reminded me of the cartoon series of Conan the Barbarian. But it was much more than that as you progress through the series. It had politics, romance, assassinations and betrayal/trust. Because Berserk is so violent with a dark atmosphere it's obviously not for everyone. For my personal preference not only is Berserk a must watch, but a must buy. Up next Kannazuki No Miko.

Animation: 8/10

Sound: 8.5/10

Story: 8/10

Enjoyment: 9.5/10

Fav. Episode: 20

Opening Video | Closing Video | More Reviews


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What I'm Watching v.15

Berserk ( 1997-10-07 to 1998-03-31 )

Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Supernatural

Number Of Episodes: 25

Plot Summary: A mysterious warrior calling himself The Black Swordsman is out to get the King of a country called Midland. As he battles the king's henchmen, their cries of pain and the spilling blood take this relentless warrior's mind back in time to the path that led him to his current state. Guts, a man who calls himself "The Black Swordsman" looks upon his days serving as a member of a group of mercenaries, called the Band of the Hawk. Leaded by an ambitious, ruthless, and intellegent man named Griffith, together they battle their way into the royal court, and are forced into a fate that may change their entire lives. On just any day, a pack of hooligans are harassing a young lady in distress when all of a sudden, they're under attack. The Black Swordsman has returned. He wields a giant sword as large as his grudge against the king. When alone in the woods, the Black Swordsman has a flash back to years past and his trials and tribulations in the Band of the Hawk, a successful band of mercenaries under the charismatic leadership of Griffith, a man driven by the ambition to become king.

Source | Forum Discussion


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What I'm Watching v.14 (Review)

Gun X Sword ( 2005-07-04 to 2005-12-26 )

     Everything about the animation was great. The colors were crisp; the character movements were so smooth and fluid. What really stood out in the animation was how good the facial expressions were, especially for the main character Van. When Van's tired he looks tired, when he's lazy he looks lazy (along with his posture) and when he's mad he looks pissed. I saw a lot of this in the earlier episodes which was great, but for some reason the great facial expressions were mostly absent in the later episodes. What didn't look good were the armors/mechs and I only counted two good looking ones (Ray and Michael). Most of them were just down right ugly.

     Every single voice actor was excellent and fitted the physical appearance of the characters perfectly. The majority of the background music was great, so good that I thought it came from a Star Wars movie or a Halo game. But there was one I didn't like and I think it was done by the VA of Van where he was humming with an orchestral tune. I didn't like the opening song because it sounded more appropriate for a samurai anime, but I did like the closing song. The sound effects were nothing special, just seemed pretty average.

     The story was kept simple, which was good since the cast was relatively large for a 26 episode series. What I really liked about Gun X Sword that I think not a lot of other anime does is that they brought back a lot of the characters in the earlier episodes into the later ones and compare that to a series like Saiyuki where you'll only see the secondary characters once in the series. In the first half of the series the armors felt like such an add-on and I didn't really give a rats ass about the armors. I was solely watching the series for the hand to hand combat, characters, story and the humor, but it wasn't until the last five episodes where the armors played a bigger role and made the series that much better. There was a big WTF moment in Gun X Sword and not in the good way. The episode about the Swimsuit Kingdom was a complete mess because it totally didn't match the style of the other episodes. I don't mind dirty humor, but when the rest of the series is clean, there really is no place for that kind of stuff. It's like putting Dave Chappelle in a soap opera.

     You know you've watched a good series when you're left wanting more, and I want more or at least an OVA. What made me really like this series were the great characters with the simple story. I would not recommend Gun X Sword to anyone who is looking for a Mech anime because the focus on mechs just isn't there, but for anyone looking for a great adventure with really likeable characters, then jump aboard. Up next Berserk.

Animation: 8.5/10

Sound: 8.5/10

Story: 8/10

Enjoyment: 8.5/10

Fav. Episode: 23

Opening Video | Closing Video | More Reviews


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What I'm Watching v.14

Gun X Sword ( 2005-07-04 to 2005-12-26 )

Genres: Adventure, Drama, Mecha

Number Of Episodes: 26

Plot Summary: Armed with a metal sash that straightens into a sword, lanky swordsman Van is traveling through the desert, searching for the mysterious clawed man who killed his bride. Along the way he picks up a fellow traveler: Wendy, a young girl whose town he saves from bandits by summoning a mecha with his sword. Wendy is searching for her missing older brother, whose engraved gun she carries on her back. In their mutual quest they run afoul of more bandits and villains, a mysterious woman named Carmen99, and more mecha battles a la Wild West.

Source | Forum Discussion


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What I'm Watching v.13 (Review)

Fafner ( 2004-07-04 to 2004-12-26 )

     Fafner is basically a fusion of Neon Genesis Evangelion, RahXephon, Gundam Seed and Gunparade March. The first few episodes were like Evangelion with the whole military city theme. The Festums who were the "bad guys" looked like something you'll see in RahXephon. The character design in Fafner was a complete rip off of Gundam Seed. Kazuki who is the main character in Fafner looked exactly like Athrun, with black hair. Kazuki's father, Fumihiko looked just like Mu La Flaga and one of Kazuki's friends, Toomi looked like Miriallia. The whole story was just like Gunparade March where the focus wasn't in the Fafner/Mech fighting, instead more focused in the relationships between several pilots.

     The animation wasn't spectacular, but it was above average and everything would have looked better if the color was brighter. The Fafners only looked good in some angles, but when looking at the Fafners straight up, they look terrible because the size of the torso was way too small compared to limbs and the upper body. The Festums only had one color, gold and you can't really tell them apart.

     All the voice actors fitted perfectly with their characters and I didn't find any misplaced voices. The majority of the background music was good, but there were a few I didn't like. I also didn't like the opening song, which had a nice tune but was ruined by the terrible singing. After listening to the closing song a few times, I ended up liking it.

     The first half of Fafner wasn't really exciting because all the pilots were jocking for positions and you add to the fact the Festums weren't too interesting to being with. But once everyone knew their roles in the second half everything became more interesting and the teamwork the pilots showed were superb. Up Next Gun X Sword.

Animation: 7/10

Sound: 8/10

Story: 7/10

Enjoyment: 8/10

Fav. Episode: 19

Opening Video | Closing Video | More Reviews


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Thumbs up for YesAsia

     So I ordered Ouendan from YesAsia on Sunday night and it shipped on Monday. The game arrived today, only took 3 days to get here with free shipping and to make things sweeter, YesAsia packaged the game with three magazines (two gaming, one soccer). I get a package from Play-Asia in a couple days and It'll be interesting  to see what they come with.

     If anyone is interested in getting Ouendan from YesAsia, use the coupon code OSU5 to get $5 off. :wink:

BTW you can expect the Fafner review to be up in a couple days.

What I'm Watching v.13

Fafner ( 2004-07-04 to 2004-12-26 )

Genres: Drama, Mecha, Science Fiction

Number Of Episodes: 25

Plot Summary: Tatsumiyajima is the central island in the middle of a small cluster of islands, in a sleepy backwater of the Japanese isles. Not much happens there, and the island's young people go to school knowing that their lives are likely to remain peaceful and undisturbed. Or so they have been taught... but the truth is different. The fate of mankind is on the line, and Tatsumiyajima is the last line of defense against a hostile and incomprehensible enemy. At the center of it all, fighting for Humanity's continued existence, is the giant robot Fafner, the dragon that guards this final treasure of mankind.

Source | Forum Discussion


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