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On an afternoon day that I finally had time to relax, I decided to waste away my day by scrolling through the lists of upcoming anime. Truthfully, Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee wasn’t one of the shows that had caught my eye at first sight. Therefore, I had put it away as an alternative that I would consider. I hadn’t actually picked up the series to until a few weeks had passed and episodes one to three were released. Hearing great comments about the show, I finally decided to take the time to click on the first episode and spend the next 30 minutes staring at the computer screen. Never did I imagine that the show was an extremely heartwarming and inspirational story.
It was that of a boy who was cast away due to the government and stranded to only be picked up by a complete stranger. This story wasn’t one of those typical shows that talked about “believing in the light”, or “the heart of the cards”. Instead, it introduced a parallel world from ours in the future where there was no longer a sun, but a man made light. It talked about the hypocrisy of their government and the secrets it keeps refraining a revolt from the citizens.
The tale follows a young boy named Lag that is thrown into the center of this world without the knowledge of why his mother was taken away by the officials. He is not like a classic teenager that believes he knows all to the world. On the other hand, he is a boy that merely wishes to find his mother and once again meet the man who was his savior, as well as his first friend. I found this story extremely touching as I followed the series not only through the anime, but the manga as well. Many episodes unintentionally caused true tears to leak out of the sides of my eyes when I didn’t even realize it.
Truthfully, the main character; Lag, inspired my being as I watched him struggle through every wall until he became victorious. Even with the naïve heart he has, he still manages to show his true feelings without a tad of malice. One can’t help but feel the frustration he endures when he finds out his heroine that he had been looking up to ever since he was a little boy, disappears without a trace with others saying he abandoned his post. I gradually began to see the world Lag was set in, following the story like I was inside it myself.
Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee inspired my entire soul to never let something go, but fight for it no matter what. As cheesy and easy that may sound, I found it to be considerably true. Everyone in this world doesn’t realize when they are giving something up that is important to them, by just saying, “oh, that’s okay, I don’t need it, I’ll be fine.” No, one needs to continue to struggle for what they want and what they dream of. No matter the pain and injuries it takes. One must understand that it is worth it. By only doing this will they become victorious. The main character from Letter Bee does just this, going through the storms of emotions that are poured onto him and fighting for what he believes in to meet the one person he truly misses. From all the real emotions that Letter Bee portrays, it considers the will of a human being and expresses how far one can actually go if they try with their entire heart.
There are plenty of anime out there that have elements of suspense, action, and tense politics, but none have ever done it like Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion. Known as Code Geass for short, this anime is often celebrated for its fierce suspense and shocking twists, but no episode compares to its twenty-second episode, entitled “Bloodstained Euphy.” The series takes a final turn for both the tragic and violent, and every character is tested to their limits.
Code Geass often has surprising events every episode, but episode twenty-two completely outdoes the series in that manner. There isn’t just one major turn of events like usual, but THREE shocking twists that don’t feel ridiculous at all. They each feel perfectly plausible, yet have you staring at the screen in awe. One can feel their blood go cold as a major massacre happens, slaying countless innocent people. The amount of carnage is almost disturbing, but is played out so well that one can feel the people’s pain. The blood dripping off the walls, the cries of children, and the old woman pulling at Lelouch’s leg for help just creates a sickening feeling in one’s stomach, but only the most substantial anime can make one feel a physical feeling so powerful. Even the smallest details all add up to create an episode of an explosively epic magnitude, and it feels like it could be the finale.
The amount of character development in this episode is outstanding. For the first time, the audience gets to see a character who attempts to resist the Geass’ command, a command that is usually followed without any qualms. Lelouch’s character also shows some a surprising side to it. He reveals emotions the audience would never expect to see from him, and it leaves them able to understand that despite all that he has done, he is still human. There is also plenty of potential development in smaller characters; one character is obsessed with the one responsible for the slaughter, and the episode leaves the question of if they will follow in their footsteps or not. As well, just how will the murderer’s love interest react to their actions? A glimpse of their feelings are shown, and it leaves that impression where the viewer is starving to see the next episode.
With an anime like Code Geass, the technicalities that really stick out in a positive way are the artwork and screenplay. The screenplay for episode 22 excretes an enormous amount of political intensity without any Knightmare Frames, the giant robot weapons, going mano a mano. The way the scenes display people watching news coverage on large television sets illustrates a huge amount of anticipation for the episode’s events. Again, the tiny details added to the overall atmosphere; small things like quick character appearances add to the anxiety of all the plots and sub plots, and little insecurities one may have forgotten due to the massive plot appear again. The amount of suspense after the slaughter has one staring as they try to soak in all the events of episode 22.
The twenty-second episode of Code Geass is undeniably one of the finest episodes in the series. It twists people into things the audience never thought they’d be, shows sides of characters you never thought you’d see, and creates an immaculate suspense unlike in any other anime. It is certainly the defining point of the entire season, and it’s an episode not many people can forget.
According to Anime News Network, Bandai announced that a second Gundam Café is set to open just outside the Akihabara train station on April 24th. The new café is said to be 144.2 square meters big and will have a seating capacity of 60. Along with Gundam merchandise, the new café will be offering an exclusive Jaburo coffee blend (made from South American beans) and Gun-Pla-Yaki, a large, fried take-out dish that is modeled after the first 1/144 Gundam model kit ever sold. The first Gundam café was a staple in the now defunct Bandai Museum in Matsudo. Though other Gundam themed cosplay bars in Akihabara have come and gone in 2007, this will be the first officially sponsored café since the Bandai museum’s closure in 2006.
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Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya Set for US Run
On April 15, 2010, Bandai Entertainment had announced its official licensing of the much anticipated film The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. American screenings of the film will begin on May 21st at San Francisco’s Viz Cinema, followed by a theatrical run in Hawaii during the month of June. Bang Zoom Entertainment, the dubbing studio in charge of Haruhi’s official dub, will be producing an English version of the film, which will be released on DVD at a later date. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya will be a feature length adaptation of the forth volume of the original light novel series by Nagaru Tanigawa and Noizi Ito. The film premiered in Japan on February 6th and has earned $7,479,561 by the end of March.
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AX to host Eden of the East Trio
Anime Expo announced on April 15th that director Kenji Kamiyama, chief director Satoru Nakamura, and producer Tomohiko Ishii will be Guests of Honor at its July 2010 convention. The trio will attend AX as part of Funimation’s official US release of their project Eden of the East. Before Eden of the East, directors Kamiyama and Nakamura were known for their collaboration on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Kamiyama’s previous credits also include screenwriter for Blood: the Last Vampire and animation director of Jin-Roh. Nakamura had worked as an animation director for series including Library War, Gurren Lagann, and Angel Cop. Ishii has produced films such as The Sky Crawlers, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle. Anime Expo is set to occur July 1-4 at the LA Convention Center.
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Yoshitaka Amano Directs First Film: Zan
Yoshitaka Amano, the artist best known for his character designs for Gatchaman and Final Fantasy, will be directing his first anime film, Zan. In order to create his new movie, Amano has also established his own production studio called Studio Deva Loka. The film will be shot using 3D animation and will tell the story of a 19th century samurai named Zan who travels to another dimension to battle evil. To promote his new project, Amano exhibited a large black panther statue at the Tokyo International Anime Fair and again at the Opera de Paris in France. The panther sculpture depicts a beast that will become Zan’s partner in the new film. Studio Deva Loka plans to announce more projects once Zan has been released.
Did you know that famed anime seiyuu Megumi Hayashibara discovered her first voice acting auditions on the same day she submitted an application for nursing school. Now she is not only one of Japan's most popular voice actresses, but also a registered nurse.
At Mount Myoboku, Naruto begins his Sage Jutsu training under Fukasaku. The first challenge is “Don’t move.” Fukasaku explains that an extensive amount of time is necessary in order to take in nature energy.
After their victory in the battle against the Yellow Scarves, the volunteer army, now led by Ryuubi, returns to peaceful Touka Village. Things seem to have calmed down, but Ryuubi is secretly worried: after all these easy days, her thighs and stomach are getting fat! Ryuubi tries to go on a diet, but...
Elfman crushes Sol of the Land, one of the Element 4! Afterwards, the Phantom Mk II seems to slow down for some reason. That's because the giant moves using the power of the Element 4. If all of the Element 4 are defeated, they can stop Abyss Break! There are only two left! Natsu faces off against Aria of the Heavens and Gray faces off against Juvia of the Deep! There's almost no time left until Abyss Break is finished casting! What will be the outcome of Fairy Tail's life-or-death struggle?!
Word of the Day
意味不 (pronounced: ee-me-foo): This word is a pseudo contraction for 意味不明 (imifumei), which roughly translates to, "I have no idea (what is going on)"