Monthly Archives: June 2006

Trapp Ikka Monogatari トラップ一家物語 (1991) 1: My Aspiration To Become A Catholic Nun

“No whistling, not even hymns!”

Storyline

Maria Kutschera goes to Salzburg in search of the strictest convent to become a nun. After getting accepted, learning to become a nun is a lot more difficult, with a lot more rules than Maria expected! Is this the right path for her?

This is the 1991 anime version based on the story that was turned into ‘The Sound of Music’. About a girl who leaves the convent to look after captain Trapp’s children.
Intro

Music: Hohoemi no Mahou – Eri Itou

Although very dated, the music fits the mood of the anime, which is the main thing. Maria looks so happy in the introduction clips: a girly, exciting, romantic image of life in the countryside/mountainside.

The Scene

Salzburg, this brings back memories! I went to Salzburg when I was 15 and I loved the huge, white castle at the top of the hill, it’s the biggest castle in Europe. The pictures here do well to capture some of the prettiness of Salzburg.

Some pictures of the real Salzburg for comparison.

Maria is sent on a search through Salzburg to look for Nonnberg Abbey. She looks out for the spire in the shape of the red onion. When she gets there she is mistaken for someone poor and hungry and given soup!

Now this is what they should have been wearing in that Nun Cafe in Akihabara. She’s so cute, she wants to find a mirror to see how she looks as a Nun!

She sees it is about to rain, and the washing will get damp in the courtyard…I know…I’ll take the quick route: absailing nun! (This is way cooler than a Nun Cafe):

Maria tries to take the quick route back too, introducing herself to people on the way! This made me laugh. :)

Maria makes friend with another novice Rafaela. She quickly gets them both in trouble!

I prefer her character design to Maria. I wish she was the main character!

The other novices aren’t so friendly. Nun bitches? That sounds…so wrong…

There’ll be no climbing towers, no talking, no whistling…

…and certainly no sliding down hand rails!

The Mistress of Novices doesn’t appear to be very amused!

End theme: ‘Ryoute wo Hirogete’ – Eri Itoh. Again dated by the right bright mood.

I like the pictures of the cows! I feel all nostalgic for the countryside. :'(

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this and was pleasantly surprised by the humour, animation quality and cheekiness in this episode. The background music was really suiting too. My main issue was the character design of Maria, at least her personality makes up for the artwork. I hope they release more soon…they should show this on TV in those Nun Cafes! :)

Victorian Romance Emma 英國戀物語エマ OST: Silhouette of a Breeze, Ryou Kunihiko

Number of tracks: 19
Music style: classical, romancy, charming.

I enjoyed the guitar, piano solos and recorder music. However, I’m biased because I enjoyed playing the recorder/ocarina when I was younger. For both ‘Silhouette of a Breeze’ and ‘Solitude’ I prefer the recorder versions, they seem to lend themselves to the emotion in the music more.
I really didn’t enjoy tracks with the harpsichord, and no particular track seemed to stand out from the others.

Notable tracks:

2) Love at first sight – really chilled guitar music.

9) Silhouette of a Breeze (piano solo) – I prefered this to the title track, think it’s the lack of bells!

10) With him – this is borderlining on the prettiness of the guitar music in Aria.

13) Solitude (Recorder ver.) – melancholic, but better than harpsichords!

16) Menuet for EMMA (Piano ver.) – surprisingly better than the recorder version. :)

19) Silhouette for a Breeze – bouncy group of recorders mp3.

Not a CD that’s going on my mp3 player, but not a bad soundtrack either. Just not really up there with the ‘special’ quality like Aria or Mushishi.

If you want to hear more by Ryou Kunihiko, he has also created music for: Fantastic Children, Saiunkoku Monogatari, and The Twelve Kingdoms.

Overall rating: C

Damekko Doubutsu だめっこどうぶつ (Useless Animals) 5-8

“The useless ones are smiling at each other!”
I’m never going to have indepth things to say about this show because 1. the episodes are 3:30 minutes long and 2. my motivations to watch them are to make me smile and make ‘Eee’ noises. I’m simply blogging them as a record of my favourite images becuase I don’t have a complete photographic memory!

I wonder if one day humans will have a chip in their brains that allow us to improve the way we record and retrieve memories and replay them visually. Would that be a healthy volume of information for an anime fan who is trying to hoard all the anime they had ever seen in the safest place of all? Anyway, I’m rambling, which is never a good thing…
Favourite images
5 – The Black Demon At The Edge Of The Forest

Poor Uruno doesn’t want to meet the monster!

Oh no!

Luckily it’s only Peganosuke, the pegasus. Even so, I wish all the characters were just cute a furry, I’m not a fan of horse/unicorn creatures, I think perhaps it’s the hooves and lack of fur. I wanted it to be a huge furry bat!

The useless ones are smiling at each other. *Giggles*.

6 – My First Friend

It’s adorable how useless animals can talk so easily to each other…

…and make the world seem a happier place. <3

7 – The Green Tragedy

Happiness…is a present from a friend! kawaiiiiiii.

We should share…or should we? Uruno with a split personality, I love it! Hehe. This is my favourite image.

8 – The Talented Youngster and the Family of Cat Girls

Trouble with cats on the lookout…they fall asleep! The three new cat characters from left to righ are Pigu-chan the puma, Rinku-chan the mountain cat and Kuron-chan the panther.

Silly Uruno..asking for something from that rabbit. Cute though!

My favourite of these episodes was definately ‘The Green Tragedy’. Uruno trying to decisde what to do was just so funny! Poor thing.
Well I’m thoroughly cuted up now. I suppose I should go and read my history book and do some ‘real’ work…

Hells Angels (manga) vol 1: Sin-Ichi Hiromoto

“Waah pandas!”


Storyline

Not very inspiring, but here we go…Amane Rinne is running to school, not looking where she’s going, has an accident and ends up in Hell. Hell is a school run by principal Hellvis, it’s full of other school kids yet only a handful of them resemble human beings. It turns out (spoiler) Hellvis is taking some humans to hell before they have died. Amane Rinne is determined to go home, constantly talks about her mother, and has developed a little crush on one of the human looking boys.

Review

This was so disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, some of the character artwork is fantastic, original, sexy and imaginative, but there are 3 characters I just can’t stand:

Amane Rinne: Her face bothers me, her eyes are too far apart, she has horrible clothes, ugly shoes, and not to mention those hair clips, *dies*. On top of that, she has the most dull, unintelligent, annoying personality. She never stops talking about her mother and is generally pathetic (although to be fair her attitude improves during the volleyball game in part 7).

Hellvis: *rolls eyes* so he was Cain, the first murderer ever, happens to dress like Elvis and says ‘Baby’, faaaaaaar too much. Hmm.

Kutou Sempai: he looks like a male version of Amane, far too similar, far too perfect, yuk.

Redeeming features?

The storyline…what storyline? In an entire volume, the most exciting thing that happens is winning a volleyball game which grants members of the winning team one wish which, in the end, surprise, surprise doesn’t allow Amane to get back home.

I kept turning the pages because it has a few innovative ideas (like the voodoo doll of every person in hell) and the artwork is superb in places (shame some of the side characters aren’t the focus of the story). I particularly like the half and half gate guards. The main downfall of the artwork for me was the categorised chracters like the witch, vampire, and stitch girl Steela…please let Steela be a lesbian and kiss Amane and make things complicated? Or maybe she could change her facial expression once?

I’m not really keen on seeing muscles or skulls everywhere, just a personal thing. I really didn’t like it when Steela grew that huge bulging arm! There also seems to be a lack of background in too many pictures which feels lazy. The pointy spires on things, gives it more of a Halloween feel than Hell, where’s Jack the Pumpkin King?

Favourite Pictures

The minor character images are the main reason I justify reading this, might not be to many people’s tastes though:







Mario: clearly more attractive than Kutou! Amane is clearly blind.

Just when I’d given up on interesting backgrounds, this appears!

If you really like this artwork you might want to check out the ‘STONe’ manga, by the same artist (I wonder if it contains a better storyline). The first two mangas are available from Tokypop. Sin-ichi Hiromoto has also created a manga version of Star Wars! Artist website here. You might also enjoy the comic, ‘Nightmares and Fairy Tales’ by Serena Valentino and FSc, or Jhonnen Vasquez’s ‘Johnny The Homicidal Maniac’.

Damekko Doubutsu だめっこどうぶつ (Useless Animals) 1-4

Wasn’t feeling too wonderful this morning, and what better than a dose of kawai Damekko Doubutsu to cheer me up?! :)

Story

Damekko Doubutsu is exactly what it sounds like. A bunch of useless animals in the forest, that don’t match their steriotypes. A wolf that can’t catch a bunny, a cheetah who falls over all the time, an evil unicorn, a smoking bunny and more! The story focuses on the adventures of Uruno the useless wolf character. At just 5 minutes an episode (that’s including the 1:30 min intro music) it’s a quick enjoyable watch!
Intro music and pictures

Sekai de Ichiban Boku ga Suki – Ryoko Shintani (listen to the full version here. More bouncy music by Ryoko Shintani here, I like ‘Sweet Summer’ best).

I love this intro, I’m quite happy to watch it all the way through and bounce along. In fact, the steel drum music in the background of the anime is just so cute I find myself bouncing side to side to it and grinning every episode… *^_^*

Characters

Usahara – kick ass rabbit.

Uruno – useless wolf. He seriously needs a cuddle.

Takaoka – short-sighted owl.

Chiiko – clumsy cheetah.

Yunihiko – evil unicorn.

Kumanee – trading brown bear.

Kumakawa – genius dancing bear.

Favourite pictures

I felt so sorry for Uruno I wanted to rush in there and help him find some white clover.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!! Kawai :)

Overall, something cute to make you happy. I relaly want to grab Uruno out of the screen and keep him as a pet! The only thing I’m not keen on is when their faces sometimes turn to human style, I really prefer the animal faces!

The Damekko Doubutsu website has the cutest map feature on it!

I want big cuddly soft toy versions of Usaharu and Uruno, there were little soft toys released with the dvd, but not very big!

I’m going to watch ‘Garfield:The Movie’ now…oh I’m feeling so grown up today ;)