Archive for the English Anime Category


Yuri Anime: Card Captor Sakura (English)

September 16th, 2014

ccsSo, the last month or so I have been mainlining all 70 episodes of Cardcaptor Sakura on Crunchyroll.  And y’know…I like it all over again. ^_^

You have to remember, we were coming off a Sailor Moon high the first time. All those amazing voice actresses, and there they were scooped up the immensely talented all-woman studio, CLAMP, no less. It was a perfect set up for Yuri fans.

And then…it started going all bent and alt-sexuality right away. The BL fans went gaga (rightfully so) over Touya and Yukito, fans of intergenerational relationships had Terada-sensei and Rika, and Kaho and Touya, and Fujitaka and Nadesico. Yuri fans had Sonomi’s feelings for her cousin Nadesico, mirrored by Tomoyo’s feelings for Sakura. So, basically everyone had something to be weird about. Boy with wings and long silver hair? Here’s Yue. Androgynous cute being? Have Ruby Moon. There was something for everyone, wrapped in a pretty CLAMP animation with ribbon and cake.

NIS did a really decent job with the translation, until they didn’t. And when they didn’t, it  became one of those moments that you just suck it up and do the best you can and hopefully realize that you can’t just ignore the honorifics and hope they go away. (Only companies keep making the same mistake over and over. How about we learn to translate names as they are presented, already and stop fighting it, huh?) So instead of Li-kun becoming Xialoang (a transliteration I 100% approve of, btw. It is correct), they struggle with Xiolang to…um, “bestie.” Yeah, no.

The film quality is great, and when/if I get this, I think getting Blu-Ray will be worth it. NIS has a Hybrid Blu-Ray (Amazon/ RightStuf) version available.

It actually felt more Yuri to me this time around – Tomoyo is well and truly besotted, much more so than her mother. (Bonus for us seiyuu otaku, Sonomi is is played by Itou Miki, who played Sachiko in Marimite.)

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Ratings:

Art – 8 One of CLAMP’s most colorful and swoopy
Story – 8 Weird, but fun
Characters – 10 Enduring in a lot of ways. There never would have been a Tamao in Strawberry Panic, if there hadn’t been a Tomoyo in CCS.
Yuri – A steady, underlaid 3
Service- 6 Not physical, but psychological hoo-whee!

Overall – 9

It’s been a long time since I watched this series and I think I enjoyed it more this time around. ^_^





Viz Presents the Sailor Moon Dub Moonlight Party Friday, September 5th, 2014

September 5th, 2014

Viz Moonlight PartyPress Release: VIZ Media Presents – MOONLIGHT PARTY! An Official Sailor Moon Streaming Event

Join your friends from the Sailor Moon team at VIZ Media for a celebration of the UNCUT English dub premiere of Sailor Moon! Starting at 8:00 PM Pacific time on September 5, 2014

Starting at 8:00 PM Pacific time (11:00PM Eastern) we’ll be hosting a special slumber party live from the VIZ office in San Francisco steaming on our YouTube channel. We’ll be watching the dub premiere on Hulu or Neon Alley as well as playing games, asking SAILOR MOON trivia questions and having lots of fun with fans all across the nation. You’ll get to meet the team working on SAILOR MOON and even have a chance to ask them questions about the upcoming releases!

Did we mention there will be prizes? Be sure to watch to find out how you can win some extra special Sailor Moon treats!

So, get your friends together, grab your favorite jammies, plushes & slumber party treats and snuggle up with us for a whole lot of Sailor Moon awesomeness.

(Hulu is only available in the USA at this time but this streaming event will be open to fans in the US, Canada and more)





Rose of Versailles Anime, Part 2, Disk 4 (English)

August 28th, 2014

Rose-of-Versailles2Rose of Versailles, Part 2 continues to be pointedly relevant and prescient right to the very last disk.

On the eve of the French Revolution, Oscar and Andre’ finally break past the barriers that have been keeping them apart. They “become husband and wife” as the series delicately puts it, while showing us an artistic rendering of them naked.

The events of the the storming of the Bastille and the subsequent days of bloodletting play out after our principles have all been taken off the board, to be relayed by the Greek chorus of Alain, Bernard and Rosalie.

In my ongoing research as I watched this final disk, I learned that the French Guards did indeed side with the people over the royal household and they were a key element at the storming of the Bastille. That was interesting.

The thing that will haunt me, however, is the scene when the Army faces an angry mob and fires into it, killing a child. The scene was chilling in the light of the recent events in Missouri, where a belligerent police department punished protesters and left me feeling quite hollow.

The story draws to a close, but I’m not going to lie, it’s a bitter ending to a story that was too realistic to ever have a happy end.

TRSI did a bangup job on this series, and this was really hammered home on this final volume when I ran into one bit of translation that could have been better. It was such a rare occurrence that it really highlighted the overall quality of the translation. And, the visuals looked damn good for an old anime. I’m impressed and after a rest to recharge my ability to handle emotionally wrecking anime, I’ll get started on Dear Brother! ^_^;

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters 9
Yuri – 0
Service – 1 (on principle)

Overall – 8

There is no doubt in my mind that this series is a classic. There is also no doubt in my mind that it will be another 20 years before I watch it again….phew.





All 70 episodes of Cardcaptor Sakura on Crunchyroll

August 12th, 2014

ccs Tonight, at about 9PM EST US time, all 70 episodes of Cardcaptor Sakura are going live on Crunchyroll.

This series has so much going for it – it’s a classic CLAMP creation (a number of the voice actresses from the original Sailor Moon anime went on to work on this (and most of the others snagged an appearance or two) and generlly has one of the most bent and colorful stories in 90s shoujo anime. It’s my favorite CLAMP work.

I know what I’m doing tonight. ^_^





Saki – Episode of Side A Anime (English)

August 10th, 2014

sideaI know, I know, the Saki anime is from a million years ago.

I finally had the motivation and chance to sit down and plow through the last few unwatched episodes of Saki – Episode of Side A, which I will refer to as Achiga-hen, because the English translation hurts. The original season of Saki, Achiga-hen, and the Nationals arc are streaming free and legally on Crunchyroll (with regional restrictions). I have previously reviewed some of the Saki anime and a few random volumes of the manga.

The set-up is a terrific bit of propganda – Mah Jong is, /handwave/ an incredibly popular game with millions of players not, as it is in our reality, a game notable mostly for it being played by housewives and old men. Nope, in this, much cuter, world, even adorable high school girls compete in televised competitions.

What makes Saki enjoyable to me mostly, is that I know nothing about Mah Jong. So the overblown drama of “tsumo” and “ron” might as well be  in Martian for all I know. I love the hilariously melodramatic flaming eyes and elemental power analogies, and the occasional allegorical wings spreading and magic keys. If only Mah Jong was half that interesting, probably lots of young people would play it.

Achiga-hen followed the players  from Achiga Girls’ School, an institution with a tarnished reputation and a general distaste for Mah Jong, after a brutal loss a decade ago. The team is reanimated and, despite everything,  competes to make the Nationals.

There is, as there was with the first Saki, a fair amount of service – specifically of the thigh/skirt edge-staring sort. Let me just remind you, my dear readers, it really is not okay to stare at girls the way this anime does. It’s creepy and unpleasant. But, as occasionally creepy and unpleasant as this was, it was actually less creepy and unpleasant than the original series.

To add to our already full list of rather decent Yuri couples, from an increasingly large cast,  we now must add Toki and Ryuuka, and Himeko and Mairu.

But the real strength of this series is a simple thing – there aren’t any bad guys. Not really. We knew Achiga was going to win – the arc isn’t called “Shiratodai-hen” after all, but it was kind of sad to meet more interesting new characters with stories and relationships of their own, then have to watch them lose. T_T I’m going to have check out the manga past Volume 8, which is where it had gotten up to last time I picked up a bunch of volumes in Nakano.

Ratings:

Art – 9 As ever, absurd
Story- 5 Girls playing Mah Jong. Seriously, that’s it.
Characters – 9 This series’ strength, absolutely
Service – 6 Nothing actionable, but nothing you should brag about liking, either
Yuri – 4

Overall – 8

If you hated Saki, or found it uninteresting or lacking I won’t try and convince you to watch Achiga-hen. But if you didn’t hate it, just haven’t gotten around to watching this arc, there ought to be enough over-animated Mah Jong and Yuri to keep you watching.