For all you bloggers and tweeters out there, don't forget to follow our Twitter HERE or by searching for us at twitter.com/crunchyroll. In the meantime, hope everyone is enjoying the new Naruto Shippuden episode 122 this week! Let me know what you think of it here!
I hate newspapers. I seem to be allergic to them. Seems that it delivers nothing but fear propaganda: financial crises, increasing oil prices, or porcine influenza outbreaks. I usually prefer flipping over to read the comic strips or answer a crossword puzzle or two. So if anything, the prospect of watching a show about newspapers sounded like utter madness. Knowing the Japanese, however, they always have some knack of pulling off weird concepts and turning them into successes. If it isn't about delivering the morning newspaper, it's probably about baking bread, or playing card games with an unenlightened hairdo, or something.
In the case of Kanamemo, the show focuses on the life of one Kana Nakamachi: a girl who's life takes a sudden turn after her grandmother passes away. Having no parents to support her in her grandmother's steed, Kana finds herself on the streets soon after movers come in and seize their property. Through a series of miscalculated events, Kana ends up working for a local newspaper shop "Fûshin Shinbun" populated by a money freak, a lesbian couple, a lolicon maniac and a lolita boss. What kind of new life awaits Kana in her newfound (and deranged) home? One can only wonder...
Strange, yes? But as curiosity would have it, I ended up checking out the show after seeing some of my favorite seiyûs, such as Rie Kugimiya and Yui Horie, included in the cast. For what it was worth, one word sums up the show for me, thus far: Amusing.
Amusing in the sense that it wasn't a show about newspapers (thank God). Expecting cute girls to go face-to-face in some kind of newspaper delivery showdown death match while evading rabied dogs, I was presented, instead, with a colorful cast of eccentric characters that are pretty much lovable on the spot. If anything, lovable characters are a trademark MUST for any slice-of-life anime to lift off and, with the addition of stereotypical elements of moe, Kanamemo is certainly commendable for its characters that are quick to warm with even the most skeptical of viewers. The animation and chibi representations also melt well together to bring out the characters, giving them presence and form.
It was amusing, as well, in its constant reference to elements of Japanese culture in its comedy. Kanamemo, as with most comedy slice-of-life shows, keeps a rich link to its cultural heritage with its use of gags and puns directed towards a Japanese audience. In episode 1, for example, Kana makes the mistake of hearing "dairi" (代理 = Deputy), the nickname of Saki who runs the newspaper shop, as "Dairi" (内裏 = lit. Imperial Palace) in reference to the emperor doll of the Hinamatsuri (Girl's Day, March 3) because Saki looks "small like a doll". This silly stretch of humor breaths itself throughout the show, making it feel like a patchwork of several comic strip shorts. This isn't surprising in that Kanamemo was, in fact, originally a four-panel manga short. The comedy, is reminiscent of shows like Azumanga Daioh! and LuckyIStar, which doesn't mean to say that the comedy isn't fresh. In fact, if that kind of comedy is your thing, then Kanamemo will definitely suit your tastes.
Despite being somewhat silly on the surface, it was also amusing to find elements of seriousness threading itself into the plot. The show's resonance with modern-day Japanese life gave it more gravity as a comedy slice-of-life, as can be seen with the individual traits of each of the characters. Hinata, for example, is one of the girls working in the newspaper store alongside Kana, and she presents the typical scene of Japanese high school youths struggling to pass college entrance exams while working in the process. In addition to this, the act of Kana being hired to work at the age of 13 reflects Japanese society and their allowances for children aged 13 and above to work (in "light labor" only under strict conditions that I am, perhaps, in no position to expand on). This infusion of real-life issues balanced out the humor in the show, giving it a more meaningful sense of enjoyment when the jokes started rolling in.
Lastly, it was amusing in its predictable nature. All things put into perspective, Kanamemo is your typical moe slice-of-life anime that works more on pleasing you with its cute cast of characters rather than trying to establish a name for itself. It pretty much has the same formula as any other comedy show before it, but with slight permutations in the gags and characters. It's arguable that this may get overlooked by more prominent titles this season - but for what it's worth, Kanamemo still has the fresh appeal of a down-to-earth show that doesn't fail to crease a smile on your face.
After watching three episodes, it certainly has an element that keeps you longing for more - that element of which, I believe, is the characters. We've seen these types of character idiosyncrasies time and again in many other shows besides Kanamemo, but if these girls were to deliver MY newspaper to my doorstep every morning - heck, nothing's going to stop me from opening that newspaper and just letting it all in - and the same goes for the show.
From afar, Pretty Cure may appear to be just another magical girl anime from the group that brought us the legendary Sailor Moon series: Toei Animation. To the casual viewer it may seem like Pretty Cure shares nothing but similarities with many other magical girl shows from the outfit changes to suddenly coming into magical powers, the cute mascots to the enemies that turn sides. With that said, you may either embrace it with arms wide open, or run for the hills assuming it's not your cup of tea. However, despite all those similarities, Pretty Cure still finds a way to set itself apart and surprise us as viewers and fans.
As an avid connoisseur of these shows, one of the refreshing differences betweenPretty Cure and all the others is in the fact that we meet all of our heroines from the very start. Usually you meet one of the characters at the beginning and then as the episodes progress she 'discovers' the others. This has been the formula for other shows like Sailor Moon, Tokyo Mew Mew and Mermaid Melody Pitchi Pitchi Pitch, just to name a few. It's a successful formula, but having your main characters laid out in the beginning is a nice change of pace. Plus these characters aren't your typical character archtypes. True, you might have the Ami (Amy) math/science nerd and the Makoto (Lita) tough/sports chick that attracts more girls than boys, but they often expresses their disbelief at what is happening saying things like "What?! I'm transforming?!" In most magical girl series they might be initially surprised or disoriented, but usually they don't display such a level of surprise and almost displeasure at the transformation. This display of a real life reaction helps strengthen the actual character development and provide a somewhat overall believability to the storyline. Also, in this writer's opinion, Nagisa is a breath of fresh air in the ditzy 'I can't protect myself' slew of magical girls.
Pretty Cure also sets itself apart from many animes of its time by its clear understanding regarding the finances of maintaining a successful brand through the show's obvious product placement from the get-go. Now by product placement I don't mean products that are already out there like Coca Cola or Pizza Hut - I mean items in show that are designed purely for the merchandise of this particular brand. In the very first episode we are introduced to the main item of the series: an item that looks like a cellphone and a bunch of matching cards to go with it. Seems like a pretty good piece of easily marketable merchandise to me. Now, usually these magical girl series are a bit more subtle with the product placement plugins, but with Pretty Cure, it hits the ground running with this 'buy, buy, buy' mentality. This is a great thing for collectors and the younger fans of the show. On the other hand, it's not so great for people that get annoyed by the bombardment of merchandising placement and those who anticipate the inevitable question from the younger ones in the family: "Will you buy that for me?!"
Finally, one last aspect to look out for are the fight scenes. Most magical girl anime are typically not known for this particular quality, as these shows usually emphasize more on the 'enemy of the week' or the magical girl themselves. However, Pretty Cure actually cares about its fight scenes, making it quite enjoyable to watch. It's no surprise that these scenes are top notch, as it's directed by the same person behind Air Master's & Dragon Ball Z's fight scenes - Daisuke Nishio. If you don't think magical girl series are your cup of tea than Pretty Cure might not be for you. But before knocking it as another Sailor Moon ripoff or disregarding it as just another magical girl show, give it a try - you might just find something worth your time.
My Beloved Sister defines itself as a drama that continues to test the limits of class separation and romance. We are first introduced to our protagonist, Seung Joo, who is from an extremely wealthy family and grew up ordering people around. Her attitude comes off as aloof and disdainful, typical of someone who is taking full advantage of her family standing. Then, we meet her boyfriend, Gun Woo Kim, who is a guest lecturer at a nearby college and unaffected by the temptations of her money and fame. From the beginning, we can see that neither his drop-dead good looks nor Seung Joo's looks and money alone can help sustain their relationship: after all the superficial can only temporarily maintain a relationship before the allure inevitably fades.
The drama's actual story begins with Gun Woo failing to earn tenured status as a full-time professor again. Gun Woo is okay with the results, but everyone around him is severely disappointed. His family was pinning their hopes on his income to alleviate their personal financial troubles. Seung Joo too was banking on Gun Woo landing the new position to secure their pending marriage. Consequently, a break up is now inevitable because Seung Joo’s father will not approve this union.
The story takes a sharp turn when Seung Joo’s father disappears leaving the spoiled Seung Joo in poverty and ultimately responsible for the well-being of her two younger brothers. From the laps of luxury to the pits of poverty, she now must struggle to survive without fortune and family. How will this sudden downfall affect her overall relationship with Gun Woo, her family and friends who she used to treat so poorly? Watch this series to find out how she carries herself in this new situation and eventually teaches us to love for the right reasons.
Obito ignores Kakashi’s order to continue with the mission and leaves to save Rin, who was kidnapped by the Rock ninja. But the enemies detect Obito’s arrival and defeat him. Kakashi arrives at the last minute and saves Obito…
It's been a while since dad has been home. He mentions how girls are better since Fumi is emotionally attached making Bunji a bit hurt...
Word of the Day
Yamete (やめて) = The shortened version of やめる or やめます, this word literally means to stop, end or cease. Fortunately this is one of those words that can be used as is in both animes and real life, when someone is being irritating or causing you discomfort.
For example, if someone is constantly poking your arm in an irritating manner, you say: やめて!
Or, if someone is making fun of you with a barrage of insults, you just drop a: やめて!
Of course like many languages out there meaning varies on tone, so please choose your tone carefully when saying やめて. You don't want to make it sound playful when you are actually upset or angry.