Fullmetal Alchemist – Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Now that summer has just started, I am totally updated with the goings-on on Animax. Laughs. You could say, it’s really weird, but part of summer is watching lots of anime shows and downloading manga. Yep, just like what I did before.

Speaking of, I am totally excited of the upcoming fullmetal alchemist series, entitled Fullmetal Alchemist – Brotherhood that will be premiering for the month of April. Nothing is much happier knowing that I can surely keep track of the episodes because it’s summertime! It’s kinda exciting this time because this is Animax Asia’s world’s first anime simulcast in the same week, as the anime will be premiering a week earlier in Japan. So FMA fans need not to wait for too long to catch up with the episodes, or wait for someone else to download them in YouTube.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Edward Elric

The manga is originally written and conceptualized by Hiromu Arakawa, and the Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is the third FMA franchise – the first one is the Fullmetal Alchemist anime adaptation and the second one is the movie Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa. Like the previous FMA shows, the long awaited Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is produced by the anime studio Bones. It is directed by Yasuhiro Irie.

I’m totally excited of this third FMA shows, and I hope that my onscreen anime crush Roy Mustang (The Flame Alchemist!) would still be there. Well anyway, let’s keep our fingers crossed. If he’s not there, at least, the cute pip squeak Ed would do me a little show.

The most anticipated anime will be premiering in the same week broadcast, April 10, 2009, 8:30 pm. The anime has a staggering 51 episodes. Don’t worry, if you can’t catch up with the primetime show, I’ve read that Animax will have a recap marathon of a month’s worth of episodes on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month.

Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist

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Falco

lyrics: BOUNCEBACK
composition: Watanabe Kazunori
arrangement: Maejima Yasuaki
vocals: Shimatani Hitomi

The Law of Ueki

The Law of Ueki

Kimi wa nani wo nozomu no?

Dare no tame ni kizu tsuki
Yume wa ukabu kuuhaku

Hitomi wo tojita

SAFURAN saita kokoro ni

Suna arashi ga yamanai
Sabaku yori mo hatenaki

Toki wo samayou Continue reading

True Light

DNAngel

DNAngel

Opening Theme of D.N.Angel
lyrics : Sakai Mikio
music : Yamasaki Masumi
arrangement : Nagai Rui
vocal : Miyamoto Shunichi

kanashii hodo hikari dashita
shiroi yami kirisaku tsubasa ni nare

tsumetai taiyou ni terasare teta
kainara sareta jiyuu ga atta
kagami ni utsutta kiseki no yoru
MASUKU o hazushi hajime ta My Soul

kuzure te yuku abe no mukou wa
zetsubou mo kibou mo onaji kao suru
mita sare nai kokoro aru nara
tobi tateru shuumatsu no PUROROOGU e

yaiba no you na kaze fuku sekai
mamoru beki mono wa nan nano ka?
hitotsu hitotsu itami o shiru tabi
hontou no jibun e to chikazuku

kie yuku Fake Light
umare yuku True Light
kono te ni…

shiroku somaru yami tsuki nukete
atarashii jidai o kizami tsuzukero
toki wa nashita kokoro no mama ni
hateshi naku tsuzui teku byaku ya o tobe

English Translation :

a sad light shone
turning into wings that cuts the white darkness

shone upon by Continue reading

We Were There

Yano and Nana

Yano and Nana

I could still recall the time when I first saw an episode of the anime Bokura ga Ita, and I could say that I really got hooked to it. It is a shoujo manga, dealing with young teenage love and relationship, and how it develops into a much more mature love when the characters Yano and Nana reach the adult stage.

It’s a romance manga written by Yuuki Obata, and it was serialized in Betsucomi released in 2002. Then, an anime adaptation of the famous manga was released. The anime version follows the plot of the manga until Yano leaves Nana. But don’t worry, to all Bokura Ga Ita fans, the manga is still ongoing, and mind you, the plot is getting interesting I could hardly wait what would happen next.

The story starts of with Nana, a 15 year old high school girl who told herself that she would never fall in love with the campus crush Yano like two-thirds of the class. For me, she is very fragile girl because she always ends up being confused with her own feelings, but nevertheless, she is cute as much as Yano is concerned. Later, as the story progresses, she begins to get curious on Yano, to the point of knowing more about him (Yano’s past, and Yano’s ex-girlfriend, also named Nana) and eventually falling in love with him. Yano, a popular and the typical highschool heartthrob, falls in love Nana too, starts dating her, and affectionately calls her Nana-chan. Not to mention, he is the usual flirt that mostly occurs in appealing guys.

Nanami Takahashi

Nanami Takahashi

At the surface, we know Yano as extremely sociable to all kinds of people, especially to girls, but deep inside, he had a hard time dealing and trusting them because of his traumatic experience with his first girlfriend. This is the reason why that when he’s still dating Nana, he is too possessive with her. At some point, Yano is caught between either the present girlfriend Nana or the memory of his ex-girlfriend who died in a car accident. Yano’s ex-girlfriend, also called Nana, died in a car accident with her ex-boyfriend, and the thought of this, made Yano (unknowingly) emotionally bruised. This in turn affects the relationship that he has with the present Nana.

Yano Motoharu

Yano Motoharu

Yano’s close friend, Takeuchi, is the kind of guy that you can hold on to in times of trouble. He is much kinder and more emphatic than Yano, and most of the time, when Nana is having problems with her relationship with Yano, Takeuchi is there to console her. This is the reason why Takeuchi falls in love with Nana too, starting at that time when Nana is dating Yano, until the present series. But as a close friend in the background, he doesn’t messes up with the relationship of his beloved Nana and his bestfriend Yano. Instead, he warns Yano that he hurts Nana she wouldn’t have any second thoughts to sort of ‘snatch’ her away from him. True enough, that’s what happened later on the manga series.

Another character in the story is Yuri Yamamoto. She is a classmate of both Yano and Nana-chan. She is the younger sister of Nana Yamamoto, who is Yano’s ex-girlfriend. Nana Yamamoto is older than Yano when she starts dating her. Yuri, her younger sister, (and very unlike her sister) is so passive and extremely unsociable. She falls in love with Yano even before Yano is dating her older sister. A week after the tragic incident of Yano’s ex-girlfriend, it is revealed that Yuri actually slept with Yano. That event made Yuri develop an extreme hate to Yano, because she felt that she was ‘used’. She becomes a love obstacle between the relationship of Nana-chan and Yano.

Bokura Ga Ita

Bokura Ga Ita

In the manga version, the story continues until the characters enter their respective choices of university. Yano and Nana both parted ways because they attended to different universities, and both promised to keep in contact with the other. But what happen is that Yano fails to contact her almost all the time when he is staying in Tokyo. He completely cuts off all the communication with her. Nana, who is naturally emotionally unstable, feels heartbroken and confused. Unknown to Nana, Yano encounters lots of problems in the busy skirts of Tokyo: financial crisis and his mother’s death. Because of the loss of communication, Nana decides to leave her feelings out for Yano and starts moving on with her painful experience. She starts dating Takeuchi. At the present manga release, they are 21 years old. Later on, it is revealed that Yano is now actually living with Yuri Yamamoto.

Yano and Nana-chan

Yano and Nana-chan

Actually there is more to the manga than what is written here, so be sure you’d get to read it. But I couldn’t deny the fact that the anime version is the perfect rendition of the emotional gravities that one should felt in the story. This is one tragic story filled with love, unexpressed emotions, mixed confusion that leaves everyone victims of their own feelings. Totally complicated, if you ask me, but this one is worth your time.

I love the theme songs of the anime. The opening song is Kimi Dake Wo (Only You) by Mi, and the notable ending songs that I like are: Aishiteru (I Love You) by Mi, Kotoba (Words) and Suki Dakara (Because I Love You) by Izumi Katou, Koko ni Ite (I’m here) by Kaori Asou and Futari no Kisetsu Ga by Nozomi Sasaki.

Paradise Kiss – The Kidnapped Yukari Plus the Equal Opportunity Lover George

Paradise Kiss

Paradise Kiss

The Honey and Clover season 2 rerun on Animax just ended last week. As usual, it got me teary-eyed because of the bittersweet Takemoto’s sentimentalities, but I think that the ending was really an essential part of the whole anime package. This is probably the reason why Honey and Clover is one of my personal favorites.

Now, I’m glad that Paradise Kiss is having its rerun again in Animax to replace the Honey and Clover timeslot. Paradise Kiss is another shoujo anime, just like Honey and Clover, but it deals more of fashion, in line with love and character identity. In fact, I’ve read a lot of community forums about Parakiss and Honey and Clover fans, and this is probably because they are both shoujo manga comics about love, relationships, and young adult’s lives in general.

Well, Paradise Kiss was originally released as volume manga series (written by Ai Yazawa) distributed by Shodensha’s Zipper magazine in Japan before it was adapted into a 12-episode anime version by Aniplex (Girl from Hell, Fullmetal Alchemist, Darker than Black). It revolves around Yukari

Yukari and George

Yukari and George

Hayasaka, also known as “Caroline”, and how she comes in terms with love and relationships through her dream of being a fashion model.

Yukari (voiced by Yu Yamada in Japanese and Julie Ann Taylor in English) is a high school student who is bored and tired of going to school and having to undergo what she thinks as the routinary and meaningless academic life. For me, she’s the kind of girl that wants to experience what’s out in the real world, as teenagers usually tend to be tired with school (yep, I’ve experienced that too, haha) and wish at some point to work or to venture out in the real world. Yukari, even though it’s animated, is a beautiful woman – she has beautiful eyes, and long legs to boot – perfect for a model. This is probably the reason that when another character Arashi readily concluded that she was a perfect model for the new fashion line that he and his friends wants to release in the public. Yukari claimed that she was “kidnapped” sort of, and meets the Parakiss crew headed by the ultra hot university student George Koizumi (voiced by Kenji Hamada in Japanese; Patrick Seitz in English), the punk rocker Arashi Nagase (voiced by Shunsuke Mizutani; Derek Stephen Prince), the cute Miwako Sakurada ( voiced by Marika Matsumoto; Jolie Jackson), and the high class crossdresser Daisuke “Isabella” Yamamoto (voiced by Chiharu Suzuka; Mari Devon). Arashi and Miwako are dating, while eventually, as the anime progresses, George and Yukari hooks up.

Yukari is a simple high school girl in the earlier episodes, typical teenager who falls in love with her classmate, a character named Hiroyuki Tokumori, and dreams to marry this guy in the future. She was not really appealing (at least in the earlier context of the anime) but when she meets the ParaKiss crew she had a complete physical transformation. At first she is reluctant to be a model, and considers the idea to be really ridiculous, but due to the invisible power that George has (hahaha – something in him that’s soooo appealing!) she decides to quit school for good and model for ParaKiss full time. Quite a risk, no wonder it really made her mother angry. She begins to fall in love with George in extremes (really!) – a give-all sort of kind of love. The kind of love relationship between the two of them gave her the experience that enabled her to know more about herself.

It was thought-provoking that George was a bisexual (so he says) and asserts himself as ‘an equal opportunity lover’.

ParaKiss

ParaKiss

The anime adaptation was released on October 2005, and it was directed by Osamu Kobayashi and Nobuteru Yuuki. However, the directors still consulted the mangaka Ai Yazawa for clarifications and expectations for the anime adaptation. The anime was aired all over Japan through Fuji TV, and through Animax, it was widely broadcast in East and Southeast Asia. I haven’t read the manga – at least not just yet- to see and compare if what are the major and minor changes in the anime. I’ve seen what Gokinjo Monogatari looks like (it’s a manga comic written by Ai Yazawa, and Paradise Kiss is said to be a semi-sequel to it), and I think that it was really interesting.

And of course, not to forget, I love the theme songs of the anime. I managed to download them in the internet and I love to jive in with the melody. The opening theme song of the anime is entitles “Lonely in Gorgeous” by Tommy February6 and the ending theme is “Do You Want To” by Franz Ferdinand.

Tsukiakari

“Moonlight”

Performed by Rie Fu

Darker than Black 1st opening theme

Hei - Darker than Black

Hei - Darker than Black

Hey! Here’s the lyrics of one of my favorite songs I’ve ever listened to. Tsukiakari literally means “moonlight”, as tsuki is “moon” and akari is “light”. The song has a depth in terms of feelings and emotions to it, and although I didn’t readily understood the meaning of the song in English, you can feel this depth in terms of the melody of the song. Which is probably the reason why I really like this one.

The lyrics, composition and the performance are all attributed to Rie Fu, and the arrangement, to Tadashi Ueda under Palm Beach Inc. A TV size version of this song is also included to the official Darker than Black original anime soundtrack composed by Yoko Kanno, along with the first opening theme of the anime, Howling by Abingdon Boys School. This anime soundtrack was released on July 2007 by Aniplex Inc.

So here’s the lyrics guys! J I included the English translation of the original romaji lyrics too.

Original/Romaji lyrics

Aoi aoi sora ni tsuki no hikari wo tomosu

Amaku awaku omoi sonna mono ni torawarete

Kono tsukiakari no shita hitori shirazu

Kimi no namae Continue reading

Darker than Black

Hei - Darker than Black

Hei - Darker than Black

I’ve come to like the new anime show in Animax entitled “Darker than Black”. It’s an action-packed anime originally conceptualized by Tensai Okamura of Bones and planned by Seiji Takeda (MBS), Masuo Ueda (Aniplex), Masahiko Minami (Bones), and Takuo Minegishi (Hakuhodo DYMP). Produced by MBS, Aniplex (eg. Girl From Hell, Fullmetal Alchemist), Bones and Hakuhodo DY Media partners, this anime mainly revolves around the appearance of Hell’s Gate in Tokyo and how it created disturbances in the people in the nearby areas.

The appearance of the so-called Hell’s Gate is also responsible for the disappearance of the stars, so all the people in Tokyo (and probably in some areas in Japan) happens to see, “false stars”. Each false star corresponds to a single Contractor – an individual who has the power and the strength to carry out murderous intent without hesitation. These Contractors only appeared soon after the appearance of the Hell’s Gate and they have corresponding Messier codes – sort of like “nicknames” in a plain sense. Along with them came also the “Dolls” –

BK-201

BK-201

emotionless individuals created to imitate forms of other people. The Dolls can assume the person’s feelings, emotions, habits and characteristics precisely in a given time. The usual metaphorical sense for dolls, I say.

Contractors also have their own shares of difficulties. For one thing, after they used their power, they have to carry out some kind of a “payment” (contract payment) to atone (sort of) for it. For me, the difficult and the most painful among the payments would be injuring oneself, such as dislocating your fingers (as seen in the episode one). But I can’t deny that I was also amuse that among the list of the contract payments, there are some things like singing a song, earmarking the pages of the book and even writing poetry! I mean, there’s no harm in writing poetry – uhmm, thinks – well, it’s really hard, take it from me. Laughs.

Hei

Hei

Well anyway, the lead character in the story is the Contractor named Hei, an exchange student from China, also referred to as Li Shengshun, or Li Siangshon when undercover. The character is voiced by Hidenobu Kiuchi in Japanese and Jason Liebrecht in English. He carries the messenger code BK-201, the same code that enables other people to recognized him as a merciless killer and murderer. Along with him are Yin In, a doll who can locate individuals to kill and Huang Han which serve as a mediator, passing down higher orders from above (the Syndicate) to the Contractors. Not to mention, Mao the cat, who appears almost everywhere, (haha!) he was a Contractor who lost his original body.

Hei aka BK-201 was among the list of must-capture of the national police, especially in the case of another character, Misaki Kirihara, the section chief of the Foreign Affairs Division 4 that investigates matter regarding the Contractors. Kirihara is a strong-willed lady police, with eyeglasses and straightforward manner approach.

Actually there’s more characters in the story, and there is more to it in general so don’t forget to watch it on Animax every Tuesday night at 8. Replays at 12 midnight of the same day, and weekend encore on Sunday, 12 noon.

Now, I’ve got to say that I really love the theme songs of the anime. I just posted the Howling by the Abingdon Boys School (Epic Records Japan) – that is the first opening theme song of the anime. The first ending theme of the anime is entitled

Darker than Black

Darker than Black

Tsukiakari by Rie Fu (Palm Beach Inc.). The second opening theme is Kakusei Heroism – The Hero Without Name performed by An Café (Music Ray’n) and the second ending theme is Dreams by High and Mighty Colors (SME Records). The original soundtrack was officially released in year 2007 thru Aniplex Inc, and these soundtracks were composed by Yoko Kanno, including tracks by Abingdon Boys School, Rie Fu, and Mai Yamane.

Artistic and Anachronistic!

Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo

This anime is so cool – it’s artistically anachronistic and totally unique in its own treatment of the samurai culture with a twist of the modern culture. I’m talking, of course, of Samurai Champloo, which is a total revision of the stereotypical ‘samurai atmosphere’.

For one thing, from the title itself, ‘champloo’ (chanpuruu) literally means to ‘mix’, ‘mingle’ or ‘combine’ – so the title itself gives the viewers a hint of what’s the anime about – there is a certain kind of acculturation or adoption of the samurai culture in the modern hip-hop culture (or is it the other way around?).

While Rurouni Kenshin’s (Samurai X) fictional setting takes place during the early Meiji period in Japan, Samurai Champloo takes place during Japan’s Edo period.

Still, one of the anime’s distinct characteristics is mixing modern elements such as hip-hop and rap music, break dancing, graffiti as well as the punk culture. It’s a deconstruction of the classic samurai images, sort of.

Like many other anime series, there is a conclusion to the anime, but there is no hint for any successive anime seasons for it either. Definitely, one of the must-see anime show for everyone!

Anata Ga Ita Mori

Jyukai
Fate Stay Night

Saber

Saber

Fukai Fukai mori no naka
Ha na ga kaoru itoshii
Hibi no omokage sagashitemireba
Fui ni anata ga warau

Furetemitakute te wo nobashitemo
Haka naku chuu wo matta no desu
Anata ni aitakute zutto
Ai takute zutto

O mou nemurenu yoru wo watari
Anata ga nokoshita Continue reading

Death Note

Death Note

Death Note

When I first came across with the Death Note’s plot (as told by a friend) I thought it sounded very violent and so ‘off’. But when I finally read the whole manga series, I like it so much I find it hard to take a break in between. Now, I consider Death Note as one of the best manga and anime series that I’ve ever read and seen, along with the all time favorites, Rurouni Kenshin, Slam Dunk, Inuyasha, Naruto and many more!

The anime is classified as shounen, in general, and a suspense thriller to be specific. The manga was written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata and it spanned to 108 thrilling chapters. It was serialized by Shueisha in Weekly Shounen Jump. I finished downloading the complete scanlated manga series last semester, thanks to Toriyama World, Orange Tangerine, Shannaro, TOWNL (The Ones Who Never Lie), We The Fans, and Pedo Bears who took the painstaking job of scanning the raws, translating, typesetting, proofreading, editing, and doing the quality check job before they reached us fans.

I especially would like to thank the translators: masterkeaton, burner, hoihoi-nya, ssh, rikki-tikki-tavi, rei, chikubi, SSH, godly, yuurei, rain, heavy duty, happy Japanese; typesetters and cleaners: chris, nightmare_80, naiujiro;

L

L

proofreaders: ndruo, seres, blue chaos, dits, nhongaeri, sneweee, the next generation; editors: william_h, lilink, riesig, alpha0me9a, ratti, liaison, madmane, chibura, rikku, kaiser-chan, chibi yuuto, lolimaster; raw providers: vilespawn, general smoker, asakura; quality checkers and staff members: iwanin, scout, occa, chris, murmel, yumi, rut, syon, rei, bluechaos, chikubi, leona, seres, fnuckale, GX, kumo, grungy_hamster, shaza, terramare, wasabi; scanner gto0o; and additional art provider devil ozma for making the scans available to the Death Notes fans out there. You rock guys!

The 108 manga chapters was squeezed to 37 chapters of anime adaptation produced by MadHouse Studio, Nippon Television, Shueisha, D.N. Dream Partners and VAP. It was directed by Tetsurou Araki. It has been aired in Nippon Television (Japan), Bionix (Canada), Adult Swim (US), and Animax (Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other respective networks worldwide).

The story centers about Light Yagami (or Yagami Raito in some adaptations) who finds a supernatural notebook named as Death Note. At the back of the notebook are the rules on how to it, and one of them says that if you put a name of a person in the notebook, he or she will die. Light finds the notebook really stupid to start with. He begins to believe a little when he first glimpsed the death god Ryuuk, a Shinigami and who happens to be the owner of the note. Later on, he is immersed with his own idealogy to purify the world by writing the names of the evil people in the notebook and create the ideal Utopia – but to the extent of destroying himself in the end.

Of course, lots of things happen in between: like meeting Light’s opponents L, Mello, Near, Light hooking up with Misa (another Kira) and Takada (messenger of Kira) to pursue his plans, meeting other Shinigamis and many many more!

I love the Misa and Raito (Light Yagami) tandem. Somehow, it’s appealing. Hahahah. The Kira and the second Kira.