January 20th, 2006

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The good news is that we haven't had a power outage (due to ground fault circuit breakers or otherwise) since I installed a bypass of the second part of the self-constructed electrical installation.
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haiku

Finished series: Otogizoushi

We've finished watching Otogizoushi. My first episode review is here.

In the Heian period, the capital is in ruins. The citizens are plagued by famine and disease, and they look towards the imperial court for salvation. The emperor himself has fallen ill, though, and the ministers of the left and right are plotting their own schemes... A wise man/seer, Seimei, instructs the ministers to gather the five mystical jewels that will restore the flow of Yin and Yang in the capital, thereby repairing all ills.
This important task is given to the Miyamoto clan, and it is expected that Raiko, the eldest son, will lead an expedition into enemy territory to retrieve the jewels. However, Raiko has fallen ill as well, and his sister Hikaru disguises herself as Raiko to take his place.

Thus begins a medieval quest, set to the backdrop of the scheming nobles in the imperial court, the lawless lands beyond the capital and the mystic powers of the seers. Hikaru amasses a small band of followers and gradually uncovers the truth behind her mission...

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The visual style does take some getting used to (especially the eyes!), but the animation is reasonably fluid and designs are nicely detailed. The music is pretty good (lots of flute in the Heian chapter), but it is pretty weird to have a historical story being flanked by incredibly poppy tunes that have little relation to the series itself.
The first season is very good: a unified story, lots of action and adventure. However, the second season is more of a hodge-podge, which means that the series loses some of its narrative thrust there.

Good points:
- Interesting story;
- Designs and animation are good;
- Decent music.
Bad points:
- Starts to drag during the second season;
- Heian!Hikaru is a kick-ass girl who's taking names, while Tokyo!Hikaru is a whiny wench.

I'll give it a 7.5.