Posted by: Dante Sangria | July 21, 2009

CANAAN Episode 2 Review!

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After the humvee exploded in their path, the truck swerves to a stop and miraculously doesn’t topple over.

Suddenly a helicopter rushes in with Liang Qi on board, opening fire on the kidnappers of the girl in the truck who at this point is decidedly <i>not</i> Liang Qi. Apparently, as it confused me before, it is her sister in the truck. She escapes though, from the truck she is inside. Tied up, she manages to beat the crap out of three armed men. Who are extremely stupid and didn’t get rid of her sidearm beforehand.

Suddenly Liang Qi throws a rope ladder out of the helicopter to her "sister" – aha! Just as we expected (or not), my dear Watson. Her sister catches on and the helicopter escapes the burning scene. There is one survivor, however, who manages to climb out.

We see the man in the pink shirt from the last episode on the phone in a stairway in a shop. He is discussing turning something down, because his senses aren’t what they used to be, and that he has something to protect now. His (presumably) girlfriend sits next to him and rests her head on his shoulder. Presumably, he is an ex-agent of sorts.

Pictures of Canaan in negative (film) flash across the screen as we see Mino (Minoru Minorikawa, as his full name is apparently) viewing them. He comes across the photo of the guy that died on the bridge after being vomited on by the dragon float, and wonders if the blotch on his neck is a birthmark. Just then, Oosawa bursts in, with more pictures. She shows him the photos, some containing CANAAN and her, posing… Greatly surprised, here Mino learns that the two are friends.

Mino wants to get this story, which may be bigger than the summit – potentially. The only thing is, he has to depend on Oosawa Maria…. She was a victim in the bioterrorism attack in Shibuya two years prior. The weapon used in the attack was the "Ua Virus," where 12 hours after infection your body bleeds from everywhere. "Ua" meaning "flower" and "death" in Swahii. The attack was carried out by a

group from the middle east. As it turns out, Oosawa’s relationship to this situation is that she was abducted and forcefully infected with Ua Virus.

Her father, Oosawa Kenji, was the chairman of the Ookoshi Pharmaceutical Research Lab. He saved her life with an anti-virus he developed. Also, Oosawa has no memory of the incident – she has minor amnesia. All this is related to Mino by his boss (Touyama, of Heaven’s Publishing).

Back at the room, Oosawa is telling Mino all kinds of useless facts about Canaan, which frustrates him.

The scene changes to Canaan, who’s disassembling her pistol. Her boss tells her that the bodies from a few days before were from "Unblooms" who were under protection, and "Alphard" (the girl that was kidnapped and rescued by Liang Qi) escaped the CIA escort vehicle by associates. Also, Canaan learns that she is being targeted by the Snakes.

Her boss then gets into a vehicle and is asked by the driver how Canaan is doing. Her boss then says that all is well – Canaan will not betray them, she’s not smart enough to use her brain…. Apparently, the boss-type woman (her organization, rather) is manipulating Canaan somehow. The boss then wonders if they could get Canaan to kill herself along with Alphard – reason being, she hates Canaan.

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Liang Qi, with her boss, talks to her sister (Alphard) after getting off of the helicopter – the topic: Canaan’s death. Instead of responding to Liang Qi, Alphard repeatedly brushes off her sister.

In the office/skyscraper penthouse of Cummings, Liang Qi target-practices on him with pellets of some sort while he’s on the phone. Getting a phone call, she confirms the assassination of someone. We see Alphard, just out of the shower, looking at a tattered letter addressed to her by someone whose name appears to be ”Siam.”

At a restaurant in Shanghai, Mino is asking Oosawa about Canaan and recording her response. Her bribe is food. Outside in a blue car, a boy and an old man are talking about their apparently advantageous situation.

Suddenly, there is a screech, a crash and the whole screen goes blank. A van just ran into the restaurant as the old man jumped out and opened fire on the restaurant, after Oosawa and Mino. They escape down an alley so they don’t have to be confronted by the vehicle. They arrive at a road and grab a taxi. Understanding the situation, the taxi driver drives away in insane maneuvers, pursued by the blue car as the old man fires upon them. Suddenly we see a close-up of the old man’s forehead, with a purple stain on his forehead. The taxi driver breaks out into song as he turns on into the radio, and Oosawa follows suit. Still in pursuit, the bridge out, the insane taxi driver (for the sake of "Nene") drives on and off of the bridge, landing on an apartment building.

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The old man finds them and opens fire, but Canaan appears to return fire on the Snakes, who thereby escape. However, they are pursued by Canaan who lures the old man from the car. They land on top of a bus and fight. However, the old man runs into the power lines and is electrocuted in front of a crowd. The boy that drove the blue car is greatly perturbed by this scene and is angry at the loss of his "brother."

Returning to Oosawa’s hotel room, it’s covered in blood and trashed. Needless to say, they got kicked out of the hotel. And now that they are being targeted, Mino wonders why – is it about the film?

What is that mark? Suddenly, Oosawa runs off to play with cats. Mino goes after her, blinded by a bright light. Looking at it, Oosawa returns to his side as they stare at a… Fortune Cat?! Which, from the looks of it, is a girl dressed in a slinky black cat suit….

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This episode is the usual revealing-of-the-backstory episode. "Slow and steady" plot progression, with humor and awesome action as per usual for this anime. Okay, perhaps plot progression was not so slow. This episode wasn’t as intense as the first, nor as mysterious. And didn’t leave as much philosophical content to provoke discussion fodder. Maybe that’s why I didn’t like it as much – but then again, it’s only episode 2, and frankly it definitely wasn’t lacking in content or "meat." We still have to learn about the Snakes, why they’re after Oosawa (and trashing/searching her apartment), Canaan, and alot more.

…And what’s with the fortune cat?! Looks like she’s an employee of Angel Mort – haha.

However we do learn some interesting situations regarding the characters, which was appreciated. I didn’t think the whole "Ua Virus" thing went along with the character of Oosawa, but then again she’s not supposed to remember it anyway.

As for Canaan’s "boss"-type figure and her group… one wonders what it is they’re planning, and why Canaan is a necessary part of the plot though they apparently despise her. Should be an interesting unfold, but maybe not unlike many spy and espionage movies we’ve seen. Who knows?

NOTE: Sorry for the delay. I actually had this review done days ago, but frankly, I just haven’t had the time to take the screenshots…. >_< Been really busy getting ready for school next year and with life in general. Bakemonogatari 3 will be reviewed and blogged ASAP.

Posted by: Dante Sangria | July 13, 2009

Bakemonogatari Episode 2 Review

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Before the opening, we learn that Senjougahara Hitagi lives in a mansion. Her mother was deceived by and gave all their money to an evil cult. This goes through Araragi’s mind as Hitagi is showering.

This episode we finally have an opening – it’s interesting… "STAPLE STABLE" is apparently the name of the song? And there’s staplers running through the scenes of the opening everywhere, mostly black and white photos with colored staples/staplers. And a Godzilla-sized Senjogahara marching through the empty city streets amongst the skyscrapers.

Hitagi is instructed by Oshino to change into some clean clothes after cleaning up with cold water. They will meet again at midnight. After an intense glare at Oshino, Hitagi asks what he wants in return. Oshino apparently thought he could get away without mentioning costs. He asks for 100,000 yen. He asked poor Araragi for 5,000,000 yen…! Of course, she can afford this. Despite the cost, she’s determined to get rid of the curse.

We next see Araragi sitting on (presumably) Hitagi’s floor, at her place. She comes out of the shower to retrieve her clothes, nonchalantly asking Araragi to move aside. In shock and blushing, he retorts, yelling at her for not dressing beforehand. Apparently, she "forgot" – and towels are for the "poor." After she puts on underwear she tells him it’s OK to look – of course, this doesn’t strike him as appropriate in any way. In fact, this is her obscured way of "thanking" Araragi…. However, she gets mad at his lack of appreciation…! (On what little she is wearing, the patterns of stationery supplies are pointed out. Obsession…!)

Following is a scene of Araragi’s deception (not what it sounds like) into making himself look like an idiot. His virginity, apparently, Hitagi will keep a secret from Hanekawa. Araragi denies any romantic feelings for Hanekawa. They then talk about trusting Oshino, which Hitagi has always had reluctance in trusting anyone.

Aside from that, she thinks extremely lowly of Araragi’s intelligence, and vocalizes this. He’s not the brightest guy, apparently, especially compared to her. Eventually she stops showing off her lack of clothing and states that they’ll both go to Hokkaido to eat crab if all goes well. Of course, Araragi [pretends to object to this….]

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Midnight arrives and they go to see Oshino. He’s dressed in white and strange priestly garb – he majored as one in University but never worked at a shrine. They must modestly pray to the crab, rather than exterminating it – because it’s a god. They proceed to discuss what must be done to bring the crab with them, and perform a ritual by an altar for the crab.

During this ritual Oshino asks Hitagi of her most painful memory. It was when Hitagi’s mother brought a cult member back. He performed a ritual, and he tried too assault Hitagi. Hitagi hit him with a spiked shoe, but her mother did nothing. Then, her mother was punished because the higher-up was injured. Hitagi has regrets of reacting back then because then her family would not have broken.

As a side note, keep in mind that the word "omoi" can mean either feelings or weight, depending on the kanji. This alludes to the fact that yes, Hitagi lost her "weight," but a dual. She had to shoulder these burdens, this weight, herself. With some apprehension in her voice, she is told to open her eyes, and sees a vaguely formed crab in front of her. The same as the time before, she can see the crab.

No one else can see it. She needs to ask the crab something, but it throws her back against the wall and suspends her in the air, crushing against her. Oshino approaches the crab and Araragi calls after her. Oshino reaches into apparently thin air, and stomps out the invisible crab…. In the end, she can’t make a request, because her mental state. However, Oshino crushed the crab.

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Getting up off the ground, Hitagi wants to try again. She tries praying again to it. A flashback ensues. Back when Hitagi’s mother was in the cult, she had a serious disease and almost died after an operation.

Because of that, her mother fell deeper into the cult, and lost a relationship with her mother. Over time, her mother developed a lust for a girl’s body and had abnormal sexual desires. The family broke up after this. Then, Senjougahara met the crab.

It erased her weight, but also the weight that the worries of her mother brought upon her. It stopped her from "feeling," and "weight." So she now has her feeling back, but nothing can be done about her

family and mother. Senjougahara wanted the happy memories to return. The memories, and the troubles both. However… she is satisfied with this. At least, she says, she made a friend who is precious and trustworthy to her – Araragi.

Back at home, he hasn’t slept all night and is being shaked by his sisters to get ready for the day. He goes into the bathroom, his weight 55kg. Stepping on the scale, his weight is now 100kg.

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This episode was fairly good. I mean, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as the first. I liked the symbols and allusions in it, particularly the use of the pun for "omoi" (weight + feeling) and the way this is used in the story.

In the end, Senjougahara made a friend who was precious to her, as she stated – though for some reason. Somehow, after all that happened to her mentally that night it seems… interesting and not expected (kind of a deus ex machina, if you will) that she would admit it. It kind of destroys her mysteriousness, but I hope there’s a good reason behind it.

However, the fanservice: I hope this doesn’t become a fanservice-y anime… because that’s killed so many anime. It will either turn you onto the show or make you more speculative of it.

Aside from this, until episode 3 we won’t really know what the plot really is. This episode seemed to be fairly conclusive, not leaving you hanging… aside from the character development at the end, I can’t make any assessment as to what will happen beyond Senjougahara’s different outlook on life and her friendship with Araragi. And this doesn’t seem like that kind of "friendship anime," but more serious and, frankly, dark, at times.

Once again a wonderful use of non-anime art, animation, colors and sound effects. What you would think not to be creepy turned into quite disturbing things, and even a video clip of a smile paired with the right presentation was about as chilling as any craziness to be found in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni or the like. The art is quite masterful in this regard.

I thought this episode had kind of a cute ending… I guess. Frankly, though I initially was very impressed by this show, I have yet to see what more has to offer before I decide if I like it or not.

Posted by: Dante Sangria | July 10, 2009

Bakemonogatari Episode 1 Review

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Before you continue: This is a must-watch. Impressive on every level.

Firstly, the intro. Or OP. It was… interesting. I don’t know if it was the opening or not since it didn’t have an OP song or any typical stuff, but it did it’s job: it was a good taste of things to come. Violence, obscurity, action, and subliminal color and kanji messages.

The school clock chimes, and a schoolboy (Araragi, our hero) races up a giant spiral staircase.

Suddenly we see with a surprised expression, a girl falling through the air – through the sky. This boy watches intensely and catches her. Her body is extremely light, weightless. She looks at him, shocked. Her name is "Senjogahara."

We next find Araragi in a classroom, alone with Hanekawa Tsubasa, the class chairman. They’re planning for the culture festival, despite their busy third year. Araragi is the vice chairman, thus is obligated to help. Araragi asks about a "Senjogahara Hitagi" in the class, who he seems concerned about due to her poor health and ability to participate. He then asks her more about Senjogahara, and her personality – who, despite their 3 years in the same class he doesn’t know anything about.

Despite this, Tsubasa went to middle school with Senjogahara and reports that she used to be healthier, full of life and the star of the school’s track club.

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However, after an excuse to leave promptly Araragi steps outside the classroom. A voice from behind him asks what he was discussing in the classroom. Turning around, a blade is shoved into his mouth but without hurting him – it’s Senjogahara…! She threatens him not to let the secret of her weightlessness out. Apparently, it was because of a banana peel that she slipped. (How Mario Kart…?!)

She wasn’t always weightless – it wasn’t until after middle school, when she met a single crab, her weight was taken. After a frightening threat he agrees to keep his mouth shut and swears silence.

She leaves, after stapling the inside of his cheek. Soon thereafter he runs after to catch up with her.

Senjogahara misinterprets his following as a request to fight with her, and she gets prepared – suddenly dozens of school supplies such as pens, scissors, and paintbrushes appear in both hands. She whipped them out of nowhere, where does she keep them?! Assuring her he didn’t come to fight, he proposes that he can help her. Disbelieving, Araragi shows Senjogahara the inside of his cheek – no wound was left by the staple!

Convincing her, they head off to see Oshino Meme, the man that helped Araragi turn from a vampire back into a human (with a few side-effects of immortality remaining). Oshino is a very eccentric character, with a lax attitude and an open Hawaiian shirt, an upside-down cross hung around his neck. In that place they see a little girl sitting in the corner, newly-named Shinobu Oshino by Oshino Meme – this apparently formless and shadowless girl that has been living there.

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Oshino takes Araragi and Senjogahara aside to discuss Senjogahara’s situation. He tells her about the "weight crab," a legendary crab who is both a weight crab and a "heavy" god. It arises when the situation calls for it.

He describes how gods are omnipresent, rather than being in a particular place. So the god was always around her, even before she was weightless – it was only her outlook that changed. He assures her he can help her out. She asks him if he can, indeed, save her. (But, me, I’d want to be weightless – imagine falling from heights!)

The camera focuses on a window wherein we see the full and glowing moon, and the ending theme starts. (A strangely-lyriced song, yet very catchy. )

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This episode left a great impression in overall presentation.

The art is fantastic. The visuals, anyway. I can’t really name a style to compare to. It’s just so effective, so different. Think Lain, if you want to think different. But better, I daresay. It’s quite simple, nothing extremely detailed a la Kara no Kyoukai, and uses kanji everywhere in almost subliminal flashes (if you can understand them). The subtleties in the art and presentation in this anime is what really sets it apart as so fantastic. It’s so obscure. (Such as the brain-stuffing scene, and the walking-through-the-building scene.)

The subtleties in color, the almost film noir sense at times (such as the intro), the blaring red signs, the angles of the scene when Araragi gets up in the hallway creates the illusion as if he’s regaining balance. Even the use of stark white over a dark background, to create such interesting contrast. I think they use color and like psychologically affecting symbols to create more impacting imagery – if that is their intention as I think it is, it’s very effective and well-executed.

The story seems to follow a group of people with supernatural abilities, and a magician-type guy with the ability to deal with such things. It seems like the object so far is to help this weightless girl overcome this curse-like affliction placed upon her. It seems different and frankly I don’t know where it’s going, but it should be good. It’s not your typical magical-user anime, either.

Overall, it’ll definitely be worth checking out in the future. I don’t know what it holds in store, but it’s different, and if you want to check out something different and interesting (yet, at this point, slightly confusing – potential depth, here!), definitely give this a go.

I’m about as enthusiastic with this as CANAAN, but this is a much more different formula than CANAAN with its good story and sharp graphics, and it really grabs your attention.

Posted by: Dante Sangria | July 8, 2009

CANAAN Episode 1 Review!

NOTES: Intense day. Damn – really busy, and I rushed to get around to this review with much frustration and relief upon its completion. I know it’s late upon coming, my apologies! I was busy all weekend so my next review will likely be Umineko episode 2!

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Something about those last two pics just screams Jigoku Shoujo.


Long summary, skip down to Feedback for the overall run-down.

Balloons are floating about in a city as we see a capped sniper shoot them. There seems to be a festival in the city with lots of stands and balloons.

We see a man drop a magazine from his handgun and run through the alleys, out of breath and panting. Suddenly he drops dead, mysteriously, a smear of blood behind him. Then a festival-like masked group of people that surround the body get up and leave. The sniper will "pick up" the body later. Some kids come running through the alleys and land in the puddle of blood. They start to play…

The scene changes for some comic relief, a journalist complaining that he has to travel all the way to Shanghai for a costume festival. His novice yet passionate camerawoman seems to get on his nerves as well. She then says that there is nothing hidden, that cannot be seen – if you can’t see it, it is because you intentionally turn a blind eye. You do this because if you see it, it will be sad or painful. That’s why your eyes are closed to begin with.

The backdrop of this narration is a guy in the festival crowd with a giant mask. Someone removes it and this man goes insane, thrashing around. And everyone joins in crazily jumping around.

We see the mysterious sniper chick returns to a shabby apartment room where she is lectured by a woman in a white lab-coat, seemingly her superior. She advises her to be more careful, as some of their agents were arrested by the CIA.

Back to the crazed man in the crowd – he stumbles off a bridge and falls into the water, nose bleeding. The crowd above watches and laughs at the sight of this man going crazy, and jump in after him. As they pass underneath the bridge, a hand shoots out of the water and clutches the air, a purple blotch on it’s wrist. Then it sinks into the water.

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This flowa’ goes lovely with my Hawaiian shirt! (Left)
Bang! Juiz, clean this up.

Now in Shanghai, the journalist and camerawoman are taking pictures. Suddenly the journalist spots the old man from the TV in the crowd, in guise of a bandana and blue traditional garb.

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The proverbial flowers make a cameo, replacing fig leaves (Left).

We then see a group of men from "DAEDALUS Corporation" meeting in a skyscraper, a blond one among them mentions "Synthesists" – those who can use all five senses simultaneously [to perceive something (that I gather can only be sensed by one by normal people – such as the smell of an object’s appearance)] – and their potential to advance "IFF" technology. We see a mysterious woman through the next wall over who is not a "synthesist," but who can perceive her "sister" through "purification" – bathing in such waters, she achieves this. She then stands up and extends her arms toward the window, as a sleazy fat ogling man blushes and "ooh’s" and "ah’s". The blond remarks that it is his secretary, and the Sleazy Guy turns away blushing and takes a sip from his teacup. Suddenly the door from the bath opens and it is by the meeting room. The secretary steps out naked, and the Sleazy Guy spurts coffee all over himself in surprise. The blond man addresses her as Liang Qi, his “secretary” and asks her to hand him a report.

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GODZILLA! (Center)

In the Shanghai crowd, the camerawoman is looking for Mino. (The journalist.) Suddenly a giant dragon float appears. Suddenly the dragon spurts out a red/pink liquid over the crowd who all use umbrellas and jackets to cover themselves. Suddenly two masked figures bump into the camerawoman, who are in a nervous rush and hurry away while grunting.

Suddenly the spray of the dragon hits a masked man. His mask flies off, revealing his insane smile and the purple blotch on his neck. Children laugh and point at him. He vomits blood, and flips over dead as the camerawoman takes pictures of the children. Then she realizes (how ignorant these people are!) the dead body on the ground, as she takes a picture of it. The masked assassins approach her from behind, one on each side. They snatch her hand, narrowly escapes as they shoot at her.

The red assassin from earlier, "Canaan," appears from nowhere and drags Oosawa to safety through the crowd. Apparently they are old friends. Ducking into an alley, Canaan and the camerawoman hide. Canaan ties the girl up, who is opposed to hiding.

Mino, the journalist is still wandering through the crowd. Finally realizing Oosawa (the camerawoman) is gone, he looks around and sees Canaan running across the rooftops while ricocheting bullets hit around her. An insane man with a big mask passes him, then a second one (the Assassin one with the smaller masks) drops dead as blood flies out of him. Mino looks up in shock as he sees Canaan exchange fire with another assassin, and rubble flies off of nearby buildings as Mino takes cover.

No one in the crowd seems to notice as they all run to the dragon. He realizes that it’s not that they think it is part of the festival – they realize everything that is going on. The only thing is, they are purposely ignoring it. Now that is creepy. Or is it just downright how people act?

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A helicopter with Liang Qi (now clothed!) on board is flying through the mountains. Her boss is on board as well, and apparently has a foot fetish. She answers the phone and suddenly kicks her boss in the face out of the shock of hearing the name of "Canaan" mentioned on the phone. Canaan is now at the top of a building, still dodging bullets. Her eyes perceive in a thermal vision/x-ray fashion, and she dashes from behind her cover, stlishly sliding down a pole whilst shooting gunmen everywhere. She shoots the dragon and uses it to jump on, as it crashes to the ground.

In a nearby alley one of the big-masked ("crazy") men is taken by a mysterious couple in a van. Hakko, the woman, is to stay with the crazy man at the van as the man runs off to investigate things. Oosawa looks on after Canaan from the crowd below, as an explosion flashes from an alley (presumably the one just shown). Canaan makes her escape from the scene, leaping from rooftop to rooftop.

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Now in a soldier’s transport truck, Liang Qi is humming. Liang Qi is apparenlty the leader of the "Snakes," a terrorist group. Suddenly an explosion hits a humvee in front of them head on and it flies into the truck’s path(caused by an IED, presumably – and apparently they’re still an issue in the future). The van is stopped immediately as ordered and despite the chaos, Liang Qi still hums and the scene fades to black. [End of episode]

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Liang Qi rockin’ dat Chinese swagga’ (left)
This is the Shiki pose (right) – same image bank?


Overall it’s a 6/5. But for the sake of convention, 5/5 will suffice…!

This anime looks amazing. The art is fantastic and animations are fluid and slick. This is especially visible in the awesome OP video. The story thus far is really fast-moving, yet intriguing. Just enough is left to whet your appetite, yet so much has happened! For a first episode, this is truly splendid. I’ve rarely seen anime do this as well as Type-Moon-based anime. Let’s see how this will continue, and I think our expectations will be met and exceeded. =)

The plot is great, and I think it has a good and really interesting meaning to it: How many things are going on under our noses just as good as these crazy murders that we turn a blind eye to, afraid to awaken to reality? If we just dig under the surface, under what the illusion of the mass, look a little farther, deeper, and accept those things most people would normally disregard?

“Synthesists” may be representative of truth-searching people (or the minority of non-ignorant ones), according to the plot.

I wonder if they’ll be able to take on this theme throughout the anime, and of course it has the supernatural and sci-fi setting to boot. Which makes it seem very dystopian and futuristic, and you know I like that.

And before you think that CANAAN’s seemingly crazy people are only to be found in fiction check out the earlier link if you haven’t.

As for the meaning of the word “Canaan”:

Canaan (Phoenician: כנענ, Kana’n, Hebrew: כנען kna-an, Arabic: كنعان Kanaʿān) is an ancient term for a region encompassing modern-day Israel and Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, plus adjoining coastal lands and parts of Jordan, Syria and northeastern Egypt.” [Source]

Now that Eden of the East is over, I’m hoping this will be as good as or fill the empty spot that the ending of that anime has left. But since it’s Type-Moon, I’m sold. ;P

Ah and CANAAN is by “Type-Moon co-founders Kinoko Nasu and Takashi Takeuchi, based on the scenario that they created for the Nintendo Wii visual novel 428: Fūsasareta Shibuya de.” More of a “video novel,” if you will. Really cool. [Source] And while we’re on Type-Moon, doesn’t Canaan remind you a bit of Shiki from Kara no Kyoukai? She does remind me of her… which is… okay, but Shiki is just pure awesome. Too awesome. At least, I can safely think that at this point, but CANAAN is already on its way to becoming pure awesome. I hope it keeps up. XD

Episode Two, A Cruel Game… the preview was interesting and action-packed, as short as it was. Keep your eyes peeled!

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Posted by: Dante Sangria | June 22, 2009

Shakugan no Shana Season 3 OCTOBER 2009

According to many sources Shakugan no Shana has a season 3 coming up! It was only a matter of time, I guess.

With season 2 in retrospect I look at this with mixed feelings, although I’m excited about it, frankly. Hopefully the romance won’t be as… annoying in terms of plot development – Yuji + Shana ftw! Haha.

Will be released October 2009.

The announcement was originally from the July issue of Dengeki Bunko (電撃文庫) magazine.

This will be a third season, but the story may or may not be a continuation of the same storyline from the first two seasons. There is much speculation around this and not many details, but I’ll post more info as it comes. 

Source: AnimeNewsNetwork

Posted by: Dante Sangria | June 21, 2009

Eden of the East 11 [End] Review

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The episode begins with everyone talking about Takizawa, while the situation in Toyosu remains – the flood of NEET…! Micchon decides to head over, because the data sent from Pantsu will be interpreted faster.

Ohsugi is at it again, blaming Takizawa for the misfortune of the NEET. However, Saki tells us that after Takizawa received the phone, he organized a group of citizens he met on the net to evacuate the 20,000 using almost-illegal methods.

Because of the speculation surrounding the evacuation events, Takizawa gathered NEETs under various aliases and said he committed the missile attack, so all the hatred would be focused on him. After that, the NEET were sent to Dubai. In his despair over having to revert to such an option (which I’m still confused about his options anyway), he wiped his memory.

How did Saki figure this all out, anyway? Anyways, since the Eden gang have the missile attacks in Itazu’s data, they decided to post it on the Internet. However, the “Zombies” have taken over the data!!!

The suggestion of getting… naked in order to obtain the laptop from the already-naked NEET is… well, one they go with. “Where does a wise man hide a leaf?” Haha. However, the arrival of Saki and Micchon causes quite a disturbance as they decide to run through the hordes of Zombie NEET.

The laptop is stolen by the three guys, including Ohsugi. This, in combination with their clearly non- tanned skin (as opposed to the rest that worked hard in Dubai), blows their cover and they are forced to run from NEET. Only Ohsugi escapes, running into Micchon and Saki… ’nuff said >_> Quickly Micchon gets to work on the data.

Soon, everyone’s phone in Toyosu rings (as the NEET have all recovered their phones), and an image of Takizawa in a live video feed appears on-screen as he says that he will kill those who accused him, in another missile attack!!! And the Eden group, since they know the reason for Careless Monday. And for those who still want their Johnny, to assemble on the roof for a chance at survival….

…This is unexpected of Takizawa! I’m hoping there was a tactic to this.

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Back to the other Selecao who we saw at the end of last episode: Juiz was moved, so Mononobe (Selecao 1) continues to search for Mr. Outside.

Meanwhile, Saki, Micchon, Ohsugi, and the other lady from Eden sneak onto the elevator (the stairs were flooded with NEET), having to fight off some zombie-esque NEET from the door. Takizawa steps in to help them.

Following is a comment about Ohsugi having balls, like Takizawa had imagined…

…I know, I know – but that still doesn’t help how it sounds. Haha…!

Saki expresses her faith in Takizawa, by asking him if he has once more portrayed the villain in order to save everyone. This hits a spot in Takizawa, and his expression becomes sort sadly relieved.

While the rest are on the elevator, Saki takes Takizawa’s hand and he brings her to the roof.  He explains how the data was sent by Itazu and that he figured it would have lead them to Toyosu. Then, he addresses the NEET. He tells them to post how to shoot down the missiles on the Eden site; then remarking to Saki how much of a miraculous effort that they can pull together, just like on Careless Monday, without whom he couldn’t have saved the people.

He talks to Juiz, and the best way to shoot down the missiles on the Eden site was chosen. As the missiles are launched, the counterattack is launched.

Following is a very… cool scene… with a very bad… although befitting… song.

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Yes, in the bottom-center, those are all naked NEET.

Ohsugi and the gang watch in amazement at Takizawa’s effort. Even Itazu, who’s lying in the hospital. (Hooray! I thought he was dead! Actually it would’ve been more dramatic that way.) And we see the other Selecao, who merely think of it as Takizawa being in time, that destruction will see Japan soon enough. Some missile debris fall around, and Saki and Takizawa manage to be knocked down but unharmed.

Takizawa calls Juiz. Pretending to be a terrorist won’t be a good enough cover-up for this big an event, he says, and he wants to use the remaining money to become the king of Japan. Slipping the Selecao phone into Saki’s pocket, Takizawa stands with her as they look at the sky from the rooftop.

Now he’s become Saki’s prince, after all.


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Awesome. Just awesome.

Ironically, at the end, we find that despite everyone’s efforts, Takizawa – though he would wish to avoid it if possible – at the end is crowned as a prince/king. Many themes in this anime may be symbolic, take it how you will, but it would be worth some thought and discussion. Anyone got any ideas to share?

This episode ended really quick. It seemed shorter, or was that just me? Lucky to know, there are at least two – and likely three – Eden of the East movies coming out later this year (November 28th)!!!

I don’t know how they could have ended the series better. In my opinion, there was enough mystery left behind, in the other Selecao and their motives, Mr. Outside, and Juiz. Not too much was unsaid, though. Perhaps this could be opportunity for a season 2, but I think that the movies will continue and finish the story.

So much happened in so little space and time in this episode, so I’m not sure what more I can say. Watch it yourself, and if you already have, discuss it here!


Posted by: Dante Sangria | June 18, 2009

June, July, August ’09 J-Pop/Rock Releases!

Lots of new J-Pop / J-Rock releases over the summer! Especially in June. Great stuff, read on!!!

Too many of them to write about so I won’t give a run-down of each. Enjoy~


As of today, these are the top highlights on my J-Music release list – and they’re all released today! (As of this writing.) Check them out ASAP! Do it. You know you want to. o_o

  • Stereopony – Hydrangea ga Saiteiru
    Release Date: June 18, 2009
    COMMENT: Stereopony likes flowers! XD
  • Do As Infinity – Infinity 1
    Release Date: June 18, 2009
    COMMENTS: First single after they re-banded last year! I feel behind – I didn’t even know this until I heard about this single. Will be glad to get my hands on this… >=)
  • Stephanie – Colors of my Voice
    Release Date: June 18, 2009
  • Gackt – Faraway -Hoshi ni Negai wo-
    Release Date: June 18, 2009
    COMMENTS: Gackt. ‘Nuff said – hopefully?
  • SCANDAL – Shojo S
    Release Date: June 18, 2009

Lately we’ve been graced by YUI, Stereopony, Gackt, ftw…! <_< … >_> Check out CDJapan to order these CDs, I’d reccommend it highly. (YesAsia for most other things, though! Anime, manga, DVDs, merchandise….)


  • PUFFY – Bring it!
    Release Date: June 18, 2009
  • POLYSICS – Young Oh! Oh!
    Release Date: June 18, 2009
  • V6 – Spirit [Jacket C]
    Release Date: June 18, 2009
  • Yui Aragaki – hug
    Release Date: June 18, 2009
  • Art Cube – Rurisame / Kogekyo
    Release Date: June 18, 2009
    COMMENT: Any connection with “Art School”? Let me know. >_>


  • girugamesh / UNTITLED
    Release Date: August 5, 2009
    …It’s over NINE-THOUSAND!!!
  • UVERworld – UNTITLED
    Release Date: July 29, 2009
    COMMENTS: Definitely looking forward to this one – can’t wait!
  • Coming Century – Hello-Goodbye
    Release Date: July 29, 2009
  • Kaori Mochida – UNTITLED
    Release Date: August 12, 2009
    – COMMENTS: “UNTITLED.” What a creative title. Kidding…. Okay, lame, I’ll shut up now. DX !!!
  • GIRL NEXT DOOR – Be your wings / Friendship / Wait for you
    Release Date: August 5, 2009
  • J – Stars From The Broken Night (Title subject to change)
    Release Date: August 5, 2009
  • UA – ATTA
    Release Date: July 22, 2009
    COMMENTS: I don’t know who “UA” is, but I almost thought this said “YATTA” as in, the expression; However, search YouTube the “YATTA!” video. Green leaves ftw!
  • misono – UNTITLED
    Release Date: August 12, 2009
  • My Little Lover – UNTITLED
    Release Date: August 5, 2009

Check out more of this summer’s releases, and more info will be on sites such as CDJapan, etc. I’m sure there’s more great stuff to come! That basically covers this summer, however if there’s any more I’ll most likely post it up (feel free to let me know of anything worthwhile).


As of today, these are the top highlights on my J-Music release list – and they’re all released today! (As of this writing.) Check them out ASAP. XD
Posted by: Dante Sangria | June 15, 2009

Gackt 4 New Singles – Weekly Summer Releases!

Starting with June 7th’s Koakuma Heaven, Gackt will be releasing 4 singles total (3 remaining) practically weekly, as follows:

  1. Koakuma Heaven (June 7)
    B-Side: “My Father’s Day”
  2. Faraway ~Hoshi ni Negai wo~ [Faraway 〜星に願いを〜] (June 17)
    B-Side: “Oblivious ~Kao no Nai Tenshi~” [Oblivious 〜顔のない天使]
  3. Lost Angel (June 24)
    B-Sides: “No Reason”, “Suddenly”
  4. Flower (July 7)
    B-Side: “In Flames”

(Credits to StyleJapan blog for providing the list of singles, I was too lazy to make my own list.)

This first single, Koakuma Heaven, if you haven’t heard it already, is more upbeat and exceedingly perverted. The lyrics booklet also contains Japanese emoticons…! The B-Side for this single isn’t written for Gackt’s own father, however. Surprisingly, huh? It was written for the death of Ogata Ken, a role model (or father figure of sorts) for Gackt.

All this is in preparation for Gackt’s solo project’s 10 year anniversary! Now, I think he needs to do something to remember his pre-solo project – i.e. Malice Mizer. Now wouldn’t that be awesome. But I suppose in lieu of these releases I should be grateful, and hopefully something like we haven’t heard from Gackt in a while will come up as his direction as of late hasn’t been as… like the Gackt we know, for all his “older” but most famous hits.


Posted by: Dante Sangria | June 15, 2009

Eden of the East Episode 10


The episode begins with Saki, Micchan and Takizawa boarding the shinkansen (bullet train) back home – however, Takizawa steps out at the last minute due to an urgent message from another Selecao.

Again, Ohsugi tries to warn Saki via e-mail of Takizawa. Takizawa confronts Selecao 01 at the subway, discovering he is apparently a “hero.” Bribed with discovering his past, a way to end the game, and the reason he erased his memories, Takizawa follows Mononobe Daiju (Selecao 01).

Before Takizawa walks to the exit with Mononobe, Saki calls him, and asks him what’s going on. Revealing to him that she knows the truth, that his phone is special, the woman in the hotel room, and that she suspects the Selecao of causing Careless Monday, he leaves her on the line as he himself is trying to discover his own identity. In case he is a criminal, he says, she will know and he can be out of her life….

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Micchan soon arrives and listens in to the convo with Saki….

Ohsugi and the gang are at Takizawa’s place, looking at the piles of cell phones and positing that Takizawa has some relation to the missing NEETs. They discover Takizawa didn’t go with Micchan and Saki, after a phone call.

Everyone soon receives e-mails from Itazu (…), sent to their phones and the Eden server, containing data too large for their phones to process.

Meanwhile, Mononobe tells Takizawa that his name is only an alias. He also reveals that Ato Saizo of the ATO Company is Mr. Outside, which is a pun on his actual name. Then again, there wouldn’t be anyone else, apparently, with enough power and influence to set up such a game in Japan. Ato Saizo prided himself with setting the foundation for modern Japan. Looking at the standstill of the country, he decided he wanted to test it, and once again influence dramatic change in Japan.

However, at the start of the game, Ato Saizo was diagnosed with cancer, and is now most likely dead.

Mononobe plans to win this game by becoming Mr. Outside himself. He will also take Juiz…! For himself. Creepy bastard. Perhaps… for…

…Well, I mean… she does fulfill requests, after all; but as you might recall from any episode featuring “JOHNNY!!!” we know that there are some crazy Selecao we wouldn’t doubt would prevent things from getting out of hand! (Of course, if the above un-aforementioned were a possibility we’d have a doujin-style Selecao vs. Selecao! >_>)

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Soon Mononobe and Takizawa arrive at the ATO Institute’s research facility (Ato Harima Neuro Science Institute). We find out that Mononobe left his previous job, and thus worked for Ato’s company, gaining an executive position and much influence in the company. Also, he has two Selecao on his team. Selecao 10, Yuuki, who fired the 11 missiles (Careless Monday). The other Selecao’s name is Tsuji, but other than that he remains quiet and mysterious.

Mononobe tries to treat himself to a victory reward. He asks Juiz, of course… but Mononobe soon reveals that the large room in which they stand (reminiscent of Star Wars Episode 1’s Duel of the Fates room) is, in fact, “Juiz” herself.

Soon should follow the Selecao duking it out with lightsabers and Force powers, like an Excel parody minus the Puchuus. But… then again there wouldn’t be too many of you out there (save myself of course, if I may consider myself to be “out there”) who would exactly enjoy this….

Anyways – back to the ATO Institute. No one else except for the Selecao and the late Mr. Outside actually know what it is for. And another surprise for Takizawa: Tomorrow at 8 AM, the country will be struck with missiles again. This time, with… 60 missiles. This is apparently supposed to awaken people to realize the importance of things to them, and the corruption of the society and irresponsibility of the government, with the happiness of the people to take care of.

The last Selecao, Tsuji, still has his remaining 10 billion yen. It may have something to do with the 60 missiles, but as of yet we don’t know why. He may just be stingy. In any case, Yuuki warns Takizawa not to get in the way of things again, as he apparently had in the past. The Selecao then reveal to Takizawa the reason he wiped his memory: because he was betrayed by everyone around him – even those who he helped, and was being helped by.

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Above: The gang looking at Itazu’s data. Little did he know his secret Loli stash was attached to that e-mail too. A distraction outside, however, causes them to realize the masses of NEET flooding off the ships, and they run in horror. Apparently, NEET have uniquely magic white sex organs complete with scribblies. But after years of seclusion, maybe that’s just white mold….

Back at the Eden club, the data from Itazu is finally processed. Yet again they suspect Takizawa of releasing the Tomahawk missiles on Careless Monday, but before they can examine further a crash outside shakes the building. As they peek outside, they soon rush back in and run for their lives as shipping containers full of hundreds of naked people break free of containers, charge toward Takizawa’s mall in a mad dash while screaming bloody murder…!!!

…Here, one might not want to think about how those containers smell, or the contents or actions therein. But of course now that I’ve said it, you will begin to imagine in detail…

A pink-haired woman serves the celebratory treat – an empty bottle of celebration. Is..! This…! Jeopardy! Juiz?! Her voice sounds similar, and she is very secretary-esque.

Selecao 12, for 9,999,995,000 yen, has just moved Juiz to a hidden location.

Who is this Selecao 12? The Supporter?! Mr. Outside?!

And is Juiz a room, supercomputer, or a person? Or… The Matrix…!

Slipping out, we see Takizawa board a train, and the episode ends. How emo, this Takizawa fellow. And he thinks it’s some suave James Bond-esque technique, pshaw.


Undoubtedly, this episode progresses to be one of the most interesting yet, albeit not as dramatic as episode 9 (in my opinion). Things from hereon out will probably progress just as significantly.

I don’t know how many episodes this anime has, but things are really closing in. I shall look this up, but it seems to be shorter than I would’ve thought originally by how fast things are moving all of a sudden. Secrets are being revealed, the Naked NEET are back (“1984,” the movie, anyone?!), and everything seems to be coming together as the game seems to be coming to an end due to the mysterious 12th Selecao, who may be Mr. Outside – or, the Supporter….

The ending was rather… interesting, anyways. Those NEET – after all this time, why are they naked? With such a small army and the frightfully naked barbarian tactic, can’t they raid and pillage whole towns and villages? And what do they plan on doing at Takizawa’s house? That they haven’t been able to do in their… um… shipping containers, of course. Amidst the mold and all. (Takizawa is a NEET too, according to my theory as evidenced by episodes 1 and 10. Let’s not even talk about Pantsu.)

Juiz Theories: – What is Juiz?!

  • A genie.
  • An irresistible, yet slutty assistant of Mr. Outside.
  • A supercomputer able to control the world, and peoples’ minds. And, most importantly, spoon bending.
  • A room. No, The room. Silent Hill 4 style.

Phew! Extra long review today. I hope you are all enjoying this series as much as I am. =)


Posted by: Dante Sangria | June 5, 2009

Eden of the East Episode 8 Review

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Takizawa screams out to “Johnny!!!” from his nightmare, shooting upright in his couch. Seeing Saki there, he asks about Ohsugi, who is doing okay and apparently didn’t have anything to do with the whole hotel scheme. Saki reassures him that no one else was at the hotel when she arrived. Sure….

Soon we see Ohsugi in his trademark yellow hoodie, ranting at everyone for the preposterous claim that he met the “Johnny Hunter,” and his anger further stirred by the exposure of his “usual” singles’ message board. (Densha Otoko, anyone?) Apparently, that pedo picked up Ohsugi’s bag while he was at a company training “drinking party.”


– Don’t get it? [link] [link] [link]

After Ohsugi leaves, he spots Takizawa and Saki walking together, and jealously watches them from afar. Here we can imagine him sitting in a corner, writing something along the lines of [Old-fashioned love poem about a guy being in love with a girl far away, or an unreachable girl, or whatever]. Thereafter he snaps a stalkerish pic of… Takizawa(?!) with his phone for his private collection and uploads it to Eden, where Takizawa isn’t registered.

Apparently, Big Brother is everywhere, in this anime! Hence, my blog title! Gotta love it!!! Eden cattle-tags everyone, or something, and links them to a satellite where their every movement can be tracked, and anyone from any angle can be identified, short of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.

Later, Takizawa returns to the Eden clubroom, with his “other” cell phone which he wishes to repair – and is referred to a guy named “Pantsu” (Panties), who lost his last pair of pants to the wind and has since become a shut-in. Takizawa then leaves, and Mittan is taken along as bait, and Saki comes along for some extra brownie points.

While they board the train, Ohsugi discovers that Takizawa uses many names, and conflicting messages appear on Eden. Thinking something terrible is underway or that Takizawa is some kind of terrorist, he quickly reports to the club. Mittan is told to check out Takizawa’s old mail on his phone. Of course, Saki is also quite suspicious and wants to discover what Takizawa’s cell phone is all about.

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Upon arriving at Pantsu’s place, we see his nameplate by his door; the kanji for his name (板津豊, Itazu Yutaka)can also be read as “Pantsu.” Pantsu makes Micchon and Saki run him an errand, and Takizawa gains access to Pantsu’s room by bribing him with information about the missing NEET, Selecao, and the recent events – nothing short of the notorious Johnny Hunter (“City Hunter! City Hunter!”), of course! See if you can guess why Saki and Micchon don’t wanna go in his room. ; P

Can someone say…


On a side note, this guy drinks a lot less beer than Tatsuhiro Satou. Some hikikomori, pfft.

The episode ends with a strange and creepy smile from Takizawa, his eyes glinting in the dim light as he stares at Pantsu, handing over his cell phone.

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Look at these pictures in rapid succession
(for a preview of Episode 9)…!

Next episode I’ve already previewed (it’s quite interesting+funny – I won’t spoil it), but it’s not subbed yet – I’ll wait ‘til then. However, I will be gone for a week- nonetheless I’ll still try to watch the episode and write up on it. Until then!


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