I rewatched the beginning of the Raoh Gaiden TV series and then finished it off. It stays pretty much insane and hilarious all the way through as we learn the story of Raoh before the beginning of Fist of the North Star’s main plot. We follow him through his first upheaval and declaration as king as he builds an army, meets Kokuoh-go, imprisons Toki, and bests many foes. Though it doesn’t have as much fighting as you might imagine since Raoh pretty much wins every time within 5 seconds. The exception to this is the last fight between Raoh and Souther but clearly that can’t end with either one’s death! There are new characters for Raoh’s story including some love interests, yes for real, not that Raoh every engages in such romantic actions. This becomes doubly funny with the ending animation seemingly implying this series has a really romantic slant. Reina as one of the ladies is hard to swallow as never being talked about in earlier works considering she is both Raoh’s childhood friend and a general in his army. The series is about Raoh so of course it is entertaining and of course I enjoyed every minute, but I don’t think it will appeal to anyone who doesn’t already have this feeling in their heart!
I decided watch one of the cornerstones of shojo history by taking on the 115 episode beast that is Candy Candy. After 25 episodes it is obvious why this is such an influential and celebrated work. Candy Candy is the story of the spirited tomboy Candice White who starts life as an orphan with nothing but her good nature to her name. She tries to keep in contact with her best friend Anne and find the Prince of the Hill who won her heart. She is thrown into adversity after adversity including the various machinations of the family that adopts her. Whenever it seems like the plot is going to drop into a predicable formula they will shake things up by doing something like sending Candy to Mexico. I have to say the end of this arc is quite surprising. If this is any sign of things to come I will say Candy Candy is anything but predictable. I feel a little bad for Archibald and Stear because they are really cool gentlemen who are obviously in love with Candy but everyone including them know they are always just going to be in the friend zone. I am very curious to see what the next 25 episodes have to offer.
With much eagerness I watched the Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated pilot episode. In case you were unaware, I am and have been a big Scooby fan since childhood. This new series has a really promising start with a mixture of the familiar but some new feeling as well. You can already see in this pilot that there will be more character and relationship focus. Both Daphne and Velma are showing their interests in Fred and Shaggy respectively plain as day. The traits of each character have been magnetized but not to complete parody bringing some great humor from Velma’s sarcasm to Fred’s oblivious-nature to the sheriff who can’t stand the gang. The mystery is very much in line with previous shows being a case that seems supernatural really has a logical explanation. However, the biggest surprise was that a clue Daphne picked up didn’t have to do with the current case, as the episode was coming to a close the gang received a mysterious phone call pertaining to the item. The implication that there may be arcs of story is a really exciting one! I am really anxious for this series to start in July.
I finally finished the last two episodes in the Higurashi sound novel. I have been dragging my feet for two reasons. First, Satoko is the star of the third episode but she is also my least favorite character. And second, I wanted to space out some time before I had to pony up cash for the next set of games especially since MangaGamer is releasing the last 4 chapters individually at a higher price point. Tatarigoroshi-hen continues the tradition of giving you a good amount of red herrings, misleading clues, but also important facts to help you try a figure out what is actually going 0n. The sound novel was a better at getting me to sympathize with Satoko although it did not make me like her any more than I did before. Having watched the anime and now how the world works I think I have a better understanding of what exactly happened in this chapter. Also the most important events in all of Higurashi occurred, Chie-sensei finally got a sprite (cool kids in the know will understand why this is important). Himatsubushi-hen is very short but they make it clear that this was originally just a bonus chapter however an important bonus chapter. Even if it is expensive I really look forward to buying the rest of the series. The original sound novel is strong enough to make it worth reading even if you watched the anime or read the manga. As a side note does anyone know where I can get a summary of extras that were cut between the Japanese and English versions of the game?
I started watching Robin Hood no Daibouken (eps. 1-3) from 1990, it has Robin Hood in it so I am 100% likely to take a look and, if isn’t painful to watch, also finish. It is a mixture of the many Robin Hood legends with some original characters and stories that center around Robin and friends as youngsters. The series starts with Robert Huntington and his siblings being attacked by the baron of Alwine’s retinue in their family home, they flee seeking refuge in the woods but not before Robin wounds the head of Alwine’s group. While there he runs into Little John and his band of thieves along with Frair Tuck and even Maid Marian so we are getting an origin story as Robin hasn’t become Hood yet. Robin has great skill with his bow but it may have magical properties and we’ve seen glimpses of his father who may have been Robin Hood, too. It has plenty of silly kid friendly moments, but things continue to grow intense and it will be interesting to see how Robin fares once he becomes a leader.
I decided to indulge in one of my favorite guilty pleasures by reading Maria+Holic 3. There is something just sort of pleasant about its upbeat mean-spirited humor that appeals to my inner craving for schadenfreude. We learn the reason for the rift between Mariya and Ayari, we met a strange priest, and Nanami gets a stalker. Overall, Kanae the strange priest was amusing if for nothing else his use of archaic proverbs is quite delightful to me. Kanako is still silly and sort of the most horrible depiction of a lesbian ever. Mariya is still a horrible human being. But I still think that Minari Endou writes snappy dialog and amusing situations. Also the Ghost in the Shell joke had great build up for a priceless delivery.
How could it be anyone else when I was talking about Raoh?