Reviews: Gokusen (special) and One Litre of Tears

On to the dramas/live-action before I try tackling the film or anime reviews…

Gokusen (special)

2006 reflections

Reflections on 2006 – what I’ve seen anyway – based on series that ENDED in 2006 except where openings and endings are concerned. Sadly for me, I decided to try and lessen my anime addiction at the start of what has turned out to be a stellar year after disappointment of 2005, and regretted it, of course. (I refrained from adding the adjective ‘huge’, as the first season of H&C belongs to 2005, if I’m not mistaken.) Nevertheless, I have gotten rid of one thing: my propensity to collect anime- another 10 series or thereabouts (all burnt on CD) to get rid of and I’m done. If only I could bring this across to the other collections… But on to the year in (brief) review…

Judging from my entries this year, Ouran takes the cake…but atm, I can’t decide between that and Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, which has the draw of a wonderfully snarky Kyon to balance the insane titular character. I suspect that Blood+ and Honey & Clover (I’m treating it as one series here) will be joining the list once I’ve completed them. For personal enjoyment value, I also looked forward to Black Blood Brothers every week, but to be honest, that wasn’t a spectacular series. A major disappointment was Innocent Venus, for all it’s wasted potential. The others were what I expected (xxxHOLiC, Gakuen Heaven, .hack//ROOTS – which I’ll be finishing soon), or I simply didn’t continue watching them (Princess Princess). Ineligible for the list are some series I’m still watching, as well as NANA, Saiunkoku Monogatari, Bleach, Death Note and D.Gray-man…of which only DN will probably be continued from here on (if I can be bothered – I’ve never regretted reading a manga series more). Not that Kokumono and NANA are all that bad themselves, just that following the original sources is much more interesting.

Favourite seiyuu roles this year: Sugitan as Kyon (Haruhi), Kamiyan as Queen Saionji (Gakuen Heaven) and Takemoto (Hachikuro), Fujita Yoshinori as Kaoru (Ouran) and Ishida Akira as Shin-chan (NANA) whilst Hirano Aya as Haruhi (Haruhi) and Paku Romi as Osaki Nana (NANA) are the female standouts for me. Perhaps it’s strange that none of the three seiyuu I’m interested in (see sidebar) are on this list, but I still like them anyway…

Favourite opening are Haruhi’s “Bouken deshou deshou?,” xxxHOLiC’s “19 Sai” and Bakumatsu…’s “Kouya Ruten” whilst endings are more difficult – but I’ve loved BBB’s “Shinkirou,” NANA’s “A little pain” and Ouran’s “Shisshou,” whilst Haruhi’s “Hare Hare Yukai” takes the cake for a credit sequence/song combination (gotta love Kyon’s ‘what the hell am I doing’ expression).

In terms of drama series…I think I’ll be watching Nodame Cantabile ASAP, but I’ll never follow enough of these yearly to select any favourites in time. Live action films…of what I’ve seen from this year’s release, Casino Royale (because it was damn realistic this time around), but again, I haven’t got much to choose from (Batman Begins, The Constant Gardener and Russian Dolls were all from yesteryear).

edit: editing this has been a bit of a pain because once you start using HTML, going back to rich text just doesn’t work…I’m not going to be bothering with screenshots…

More miscellaneous stuff…

I’ve been lazy again…or rather, the things I chose to do over the last few weeks were not those which were prioritised.

Finished Saiyuki, and was rather disappointed to find so many filler episodes. I might need to skim the manga again though, I don’t remember much, although I’m pretty certain there was quite a big difference. Oh, and the seiyuu…*grins*…everyone knows the main four, so I’ll leave them out, but I recognised Okiayu ^^ (*still likes his Fujimi voice best* XD ) and having Morikawa Toshiyuki there, I’m sure, would have set a certain type of fandom off, especially with regards to one of the main seiyuu. But enough on that. ^^

I finished Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness a while ago, and I don’t quite know what to make of it. Would studying it for the TEE have made it make more sense?

Gundam Wing, Final Fantasy VII: Last Order and Genshiken

Against advice (and my better judgement based on what I’ve read/heard), I went ahead and saw Gundam Wing, all 49 episodes of it, and the Endless Waltz OVA, in the space of 5 days. Lots of time I shouldn’t have spared perhaps, but I’d somehow caught a cold and really didn’t want to do much else…(I think I’ll be regretting this soon…)

Anyways, no one is kidding when they say this is one of the worst Gundam series ever. Read more of this post

Anime reviews…

After the slight disappointment that was Neko no Ongaeshi (猫の恩返し) – it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that interesting…maybe I’m just not a cat person – there’s another Ghibli film that I’m definitely buying. I’m really glad that Miyazaki Hayao is still directing, because he chooses stories and modifies them in ways that have a lot of meaning for his intended audience audience, even if this meaning differs from the intent of the author of the original story, as I’ve heard is the case with Howl’s Moving Castle (ハウルの動く城). I’ll review it after I’ve read the original book by Diana Wynne Jones (and maybe after seeing it again too ^^).

Air, Get Backers and GSDestiny