Summary: Seeing safely in the hands of her bodyguards to take her home, Nagi longs for Isumi to stay one more night because who knows if they'll get to see each other again. This prompts Isumi to remind Nagi that they can see each other at school, something Nagi avoids. So, Hayate makes it his mission to get Nagi to school. She's not pleased by this, but remembers that Hayate is a high school-aged student who can no longer attend school. So she goes, even if she doesn't like it.
Back home, Hayate is working and Tama remarks on how quite things are when Nagi isn't around. Hayate observes that things would be quieter still if the tiger didn't talk.
Towards the end of the day, Nagi is complaining about school and not paying attention to where she's walking. She's stopped by Isumi from walking into the old, abandoned school building.
That evening, Nagi has forgotten her notebook at school, so Hayate rushes to get it. At the school gates, he's again attacked by Yukiji-sensei who didn't know who he was at first. Letting him into the school, we learn that Yukiji-sensei is actually living there to save on rent. Not only that, but members of the student council (Chairman SEGAWA Izumi, Vice-chairman HANABISHI Miki, & disciplinary committe member ASAKAZE Risa) are at the very least spending the night with Yukiji-sensei for a study session. As they talk, they continue to address him as "Hayate-kun," even though he repeatedly asks them to just address him as "Hayate."
Yukiji-sensei gives him the key to access Nagi's class and comments on his courage to enter the west wind at this late hour. As he takes off, they ask him to be sure and defeat some Japanese and American horror icons should they appear. Hayate figures they are playing with him, but finds himself in the old building rather than Nagi's building. A cell phone call from Nagi scares him, but he's relieved to hear Nagi's voice (who was genuinely worried about him) until she tells him she can hear voices in the background and the phone connection is lost and he falls through the floor.
Back and Yukiji-sensei's room, the girls figure that since its taking so long for Hayate to return, maybe he's doing something perverted to Hina-chan's things (Yukiji's little sister and president of the Student Council). Hina comes in and she's not happy with the topic of conversation. As Nagi learns from Maria-san about the haunted nature of the old building at the mansion, Hina learns from her friends about Hayate possibly getting lost in the old building and goes to find him as she's not scared of ghosts.
She says that, but finds herself scared just the same, more so when she sees ghostly shapes and as she runs, a voice asking her questions. Hayate hears her scream and Hina discovers who's been talking to her -- a science mannequin. Hayate rescues her, and Hina warns Hayate not to tell anyone she was scared. Further, she's determined to get to the bottom of this ghost business and as Hayate keeps addressing her as "Katsura-san," she insists he address her as Hinagiku (her full given name).
As they go through the old building, the mannequin returns and ends up addressing Hayate as "Hayate-sama." Remembering Isumi and her miko powers, he realizes that Isumi must have a reason to want them to leave and attempts to get Katsura-san to leave. She is stuborn and wants to battle the mannequin. Even when the mannequin transforms into something more (looking a bit like a form of Naraku from Inuyasha), Hina isn't afraid, but the mannequin explodes and Hayate convinces her that her ki (chi) did it. As they leave, Isumi and her guards go to work to exorcise the building while Hina finally gets Hayate to stop calling her "Katsura-san" and call her "Hinagiku-san."
With that, Hayate returns home to a relieved Nagi complete with her notebook.
Thoughts: More Hayate goodness. I'm not up on Japanese horror, so I didn't catch the Japanese names that were beeped out, but Jason and Freddy's names came through. Yes, even the Japanese know who Freddy and Jason are. Ayumu keeps getting cameos (I only know her name by looking it up) so I guess she'll have some kind of importance at a later date. It was a fun episode that I enjoyed a lot.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Summary: Seeing safely in the hands of her bodyguards to take her home, Nagi longs for Isumi to stay one more night because who knows if they'll get to see each other again. This prompts Isumi to remind Nagi that they can see each other at school, something Nagi avoids. So, Hayate makes it his mission to get Nagi to school. She's not pleased by this, but remembers that Hayate is a high school-aged student who can no longer attend school. So she goes, even if she doesn't like it.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
As I write this blog entry, I do so feeling very depressed. I am a fan of the Slayers TV series and own the Central Park Media (CPM) DVD releases for those series. I never watched the dub version (because by then, I quit watching dubs for the most part), and while I love the Japanese version, the subtitles aren't the greatest to me (no offense to the original translator, Neil Nadelman, who was kind enough to explain some things to me). For example, in Slayers, the term "Mazoku" (魔族) is used as the name of the evil (demon) race (the literal translation from what my sensei says) . CPM (Software Sculptors) had this translated as "Monster race" or "Monster." Even before I knew the term "mazoku," I didn't really get the difference between "Monster" and "monster" in the subtitles. Turns out (IMO), it should have been left "Mazoku" as the name of the demon race, especially since there are "monsters" and "demons" in Slayers who are not Mazoku.
But I digress...
So my issues with the CPM release aside, I purchased all three DVD sets when they were still at the $100 range, that's how much I liked the series.
Fast-forward to May 2005 when FUNimation made a stunning announcement at Anime Central 2005. CPM's license on Slayers, Slayers Next, and Slayers Try had run out and FUNimation now had the license.
While a majority of the original dub prepared for the CPM release will be reused, one or two characters will be voiced by new talent who were not involved in the original release. Other actors that did have parts in the original may be asked to re-read specific lines or segments of the script. The dub (sub? -ANB) text may be rewritten or edited slightly - for example, chants and spell names may be left in the original Japanese, rather than translated. While the CPM release of Slayers was subject to a slight amount of content editing (no more than several minutes cut per twenty-six episode series), the Funimation release will be completely unedited. The DVD cases will feature new artwork and logos, rather than any version of the materials used for the CPM release.
This news had me very excited. After all, the reason I love FUNimation so much is that their subtitles include the Japanese honorifics and some titles (Yu Yu Hakusho for example) are even a bit more "otaku-ish" in their subtitles. Based on this announcement, I was ready to donate my CPM DVD's to the Goodwill and start fresh.
That was 2005.
For a long time, there was no news on Slayers. By the time 2005 came to an end, I was becoming a tad concerned, but thought, "Well, FUNimation is trying to get everything from Japan and I know how stupid the Japanese can be when it comes to these things." By May 2006, I thought, "it will be released by summer's end." Ha! No dice, pal!
Finally, in 2007, we got word that Slayers would be released that July. It was about time and the moment it appeared for pre-order, I had my order in.
Then at Anime Central 2007, a little over 2-years after the original announcement, FUNimation's Adam Sheehan confirmed that the Slayers Season One collection to be released July 17th will have “cleaned up” video and audio tracks, but will not include any re-dubbing due to the materials necessary for production no longer existing. (ToonZone)
Dub fans who'd been looking for some dub fixes were devastated. I became concerned that maybe there wasn't going to be a subtitle fix either.
This started to concern me, not because I'm a dub fan, but because maybe FUNimation didn't get the original Japanese scripts and so wouldn't re-subtitle the series. FUNimation hasn't stated anything about the subtitles and FuniRepBlue seemed out of the loop. (-AstroNerdBoy)
I held onto hope just the same, but I thought I'd ask FUNiRepBlue just the same.
AstroNerdBoy: ...Are the subtitles going to be from a retranslated script or is FUNimation just going to use the CPM script?
FUNiRepBlue: I got word back and it's going to be the existing scripts.
I couldn't believe it. Seriously, what was the point of licensing the title if you weren't going to at least give it FUNimation-quality subtitles? Even if you couldn't get a script, you could have made SOME modifications to the subtitle script based on hearing alone (the replacement of "Monster" with "Mazoku" and the full use of Japanese honorifics). Ever heard of fansubs? Some of them are pretty good without a Japanese script. Basically, all FUNimation has done is take the CPM release and slap a FUNimation logo on it (we'll see how "cleaned up" the audio-video is).
Naturally, FUNimation can't say why this is happening beyond a vague, "we weren't able to get the required materials to fix the dub" (and one presumes, the sub too). Non-disclosure agreements in the business world must be enforced and FUNi has to keep it's yap shut if it wants to continue to do business.
Still, I can't help but wonder what role Enoki Films played in this fiasco. After all, they are STILL attached to the project as distributor, just as they were with CPM's release.
Either way, FUNimation is disappointing more and more fans and this is not a good trend, guys. Yes, the gamble on the Dragonball Z widescreen release has paid off big time. Congratulations. However you did alienate a lot of hardcore fans there. I'm sure sales of Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid were decent, but again fans were very disappointed when you announced you had the license when in fact, Kadokawa Pictures USA had the license and you only had the distribution, packaging, and marketing aspects (the dubs and subs going to ADV). With Slayers, a lot of fans were prepared to double-dip and purchase your release based on your reputation of doing things right. I suspect most of those sales are gone, leaving you with the few new sales from those who've never seen the series or couldn't afford it when CPM held the license.
I know, FUNimation may be the victim in all this by setting up fan expectations then failing to follow through due to no fault of their own. For the sake of discussion, even if that is the case (as I think it is), you still get the black eye FUNimation. Now, I wonder if School Rumble will be done properly when before, I really had no doubts.
On a related topic, if you are interested in getting a lot of great Slayers (and Lost Universe) information, there's a wiki I stumbled upon where information is the name of the game. KanzakaDex is the name of the wiki and I am amazed at the information contained there (and it is far from complete). I encourage you to check it out if you want to know more about Hajime-sensei's works, or if you know them, do contribute over there.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Item 1: According to Comi Press, Takaya-sensei (Fruits Basket manga-ka) has a new manga which will debut on June 5 in the shoujo manga magazine Hana to Yume (where Fruits Basket was published on a weekly basis). The title of the new manga will be "Hoshi wa Utau" which translates to "Stars Sing" (Doesn't sound like much, does it?). Based on the article, I guess this will be an unrequited love story.
Seeing as how much I have loved Fruits Basket, there's no doubt I'll be giving Takaya-sensei's new title a try. The whole unrequited love bit is somewhat bothersome, but hopefully she'll be able to pull it off. I'm going to try to pay attention to the manga rankings if I can to see how it does in Japan. No doubt, TokyoPop will be eying this with great interest considering how much of a cash cow Fruits Basket it. However, if TP does score the title, I hope they can get the same translators that Furuba had (Alethea Nibley and Athena Nibley).
Item 2: Fujishima-sensei is really on a roll lately. Granted his never-ending manga Ah! My Goddess is still running, but the series got a couple of TV series with some OVA episodes to boot (though I was unimpressed with them, he still got paid). Then, he's doing some character design work for some game if I'm not mistaken. However, the really big item is the formation of another You're Under Arrest anime TV series. This could be good or it could be bad (details from ANN here with an updated URL).
You're Under Arrest has had the following anime titles (in order of their creation):
- You're Under Arrest OVA (4-episodes)
- You're Under Arrest (TV, the above 4 episodes edited for time plus 46 new episodes)
- You're Under Arrest Specials (TV, 20 8-minute episodes and 1 full-length episode)
- You're Under Arrest: The Movie (Theatrical movie)
- You're Under Arrest 2 (TV, 26-episodes)
- You're Under Arrest in America (OVA, 1-episode)
Items 1 and 2 were licensed by AnimEigo as well as the full-lenth episode from item 3. ADV scored the rest of item 3 and item for. Item 5 & 6 remain unlicensed (I'm lobbying FUNimation).
Anyway, I hope the new anime will pick up where YUA2 left off, only this time, Miyuki and Ken's romance needs to advance BIG TIME. I'm not saying I want them sleeping together, but I do want them to be a proper couple and get married when the series ends (minimum). So I'm guardedly optimistic about this one. I'm looking forward to hearing more about this.
Update: Here's the official Japanese site with the apparent current look of Miyuki and Natsumi.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Summary: Ayaka has a memory-dream of herself as a child with Asuna. She then wakes up in her Negi-decorated room to remember that she and the rest of her classmates as well as Negi-sensei and Takahata-sensei. Meanwhile, Negi is working on remembering which student has what artifact so that in a pinch, he can activate an appropriate girl's artifact without having to look up who has what. This meets with Chamo's approval.
Back in the classroom, a "where's Asuna" discussion happens. Turns out she's slept in and now there's only one onigiri left, otherwise she has to wait until lunch. Unfortunately, Motsu eats it, leaving her famished.
Outside, the research group is researching and Negi pops in to see how they are doing. Ayaka invites him to stay for tea, but when Asuna arrives, Ayaka and Asuna get into a fight over whom Negi should stay with -- the research group or the exploration group. Negi makes the mistake of getting between the girls and pays for it with an injury. Not to worry, a shot at the infirmiry from a giant syringe should do the trick. Chamo gets the shot instead and turns into a super ermine complete with red cape.
Elsewhere, Chachamaru, Eva, and Takahata are doing serious investigation, until Chachamaru decides to save a little critter from being injured while the remaining research staff are having no luck analyzing the crystals.
Back to the Ayaka-Asuna fight, the two engage in a number of contest, all of which end up a tie. Negi hates their fighting, but Konoka assures him they get along fine and have battled since they were kids. Before they can carry on with a 4th competition, the dark matter arrives again and Negi uses Asuna for the fight. He pulls a cosplay card from her which isn't enough. Ayaka comes to help Asuna and Negi pulls an armor card from her, allowing her to save Asuna. Ayaka and Asuna remember their time together as children with dandilions and as Konoka said, are indeed good friends.
Thoughts: I was pretty bored by this episode, which wasn't funny to me nor did it advance the story any. Yeah, there was some character development of Asuna and Ayaka, but considering the wacky nature of the series at times, are we really looking for meaningful character development on a serious level? I think not.
Well, I do think I understand why this series didn't fare well in Japan either.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Summary: Sakuya scarfs some breakfast with Nagi while giving her grief over not attending school. After she leaves, we learn that Nagi's real reason for not going to school is to be able to spend more time with Hayate.
As Maria and Hayate sweep outside, Maria decides to probe Hayate on if he likes younger girls (Nagi) or older ones. Hayate, who likes Maria, definitely wants older girls. Their conversation is interrupted when Nagi summons Hayate to her room. There, she forces Hayate to try on a female sailor sefuku (uniform). He's not happy about this, especially after being instructed by Klaus on being a butler and that if Hayate didn't act like a man, he'd be fired. Nagi doesn't care and takes pictures of the embarrassed Hayate. He's worried about Maria-san seeing him and of course she shows up.
Things start getting worse as Maria and Nagi plot what to make Hayate wear next. He attempts to sneak out, but stepping on a game controller gives him away. The two then make him dress up as a cat girl, complete with ears, paws, a tail, and a bell. The cuteness of Hayate is almost more that Nagi and Maria can stand. However, when Tama awakens and sees Hayate this way, he goes nuts, grabbing Hayate and crashing out the window with him into the yard to apparently have his way with Hayate.
Hayate has had enough and with one move, puts Tama down. However, he then spots Klaus walking through the yard. Hayate attempts to sneak away but when he steps on a game controller, the jig is up and Klaus is in hot pursuit to catch a trespasser. Hayate is afraid to lose his job and tries to cover his face with a large bow, only to discover his mistake in that he can't see. Ah, but there's second sight, right? Not for Hayate as Klaus lands a special attack-kick on Hayate. Klaus goes in for the finish, but gets his first good look at the catgirl-Hayate and goes nuts and starts to do what Tama did until Nagi rescues Hayate.
Inside, Hayate changes and to his shock, sees that Isumi is still there. She apparently got lost in the mansion and will spend the night again. Hayate is worried that Isumi may have seen him in the catgirl outfit and as he goes down the hall, he hears noise coming from the billiard room. Inside, Maria is playing by herself, and so she and Hayate play. Maria decides to learn more about Hayate's feelings and raises the stakes. If she wins, Hayate will owe ¥200-million and will have to marry Nagi. If she loses, she'll do whatever Hayate wants.
Both are excellent players and during the match, Hayate learns of how Nagi and Isumi became best friends as children. Maria learns why Hayate doesn't want to marry Nagi (doesn't want to be seen as doing it for money, won't touch a young girl, and other nice guy reasons) which impresses Maria. She purposefully loses the match, but before Hayate can get a request, a very jealous Nagi is there with Isumi behind her. Nagi soon puts Hayate in his place and after she leaves, Maria asks him his request of her. In his befuddled state, he asks that she forgive him the debt he owes on the cashmere coat that was destroyed in a previous episode.
Thoughts: Another pretty funny episode. Having Hayate step on the game controller in Nagi's room as he's trying to sneak away was expected. Having Hayate step on a game controller on the mansion grounds as he tries to sneak away from Klaus was not. There was clichéd stuff with Tama and Klaus but not in a negative way. I love how this anime doesn't take itself seriously and will at times surprise you with the unexpected laugh.
Thanks to AQS for the scans.
There is an assault on a mage city as Nagi, Eishun, and Al rush to the scene when all of the magic attacks on said city are nullified. This means that the Imperial Princess of the Dusk is inside the city. Nagi is angry about this and the fact this city is using the princess who's a little girl. Al cautions against judging someone's age by their appearance as is the case with him. Some giant magical creatures are used to attack a tower where some mages and a little girl bleeding from the mouth are. One comes close to reaching the tower when Nagi attacks and kills it. The mage inside recognizes Nagi as "The Aralbra -- The One With a Thousand Spells." Nagi confirms this, calling himself the "Thousand Master."
As the giants and their winged support approach, Nagi breaks out a small spell book and launches a devastating attack on them. He tells the mage with the little girl that his group will take care of everything, but the mage is unsure because of the large number of enemy forces. Nagi is somewhat offended by this, reminding the mage that Nagi's the most powerful mage ever. Al jabs Nagi because its not as impressive since he has to consult a spell book (Nagi, having not completed magic school) and that Nagi won't be able to change the world no matter how powerful he is. This too annoys Nagi.
Coming to the little girl, he asks her names as the chains holding her to the floor break. She says her name is Asuna Vesperina Theotanasia Entheofushia as Nagi wipes the blood from the corner of her mouth. Nagi comments that the name "Asuna" is a nice one and tells her to wait there as he, Al, and Eishun leave to wipe out the enemy forces, Nagi from the back suddenly looking like 10-year old Negi.
Asuna wakes up in her dorm room and remembers her full name. She races out of been looking for Setsuna-san on this first day of summer vacation to tell her the news, only to find her and Konoka in a magic circle being encouraged by Chamo to kiss for a pactio. Setsuna happens to notice Asuna and gets embarrassed, protesting to Asuna that this isn't what it seems. Chamo is bummed that things stopped and Konoka wonders what Asuna wanted to tell them. Unfortunately Asuna can't remember.
Later, Asuna ponders on the dream, wondering why she thought her real name was that long and why she would dream of Negi's dad and Konoka's dad. Her thoughts are interupted by Ayaka, who's got good news for Asuna. A little later, Asuna presents a club formation application form to Negi as the other girls in his group observe. Negi is confused by this and Asuna reminds him of his comments about going to the Magic Country and possibly not returning. Chamo informs Asuna about the difficulties, which would be like sneaking into Japan during its isolation period or sneaking into a communist country. Asuna wants Negi to promise to return, but tells him that since he's not going to stop until he finds his father, she's going to help him. As such, this new club will be for those students who want to help Negi find his father, with Negi, as the sensei, the club adviser.
Thoughts: Wow! The early pages showing Nagi's adventures and Asuna's involvement made this chapter pretty incredible. As Nagi commented, her name was pretty long and based on her title, I guess she is royalty of some kind. It was kind of tough trying to figure out everything that was going on at first (who was attacking who and what) but a 2nd-time through made things clear. The comments on the possibility of Asuna being older than she appears is intriguing. Nagi's use of the spellbook goes along with Eva's dream-memory of Nagi. That was certainly interesting.
The groundwork is clearly being laid for the future Wales arc, but first we have the summer vacation arc to complete.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Summary: Major Connery learns of Paul's embezzlement and deploys Section I 4th Axe. At the ball, Leonir decides to teach Alice how to dance. As they dance, Leonir notices how Alice looks past and above him, figuring she's thinking of a giant man (Oland). She ponders this for a moment, then confesses this man is a giant, but he's a gentle giant and not a strong one.
Meanwhile, back near the food distribution point, Oland is not quite down for the count and attempts to flee the two civilians attacking him when one puts an ax in his back. He's rescued by Oreld and falls unconscious. He has a nightmare, seeing the corpses of those he's killed in war and waking up, he finds himself being cared for by Stekkin. Oreld is looking over the papers from the two civilians now his prisoner and learns of the embezzlement scandal. It is soon after that Oland remembers the attack on the ball that the other civilians planned.
Leaving Stekkin behind along with the two prisoners, Oreld, Oland, and Machs race their military vehicle to the ball while troops from Section I mobilize. At the ball, Alice and Leonir continue to talk when Alice gets that feeling and orders everyone away from the windows. Very shortly afterward, a large group of peasant civilians come crashing through, their plan to kill Paul first, then some other nobles.
Back in the military vehicle, Oreld has stitched up Oland's head wound and when Oland confesses to being confused and scared when the two peasant civilians attacked, Oreld states this is normal and tells a story of a younger Alice and the tough time she's had trying to bring war relief to the population.
At the ball, Alice confronts one of the peasants who plans to kill Paul, attempting to get him to change his mind. Alice's sisters attempt to get Alice to flee, but Alice will have none of it, which causes a measure of respect in the eyes of Leonir. The guys from Section III come crashing through and Oland takes a bullet meant for Alice. Oreld also has proof of Paul's crimes but Paul's bodyguards call Oreld's bluff since Section III has no power to arrest anyone. Things are getting out of hand as the peasants are ready to take it out on the rich people when Alice steps in and challenges Paul to a duel.
Thoughts: The story is still interesting to me, but I'm starting to think that there will be a lot of unresolved things in this anime. Since it is based on a manga that I believe is still ongoing (I'll have to double check that), I won't complain if that happens since the anime writers will be leaving things open for a sequel. As for the feelings between Alice and Oland, that was pretty sweet, even if small. I don't think there's enough time to develop a romance story, but Del Rey is releasing the manga this year so maybe in a few years, I'll get to see if the manga-ka did anything with that (somehow, I'm not sure there will be a sequel anime).
Thanks to BWYS for the scans.
Sakura-chan is still asleep and Fai decides it might be best to let her sleep. Syaoran is also sleeping with a fever and Fai offers to keep watch to Kurogane. However, Kurogane says nothing at first until Fai continues to talk. Kurogane states he'll answer Fai if Fai answers a question about the whistle he used to help them escape the previous world. Kurogane notes how many tight spots they'd been in and Fai had not used his magic. Kurogane recalls how Fai talked of a person sleeping under water that he needed to run from.
Fai is impressed by his memories but Kurogane presses on, stating his belief that Fai, while always grinning and being friendly is really keeping his distance from everyone. Despite this, Kurogane sees that Fai is worried about Syaoran's fever and the thought that Sakura would see this destroyed world. Kurogane continues, recalling that had Fai not used his magic in the last world, they could have been killed and in so doing, involved himself with both Syaoran and Sakura. Fai replies that he doesn't want anyone to get hurt because of him.
They are interrupted when some of Kamui's people come in. Kurogane grabs Fai and tells him he's not going to avoid their conversation. Kurogane repeats that he it means nothing to him, leading Fai to grin and ask him not to worry about him. However, Kurogane continues, telling Fai he doesn't care about Fai's past but that Fai needs to make a decision on what he's doing with where he is now. Kurogane leaves with Kamui's people and Fail collapses, remarking to himself how difficult that is.
Meanwhile at Fei Wong Reed's palace, the figure in the containment chamber breaks through the glass and is revealed to be Syaoran.
Syaoran hears a voice in his dream and comes face-to-face with his doppelgänger. As his doppelgänger moves his hand, Syaoran's hand also moves. Breaking through, the doppelgänger states he's been waiting and grabs Syaoran, while out of the dream, Syaoran grabs Kurogane. Kurogane sees that Syaoran is different again, the same as he was in the previous world. Syaoran mutters he's always been waiting when Fai comes in and sees Syaoran's cold eyes. Both Fai and Kurogane are very concerned by what they see as Syaoran comes out of it, and Fai quickly recovers to his normal cheery self.
Fai has clothing and suggests rest for Syaoran, but Syaoran wants to participate in the hunt for the feather. As Syaoran goes to change, Kurogane remarks on how the person they'd witnessed earlier wasn't Syaoran. Fai asks if this is the first time this has happened, which Kurogane states has happened before and that Syaoran doesn't seem to realize the change. Fai then comments on how cold the eyes that looked at them were before asking Kurogane for a favor.
Fai and Syaoran are on a speeder bike with some of Kamui's people looking for food and supplies. Turns out the favor Fai asked of Kurogane was for him to babysit Sakura-chan, who was still asleep and finds herself opening her eyes as she's under water.
Sakura-chan finds herself under water, but its not cold and she's not suffocating. She sees something in the water and approaches it. It tells her she shouldn't be there. Sakura-chan asks it what its doing there and it says its sleeping and that she should wake up. This surprised Sakura-chan and it tells her again to wake up before she's captured by the dream. However, she finds she's unable to open her eyes. Despite hearing the warnings to wake up, she's unable to do so and the thing swallows her. In her bed, Kurogane notices that Sakura-chan has stopped breathing.
Meanwhile, Syaoran, Fai, and Kamui's folks come to the edge of the ruins to a desert. There had been a slum years ago but nothing remains now. As they observe, they are attacked by a giant earth worm (or that's how it appears). The group slays the beast, informing Syaoran and Fai that it mutated from the acid rain, is poisonous, but has edible portions. An even bigger worm attacks and Kusanagi is in its path. Syaoran has Mokona "cough up" his sword Hien and he slays the beast. Kuganagi is impressed, as his twin in the Outo Country had been.
The young Nataku inquires about Syaoran's condition, especially in light of having suffered a bolt through the leg. As talk continues, Mokona senses Sakura-chan's feather very strongly.
Thoughts: I've had dreams I've been in a pool under water and think I'm going to drown, only to be amazed that I can breathe. So I could relate to that bit, though not what happened afterward. ^_^;
The whole bit with the duplicate Syaoran is interesting and I really wonder where this will go. Clearly, the two Syaoran's are linked and I guess maybe this is part of Fei Wong Reed's plan.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
So I'm sitting here listening to some anime tunes on a rare day where we aren't just being tsunami'd with problems. As such, I thought I'd take advantage of this rare opportunity to post.
Item 1: Well, those who were furious at FUNimation for releasing Dragon Ball Z - Season One - Vegeta Saga (Uncut) in widescreen format when it was first announced and stated they wouldn't be purchasing are in for more bad news. Anime News Network is reporting that sales of the remastered DBZ season 1 are kicking bottom according to Nielsen Video Scan. Sales are so good that it has made FUNimation's #1 spot in the R1 anime world even better.
For those who don't know, DBZ was initially done in the standard TV 4:3 size, so making it widescreen, while picking up stuff you wouldn't have seen on the left and right side, you lose material at the top and bottom of the image to make it widescreen. Naturally, fans of DBZ were very, very angry and accused FUNimation of screwing the franchise again (back in the day, FUNimation made some big mistakes with DBZ and since then have learned from their mistakes to be otaku-friendly with the subtitles and casual-fan-friendly with the dubs of all their licensed titles (not distributed ones such as Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid)).
Now, I'm not a DBZ fan and have no desire to watch this shounen classic. I'm not sure if FUNimation decided to do the widescreen on their own or if Toei forced it on them (Toei is notorious for forcing stupidity on American licensor's because they think they know best). However, I thought that while FUNimation would sell some DVD sets, I didn't think sales would be as good as they are. I was never more thankful that FunHack told me to not worry about the DB forum that FUNimation runs after the announcement of the series being remastered and re-released in widescreen. FUNimation decided to let fans rant, and man were there some angry fans.
I still think sales would have been slightly better if the 4:3 ratio had been used, but no matter who decided to go widescreen (FUNi or Toei), the gamble has paid off in huge sales. Money speaks louder than angry fans on message boards.
Item 2: Speaking of Toei, looks like they are bound and determined to cut out the usual R1 middlemen and release anime in R1 themselves according to AWN. Now this isn't the first time Toei has attempting to cut out American licensor's and do things themselves. However, their first attempt ended in complete disaster. So why go through this again?
Clearly, cutting out FUNimation, ADV, Geneon, and the other companies means more profit for Toei. However, I still don't think Toei understands the American market yet, at least not completely. The proof will be in how they handle the Digimon franchise, which will be their first re-attempt in the R1 market. Will there be DVD's with unedited, uncensored Japanese audio w/ accurate subtitles? Only time will tell.
Item 3: I love the Negima! manga despite its lolicon ecchi fanservice and the fact that Del Rey hosed the first volume (they do the series properly now). When news came from Japan that an anime adaptation would be done, I was pretty happy. Then I watched the thing and ended up not so happy. So, the Japanese come out with an all-new Negima!? with an original story based on characters and situations from the original manga. It has been silly fun, but ratings for it were apparently in the tank in Japan.
So, what new news do we get from Japan? Well, apparently Akamatsu-sensei has announced in his blog that there's going to be a live-action Negima! title.
Seriously, what the heck are the Japanese thinking here? Most of the Japanese foray's into live-action adaptations of anime/manga have not been very good. Honey and Clover was pretty good, but titles like Sailor Moon, the original Maison Ikkoku movie, and You're Under Arrest were awful. I'll be checking out the new live-action TV series for Maison Ikkoku very soon (later this week, Lord willing) but unlike MI which does lend itself to a good live-action adaptation, Negima! does not in my mind. After all, in several years of producing the manga, I don't think a year has even passed story-wise. So that means that something will have to be done story-wise to accommodate teenaged girls who will be rapidly growing up.
Further, will the Japanese cast non-Japanese actors in the role of Negi? Mana? Eva? Somehow, I doubt it.
I'm sure I'll check it out when it shows up on TV, but I have no confidence in it being anything other than a cringe-fest disaster.
Friday, May 18, 2007
It was suggested that maybe it would be better that I do the anime episode reviews more in line with how I do manga ones for reasons that I agreed with. So, here goes.
Summary: After a review of episode 6 where we are reminded of Wataru-kun and his maid Saki, Sakuya harasses Klaus (I think it was Klaus). Upon learning that Nagi and Wataru are engaged, Nagi imagines that Hayate is furious. A fight breaks out between Nagi and Wataru since it is an arranged engagement, which brings Isumi out. Turns out Wataru is in love with Isumi. Nagi is pleased when Hayate states he'd help bring Isumi and Wataru together, but when he offers to prepare Isumi a Japanese breakfast, Wataru sees him as a rival.
Challenging Hayate, the group heads outside where Wataru has a sword. Nagi brags about Hayate's strengths and when asked if he can handle a sword, he swings it a bit at a large boulder which causes it to crumble. Nagi wants Hayate to quickly defeat Wataru so that Isumi will go to him, but Hayate imagines a scene where he is Sesshoumaru and Wataru is Inuyasha from the anime Inuyasha and is defeated by Inuyasha. So instead he decides to let Wataru win after disarming him with two fingers, then pretending to be defeated. Hayate's plan backfires because now Isumi is addressing him as Hayate-sama and Wataru leaves in tears.
Having failed, Hayate decides to apologize to Wataru. He learns that Wataru lives at the Tachibana Group Shinjuku HQ building, and he wonders the best way to get there. This leads to a discussion of trains and subways, which outside of bullet trains are a complete mystery to Nagi, Isumi, and Maria-san. And so it is decided that the three of them will go on a subway ride to see Wataru, but Isumi disappears leading Nagi and Hayate on a desperate search for her, complete with a trip to an unfinished subway tunnel.
Having failed in taking the subway, Nagi gives Hayate a purse to take to Wataru, at which time he can apologize. He runs into Saki and after she does what she can to avoid being touched by Hayate, they arrive at the HQ, which turns out to be a video rental store. Hayate learns of the troubles Wataru's family are in financially and of Wataru's desire to not have to marry Nagi just for her money. Hayate decides to become a member of the video store only to learn that his father has registered using Hayate's ID and racked up a ¥1,580,000 bill in late fees which now Hayate owes.
Thoughts: I love this anime! Having enjoyed (most of the time) the anime Inuyasha, the parody of that anime here was a hoot to me, complete with a censored "Kaze no Kizu." Indeed, at Wataru-kun's video store, there's a scene where Hayate is standing in front of Inuyasha videos. There was another parody moment for some mecha series, but I'm not well versed in much mecha. I'd guess Gundam since that's the mecha franchise in Japan. Still, I found myself laughing and enjoying myself a lot as I watched this episode.
Even though I railed against predicting these kinds of things, I'd love for FUNimation to score this title, but I'd guess it will go to Viz seeing who produced this anime (which explains the Inuyasha jokes).
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Thanks to BWYS for the scans.
Syaoran reflects on how strong Kamui is while Kamui asks if Syaoran is an "E." Syaoran doesn't understand so Kamui fires his crossbow which is deflected by Kurogane. Mokona produces Kurogane's sword, which upon being weilded, impresses their attackers. Kurogane challenges Kamui and a fight ensues. As the fight progresses, Kurogane thinks on how he's never seen the technique used by Kamui. Kamui launches an attack and Syaoran shouts a warning, but Kurogane seems un-fazed. In the end, both fighters are at each others throat with Kurogane's sword being at Kamui's throat. Kurogane uses his special attack and hammers Kamui. However, Kamui doesn't appear to have felt anything as he gets up as if nothing happened.
After surviving Kurogane's attack, Kamui puts his cloak back on and walks away. Kurogane is offended, but another group's arrival explains things. Apparently they want whatever is under the building Kamui's group holds. The new group reveal themselves and many old faces from other world's Syaoran and company have visited are there. Kamui and the leader of the other group (Fuuma) battle and Fuuma notices Kamui is wounded. However, Kamui manages to throw Fuuma just the same.
Fuuma and Kamui square off but one of Fuuma's members reports that their own base is under attack from another district. Fuuma isn't happy to end the battle but has no choice and his group leaves. As they leave, Kamui walks past Kurogane and Syaoran which annoys Kurogane. However, they are surprised when Kamui instructs his group to take care of them and the two that are hiding. Fai brings out the sleeping Sakura where they learn that battles are going on for control over underground sources of water.
Kamui's group still suspects that Syaoran's group are robbers looking to steal water. Kamui's group is surprised by Mokona and they wonder what to do with Syaoran's group. Kamui's instructions were to "take care of them" but since he did not kill them, then Syaoran's group can live. Kamui's sole thought is to protect the water and after some additional debate, the group decides Syaoran's group is free to go.
Mokona senses power coming from below them which is where the water is. Since Sakura is still sleeping, Fai decides to introduce themselves to Kamui's group and request medical assistance for Syaoran's injuries. Some of the group aren't interested in helping but are overridden by Kakyou. This gives Syaoran's group some time to explore but as the enter the structure, they see a lot refugees. It is here that we learn of the acid rain that has fallen for the last 15 years making the surface water undrinkable and unusable. The structure they are in has a natural underground water source which allows them to survive.
Syaoran remarks on how the building they are in has suffered no damage like the other structures. However, no one seems to know why this is. Apparently, the only good water exists under their building, protected by the building. Meanwhile Kamui sits where the water is stored and asks how long they can exist like this.
Thoughts: Acid rain. I didn't comment on this last time, but that's a term I'd not heard in many, many years. Before everyone was going to die from global warming, in the 80's we were going to die from acid rain. It works for the story told here though. It appears that CLAMP is using this story arc to do another version of "X/1999" since so many of those characters are here. I've never read "X/1999" but I really need to.
Posted by AstroNerdBoy at 18:56
Thanks to AQS for the scans.
Negi pops the question to Asuna which has her all flustered. This is heard by Nodoka, Yue, and Paru, Nodoka and Yue misunderstand and try to run away. Paru prevents them from escaping and teases Asuna and Negi about this "love confession" they've just witnessed. Negi protests there wasn't a love confession which surprises Asuna. Negi explains that he was asking Asuna to be his partner when he goes to Wales and he was asking her first. This is a relief to Yue and Nodoka, though Chamo and Paru are all frustrated. Asuna is irritated and using her kanka ability, sends him flying for the confusing way he asked her to go with him. She continues to attack him for toying with a maiden's heart.
As the group walks down the street, Paru decides to tease Asuna for her reaction which has Asuna bring out the harisen to which Paru brings out her artifact and produces a giant warrior. When Negi interrupts, Asuna uses the opportunity to question Negi about going to Wales and possibly not returning. Negi wants to find the reason why his dad went missing and knows there will be great dangers, but he's not going to give up his quest to find his father. After his speech, Asuna tells him it is fine to continue as he is and that She and Setsuna had decided to protect him while he looked for his dad. Nodoka decides to offer her support to Negi followed by Yue and Paru.
Since Negi isn't going immediately to Wales, Paru decides they should enjoy summer vacation which is soon to arrive. After all, summer is time to play. And so, plans are laid on how to spend the summer vacation season.
Back at school, finals are taken and class 3-A scores 2nd place overall, which is exciting to the class. Report cards are handed out classes are over until the fall. The class is planning to party and Asuna convinces Negi to join in exchange for her not stopping Negi in his search for his father. With that, they are off to have fun.
Thoughts: This starts the summer vacation arc, which looks like it will be a bunch of fun filler before launching into the next big arc that will take place in Wales.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Item 1: As Slayers fans know, the release of the first series from FUNimation will be July 17 (I've already pre-ordered). Toonzone had this bit of information from the recent Anime Central 2007 con:
During a Q&A session after the presentation, FUNimation representative Adam Sheehan confirmed that the Slayers Season One collection to be released July 17th will have “cleaned up” video and audio tracks, but will not include any re-dubbing due to the materials necessary for production no longer existing. Expect the next Slayers collection within 8 to 10 weeks after the Season One release.
This started to concern me, not because I'm a dub fan, but because maybe FUNimation didn't get the original Japanese scripts and so wouldn't re-subtitle the series. FUNimation hasn't stated anything about the subtitles and FuniRepBlue seemed out of the loop. The Toonzone folks seem to think this has something to do with the audio tracks, meaning they were unable to obtain original audio tracks of the sound effects, music, and the like before voice actors are added to the mix. I hope that's the case and we still get new subtitles.
As to extras, other places are reporting that we won't be getting anything more that what CPM put out. I suppose that's to be expected considering the even cheaper price of the series set.
Item 2: ADV licensed three GONZO titles and one GONZO-style (meaning GONZO played a role in the production) anime, one of which is Pumpkin Scissors (which I'm slowly still going through). This has shocked the conventional wisdom, which decreed that since FUNimation was licensing many GONZO titles, shows like Pumpkin Scissors will surely go to FUNimation. Well, it didn't.
Let's face it -- today, predicting who will license what is merely a guessing game and nothing more. Short of an R1 company pre-licensing the title and being part of the production, anyone can license anything. Just because you see "Bandai" or "Geneon" in the "this anime is brought to you by..." eye catch, doesn't mean they'll license it. Just because an R1 company has shown a pattern of titles they are licensing doesn't mean they'll keep licensing them. It all comes down to money. If a company wants a title and has the money, they'll get it.
Besides, with FUNimation scoring HUGE with One Piece, what do they need with titles like One Piece or NHK even? FUNimation will no doubt be tops again when the next Nielson ratings for anime companies comes out and ADV needed to secure something to help them secure a 2nd-place standing. I still say that ADV would help themselves a lot if they adopted FUNimation's subtitle policies, but what do I know?
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Tsubasa Chronicle 28 -- Having recently arrived in Piffle World, Syaoran and company set out to quallify in the race to win Sakura-chan's feather. During the quallification, Syaoran crashes when his air-car gets sabotaged. He suspects it is one of the other racers, many of whom they have met counterparts to in other worlds. That night at a party for racers, Tomoyo, the rich girl who's company is sponsoring the race, summons Syaoran and company, letting them know her people are aware of the sabotage against them. Further, she befriends Sakura-chan and offers to make her a costume for the race. During the race, things seem well at first, but more sabotage "accidents" which nearly nail Sakura and Syaoran, one which does nail Fai, and a final one that appears to nail fellow racer Ryuuou.
Thoughts: This was my least favorite story-arc in the manga, and it is being stretched out big time in my opinion. But then, that was the trouble with the first season as well -- drag things out. Basically, this is CLAMP does pod racing from Star Wars Episode I.
Keroro Gunsou 029 -- The first story has Koyuki-chan convince Natsumi to participate in the school play "Peter Pan." While Natsumi may be good at sports and school, she stinks when it comes to acting. Thus, Keroro takes it upon himself to train her to be a better actor. Things go well until the day of the play. Natsumi, playing the part of Wendy, suddenly sees Mutsumi in the audience and freezes up. Keroro can stand no more of this and with his human suit, barges on stage to dress down Natsumi. The old Natsumi wakes up and takes it out on Keroro, much to the delight of the crowd.
The second story has the school's newspaper club (KSG, based on the Romji for the name) notice Keroro and track him. Despite being forbidden by Natsumi from wearing his "Earth suits," he does anyway and is spotted. The KSG confronts Fuyuki and Natsumi takes it out on Keroro. When KSG makes an attempt to get the scoop at the Hinata home, Keroro's platoon does everything they can to prevent them from learning the truth. Fuyuki feels sorry for the KSG and has them set free. KSG tries to tell people about the aliens, but all the evidence was destroyed making KSG look like fools.
Thoughts: The "Peter Pan" play story was new to me and somewhat fun. Interesting that in the second story, the Japanese used Romaji for the KSG (the school newspaper club) rather than Kanji/Kana. The second story was from the manga, but appeared modified because there were elements I didn't remember (certainly, it was modified to fit in with the first story). I still love the "Afro Gunsou" ED music.
Pumpkin Scissors 19 -- The members of Pumpkin Scissors overhear the shocking news of Alice's wedding. She leaves, telling them she'll be back in a few days, but Oland seems to take this news hard. So, Section III helps with a food distribution place in an area near to where Alice and her sisters are to attend a ball. Schultz, who is in love with Alice, is there but makes no impression and longs to know what will make her smile. During the course of the party, Paul, the Director of the Empire's Economic Development Branch, shows up and offers to shake Alice's hand, his covered in food goo. She's saved from this by Leonir, who's officially engaged to Alice. Alice and Leonir go off to talk where Alice states that she will no longer be head of the family as they have a 5-year old brother who will take that role. As such, she wishes to break of the engagement, something Leonir doesn't want to happen. As they talk, Paul makes a scene when he discovers the caterer is serving hors d'oeuvres made from acorns. Alice rescues the man and shames the rich crowd by not only eating an hors d'oeuvres, but stating she'd hire the man.
Meanwhile at the food distribution point, Section III has just finished feeding the masses when Oland sees a child and his mother, the child's hands freezing from the cold. So he gives the child his gloves. Immediately, several other children are there wanting gloves and Oland has to get Stekkin to help him out and make some mittens. Oland notes a group of men sneaking through the forest. He follows and sees they are just eating, but then sees their weapons. Too late, he notices two men sneaking up behind him, the group apparently preparing to revolt because of the corruption of Paul and the lavish party being held.
Thoughts: I know that ADV won't bother with honorifics in the subtitles, but they sure say a lot as the writers use them as tools. So even though Schultz and Leonir are both members of importance in society (but not members of the Thirteen Appointed Families), Leonir addresses Schultz as "Schultz-kun," showing he feels himself superior. Alice addresses both men with the "dono" honorific (showing proper respect, but not submitting to either). Leonir addresses Alice as "himegimi" (princess) and Schultz addresses Alice as "Alice-sama." As to the story itself, these story-arcs are fine in and of themselves, but we never really seem to get to the big picture.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Thanks to the folks at FUNimation for sending me an advanced copy of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, Vol. 1!. ^_^
Content wise, the first DVD contains episodes 1-5 of the series. So this gets us to the first world of the Hanshin Republic. The subtitles do contain the Japanese honorifics as expected. Those wondering if "hime" would be used in the subtitles should know that it is translated as "Princess" (which is expected since FUNimation rarely goes too "otaku" even in its subtitles). As for the nicknames Fai give Kurogane, those all appear to survive the subtitles, but the ones I noticed in the dub are just made up cutesy names. I'm guessing that will disappoint some fans, but at least they survive the subtitles.
Cast Auditions -- This is where we get to hear audio clippings from the English auditions of the cast members trying out for their parts.
Character Guide -- This has character sketches and information about the different characters in the show.
World Guild -- This has sketches of the different worlds (Kingdom of Clow, Hanshin Republic) some characters there, some locations in those worlds, costumes characters change into, and the Kudan.
Faces in the Crowd -- I had thought that we might get several faces, but instead, all we got was Touya and his ties to Cardcaptor Sakura. That was disappointing.
The Textless Songs & Trailers are pretty standard fare.
Here are a couple of other snapshots I took of the DVD and the back image of the DVD cover art.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Pumpkin Scissors 17 -- As Alice battles the leader of the Section I Claymore squad, the 908 trooper, Hans, leads Mione through the sewers. We learn of what happened to the 908 after the armistice, where everyone but Hans removed their suits only to die within minutes of doing so (Hans' suit got stuck). Meanwhile, Captain Hunks confronts Major Connery, accusing him of wanting to sell the drug Himmel. The Major states that since the armistice, funding for the army is down and they need more money. He plans to remove Hunks as an obstacle, but Hunks counters by producing documents and an order for Connery to sign.
Alice defeats her opponent, but learns too late that the fight was a diversion. In the sewers, Oland and and Machs catch up to Hans and Mione and hatch a plan to defeat them. However, Oland is unable to resist the urge to reach out to Hans and nearly pays for it with his life. Using his "gift" of the blue lantern to stay alive, Oland manages to put Hans out of commission but other Section I troops are there and apparently kill Hans before killing Mione. Their mission completed, they leave and Hans' body is sent to the female Kauplan member.
Thoughts: Interesting and while we get revelations about the 908 and a tiny bit more on the 901, we still have no progress on that story, nor why the war ended suddenly three years ago.
Pumpkin Scissors 18 -- Sergeant Major Stekkin is worried about the mood of Section III since the conclusion of their last mission. So, she sets out to cheer up her team mates, especially Corporal Oland. Plan A involves her coming up with a song and dance, but as she's testing it out on Mer-kun the dog, she's seen by Oland and super embarrassed. Plan B has her ask Oreld for help, but his kind of help is of the adult nature and so that plan is gone. At the mess hall, Oreld and Oland get into a verbal fight over "saving lives" when Lahn , ex-Claymore One member, interpupts, giving the Pumpkin Scissors team grief and bragging about the new Double Shotel team. Stekkin decides to put Lahn in his place and attacks him with a move she's named "Pumpkin Scissors." This leads to a mess hall fight, which gets uglier when Lt. Webner goads Machs into the brawl just as security arrives.
Elsewhere, Major Connery queries his officers over the questioning of Lt. Webner and what she saw when the group of men came to steal a captured tank (early in the series). The officers reflect on the quality of the weapons given to the Waterworks staff and realize that while the Empire hasn't been able to mass-produce automatic rifles, someone else has and it would be a good weapon to use against the Republic. Meanwhile, Stekkin and Oland talk and she sings him a silly Republic song to cheer him up. He appreciates this and goes to make up with Oreld. As they watch the last of the sewer refugees leave, Marielle comes to tell Oreld goodbye, after which she leaves and Oreld and Oland pleasantly agree that they will disagree over saving lives.
Thoughts: Fillerish, fun, but with hints of something more. Its hard to get Stekkin into episodes since she's not much of a soldier, but this worked. And it was nice to see the aftermath of everything that was done over the last four episodes. I think that was what I enjoyed most.
Hayate no Gotoku! 06 -- With Isumi safely with Nagi, Isumi lets Nagi and Maria-san know that Hayate is in trouble. Maria wonders if their instructions for him to protect the cashmere coat was incorrect. Nagi wants to go protect Hayate, who finds himself between the group of yakuza on one side and Isumi's bodyguards on the other. Of course misunderstandings leads to both groups pursuing him rather than battling each other. Hayate manages to make it to the mansion, but when Nagi learns part of what Hayate told Isumi about her, she leaves Hayate on the door step until he gets ill. Isumi prepares him a delicious milkshake and Nagi decides to prepare him a meal. The standard bad food scene follows, but Nagi is touched when she overhears Hayate tell Maria that he ate it all because it was prepared by Nagi.
The following day, Hayate is better but runs into another maid. He informs Maria about this maid, who turns out to be Saki, the maid of another guest. She tells Hayate to bring her and the guest to the guest room. Nagi, upon hearing of this other guest, immediately has security dispatched to get rid of him. Hayate comes upon this guest, a rich boy Nagi's age. The boy, Wataru, kicks Hayate into the nearby lake and Hayate doesn't get mad. Saki comes but then the group are attacked by a security robot. More security droids arrive and Hayate rescues both Saki and Wataru, but as they approach the mansion, both are offended and cause him with them to fall through the mansion roof into the guest room where Maria and Nagi are waiting. Here, we learn that Wataru is Nagi's fiancé.
Thoughts: More funny stuff. The food joke is old as the hills, but it was still played out nicely. Initially, I thought Sakuya was forgotten because she disappeared, only to reappear when Nagi goes to make Hayate's meal. Tama also returns in this episode, but wasn't used that well in my opinion.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Hayate no Gotoku 05 -- Its a lovely day, so Nagi decides to skip school. Her rich friend AIZAWA Sakuya tries to call her, but Nagi hangs up on her. Sakuya literally drops in from a passing plane and states she's there to see Nagi's new butler. She's not impressed with Hayate and decides he needs to improve his comedy skills where he likes it or not. She also decides to call him Mucho the Soybean Lover, which provokes a fierce attack from Nagi. As the two friends wait for their third female friend Isumi to arrive for a visit, Isumi has become lost leading her large staff of bodyguards to become frantic.
Meanwhile, Maria dispatches Hayate on an errand and gives him a cashmere coat to wear, warning him he must not damage the coat. Naturally, he finds himself under assault from all quarters with falling paint, squid ink, and more threating to damage his new coat. He flees to the park where at the vending machines where he met Nagi, he meets a young girl Nagi's age in a kimono attempting to use a talisman paper as money. Hayate figures he should flee the lost girl (who can't even remember where she was going), but aides her just the same. At that time, Isumi's bodyguards arrive and figure Hayate for a kidnapper. He figures them for kidnappers and the chase is on. He gets the girl (Isumi) away but ruins the coat in the process. So he leaves her at the gates of Nagi's estate before fleeing.
Thoughts: More funny stuff. I couldn't get any of the "beep" jokes (where they reference some real anime/manga/other item) but that could be because I'm too tired to figure it out. Too bad the episode ends on a cliff hanger of sorts. I really hope FUNimation scores this somehow.
Pumpkin Scissors 16 -- A masked member of the Silver Wheel arrives to give Mione his next quota of drugs to sell. However, the old man wants more, only to find that this single masked man is more than he bargained for. Section I troops from the Claymore One division arrive to take out Mione's remaining forces. When they try to stop the masked man, those in his way are killed. Section III Pumpkin Scissors arrives on scene and Alice dispatches Oland to follow the 908 flamethrower trooper and take him out. Machs' is ordered to follow Oland while Alice deals with Claymore One, using a giant double-ended bladed weapon. Finally, "Kauplan" arrives at her office with samples she took off of Oland, knowing that in the upcoming battle between the 901 (Oland) and the 908 (the flamethrower trooper), only one would survive.
Thoughts: Interesting, though in hindsight not a whole lot happened. We still have no progress on Oland's story and yet we are being introduced to an apparent new villain character.
Keroro Gunsou 028 -- In the first story, Keroro's latest plan involves a massive amount of snow as this seems to brings humans to a halt. However, he soon discovers the reason that humans "get lazy" with the snow. However, Fuyuki decides to teach the platoon what snow is really good for, a snowball fight. This leads to two teams fighting with Natsumi and Momoka as hostages to be rescued. Paul and Giroro end up in a pitched battle while everyone else builds snowmen. In the second story, Kururu has some fun by pulling pranks and setting traps for everyone, leading to everyone getting very annoyed. This leads to everyone attempting to persuade Kururu to stop, with only one person having success.
Thoughts: For some reason, I was bored by these episodes. They weren't bad, just...boring. Its weird because at times I find the series funny and at times (like this one) I don't.
Well, more anime in a week.