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Here are some comments on some anime I've watched recently.

1. Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

This is the most ridiculous, out-of-ordinary yet the most unique, creative and entertaining show that I have seen in a while. This show is a mixture between cartoon and anime visual elements, a chock full of either interesting or disgusting sex jokes and toilet jokes, yet can be very awesome with the parodies and the characters' interactions and actions.

The main characters are also some of the craziest people that you could ever encounter. There we have Panty, a crazy bitch whose head is only full of sex and men. There we have Stocking, an emo gothic lolita whose interests are only sweets and goth. They live together in a church with the homosexual priest Garterbelt and an airhead dog called Chuck who always gets beaten by anyone. Whenever there are crimes caused by the Ghosts in the Daten City, the two girls turned into Angels who turn their underwear into weapons to fight crimes and earn Heaven Coins for each Ghost they have killed in order to go back to Heaven. Crazy enough? Things didn't just stop being ridiculous from there though...

Actually some first few episodes did turn me off because of those sex jokes and toilet jokes, but things got better ever since episode 6 with the introduction of the two Demon sisters, and the jokes and parodies got much better as well. The animation is fluid, and the music is *AWESOME*. Waiting for the OST of this anime.

2. Kuragehime (The Jellyfish Princess)

A comedy, drama, slice-of-slice show about fujoshi and crossdresser. At first I couldn't imagine it could be this entertaining. I love Kuranosuke all the way with his crossdressing and his desire to help the fujoshi sisters get out of their in-denial lifestyle. As a slice-of-slice show, I don't know what to say much about it, but it's nice to see a show about weird people in a lively and dramatic view. I may pick up the manga when this show ends.

3. Bakuman

Bakuman is about two guys name Mashiro and Takagi who cooperate with each other to draw manga. They have an objective: getting an anime from one of their manga so that Mashiro would fulfill the promise with the girl he loves that is to get married with her when both of their dreams come true. The romance in this series could be lame and unnatural at times (really, Ohba Tsugumi imo is not good at romance, see Death Note and this series), but things about manga making and the relationship between mangaka and editors are really interesting.

I've been reading Bakuman manga, and as far as I've seen the anime is adapted truly to the content of the manga. However, the pace of the show seems to be a bit slow. If the anime continues as this way, with just 25 episodes, the show may stop at where Mashiro and Takagi have their manga serialized for the first time, then we may get a second season.

4. Prince of Tennis (anime)

First to say, I disliked the manga when I first read it. The plot did not capture me at all, the comedy didn't make me smile one bit, the only thing that made me marathon the manga is the tension that Konomi-sensei created in it. The characters? I didn't mind manga!Ryoma but he got on my nerves at times. I liked Tezuka, I liked Kintarou but I didn't really like Fuji, and I didn't care about other characters. Until I have seen the anime lately and my opinion about PoT has changed. The show is really fun and it differs a lot from the manga. I actually fell in love with anime!Ryoma, who still keeps his cocky and bratty attitude from the manga but shows more emotions than just that. In the anime he is much more snarky yet concerned about others. Tvtropes doesn't just label anime!Ryoma as a Kuudere for nothing. The other characters are also more fleshed out and the relationships between them are better portrayed and emphasized than the manga, which gave me room to grow my love towards them. I love everyone in the show, even Fuji, even Atobe, even Sanada and even Yukimura, who I used to dislike here and there in the manga. The fillers and chibi episodes were so damn funny and full of gay hints that actually made me die of laughing and fangirling. The plot could be dragged in the middle and repetitive along the way, but the anime characters are more than make up for it. I actually like the anime original characters, especially Kevin.

I have fun with the fandom too, where people can ship anyone with anyone and there are many wonderful fanfics on livejournal. In terms of pairings, I find myself being obsessed with TezuRyo and SanaYuki, accepting Oishi/Eiji, Inui/Kaidoh, Momo/Ann, Shishido/Ohtori, Akutsu/Dan, Yuuji/Koharu, Atobe/Kabaji, some bits of TezuFuji, Fujicest, Fuji/Kawamura, Fuji/Tachibana (I'm talking about anime canon, not manga canon, where I didn't ship anything at all).

That's all the stuff that I've recently dug in. I might check out Shiki and Pandora Hearts when I'm free of studies and exams.

Date: 2010-12-14 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] invitan.livejournal.com
I haven't watched Panty & Stocking due to its, well, 'outrageous' nature (what can I say, I'm a bit of a conservative watcher).

I love Kuragehime to bits though. It's fun and dynamic and Kuranosuke simply rocks XD

Bakuman is decent enough, but yes, the pacing is slow - in contrast with the manga. Second the note that Ohba Tsugumi is just not a good romance writer - there are a lot of wrong things with Moritaka-Azuki couple. The main problem of the anime is that it tries to emphasize on those wrong things and drag out the series. Still, I like the HnG cameo in ep 10 when they enter Jump HQ. No trace of DN though, I wonder.

Until now it still makes me surprised as to how I used to get so addicted to PoT. I find the matches more and more tiring towards the end; I cannot remember the new characters' names -and I despise Ryoma-. I used to read a comment by a PoT fan that describes exactly how it was to me: like sweets - you know it's bad for your health, you can't get enough of it. I couldn't even bring myself to recommend it to others, yet I enjoyed it a whole lot more than I could ever imagine.

But I guess the fact that PoT has a gigantic fandom has something to do with its entertaining value as well :P

Did you try Shin PoT? If you haven't, then don't even try. It's a series that has become so dilute with new characters and boring matches that it no longer knows what it wants to accomplish anymore. (But since you are not a manga fan, I guess it's alright for you :P)

Shiki and Pandora Hearts are awesome XD XD Especially Shiki: it's a horror series without the shock factor that will still keep you chill to the bone. Pandora Hearts is brilliant, but I will recommend the manga, which has not been completed yet. The anime ending is not the satisfactory type, and some of its characterization flaws. Still, both OSTs are pretty awesome.

Date: 2010-12-15 11:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bloodcat0502.livejournal.com
"I haven't watched Panty & Stocking due to its, well, 'outrageous' nature (what can I say, I'm a bit of a conservative watcher)."

I watch this series because I was curious of all the comments around it. I did try to drop it at some points, but it just kept pulling me back in, and now I'm waiting for it every weekend. One of its strong points is that every episode it always tries something different in ideas or direction. The show always leaves me with a different kind of mixed feelings about WTF I've just seen each time, maybe disgusted, maybe amused, maybe bored, maybe bittersweet... I wouldn't recommend it since there are disturbing things in it that maybe only people aged 18+ can handle (mostly sex jokes, especially ep 2 & 3, there are some who have listened to the warnings, watched it and still disliked it), but actually if you are able to tolerate them, you can see the show's glorious sides.

"I love Kuragehime to bits though. It's fun and dynamic and Kuranosuke simply rocks XD "

Kuranosuke sure is love <3

"Until now it still makes me surprised as to how I used to get so addicted to PoT. I find the matches more and more tiring towards the end; I cannot remember the new characters' names -and I despise Ryoma-."

Um, I assume from a post about your OTPs that you haven't seen the anime yet, or have you? XD

If you're only talking about the manga, then yes, your problems with it was also mostly mine. I only remembered a few characters' names after reading it, and towards the end the matches just become more and more ridiculous to me. It's funny that after the anime, I could actually remember most of everybody since they were better characterized, and many matches were still able to keep me from eyeing out of the screen (espcially all of Tezuka's, Fuji's and some of Ryoma's matches), all thanks to the visual effects and music that create the tension for the show. Although in the anime some of the matches towards the end just look like Dragon Ballz in tennis form which made me LOL so much =))

About Ryoma in the manga, I'm actually fine with people hating him. Sometimes his cocky, bratty attitudes and actions to some even more respectful opponents than him just make me wished somebody would teach him a lesson. Well, his anime counterpart is much more tolerable and likeable anyway.

"Did you try Shin PoT? If you haven't, then don't even try."

Thanks for the warning, but I have tried it :P, and I have to second everything you said. Although if it's got an anime adaptation, I'd still watch it to see how people handle it.

And again thanks for the recommendation on Shiki and Pandora Hearts. I appreciate it XD

Date: 2010-12-15 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] invitan.livejournal.com
I did watch about 20 episodes of PoT anime - only those that are Fuji or TezuFuji centric (since I'm a Fuji fan and I adore TezuFuji so hard :P). 170+ is a big number, and the animation did not really help (But the OVA is an improvement in term of animation imo). I agree that the anime seems better in the characterization department, but the character design itself somehow hurts my eyes. I have to disagree with the notion that the visual effects help - the way they recycled all the tennis scenes made it way too repetitive for me, which is why I often skip the those scenes altogether.

I think the biggest problem of PoT is that the tennis itself is not really interesting. You can substitute it with another game (like, say, badminton, or even beach volleyball - as demonstrated from an episode) and it won't make a difference. It's the characters and their interactions that shine instead.

Shin PoT highlights that very problem even more and eliminates virtually all the good points. PoT succeeded because although it had an enormous cast, the main characters remained in the spotlight with proper development. Shin PoT tried to do the same with all its side characters and naturally lost its direction.

Date: 2010-12-15 01:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bloodcat0502.livejournal.com
"I think the biggest problem of PoT is that the tennis itself is not really interesting. You can substitute it with another game (like, say, badminton, or even beach volleyball - as demonstrated from an episode) and it won't make a difference. It's the characters and their interactions that shine instead."

Pretty much second everything above. In many fillers the characters try different kinds of sports (bowling, billards, table tennis, volleyball, basketball... the list goes on) and they play just as the way they do in tennis. I didn't watch the show for the tennis, I watched it mostly for the characters and their interactions just as you say.

Agree about the repetitive effects. When I'm so obsessed with something I usually overlook some of its flaws. I've always tried to get over my own biases :P

And why is Fuji so scarily popular in this fandom? XD

Date: 2010-12-15 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] invitan.livejournal.com
Fuji is popular because he's a sadist that enjoys torturing his anti-fans his character growth is one of the most impressive during the entire series imo. Compared to Ryoma, who has never really escaped from his bratty attitude, and Tezuka, who remains as stoic as ever throughout the entire series, Fuji really has changed and matured a great deal along with the story. His appreciate for tennis only started to be formed and nurtured and ultimately turned into passion at the end of the series. Actually I believe he would be a much better protagonist than Ryoma.

Besides, Fuji is interesting on his own. His personality is a mixture of weirdness, subtlety and fierceness altogether and at the same time. I actually prefer manga's Fuji to anime's. Somehow the anime makes him inconsistent at times (either he becomes too tame, or too fiery, or too odd).

Date: 2010-12-16 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bloodcat0502.livejournal.com
If Ryoma falls into any of other mangaka's hand rather than Konomi's, he usually is the antagonist. I've read somewhere that the protagonist Konomi-sensei had planned for PoT wasn't originally Ryoma but someone else. Still, I believe that whatever personality that the main character has, if the author gave them proper treatment, he/she would still develop properly and interest readers. That's not the case for PoT though.

I'm not a Fuji's anti-fan or anything XD. He's not my top favorite, but he shines every time he gets on the stage and he grew on me. I guess at first his weirdness offended me a bit so I didn't really pay much attention to him. Yes along the way he becomes more and more interesting, and as another fan said he is the incarnation of "inner depth". After watching him grow throughout the series I know he would be one of the most popular characters, but not that scarily popular, so I was just curious to ask XD.

Your comment makes sense, but I prefer Fuji as a sidekick character than a protagonist, usually the sidekick could get even more attention and development than the protagonist anyway.

Date: 2010-12-16 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] invitan.livejournal.com
I too was not impressed with Fuji at first, and was extremely surprised when he won the first character poll. It was really his depth later on that really caught my attention.

And then he evolves into such a bishy, too =__=

Talk about popularity... why is Atobe so scarily popular? I know he's got charisma, but other than that...

If a side character gets more development and attention than the protagonist, it's almost always due to failure in storytelling. Konomi is not a good storyteller imho.

Date: 2010-12-16 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bloodcat0502.livejournal.com
"Talk about popularity... why is Atobe so scarily popular? I know he's got charisma, but other than that..."

This is also something that always bothers me. I could somehow understand Fuji's popularity, but Atobe...?

When I happen to bump into an Atobe's fan, I have to ask about this.

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