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Gougai! Gougai!

HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, IT'S NOT BAD ENOUGH WE'RE GETTING AN UTENA EXHIBITION RIGHT NOW

THEY. ARE. MAKING. A. NEW. MUSICAL. NEXT. YEAR. START LOSING YOUR SHIT RIGHT NOW

#76 | Back to Top06-04-2015 10:31:45 AM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

It's interesting to contrast Akedan with something Silver Diamond. I've only read the first volume of both manga but so far Akedan is far deeper in blatant gayness, to the point that Yamada himself is very aware of it, than Silver Diamond despite also having a character who spends quite some time naked.

And there is Kio and Seimei's baby, the blonde one in his usual get-up:

http://static1.minitokyo.net/view/31/46/597331.jpg

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#77 | Back to Top06-04-2015 01:49:18 PM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 963

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

*whispers* they are so beautiful

Shonen-ai titles have a bad habit of queerbaiting (at least in my experience) so let me know if Silver Diamond delivers. school-eng101


http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/im%20holllowz_zpsx9ddh2gp.png~original

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#78 | Back to Top06-04-2015 05:48:03 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

Beautiful artwork, isn't it. The clothes are also stunning, I really like the police uniform complete with sword and Shiro's kimonos are a thing of beauty...this when he isn't wandering around naked, that is. emot-dance

Speaking of which, here's a sample of Yamada's crusade to put some clothes on Shiro:

http://eatmanga.com/Manga-Scan/Adekan/A … 01/page-28

http://eatmanga.com/Manga-Scan/Adekan/A … 01/page-29

I'll most definitely keep you updated on the gay content in Silver Diamond. So far it's been funnier than I expected and it actually justifies the 'flowers blooming everywhere' trope as the MC has the power to make plants bloom, it's an important plot point and all.

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#79 | Back to Top06-17-2015 05:06:38 PM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 963

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

I am hereby seconding the Adekan recommendation. The art is sort of like if CLAMP and Nakamura Asumiko (of Doukyuusei) had a love child and the love child was under the influence while drawing. For a manga with no actual on-page sex or nudity, it is filthy, the way the panels just ogle Shiro's body and the author's fixation twisting his skinny spine into the most awkward positions ever. Im not normally into super skinny but the way she draws his jutting hip bones and bumpy rib cage is like porn. And with legit creepy stories that in my opinion put XXXholic to shame - it's quite entertaining!


http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/im%20holllowz_zpsx9ddh2gp.png~original

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#80 | Back to Top06-17-2015 06:39:31 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

Oh yay, glad I've converted someone to the wonders of Adekan!

There are some delicious artworks as well, I'm tempted to get one.  It includes Anri in a pink cowboy outfit. Really.
It really is amazing how decadent and sexy the whole thing without having to actual sex scenes, takes some talent.

I completely agree that the stories reach a level of 'wtf' that is nothing short of disturbing. Have you reached the 'Cat Woman' (Neko Onna) part yet? [That girl whose feet and hands got amputated by human traffickers and was being used to lure other victims. The whole thing was made even worse once we realize that Shiro too was once a victim of human traffickers himself as was Anri who I swear waltzed over from Loveless one fine day. Loveless as simply not messed up enough for Anri.]

And very tame but adorably sweet is Kaizoku to Ningyo.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vYb8GAt2BpI/UYQpxF2CxDI/AAAAAAAAroI/pSa9RKVQDFY/s1600/Kaizoku+to+Ningyo.png

Again, it's not exactly BL but comes ever so close that it might as well be. It is still running so it would not even surprise me if it veered in that direction.
Lazy pirates, super cute mermen, sexy captains, some drama and a lot of comedy, quite entertaining and really, really day. Expect Hisui, super cute merman and stupid sexy pirate captain to sleep side by side.

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#81 | Back to Top06-18-2015 01:30:54 PM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 963

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

Nocturnalux wrote:

Oh yay, glad I've converted someone to the wonders of Adekan!

There are some delicious artworks as well, I'm tempted to get one.  It includes Anri in a pink cowboy outfit. Really.
It really is amazing how decadent and sexy the whole thing without having to actual sex scenes, takes some talent.

I completely agree that the stories reach a level of 'wtf' that is nothing short of disturbing. Have you reached the 'Cat Woman' (Neko Onna) part yet? [That girl whose feet and hands got amputated by human traffickers and was being used to lure other victims. The whole thing was made even worse once we realize that Shiro too was once a victim of human traffickers himself as was Anri who I swear waltzed over from Loveless one fine day. Loveless as simply not messed up enough for Anri.]

Loveless wishes it was that messed up.
Honestly that one story arc (the Neko-onna) reminded me of the Ai no Kusabi novels. There's one description of these genetically engineered sex dolls that are created blind and without teeth for....obvious reasons. emot-aaa

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/i014_zpsef23ecj4.jpg~original

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/i029_zpsanrpkytn.jpg~original

NO HOMO HERE, NOPE NOPE NOPE.

I\m interested to learn more about Anri, I'm only in the 4th volume so far.


http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/im%20holllowz_zpsx9ddh2gp.png~original

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#82 | Back to Top06-18-2015 03:36:54 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

I remember that part in the Ai no Kusabi novels, somehow I found it even more disturbing in Adekan. Perhaps because Ai no Kusabi is such a crapsack world from the word go that you already expect that kind of thing but Adekan has its goofy moments so that when it veers into very dark territory it is even more shocking.

And I managed to find the artwork with Anri as a pink cowboy:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a8/dd/ec/a8ddec95d812adbae88d07dfe0b2a177.jpg

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#83 | Back to Top06-18-2015 05:41:55 PM

Snow
Troublesome Insect
From: in the wolf
Registered: 09-30-2013
Posts: 642

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

Shiro and Anri are all well and good but let's just focus on that sexy back, shall we?
http://s11.postimg.org/6724rn3k3/adekan_936328.jpg

(shit quality pic, sorry emot-frown )

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#84 | Back to Top06-19-2015 04:24:26 PM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 963

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

They are so beautiful T______T

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/Adekan.600.1417379_zpsiyi3mh9c.jpg~original


http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/im%20holllowz_zpsx9ddh2gp.png~original

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#85 | Back to Top06-26-2015 04:30:38 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

Yeah, Adekan really is something else.

And on the subject of, 'what do you mean this is not actuall BL', I give you Ilegenes.
It's a lot like No.6 except the gay is not canon although it sure veers close to it.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A-u13WpCYAEh8bM.jpg

And a random example:

http://i62.tinypic.com/28s7j2e.jpg

It actually gets gayer as the story progresses and the fact that the character design reminds me of Miyamoto Kano's adds to the homoerotic vibes.

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#86 | Back to Top08-24-2015 03:47:14 AM

Sweetgm2
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 02-16-2015
Posts: 40

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

I've checked out Adekan and the underlying creepy factor plus the rampant almost sexual scenes are wonderful. 

I'm also gonna check out Seraph of the end.  Yuu seems to have a ton of guys after him

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#87 | Back to Top08-25-2015 09:07:13 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

Adekan really needs to get more attention. Which reminds me, when I returned from my holidays I had a manga package waiting for me, including the first two volumes of Adekan. emot-dance

And speaking of highly slashable anime, is anyone watching Ranpo Kitan? I'm loving every second of it, from the trippy take to the source material while keeping the twisted sense of 'wtf' and genius that is the hallmark of Edogawa Ranpo to the trap lead who crossdresses and makes his best friend all hot and bothered. Here's just an example:

https://41.media.tumblr.com/a2a1cf626a5dce5d133ff261028794a1/tumblr_nr8caaw4n91ur58p8o2_r1_500.jpg

Kobayashi's crossdressing started out as plot relevant but he seems to have taken a shine to it.

http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CNGMkowUsAAvHzV.jpg

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#88 | Back to Top08-26-2015 11:17:30 AM

OnlyInThisLight
KING OF ALL DUCKS
Registered: 01-15-2008
Posts: 4411

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

I know "trap" is a commonly used term for a particular manga/anime character, but it's also a hateful and derogatory slur for transgendered women based on that same idea of "crossdressing to trick men."  Might want to consider using another term.

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#89 | Back to Top08-26-2015 12:30:46 PM

purplepolecat
Atlantean Singer
From: Vancouver, B.C.
Registered: 03-26-2007
Posts: 570

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

Talking of cross-dressing characters, my favorite is Rui from the excellent Gatchaman Crowds:
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tropes_rui_7975.png

Rui seems to identify as male, but cross-dresses when in public. In the first season this seemed to be to preserve his anonymity, but now everyone knows his identity and he still does it. Who can blame him, really?

I'm also enjoying Ore Monogatari (My Love Story), Ushio and Tora, GATE, Gangsta, Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers, and Prison School (which I started watching just to see how bad it was, but got hooked immediately).

(also, agree with OITL, trap is gross word)

Last edited by purplepolecat (08-26-2015 12:36:56 PM)


We're here, we're queer, we don't want any more bears!
Honorary Hat Mafia Member
Now Playing: Bear Supply - "I Maul Out Of Love"

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#90 | Back to Top09-08-2015 03:25:42 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2788

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

This transcript may be of interest to many of you.

It's a TCAF panel, Gay Comics Art Japan. Some really fantastic stuff in there about representation, genre, codifiers, tendencies, and terminology. And some nice art examples.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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#91 | Back to Top09-11-2015 01:12:21 AM

HonorableShadow
Cow Bellhop
From: Ohio
Registered: 11-03-2006
Posts: 471
Website

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/20 … ary/.92589

I'm really looking forward to this! It's a track anime (poor Rei should have held out on quitting track, he could have been the MC!)  It's based off of an otome game apparently, but the trailer doesn't seem to be pushing that angle much at all, so hopefully it won't be too bad. And it's by Madhouse too. etc-love

It's a bit early to say, but I think the blond guy with the ponytail will probably end up being my favorite.

Last edited by HonorableShadow (09-11-2015 01:13:34 AM)


Rose tint my world...
Keep me safe from my trouble and pain.

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#92 | Back to Top09-12-2015 04:37:48 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2788

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

Rewatching Eat-Man, realizing it probably is my favorite anime of all time. So very pretty, yet often stripped down. A mixture of naked symbolism that's both frequently subtle and delightfully right up in your face. Amazing use of shadows, framing, water, foley, and oblique dialogue. Probably the most brechtian anime ever made. And, the soundtrack is eclectic and enticing. And, the showrunners were experimenting with pacing in ways I haven't seen other television be quite as brave about on a consistent basis; the pace of your thoughts, of your perceptions, can seem to hypnotically shift if you watch several episodes at once, or even one in the right mood.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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#93 | Back to Top09-19-2015 02:23:00 PM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 963

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

HonorableShadow wrote:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/20 … ary/.92589

I'm really looking forward to this! It's a track anime (poor Rei should have held out on quitting track, he could have been the MC!)  It's based off of an otome game apparently, but the trailer doesn't seem to be pushing that angle much at all, so hopefully it won't be too bad. And it's by Madhouse too. etc-love

It's a bit early to say, but I think the blond guy with the ponytail will probably end up being my favorite.

o hi there, not-Haruka

I'm impressed that they aren't anime-colored coded. Four characters will nearly similar hair color (light brown to blond)!!! HOW WILL VIEWERS TELL THEM APART


http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/im%20holllowz_zpsx9ddh2gp.png~original

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#94 | Back to Top09-23-2015 07:24:29 PM

zeedikay
Sunlit Gardener (Prelude)
Registered: 02-22-2014
Posts: 170

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

I just remembered that when I was subscribed to Anime Insider a few years back, one of the issues came with a preview DVD with two episodes of  Samurai 7. Even though the episodes they chose did make me want to find the other ones, I kept thinking if I would be better off finding the original movie. It was influential to make a animation company make a sci-fi/steampunk remake of it!

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#95 | Back to Top12-23-2015 08:02:48 AM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 963

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

So like.

One Punch Man.


http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/im%20holllowz_zpsx9ddh2gp.png~original

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#96 | Back to Top01-02-2016 01:37:03 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2788

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

Rewatching Steel Angel Kurumi (aka The Most Adorable Anime Possible About a Busty Robot Programmed to Romance a Young Boy One Hundred Years Ago).


http://s9.postimg.org/3xf65i9p7/Koutetsu_Tenshi_Kurumi_full_1324349.jpg

If you haven't watched it, but enjoy things that are gently perverse, deliberately silly and melodramatic, with adorable character designs, surprisingly developed supporting cast, and  an exciting, potently upbeat soundtrack, this is the anime for you!

If you have seen it before, like the old Wolf Brand Chili commercials used to say, no matter how long it's been since you've last had a helping... That's too long!


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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#97 | Back to Top01-03-2016 01:28:06 AM

CarolineWellwater
Mikage Mistruster
Registered: 10-18-2015
Posts: 67

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

((EDIT 1: After recommendations, I have adjusted my review a spot.

Hey all,

Stupid insomnia keeping me up into the wee hours of the morning.

So... here goes my first try at this.  Right now, I'm going to cheat, and move some of already done reviews from PBB over to here.  As such, be advised that I did this one some four years ago. It's weird though... looking back at this older review, I can see how much better my newer ones are... still... I'm lazy, and I don't want to clean up my first attempts at this... though... I did clean it up a bit.  Hopefully my updates / clean-up make the old product shine a bit better.

Anyway, without further ado, begin re-posting.

Shamanic Princess OVA -- Originally Posted 21 Feb, 2012, Edited / Updated 3 Jan, 2016, Edited 18 Jan 2016

Okay, so here goes my fist re-posting of a review.  On this older review, I used my PS3 with HDMI cable to a Panasonic Viera. My copy of Shamanic Princess OVA is the complete edition from U.S. Manga Corps.  Shamanic Princess OVA is a 6 episode anime, totaling 180 minutes of time, including intro and ending credits, from Bandai and MOVIC. Neither Robert's Anime Corner Store nor The Right Stuf list it anymore; however, it is listed on eBay. And… I'm not 100% sure it's real, official, licensed copies. So… this might be a trickier one to find. Anyway, my DVD is a 2000 edition.  I'm not sure if Shamanic Princess has a manga either.

Tiara, has been sent on a mission by the Guardian World to investigate the disappearance of and recover a stolen artifact, the Throne of Yord.  However, upon arrival at the scene of the crime she meets up with one of her old friends Rena, who is also looking for the Throne of Yord.  Tangling the issue, Tiara also is reunited with an old flame, Kagetsu, who may or may not be harboring the Throne of Yord.  So begins Tiara's mysterious investigation.

The front of the DVD slip-cover has an eye-catching picture of Tiara and her familiar Japolo. The back hints at other characters, and contains a good summary of the OVA. The slip-cover is also reversible. The inside is black-and-white, contains the chapter-stops, as well as the actors who played the various characters. U.S. Manga Corps did very well on making the DVD slip-cover interesting.

Shamanic Princess is a mix of high fantasy and dark drama, with an alternative take on the magic/mystic system. Instead of four elements and void, this OVA's take on magic is that of contracts. I guess you could say the magic in this show is similar to voodoo. The spirits bound to Tiara, the protagonist, are only granted joy, if their actions bring her joy.  Tiara, a prominent practitioner of shamanic magic from the Guardian world is sent down to Earth to recover the Throne of Yord, and capture its suspected thief Kagetsu. While completing the task of recovering the Throne of Yord, Tiara realizes that not everything is as she was told, and she must uncover its secrets, as well as those of its defenders.  Tiara realizes there comes a time when one needs to question the authority and tradition that gave her the very powers she possesses and channels.  For me, these sorts of supernatural mysteries are engaging and contemplative.  However, the story is slower in pacing, to include the fight scenes, which might be off putting to some. The story is also very introverted in nature, which might make some of the audience lose interest. Still, though, I enjoy how CLAMP tells stories.

The art and character designs, to me, resemble early CLAMP manga-style, i.e., R. G. Veda years.  So, expect everyone to have very elaborate and highly detailed costuming, and have very expressive (i.e. big) eyes.  The women are full of vavoom, while the men are lithe and slender. I find I do favor CLAMP-style beauties, so I like the form that Bandai took in drafting up their cast. That being, long hair, slender legs, full bosom, graceful elegance, and just... pretty to me. Yeah, I know, lame goth girl likes the frilliness of the costuming and characters.  Color palates also hint at character traits and personalities; as such Sara, the mysterious waif, has a silver theme, while the main protagonist Tiara are hot reds and yellows.  Bandai also establishes some very detailed and various backgrounds, such as haunted forests, poppy fields, school, and rain falling on windows.  The choreography for the series, especially the fight scenes is fluid, with a great attention to the small details. Still, the artists do cheat a bit.  They do use the trick of different still backgrounds over recycled transformation / action / summoning scenes.  However, this does allow these scenes to pile on the detail, offering a hiqh quality effect.  Overall, it is an artstyle that I enjoy very much. 

Another aspect of the show that I feel is done well, is how the characters develop, and how the cast are all related to each other in some manner. For example, Lena, one of the antagonists, is equally as powerful as Tiara, yet has an inferiority complex to Tiara. Tiara, while brash, confident, and powerful, is also torn by feelings for her best friends, as well as for her former lover turned criminal. The tale also does very well establishing and defining the emotional bond between Lena and Leon as well as Tiara and Kagetsu.

Shamanic Princess uses a very surreal-dream like quality in its art to tell its story. It's a ghostly and mystic sort of enchanting. For example, any time the moon is shown, it's a full moon, but has an exaggerated crescent highlight. As such, Shamanic Princess heavily uses symbolism to convey several themes. For example, during the transformation sequences when the shamans change from their shaman garb to their ultimate form, it alludes to the idea that girls can seemingly change into women overnight. The art style is also bewitching. What I mean is, it's a subtle blend of beauty and growing-up. A good illustration of this is when Sarah, Lena, and Tiara are shown as children picking poppy flowers, and then later shown as adults.

For dubbing vs original seiyuu, I have to select the original seiyuu.  While U.S. Manga Corps does use Crispin Freeman as one of the Voice Actors… none of them really mesh with their parts well. It is unclear if it was the script, the actors, or the directors that made the English dub only be average.  As such, after watching the first two episodes in the dub, I switched over to the original Japanese with subtitles for the rest of the show. The translation does well, though there are a few parts where it is unclear if U.S. Manga Corps just mistranslated the story, or tried to adjust the story to better fit an American audience.

For some additional negatives and mixed thoughts. It looks like U.S. Manga Corps simply took their VHS release, and combined them all into one DVD. What I mean by that is after every two episodes, you get the additional USMC credits. It's a nit-picky complaint, but I found it a spot annoying. Next, U.S. Manga Corps also seems to have changed their translation part-way through the show. At first, one of the characters was subtitled as "Sarah", and then it is switched to "Sara". Not really sure why they did it, but... it was changed.

On a technical aspect, the DVD holds up well. Even with the high amount of detail, and flashy, transformation and combat sequences, I cannot see any problems with colors washing out or shimmering. The day and night scenes also stood up well under the scrutiny of my PS3 player and HDMI-enabled TV.   However, I did notice two times where a white line appeared across some of the frames. As far as I can tell, my DVD doesn't have a scratch on it, so I'm guessing it was a problem with the encoding of the DVD.   The series itself was presented in the previous 4:3 ratio aspect, so you'll have to make due with black-bars on the sides of the screen.  Sound effects, voices, and music hold up well, and makes good use of the 2.1 channel stereo.  I didn't hear any popping, fading, fuzz, or distortion.  Overall, solid marks for tech specs. 

For extras, the DVD contains an introduction to the various characters, trailers to other U.S. Manga Corps anime, intro and closing credits. The DVD is also coded for DVD-rom features, such as additional art, scripts, and additional information about the characters.  Overall, not bad.

Overall, Shamanic Princess is an awesome take on shamanistic magic, the struggles of growing up, and asking the question of when its okay to question authority.

Overall: A ))

Last edited by CarolineWellwater (01-18-2016 08:26:58 PM)

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#98 | Back to Top01-03-2016 08:55:18 AM

CarolineWellwater
Mikage Mistruster
Registered: 10-18-2015
Posts: 67

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

((  Hey all, with it being near the beginning of the year, I thought I'd give you a close 2:1 reviews.  So, instead of the normal month, or several weeks, between these posts, this time it'll only be about a week… well… okay, closer to two weeks.

Anyway, on this review, we're going to keep with some of my older shows, and review To Heart OVA.  At some point, I'm going to go back and do something more recent, like Everyday Tales of a Cat God or Kill La Kill.

http://i1379.photobucket.com/albums/ah144/michaelthomas57/ToHeartCharacters_zpshqg6dkdn.jpg

[size=9]From Left to Right: stoic Tomoko, foreigner Lemmy, quiet princess Serika, moe gynoid Multi, long-time friend Akari, tomboyish Shiho, mysterious Kotone, and cute bruiser Aoi

Not pictured: Secret characters, other classmates, and Hiroyuki[/size]

As an aside, To Heart was one of the most successful eroge games, and was groundbreaking in its storytelling and multiple ending possibilities.  To this day, other animes, such as Lucky Star, reference To Heart.  The To Heart eroge game has a direct sequel in To Heart 2.  The To Heart OVA also has a direct sequel in To Heart: Remember the Memories.  The To Heart anime was originally released in 1999, and Right Stuf picked it up in 2004.

Being as the To Heart OVA is based on the eroge game Aquaplus decided to pick the "official" pairing of Akari and Hiroyuki to use as the main story-line.

It is a new year for Senior High Students Akari Kamigishi and Hiroyuki Fujita.  These two friends have grown up and known each other since elementary school.  Now, with them almost completely done with High School, maybe it is time for them to change their relationship as well.  So begins the romantic tale of To Heart.

The Right Stuf! International did very well for the packaging.  I have a boxed set, with four, slim-case DVDs.  The boxed set predominately features characters Akari and Multi on a white background.  The back offers a good summary of the show, without adding any spoilers.  Overall, the predominate light and white colors do pull attention to itself.  The DVDs themselves all posses full-color dust jackets, and are silk-screened with the cast.  Oddly, the dust jackets are listed as double-sided, but not a single one of mine was.  Overall, full marks for the presentation.

Hiroyuki Fujita is a bit of a slacker, and prone to want to be a member of the going-home club.  Yet he also has an uncanny tendency to quietly help others in need, from class rep Tomoko Hoshina to friendly gossip monger and tomboy Shiho Nagaoka.  So, while Akari does monopolize much of Hiroyuki's time, he does fine moments where he links up with his other classmates.

One of the things I enjoyed about the show was that it wasn't a harem show.  Instead, it was a quiet, tranquil, tender growing up and coming of age romance.  Hiroyuki is an everyman, and while he's shown to be a bit on the lazy side and playfully snarky, he is the kind, neighbor-next-door that offers a lot of assistance to those who need it.  For example, instead of asking quiet Serika to speak up, Hiroyuki leans in closer to hear her, and repeats what she said to make sure he understands.  And, if you think about it, that's a very generous thing for him to do.  It's one of the reasons that the various girls in the cast do begin to open up to him.  Anyway, while he develops friendships with various classmates during the OVA, he does pick one girl.  I actually like it when the cast pairs off like this.  The story even includes a moment where Akari and Shiho have a mature talk about Hiroyuki.  As a mixed point, only one pathway was really shown, and only one was hinted at.  As such, if you're not a big fan of Akari, it might not be you favorite path.  Anyway, I found Aquaplus' OVA-script to be very faithful to the game.

The character designs were quite lovely.  While To Heart use what are considered standard character-archetypes today, such as Lemmy being the blond-haired-blue-eyed-ditzy-American, she also has a lot more depth to her.  I also liked how Lemmy was almost as tall as Hiroyuki.  Anyway, the cast is varied, and does include at least one standard-eroge girl you'll enjoy… such as the perky girl, the quiet princess, the energetic foreigner, and the girl next door.  Characters also had various costumes as well, so while most of the time you watched them in their school uniforms, they also had club outfits, pajamas, and various seasonal clothing sets as well.  On a mixed note, some people may object to the designs OLM used as they weren't a 100% match to the eroge game, but… oddly, they are often associated as the true-face of To Heart.  Overall, well done with the character designs.

Detail and choreography are amazing!  Oriental Light and Magic pulled out all the stops, and produced a product of Pink Pineapple level production quality.  To Heart feels like a big, high-budget, movie-house production, from the quality of the work.  Clothing and hair move fluidly, and there are multiple layers of shading and highlighting.  You can see details in everything, including backgrounds, buildings, and costumes.  Movements, from walking to hair to weather to sports, are all fluid.  Full marks for the level of effort put into the work.

I enjoyed the original cast over the dubbing.  However, To Heart also has some of my favorite seiyuu's, such as Aya Hisakawa, Yui Horie, and Ayako Kawasumi… so it's hard to compete against that cast.  The translation was good, and the direction solid.  Yet…the Right Stuf! cast does well… just… I still find the original cast better.  Subtitles, on the other hand, are mixed.  The font and color are good; however, the timing is not always there, and sometimes they float around signs and billboards.  Good work overall for translation and acting, even with regards to the subtitles.

Intro music is light J-Pop, and has an easy-listening feel too it.  Ending credits evolve, where the music stays the same while the credits scroll over stills from the episode.  Solid work done with the intro and ending.

The Right Stuff offers a number of extras for the series.  Line art, character bios, omake episodes (with chibi characters), and trailers for other shows are all included.  Full marks for the extras.

For tech specs, the art does show some signs of either age or transfer problems.  Nothing is pronounced, but you do get the feeling that the show is not as sharp as it could be… similar to the sense that you're looking at the show through a pane of glass that just needs a bit of cleaning.  You can also see shimmer and pixelation in a number of the backgrounds.  As a parallel, I got this same feeling when I swapped from my Software Sculptors licensed Utena to the Right Stuf licensed Utena.  Sound quality was good with no popping, fading or distortion.   Sound made good use of the 2.1 speakers, and my receiver was able to up-signal it to take advantage of the full 5.1.  Menus are responsive, and quick to navigate.

In summary, To Heart shows that you can take an eroge game and make a very warm, heartfelt, tender, enjoyable story.

Grade: A ))

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#99 | Back to Top01-17-2016 06:38:30 AM

Aelanie
Black Rosarian
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 377

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

CarolineWellwater wrote:

Snip

Sorry to interject, but Shamanic Princess was not by CLAMP, and CLAMP had nothing to do with the production. However, the character designer did work on the anime adaptation of Magic Knight Rayearth.

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#100 | Back to Top01-17-2016 08:24:10 PM

CarolineWellwater
Mikage Mistruster
Registered: 10-18-2015
Posts: 67

Re: Anime/manga recommendation

(( Hey Aelanie,

Well... that's the confusing part to me.  I know it isn't CLAMP... but... it's also not-not-CLAMP.  The closest I can find to an actual studio or art-house would be Bandai.  So... I'm left with either not including that information at all, or... lumping it in with CLAMP stories, due to it being done by some of the CLAMP staff.

So... I'm stuck, I guess, on that one. ))

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