joiedecombat: (Hakuouki)


For an anime adaptation of a romance game, Hakuouki really has very little romance in it. This is not really surprising since the visual novel it's based on, for all that it is a romance game, is much, much more about Japanese history and samurai politics and philosophy than it is about romance. There's romance in it - although my first pass through, I somehow managed to avoid all of it - but it's really not at all the point.

The point instead is mostly this: a handful of farmers' sons and other rejects and misfits collected around a dirt-poor dojo devote themselves to becoming warriors, forming themselves into a fighting force with the intention of earning recognition and attaining their culture's samurai ideal, and to hell with anyone who says they can't. They claw themselves up from the bottom, get within spitting distance of their goal...

...only for the times to change. The cultural goalposts get moved on them; the skills and the way of life they devoted everything to become obsolete, and the goal they sought to achieve is suddenly meaningless. The government they served loses its power and collapses, throwing them under the proverbial bus of a war that can't be won.

So, you know, what do you do?

'I am not going to battle to win. With the Tokugawa government about to collapse, it would be a disgrace if no one is willing to go down with it. That is why I must go. I will fight the best battle of my life to die for the country.' -- the actual historical Hijikata Toshizo, to Dr. Matsumoto Ryoujun, according to Wikipedia )

All of this Bakumatsu period stuff may inspire me to finally get around to watching Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto. We'll see!
joiedecombat: (music)
This show gets its own post, because it's an anime about jazz music, directed by Shinichiro "Cowboy Bebop" Watanabe and with music by Yoko "everything good about anime music" Kanno. It is not another Cowboy Bebop by any means, but - judging by the first two episodes, at least - it's shaping up to be a really, really good show.

Now that I have set your expectations appropriately high... )

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joiedecombat: (persona 3 portable)
Like so.

This will be an interesting experience, since while I've played Persona 3 and am familiar with the series through it (although I take it that the main themes are rather different, what with the copious suicide imagery of P3 being replaced in P4 by... glasses?) - and have been spoiled for a lot of the major points of the game - I have not actually played Persona 4 yet.

I gather from reactions elsewhere on the interwebs that the first episode trims down the game's prologue considerably, but it didn't read to me as particularly rushed, even though it did launch pretty promptly into crazy what with the dead body hanging from the TV antenna and people getting sucked into televisions. In any case, we have our basic premise - new transfer student! murders! strange happenings on midnight TV! - and I'm interested enough to keep watching.

I'm amused at how many artifacts of the game seem to have made it in, from the ingame calendar progression, Yu's stats being displayed in the eyecatch, alertness-blinks and sweatdrops and, apparently a good bit of the game's actual soundtrack. Yu has very little personality through most of the episode, but since his social stats are (the eyecatch helpfully informs us) all at 0, we can hope that the guiding hand of character development will help him become more of a presence in the plot once there's more to do than watch Chie harass Yousuke all the time. At the very least, he certainly takes a level in something in the last scene...

I don't think the episode really hit its stride until right at the end, but the last scene was definitely an attention-grabber. I'm willing to suppose that it's a Persona tradition for the protagonist to seem simultaneously badass and kind of creepy when they awaken to their Persona for the first time; if so, Yu is living up to his source material like a champ. I have nothing invested in the original game and I still got a thrill.

Dammit, why can't P3 get an anime like this, instead of Trinity Soul?

...oh, copious suicide imagery. Right.
joiedecombat: (bunny-chan)
Haven't done one of these in a while, so why not?

What I'm Watching: Tiger & Bunny

Tiger & Bunny is sort of Japan's take on what would happen if superheroes started emerging in the modern world. The answer, if you were curious, is a reality tv show starring coporate-sponsored heroes.



I can't wait for a commercial in this situation! )
joiedecombat: (Sasuke)
Taking a break from Nodame Cantabile mostly because the end of episode 13 was way too cute and I want to draw it out longer.

Instead I am watching Sengoku Basara. I could tell you about it, but, well, this video pretty much sums it up:

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That is pretty much everything you need to know about Sengoku Basara right there. Come for the crazy samurai antics, stay for the twisty Warring States-era battlefield politics. Or vice versa. Most of the main cast are actual historical figures like Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura, but, well, the series doesn't actually give much of a rat's ass about historical accuracy. Historical hero upgrades and historical villain upgrades are handed out like candy and Masamune's horse has Harley Davidson exhaust pipes, and that's just the beginning.

My favorite so far, though, is Sarutobi Sasuke (see icon). Is this because he is Yet Another Takehito Koyasu Character, or is it because he's such a priceless straight-man to the epic HOT BLOODEDNESS of Yukimura and Shingen (seriously, only sane man in Kai) and he has a schoolboy crush on fellow ninja Kasuga which he chooses to express in a combination of constant teasing and very good advice given in moments of genuine concern?

Probably both.
joiedecombat: (♥)
I know I said I was going to watch Princess Tutu, but I got sucked into Saiunkoku Monogatari instead, and it's amusing me greatly. So have some natter about that instead. )
joiedecombat: (ambitious)
Have an anime recommendation post! This one's for Pumpkin Scissors.

Yes, it's another one of these. )

Next, I will probably watch Princess Tutu, and after that, either Nodame Cantabile or Saiunkoku Monogatari. Either way I'm sure you can all expect me to natter about them afterwards.
joiedecombat: (approval)
This is a reccomendation post for any of the anime fans on my friendslist who might be interested. Just for fun, this one is illustrated with screencaps. Because I am that bored.

Illustrated recc post: Full Metal Panic! )

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August 2012

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