Secret Santa 2010 Project Reveal

And now the part you have all been waiting for. The Secret Santas are revealed, the ancient conspiracy is foiled, and the destined couple finally consummate their relationship. This is the master list of all the participants, what they reviewed, and who gave them their recommendations. I know that several people are not going to finish on time because of various mishaps during the holiday season. So I will do my best to update this list at least once a day as reviews come in. Hopefully everyone watched something a bit unexpected and maybe learned something new about the range and scope of anime. Other than that Happy Holidays and I wish you and yours the best of luck in the upcoming year.

Ongoing Investigations: Case #013

I read the first two volumes of Gakuen Alice and much like the anime I love, love, love it! It is really funny but with enough sentimentality and plot to balance it out. It kind of reminds of a not-quite-as-insane-version of Kodacha with superpowers. We have a plucky, not always very bright, heroine who sets out out reform her unruly elementary school class. She of course has a rivalry with the leader of the rebels but finds out he has a tragic life. Throw in a wide cast of side characters, some mystery, and a campus polluted with strange activity and you have yourself a recipe for fun times. Gakuen Alice is certainly a winner! I am also happy that Right Stuf picked up the anime which may just have to go on the next I Can’t Believe You Haven’t Seen This! panel.

I watched Urusei Yatsura Movie 5: The Final Chapter after I got started on the Anime of the Month. I have to say Urusei Yatsura always bring a smile to my face. Despite the fact that the entire cast besides Ryuunosuke are horrible human beings/aliens you find yourself rooting for them. I love this particular movie a lot. It gave me everything I wanted from the end of Urusei Yatsura. It gives us a full circle ending. It gives us lots of laughs and a little sentimentality. It ties in all the great characters and gives them all a little air time before the finale. I have to mention that I consider the ending of Urusei Yatsura 100% definitive. I’m not sure what people wanted. Did they need a marriage? Ataru and Lum making out with some heavy petting on the side? It’s not that type of manga. The ending is the only thing like a declaration of love we could have ever gotten. And that is good enough for me.

Del Rey’s novel line excited me at first, but I’ve read three so far and have not been impressed. Psychobusters does nothing to change that, in fact, it probably makes it worse since this is by far the worst one yet. The characters have no spark, they are not thought out in the least. The writing is very poor and extremely repetitive. It is hard to explain but it is written like a manga. However, writing a novel and writing a comic are two very different things. I do have the first manga sitting at home somewhere, so I will read that and let you know if indeed the writing lends itself to it.

I watched some more Shakugan no Shana. Ummmmm. Those twins are creepy. Kohaku had warned me to this fact but I feel somethings can only be understood fully when they are seen. Then again the incest twins are creepy enough that you might want to take my word for it. I feel like they want me to feel bad for them, maybe even root for Kazumi Yoshida but I can’t do it. She is just so uninteresting. She is just there to give Shana a romantic rival. I usually like the character who is a good, sweet person but have an unrequited love. For some reason I can’t see why you would want to date Kazumi. Wirhelmina Carmel can come back into the series anytime she wants. She is a character I can get behind. Her similarity to Hisui does not hurt.

Finally read Fruits Basket 20, not sure why I let this one linger on the shelf so long. It was fantastic as usual with the emotions turned up to 11 and I can only guess that the final books are going to stay at that level. I was happy, sad, furious, annoyed, and wistful! Only three left to go and I’m on pins and needles!

I finally finished the Welcome to the NHK manga. It was an enjoyable ride although it was definitely an acquired taste. Welcome to the NHK either clicks with you and you find it hysterical or it just comes off as horrible and mean spirited. I know Narutaki refuses to even try looking into the series and almost certainly with good reason. I find it interesting that the anime, manga, and light novel all start in the same place and then go in different directions and have different climaxes but all end generally the same. The light novels climax was slightly stronger but I enjoyed the manga more overall. Hopefully Funimation will release the last disk of the anime so I can compare it to the rest of the franchise.