Houin-sensei is hot, for one thing, but that's only part of it.
Aoki is so wrapped up with the little girls in his class that Houin-sensei barely registers on his radar. And Rin consciously tries to interfere in their relationship; whatever Rin is doing, she's acting like Aoki-sensei is her boyfriend.
It's beginning to make me think that Aoki is a pedophile (but somehow doesn't know it). I've seen the anime as far as ep 5 now, and I've read through chapter 37 of the manga; and in the latter case that's certainly the way it's shaping up: Aoki is realizing that he's got feelings for Rin, though he rationalizes it as a teacher having concern for a student in a bad family situation.
It's interesting to see Shirai-sensei's character develop, though. She's an interesting character; although at first she's not supposed to be a sympathetic character, I liked her from the beginning--and later on we get glimpses of her life, and why she's the way she is.
Considering that Aoki is in his 20s and has never had a girlfriend, though, perhaps the idea simply doesn't register that someone like Houin-sensei could be romantically interested in him.
* * *
It's looking like the world that El Cazador is set in is supposed to be present-day Earth, and not an SF setting as I originally thought. For one thing, there's an implication that most of the story takes place in either the US or Canada. I think my confusion came from the fact that it doesn't resemble either country in the slightest.
Nadie is a bounty hunter. She is the best kind of bounty hunter: a teenage girl (18 or 19, probably) who somehow carries a pistol (because the US is lawless, you know) and is a crack shot who could embarass a Marine sharpshooter. Even if the Marine was using a 30-06 and she was using her handgun. Yeah.
...so far, it's par for the course, and it's not bad as such. Plenty of American entertainment acts as if the law is some distant thing that people can avoid if they're smart and vote the right way; certainly someone on the fringe of society could do all these things, and the Japanese like teenage girl protagonists because they're cute. (Hell, don't we all?)
It all falls down, though, with Ellis having a price on her head. Supposedly she killed the guy who was her guardian, and...when the story begins she's already on the lam.
Most of the time, as far as I know, bounty hunters merely find people who have jumped bail. I suppose it's possible for a bounty hunter to collect a reward for wanted criminals who have so far evaded arrest ("Wanted: Deadeye Pete, for cattle rustlin'; reward, $1,000"?) but every time I hear about bounty hunters in modern day it's in the context of running down bail jumpers.
Well, fortunately, El Cazador is an entertaining show, and thanks to a lifetime of American TV I'm already used to needing a 100-ton crane in order to suspend my disbelief. I can excuse Japanese writers for not knowing the ins and outs of the American legal system, and for basing their story on a caricature of America which has more in common with Hollywood shows than with reality.
Because damn it, Nadie is just so cute.
* * *
Four episodes of Lamune and no fan service. I'm starting to get annoyed. You can't have a cast of cute girls, show them in bathing suits in the credits, and not have fan service, damn it. I demand panchira!
...er, that is, I mean, uh....
Yeah, there's no way out of that one.
But the story is engaging enough and the characters are likable.
* * *
There's supposed to be a new version of the Blue Seed box set coming out. It's a good series. Yuzo Takada has had other hits--3x3 Eyes, Cat Girl Nuku Nuku, and one other I can't recall right now--and Blue Seed further demonstrates his ability.
It's horror anime--partly SF horror, partly "Japanese folklore" horror--but it's also got a lot of fun moments in it; it's not entirely serious drama. Megumi Hayashibara does the voice of the lead, as is the case with every other Takada-based anime series, and Kenji Kawai did the soundtrack.
I've had Blue Seed since it came out, though I can't remember if I ever had videotapes; I got the collection of DVDs when it came out. I seem to recall having the videotapes but have no idea where they could be if I did...and it seems more likely that I didn't.
Anyway, now it's been re-released in thinpack, and it's a worthwhile investment.
Then again, I'm both a Takada and Hayshibara fan.
* * *
I've been thinking about watching I, My, Me! Strawberry Eggs again. Maybe this time I could do screencaps and finally write my critique of the differences in how they draw that guy when he's a guy and when he's in drag....
* * *
I've had to retire two of my AnimeIowa con shirts. The 1999 shirt is losing its emblem; the 2001 shirt is wearing thin at the collar. In order to prevent further deterioration I've got to stop wearing 'em. *sigh*
Meanwhile the 2000 shirt still seems okay.
These are (were) the only three AI con shirts I wear. The 1997 and 1998 shirts have custom artwork on them, done by the guests of honor at those cons; I've never worn them. The 2002 and 2003 shirts have lovely emblems on them and I've never worn them, either; one of the two years has so many colors on it I'm afraid to wash it. They're worth more to me as memorabilia than as apparel, anyway.
I haven't worn my 2001 nekomimi in years, either.
AI 2003 was the last anime con I went to. AI 2004 was in Des Moines, and I was living here in Crete--too far to drive, and I had no money, anyway. And the cons here in the Chicago area don't appeal to me, for some reason.
I guess part of it is that I went to AI 1997, the inaugural AI--and made it to each year thereafter, for six years. AI was kind of "my" con for that reason: I'd started out as a founding attendee.
I miss going to cons, though.