My Secret

by Mizuno Saaya

Kaichou Wa Maid Sama Opening Theme


This is the opening theme song of the current hit anime on Animax.  Kaichou Wa Maid Sama! airs its new episodes in Japanese audio (with English subs) every Sunday, 8:30 pm.  Also, catch up the last episode before the new one on the same day at 8:00 am (in Japanese audio, without English subs).

The ending theme song of the anime is entitled Yokan (Premonition) performed by heide.

Full Lyrics

dou ka… please!
Can you keep my secret?

kirakira to Continue reading

Emma: A Victorian Romance

Emma

Emma

It was a pity that I didn’t have the chance to finish watching a Cinderella-like story of Emma: A Victorian Romance in Animax.  It was first aired on the channel when I was still in high school, and because the evening schedule wasn’t just fit for my schedule, I didn’t have the chance to watch the later episodes.  The storyline was great though, very heartwarming but still, it’s no good to think that still I haven’t had the chance to watch it.  I only watched a few good earlier episodes.  I also watched the continuation of the anime via YouTube but I was too broke at that time.  In short, I just don’t have the chance.

Now that I’m starting downloading a few manga copies of my own choice I stumbled upon the manga version of Emma and I was perfectly happy to download and finally finished the whole story! I was so delighted, it was a very good story, mind you, and sometimes I think about the romantic story in my serious, so-called reflection moments.  Ha! I just like the character of William Jounes and I also like Hakim too! I think Hakim is much more appealing to me, though his ‘girls’ are kind of disturbing.  Then again, I think I’ll prefer Will.

The story was about the maid Emma, who came to work with the retired live-in governess and widowed Kelly Stowner. One day, William Jounes, who was Kelly Stowner’s former student, visited her.  There he bumped into Emma, and fell in love with her.  But William is the oldest son of the noble family of Jounes, and her father Richard already decided that his son would marry Eleanor Campbell, who was a daughter of a viscount.  And then, the conflict starts here.

But I’m not spilling out the whole story here though, I would like you to read it yourself because it’s a very nice manga.

Probably by far, the most dramatic page in the manga.

Probably by far, the most dramatic page in the manga.

The manga series was written by Kaoru Mori.  I would like to thank Iihan Translation Group for coming up with a good manga release such as this and Stoptazmo as well for the distribution.  I’m so happy and would like to thank personally the people who were involved with this manga project especially to

the translators whispers and mogura;

to by_request for a good editing job;

to squeeks and jedi_vader20 for the distribution;

to the quality checker boke;

to !waha.06×36 for providing the raw volumes;

and to the scanners winny and anonymous!  I saw your names in the manga copy that I have.  Thanks a lot guys, you rock!

The manga has a total of 52 chapters in 7 volumes, so its not really painstaking to read it.  Besides, it’s all worth it.

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.