Ongoing Investigations: Case #194

narutaki I read Love Attack vols. 1-6 which was released by TokyoPop a while back, sadly that is all they did before the company went under. It is a super not serious romantic comedy about “the scariest couple in high school” Chiemi and Hirata. They both have a tendency to punch first and ask questions later, these two rough-and-tumble characters fall in love after Chiemi flying kicks Hirata. Hirata was so overwhelmed by his love that he asks her out in the middle of class.

One thing that really stood out to me was these two actually have fights, knock-down drag-out “you are a freakin’ idiot” fights, which is definitely a rarity. Again, it isn’t super serious either so it adds a lot of comedy to them and those around them trying to get out their path of destruction.

Still, deep down they are a really sweet couple who are very much in love. Yeah, they are idiots but loveable idiots. Watching them get to know each other and grow closer bit by bit is really endearing and fun. Over the years of reading shojo, I’ve gotten more and more interested in series where the characters are dating as opposed to trying to come together right up until the end.

The obstacles in the series are totally insane and over the top from Chiemi’s father locking her in a cell so Hirata can prove he is man enough to take her back; to the latest pretty guy who tries to seduce Chiemi who subsequently kicks him so hard he flies into a wall rendering him unconscious and then she feels bad and cooks him dinner; everything has the volume turned up. All the misunderstandings that invariable come are handled quickly and usually with comedy and a face punch as opposed to dragged out sulking.

The support characters have also captured me as Chiemi’s best friend Yuka starts to fall for Hirata’s friend Ohno. When she rushes to tell Ohno her feelings and is thwarted, she realizes she doesn’t need to hurry because her feelings won’t change over night. She can stay close to Ohno and slowly open his heart. I’d read a manga just about these two.

It is a shame there is no more available in the States, but a group of scanlators have picked it up so I’m hoping I’ll be able to see it through to the end.

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For an upcoming episode of The Cockpit I stated watching Heavy Metal L-Gaim. It was a good choice as it takes me one step closer to my goal of watching all the Tomino shows. It began in 1984 so in terms of Tomino’s TV output it was right after the mega uplifting Aura Battler Dunbine and before the equally heartwarming Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (that was sarcasm for the uninformed). From the first episode it is clearly not as dark as the shows around it but I don’t think it is as lighthearted as say Xabungle as well.

I know that Method to Madness likes to count the minutes to the first panty shot when watching fan service shows. Well there is no count in L-Gaim. We open up in the first scene with Amu Fanneria’s underwear right in your face. This is a running theme in this episode. We don’t see her unmentionables in every scene she is in but they are hardly an unfamiliar sight by the end of the episode. As Twitter informed me this tends to be more of fan service show than you might expect.

Amu Fanneria starts being chased by some mecha but it is all a ruse. She is actually a honeypot that is sent out to be rescued as a damsel in distress so she can help steal equipment from the unlucky sap who recuses her. So the hornball Kyao Mirao and the more gentlemanly Daba Myroad get caught up in her trap as her bandit gang tries to steal their hover truck and mecha. But soon Amu decides to join up with Daba after seeing how handsome he is.

As is the Tomino way.

This is an unusual in-between from Tomino’s either deadly serious mecha show tragedies and his slapstick comedies. Any scene with Amu Fanneria is mostly played for laughs but there are also people dying after breaking their spines  and having their hands chopped off like it was a “Kill ‘Em All Tomino” show. I have yet to watch any Tomino show that started so clearly straddling his two normal modus operandi.

I’m also curious because this is the show that seems to have annoyed Mamoru Nagano enough for him to make The Five Star Stories (whose anime would annoy him enough to make Gothicmade). While the show has a very Tomino style it is also clear that Nagano created the characters and robots. The L-Gaim look like a AV-98 Ingram and a Mortar Headd had a baby. So I am curious how much Nagano has  a legitimate gripe about Tomino ruining his grand vision that he had for L-Gaim. As far as a I can tell his problems with the the Five Star Stories movie were mostly in his head. But Tomino can be very variable (to be kind) in his work so Nagano might have legitimate gripes.

Well episode one alone makes it a bit hard to judge the story. The overarching plot has yet to be fully introduced. Some story seeds have been dropped but until I am farther into what is going on I can’t make a good judgment on the show.

The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching and reading outside of our main posts on the blog. We each pick three things that we were interested in a week and talk a bit about them. There is often not much rhyme or reason to what we pick. They are just the most interesting things we saw since the last Ongoing Investigation.

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