[12 Days of Anime] Day 7 – My 5 best picks anime of 2011

1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

From left to right: Kyōko Sakura, Sayaka Miki,...

It would be great of we could get our wishes became true, even if it’s just one wish. Naturally we would have to pay for it but what kind of payment will do? Would you trade your soul for it? Most people probably would do that when they learn the still have their souls in possession, even if it means their souls are now outside of their body. In Madoka Magica, things didn’t stop there, where in exchange of drawing your soul out from your body and had your wish comes true, you gained magical powers alongside the responsibility to fight the Witches. Actually the reason you soul being taken out and resides in your Soul Gem is to prepare your body for a battle that normal people wouldn’t be able to handle. However the price you’d need to pay is actually more than what explained to you. There’s an irrevocable contract that never revealed to you just because you’ve never asked for the details, and you are also bearing the risk of becoming a Witch yourself. Once you become a mahou shoujo, the process in irreversible. That said, this anime will remain as my numero uno anime for a very long time.

2. Steins;Gate

What if a modified microwave oven could allow you to send phone messages to the past? It would be useful to warn ourselves about anything before it happened, provided that you have the cellphone in the past to receive it. However it would probably be pointless if your past self never believed the message (thought of it being a prank or something), or if you don’t have the “Reading Steiner” ability like Okarin. In a sense the modified microwave here is some sort of time machine. However in the world where spies are around every corners of the world, possessing a working time machine would draw unwanted attention no matter how hard you hide it. You might lost your life, or the life of your dearest ones in the silent battle. Here in Steins;Gate we saw conflicts and conspiracies that spans through time and parallel universes. Okarin fought bravely for everybody’s sake in order to save the past, present and the future, as well as the love of his life. This is perhaps the only anime I never had any complaint. I’m not saying that it’s perfect but there’s nothing awkward happened and not even a single moment I felt like telling the characters to do this or that. It’s really a show to remember.

3. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

As a transfer student it’s just normal if you don’t have a friend at your new school. However it’s not that normal if you’ve never had any, even in your previous schools. Not to mention after months in your new school you’re still unable to befriend anybody, thanks to your natural-delinquent look that you were born with. Well you’re lucky if you found someone who is also ‘friendless’ just like you. And that person is a girl, or to be exact, someone you knew from the past. Together you formed a club and soon more and more ‘friendless’ people joined in. That’s what happened in this anime. The truth is I’ve been waiting for probably more than a year. Probably not the best for everybody but definitely one of my best picks.

4. Hanasaku Iroha

You’re a girl who just turned 16, and you mother left you under the custody of the grandmother you’ve never met, because she eloped with her good-for-nothing boyfriend. You nearly lost your hope when your grandmother treated you badly in an abusive manner, and forced to work your ass off as she wouldn’t support you as her grandchild. To make things worse, your colleague, who is also your roommate hates you with no real reason. That’s the life that Ohana lived in the Kissuiso inn. If I were her I might have killed everybody in the inn (well except Nako-san) but Ohana isn’t the type of a girl who would fight for her rights. Instead in a short time she has grown into a ‘stupidly’ optimistic person who would see people bullying her as “having good reason behind such action”. The only heartwarming moment in this anime is probably the romantic relationship between Ohana and Kouichi. I managed to follow this anime to the end is because I wanted to see Ohana fights back. The new anime for this series has been announced but it’s still unconfirmed whether it will be a second season (prequel or sequel) or just OVA but I’d like to see Ohana’s grandmother ‘defeated’. That old hag deserves to be clubbed to death.

5. Mayo Chiki

Mayo Chiki!

Imagine you’re having severe gynophobia where you could bleed from your nose just from being touched by a girl. And then how about you’re forced to cure it by allowing a girl to stay close to you? Kinjirou, the gynophobic guy stumbled upon Subaru, a cross-dressed girl in a toilet. And that girl is a ‘butler’ to a sadistic ojousama (Kanade) whom later forced him “to take necessary actions” to protect Subaru’s secret. It is not an easy task where Kinjirou had to face various obstacles such as the S4 group, Subaru’s father and more. Subaru then began to develop some sort of romantic feelings towards Kinjirou. However it seems like she is not the only one who feels that way towards him. Her rival might be the her ojousama and both of them have kissed Kinjirou in separate occasions. As things are getting more complicated, the series ended with the expected cliffhanger. Well I hope there will be a second season to bring the conclusion, and I’m rooting for Subaru x Kinjirou.


[12 Days of Anime] Day 5 – We Don’t Have Many Friends (BokuTomo ep .12 finale)

Yozora only gets sexier with that short haircut (>_<)
The anime is finally over, but my love towards it will just continue. BokuTomo ended with the mix of good laughs, touching scenes and of course a few moe moments too.  It may not ended in the way I wished it would be (for it to take the romance path) but this is something I’ve expected. However this is also a good thing as this could be a hint that the second season might follow soon. And I really hope the second season will become real as I really want to see the conclusion between Kodaka and those girls so bad!

Yozora's teary eyes, this will definitely become one of the most memorable scenes to me (^_^)
I personally think Yozora with short hair seems more feminine than she was. In this episode not only the voice acting sounded a bit more ‘girlish’, she also acted like a girl whom just met her long-lost boyfriend. Yes, Yozora also have that part in her and I like how she blushes so many times in the first half of the episode. The funnies part in this episode is when their fellow classmates misunderstood the reason Yozora cut her hair when she was explaining it to Kodaka. For a moment it made me feel like how I wish I was there in the class 😛

Yozora's unforgettable expression, it's as if she's just heard a love confession from Kodaka (^_^)
After we had a very touching moments of the ‘real’ reunion of Yozora and Kodaka, we’re presented with scenes for good laughs. First we had the ‘Mad Scientist’ mistook Yozora as a random hunk (and consequently had ‘orgasm’ from the thoughts of it). Even Yukimura also fell to Yozora’s “trap” appearance. The only person who knew right away it was Yozora is ironically Yozora’s ‘enemy’ none other than Niku. Niku found this as something ‘trollable’ and even made some funny assumptions for the reason Yozora cut her hair but of course Yozora is the better troll than her 😛

'Meat' is making fun of Yozora, only to get trolled back before she could finish laughing 😛
If the ep. 09 was “Sena’s episode” then this episode is Yozora’s. In fact I think this is the first time Yozora being the center of the episode. Everything about Yozora’s and Kodaka’s shared past is now clear. Yozora may appear to be stubborn sometimes but in this episode I started to see some of her reasoning behind it. Kodaka also has learned to accept Yozora as she is.

This is the best! Loli Yozora from 10 years ago who was too shy to tell Kodaka that she's actually a girl (^_^)
BTW if we recall all the previous episodes, I must say episodes 01-10 are ‘funny’ episodes, ep. 11 is an emotionally touching episode while this final episode combines both funny and touching moments. I think those moments arrived just at the right place and didn’t feel awkward at all. This is one of the anime I hardly get bored of even after repeating it many times. Maybe not the best for everybody but definitely one of the best for me. We had some depressing moments with Madoka Magica and Steins;Gate earlier this year so having finished this anime right before the new year is right at its time as well as a good way to end the year.

Nendoroid Mikazuki Yozora
I'm hoping to see you again next time! (^_^)

[12 Days of Anime] Day 4 – Music in anime

When it comes to audio entertainment I’m always go to anime first. While most people would use the radio (both online or “offline”/on-air radio) for music discovery, I use anime instead. I treat anime like a music discovery tool in a similar way people treat the radio. It is because to me music discovered from anime is like music of “the chosen one”. There must be something special about it that it became the OP/ED/BGM of an anime. In other words, listening to anime music is like listening to something of special value, a value that is usually missing from randomly discovered music in radio.
Anime maybe my default music discovery tool but it is not the only one. There are at least 3 other sources for my music, namely games (eroge/visual novel included), Jdrama and not to forget doujin music circles. That said if I were to make a ranking anime has always be at the top, followed by the rest. I hardly take recommendations because I can’t simply accept it. For me music has to be good not only for my ears but also “good” in terms of being used in anime.
So how did some music that didn’t come from the above sources ended up in my collection anyway? Well, if you look carefully they are either classics, music from the yesteryear, nostalgic music from my distant past that I’ll always be fond of (like the vintage rock in the 70’s & 80’s). Even if you still managed to find newer/recent non-anime/games/jdrama/doujin music in my collection, again look carefully and you’ll find they’re sung by the same artists who sing for some of the sources above.
Recently anime music has become less interesting to me. I don’t think I’m the one who have changed, it must be the anime. Although I listen to many kinds of music I usually tend to pick Jrock over Jpop, as well as classical orchestra and new age music (that includes Gregorian and Celtic too). I think the most recent “good” orchestra music I’ve heard is “Mini Ika Musume na Hibi” from Ika Musume Season 1 OST. That was years after the last one, which is “Ailes Grise” from the anime Haibane Renmei. I wish more anime could have orchestra music too, at least as the BGM piece if not as the OP/ED.
When it comes to composer though I like Yuki Kajiura‘s works very much. Her works, accompanied by the awesome voices from her “FictionJunction” project and the girl band “Kalafina” really add extra powerful touches to her music. To be honest so far she is the only composer in the world that I like all of her creations. Even for other composers, there’s always at least one of their works that I can’t stand listening for long.
Speaking about my favorite music and the composer, of course it would be unfair without me mentioning my favorite singer/musician too. I like it when Hanazawa-san sings for anime but not all of her song sounds good to my ears. The same also true for my other favorite female artist, KOKIA. She has super awesome voice but I’m not ‘compatible’ with all her songs. That is why I rarely purchase a whole album of any artist. BTW I can’t mention Miku Hatsune here though since her songs and music really depends on the composer behind her, not herself. For musician/band/circle I mostly listen to music from IOSYS, supercell (just to name a few) because of their relationship with anime fandom in general (not necessarily have direct connection to anime but they have some affinity or association with anything anime-ish, including the Touhou Project).
Before I end this let me tell you I don’t stick to a certain artist/genre when it comes to music though I may have a tendency towards classical orchestra music as I’ve mentioned earlier. I only follow the song/music. Therefore if the music sounds good enough to my ears, and it comes from the sources I mentioned above I’d most likely grab it and I don’t care who’s behind it. The only reason I’d care about the artist behind it is to allow me to look for more works from that artist.

[12 Days of Anime] Day 3 – Cosplay: Yozora Mikazuki of BokuTomo by MIYUKO

I’ve tried to do this cosplay review since last month but I just didn’t know where to start because the Spiral Cats Team suddenly became so ‘productive’ that I barely could cope up with them. Now that the 12 Days of Anime event is here I’m taking this opportunity to blog this anyway.

If you’ve followed my blog posts you might already know that MIYUKO is my favorite cosplayer, even topped many notable Japanese cosplayers in my personal cosplayer chart. Gifted with what I refer to as “thousand faces” she is perfect for almost any character she could cosplay.

When MIYUKO does a cosplay, or any cosplay for that matter, I always have very little complain or none at all. Just look at the picture above, where at this point it’s “perfectly perfect”.

Have you watched the anime Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai? Or at least read the light novel? If you haven’t then I think you should. If you think MIYUKO as Yozora above is very beautiful, then I have to tell you too that Yozora is the most beautiful ‘troll’ ever.

Nobody’s perfect. I did say that MIYUKO made a perfect cosplay but in the picture above the ‘imperfection’ is visible, if you can notice it. You know Yozora usually has several pink ribbons tied to the ends of her hair that maybe barely noticeable because of her waist-length hair. I wonder how many years she’s been keeping it that it has grown that long. Maybe since Kodaka left the city, which is 10 years to be exact? Back to the hair business, some people might argue that there are also times where Yozora didn’t have those ribbons but you should realize to that when in her school uniform Yozora ALWAYS have them. Not a big deal of course but I have to deduct some points anyway.

Well as long as nobody noticed the absence of those ribbons then I think it’s fine. I’m no perfectionist either so I guess it’s fine as well but still not enough for me to dismiss the fact that they’re absent, though enough for me to give her an ‘A’. Man I still have some more new cosplay by MIYUKO I’d like to review. I hope I’d be able to do it before the end of the year.

[12 Days of Anime] Day 2 – You See, Girls Wearing Yukata are Extremely Cute (゚∀゚) (BokuTomo ep. 11)

Weekly serving of 'Meat'.
Not the funniest episode (if compared to those been aired before) but definitely the most touching one. ‘Meat’ didn’t get trolled this time but this reminded me of episode 6 (the karaoke episode) where we saw Yozora & Sena competing against each other, this time in games held in one summer festival. Also just like the karaoke episode both of them competed almost evenly, alternating the winner position between each other, and of course none of them would accept defeat.

In this episode we got to see the female characters, with exception of Yozora, wearing yukata as they go to the summer festival. Man how I really wanted to see Yozora in yukata so bad but she is too stubborn to wear it.

I bet Yozora would be uber beautiful in yukata. If only she wasn't that stubborn...

Now I know how did Yozora ended up having short hair after her waist-length hair got burnt by the fireworks. This incident however being both fortune and misfortune. The lucky part about it is it reminds Kodaka of his long-lost childhood friend whom he thought was a boy. The reunion of these two friends was so touchng that it made me cry in tears of joy.

This scene still makes me cry no matter how many times I've watched it. Yozora somehow looks more feminine with short hair. Talking about how things may have the opposite effect.
I did mention elsewhere on the net that I’d like to think that those two are now reunited no longer as friends but as lovers instead. I know some people gonna hate it for the ‘unwanted’ romance, not to mention that it might be unfair to Niku, but of course there’s still a chance for Meat if Kodaka decides to take the harem path. Well if you look at the previous episodes it’s usually Sena who ‘won’ the undeclared battles in getting Kodaka’s attention. Now it seems that the fate is finally favoring Yozora this time.
Yozora, you better start trying to wear yukata so not to lose to 'Meat'.
There’s only one episode left though and I’m really looking forward to how things will end between Kodaka and those two beauties (Yozora and Sena). If I were Kodaka and forced to choose only one, I think I might not choose any since choosing only one would only hurt the other, unless I’m allowed to choose both. Not that I’m greedy or what, it’s just that I think that’s the best choice to make both of them happy. Well maybe it’s just me but although Yozora trolls Meat all the time I think they’re “getting along” quite well 😛
Nendoroid Yozora and Sena

[12 Days of Anime] Day 1 – Titles temporarily dropped, put on-hold and planned to watch

My 12 days of anime countdown to new year begins. Too bad I can’t get any day-off for the next 12 days. If not I’d like to spend the upcoming days until new year solely for anime therapy. Too be honest there are still many titles from summer and fall anime I haven’t watched yet. They’re the titles I put under the planned to watch list or those that I simply didn’t finish watching because they didn’t spark much interest in me but still have some interest for me to keep downloading them despite haven’t watched most of them. Coincidentally there are also 12 of them (6 from each season), and they are:

1. Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Season 2
I didn’t finish the first season due to the presence of ‘trap’ but instead of dropping it I decided to watch it later once my mind is ready.

2. Kami-sama no Memo-chou
A very promising series, spoiled by the fact I hate Alice’s voice and the way she talks to Narumi, of which I think Victorica (GOSICK) is more acceptable compared to her. In the first episode I already turned off by the schoolgirl prostitution. Same as above, I have to ‘temporarily’ drop this series.

3. Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
I didn’t get what this anime is all about. Yeah I know from the first episode it’s some sort of slice of life (life in the late-19th century Paris to be exact) but I just don’t know what to expect from this anime. The only reason I’m planning to resume this series is because Yune is a cute loli in kimono.

4. Yuru Yuri
You know I hate yuri, and the name itself (and the only available characters are all females) enough to tell me what this anime is all about. I’m in for the fanservice anyway but I can wait until I’m mentally prepared.

5. Mawaru Penguindrum
One of the reasons I temporarily dropped this is those annoying penguins. Oh and that “destination scene” too. Oh maybe the repetitively reused animation sequence in the “Survival Strategy” scene as well? However this is the only anime I have the actual planned date to resume, which is right after the finale is out.

6. R-15
Reading the synopsis alone is enough to provoke me about this anime. A 15 year old dude is writing porn? The hell! The sexy cute girls are supposed to save this anime from my hatred sentiment but the heavily censored aired show greatly turned me off. Now looking for the Bluray.

7. Fate/Zero
I maybe a fan of the Fate/ series but I’m never fond of anything prequel. Saber’s bike (whatever the name is) however is super cool and something should not be missed. If not because I noticed the existence of the bike recently I might never watch this anime for the rest of my life.

8. Maken-ki
I have no idea. What I know is there are sexy cute girls inside. It’s just that, that alone isn’t enough to make me watching it right away. However it doesn’t mean I’d never watch it.

9. Working Season 2
I didn’t watch the first season because I hate Inami. I also hate girl who smokes. The season however changed my view on this anime a bit because from the look of it, it is less ‘annoying’ than the first season. I can watch the second season right now but it’s my tradition to always watch the first season first even if it means I have to put the current season on hold.

10. Mirai Nikki
At first I thought this anime has something to do with Danny Choo’s Mirai. Turns out that this anime is freakishly [………] (insert some insulting word there). I hate yandere as much as I hate tsundere, if not more. I’m only in for awesome power depicted in this anime, not those unnecessary killings and stupid bloodbath.

11. Bento
I don’t get how fighting over cheap bento is acceptable but if there are girls fighting for it then why not? I did watch the first episode by doing “speed watching” (analogous to “speed reading”), not that awesome but watchable, and I decided that I can wait.

12. C³
I’m also not very sure what to expect from this anime though from the synopsis it looks interesting. When I see the word ‘naked’ I quickly marked this anime in my “must watch” list but still there are more interesting current anime in my waiting list so this anime can be put on hold (surely not for long).

Because things could be better…