April 18th, 2007

Kashira? Kashira? Gozonji Kashira?

New anime

Hitohira: Mugi enters highschool, but she has trouble adjusting because of her shyness. When people are watching her, she can't speak from her nervousness. This gets her in trouble a few times. And then she is recruited into the Drama Research Club...
You know where this is headed, but it promises to be an amusing ride. Seems to be a nice coming-of-age story. Artwork is decent, though not spectacular -- it doesn't need to be for this kind of series.

Murder Princess: A coup d'Etat is underway in the land of Foreland. Only princess Alita manages to escape, but as she crosses a forest she is chased by a monster! She runs into Falis and his two companions, a pack of bounty hunters, and when they fall off the cliff together, their souls switch bodies! Falis, now in the body of Alita, runs off to the castle and easily defeats the would-be usurper -- and proclaims herself to be the rightful queen of Foreland!
Amusing premise. And this being an OVA by Bee-Train, the designs and artwork is quite good.

Seirei no Moribito: Balsa is a wandering bodyguard, wielding a mighty spear. Just after she enters the country to get her spear 'serviced', she sees a procession surrounding someone from the imperial family. The ox goes mad, and a young prince falls into the river. Using her wits and tools, Balsa saves the young man. Later that evening, she is invited into the palace, where the Second Empress, the mother of the prince she saved, asks her to take the young prince with her to protect him against further assassination attempts...
Really beautiful artwork, a mix between historical fact and fantasy and hints of both Balsa's dark past and a dark conspiracy surrounding the prince. One to watch!

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Simon and Kamina live in an underground village. Simon works as a digger, gradually enlarging the village and sometimes finding interesting treasures embedded in the rock. Kamina wants to go to the surface, but the village elder isn't having any of that -- until the ceiling caves in and a monster appears. Then it is up to Simon and Kamina (together with a bikini-wearing girl with an anti-tank gun that dropped down along with the monster) and the mecha Simon dug up to save the village!
Typical shounen fare. The artwork looks a bit like FLCL, which may be a plus. Still, the plot is pretty random, and it comes with the usual shouting.

Nagasarete Airantou: Ikuto has run away from home, but falls overboard from the ship he was travelling on during a storm. When he comes to, he finds himself on an island inhabited by girls roughly his age, and one grandma. No parents and no men in sight. And he can't get off the island because of a series of whirlpools around the island. Obviously, one girl is tasked with taking care of him, and obviously she doesn't really seem to know how to behave towards him -- so she doesn't have any problems with jumping in the bath with him. Meanwhile, all the other girls want to get close to Ikuto as well, and various fights break out, with Ikuto haplessly in the middle.
Quite zany and funny (the pet pig is called Tonkatsu, the killer whale in the sea is called Sashimi), but I don't think it'll funny for longer than the first episode.

Rocket Girls: Yukari's father dissapeared on the first night of her parents' honeymoon, seventeen years ago (talk about a lucky hit!). During her summer vacation, she goes to the Solomon Islands to search for her father. But in the meantime, the Japanese engineering group of the 'Solomon Space Agency' are getting desperate when their funding is stopped after the umpteenth launch failure. They need to achieve some successes before the end of the year -- but they will need a lighter astronaut for that... Yukari crosses the path of the director of the SSA, and finds herself accepted for an 'easy part-time job that even a monkey can do'...
Great artwork, great action-packed intro episode, and an interesting premise. What's not to like?

Gigantic Formula: A catastrophe has befallen Earth, and somehow the UN has unanimously decided it's time for a new World War. This time, it'll take the form of duels between mecha. Japan has been building theirs (Susano) for some time now, and Shingo wins the competition to become a pilot. Almost immediately after the war has started, a Chinese republic stages an attack on Japan, and Japan almost gets defeated during the first hours of the war. Assassins try to strike on Shingo, he can't get to Susano in time, etcetera...
The animation style is interesting, and the CGI is of really high quality. And this time, the mecha pilot has been training to become a mecha pilot, instead of simply landing in the pilots' seat through some accident and realising he knows how to make the thing work. If you're into mecha, this is your show this season.

Lucky Star: Basically, four high school girls have conversations about... nothing in particular. The characterisation is pretty light: one is an anime- and game-otaku, another is the usual gentle big-sister type, etcetera. Nothing much happens, and yet it is pretty damn funny.
The character designs are pretty basic, like the manga characters they are based on. The voice acting is quite nice though. If you like series where not much happens (you know who you are), then you should give this one a try.

Kami-chama Karin: Karin is some sort of goddess, but due to a mishap, she loses her memory and becomes trapped in a timeline/dimension where she has a pretty rotten life as a teenager. All she has left from her parents is the ring her mother gave her -- which turns out to be the key to her divine nature. Which draws all sorts of characters towards her...
The artwork looks like Pita-Ten, so we thought it would be ultra-cute. Then during the initial scenes, it seemed like a Pretear knock-off. And then the accident happened, and it turned into a schoolkids anime... Quite confusing, but it should be interesting to see what happens when Karin regains her divine powers.
net zombie!


The past three days, we have been working in our front garden.

You see, we shared a garden path with the neighbours. This weekend, they have dismantled their half of the path, enlarged their garden and placed 'flagstones' to walk on. Which meant we were stuck with half a path... The stones of the path were available, so we could have laid the path in our garden, but neither of us is any good in paving. It would probably have looked quite ugly.

So we had to think of something else.

We bought ten black cubical pots and placed them on where our half of the path used to be, and filled those with grasses and other green, structural plants. We bought seven bankirai (wooden) stepping platforms and placed those in the garden to walk on.

All this took us three days to think up, order the stuff and implement. Our hands are completely shot, and we're tired. But it looks quite cool now.
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