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!

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One Half

2nd Opening Theme
By Kawamoto Makoto
Samurai X – Rurouni Kenshin

Romaji Lyrics

senaka ni mimi wo pitto tsukete dakishimeta
kyoukaisen mitai na karada ga jama da ne
dokka ichai-sou na no sa
damatte’ru to chigire-sou dakara, konna kimochi
hankei san ME-TORU inai no sekai de motto
motto hittsuitetai no sa

kawaribanko de PEDARU wo koide
ojigi no himawari toorikoshite
gungun kaze wo nomikonde, sou tobe-sou jan
hajimete kanjita kimi no taion
dare yori mo tsuyoku naritai
attakai RIZUMU
niKO no shinzou ga kuttsuite’ku

kuchibiru to kuchibiru me to me to te to te
kami-sama wa nanimo kinshi nanka shitenai
aishite’ru 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.

Hitokiri Battousai

Hitokiri Battousai

Hitokiri Battousai

If you ask me what’s my all-time favorite hit anime, then you wouldn’t really find it surprising if I say it’s Rurouni Kenshin. Also known as Ruroui Kenshin Meiji Kenkaku Romantan (lit. ‘Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story’), Wandering Samurai or just plain Samurai X for short among English subs, this anime is adapted from a Japanese manga and the story is set in the time of the Meiji era. I love this anime because of its amazing plot structure, creative background story and the superb animation. I first saw the anime in AXN in original Japanese language (there was English subtitle then) and I was readily hooked to it that it’s excruciating to miss its anime episode.

The manga was originally written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki, and over time there have been lots of novels and fan fictions inspired from the manga. The anime adaptation was produced by Aniplex (like Fullmetal Alchemist, Girl from Hell, Blood+) and Fuji TV. It was also through Fuji TV that the anime was aired throughout Japan. The anime was animated by Studio Gallop and Studio Deen one after the other.

The story centers about Kenshin Himura, a former assassin (hitokiri) who vows to never kill anyone again. Thus, to atone for the murders he did in the past, he becomes a wanderer who readily helps those people in need with his reverse-edge sword. In Tokyo he meets the beautiful Kamiya Kaoru and saves her from imminent danger, in which Kaoru, who is a master of Kamiya Kasshin Ryuu, invites him to stay in her dojo because Kenshin didn’t have a steady place to stay. As time goes by Kenshin and Kaoru meet more characters like the Sekihotai former member Sanosuke Sagara (who later becomes Kenshin’s sort of right-hand partner) and an orphan Yahiko Myoujin – both of which stayed in the same dojo with Kenshin. Together, they battle again injustice, and all of them also establish a firm friendship with each other. And not to mention – love. Aargh.

My favorite character is Kenshin of course. But if I have to choose another, I would choose Shinomori Aoshi, the leader of the Oni Gang, or perhaps the superb Saitou Hajime. I love that episode when Saitou and Kenshin fought with each other. It so cool!