the usagi incidents

20051130

Jigoku Shoujo 9

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"AMAI WANA (SWEET TRAP)"

Summary: When two sisters want to open a patisserie, the younger Yuka goes to famous Chef Morisaka to get his opinion on their opening menu - only to find that he later steals it and claims it as his own! No one now goes to their bakery, and they're financially flailing. Yuka goes to Ai for help, and then to see Morisaka - only to see that he's a heartless man with no regrets for what he did. Can Ai take him to hell and still leave Yuka and Hiromi's business intact in the process?

Review: Good episode. Apparently the Food business is just as ruthless as any other, and it was nice to see this quality come out in the show. No Ai development for a few eps, but that's okay. We're not even halfway done with the episodes yet, so I'm not worried.

D.E.B.S. (2004)



Summary: Recruited by the U.S. government for their unique ability to lie, cheat and fight, Amy, Max, Janet and Dominique join an underground academy of secret agents known only as D.E.B.S. These crime fighting hotties set out to save the world and keep their lipstick perfectly applied while doing so. Now the girls must combine their skills for their most important mission- to capture vexing vixen Lucy Diamond, the deadliest criminal the world has ever known. When D.E.B.S. star player, Amy, falls for Lucy, chaos erupts and the D.E.B.S. loyalty is put to the test.

Review: I haven't had so much fun watching a gay movie ever. This film parodies all of those other spy flicks, and also laughs at its own sexuality - which really is quite rare these days with gay flicks on the rise of being all "serious business". I was originally only interested because I heard that Devon Aoki was acting again - and then I found out more about the plot. A really wonderful movie. The cast was great, and everything was well carried out. I have no idea if Aoki can speak French or not, but she faked it quite well. Thanks for making a fun gay movie, guys!

Final Review: A

20051129

Head Phones President - Vacancy



Anza and the gang are back with a new album - making that a record of two releases in one year for the group. One single (WhitError), and now this their third mini-album, Vacancy.

Needless to say, Anza still rocks. The introlude, "vacancy", though not a song is disturbing and highly powerful. It gave me major chills up my spine when I first heard it. It reminded me much of seeing her live.

The rest of the album, though on the surface seemingly standard fare for the angstpunk band, shows a little less grind and noise and more melody. This is not to say that they did not have less or no melody before, but this album shows that Anza and her gang have really grown up, and matured since their initial debut a few years ago. Even though many of the themes are the same (insanity, helplessness, anger), the way these themes are delivered are different and alwayws changing.

I can't wait for their tour for this album.

Final Grade: A+

Favourite tracks from this album:
-vacancy
-outside
-groan and smile
-inside
-snares

related:
Head Phones President - WhitError

20051128

House Australian Introduction Special

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Well, we at least now know what's in the vicodin bottles that Laurie uses during the show. XD

That aside, this special gave me a bit more insight into House's character as well as the mechanics of the show. Jennifer Morrison trying to explain the room colours was just too cute for words, and they spliced in some of the best Houseisms from Season 1. What I am a bit surprised at is the lack of screentime for Jesse Spencer, Aussie native and "Chase" on the show - considering this was a special created to introduce to the Australian market. Then again, it could be that this special was to be reused in other countries that licensed the Fox property. I'm not sure which.

Laurie - have more faith in yourself, man! You're an awesome actor. He's got such bad self esteem. :(

Still, fun to watch, and would watch again. I wonder if this is on the Season 1 DVD set?

20051127

Mushishi 6

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"TSUYU NO SUUGUN (THOSE THAT SUCK DEW)"

Story from: Volume 2, Chapter 3

Summary: Ginko travels to a seemingly barren island, where a boy named Nagi claims there is a "living god". Akoya, his friend and childhood love, is this living god with what turns out to be a Mushi colonizing her nose which makes her live and die daily in an endless cycle to produce a "cure-all" for the villagers. She does not see, hear, notice, or remember him. In order to save her and the ones before her infected with this life-draining Mushi, Nagi asks Ginko's help. Together they find the source, but with disasterous results...

Review: God, this was a sad story. If I recall this is from the second volume of the manga. It doesn't need to be said that the manga-to-anime transition was seamless and poignant. After reading this story originally I cried for a few hours just because it was so sad. This girl martyred herself to her father, a man that didn't care how she felt. She martyred herself for nothing, under false pretenses. She could have escaped with Nagi. She rathered a false and useless happiness to a horrible reality. Perhaps this is why I related to Akoya so well.

Paradise Kiss 7

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"CHOU (BUTTERFLY)"

Summary: Caroline shacks up with George, and is surprised to see that he's taking care of her in every way possible. But knowing internally and with increasing fights with him she can't rely on him forever, she sets out to discover herself and her own possibilities by meeting with Mikako about a friend's modelling agency after failing to get a regular part-time job.

Review: As well-done as this show is, it's verbatim from the manga. Which usually would be a good thing, but I was kind of bored by this episode. The quality is fabulous, as is the merchandising following the show, but as I've read the manga several times, I'm not shocked or surprised by anything. At least they matched the voices well here during certain scenes. I hope they throw in something not in the manga (that makes sense) to spice things up a bit for next week. :/

Saikano Live Action Movie preview

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Well, I think I just about wet myself with glee over how great this adaptation looks. The CG looks outstanding, and they picked the perfect gal (Maeda Aki - Noriko in "Battle Royale") to play Chise! I've been kicking myself since I missed the Tokyo Film Fest premiere of this, but the roadshow apparently starts on 1/26. AWESOME. This looks so great! I don't think I can wait until January. They didn't show too much of Shuuji, which is a bit worrying, and the theme song sounds a bit sappy, but we'll see!


Related:
Saishuu Heiki Kanojo: Another Love Song (oav)
Saishuu Heiki Kanojo (anime)

Dead Poets Society (1989)



Summary: Painfully shy Todd Anderson has been sent to the school where his popular older brother was valedictorian. His room-mate, Neil, although exceedingly bright and popular, is very much under the thumb of his overbearing father. The two, along with their other friends, meet Professor Keating, their new English teacher, who tells them of the Dead Poets Society, and encourages them to go against the status quo. Each, in their own way, does this, and are changed for life.

Review: Oh god. Words can't describe how much I loved this movie. Initially I was interested because of Robert Sean Leonard's appearance (as Neil), but I fell in love with the entire story. I can't believe I waited so long to discover this gem. I'm definitely ordering the special edition rerelease DVD due out in January. I'm just..speechless.

Final Review: A+

20051125

Mai-Otome 8

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"UNMEI NO KYOUYAKU (THE MATHMATICAL CONJUGATION OF FATE)"

Summary: Arika's old friend Miyu comes to Gardenrobe to see how she is, and Arika asks her help on how to break the contract that she has now with Mashiro. Meanwhile, Shizuru and Natsuki already know about the Azure Gem, and debate what to do about it. With Nao's help the girls gain access to the Forbidden Library, where they find a databank that has information dating back all the way from when the first pioneers came to the planet. But it soon disappears, and the girls find themselves in a giant Otome graveyard! Meanwhile, the Black Valley descendants make a pact with the current king of returning things to "old times" using Slaves...

Review: Another good advancing episode. We got some background info on what things were like before the peaceful period in Windbloom, and this sets things up for the next arc to come. Looks like next week is another fanservice episode, but hey, I'm not complainin'. ;)

Rozen Maiden: Traumend 6

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"TENSHI (THE ANGEL)"

Summary: A dying girl named Megumi goes to the hospital church one night, only to find and reawaken Suigintou (who, last season, was "junked" by Shinku). Suigintou at first scoffs at Megumi's plea to use her energy to end her life, and then has memories of when she and Shinku fought last. When traveling her old n-field (which is coincedentally the same that Barasuishou uses), she meets Barasuishou, who tells her that Father has restored her for the sake of the Alice game. Suigintou now has a new reason to fight, and becomes protective of Megumi. Visiting Shinku in her dreams, she says that she'll junk her good when she gets the chance. And Shinku, in relief, apologizes for junking her previously. Also, in the doll shop where Jun frequents, Barasuishou reports for duty, confirming that everything was "going to Father's plan"...

Review: This explains why Barasuishou was 1. using the same n-field as Suigintou and 2. had Suigintou's spirit power with her during that first fight with Shinku. But wtf is Father's plan? Twisted guy. :/ Also it was nice to see Suigintou loosening up a bit around Megumi in the end, saying "You're not junk - don't you dare say that." Awesome. Definitely one of the best episodes of this season.

20051124

Angela Aki - Rain (PV)

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Angela Aki is one of the best newcomers of 2005. I will say that flat out right here, right now.

This video, produced when she made her first indies album, "ONE" earlier this year, shows her roots. No frills, no costumes, no make-up, Aki is real and just playing her piano. While "Rain" isn't one of my favourite songs, she did a mean cover of Fiona Apple's "Never is a Promise" AND translated it into Japanese - which I must give her props for. If anything, it could be said that in terms of style and lyrics, Angela Aki is Japan's Fiona Apple.

I'm looking forward to hearing more from her in 2006 - as well as a full major release album. Good going, Angela Aki!

Utada Hikaru - Passion (PV)

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Someone DEFINITELY gave their entire wallet to Utada to make this. This video is one of her best visually, and I was just BLOWN away. I didn't quite get the anime part at the beginning, but whatever. I just kind of sat there for five minutes, mouth open, taking it all in.

About the song, however, I'm going to have to agree with friend Airiko about this - it does feel like a Sakamoto Maaya song. Not that that's a bad thing. It's a really good song - it feels faintly Indian and warpy, like something she would have put on "Deep River". It's things like this that make me love music in general: artists NOT afraid to experiment and put their ideas out there. This was an audio and visual feast. When the single comes out, if it has a DVD attached, I'm buying it.

Jigoku Shoujo 8

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"SEIJAKU NO MAJIWARI (THE AQUAINTANCES OF SILENCE)"

Summary: This episode was more complicated than the ones before (imo), and Garten did a wonderful job of explaining it. Better than I can, anyway.

Review: It was nice to see a hint of character development here - Ai saying that Tsugumi reminded her of someone. Does this mean that Ai was a normal girl in the past? Also, as Garten also said in their review - Jigoku Tsuushin doesn't seem to work with people who don't want to exact revenge, which I find VERY interesting. As we still have quite a ways to go before the end of the series, I hope all of this gets answered in the end.

ARIA 8

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"SONO YUUUTSU NA SHACHOUttara...(OH THAT GLOOMY PRESIDENT!)"

Summary: Ariashachou-centric episode. Ariashachou learns that whether it be cleaning or saving the day - he should just stay back and let the pros handle it all.

Review: Fluffy filler ahoy! I got kinda bored by this episode. Yes, Ariashachou is cute. Yes, he's a major screwup. But I could have done without an entire episode dedicated to his fuckups. >__<

House 29 (S2 E7)

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"HUNTING"

Summary: (tv.com) A gay man with full-blown AIDS collapses in front of House's home and goes into shock. When House discovers the man's father is suffering from symptoms of his own, he must determine if they might be connected and save both their lives. Meanwhile, Cameron faces a potentially life-threatening disease of her own.

Review: One word: キタ━━━━━━(゚∀゚)━━━━━━ !!!!!

Yes, this episode was SO good it deserves four screens instead of the usual two. :D I'm barely coherent after watching this episode, so here's things in bullets:

1. OMG CAMERON/CHASE SEX. This was really hot, even if Cameron was hopped up on meth. o_o;

2. Houseism #1 out of ALL the ones so far:

Wilson: [to the stalker guy who suggests that he and House are a couple] "We're not... uh... together..."
House: *rolls eyes* "He's so self-loathing."
Looks like someone on the staff's been reading too much of house_slash and/or house_wilson. :DD

3. Cameron has HIV? PLOT BUNNY.

4. Sasuga House to screw it up with Stacy (AGAIN). Here's ticcy's take on the situation:
snaaaark: It's not meant to be. His time is over with her. This episode was really about closure.
thetokyoincident: I think so too

5. Steve McQueen the Rat. Oh god.

AL:KDJF:SDF Best episode of the season for content, next to episode 5. Here's hopin' for some H/W comfort? :D Or more Chase/Cameron sex? YAY.

20051121

MAD TV: House Spoof Sketch

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Summary: MAD TV spoofs a typical episode of House.

Review: Oh god, I could NOT stop laughing. Especially with the ever increasingly HUGE bottles of Vicodin that House kept carrying around with him. This was so awesome.

20051120

Mushishi 5

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"TABI WO SURU NUMA (THE TRAVELLING SWAMP)"

Story from: Volume 1, Chapter 5

Summary: We begin with Ginko and his friend the collection, Adashino, trying to sell the objects from previous episodes. In return he requires a favour, telling him how he had encountered the girl with the green hair on his way there - in the middle of a swamp. She shares her story, then disappears with the swamp as it floods out to die in the sea. Ginko wonders if he's done the right thing in the past (with Shinra and Renzu), and so he asks Adashino for his help in saving her since she shouldn't necessarily have to die with the swamp as a sacrifice for a second time. In the end, they find her, transparent from the swamp, and the village is given new life with new fish from the river, and her name becomes Io. As Ginko leaves Adashino's place, he counts four new suicidal swamps surging endlessly out toward the sea.

Review: Hayashibara Megumi did the voice of Io - and what chilled me is that she seemed to have the exact dead voice of Rei when she was in the form of the green haired girl. "I will become apart of the sea", she said, and damned if it was eerie to Rei's emotionless and dead voice. That aside, I'm glad they're keeping pace with the manga and linking it all together. Great job so far, guys.

[edit] From the wonderful Garten, a correction on who did the voice of Io:
Megumi Hayashibara didn't voice Io. The official site list the VA as Satou Rina (Negi Springfield in Negima). So unfortunately, no Megumi yet. But hey, Ueda Yuuji (Morita Shinobu) as Adashino-sensei!

Thanks for clearing that up! Still, the vocal likeness to Rei is alarming. Good show guys!

Jouou 7

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Summary: Turns out Ozaki was lured by Asakusa's Reika up to the hotel room with the bait of "wanting to talk". When she tries to jump him, he refuses and leaves. He explains things to Aya, and she understands. He asks her to let her dreams come true with him. At the hospital, Aya asks her mother how her father and mother fell in love, and she answered, "because he wanted for our dreams to come true together". Meanwhile, Ozaki comes by the club, and asks to speak to the owner. He wants to buy out Aya, making her the Jouou?!

Review: Oh jeez. Things are really getting heavy now. It's a face off between the owner and Ozaki. Does the owner have a thing for Aya or something? Also what made me lol - when the guy who's pouring Maho's wine looks under the table and sees some guy "servicing" her, spilling the wine. A+. XD

*also totally unrelated - I'm putting BLOOD+ on indefinite hold since I'm quite bored with it at the moment. I watched ep 7 and was underwhelmed. It seems there's too much filler, and I don't want to deal with that right now. :D

20051119

Saishuu Heiki Kanojo (She, The Ultimate Weapon)

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Summary: (animenewsnetwork) Shuji and Chise are two Hokkaido high school students barely starting a relationship with each other. Then, with no warning, a squadron of bombers from an unknown country destroy the city of Sapporo. All hope is lost when suddenly, the bombers are destroyed by a small red light floating across the sky. At this point, Shuji finds out that the one responsible for eliminating the enemy forces is Chise, who reveals herself as a cyborg engineered for mass-destruction.

Review: Oh god. I can't even think of this series without crying my eyes out. It's an amazing, touching, wonderful series, but at the same time, it's totally gutwrenching. I can't describe this series adaquately enough in a review. Just go watch it. The horrors of war have never seemed more real through a work of fiction. Emo, yes. But wonderful. I can't wait to see the movie, which will be in wide release next year.

Final Review: A+++

Related:
Saishuu Heiki Kanojo: Another Love Song (oav)
Saishuu Heiki Kanojo: Live Action Movie preview

Mai-Otome 7

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"SOU NO MAI/OTOME NO CHIGIRI (SOU'S DANCE/THE PROMISE OF AN OTOME)"

Summary: Arika starts a part-time job as a construction worker on the castle in order to pay back some of her debts to Gardenrobe. Mashiro is having panic attacks remembering when people used to call her the "fake" princess. The two meet on the work site, and after Arika defends Mashiro from Nagi's wiles, the two fall into a trapdoor that leads to the ancient underground castle, a huge piano that causes calamity, and two blue gems that Arika's mother wore...

Review: Okay, this is where the manga made their big mistake - by announcing right off that that random boy was the fake Mashiro and the real one had been killed. ._. Dammit. Bitching aside, this was one of the best episodes plot-wise yet. We learn more about Arika's mother subtly, and the blue gems, AND hinting that Mikoto is the spirit that lives within that giant organ piano. I can't wait for next week's episode! Things are getting good. :D

Paradise Kiss 6

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"NEW WORLD"

Summary: Caroline goes to her modelling job, and discovers that she loves doing it. Her relationship with George gets hot and heavy, and Arashi worries about Miwako falling back in love with Hiro after meeting him after all of these years.

Review: Wow, those sex scenes were a bit graphic. Seeing George on Caroline didn't make me too glad. :/ That aside, the modelling scenes were done gorgeously - someone put some money in the pocket of the staff, it seems. But again, we're only about halfway through the series and a lot of the manga is done. No fillers, for the love of god!

LISA - I, Rhythm (PV)

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LISA's back with a hardercore rap image, and I'm not quite sure how to feel about it.

On the one hand, this single is great - easily danceable, fun to shake one's ass to. On the other - her new look. As much as I LOVE being able to see her ample rack and dancing, she's gone a bit Koda Kumi with her moves (the part where she um, makes sweet love to the floor?). That made me a bit uncomfortable. It still brings me right back around to the wish that she hadn't left m-flo at all.

It's nice, though, to see her finally comfortable enough with her body to show it a little. Being Japanese and Colombian has made for a larger body and bone structure than pure Japanese, and so for quite a few years you never really saw her in anything revealing. But honestly, she's gorgeous and has nothing to hide. I applaud her courage to finally be able to show her goods off.

In the end? About this video. Don't get me wrong - LISA's a wonderful artist solo, but this video made me feel dirty. In a bad way. Stick to singing, to the artful videos you did before with storylines - constant dirty dancing just makes me sad.

Nakanomori Band - Oh, My Darlin' (PV)

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As much as I love seeing Ayako sing and play guitar, this video could have been done better. As for the song itself, it's standard Nakanomori fare a la "Raspberry Pie". As their last single has been my favourite so far ("WHATEVER"), I was let down a little by this song. Their first album should be out soon, hopefully. I'm not saying this is a bad song, it just felt a bit average for them. Ayako, go forth with your ducklings and be daring! Please. :(