atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#181: Anime Musings

My 6" Kitsune figure just happens to be exactly the right scale to stand alongside my 1:18 die-cast Fiero model. So there she stands, at the driver's side door, can of beer demurely held half behind her, wearing a nice bikini. I like Kitsune.

Pity I don't like the series she comes from; she's not very prominently featured in Love Hina as it is, unfortunately.

(It is also a pity that the AC adaptor which I bought--among other things--to run my digital camera apparently can't supply enough power for the digital camera. This is a crappy webcam image. Argh etc.)

* * *

I used to have several of the girls from Sentimental Graffiti on top of my monitor. Two still sit there, but one is now sitting next to my Head-o-Buddha (TM) and one--my favorite, Chie Matsuoka and the only one of them I know by sight--is sitting atop the DVD recorder, in front of the satellite receiver's glaringly bright power indicator.

I got a new webcam that sits atop the monitor; Chie got moved to her current station shortly thereafter. I'm not about to move chuu-Totoro or my gargoyle, damn it.

The "Head-o-Buddha (TM)" was a gift from my aunt. It was made in some third-world country; it has a distinctly "southeast asia" look to it, possibly Cambodian or Thai, rather than Chinese or Japanese. (Yes, statues of Buddha have regional accents. Who would have thought??) It's really nicely made.

The Sentimental Graffiti models were mainly bought as references. I got a talking Chie Matsuoka for extra-cheap, so I bought her 6" model as a matter of course, but the other three were similarly inexpensive, and I liked the poses. Wanting to develop my skills as an artist, I thought having a few models would help.

It didn't, but they're nice anyway.

* * *

I'm really hoping that my most recent order to Right Stuf will come today, or tomorrow at the latest. I'm eagerly anticipating watching more of I, My, Me, Strawberry Eggs.

I was unsure about that series. When it first came out I thought, "Well...." and never got around to buying it. That worked out nicely for me since the entire series will end up costing me as much as that first volume would have cost me--vols 1, 2, and 4 at $5 each and vol 3 at $8 makes $23 for the series. And at that price, it's a steal, because the story is actually quite good.

The idea of a cross-dressing teacher could have been really creepy or disgusting, but they handle it fairly well. Too well, in some ways.... Hibiki-sensei is a hot chick, and I have ended up losing track of the fact that Hibiki-sensei is Amaya Hibiki, dude-with-baritone-voice. (They take care of the voice with an electronic device made by his landlady.)

The character designs are too dissimilar. Hibiki-chan has a feminine figure, even when he's wearing clothing which reveals his midsection. Shapewear is not that efficient, and if you've ever seen a man who was trying to look like a woman, usually the waist and hips give it away. If anything will, they will.

(I know that there are extremely convincing transvestites out there. My experience with transvestites is extremely limited. I like it that way.)

Halfway through the series I have found myself with a cognitive dissonance about Hibiki-sensei--the male character design isn't shown as much as the female one, so I've come to think of them as entirely different people. Oh well. It's just a goddamned cartoon, for crying out loud....

I don't want anyone to tell me, but I strongly suspect that the series' primary antagonist--the sexist vice-principal of the school--is the landlady's daughter.

* * *

Also coming with volume 3 of Strawberry Eggs is Someday's Dreamers, which I am buying for two reasons:

1) it's cheap (around $30 for the whole series--it's on clearance at Right Stuf)
2) Steven Den Beste said it was all right.

I've been otaku longer than SDB has known about anime but he seems to have pretty good instincts, and I'm a sucker for magical girl anime in any form, anyway.

I'll finally get to see the third volume of Najica: Blitz Tactics as well, but I'm going to have to find a place for the panties which came with the artbox.

AND I am getting Happy Lesson in its entirety, as well. During the big ADVision blowout sale last year I got the first two episodes, dubbed, on miniDVD, and liked them even though the dub is not what I would call good. I figure the sub ought to be better; and Right Stuf is selling them for $7.50 each, so why not?

In the end, my quest to get volume three of I, My, Me, Strawberry Eggs ended up costing me over $70 because of these other purchases....

* * *

Magical girl anime is my #1 genre. I have not yet seen an MG series I did not like; I have favorites but none that I can't stand to watch.

Longtime readers of Atomic Fungus will recall that earlier this year I was making a project out of downloading and making DVDs out of Magical Fairy Persia and Magical Angel Creamy Mami. The Creamy Mami project stalled because I couldn't get episode 18 to convert, and I keep forgetting to run my torrent client to get more episodes, anyway. Persia has only been subbed to episode 7, so I'm waiting for Live-eviL to get more episodes finished.

* * *

Every Halloween I watch horror anime. I don't recall when I started this, but I've been doing it for the better part of a decade, now.

Laughing Target and Mermaid Forest are staples of this annual viewing. Other titles vary according to time constraints and whim; this year I watched Streamline's dub of 3x3 Eyes and realized that it had literally been eight years since I had last watched that series.

I hadn't realized that Yakimo's voice had been done by the same guy who did Maokoto Mizuhara in El Hazard, Eddie Frierson. What really interested me was that Lia Sargent did a voice in that series, too--Mei-shin--and did it well.

Why be surprised by that?

In the first five minutes of the first El Hazard episode ever, Lia Sargent does a horrible job of voicing Nanami Jinnai. I cringe when I hear it; and only the knowledge that it gets better keeps me watching. Seriously, it's the worst dub performance I've heard since I saw the first ten minutes of Outlanders, rewound it, and returned it to the video store the same day.

Her work as Mei-shin predates her work as Nanami, and it's much I have to wonder what happened, there. Short of asking Lia Sargent directly I suppose I'll never know.

Anyway, Mei-shin is a super-hottie, and her hotness is emphasized by her almost-sacrifice to Kai-an Wang. (I am not sure of the spelling of that name.) She was bound to the sacrificial altar, with two strips of white cloth almost concealing her "naughty bits", revealing how extremely well-constructed she is; and the hentai otaku fanboy in me was yelling "ALL RIGHT BABY!!! Undo the manacles and come to papa!" In that moment I thanked God for Yuzo Takada; he understands what the fans want!

I'm a little disturbed that that scene defined Mei-shin as super-hot for me. But only a little, since she never appears elsewhere so scantily-clad; and her outfits tend to hide her super-hotness.

Still, there is more anime babe hotness in the 3x3 Eyes OVAs than in all of Takada's subsequent series combined. (I don't like Pai that much but I'll take all the Mei-shin they care to show.) Even with Blue Seed's consistent "panties of the week" trope and Megumi Hayashibara doing the voice of the female lead in just about every one, if not every one.

The annual Halloween fest has led me to know Laughing Target by heart. I only watch it on Halloween, but even so, repetition has engrained it. I know what's coming next and can even do some of the dialogue with the characters.

My favorite scene is the one in which Asuza has been cornered by the three punks. I have searched high and low looking for the soundtrack to that movie; I love the music, particularly the music in that scene. Even knowing the show by heart, I still wince when she attacks the punks and we see the crates in the warehouse get spray-painted with their blood. That's just wrong even if they were intending to gang-rape her.

Mermaid Forest is a perennial because it's just done right, and Kenji Kawai's perfect soundtrack for it. I finally got the OST for it; it cost me more than any CD I ever paid for, even an import Ranma 1/2 OST, but it's rare and I couldn't say "no" to it. I haven't seen the new Mermaid Forest series yet, nor the Rumik Theater series. I have the OST for the latter--a friend in Japan sent it to me for my birthday, bless her!--but haven't seen the actual anime yet.

* * *

Kenji Kawai--I'll say it again--is my favorite composer of anime music. He nails the feel of a series, every time, with perfection that defies my comprehension. Listen to the music for Vampire Princess Miyu TV. Listen to the OST for Mermaid Forest. Listen to the soundtracks for the Patlabor movies. To the OST for Hime-chan's Ribbon and Maison Ikkoku.

IMDB Entry on Kenji Kawai

He's a genius. IMHO, anyway.

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