Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Anime Season/Vacation

Fall Break sure has been funnnn!! ^__^ On Saturday I went with my friend Laura to the nearest mall (it's in another town... ;_; ). It was fabulous (splendid, superb, delightful, etc) finally going to a mall for the first time since I left Florida! XD My college is located in a college town in Massachusetts. While there is some good shopping here, there aren't any malls. Selection aside, I just really dig the atmosphere of malls. The sounds of people buying and selling, the smell of different stores (like Hallmark as compared to, say, Borders, or Express, Macy's, Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works, etc), and the fun of shopping with a friend. ^^ (Although sometimes I like shopping alone too.)

Even though I love reading, anime and manga, etc, etc, it's also just nice to spend a fun, brainless afternoon at a mall, especially if it's around the holidays. I primarily looked for winter jackets, and even though I found one I liked, I decided to wait a little more for there to be more selection. I did get a copy of Shojo Beat magazine at Borders and some make-up at Sephora. I was pretty tempted to pick up some anime at Best Buy, but I didn't have any cash on me and decided to wait until the next time I go (soon) when I'll bring some expressly for that purpose, instead of charging more to my credit card.

As far as new anime series airing this season, I am definitely following Vampire Knight: Guilty (of course :) ), Rosario+Vampire Capu2 (silly, brainless fun, just like the first season), Kuroshitsuji (granted, I'm a little disappointed that *SPOILER* the butler Sebastian didn't actually kill the sleazy Italian guy who he trapped in a burning oven; seriously, how did he survive? *END SPOILER*), and Toradora (this is how you do a romantic comedy competently). I'm tentatively following To Aru Majutsu no Index (so far it has managed to be sufficiently entertaining; I'm just not sure how long it can stay interesting by rehashing psychic/magic user anime plot cliches in a way that feels fresh and stylish, with incredibly cool fight scenes) and Earl and Fairy.

Vampire Knight Guilty: Unequivocally my favorite anime premiering this season.

Kuroshitsuji: Tiding over my need for Victorian-influenced supernatural horror in between new episodes of Vampire Knight. Seriously, this is good stuff. It makes a certain other 19th century anime premiering this season (see further below) look like crap. I just wish I had a better picture.

Rosario+Vampire Capu2: Normally, this would be the kind of series I love to hate (a harem romantic comedy with fan service). Surprisingly, for me, it's a refreshingly brainless/funny take on the vampire/horror theme, and evil Moka rocks every scene she's in (the silver-haired girl). Not the most literate show, but each episode is fun to watch. :) (Besides, at this point I'm pretty desensitized to the fan service.)

Toradora! : One of the best series premiering, and certainly one of the funniest, most well-executed romantic comedies I have seen in anime, as of the past two episodes I have viewed. The series follows Ryuuji Takasu, a boy who everybody assumes is a delinquent because he inherited his yakuza father's beady eyes (even though he is actually a kind-hearted softie with a crush on a girl in his class), and Taiga Aisaka, a petite girl with a strong personality and a hair-trigger temper known as the "Palmtop Tiger." When they find out that they each have a crush on the other's best friend, they agree to help each other get together with the person they like. Ryuuji and Taiga play off each other brilliantly, and they make a great duo. Thankfully, at least so far, there isn't an inkling of romance between them, just a refreshing "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" friendship that works beautifully.

Earl and Fairy: This screencap pretty much summarizes the point of the show.

This too.

I was completely ready to hate/be amused by Earl and Fairy when I began watching it. Honestly, it's about a 17 year old girl named Lydia Carlton living in 19th century Britain (fine so far) who works as a fairy doctor(!) and lives with a talking fairy cat (groan), and while voyaging towards London to meet her father, she gets kidnapped by a dashing bishonen with ambiguous morals (he's suave and gentlemanly towards her, but is shown killing a man who tells him about Lydia in the opening scene) who asks her to help him obtain some fairy sword that will let him enter the land he inherited from an ancestor in the Fairy Nation. Follow that?

The animation was utterly mediocre, although (of course) the character designs were pretty (but I don't care too much for the eyes). I found myself sniggering quite a few times at the scenes that were meant to pass as ravishingly romantic (like when the dashing, morally ambiguous bishonen, Earl Edgar von Something, waxes on about Lydia's eyes, or when the camera lingers on him in graceful bishonen mode, sparkles and all). I love cheesy bishonen behavoir, as shown in Revolutionary Girl Utena and Ouran Host Club, but those series do it in a satirical, tongue-in-cheek way. Earl and Fairy, sadly, plays it completely straight. Alas, shows like Ouran wouldn't be around if it weren't for self-important tripe like this. As it is, it still entertains me, and, unless it simply becomes tedious, I'll continue following it, gleefully mocking it all the way in between watching good series like Vampire Knight and Toradora.

Observe my mad fairy skillz.

Is that Herbal Essences, milady?


grace said...

i found you from a comment you left on Okazu. just read a few posts of yours on anime which are fun to read but i admit i'm now super nostalgic about my college days after reading about yours - mostly because i too went to MA for college (but not yours!) and had an incredible time. good times. hope you don't mind my having dropped in.

hope you're enjoying the fall foliage (which i miss very much as where i live we don't even come close to having seasons).

Katherine said...

Thanks! ^^ I'm glad you like my blog. And I really like the quote you use for your blog (the one by Milk Morinaga). So true. :)