Because I'm a shameless Manjoume fangirl.
This is where I feature a character from an anime and explain their name meanings. If you'd like to request a name meaning, let me know! ^_^
Name: Yukimura Seiichi
Anime: Prince of Tennis
Yukimura is a wonderful character that has lots of potential... His name is quite fitting to his character as well. "Yuki" is the kanji
for peace or happiness, and "mura" means village. I think this reflects the serenity of his nature very well.
The more interesting part about his name is the fact that it stems from the historic Japanese war hero, Sanada Yukimura. A
brilliant tactician and expert in the art of war, he almost led a successful campaign against the then-shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. He is
ultimately betrayed and meets a tragic end. I think it's interesting indeed, that the powerhouse tennis team Rikkaidai's Captain (Yukimura)
and Vice Captain (Sanada) are named after this true life hero.
"Sei" means soul or life force. This of course, speaks to Yukimura's passionate feelings toward tennis, and his incredible
will to overcome his suffering to become greater than he is. Ichi is a common ending for a boy's name.
[ previous name meanings ]
Sunday, February 27, 2005
* Fuji Shusuke *
Fuji Shusuke (Syusuke)
a Prince of Tennis character analysis by athena
...and some profile info from fanbook 10.5 & 20.5
...plus manga scans from my favorite Fuji scenes!
* * Happy Birthday, Shusuke!! * *
Name: Fuji Shusuke
AKA: The Prodigy, Fujiko-chan
School: Seigaku Jr. High, 3rd yr
DOB: February 29 (Pisces)
Height: 167 cm (5' 6")
Weight: 53 kg (117 lbs)
Blood type: B
I'm writing this partly because I love this character and in part because his birthday's coming up on February 29th (leap year baby!). Fuji is my second favorite Prince of Tennis character, just behind Atobe, whom I profiled a few days ago. Fuji's one of my faves because he's not quite what he appears to be, and always has some qualities about him that are hidden, which truly make him intriguing. People say some unfair things about this character, the two of which I hear the most are: 1) he is a sadist; 2) he is in love with his brother. I don't think either is true. But more on that later. On to some interesting profile info from fanbooks 10.5 and 20.5. By the way, I did an analysis on the meaning of his name, so please check that out too! ^_~
Dominant hand: Right
Playing style: Counter puncher
Best skill: Tsubame Gaeshi, Higuma Otoshi, Hakugei
- Shoes - Nike (Ready Air Biscayne MID III)
- Racket - prince (Triple Threat Rip)
prince - (Michael Chang Titanium)
Hobbies: Collecting cacti, photography
Favorite Food: Apples, Cajun food, spicy curry
Family: parents, older sister, younger brother (Yuuta)
Father's occupation: Works for a foreign company
Best subject: Japanese classics
Favorite color: beige Favorite type: Someone with pretty fingers
- Thank you for taking care of my brother.
- I will break them!
- Sorry, Tezuka...I don't think it will come around to you this time.
what's in his bag
- Cell phone - his family is out a lot, so this is a necessity.
- Pass case - holds his schedule for commuting to school, ATM card and the like.
- The Little Prince - (English version) A book close to his heart. He's already read the Japanese version, so he's reading the English version now.
- Vocabulary book - If he comes across a word he doesn't know in The Little Prince, he writes it down so he can look it up later. (awww...a diligent one!)
- Notebook - so he can write down a description of the photos he takes.
- Compact camera - so he can take beautiful pictures when he comes across a great photo-op.
- Compact mirror - to check his appearance, and also doubles as a reflector for taking pictures.
results from fanbook reader survey
- "Who do you want as an older brother?"
Ranking first under this question, he responds, "If we could be siblings, I hope we'll get along instead of fighting all the time."
- "Who do you want as your tennis coach?"
Also ranking first here, he says, "Sorry, but I'm a strict coach. Because I want you to become a stronger player."
- "Who would you want to be with if stuck on a deserted island?"
First ranking Fuji replies, "A deserted island seems kinda of fun. I think I could get used to a life filled with gentle breezes and the sound of waves. Fufu..."
Q & A
Q: Fuji-kun, how did you like that Aozu?
A: My strength suddenly left me... In fact, I don't have a memory of those moments right after I drank it. I thought I was ok the instant I drank it... But actually, I don't like vinegar that much...
Ok, so I said in my post on Atobe that I preferred Atobe's looks over Fuji's. That still remains true, but that doesn't mean Fuji's not a hottie too! Usually, he's got a pretty smile on his face and looks cute & jovial. I like that happy look a lot. But he also gets very serious look, and that's when you know he's about to kick some ass on the tennis court! I really like how there's a dual side to him, which shows through so clearly in his appearance. You never know which one is his true self. You could say that's opposite of Atobe, who's so over-the-top about who he is, and is quite proud of announcing to everyone "Who do you think I am??" But the variations in these two characters are lots of fun, to me.Anyway, I truly love the way the author draws this character in the manga, so I'm posting one of my favorite pictures of him here. His hair looks cool in this pic, and the serious expression on his face is pretty hot, too. ^_^
There are lots of things about this character that are easily misunderstood, because people probably take his actions out of context. The infamous line he says once, "I like to see people suffer even more," was blown out of proportion, I think. That was in reference to him wanting to see people spaz after drinking Inui's latest concoction. I think of it as revealing his slightly mischievious streak, but I doubt he literally enjoys seeing people in pain. In fact, he's quite the opposite.
He's an extremely compassionate person, who would do anything to protect his brother Yuuta. It's true that with people who have done harm to those he loves, he is quite ruthless...particularly memorable is his match against Mizuki. He let him come to the brink of victory before making an incredible come-back, beating him utterly and completely. My favorite line from Fuji comes right after he defeated Mizuki: "Thank you for taking care of my brother." This is actually something that's often said by Yakuza, as a not-so-subtle threat. Underneath the nicety of this statement lies the true meaning: "Mistreat my brother again, and I'll kick your ass." I don't think this makes him a nasty person necessarily. Afterall, in the manga, Mizuki told him that his "dumb younger brother" was so easy to manipulate. I think it was justified, considering the circumstances.
People also tend to accuse Fuji of being in love with his brother, but I don't really see that at all. He loves his brother very much, and I think it's a sweet relationship...definitely not incestuous. He wants to give him room to grow, and to become a worthy tennis player - but at the same time, has concerns that any older brother might have for him. I especially loved the scene where he asks his brother to hit a few rounds with him the day before the Rikkaidai tournament. Yuuta says he's not a worthy practice opponent, but Fuji smiles and says, "I just wanted to hit some rounds with you...isn't that ok?" His brother, in turn, can't quite show his affection for Fuji so openly, although he does try. Like the time he came home to check up on Fuji before his big match. Fuji tells him their sister isn't home to make him his favorite pie, and Yuuta gets a little miffed and says, "It's not like that's the only thing I come home for..." (And yet not quite able to say he came home to wish his brother luck...) ^_^
the true Fuji?
One of the most interesting things about Fuji is that he keeps his true powers hidden most of the time. He once explains this to Tezuka, right after his practice match with Ryoma. (I don't think this scene was ever animated... If it was, I'd appreciate it if someone would let me know which episode!) He tells Tezuka that he doesn't think he has the passion for winning, and that he merely enjoys the thrill in bringing out the best in his opponents. (In fact, he even told Tezuka that if he had his doubts, Tezuka should remove him from his regular spot). He always figured Tezuka felt the same way, but is proven wrong when he watches Tezuka's passionate play against Atobe at the Kantou tournament. My favorite Fuji scene is when he finally comes into his own during his match against Kirihara Akaya. Though temporarily blinded, he is able to bring out his hidden genius, which amazes everyone...including Coach Ryuzaki, who notes that his skills surpass even those of Tezuka...
I'm really looking forward to next week's Fuji vs. Tezuka match. I have a feeling Tezuka's going to win, but I'm sure it'll be a great game!
other sites you should visit
...for scans and translations of Fuji's room and Q & A from fanbook 10.5.
...best Fuji dedicated site I've seen (unfortunately, the bandwidth is currently exceeded for this site, but be sure to visit back later!)
Posted by athena at |9:35 PM|
Saturday, February 26, 2005
* Samurai Champloo 23 *
Samurai Champloo Ep 23: Baseball Blues
Hehe...is every anime doing a spo-kon* spoof? First Yugioh GX with their tennis episode, and now Samurai Champloo, of all animes! This was actually a hilarious episode, although it was a bit goofy. It had me laughing out loud, and I really enjoyed myself...
Basically you have Fuu, Jin and Mugen (and some other random Japanese characters) vs. the American team. The Americans have arrived with bombs and threats, saying that unless Japan agrees to trade with them, they will wage a war...and so instead of bloodshed, they decide to have everything come down to a baseball game. The Japan team is pretty raggedy, but they're actually doing pretty well, until the Americans start some under-handed tactics to stop them in their tracks - namely, beating the crap out of them. (Hehe...it was pretty funny when Jin tried to run the bases while the American team members were trying to jump him. He almost got to home, but they snatched home plate away from him, poor guy). Mugen pitching lethally speedy dead balls at the players had me laughing so hard....
I found it amusing that the Japanese subtitles translated the English "F*ck you!" into what would translate back as "eat sh*t!" (see screencap above). Anyway, fun episode! Much better than last week's, which you might notice that I skipped.
By the way...New ending theme! A very groovy rap song: "Fly" feat. Azuma Riki by Small Circle of Friends.
* Spo-kon: Short for "Sports konjou" (sporting spirit), this term refers to the sports manga genre, usually associated with crazy, scientifically impossible feats of sporting genius, and always involves an underdog feel-good winner at the end. ^_^
Posted by athena at |10:21 PM|
Friday, February 25, 2005
* Prince of Tennis 173 *
Prince of Tennis Ep 173: Samurai New York
Hehe...well, this was a bit of a throw-away episode, but if it means the series is winding down to a close, then maybe it's a good thing to slow down the pace just a little. I really liked this episode, even though I haven't really seen any of the Kevin episodes from earlier in the series, and thus don't know much about this character. The appearance of the American versions of Kaidoh and Momo was pretty funny, and I enjoyed watching Ryoma navigate the streets of New York.
I really found Ryoma endearing in this episode. I think he truly loves his father, and wants to rise to his expectations because he knows deep down that Nanjirou has entrusted his own dreams of professional tennis stardom upon his son. Although the two of them bicker all the time, it's quite obvious that Nanjirou is a huge presence in Ryoma's life, and it is through surpassing his father that Ryoma will demonstrate the depth of his appreciation and love for him. Lol...can you tell I'm a bit of a sentimentalist?
Ryoma's dreaming that he's in bed back at home, and his father has just stormed into his room for a rude awakening. (it's a pretty funny scene, with Nanjiro trying to wake Ryoma up by pressing his foot into his face!) "Crap! I'm gonna miss my flight!" Ryoma jumps up. But then he realizes he's in his hotel room in America. He holds Karupin and looks out into the New York cityscape from his window...
He gets up and makes his way to the convenience store, where he buys breakfast. The dude behind the counter asks if he's Chinese, and Ryoma replies he's Japanese. "I went there when I was younger," the man replies, "Sumo! Samurai! What an exciting country! But I couldn't stand the nattou!" (Ugh...neither can I. Who can eat them fermented beans? Yuck!)
Ryoma has his food at Central Park - it's a really beautiful day.
*flashback of the day before: The man driving him to his hotel remarks that he figured Ryoma might be a little nervous, but it appears that he isn't. "There's Samurai Nanjiro Junior for you," the man says. He also says that he chose Ryoma as a wild card choice after seeing him play at the Junior Japan-America Tournament...but the man looks into the rear view mirror, and Ryoma's nodding off.
Ryoma's hitting balls off the wall. People around him are watching him in amazement... He takes a break and lays down on the grass, when Kevin catches up with him. "I was looking for you, Echizen Ryoma," he says. With him is a sports journalist, Jeffery Carlyle. He's worked with Pro Tennis Monthly, so he knows Inoue, and has been keeping up with Ryoma's achievements.
They're standing next to a tennis court, and there's a dispute going on between some young kids and two punks - they look like American versions of Kaidoh and Momo, except Kaidoh is voiced by Momo's VA, and vice versa...heheheh... (Kaidoh dude is "Rick" and Momo guy is "Rod") They bully the kids out of the court, and rough them up a bit. Kevin sends a ball flying in their direction, hitting one them. The punks challenge Kevin and Ryoma to a match. The reporter tries to talk them out of it, but the punks are determined to humiliate Kevin & Ryoma (little do they know...)
"Ret's GO!" Kevin says. (lol..)
"I know some guys that look like you," Ryoma says, "...but they're much cooler!" Hehehe.... He then hits his Twist serve, which smacks Rick in the head. Rick and Rod get really serious and start burning up in flames: "We're gonna send you to HELL!" they yell. (Ryoma remarks that this is like American cartoons..) But of course, Kevin and Ryoma beat the crap out of these imposters...despite getting in each other's way. The punks beat a hasty retreat.
Later, Kevin says he's got something to show him, and takes him to the US Open tennis courts. Kevin tells him that he had thought that he would get to the Open before Ryoma...but now that Ryoma's here, he'd better do his best! They each had fathers who were unable to get to the top of pro tennis - and their role is to fulfill those dreams in their place. The reporter recounts Nanjirou's unexplained disappearance from the tennis world when he was at the top of his game (it was right before the final match of the US Open). It was surmised by Inoue that Nanjiro quit because he obtained something even more precious. (And this is, of course, when Ryoma was born...)
Ryoma has a flashback of his father telling him at the airport to go fulfill the dreams he wasn't able to. He dreams that night of running through a dark path and at the end of it is a shadowy figure..."Dad? DAD!!" Ryoma wakes up. "A dream?"
He sets out for the courts, but not before convenience store dude calls out to him "Yo, Samurai Boy!" (Ugh! If someone ever said that to me, I would have the urge to drop kick them...although it wouldn't be the most ignorant thing I've ever heard...) "And which Junior Tournament are you in?" he asks. "Check page 32 in that magazine," he replies. Ryoma's featured in the article, with a picture...
He's at the Open, and in the waiting room. The man comes to get him for the preliminary rounds. "Do your best," the man says. "Of course," Ryoma replies, in English. ^_^
He steps onto the court... "Dad...here I go...!"
Next Week: Tezuka Kunimitsu vs. Fuji Shuusuke
Gah! I can't wait!!!
Posted by athena at |12:11 PM|
* Yugioh GX 21 *
Yugioh GX Ep 21: Seal the Fusions! Judai vs. Misawa (part 1)
* * Count down to Manjoume: 2 more episodes! * *
This was a really fun episode! It seems like an interesting set-up for what's inevitably coming - the match against the North School. They mention that the student chosen from the North school is a first year, which means of course, that it HAS to be Manjoume!! I'm very excited by this, and if / when Judai is chosen, it had better be the case that Manjoume finally gets his well deserved triumph! I'll never forget it if Judai wins YET AGAIN. It might actually cause me to give up on this series if that happens! Well, maybe not...but I'll definitely think that this series is way to cliche (hero always wins, yadda yadda).
Is it just me, or does Misawa have the most unimaginative looking monsters ever? Although the ritual monster he apparently summons next episode looks semi-interesting.
The episode opens with some mysterious dude with a pony tail in scuba gear, who comes up out of the water and sneaka onto the shores of the island of Duel Acadamia. His name is Kunisaki Kousuke, and he says that he's going to figure out "that secret" of Duel Acadamia...
Meanwhile, the faculty members of Duel Acadamia are discussing who they should choose to represent their school in the match against the North School. It had already been assumed that the Kaiser would step up to the challenge, but they've since learned that it is a first year student that the North School has chosen. They consider that maybe they should choose a first year too. Ryou, who's also part of this meeting, immediately recommends Yuki Judai. (Awww...it's so cute! He didn't even hesitate before mentioning his name!) The faculty for the most part nod in agreement, but of course - Chronos is upset, and insists that they choose Misawa instead. Thus it's decided that there will be a duel between these two, in order to decide who should be chosen.
The decision is announced in class the next day, and Shou's really excited for Judai. No one from red has ever been chosen before. Misawa notes that his seventh deck is almost complete. Judai says he's looking forward to the match. Judai's pumped, and he says he's gonna go home and work on his deck now!
Kunisaki's managed to swipe an Osiris red coat, and he's walking around the halls trying to ask a question, but no one will listen to some kid in red. (Although he looks too old to be a student, as Shou points out). Judai approaches him, and he says, "I get it, you've been set back a few years, haven't you? That's alright...if you keep trying, you'll eventually be promoted. Don't give up! Now let's go back to our dorm!" Then he drags the guy back to the red dorm. They partake in a very meager meal, which Judai chomps down with great enthusiasm.
After dinner, Judai's putting his deck together. "I'm gonna have faith in these guys, no matter what Misawa comes at me with!" he says, as he holds his deck to his face. Kunisaki's been hanging out with them too, and thinks to himself how childish Judai is. Then he notices a card on the floor and picks it up. It's Judai's Skyscraper card. Kunisaki gets a nasty flashback, where - with Skyscraper as a backdrop - he's utterly crushed in a duel against a shadowy figure that's no doubt Kaiba Seto. It looks like he was a hapless victim of the Blue Eyes White Dragon. Kunizaki gets infuriated...
Judai asks him "What's the matter, old man?" "Don't call me old man! I'm Kunisaki Kousuke!" (But he realizes too late that he's said his real name by mistake..) Judai asks him if he likes the Skyscraper card too, and he responds that he hates dueling! The kid wonder why he's at Duel Acadamia? And he tries to play it off, saying "It's no fun failing all the time..." Hayato tries to cheer him up, saying that he used to feel that way, before watching Judai duel...and now he's been inspired to do better. Awww...
Kunisaki thinks to himself that he's got no time to waste hanging out with these kids, but then realizes that maybe they might know something about kids disappearing from Duel Acadamia. "You mean the ghost dorm?" Judai asks.
Outside the abandoned dorm, Asuka places a rose on the ground for her brother. Kunisaki approaches her, and says that he's heard that students have disappeared from this dorm...and asks her if she's got some kind of connection with someone who's disappeared. She tells him it's none of his business and stalks off. Kunisaki mutters that he can't give up quite yet. This is a juicy story that's going to bring lots of money... He takes some pictures of the dorm building and grins.
Misawa is at his dorm room computer trying to figure out what to put in his deck. He realizes that all of Judai's powerful monsters are fusions, and therein lies the key... Misawa actually looks pretty sinister when he's plotting his moves...hehe. He even does a Kaiba-esque cackle when he figures out the best way to defeat Judai!
It's the day of the duel, and Judai's the same old, in high spirits. Shou's a little tense, and says Judai should be too. But of course, this kind of thing doesn't phase him. They wonder where Kunisaki's gone to...?
Finally, the duel's about to begin. Chronos announces that this is the duel that will determine who will represent the school against the North school. He introduces Misawa with great flair. Then mumbles Judai's name as his opponent... ^_^;; Asuka's watching from the audience, and Ryou walks up, saying it looks to be an interesting duel. Asuka says rather angrily, "yeah." "Asuka?" Ryou looks at her with a concerned expression. "It's nothing," she replies, trying to smile. (Obviously still upset about her encounter with Kunisaki last night). Meanwhile, Kunisaki's sneaking around the library trying to hack into the computer. He momentarily gets sidetracked when he remembers Judai, but mutters that duels are just games, and that his story is waiting for him.
The duel begins.
* Duel *
Misawa: Summons Carbonedon in defense (def: 600).
Judai: Summons Burst Lady and destroys Carbonedon with her. Sets one m/t.
Misawa: He draws card and thinks, "Here it is...my key card to destroying you!" Summons Oxygedon in attack (atk: 1800). He declares an attack on Burst Lady, but Judai activates Hero Barrier, which negates one attack by an opponent monster when an E-Hero is on the field. Misawa sets one m/t.
Ryou notes that Misawa has probably calculated to precision how to defeat Judai, and wonders how Judai will respond. Asuka replies that calculations only take you so far...that Judai has an inate ability to grasp the flow of a duel. Ryou looks at her, and she makes an excuse: "I'm not saying that as favoratism...it's what I think, having watched his duel!" (Ooo...is Ryou jealous??? Hmm.....what's going on? XD )
Judai: Summons Sparkman in atk. (atk 1600). He equips Sparkgun to Sparkman, and changes Oxygedon into def (def 800). He attacks Oxygedon with Burst Lady. Oxygedon is destroyed, but when this monster is destroyed by a Fire attribute monster, it inflicts 800 LP damage to both players (Misawa, Judai LP: 3200). He attacks directly with Sparkman (Misawa LP: 1600).
Misawa: He tells Judai that although his Heroes are strong, he doesn't even have a 1 % chance of winning. (What is he, Kaiba?? Talking about duel results in percentages...) Misawa thinks to himself that in order for Judai to use his key card (Fusion), he in turn has to bring out the best in Judai. He summons Hydrogedon in attack (atk: 1600). He attacks and destroys Burst Lady (Judai LP: 2800). He activates Hydrogedon's special ability - when this monster destroys a monster in battle, special summon another Hydrogedon from deck. He activates Living Fossil (equip magic), which lets him special summon a monster from his grave and equip it to that monster. The monster's attack is decreased by 1000 and it loses its special ability by the equip card's effect. He special summons Oxygedon. He activates Bonding H2O, which lets him sacrifice 2 Hydrogedons and 1 Oxygedon to special summon Water Dragon. (atk: 2800).
Judai: Activates fusion with the idea of summoning Tempester (Bubbleman + Featherman + Sparkman). But Misawa activates his trap card, Curse of Sealing Magic. By discarding one magic card from his hand, he can negate the activation of a magic card and destroy it. And for the rest of the duel, his opponent will be unable to use that card. Misawa laughs, saying he's managed to seal all of Judai's fusions! (guess he's forgotten that Judai also has Fusion Gate.. ^_^;;; )
Next Week: Summon Wildman! Judai vs. Misawa (part 2)
Posted by athena at |10:52 AM|
Thursday, February 24, 2005
* Atobe Keigo *
a Prince of Tennis character analysis by athena
...and some profile info from fanbook 20.5
Name: Atobe Keigo
School: Hyoutei Jr. High, 3rd yr
Title: Captain, Tennis team
DOB: October 4 (Libra)
Height: 175 cm (5' 8")
Weight: 62 kg (137 pounds)
Blood type: A
This guy is by far my favorite character from Prince of Tennis. Why do I always go for the divas? Lol... You have to admit that this guy has a lot of charisma, and I love a guy who's the sh*t and knows it, too. ^_^ Of course, in Atobe's case, he makes sure everyone ELSE knows. He loves making a grand entrance in a very "I have arrived" sort of way. It's definitely his flamboyance that struck me the most. I'll quickly go over some of his info from the Prince of Tennis fanbook 20.5, and then describe what I think about him in more detail...
Dominant hand: Right
Playing style: All-rounder
Best skill: Rondo toward Destruction, Insight
- Shoes - HEAD (C,TEch 1000 OM)
- Racket - HEAD (Premier Tour 600)
Hobbies: Fly fishing, reading
Favorite Food: Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding
Family: Grandparents, parents
Father's occupation: Securities company executive
Best subject: All (particularly German & Greek)
Favorite colors: Gold, black
Favorite type: Someone who likes to win
- Be awed by my prowess.
- My prowess grows more brilliant every day.
- Right, Kabaji?
- Forget the rules. I AM the rule.
what's in his bag
- Cell phone - for international calls. People have witnessed Atobe speaking in German over this phone.
- Cell phone - with video phone capabilities in FOMA. (Note: FOMA stand for Freedom of Mobile multimedia access, and it's a service provided by NTT Dokomo, a Japanese communications company). Used mainly to contact family members.
- Cell phone x 2 - Equipped with camera. He uses these phones for most normal usage, but doesn't use the camera much.
- PHS - (Personal Handy Phone) He uses this as a backup for underground use, where it's hard to get a signal. Doesn't use it much.
- Lip balm - Dry lips are the ultimate indignity! Since he couldn't possibly show himself in public with chapped lips, he always carries this around.
- Cologne - Uses one spritz of this as a finishing touch after his post-practice shower. Thus switching to "private mode."
- Foreign book - When he's alone, he's mostly reading. Right now, he particularly likes reading Goethe.
- A gold compact mirror
results from fanbook reader survey
- "Who do you want as a boyfriend?"
Atobe placed 1st under this question, knocking out Kikumaru from the top spot. In response, he says: "'Hyotei, Hyotei, Hyotei, Hyotei, Hyotei,' *SNAP!*...I'm number 1. Well, that's obviously to be expected. To everyone who voted for me: I'll take care of you all at once!"
- "If you could be someone for one day, who would you pick?"
Again, Atobe placed first here. His response: "You wanna try to be ore-sama? I don't mind, if it's just for one day. Enjoy the taste of the sweet life."
What can I say, he's a hottie. Everyone always talks about Fuji being the favored bishi of this series, but I personally prefer Atobe's looks over Fuji's, if only because his personality comes through so well in his expression. This always makes for much cuter looking plushies too...lol. I still can't get over how well they managed to capture his saucy expression in this lovely plushie I just got from Windy (thank you!! *glomps*). The beauty mark under his right eye is cute, too. Anyways, I get the impression that Atobe has a killer wardrobe, and probably has some metrosexual tendencies...which would mean he's always well groomed and has immaculate taste in clothes. He's a rich boy, and can certainly afford to look sharp.
Definitely one of the most charismatic characters in the story, if not the most so. He heads the 200 member team of Hyoutei tennis, and it's obvious that they respect his skills and follow his lead. He started out as a semi-nasty character, taunting some of the Seigaku people...but the author notes that he did this on purpose so as to make a greater impact later, when Atobe sort of reforms himself. You could tell that although his over-the-top personality doesn't change too much, he is not as snide as he may have been before.
But it is his signature narcissistic and arrogant nature that is his trademark, and I think it's his most endearing trait. Coming from anyone else, it would just result in the roll of the eyes, but he makes it work somehow. No one else can pull off quotes like "Be in awe of my prowess" or "I AM the rule," quite like he can. He acts like everyone should worship his greatness precisely because it's well deserved. And although the other characters grin at his antics, they know that he has the skills to back up his ego.
Some people look down on Atobe for destroying Tezuka's shoulder in his Singles 1 match at the Kantou tournament. Although his initial plan was to destroy his shoulder, I have a feeling Atobe didn't expect Tezuka to actually continue that far in the match. He probably thought that Tezuka would forfeit rather than put his own shoulder on the line. He regrets doing this to him later, because he didn't realize that Tezuka had such a reckless and passionate zeal for Seigaku. He didn't expect Tezuka to choose Seigaku over his own health. So although Atobe is an expert at finding his opponent's weaknesses, you could say that he failed in this regard, to truly read his opponent. This is why he feels that although he won this match, he didn't win in the true sense of the word.
The cool part about Atobe is that he works very hard to get where his. And he continues to perservere to better himself...not only for the sake of beating Tezuka in a "real" match, but also to set an example for his team. Despite his seeming aloofness about his team, he is quite dedicated to them. I loved the scene where he stands up for Shishido and asks his coach to give Shishido another chance as a regular, despite his loss to Tachibana. He also is willing to help out his rival team, when he agreed to play practice matches with Seigaku in preparation for their tournament against Rikkaidai. So despite appearances of being self-absorbed, he is quite aware of his peers, and is willing to help them out when they need it.
I'm really looking forward to seeing more of him in Nationals...although my sense is that he will likely lose when he comes up against Tezuka next time (since that's the way the story always goes). But I'm sure he'll continue to impress us with his prowess... ^_~
Posted by athena at |4:45 PM|
Monday, February 21, 2005
* Prince of Tennis 165 *
Prince of Tennis Ep 165
(pt 1): Tenipuri Family Goes to Hawaii?
(pt 2): The Tenipuri Family Christmas
an athena backtrack special!
This chibi episode has some sentimental value to me because it's really what got me started on Prince of Tennis! If you've read my new categories page on Prince of Tennis (do check it out if you have the chance...I've tried to make it easier to navigate my pages here), you'll know that I'm a new fan of this series. Anyway, I randomnly watched this episode and thought it was so quirky! I had to find out more... Now that I've seen a lot more episodes, I understand much more of what's going on in this episode...and even know what "tenipuri" means...lol!
Anyway, this is an adorable chibi episode! I thought the first Tenipuri family episode was hilarious, but this one's quite good too.
Tenipuri Family Goes to Hawaii?
The story opens with Shuuko mama and the kids looking at a travel brochure for Hawaii, and fantasizing a dream vacation. Ryoma points out that Kirihara is going to Hawaii this vacation, and Mama whines that she wants to go too! She glares over at her husband Inui, who swiftly pretends to be engrossed in the paper. Shuuko Moon Volleys a teddy bear right smack into Inui's face!
Shuuko's mother (Fuji) is watching from the yard outside, and rebukes her for being so violent. But then Fuji looks in the direction of husband Tezuka, who's talking to his bonsai plant like it's his lover: "I love you Marilyn...you're the only one that comforts my heart..." Fuji gets angry and hits a flower pot in his direction. Tezuka blocks it from hitting his precious plant, and the pot beelines straight into his forehead. "TEZUKA ZOOOONE!" he mumbles, as he starts to glow...
Later, Shuuko and her kids are out shopping, when they come across a lottery opportunity, where you spin some wheel mechanism for a chance to draw a winning ball... Ryoma and Momoko fight over who gets to spin the wheel, but lil' Kaoru gets to it first. He draws a winner - a trip to Hawaii! The family rejoices in their great fortune: grandma Fuji pumps air into her Hakugei (whale-shaped floatation device), while Shuuko tries on her bathing suit. ^_^;;; But when they look over at Kaoru, he's ripped up their winning pass! Inui papa manages to piece it back together again, but then they read the fine print...and it turns out that they only won free hotel fare, and that they would have to pay all other expenses, including airfare...
So they manage to strike a deal to win a trip to the hot springs / ski resort instead.
Once there, the parents and grandparents take off to the baths. The kids hit the slopes, but not before plowing over Sanada and Yukimura in the hallway. ^_^;;
As Ryoma and Momoko are snowboarding, they bump into Kirihara, who was supposed to be in Hawaii...the three of them leave Kaoru and their cat Kikumaru behind, and take a lift to the top of the mountain. Once there, they end up slipping from the peak, and falling straight down the steep mountain side. Kirihara manages to stop, but Ryoma and Momoko keep falling. They wake up moments later to find a bear licking at their faces..
Meanwhile, the parents and grandparents have discovered the kids missing and have gone to look for them. Kaoru points at the lift to indicate where they went. "The possibility of kids coming down from that gondola safely...0.9%!!" Inui papa says. A very tired looking Kirihara finally catches up with them to tell them where Ryoma and Momoko have gone..
Ryoma and Momoko aren't doing so well...they've managed to find shelter in a shack, but the fire is dying out. Ryoma takes out his matches and lights one...whena huge Ponta appears! (What is this, the Little Match Girl?? Hehe..) Momoko wants one too, and they fight over the matches, when they inadvertently light them all at once! They start to panic, when all the sudden through the door, Taka-san appears with a huge plate of sushi for delivery. He realizes he's got the wrong house, and starts to leave, when Ryoma and Momoko beg him to stay! That's when the rest of their family shows up...awww...a nice reunion takes place, and the whole family sits down to a nice sushi dinner...
(pt 2): The Tenipuri Family Christmas
It's almost Christmas, and Ryoma & Momoko are having a blast decorating their tree, when Shuuko mama and grandma Fuji walk in: "Were you able to decorate the tree alright?" Mama asks...but when she sees that the kids have managed to string up poor Kaoru onto the tree with garland and lights, Mama snaps, and grabs the nearest object to hurl at the naughty kids! Ryoma and Momoko dash for cover and speed out the front door, past Inui papa and grandpa Tezuka, who are arriving home from work. Mama volleys a can in their direction, but it smacks straight into Tezuka's head! Tezuka glows as he mutters: "Tezuka ZOOOONE!!"
"Are...are you alright, Dad?" Inui asks. Tezuka looks at him briefly before bellowing, "OF COURSE I'M NOT OK!!! Everyone - 10 laps around the neighborhood, NOW!!"
Later the evening, Inui papa is looking at his notebook with a concerned expression: "I need more data..." he says. "What data?" Shuuko mama asks. "OH!" she says, as she sees what Inui's been looking at...
It appears the parents need to find out what their kids want for Christmas, so they decide to have them write their wishes on slips of paper and hang them from the tree. "It's not even Tanabata," Ryoma complains, "Why do we have to write down what we want?" (note: Tanabata is a Japanese holiday where one writes their wishes on a paper and hang them from bamboo).
Grandpa Tezuka begins to answer, "If you don't, then we won't know..." when Fuji slams an uppercut right into his chin and knocks him out. Inui papa rephrases: "This is so SANTA will know what to get you!" Kaoru is scribbling something, and realizes that he can't write yet, and panics...
Afterwards, the parents and grandparents gather around the tree to see what the kids wrote.
"Please give me Ponta. --Ryoma"
"Give me Babaroa. --Momoko" (note: Momoko's asking for Bavarian cream cake)
They remark on how cute these kids are...but then Tezuka notices that there's more hanging on the back of the tree. He flips it around, and there's much, much more:
"I want games. --Ryoma"
"I want Very Berry Coco Parfait. --Momoko"
"I wanna eat sushi. --Ryoma"
"I wanna eat steak. --Momoko"
"I want a dog. --Ryoma"
"Those kids.....!!!" ^_^;;;
Shuuko mama sees Kaoru's scribbles and smiles, saying she forgot that he can't write yet. Kaoru's under the table, and crying, thinking Santa's not going to bring him anything!
Nighttime, and Shuuko asks her husband whether he's thought of anything good to get the kids. "99.7% certain," he replies. Shuuko acts all coy and says, "Is Santa going to bring something for his cute wife, too??" She bats her eyes... Inui tries to avoid to question, and notes how he still needs to think up of the missing 0.3%. Shuuko gets angry and hits an alarm clock in his direction...but Inui, without even looking up, says: "It won't reach." And indeed, it flies right past him and slams in to the wall behind him. "Sadaharu-saaaan!!!" his wife screams, as she wrestles him to the ground.
The next day, the women go out to shop, leaving the kids alone. Ryoma and Momoko instantly begin causing all kinds of mischief. Meanwhile, Kaoru takes it upon himself to go find Santa so he can tell him what he wants for Christmas! He comes upon Sanada & Yukimura dressed like Santa and his reindeer. Kaoru speeds up on his tricycle and slams into Sanada, sending Yukimura flying off. Sanada's Santa beard falls of, and Kaoru is shocked to see that he's an imposter! He continues on in his mission to find the real santa...
Meanwhile, at the mall, Fuji and Shuuko have managed to finish their shopping - they've even bought presents for their men at super bargain prices. They spot sales for women's clothing, and go to forage, when they come across Inui, who's desperately trying to find some gifts for his wife... Shuuko complains that he's buying her stuff from the bargain bin (though Fuji reminds her that they were doing to same for him, too...)
Back at home, Ryoma and Momoko realize that Kaoru's gone missing, and they go look for him, using Kikumaru to sniff him out. They come upon the remains of the entire Rikkaidai team, all dressed as santas, and all bruised up and passed out on the street - apparent victims of Kaoru's wrath. Kaoru's really getting frustrated...but then he spots someone who looks like he may be santa walking into the department store. He follows after...
Inside, he discovers the area where a dressed up santa is taking gift wish requests from kids. (It's actually Ryuzaki sensei. And awwww!! There are chibi Hyoutei kids in the play area, including Atobe!). Inui, Shuuko and Fuji arrive on that floor, and kids are running out of the area in tears. (even lil' Atobe! Awwww!!!) They're all upset that Kaoru had ripped the fake beard off of the santa and exposed her as a fraud!
Ryuzaki's upset, and the parents apologize to her...Ryoma, Momoko and Kikumaru also arrive on the scene. But Kaoru has finally spotted his "santa" - this old bearded guy - and he catches up with him. The old man gently pats him on the head and leaves. Kaoru's convinced that he's met the real santa!
Christmas eve, and the family's having a sushi feast delivered by Taka-san. Ryoma asks, "Do you know what day Christmas is?" And Momoko says, "isn't it the day we great presents and eat lots of good food?" Kaoru tugs at her dress and points out the window...it's santa flying through the sky on his sleigh. The kids look up with dreamy faces: "it's santa!!" Kaoru smiles...
"Kids are so innocent," Shuuko mama remarks...
Posted by athena at |1:11 AM|
Saturday, February 19, 2005
* Manjoume Jun *
a Yugioh GX character analysis by athena
Name: Manjoume Jun
Dorm: Obelisk Blue
Deck type: Hell deck, V to Z deck
Key card: Call of the Living Dead
VA: Matsuno Taiki
Ah...Manjoume-san... This guy has got to be my favorite GX character! Not only is he voiced by the excellent Matsuno Taiki (who did a great job as Kouga from Inuyasha - gotta love that voice!), he's one of the most expressive characters of the show, and has demonstrated a wide range of emotions...making him most intriguing. In addition, he's got a great background story and has the potential to become one of the key players in the episodes yet to come.
- Why don't you taste to the fullest...the sorrow of one who lacks
- Only one...there is no need for two Kings at Duel Acadamia
- Call me Manjoume-san!
He's definitely not lacking in the looks department! So he's got some wild spikey hair, but most anime guys do, right? Lol. Anyway, Momoe (or was it the other girl?) did say he had a great looking face...well, the exact words she said were "ike-men." ^_^ I'm really glad he's in Obelisk blue (or was, anyway), because the long blue jacket suits him quite well. As others have pointed out before, he would look horrible in red...
Definitely not the type of person who's easy going or carefree, Manjoume does start off as quite the arrogant elitist of the academy. And he demands respect of others, like when he told Judai that he should not forget to call him with the "-san" honorific! But much like Atobe Keigo from Prince of Tennis, Manjoume's diva-isms are well deserved, because he's got the skills to match his attitude. He looks down upon those who are not as skilled as he is, but will also acknowledge when somebody has capabilities, as he did with Judai back in episode 2. He likely picked up his elitism while being raised in a family of over-achievers who always expected nothing but the best from him. You could say his obsession with winning is similar to Kaiba Seto's own complex. (See discussion below for more on that).
Obviously, this kid also has a soft spot. I will never forget how he blushed when he realized that Asuka had been watching his duel against Judai (ep 2)... He also is quite the responsible young man, who tries hard to live up to his brothers' expectations. He's got some insecurities as well, likely caused by the pressure put upon him by his family. These insecurities at times lead him to do stupid things, like in episode 12, when he tried to cheat his way into winning against Misawa. But with all things Manjoume related, of course I am willing to forgive these faults...hehe... He's very vulnerable and confused at times, which make him all the more vivid to me.
Well first off, he's a top-rate duelist. He's already got a pretty well constructed Hell deck, which we saw in episodes 2 and 12. This deck centers arounds a "hell" theme, and as episode 12 demonstrated, can be quite powerful when used with a focus on Hell Soldier. But he also has the amazing ability to quickly take in other deck themes, like in episode 4, where he expertly constructed and dueled with the V to Z deck. There, he put together an extremely powerful deck with new rare cards he'd never used before, summoning VWXYZ Dragon Catapult Cannon after only 2 turns!
But the skills he's got are only part of his story. As I mentioned earlier, his obsession with winning is connected to his upbringing. He has two older brothers - one who's at the top of his career in finance, and the other in politics. Both of them expect their kid brother to get top grades, and to live up to their family name. He feels extreme pressure by this, and is determined not to let them down. (Doesn't this sound a little like Kaiba - who has to keep winning not only to prove himself to his father, but also because his company's stock depends upon it?) He doesn't feel confident that he can to this, after losing to Judai...which is why he cannot bring himself to admit to his brothers that he is not doing so well at the moment.
Currently, after his defeat to Misawa, Manjoume has left Duel Acadamia to pursue some unknown goals. My thinking is that he has gone to improve his skills, and that he will return before long, better than ever. I was kind of upset by his defeat to Misawa, because I really wanted him to win...and I do think he's capable of getting the best of that Misawa. But like Kaiba had to lose to Yugi before realizing that something was missing from his dueling, I believe Manjoume also has to learn something in the process. We know he's going to appear in episode 24 at the North School... maybe then it will be clear whether he's truly going to step up! ^_^
Posted by athena at |10:28 PM|
* Farewell to David *
Bye & Good luck David!
For everyone who's been watching David's anime blog, we all know that his decision to close down his site is very saddening news... Although I will admit that I do not watch Naruto, which was his main focus, I loved reading his anime reviews - particularly on Samurai Champloo & Bleach. Lots of insightful and interesting stuff to read there... He's going to be missed. Hopefully he'll keep the archives available?? ^_^
So David - best of of luck with everything, and hope you have time to stop by on occasion!
Posted by athena at |1:49 AM|
Friday, February 18, 2005
* Mai HiME 20 *
Mai HiME Ep 20: Mai's Flames, Destiny's Tears
Um.....WOW. I think I needed to see this episode like I needed a kick in the head. Not to say that it was "bad" per se...I just thought it had a completely and utterly unexpected turn of events which left me feeling rather quesy inside. I definitely want to see this through to the end, but I'm not sure I like this story as much anymore.
First off, why is it that all the guys in this show (with the exception of Takumi) just creep the hell out of me? All of them - from Reito, Nagi and Ishigami (and don't get me started on Tate) - are just disgusting! I guess this is supposed to be a bishoujo-centered story, but does it necessarily have to follow that all the guys are such jerks/creeps/bastards?
Second and more importantly perhaps - why are they doing this? I feel like my guts were being ripped out, watching all this suffering and anguish, in addition to my favorite couple being torn apart. I wasn't expecting this series to be so serious. On the one hand, I totally would have accepted these events if I knew that this was what I should expect. But the mere shock of it all made it very unsavory and unwelcomed...
Don't get me wrong - this was an EXCELLENT episode. I just wish I was prepared for it. And now I feel like I need to go watch some Prince of Tennis to cleanse myself. ^_^;;;
ps. the images once again focus on my favorite pair, Takumi & Akira. I'm still so upset about this... T.T
Episode starts with Takumi being assaulted by a very pissed Nao, who tells him that "your sister and her friends did this to me," pointing at her bandaged eye. She tells him she's in pain...and she will bring the same kind of pain right back at him. Akira has heard the disturbance, and rushed in, driving Nao off. Akira grabs Takumi from his hospital bed and crashes through the window, summoning Gennai. She wills him to disappear, using the ninja technique, Kirigakure no jutsu. (I love her ninja style...and it's cool how her Child is a frog - a perfect match for a ninja!). Nao grins...it looks like she's already hooked her threads into the two of them to make it easier for her to follow them...
Meanwhile, Nagi is looking into the sky and says to himself, "What a beautiful night...I wonder what color your all-out dancing will dye this night...Mai Hime.." He grins evilly.
Mai's in her room, still looking depressed. She gets a phone call and she hurridly picks up, saying "Mikoto??" But it's actually Nao, who says, "I'm chasing after your brother, and a Hime disguised as a boy..." She tells her she wants her brother to suffer as she has suffered. Mai begs her to stop, but Nao tells her, "But don't you just want your brother to go away?...I'm gonna start hunting now, you lying sister.." she hangs up on her.
Natsuki is meeting with her contact at a smokey bar. He tells her that Akane has been transferred to a regular hospital. It appears that somebody from the Searrs organization wants to exchange information. But before she can talk to him, she gets a phone call from Midori. It looks like Mai's in trouble. Nobody from the hospital has been able to contact Mai to tell her that her brother's disappered from his room, so they had called her teacher Midori instead. Natsuki runs out, as the man she was talking to turns to another man in a booth...(from Searrs?).
At the hospital, Tate has heard that Takumi is missing, and is concern about it. He remarks that Mai's probably really worried... Shiho suddenly looks extremely evil. (Wow...v v disturbing look. Eeeek). In the trees outside, a crow appears to react. Tate asks if anything's wrong, but she denies it. (Hmmm...it seems Shiho is controlling something? I guess she must be connected to that mysterious ghost hime...or she IS the ghost hime).
Nao has caught up with Akira and Takumi: "Found you! If you're gonna hate somebody, hate your sister." She draws out her claws...but Midori jumps in on her Child and saves them, telling them to run! They hastily make off after thanking her.
Mai's running out to find her brother, when she's haunted by what Nao has said...she trips and falls. She tries to drive the thoughts out of her mind. "It's not true!" She flashes back to her past - it turns out that she was babysitting her brother, when she left him alone to go play with a friend. He ended up drowning in a river, and her mother had jumped in to save him, losing her life in the process. She feels responsible for what happened. "I promised her..." Mai cries. Natsuki suddenly slaps her, and tells her to snap out of it. "I don't have anything important to protect, but you do! What have you been fighting for all this time? Remember??" Natsuki tells her. Suddenly, the ghost hime appears with her Child / crow. "Die..." she hisses. The Child attacks, striking a nearby dorm. Natsuki tells Mai that she'll take care of it - and that Mai should go look for her brother. Mai runs off, and Natsuki turns to face the Child. "Not you," the ghost mutters. The Child flings dagger like weapons at Natsuki. She parries them, but when she turns to face her attacker, she's disappeared...
Akira and Takumi are lost in the forest...they keep backtracking the same location. Takumi pleads to know what's going on. Akira explains everything to him about the Hime...how his sister is one too, and how if a hime is defeated...the person she loves the most must die. Akira is crying, saying that this will surely be Takumi! "Why...? Why did it have to be this weak, unmasculine, and compassionate...just compassionate..." she blushes, and looks into Takumi's eyes. Takumi smiles at her and says, "it's ok...If I'm with you. You're the one who gave me the will to live." "Idiot!....you...idiot..." Akira says, and they embrace tightly...
Meanwhile, on some hilltop, Yukariko is with her Child, and praying. "I don't ask for you to forgive me...but that God's blessing be with you." Ishigami creeps up behind and says, "is it clear? You must confuse them and stop them in their tracks. By defeating another, a Child absorbs their powers and becomes stronger. But Mai's powers are much too great." He explains that they must remove Mai's MVP first, and then let Nao kill Mai, who has lost the ability to summon her Child. He says that's the way to save the world and make Yukariko into the ultimate Hime. Yukariko protests...but Ishigami says he will become the Kukuyou's prince in her place and take the powers of the star.
Shizuru is trying to control the mayhem over at the dorm that Nao struck, which is now burning. Haruka arrives with Yukino, but Natsuki gets there too and drags Yukino away, saying she needs her help. Yukino sends out Diana's seeing eye to locate Takumi. She tells Mai where they are. "Thank you, Yukino-chan," Mai says, quietly. "I'm so sorry...Mai-san.." Yukino says sadly.
Mikoto is wandering around the forest, when the Crow Child flies above her. She remembers that it attacked Mai, and she turns into a rage, and runs after it.
Mai finally locates Akira and Takumi, and they are under attack by the crow and Mikoto. And before her eyes, she watches in horror as a rabid Mikoto slices through Gennai... Akira looks crushed, and she wimpers, "Takumi...."
Mai runs to Takumi's side, but he's already fallen, and begins to disintigrate. "I'm sorry....thank you...neechan..." he says, before he melts away.
Mai screams in sorrow... She's shell shocked and in disbelief. She turns torward Mikoto, in a daze. Mikoto's a little dazed too. Mai slowly stands. "Why did you...to Takumi..." She's enraged. "You did this!" she bites her lip until the blood comes running down. She summons Kagutsuchi and out he comes in a blazing flame. She commences her attack on Mikoto.
Mikoto tries to absorb what's going on... She begins her counterattack, after remembering her brother's words: those who attack you are your enemies, and enemies must be destroyed.
Elsewhere, Mashiro says that they were too late...that this was something that they should have avoided at all cost.
Yukariko looks on in shock, as Ishigami is also expressed surprise, saying it wasn't supposed to be like this.
Only Nagi is happy, as he cackles wickedly...
Natsuki runs in to stop Mikoto. Mai screams that she knows what's she'd doing...it was Mikoto who did this to Takumi. Suddenly, a large unknown Child comes into the fray and pushes Kagutsuchi back. (I'm guessing this is Fumi? There's a shadow of a Hime holding something like a scythe). Mikoto jumps up and is about to come down on Mai with her sword, when Natsuki yells at her to remember...that's Mai...the one you said you loved! She hesitates, and falls short. Natsuki shoots the sword out of her hands..
Mikoto then flashes back to her past...apparently, she had to defeat her grandfather, for whom she cared very much, in order to pass some kind of test? In any case, her grandfather warned her that she should not care for anyone else in her life except her brother, the Kokuyou prince. But Mikoto remembers how she really cared about Mai...she cries. "I really never loved anyone at all..." Mai looks at her and hesitates. But Kagutsuchi is already firing up his next blow, and thrusts it at Mikoto before Mai can stop him. Mikoto just stands there as a blazing path blows through her, burning up half of the forest...
Mai looks on in shock. She limps over to Takumi's pill bottle and clutches it close, crying. It begins to rain.
She walks through the rain in a daze: "Takumi...it's because I forgot about you for just a moment...if only we were only together always... Now, I truly have nothing left..." she remembers Tate, but denies it to herself, saying she cannot desire anything at all.
"Is that right? Haven't you already realized feelings of love?" Reito asks. He approaches her as she tries to deny it... He holds her, and she bursts into tears...
Next week: The Black Prince Awakens
Posted by athena at |11:06 PM|