It's just the first episode, damn it. Damn it.
It took me long enough to get it. But it was worth it!
It is not 100% You're Under Arrest! (YUA) as seen in the anime and the manga by Fujishima. But I found myself not caring after seeing:
- The Honda Today G Minipat "Miyuki Special"
- Natsumi's MotoCompo, complete with the (erroneous) romaji spelling "NATUMI" on the side, sitting in back of the Today G Minipat
- Natsumi ripping the steering wheel out of a guy's car and handing it to him
- That Yoriko's character--while different from the anime and manga--was still an extra-cute megane'kko
- That Ken Nakajima's character is largely intact, and really well-executed
I really enjoyed all 45 minutes of the first episode.
The thing is, although Live-EVIL hasn't done any other episodes, it's available here, but in order to download it you first have to pay/donate some money to the guy--which is fair, really, but he doesn't say how much.
I'm about 90% convinced to pay the freight and DL all the YUA I can. It's good stuff.
The only change I would make--if I could--would be to make Miyuki's and Natsumi's hairstyles match the anime. Instead they're closer to the original character designs, from the very first issues of the manga. This is not bad but I prefer the anime hairstyles.
I have heard tell, from time to time, about a live-action Maison Ikkoku movie. I wouldn't mind seeing that. I actually have (somewhere) a JPG of the woman who played Kyoko in that movie, wearing the "PIYO PIYO" apron and sweeping--so I know it's more than just a rumor.
I've also yanked some episodes of the live-action Hana Yori Dango from YouTube. That was something to see, and I'm going to have to make a concerted effort to find more of that, too. I don't know if those videos are still there, or what, as I gave up grabbing them when I couldn't find a codec to play the files I was grabbing. That's now been corrected, and with this hypernifty and ultrakeen ATI video card I can dump the episodes to the DVD recorder without much effort on my part.
Actually, any and all anime (or J-drama) I download is destined to be dumped to DVD. My computer chair is fine for supporting my butt while I'm working on the computer (or playing a game) but I have never really enjoyed sitting at the computer and watching video. When I'm watching a show I want to sit in a rocking chair.
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Thinking now about YUA, I find it rather surprising that all we've seen from Fujishima is YUA and Oh! My Goddess! (O!MG!)
An interesting side note is that O!MG! actually spun off from YUA. In some summer special issue, Natsumi and Miyuki visited a shrine, and Belldandy was the goddess of the shrine. Later she ended up with her own series.
The name "Belldandy" came from the way foreign words are fit onto the Japanese phoneme set. The character's name was "Verthande", which is the name of one of the Norns. (The other two are Urd and Skuld.) "Verthande" became "Berudandii" because there is niether a "V" sound nor a "th" sound in Japanese.
When Fujishima needed "Berudandii" to present her meishi (business card)--and since she's a European goddess--they used roman letters, and "Berudandii" became "Belldandy".
Her sisters Urd and Skuld didn't get name changes due to translation errors. Urd is "Urudo" and Skuld is "Skurudo", with the second "u" mostly silent in both cases.
YUA was also the first good dub I saw from AnimEigo. O!MG! was the second. and for similar reasons. In fact, they're so good that I keep wanting to watch each scene twice, first one way, then the other.
Urd gets the best lines in the second OVA episode of that series--sub or dub--but the dub lines in particular strike me as very well-done.
Most anime series (O!MG! included) wouldn't work well as live-action, not even with Hollywood-style budgets (which are not the norm in the Japanese live-action entertainment industry). The fact that YUA does seem to work doesn't really surprise me all that much.