Archive for the ‘Anime & Manga’ Category

Are Bleach fillers finally OVER?

Gimme attitude!

I don’t know how many Bleach fans are out there, but I need to celebrate (hmm… maybe prematurely XXD!!!) the soon to be death of the bounto arc! How long can something be dragged and still not resemble a huge fighting arena à la DBZ (a popular series to be sure, but one that I have found absolutely boring…) same all same all villains (with no real depth of character) with godlike powers! Hopefully the new year will take Bleach back to real storytelling!

I got this straight from ANN (Anime News Network)! I find their info pretty reliable and up-to-date:

108. 2006-12-20
The Wailing Bount! The Last Clash
Doukoku no BAUNTO! Saigo no gekitotsu
「 慟哭のバウント!最後の激突」
The great confrontation between Kariya and Ichigo that everyone’s been waiting for!

109. 2006-01-04
Ichigo and Rukia, Thoughts Revolving Around Heaven
Ichigo to Rukia, kaiten suru omoi
Ichigo, Rukia and Renji recap all the Bounto Events…(yeah… filler, but this one was enjoyable for me!  It should’ve come in ep. 90, and NOT 11 episodes later!)

110. 2007-01-10
Reopening of the Substitute Business! The Terrifying Transfer Student
Daikou gyou saikai! Kyoufu no tenkousei
Finally Vizards make their appearance…

111. 2007-01-17
The Fathers’ True Character
Oyaji tachi no shoutai
We get to see the unexpected side of Ichigo’s father…and his interaction with Kon! XD

112. 2007-01-24
The Vizards and the Arrancars
Kamen no gunzei to yabu men

113. 2007-01-31
Prelude to the Apocalypse, the Arrancar Offensive!
Sekai houkai he no jokyoku, ARANKARU shuurai 「世界崩壊への序曲、アランカル襲来!」

114. 2007-02-07
Reunion, Ichigo and Rukia
Saikai, Ichigo to Rukia 「再会、一護とルキア」


Starting with ep 110, the anime is pretty much following (even if loosely) the manga storyline… At least that’s what the episode titles suggest! Coincidentally, for those who do read the manga, I think it’s now in episode 258, so the anime storyboard people have lots of material to work with!

I wave bye-bye to the bounto arc with the only characters I found interesting!

Does the release of the Bleach movie: Memories of Nobody mark this? I dunno, from the trailer, at least the movie LOOKS really good! I can’t wait to see it!


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yukohalf.jpgAlthough the xxxHolic anime is over, I’m very happy to say that the manga is still very much alive and kicking! Also, to be quite honest, although I enjoyed the anime very much (loved the soundtrack, the consistent high level of story, the Ops and Eds themes), the manga is by far superior for the following reasons: more in depth character development, further complexity of storyline, and great art (I love all the use of black and Yûko’s fantastic outfits!) I just wish people at Del Rey were a tad faster turning out the manga volumes! Volume 8 is not available until December 2006! but Volume 10 is already going to Volume 11 in Japan… The same situation with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles (title of the Manga), it’s already going into Vol.18 but across the Pacific Ocean Vol.11 is yet to make it’s appearance…*HUGE sigh* At least there’s still the alter-Holic Tsubasa Chronicle anime to keep me happy :D! Episode 48 subbed by YGO is already out! Wow!


Unlike the xxxHolic manga and anime, IMO both versions of Tsubasa Chronicles are visually quite consistent with each other! Kurogane my fave! looks sooo hot in both ^.~ I really can’t decide which Kurogane I like more! LOL!


But putting my Kurofan-ness aside, all the episodes of the anime right after episode 43 (where we get a glimpse of Kurogane’s past) seem to diverge from the manga… Episode 44 is particularly cute because it features mainly Kero-chan and Mokona!

And starting with Ep. 48 which is entitled Haou Kaosu” (羽王カオス) or “Chaos, The Winged King” the story arc takes quite a strange turn… Will it be like Piffle World? In the sense that it preceded Shura Country in the anime, but in the manga it was the reverse… I guess we’ll just have to wait patiently and see!

As for the people wondering about the header I’m using, it refers to my most favourite anime ever! Ergo Proxy


The OP theme for this anime is by MONORAL, and it not only sounds cool but it also looks cool:

The ED theme is Paranoid Android by Radiohead! Very befitting to the overall concept!

Ergo Proxy Factoids:
Directed by Shuko Murase
Screenplay by Dai Sato
Geneon, Manglobe
Broadcast by WOWOW Network
Started: February 25th, 2006
Ended: August 12th, 2006
23 Episodes

The name of the anime is taken from Descartes often quoted: Cogito Ergo Sum (“I think therefore I am”) taken from his most influential work Discourse On Method. If anyone ever had any trouble understanding what he meant should watch this anime! In it Derrida, Kristeva, Lacan, Deleuze, Quattari are actually autorevs (androids) heh, heh, heh! Ergo Proxy is centered on the quest by the main protagonists, Vicent Law and Real Meyer, to answer the fundamental questions of “Who I am?” and “Why am I here?”

This anime has been subbed by Pino-no-Usagi, but I like it so much I’m definitely buying the DVD by Geneon! If you would like to know more about this fantastic series, the article on Ergo Proxy in wikipedia is quite comprehensive and very informative!


Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto is the fourth and final anime I would like to mention. This is a historical shounen anime broadcast by the same people who bring you Night Head Genesis, GyaO via webcast(FREE!). For those people who have a GOOD knowledge of Japanese, all you have to do is register at their website and you can start watching the original broadcast! (However, in order to sign up you do need the postal code of a Japanese prefecture…)

Me, I get my fix from the good folks at Shinsen-subs! The first episode can be a bit confusing if you have no conversant knowledge of Japanese history, so you should read Ciprene’s notes (Ciprene is the translator, and apparently a Japanese history buff ^.^ )

Parts of the animation reminded me of Ninja Scroll, but the story is completely different. Bakumatsu is the period (1853-1867) in Japanese history between the Edo era and the Meiji Restoration, when Japan was forced out of its seclusion from the West by the arrival of Matthew Perry in his four Black Ships or (黒船) kurofune. The anime starts with the events of 1853 and the search of for missing head…

If you enjoy samurai and kabuki theatre with some great fighting scenes, you should watch this! The OP is by Yuki Kajiura, and performed by FictionJunction YUUKA is great! The ED is not too shabby either!


By the way, the “irohanihoheto” part in the title of this anime might refer to the first line of a poem entitled Iroha, written sometime during the Heian era (AD 794–1179). It’s title quite literally an “abc”. Since the poem contains all the characters of the Japanese syllabary once, it’s used to order them! So if you are learning Japanese, you should memorize this poem!

i ro ha ni ho he to
chi ri nu ru wo
wa ka yo ta re so
tsu ne na ra mu
u wi no o ku ya ma
ke fu ko e te
a sa ki yu me mi shi
we hi mo se su

As flowers are brilliant but [inevitably] fall,
who could remain constant in our world?
[No one could]
Today let us transcend the high mountain of transience,
and there will be no more shallow dreaming, no more drunkenness.

But you don’t have to take my word for it, just check the article in wikipedia like I did… or ask your Japanese Sensei… Like I did too!

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moro.gifMini-update: The entire torrent for all 24 episodes which consists of 3.7 Gigs can be downloaded from mininove… If on the other hand, all you require is Episode 24 try this link, it’s a direct download.

For those who were desperately looking to download xxxholic 24 or ‘Side Story’, FUNIMATION has licensed or thinking about licensing the series so Mishicorp had to take it off their tracker, but if you would like to watch it, all you have to do is go to: mininova and do a search. It should appear…even as I am writing this post, it showed around 800plus seeds and as many leechers ;)

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maru and moro The anime version of xxxholic has come to an end! I cannot be too upset about this! For one very simple reason: The manga continues!…

Sooo Bwaaah! and Yay! at the same time! How contradictory! It’s not hard to see why, however, they would decide to end the anime. As I mentioned on a previous post, xxxholic more than just crosses over with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, at a certain point their narratives are intertwined in such a way that it’s impossible for one not to mention the other in a very explicit way. If you follow both stories, you’ll have realized that the anime version of holic only makes extremely oblique references to TRC. While the anime version of TRC includes all the necessary references to Yuuko (壱原侑子, Ichihara Yūko) and Watanuki (四月一日君尋 , Watanuki Kimihiro).

It’s interesting to note that the anime acts more like an anthology of short stories, completed in one or two episodes. They do not follow the progression specified in the manga, rather they exist as independent units. Two episodes (very interesting ones, I should add) were written specially for the anime. Ageha Ohkawa, a member of CLAMP, did the script for the two. Both are being blogged by Garten at his/her Mememto site.

Natsukage (ナツカゲ)

Jishou (ジショウ)

In the manga, Watanuki undergoes not only a physical (literally) transformation, but also one in attitude. In other words, Yuuko as his mentor or teacher (to a great extent) is always mentioning in that cryptic way of hers… that Watanuki is “changing”…

The ending episodes 22 and 23 develop a storyline taken from volume 6 (chapters 35-38) of the manga: (I will eventually dump the fansubbed anime into youtube)

“Yuuwaku (ユウワク)

Sentaku (センタク)

In a very rough summary, Watanuki befriends a woman who happens to be watching him “have fun” doing his chores at Yuuko’s shop. Some interesting things to note: She doesn’t know who Yuuko is, and she never crosses the threshold “into” the shop… However, she’s able to see the shop, even admire the beauty of its architecture. Also, Yuuko herself is absent, but still manages to interrupt Watanuki’s conversation with the mysterious lady by phoning him!

xxxholic xxxholic06_c03_04.png xxxholic06_c03_05.png xxxholic06_c03_06.png xxxholic06_c03_07.png

What ensues after that first meeting seems to be a bond forged between two lonely souls who have suffered a great loss: The lady who lost a son whom had he lived would’ve been Watanuki’s age. And Watanuki who lost his parents when he was a young boy. They each appear to fulfill the need of the other…but at what cost? As usual, at school Himawari is oblivious to the undercurrents, but Dômeki senses something is not what it should be. Of course, Watanuki freaks when upon leaving Dômeki warns him to have the fox-pipe with him next time!
xxxholic06_c03_09.png xxxholic06_c03_10.png xxxholic06_c04_06.png xxxholic06_c04_07.png xxxholic06_c04_08.png xxxholic06_c04_09.png

The complete scanlations can be found at Be With You Scans. Or you can buy the manga at your local bookstore.

To sign off I’ll leave you with the closing themes of xxxholic anime! (Sleeping sounds real good now! :D)

The first closing theme: Reason by Fotogenico:

The second closing them and one of my favourites is Kagerõ 蜉蝣-かげろう(Mayfly) by BUCK-TICK:

The fansubbing for both clips are courtesy of Mishicorp.org. These guys rock!

Here’s a direct download link for xxxholic’s Ep.24

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Yuuko Ichihara

I would like to recommend a couple of interesting xxxHolic sites I’ve come across:
(NOTE: these are mostly informational sites. They do not contain neither manga, nor anime torrents!)

  • kimihiro.net is quite a comprehensive xxxHolic site. It’s very well organized and features character descriptions, wallpapers, screencaps, manga scans, etc. There’s also a Spanish version of it, for those of you who feel more comfortable reading in that language! On the downside, a lot of stuff promised on the sidebar seems to have been ‘under-construction’ for quite some time now…
  • casualsmirk.com is the site for those of you who like to look at images, but can’t be bothered with reading anything. The font and the colour scheme used in this site make reading a challenge!… This particular blog offers a lot of stuff, but I find it extremely busy! It’s the cyberspace equivalent of a knick-knack store or dime-n-five… You never know what you will find lying around in the clutter! This site also contains quite a bit of ads, which just adds to the overall effect…
  • Memento I have it as a link on my sidebar, because this site is one of the better xxxHolic anime blogs I’ve read. The presentation of screencaps is much more to my taste: clean and simple. On the downside, this blog has up to Episode 16: サイカイ(Saikai) 18: ホオズキ (Hoozuki) of the anime, and seems to be very, very, very slowly catching up… (at the pace of a turtle…) to the most current one which is Episode 21… With Episode 23, the anime has ended, followed by a Side Story which aired on September 28th…

Speaking of xxxHolic Episode 16 or “Reunion”, I decided to blog my favourite scene: The meeting between Watanuki and Zashiki-Warashi. If you want a full description, you should read MEMENTO’s blog…

The premise to my favourite scene on this episode is quite simple. Yuuko sends Watanuki through a sacred flower vase to a place of incredible purity so that the pipe-fox (Kuda-Kitsune), which has grown to an unmanageable size, can go back to its original dimensions. Yuuko also mentions in her usual cryptic way that Watanuki can “get two birds with one stone…”

e16-1.jpg e16-2.jpg e16-3.jpg e16-4.jpg

The other bird is of course, Zashiki-Warashi, the girl that Watanuki observes playing the flute. She’s an extremely shy vestal spirit, who has a major crush on Watanuki… Unfortunately, our guy is as dense as a block of concrete! She had given him a gift of fried-tofu earlier during the day, so Watanuki owes her a return gift. In this scene, the girl is so startled to find him there, staring at her, that she loses her balance and falls PLOP! right into the water!

e16-5.jpg e16-6.jpg e16-7.jpg e16-8.jpg

Fortunately, for all his faults, Watanuki is quite a nice guy and helps Zashiki-Warashi off the water and offers her his handkerchief… Awww! Aren’t they cute together? Naturally, the moment gets broken with the appearance of the karasu-tengu (I WUV these littl’ guys!), her guardians? guards?. Whatever they might be, they truly care for Zashiki-Warashi and show up every time she starts to cry…which is often, because she seems to be the kind of girl who will cry to express her deep felt emotions! In this case, happiness, but the karasu-tengu do not seem to discriminate on whether she’s happy or not… Poor Watanuki! (I say that a LOT!)

In counterpoint, here is the same scene depicted in the manga:
(Clicking on the thumnail will open an enlarged image)

p166.jpg p169.jpg p170.jpg p171.jpg p172.jpg

Which one you prefer? Anime or manga? It’s really up to the reader to decide! All I can do is show you both and let you make up your mind… As for myself, I like them both!

I will sign off with a manga image of Yuuko-chan doing her Yuuko thing that you will not see in the anime because it does not cross over with Tsubasa Chronicles!

Cheers!… Cheez


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The manga version of XXXHolic crosses over with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. This little fact is brought to the reader’s attention in the blurb (in Del REY) that accompanies every volume along with the comment, “Although it isn’t necessary to read Tsubasa to understand the events in xxxHolic, you’ll get to see the same events from different perspectives if you read both!” Of course, if you do get hooked on one, you obviously want to read the other! And as you read on, you realize that more than a cross over, the stories are somehow more intertwined that the little blurb above lets on…

On the other hand the anime does not make any direct references to Tsubasa ; instead, it focuses mostly on Yuuko Ichihara (a woman of unknown age and even more mysterious powers) and Watanuki Kimihiro (a young man whose perception of the world exceeds that of ordinary people). Their relationship strikes me mostly as that of a Sensei with her apprentice (although Watanuki is truly an incredibly dense and uncooperative student!). The sense one gets in both manga and anime is that Watanuki is “beginning to change”… Change into what? The answer is bound to be very interesting.

Watanuki Watanuki and Denki-chan
Watanuki and Asagi-chan Yuuko

These are some screencaps from Episode 18 which corresponds to Volume 6 of the manga posted below. If you wish to watch the fansub version of Episode 18 you can download the torrent from mishicorp.net. As for the manga, it can be purchased at your local bookstore or you can probably get it in your local library! If you live where none of that is available (or you’re broke…) try this site: “Be With You Scans”. As for myself, I love the manga’s artwork, so I buy it the moment it hits the market! ;-)

Watanuki and Denki-chan (Manga)

Yuuko and Denki-chan

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I know this will sound like I’m suffering the last stages of dementia, but does anyone out there follow the manga or anime form of CLAMP’S great story XXXHolic? Okay, so this is a Final Fantasy VIII fanfic site, but right now I’m completely hooked on this series! If you would like to download the fansub you can either go to SHINSEN SUBS which has up to episode 9 and the HOLIC movie Midsummer’s Night Dream, or to MISHICORP which has up to the most current episodes (up to episode 17).

Word of warning! If you’ve only read the manga I would like to say that the anime is a bit less stylish! The figures are very elongated, and sometimes Yuuko is made to look more like a caricature of the manga… Having said that, I would like to comment that the story telling in the anime is almost as good as the manga! If I get any feedback, I might post a picture summary of the anime, since I miss that! This site Memento used to blog quite a nice summary of the anime but stopped at episode 14. The other site Random Curiosity stopped even before that on episode 11!

Perhaps what I’ll do here is blog the manga alongside the anime, since I have both!

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