Bonus Round – Cat Scratch Fever

In our newest contribution for the Bonus Round on Anime3000, we look at the first half of the 2009 Satelight show, the Guin Saga. An adaption of a classic Japanese fantasy series that ran for over a 130 volumes by scarily prolific author Kaoru Kurimoto. Guin Saga is the story of Guin a man with amnesia who is trapped in a leopard mask that helps the prince and princess of a fallen country as he tries to regain his lost memories. But as the Mongauli army peruses them they are forced deeper into the cursed land of Nospherus. We clearly enjoyed the books but how does the anime stack up? As a bonus we also have a dramatic reader from a “lost” book in the series. As a bonus besides your normal Thieves we have Otaku USA’s Caleb Dunaway as Remus, Patz from Insert-Disc as Istavan, and Carl Li from Ogiue Maniax as the narrator.

Anime3000 – Bonus Round – Guin Saga Part 1

Guin Saga: Changing the Spots of a Leopard

THIS POST CONTAINS GUIN SAGA SPOILERS

Depending on who you were the Lord of the Rings movies could be a very different experiences.  You could have went in only having a vague pop culture osmosis as your awareness of the original books. Those people went in and had little to no expectations. There were also the casual fans of J. R. R. Tolkien’s work. They knew the general plot from when they last read the books and may have remembered when major parts were adapted. They might remember that  they removed Tom Bombadil but minor changes are easily overlooked. Then there were the hard-core Lord of the Rings nerds who noticed ever single change made to the battle of Helm’s Deep. Whenever you adapt a book into a visual media there are changes they have to be made. The longer the prose the more changes have to be made. The Guin saga novels are no exception when they were adapted into an anime.

I was lucky enough to discover Guin Saga (though only the first arc) before the anime, but not too long before so it was fresh in my mind. Watching it come to life in animated form was thrilling but also challenging. I can only imagine how the legions of Japanese fans who have stood by Guin’s side for years and years felt about it. Novel to screen is harder than manga to screen for obvious reasons but there are many other issues that come up beyond pure aesthetics. Still, the Guin Saga anime did a good job, but of course there were moments missing that we couldn’t ignore.

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Narutaki & Hisui VS. 2009

Narutaki & Hisui VS. 2009 is in part an award show, in part an exercise in humor and snark, in part a challenge, and in part a love letter to everything great this year. We picked several categories and each of us picked titles, characters, and people who we felt best summed up our feelings on the year. Take a peek into what we thought on the anime and manga of 2009 and the people who bring it to us. Feel free to suggest new categories and challenge our picks.

Would also love to hear other people’s picks for some of these categories as well! By the way, some of this stuff happens to have come out in years gone by but we first watched/read/whatnot this year so that’s why they’re here, I’ll hear no guff about it! I really enjoy this part of the year, all the posts seem to be more fun and this one is no exception.

Best Anime of 2009 or Show that Infuriates You to No End When Someone on MAL says “If you like this show you will love Dance in the Vampire Bund.”

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
The noitaminA is your go to animation slot when you are looking for something that is simultaneously different, mature, well produced, and smart. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is no exception to this rule. An exceptional look at ordinary people involved in an extraordinary but still extremely feasible situation. It is a superb mixture of intense character study and survival drama. I know some people feel the end is weak but I thought it did well in capping off this  powerful and thought provoking show.

Eden of the East
It is a little bit mystery, a little bit drama, and a little bit suspense wrapped around an intriguing concept. It’s a wonderful series to watch unfold and since Takizawa doesn’t remember what has happened there is a wonderful element of discovery that comes. Takizawa himself is a refreshing and mysterious guy but you always get the feeling, or I did, that he was a good guy even when things looked dubious. Also he loved dogs, can’t be bad. The game was able to engross and impress me from episode one and continued to do so throughout its broadcast.

Anime Man of the Year or You Must be Swift
as a Coursing River

Battler Ushiromiya
Have you ever wished Phoenix Wright could be the star of his own supernatural murder mystery anime? Well if so then someone heard your prayers. In Umineko no Naku Koro ni we have Battler Ushiromiya who is a clear homage to Phoenix Wright with dramatic finger pointing, manly crying, and split between having to do detective work and acting like a lawyer. He may have his flaws but no matter what he keeps marching forward despite numerous set backs and tragedies. Plus he is just plain cool whenever he is on the counterattack. His casual charm and iron clad will set the tone for the anime as much as they do the games it was based on.

Guin
After thinking this over way too much, I finally decided on Guin for a few reasons. First being that after more than 100 books about his quest on the bestseller list, Guin finally got an anime. Adding to that is that Guin may arguably be the most manly character animated in 2009. If you watch just the first episode, this will become obvious. I also read about Guin in novel formthe first time this year myself. And finally, and sadly, Guin’s creator Kaoru Kurimoto passed away in 2009, a woman who was still writing about her most popular creation.

Anime Woman of the Year or I am Woman Hear Me Roar

Canaan
Canaan is a competent kick arse girl with a gun. That is usually all that you need to sell me on a character. The fact that Canaan has her rather slick synesthesia ability which I thought was a very original superpower. She has a stoic and cool feel to her but it she still cares for the people she wishes to protect and gives her all to do so. I also think that her competence on the battlefield but her awkwardness in personal relationships gives her a good mixture of strength and weakness that make her a serious version of Sousuke Sagara. I also think makes her an interesting character to me.

Sawako
Picking a woman of the year became a lot easier the more I watched Kimi ni Todoke. Sawako has a special strength of character that uplifts you, just as she does to the many characters around her. She is humorous and endearing and you never doubt that she will succeed and grow in each new scenario she encounters. Sawako’s positive attitude, even after endearing so much isolation is a true testament to the human spirit and the ability to change.

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