January 3rd, 2009

Sneaky Bastard: Solid Snake

Finished series: Kure-nai

We've finished watching Kure-nai, tha I seemed to have failed to write a first episode review of.

Shinkuro is a highschool student who lives on his own in a run-down apartment building -- poor as a church rat. He scrapes by by taking jobs from Benika, a female 'fixer'. Shinkuro's specialty is being a 'mediator' -- which often means beating the crap out of someone until he listens to the request of the other side. He's trying to gain Benika's trust and thus get bigger (and more lucrative) jobs from her.
One day, Benika comes to him with a little girl in tow. She ran away from home (and/or Benika abducted her) and Shinkuro has to be her bodyguard in the 'outside world'. This little girl is none other than Murasaki Kuhoin, apparently a daughter of the rich and very powerful Kuhoin family. She is snobbish and demanding, which is a bit exasperating to poor Shinkuro. It takes some time (and a slap or two from Shinkuro) to make her behave, and she learns what it means to be 'outside' and live your life with the people you depend upon.
And then her family shows up to take her back...

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The series is a pretty interesting mix of slice-of-life and action. When Shinkuro is not beating people up (which is animated very well, by the way), he is trying to get Murasaki to behave during their visits to the bathhouse, or taking her to the shrine for the 3-5-7 festival. And while the series is short, it only takes two episodes for you to care deeply for the characters. There's a lot of backstory and character development crammed into the mere twelve episodes -- and the ending is quite satisfying too!
Visually, the series is very nice. The character designs are detailed and precise. The animations are fluid, and the characters move like actual people would move -- Murasaki moves like a seven-year old girl. It's little cues like that which gives this series another layer of depth.
The voice acting is very good as well. I especially liked the voice of Murasaki, but all characters are voiced very well, and their emotions shine through.

Good points:
- Crammed full of character development;
- Visually very appealing;
- There's an actual plot with an actual ending!
Bad points:
- If I have to think of one, it would be that some of Shinkuro's flat-mates are quite annoying...

All in all, a very interesting series to watch. I'll give it an 8.

The fub Postcard Exchange

Christmas is over, but that doesn't mean I should stop sending cards. In fact, I want to keep sending more cards. I've joined Postcrossing to get some adresses to send cards to, but that's not an exchange -- I don't get a card from someone I send a card to.

So I present you the fub Postcard Exchange. It works like this:
- You leave your adress in a comment here -- all comments are screened, so nobody but me will see it;
- I will create a card, and send it to you;
- In return, you send me a card back -- a card you made yourself would be appreciated, but it's not compulsory.

Simple, and fun!