It's been awhile, so we've decided to do another CR newsletter contest! For this contest we want you to write about Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu! It's an open topic so you can write about whatever you like for this contest. You can write about your favorite character, your favorite scene, why you think it's the perennial show that defines the anime culture, or how this show influences you. This is your chance to showcase your originality and writing chops!
Entries must be at least 3/4 of a page and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before December 14, 2009. We will select the best 3 articles and feature them here! For more details, check out the front page post about it here. If you are one of the lucky few who are chosen, we will award you a FREE anime membership!
When someone says the word “unique”, the first anime that comes to mind is Natsu no Arashi!, which means Summer Storm. Natsu no Arashi! was an anime full of gags, laughter, drama, and suspense, and that made it hard to say goodbye after it ended with thirteen episodes. However, the story isn’t over just yet! It’s back again with a second season, appropriately called Natsu no Arashi! 2, and it’s better than ever. The jokes are still amusing, romance has taken on a surprisingly deeper role, and its quirky style is still refreshing.
For those who have yet to see the first season, Natsu no Arashi! originally began with a boy named Hajime Yasaka and his meeting with Arashi, a beautiful, older girl at the coffee shop nearby. He also met some of her friends from the same shop. However, most of these girls, including Arashi, were actually ghosts from World War II! This second season continues their adventures, which will come to an end at the end of the summer. At the season’s end, all the ghost girls will vanish until the next summer comes.
Humor is one of the most noticeable elements of Natsu no Arashi! 2. Although many of the jokes are in the form of fan service, they are still extremely amusing rather than inappropriate. Of course, the fan service is directed at men, which is a definite bonus for many of the males watching this anime. However, random gags that are targeted at both genders fill every episode, and the continuing jokes from the first season are nostalgic. Natsu no Arashi! 2 is a heartfelt comedy, but what makes it so amazing is that it can be serious when it needs to be. The mood can change from light to dark quite naturally, and the storytelling can still be done well without all the jokes.
Just as there is fan service for men, there is plenty of romance for all the females that watch Natsu no Arashi! 2. It’s not pointless, trashy romance, but a deep love story filled with loneliness. In this second season, the story of the relationship between Arashi and Hajime intensifies. The way Arashi feels for Hajime is explained, but the ordeal of her disappearance at the end of summer threatens their blossoming relationship. Intertwined with this plot element are Jun Kamigano’s gender issues. A reoccurring character from the first season, Jun, who is a living human rather than a ghost, harbors a deep secret; he is actually a girl! This element becomes more important as a possibly romantic relationship between her and Hajime develops, except that Hajime still thinks she is a boy. However, since he thinks that they’re the same gender, some complications happen that could reveal Jun’s secret! These gags that are blended in with the romance are what still keep the male audience interested, giving Natsu no Arashi! 2 a balanced atmosphere filled with mass-appeal.
Noticeable from the opening alone, Natsu no Arashi! 2 has an incredible sense of quirkiness. It is stylish, random, and out of the ordinary, yet everything comes together naturally. Some characters have quite unusual traits, but they fit well with the plot. For example, Kaya has a strange obsession with desserts, which would normally be strange, but she is originally from the times of World War II. Sugar was rationed, meaning that any sort of sweets were rare. This gives her character a nice tie-in with history, yet makes her unique. Natsu no Arashi! 2 is also rather risque, but in a stylish way. The opening contains content where the main females are naked, but it is done in such a way that it feels more chic than offensive (and of course, nothing inappropriate is shown). This anime also has references to other anime at times, like at the end of episode 17 where there is a reference to the massively popular Sailor Moon. Although some anime have cameos from other shows, the unique storytelling and it’s subtle mention still make it comical.
Even without watching the first season, Natsu no Arashi! 2 can still be extremely enjoyable, and it will definitely send you into fits of laughter, yet moments of pensiveness. Its unique sense of style, jokes, and romance will have you craving for more each week.
Crunchyroll's latest simulcast title - 11eyes - seems to be one of those titles where you can't trust your own eyes the first time you view it. Much like the show itself, you need time and repeated views to grasp what is going on and enable yourself to delve deeper into its otherworldly qualities that currently makes it one of the most highly received titles out of this huge fall lineup.
At first glance, 11eyes bears an eerie resemblance to Shakugan no Shana. The red night, the fighting bishôjo, the character archetypes - taken without context, one can easily dismiss the show as uninspired. Yet, don't let your eyes deceive you and jump to any quick judgments just yet. My suggestion: take the time to digest it as you might find yourself being sucked in.
Based on the adult visual novel released on the PC just a year ago, the story talks about one Satsuki Kakeru and how he and his closest friend, Minase Yuka, are dragged into a strange, parallel world that takes the form of a red night with a black moon. Dragged along with them are other people who, apparently, wield special powers with which they use to combat the Black Knights (黒騎士 - "kuro-kishi") that inhabit the world of the red night.
The story format seems to protract over the episodes, and as a result for some, the series plot may not be very clear even as far down as the third episode. But in many respects, this is the selling point of the show - it's mystique. Not knowing what happens next is an alluring feature, as it teases each episode with a certain air of suspense.
My only concern regarding this series is its hyped-up suspense which tends to be matched up with oddly placed fan-service shots. I mean, don't get me wrong, who are we to complain with a panty shot or two - that's normal, right? Perhaps this is being overcritical, but this series may be a bit moe-centric for some and could be distracting for those who are either not fans of it or not used to the harem-themes woven into the fabric of the storyline.
That issue aside, this show pushes and powers on through all of its naysayers, much like an all-star football tackler: charging forward and pummeling the viewer well into its red night world. The mystique of the show, again, lies in its unclear nature, and calls for quite a bit of patience in order to be appreciated, as is. However, if you are patient enough, I'm sure that we will all be rewarded with a thrilling series that will wrap up everything in a perfectly digestible and organized package.
Will you be able to withstand the red night and the mysteries it contains? Wait, watch and see what happens next...
“We travel from town to town around the countryside fearless in the face of any danger, delivering the precious letters of the citizens. That, precisely, is the job of a Letter Bee!” – Gauche Suede
Tegami Bachi is the brand new anime adaptation of Hiroyuki Asada’s manga series. Magical Girl specialists Studio Pierrot, the studio behind other such Shōnen series as Naruto and Bleach, animate the series and their efforts are commendable. In the opening shot of Tegami Bachi it is evident that Pierrot has not taken this series lightly. The animation is gorgeous, with an attractive colour palette and fluid movement. Computer-generated imagery is also used throughout the series, particularly in the case of Gaichuu; armoured insects that attack passersby.
Tegami Bachi is something of an anomaly in the Shōnen manga world, as it isn’t the story of a saviour of humanity, but rather an epic about the life of a Tegami Bachi, translated; Letter Bee. A Letter Bee is a courier of AmberGround, a mythical world engulfed in eternal night. It is the Letter Bee’s job to deliver packages from sender to recipient regardless of any ensuing peril which may arise. This peril usually takes the form of Gaichuus. As the Gaichuu are shielded by impenetrable armour, making them impervious to conventional weaponry, a Letter Bee is given a special weapon known as a Shindanjuu (heart-bullet gun) to combat the fierce creatures. As can be seen by the English translation, a Shindanjuu does not use regular metallic bullets for ammunition, but rather empty cases which are imbued with the “heart” of the Letter Bee. These heart-bullets can be used for a variety of tasks including healing a weakened heart, the transferral of memories, and of course, the primary purpose; killing Gaichuu.
The protagonist of Tegami Bachi is twelve year old; Lag Seeing, a strong-willed and determined young man intent on delivering all packages assigned to him, regardless of circumstances. The audience first meets Lag when he's just a child, as he himself is a package to be delivered. It would appear that human trafficking is legal in AmberGround. Lag is introduced to the life of the Letter Bee when he encounters Gauche Suede and his “dingo” (a bodyguard/companion which helps combat the Gaichuu). Gauche is assigned the task of transporting Lag, though on the way he experiences something of an epiphany.
Years later, inspired by time with Gauche, Lag sets out to become a Letter Bee himself. He is not alone in his quest; however, joining him is his own dingo, Niche. Niche is a rambunctious, animalistic young girl who defends Lag with her powerful, super-strong and blade-like hair, called “the Golden Sword.” Tegami Bachi follows the adventures of Lag and Niche as they fulfill the duties of a Letter Bee, and also while they search for Lag’s mother, who was kidnapped at the beginning of the series.
Tegami Bachi is a unique addition to the Shōnen anime library and definitely worth a look for anyone who enjoys a good fantasy story.
In addition to its distinct storyline, Tegami Bachi features some of the best and brightest animation work Studio Pierrot has ever done, meaning that even casual Shōnen fans can enjoy the serene and picturesque atmosphere.
Though in its early days,Tegami Bachi looks to be an intriguing addition to the Shōnen universe, with its smooth, colourful animation and refreshingly different plot and characters. With Tegami Bachi simulcasted here on Crunchyroll.com, it looks to deliver everything fans are looking for and more. So stay tuned!
Long story short, Tomoki's house is destroyed. Wandering aimlessly, in search of a place to stay, Tomoki and Ikaros are lent a hand by the class president, Satsukitane. Sohara and Sugata join the mix as they are invited to the home of the town's #1 big shot. They are given a warm reception. But, when they wake up in the morning, there's an angry mob with them!
Lag, as well as Niche and Steak, a strange animal that tags along with Niche, reaches the town of Kyrie where the bridge Bifrost connects to Yuusari. There they meet Nelli, who guides them to an inn to stay the night, and volunteers to take Lag's bag up to his room, but then suddenly disappears. Nelli's aim is actually to get Lag's crossing pass into Yuusari.
Word of the Day
格差婚 (かくさんこん ・pronounced: kah-ku-sahn-kohn), this word describes the qualities - such as income, family and pedigree - to marry someone in Japan, especially if you're marrying into a traditional/wealthy family. They may not say it to your face, but they'll find a way to make sure you know that they're thinking about it.