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RP-ing as Kirihara
Playing w/ my pet Chihuahua




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11~15% suki
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my random poll

Because I'm a shameless Manjoume fangirl.

Favorite Manjoume episode?
Flame Wingman (ep 2)
VWXYZ (ep 4)
H2O (ep 12)
Manjoume Thunder (ep 24)
Armed Dragon (eps 25-6)
Ojama Delta Hurricane (ep 34)
Private Eye (ep 39)
Current results



results from last poll

How was the Prince of Tennis finale?:

More people liked it than I expected! XD I chose the last option of course, because Atobe is just... *purrrrrrs* ♥

  1. Great! I loved it! (35.94%)
  2. It was so-so (23.96%)
  3. Atobe shower was the only redeemer (21.35%)
  4. Horrible...I hated it(18.75%)
Total: 192 votes

[ previous poll results ]


what's in a name?

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

Meaning:

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 ]


jpop rotation

rules:
1. Sampling purposes only. Please delete after 24 hours.
2. Support the artists! Albums available at yes asia,
CD Japan & amazon



Artist: Hamasaki Ayumi
Song: STEP you

[[ hook me up ]]

This song is one of Ayu's more rock-type songs. It's one of her latest singles, just before Alterna and Fairyland.

As always, leave a comment if you download...altho nobody seems to, lol....

[ previous rotations ]


winamp skin


[[ download ]]

[ other skins by me ]




my manga collection
part 2



quote of the week



Follow me to the Nationals!

Atobe Keigo
Prince of Tennis


featured screencap



Prince of Tennis - ep 121


user poll

What do you read when you come to my blog? (check all that apply)
Yugioh GX
Prince of Tennis
Mai HiME
Bleach
Samurai Champloo
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Monday, April 25, 2005

* Since Last Goodbye *


Since Last Goodbye - Lyrics translation
Tezuka Kunimitsu character single

This was one of the first Prince of Tennis character singles I really got into... And I have to say that I listened to it to death. I can never get enough of Tezuka's mellow, beautiful voice! This song is performed by Tezuka's excellent VA, Okiayu Ryoutarou (who currently plays Kuchiki Byakuya on Bleach).

Translated by athena.

~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~

Since Last Goodbye

So many seasons have passed
Since we left each other's side
Yet here I am now, gazing at you

This chance reunion
Came about with no warning...
A gift brought in on a gentle breeze

Last Goodbye
You speak of sad memories
With a smile on your face
Though you had always been
A cry baby before

"If we want to meet again,
Then it will happen"
You had said, as you cried
You have become so much stronger since then...

The early blooming flowers dance
On this tranquil day
And here I am now, gazing at you

I stand here listening to your voice,
Unable to call you by the name
I had used when we first met...

Last Goodbye
I only realized what I had after losing it
And the last lies I told
Bring me no comfort still

"If we want to meet again,
Then it will happen"
You said with a smile, as we parted
You have become so much stronger...

"If we want to meet again,
Then it will happen"
You had said, as you cried
You have become so much stronger since then...

Posted by athena at |4:09 PM| |

Thursday, April 21, 2005

* Yugioh GX 29 *



Yugioh GX Ep 29: vs. Darkness (part 1) -
The Challenge from Red Eyes Black Dragon


thoughts

Hmm....intriguing. The plot thickens, as the story takes a more sinister turn. I think people who have been clamoring for a "real" plot might begin to enjoy this new adventure for our GX characters, as they tackle the mysterious group of 7 assassins who are apparently bent on world domination. Hah. Well, it seems that the "dueling just for fun" attitude isn't going to fly anymore for Judai. Although the "taking over the world" stuff sounds pretty far fetched and cliche, I think this should prove to be an interesting twist in the story, which up until now hasn't had too much of a focus. I'm looking forward to more...

summary

So the episode begins in a dark cavern, where a group of shadowy figures are meeting to discuss their plans. The seeming leader figure ominously announces that the time has finally arrived...and that those gathered have pledged to help him bring about destiny. "Who will destroy the first one?" he asks. A figure steps forward and volunteers... "Darkness..." the leader utters his name...

Darkness takes off into the night sky on a hang glider that looks a lot like the bat signal. It begins to storm pretty badly outside. He's spotted in the air by Marufuji Ryou and Asuka, who have been having a conversation on the pier. (They weren't really talking about much... Ryou just tells Asuka that her expression has gotten softer lately...and that it's a good thing. Aww....!) Sameshima also spots the hang glider, and notes that "they have come, just as I had been informed."

Darkness alights upon a rocky hill top, and tosses aside his glider, which goes up in flames..inexplicably. He's got the other half of that pendant we saw in the last episode hanging from his neck. It begins to glow..

Over at the Osiris dorm, Judai's pendant is also glowing, but he's so far gone in sleep that he doesn't notice it. Shou and Hayato are amazed that the kid can sleep through a storm as bad as this. They don't notice his glowing pendant..

Next day at Duel Acadamia, Judai is sleeping in class again, and gets up in time to partake in his lunch... but Daitokuji tells him he will have to postpone his meal, because the Principal wants to talk to him. His friends fear that maybe he's done something wrong again and going to be expelled.. Manjoume gets up and cackles, saying, "Well, it was short time, but it was nice knowin' ya. Sayonara!" (By the way, he's still wearing his hot outfit from North School. Whee!! No Osiris red for him!) But Daitokuji tells Manjoume that he, too, is being called to the office. (Manjoume: "Ehh??") And while he's at it, he tells Misawa and Asuka the same.

They all gather at the office, along with Chronos and Ryou. Chronos makes another odd ball comment ("Tiramisu fuumi!" - or tiramisu flavor!) and looks at Judai, saying that there's someone here who doesn't really belong in this group. Judai smiles at Manjoume and says, "Don't worry about it, Thunder." Manjoume counters with, "He's talking about you!" XD They're so adorable..

So in the office, Sameshima explains the story of the Three Legendary Demon cards. (FYI: He calls them "san-gen-ma." This is like "san-gen-shin" - or Three Legendary Gods, only instead of god, he uses the word for demon, or magic. I'm assuming he means demon. I'll correct myself later if I'm mistaken. ^_^;;) He says these three cards have been sealed within this island since ancient times.

Judai: "Eh? Has this school been here that long?"

Manjoume: "Shut up and pay attention!"

Sameshima goes on to say that this school is built on top of the place where the cards have been sealed. He says that they are buried deep underground, and that according to legend, if these cards are ever brought out to the surface, the world will be enveloped in evil and that the darkness within people will be released. This will mark the destruction of the world...that is how powerful these cards are. Sameshima says that people have arrived to unseal the cards - 7 assassins / duelists that call themselves the Seven Stars. He says there is little known about this group..but he knows that one of them has already arrived on this island.

Asuka asks how they plan to unseal the cards, and Sameshima explains that the cards are protected by seven stone gates, which can only be opened by a key. He opens a box, and reveals seven pendants, which he says are these very keys. He asks that each of them take one and protect it. For as the ritual goes, the seven assassins will come for each of them and challenge them for the key. He pleads for them to keep these keys safe...

Judai figures that the first guy will always come after the strongest of the group...which of course must be..him! Heh. (Chronos taunts Judai, saying it couldn't be him, for according to his sources, he's lost miserably to Ryou.. but Manjoume has a come back, saying "So you say, and yet you lost to Judai as well..")

Judai later comes to his more modest senses, and figures that he'll probably go after Kaiser first. He falls asleep quite soundly, considering the circumstances. Asuka, meantime, had figured that they will likely come for the weakest link, too. And although Judai is a strong duelist, they will come for him first because he's in red. So she's rushing to his dorm, when she sees a strange light coming from inside. She rushes forward.

Meanwhile, Judai has been woken up by Hane Kuribo, and he realizes that there's an odd light coming into his room. He tries to wake Shou and Hayato, to no avail. Asuka rushes inside, and the light increases.. The two of them wake up to find themselves standing on a lighted disk that's floating over lava. Darkness arrives in a flare of heat, and challenges Judai to a duel.. He says he has been guided here by the pendant.

He points down to reveal that further in the lava pit, Hayato and Shou are trapped inside a lighted bubble. The longer they stay there, the quicker the walls of that bubble will begin to disintigrate. He says that if Judai wants to save his friends, he'll have to win this shadow duel. He also says that the loser of the duel will have his soul sealed away in a card...



* DUEL *

Darkness: Summons Army Dragon in def (def: 800). Sets one m/t.

Judai: Summons Wildman in atk (atk: 1500). Attacks and destroys Army Dragon. Darkness activates this monster's effect - when goes to the grave, special summon another Army Dragon from deck.

Darkness: Activates trap card Call of the Living Dead to summon back Army Dragon (atk: 700). He sacrifices both monsters to summon Red Eyes Black Dragon (atk: 2400). He attacks and destroys Wildman. (Judai LP: 3100).

Hayato knocks at the wall in the bubble to make sure it'll hold, but the walls have already begun to fall away...

Judai: Fusion summons Rampart Gunner in def. Activates her ability to directly attack from def position using half her atk. (Darkness LP: 3000).

Darkness: Activates magic card Dark Mega Flare, which lets him inflict direct damage to Judai equal to REBD's atk when REBD is on his field. (Judai LP: 700). Summons Attachment Dragon (atk: 100). Activates its effect to convert it into a equip card on opponent monster, forcing it to change positions. He has thus effectively sealed off Rampart's special ability.

The walls protecting Shou and Hayato continues to dissolve... "I'm not gonna lose!!" Judai thinks to himself. "Draw!!"

The episode ends to some rockin' background music...

Next Week: vs. Darkness (part 2) - Attack of the Red Eyes Black Dragon

Posted by athena at |8:38 PM| |

Friday, April 15, 2005

* Yugioh GX 28 *


Yugioh GX Ep 28: The Extra Curricular Class -
Is a Shadow Duel? (part 2)

thoughts

Um....yeah, Judai pulls another fast one. Nuf said.

The good thing is, this sets up the next story line, and I'm intrigued about who the owner of the other half of the pendant is. (Fubuki?)

Oh, and *Manjoume!* will be in the next episode. Yay!


summary

The duel continues...

Tomb Keeper (TK) LP: 900
Monsters: Tomb Keeper's Sorceror (1300 atk), Tomb Keeper's Assassin (2000 atk)

Judai LP: 1000
Monsters: none
M/T: one


Asuka and company are still panicking in their caskets below, and urge Judai to try his best. Daitokuji chuckles to himself, thinking that this shadow game is exactly what is needed to bring out Judai's true capabilities, and he's eager to witness it. Only, he can't see because the lid to his casket is blocking his view, gah!

Judai: Summons Hane Kuribo in def.

TK: Attacks Kuribo with Assassin. Judai activates instant magic Wings of Evolution, transforming Kuribo into LVL 10 by discarding 2 cards from his hand. But TK activates the effect of his monster Tomb Keeper's Overseer from his hand. By discarding this card to his hand, he can negate the activation of Judai's magic (presumably because this magic card involved the discarding of cards). He destroys Kuribo. He taunts Judai, asking him if he's got any moves, now that his small fry monster has been destroyed. Judai isn't pleased.

Judai: Activates Pot of Greed. Summons Dark Catapulter in def (1500 def). Activates magic card Mirage of Nightmares. Sets 3 m/t. Judai thinks to himself that he can reverse this situation, by destroying Necro Valley with Dark Catapulter's effect, and calling into his hand a good combo using Mirage.

TK: Draws. Judai activates Mirage's effect, drawing cards until his hand is 4. TK notes that even if he drew good cards, it's meaningless in a shadow duel. He sacrifices Sorceror to summon himself, Leader of the Tomb Keepers (original atk 1900, ups to 2400 by Necro Valley). As long as this card is on his field, his graveyard isn't affected by Necro Valley. And he can also special summon one Tomb Keeper monster from his grave. He special summons Long Spear Soldier (atk 1500 --> 2000). He activates a trap card Ritual of Spiritual Summons, which lets him special summon a Tomb Keeper from the grave, without regard to Necro Valley's effect. He special summons Sorceror. When this card is summoned, flip summoned or special summoned, it inflicts 500 LP damage to opponent. (Judai LP: 500).

Although the pain courses through Judai from the shadow game's effect, he stands up unphased, saying he's got a dream - to become the king of duelists. He's inspired by Yugi, who had battled through lots of shadow games. TK attacks with Assassin, after changing Catapulter into atk by her effect. Assassin hesitates as she attack, much to the anger of TK. Judai activates the magic card Emergency Rations and sacrifices one face down m/t card on his field to increase his LP (Judai LP: 2500). Catapulter is destroyed (Judai LP 1500). TK smacks the Assassin for her hesitation, and Judai gets angry, saying he hates people who disrespect their monsters.

TK continues his attack. He attacks with himself, and Judai activates the trap Drain Shield, negating one monter's attack, and increasing his LP by that monter's atk points. (Judai LP: 3900). Direct attack with Sorceror and Long Spear. (Judai LP: 600). Activates the magic card Imperial Sacrifice, which sends all monster cards in both players' hand to the grave, if Necro Valley is in play.

Judai: Was writhing in pain from the attack, but manages to get up and smirk. Heh. He draws Edgeman. He tells TK that Necro Valley prevents activation of cards from this world that affect the world of the dead...but that it doesn't necessarily follow that the dead can't reach up into the world of the living. He activates the effect of E-Hero Necro Darkman, which lets him summon a high level E-Hero monster without sacrifice. This can only be done once, and only when Necro Darkman is in the grave. He summons Edgeman (2600 atk) and attacks Sorceror (1300 atk) for the win.

* End Duel *

Judai rushes to TK's side to see if he's ok. He says it was a fun duel, much to TK's surprise. "That shadow game was fun?" he asks. Judai replies that it was cool to be able to play with real spirits, even though it hurt a little. TK says he's only the 2nd person to have passed the ritual, though the first person to beat him didn't enjoy the duel, as Judai did.

He gives him a pendant and tells him that the first guy who passed this ritual has the remaining half of the pendant. He says ominously that should he find himself in a shadow duel again, this pendant will probably help him. TK releases his friends, and they prepare to leave the alternate universe. However, the tomb keepers try to stop them, even though their leader tells Judai's group that they are free to leave. The Assassin steps in between, and tells the soldiers that they will have to get through her before laying a finger on Judai and friends. Her mask falls away, revealing the girl who had saved Judai in the last episode. She tells Judai that she has a message for the first guy who passed the ritual: "Tell him that I have never forgotten him, even though we live in different worlds...and that I have faith we shall see one another again."

The group then makes a break for the gates of the tomb, and manage to return to their world, as the three suns merge into one... (there's a funny scene where Hayato trips and injures himself, and his Koala monster materializes so he can carry Hayato out with the rest of them... ^_^ )

Judai awakens in the real world with Asuka leaning against his shoulder, unconscious. The rest of his friends are sprawled out on the ground, also unconsious. Judai thinks it was all a dream, but looks down and sees the pendant around his neck, and realizes it was all real..

Next Week: vs. Darkness (part 1) - The Challenge from Red Eyes Black Dragon

Posted by athena at |10:35 PM| |

Saturday, April 09, 2005

* Prince of Tennis Finale *



Prince of Tennis Ep 177: The Unforgettable Promise
Prince of Tennis Ep 178 (Finale): Farewell My Prince


thoughts

Apologies for the delayed posting. Such as it is with longer episodes, they take more time to do. Actually, it's not so much that I've been working on this post for a while...it's more like the hesitation in starting it. But it must be done. In fact, I waited several days to watch the final episode of Prince of Tennis, because I really was dreading having to see it come to an end. In retrospect, however, I probably didn't prolong much of anything, in terms of bitterness at the ending, since the finale was very much a...disappointment.

If you truly loved this episode and couldn't bear to hear anything negative about it, please feel free to skip ahead to my summary, where I will at least attempt to be more objective. ^_^;;

First of all, we all had to suspend our disbelief since the moment Ryoma had been invited to play in the US Open. I know he's good, but can he truly be THAT good? But I was completely willing to play along with this charade, and was even quite touched in those episodes where Momo tells him he "has to go" and that episode where they see him off a the airport. And that's exactly the point...we've already had our tearful farewells, he's over in America doing his thing...there is nothing more to add. And yet, the story writers insisted upon uprooting Ryoma and have him travel back to Japan in the middle of the US Open just so he can beat Tezuka in a game of tennis. I know surpassing Tezuka has always been one of his goals, but I found this so unbelieveably farfetched and out of control that it sort of ruined the story for me. In any case, it seemed that the animators were in a rush to wrap things up in a nice little finale package: Ryoma has to defeat Tezuka for his "closure" before he goes on to bigger and better things as a pro. There could've been a better ending that was more open ended, I think.

The other thing is: they totally skipped over appearances by most of the rivals schools. They showed Hyoutei and some of Rikkai (not nearly enough), and quickly panned across images of some of the rival students, but that was it. The entire ending credits was a recap from the first episode of Prince of Tennis, where Ryoma plays that high school jerk, Sasabe. After having taken so much of a liking for the rival school characters, I found it hard to swallow. I mean, who the hell cares about Sasabe?? Show me flashback shots of Rikkaidai. And more Rikkaidai. And maybe some Hyoutei, Fudoumine and Yamabuki. (You can skip Jousei Shounan). And maybe a little more Rikkaidai.

The best part about this final episode was the scene at Hyoutei, where they find out that they will be allowed to participate in the Nationals tournament. Atobe's reaction to the news is just...so Atobe. Classic. I love this guy, and he was lookin' fine in his final appearance. The other high point of the show was the final scene at Nationals, where the now-recovered Yukimura greets Tezuka, and tells him he's looking forward to playing a match against him. Damn, he was looking hot. Yukimura in his Rikkai uniform = sexy bitch. I can't wait to see what he's got when they get to him in the Nationals tournament for the manga.


summary

Story opens at the US Open, with Ryoma using his Drive B to win his match. He's now won the preliminary rounds, and can go on to the main tournament itself. Kevin cheers him on from the stands. The American reporter guy catches up with Ryoma afterwards and tries to get some thoughts from him, but Ryoma isn't being forthcoming. In fact, when the reporter asks him how he feels about being "#1" in Japan, he hesitates. He's likely thinking about how he's never beaten Tezuka. The man who brought Ryoma here says the boy is tired, and that he can't interview right now. Kevin tells him that he's gonna coach him in preparation for the Open, and that he'll swing by to pick him up tomorrow morning at the hotel. (Kevin's soo cute!)

Ryoma falls asleep in the car on the way to his hotel, and has that same dream again, where he's running through a dark corridor, past all his former rivals. At the end of the tunnel is a light. He looks back, and sees a figure, which he had thought was his father. But it's someone else...

He wakes up.

Back in Japan, they are celebrating Ryoma's US Open success at the Echizen household (Taka-san delivers sushi there..) As they're celebrating, Nanako looks a little sad, thinking that Ryoma's never coming back, somehow...

In Ryoma's hotel, Karupin wakes the boy up because his cell phone is going off. It's Momo, Kikumaru and Taka-san, calling to congratulate his success. Momo tells him who the regular members will be at Nationals, and as he rattles off their names, Kikumaru immitates each character in the background. Lol... They gleefully tell him about the awesome Fuji/Tezuka match. Ryoma is now alert, and asks who won...and is shocked to hear that Fuji lost.

Ryoma ponders over this news. He realizes that the person in his dream is Tezuka. And he's still a very imposing presence in his life. He angrily thinks to himself that he's "not #1." He reaches for his cell phone...

Next morning, he meets up early with that manager guy, and tells him that he's got something to discuss with him... Meanwhile, Kevin has arrived in the neighborhood, to pick up Ryoma. He doesn't know the name of the hotel, so he stops at a nearby convenience store to ask whether he knows about Ryoma. The guy tells him that Ryoma is leaving for Japan this morning. He begins to say something else, but the infuriated Kevin storms off before he can finish.

Kevin catches up with Ryoma at the airport and decks him. (Heh...poor Ochibi! But it actually looks less painful than that Tezuka bitchslap). The manager dude tells Kevin to calm down...that Ryoma's only going back temporarily to Japan, and will be back soon. Ryoma explains that he's gotta go back to conclude things between him and Tezuka. Kevin understands, and feels bad for socking him, and stands up, telling Ryoma that's only fair that he hit him back. But Ryoma walks off, instead, saying he'll be back before the Open resumes.





Meanwhile over at Hyoutei, Sakaki gets some news.. The team is out practicing, determined to get to Nationals next year. "Where's Atobe?" Shishido asks. He's working out at the Atobe Sports Center...and after his workout, there's a gratuitous fanservice scene of him taking a shower. Hotness. He gets out of the shower and is toweling off his hair when his eye catches the headlines on the newspaper...Ryoma has passed through the preliminaries. The proud boy pulls the towel from his head in a huff...

Sakaki announces to his team that the Nationals will be held in Tokyo, and as a sort of courtesy, Hyoutei was chosen to participate in the Nationals. The team is ecstatic, and go looking for Atobe to tell him the news. They're not so sure if the proud Atobe would wanna go to Nationals in this manner, and are a little worried about his reaction. They finally catch up with him at the tennis court, where he's hitting some balls. They tell him the news, and the school is cheering them on with great enthusiasm: "Hyoutei, Hyoutei, Hyoutei..." Atobe says with a smirk: "Everyone's too worked up..." He raises his hand in the air and dramatically snaps them. The crowd instantly goes silent. He says... "Everyone...follow me to the Nationals!" (He addresses himself as 'ore-sama', of course ^_^ ) The crowd goes wild...



Seigaku has heard the news, and resolve to do even better at Nationals. They wonder where Tezuka is...Ryuzaki is also missing. They're a little worried, and wonder if something's up.

There's a flashback of when Ryoma had called to ask Tezuka for a rematch on the phone. Back in the present, Tezuka meets up with Ryoma at that tennis court below the trainstop. Tezuka says that they had promised, afterall. Up on the train platform, the 1st years spot Ryoma and Tezuka in the court below, and rush over the Seigaku to tell everyone. The whole crowd runs over to see the match.

Tezuka asks if he remembers what he told him after their first match: "Next time, be strong enough to beat me."

"Of course I remember," Ryoma says. "That is why I have returned."

The match itself is super cheesy, so I'm not even going to go into it. Suffice it to say that it's DBZ on the courts like you've never seen before.
Near the end of the match, he begins to cry, as he yells out to all his senpais his heartfelt thanks for everything they've done for him thus far. He wins the match (they don't tell you the score), and Tezuka graciously accepts his defeat.



"No matter where you are, you are Seigaku's pillar...and will always be with us," Tezuka tells a crying Ryoma. The team nods and tells him to do his best.. Momo tells him that they'll catch up with him sooner or later. Ryoma responds, "I will be waiting."

Over at the Echizens, Ryoma's mom and dad are preparing to go the States...indefinitely, it seems. They leave things in the care of Nanako.



Fast forward to Nationals, the opening ceremony. Yukimura greets Tezuka, and tells him he is looking forward to playing a match with him...as they are finally both in full health. "See you on the court at finals," Yukimura says.

The Seigaku regular huddle together to get their fighting spirit together.

The final words are from Tezuka, which are of course...

"Yudan sezu ni ikou!!"

~ FIN ~

Posted by athena at |8:55 AM| |

Friday, April 08, 2005

* Glass Mask 1 *




Glass Mask Ep 1: The Girl With a Thousand Masks

thoughts

First of all, I'll note that I'm not sure if this is a re-broadcast of this series or completely new. I'm quite ignorant of the animated history of this story, since I only have the manga version. So if anyone can enlighten me, please do. ^_^ I'm a little too lazy right now to do my own research on this.

In any case, this series now being animated is based on the classic (well, I like to think of it as classic) shojo series known as "Garasu no Kamen," or Glass Mask. I thought this first episode was an excellent start. I loved the animation and character design. It looks a little softer than the manga (which is still good, I might add), and for some reason, I really liked how they drew Ayumi. But the most breathtaking part was the scenery, which was beautifully drawn in fading colors. The music is also quite good.

The anime so far seems to hold quite closely to the manga. I will probably note the similarities and differences if I continue to blog this series. ^_~

My summaries will likely be brief.

summary

So we get introduced to Kitajima Maya, quite the ordinary 13 year old girl. She lives with her mother (father has died) and helps out at the noodle shop where her mother works. She delivers noodles to customers, but they always know that they should never send her on a delivery to the movie theater, because she ends up sneaking into one of the shows and staying for hours on end, forgetting her work.

She comes home after another such incident, hours late. Her mother is understandably exasperated, and scolds her for having no sense at all. She's actually quite harsh to her daughter, saying she has no other skills, or anything to her credit.

Asked why she loves the theater so much, she answers that she hardly understands, herself. Only...when she watches, she becomes enamored by the fantasy of becoming somebody else...anybody but herself.

Maya likes to act out scenes from what she's seen on television for the children in the park...and one such day, an old woman happens upon her as she is performing. Something strikes this woman about Maya, and she instantly realizes that this is the girl she had been searching for. She approaches Maya and tries to talk to her, but the wind blows the hair from the woman's face, revealing a horrible scar. Maya runs from her, scared for her life (understandably...lol).

Later, Maya discovers that there is a play showing at the local theater - La Traviata - and she desperately wants to go. Sugiko, the evil daughter of her mother's boss, tells her that she's got tickets to see this play. On the night of New Year's eve (the busiest night of the year for the noodle shop), one of the part time workers call out sick...leaving only Maya and Sugiko to do all the deliveries. Sugiko offers Maya a proposition: :Do all the deliveries by yourself, and I will give you this ticket." Maya agrees.

So on the night of New Year's eve, she runs herself ragged, and manages to make all the deliveries, in time. But Sugiko, the evil girl she is, deliberately releases the ticket into the winds, and it flies into the river below the bridge they are standing upon. Maya jumps into the cold waters below after it...

Her mother, watching in horror from the side, wonders...what kind of person will Maya grow up to be, reckless as she is...? Also watching on the sidelines is that mysterious woman who had earlier tried to talk to Maya.

Maya goes to the theater on the day of the play, and as she's looking for her seat, she bumps into a very handsome man...who turns out to be Hayami Masumi. He helps her find her seat (or rather, he authoritatively tells the usher to help her). Maya blushes as she looks up at this young man...mmmm....lol. The usher explains to Maya after he leaves that he is the young president of Daito Productions, a major entertainment company that owns theaters and such all over the place, and manages many talented actors and performers.

Just before the play begins, Maya also catches sight of Himekawa Ayumi, the young girl who has been acting since childhood. She has come with her father to see this play - as it is her mother Utako who is in the starring role.

The episode ends with the narrator telling us that at this point in time, no one was to know that these two young ladies will eventually become heated rivals...

Next Week: Bibi's Mask

Posted by athena at |11:42 PM| |

* Glass Mask *



~~~ Glass Mask ~~~

athena's entries for Glass Mask:
Ep 1: The Girl With a Thousand Masks

about:
Airs on Tuedays
Total episodes: 52 (?)
Official website
RAWS at Saiyaman

This is the story about Kitajima Maya, a very ordinary, plain looking 13 year old girl, who has hidden talents that even she does not realize. She has always loved movies and theater, but has been stuck in a relatively meager life, helping her mother make a living assisting at a noodle shop. One day, she is "discovered" by Tsukikage Chigusa, a retired actress and sole owner to the rights of the legendary play, The Crimson Goddess.

It turns out that Maya is a prodigy in acting, who has the natural gift of expression...also known as the one who possesses "a thousand masks." She has the ability to memorize entire scripts and gestures of a 3 hour play after watching it only once. Her talents can indeed take her very far...but of course, there are many enemies and obstacles she must overcome before she finds success in her genius.

Her main rival is Himekawa Ayumi, a young girl of the same age, who is the daughter of a famous actress and a movie director. The two girls will eventually be pitted against each other for the chance to gain the role of a lifetime - the Crimson Goddess.

The proud and reputed icy businessman of the entertainment industry - Hayami Masumi will also play a prominent role in Maya's life.

athena's notes:

I almost fell out of my chair in shock when I stumbled upon the torrent for Glass Mask (Garasu no Kamen) episode 1. I have loved this series for longer than I can remember, and you could say that it's truly part of my childhood. I have collected all the manga that have been published in volumes so far (41), but am very disappointed by the fact that they have yet to publish the rest. I am dying to know what happens in the end... Gah!

But I am so thrilled by the prospect of seeing this animated. I think it will be so much better than the live-action version. I do own the live action version, but I was so angered by the fact that they completely miscast the role of Masumi, that I can't bear to watch it. Masumi is supposed to be HOT, damn it! Lol...

In any case, I really loved the first episode, so I'm quite optimistic about this series.

other bloggers of Glass Mask:
(none I know of yet...please comment to be added here. ^_^;;)

Posted by athena at |10:38 PM| |

* Yugioh GX 27 *



Yugioh GX Ep 27: The Extra Curricular Class -
Is a Shadow Duel? (part 1)


thoughts

This episode was just ok... I thought it was pretty random and out of left-field. I should get used to it, since that's the way it's been since the series began, pretty much. You definitely have to suspend your disbelief - even more so than usual - for this particular episode.

...

I have nothing more to add.

summary

The episode opens with Shou waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. In his stupor, he inadvertantly opens the door to Daitokuji's room, and catches him speaking to someone mysterious over the phone.

"I think it is time we tried it out," the voice on the other line says.

"But what if they end up being buried in a grave...?" Daitokuji asks.

"Then it simply means that he only had that much strength in him," the voice replies. "Then we must let them lie in their graves."

Shou's pretty freaked out, as well he should be, because Daitokuji actually looks pretty scary here. The computer screen does this glowy thingie over his face, and he looks like he's up to no good...

Next day, Daitokuji's teaching alchemy class, and messes up an experiment. He mixes together some chemicals, and they explode in his face...heh. Judai is sleeping in class, but has eyes drawn over his eyelids so he appears to be awake. Before the class lets out, the teacher announces that this following Sunday, they're going to have a picnic near the ancient ruins, and he insists that the people from his dorm attend.

Sunday comes around, and Judai, Shou, Hayato and Asuka have shown up for the outing. Asuka, being in Blue, doesn't have to go, but she says that there might be a hint about her brother's whereabouts, in the ancient shadow games. Shou pulls Judai aside and tells him about Daitokuji's suspicious behavior from the night before, but Judai's pretty relaxed about it, and doesn't make much out of the issue.

They set off, making their way through forest and river before finally reaching their destination. They sit down to eat in front of the ruins, and Daitokuji's pretty excited about his food, which was prepared by Tome. He says the students can't have any, because there isn't enough to go around. But his cat Pharaoh has stowed away in his bag, and has already eaten all his food. The kids aren't too willing to share their food with Daitokuji ... understandably so.

Pharaoh is out exploring, and he stumbles upon some object in the ground, and it sets off some odd light. Everyone looks up, and they are surprised to find that there are 3 suns in the sky... Kuribo appears to warn them of danger. They rush for cover in the ruins, but Judai says he'll be right back. He runs toward the light, and he ends up passing out.

When he comes to, he's shocked to see that the ruins are now completely recreated in their original form, including a large pyramid. Kuribo appears before him, and to his surprise, he can touch him, like he really exists. Suddenly, a young girl walks up and spots him, and tells him urgently that he shouldn't be there. She's carrying Hayato's backpack.. She hears footsteps approaches, and she swiftly pulls him aside in the shadows so they will avoid being seen. "Do you want to be captured by the tomb keeper, like the rest of them??" she asks. "Rest of them?" Judai says. But he blushes as she presses close to him so they will remain undetected. (awww....!) The danger passes, and Judai asks again about those who were captured. He recognizes Hayato's bag in her hand...

She replies that this is a sacred burial place, and those who step into it unauthorized, will be subjected to punishment - by being buried alive. Judai insists that he be taken to his friends, so he can help them escape. She warns that he, too, shall be buried alive if caught. She takes him inside a building and tells him to wait. As he waits, he hears voices of his friends, and climbs up the wall to look out the window...and sees everyone in a pit below, half mummified and lying in caskets. He freaks out, but before can do anything, someone pokes his butt with the tip of a spear.

He's been discovered by the tomb keepers, and they are not pleased. He asks that they release his friends, but they of course, refuse. They say that as tomb raiders, Daitokuji and company will be executed by live burial. But there is a way out. Their leader steps up and challenges him to a duel, saying that if Judai wins, he will release his friends. (The leader explains that people have "come over from your world" before, so he thus understands their language...and even has his own deck of cards, heh.)

* Duel *

Tomb Keeper (hereinafter TK): Sets one monster face down.

Judai: Summons Bubbleman in atk. Activates his effect and draws 2 more cards. Sets one m/t.

TK: Summons Tomb Keeper's Long-Spear Soldier in atk (atk: 1500). Flip summons Tomb Keeper's Guard (atk: 1000). He activates its flip effect: return one monster on field to hand. He chooses Bubbleman. Direct attack with both his monsters. (Judai LP: 1500). Judai actually feels the pain of the attack, and as his LP drops, the lids on the caskets begin to close...

Judai: Fusion summons Flame Wingman. Destroys Long-Spear Soldier, and activate Flame Wingman's effect. (TK LP: 1900). Summons Friendock in def.

TK: Changes Guard to def (def: 1900). Sets one monster face down.

Judai: Attacks and destroys Guard with Flame Wingman. (TK LP: 900).


TK: Activates Pot of Greed. Summons Tomb Keeper's Assassin in atk (atk: 1500). Flip summons Tomb Keeper's Sorceror (atk: 800). Its flip effect takes away 500 LP from Judai (Judai LP: 1000). Activates field magic Valley of the Kings: Necro Valley. All Tomb Keeper monsters' atk and def increase by 500. He activates Assassin's effect - change a monster's position - on Flame Wingman (his def is 1200). He attacks and destroys Flame Wingman with Assasin. Attacks and destroys Friendock with Sorceror. Judai tries to activate Friendock's effect, but TK tells him he cannot, for the field magic in play negates all magic, trap, and monster effects that permit tomb raiding. In other words - no cards can be special summoned from the grave, nor can they be taken out of the grave to be removed from the game.

(By the way, the BGM is really cool here, lol...)

The episode ends with a close up of a very concerned looking Judai, who realizes that he has no monsters on his field, and that the lives of his friends depend upon his victory...

Next Week: The Extra Curricular Class - Is a Shadow Duel? (part 2)

Posted by athena at |9:59 PM| |

Thursday, April 07, 2005

* Shinjitsu *


Shinjitsu - Lyrics (romanization & translation)
Yukimura Seiichi character single

thoughts

I recently stumbled upon Yukimura Seiichi's character single from Prince of Tennis and absolutely fell in love with it! I think it really reflects upon the quiet and smouldering passion behind this young Rikkaidai captain. It's a beautiful song. I loved the lyrics, and wanted to do my own translation of it, and decided to post them, while I was at it. This song really adds depth to this character, who is otherwise quite mysterious in the anime and manga. But I do think that he's a character with a lot of potential, and his enigmatic qualities only add to the intrigue. There is certainly much more to this sweet looking boy than you would expect.

Certainly, his quote from episode 127 is one of the passionate words I've ever heard:

If you take tennis away from me, nothing remains.
For I am tennis itself.

This song is performed by Yukimura's VA, Nagai Sachiko.

In her voice message at the end of the CD, she begins by quoting the above passage from the anime. She then introduces herself as Yukimura's VA. She never thought that think she would ever release a CD, and says if you live long enough, strange things can happen. She wonders whether yuki's passionate feelings have reached you through his song. She then says she's so thrilled that Yukimura's surgery was a success, and that he's gonna live. For she remembers the first time she spoke his lines, she sounded so dark, she was afraid he was gonna die. The director told her to try to sound a little stronger. And she has been thinking lately that she does need to be stronger for him, since he is the leader of Rikkaidai. This was her first voice acting job, but she also worked as a stage actress. She says she would always sort of "become" whoever she was acting on stage in real life and thinks that is why she's been rather serene lately...an influence of Yukimura.

If you would like to listen to this song (which I truly recommend!) be sure to visit Tsubame Gaeshi. Yukimura's single is located under Best of Rivals.

romanization

Shinjitsu

Hitori tatazumu jikan
Touku shizumu yuuhi wo mitsumeteru
Sugitekita kisetsu wa azayaka na omoide
Eien ni kagayaki tsuzukeru

Kokoni ima mo nokoru atsui omoi
Namiutsu jounetsu no kodou ga
Oshieru yo fukaku hibiite
Hontou no kokoro wo

Tomadou hodo tsuyoi omoi
Hirogaru sora ni tsutsumare teku
Tokihanasou oikosu toki wo
Hontou no kokoro de

Sotto te no hira hiraku
Yume ga kobore ochiru yo otomonaku
Ase ni kakusu namida
Yureteita kokoro mo
Tomo ni sou, norikoete kitane

Kokoni ima mo nokoru semaru omoi
Tsuyosa no imo wo motome nagara
Kanaeteku kimitachi ga iru
Hontou no yuuki de

Soba ni aruyo atsui omoi
Kagayaku jounetsu no tsuyosa ga
Oshieru yo, hitotsu hitotsu ga
Hontou no kokoro wo

Kokoni ima mo nokoru atsui omoi
Namiutsu jounetsu no kodou ga
Oshieru yo fukaku hibiite
Hontou no kokoro wo

Tomadou hodo tsuyoi omoi
Hirogaru sora ni tsutsumare teku
Tokihanasou oikosu toki wo
Hontou no kokoro de

Ima mo nokoru semaru omoi
Tsuyosa no imo wo motome nagara
Kanaeteku kimitachi ga iru
Hontou no yuuki de

Soba ni aruyo atsui omoi
Kagayaku jounetsu no tsuyosa ga
Oshieru yo, hitotsu hitotsu ga
Hontou no kokoro wo


translation

Truth

As I stand here alone
I watch the sun setting in the distance
Vivid memories of seasons past
Shine for eternity...

And even now, these heated emotions remain here
As the ripples coursing from my passionate beat
Reverberate deeply, speaking to me
Of my true heart

Almost bewildering, these feelings so strong..
As the sky spreads over, it envelopes me
And we should let go of these passing times
With our true heart

I gently open the palm of my hand
And my dreams spill over, without a sound
Tears hidden, within my sweat
And my wavering heart,
Together have come thus far...

And even now, these pressing emotions remain here
As I seek for my source of strength
I find my answer with you by my side
And with true courage...

They are by my side, these heated emotions
And the strength of my glimmering passion
Speaks to me, each to each
Of my true heart

And even now, these heated emotions remain here
As the ripples coursing from my passionate beat
Reverberate deeply, speaking to me
Of my true heart

Almost bewildering, these feelings so strong..
As the sky spreads over, it envelopes me
And we should let go of these passing times
With our true heart

And even now, these pressing emotions remain here
As I seek for my source of strength
I find my answer with you by my side
And with true courage...

They are by my side, these heated emotions
And the strength of my glimmering passion
Speaks to me, each to each
Of my true heart


Posted by athena at |11:16 PM| |

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

* Kirihara Akaya *

Kirihara Akaya
a Prince of Tennis character analysis by athena
...and some profile info from fanbook 20.5


Name: Kirihara Akaya
School: Rikkaidai Fuzoku, 2nd yr
DOB: September 25 (Libra)
Height: 168 cm
Weight: 61 kg
Blood type: O




thoughts

Ok, so I did say that Atobe was my favorite character didn't I? Hehe...am I allowed to take that back? Hey, not to say that I still don't think he's an awesome character, but lately, I have completely fallen in love with the Rikkaidai ace, Kirihara Akaya! He's my baby! Lol. Well, you could literally say that he's my literary baby anyway, because I've been RP-ing him for a few weeks, and he is the most enjoyable little guy I've ever come across. Not only do I find him extremely intriguing as a character, I also think he's actually quite similar to me, in some ways. And of course, it also helps that he is absolutely adorable. What is it about Kirihara? He's definitely an angry young man, with violent / psychotic tendencies...lol... But the really troubled boys are always the ones that appeal to me the most, it seems. More on this later.

tennis stats

Dominant hand: Right
Playing style: Aggressive baseliner
Favorite brand:

  • Shoes - DT Wilson (Dynosphere Technology)
  • Racket - Pro Staff 5.5 Wilson Stretch
Best skill: Knuckle serve, Speed play
(anime only): Phantom ball
(manga only): State of Self Actualization


personal

Hobbies: Fighting games
Favorite food: Grilled beef, Sushi
Family: Father, mother, older sister
Father's occupation: Businessman
Best subject: Japanese, PE
Worst subject: English
Favorite type: Someone who's cheerful!


quotes

  • I will crush you.
  • (to Tezuka) If you keep your face so stiff, it'll tire you out.
  • (to Yanagi) Can you really see?

from his teammates

  • Sanada: There is no denying his skill. However, he needs to learn how to control himself.
  • Jackal: When I'm with him, I'm always getting in trouble. But I get this feeling that he can accomplish anything.

looks

Aside from the times that he gets all blood shot and creepy looking, I think Kirihara is one sexy bitch (excuse the language XD). And the reason why I say this...is probably self-explanatory. I love his wild curly hair that never seems to settle. It matches his fiery personality, most certainly. Plus, he's got amazing green eyes, which is quite striking in anybody - but especially in a Japanese guy, lol. His best feature is his expression, which changes all the time. His game face ("come hither") look is my favorite, but he can also put on a joker face, like when he says a gag (which is actually quite often)...I think it's adorable.



personality

His personality is really interesting to me, and of course, this is what makes him so much fun to RP. You could say he's got a dual personality, but I think deep inside, he is still the same person. The usual "good" personality that he shows is rather fun-loving and jokes around a lot. You see this in his first appearance in the series, when he inadvertantly stumbles upon Seigaku when he oversleeps his stop on the bus. He steps onto the court and not only challenges Tezuka to a match...but also tells him that he shouldn't look so serious all the time because it's tiring. Heh.

Then there's that classic moment, when his senpai Yanagi says something to the effect of: "It feels good, watching this game," whereupon Kirihara (with a really funny expression), replies: "Can you really see?" Hilarious! Such funny moments lead me to believe that his "true" self is really just a light hearted kid...

His most noticeable trait is his passionate and ambitious nature. Definitely a little pompous to boot, but like Atobe, he's got the undeniable skills to justify his attitude. He's got a lot of pride, and he can get quite scary when someone tips him off his high and mighty ass... Thus the red-eye mode, when he becomes this crazy destructive force to be reckoned with on the tennis court. But when he becomes psychotic like this, I don't think he really has true control over himself. I would surmise to say that he would rather avoid being this way, but can't help but unleash the demon inside when confronted by a powerful enemy.

In a way, he's quite vulnerable and probably has a lot of insecurities that he hides with his overpowering personality. I also think that being the youngest regular member of his team has contributed not only to his cocky attitude, but also to a kind of complex at having to become something greater than he is. His heartbreaking realization that he couldn't defeat the 3 top players at Rikkai may have been a catharsis in his red-eye style of playing.

anime vs. manga

There are parts in the manga that were never animated, which I'm still disappointed about. Of course the main chapter would be the one where Echizen challenges Kirihara to a match days before the Kantou finals. I think this was an important match for Kirihara, because he came to realize that even his red-eye mode has its limitations, and that there were higher boundaries to be crossed before he could reach his true potential.

I thought it was really sad, but a necessary lesson for him. (And we also get to see the first Sanada bitch slap...which I think is also important, to show how much Rikkai means business. This was totally watered down in the anime...)

The Kirihara vs. Fuji match was also changed up quite a bit in the anime. I didn't like how they made Kirihara into this quivering scardy cat at the end, when Fuji comes into his (close to) full potential. I thought the manga version was much better, because Kirihara does not back down from Fuji, and in fact acquires the State of Self Actualization. So even though he does ultimately lose, he gains something more important, instead.

On the otherhand, the anime did have a wonderful filler, which I enjoyed a lot: the Junior Invitationals. Kirihara had a prominent role there, which pleases me greatly. I loved the little side story they had of Kirihara and Kamio (so...sweet!), and how they showed a "reformed" Kirihara. I also adored Coach Sakaki for sending Kirihara in for Singles 1. As he explained it, Kirihara had both the ambition and talent to clinch that position. I was disappointed that he wasn't able to finish his match...but nonetheless very happy that his skills as a top tennis player were recognized.


pairings

For some reason, I see him often paired with Yanagi...but I don't really see that at all.

If choosing from among the Rikkai players, I prefer him with Yukimura, his buchou. (I'll have to say that my fellow RP-er for Yukimura has convinced me of this). I think they're a really sweet pair, and I have the feeling that Yukimura is able to bring out the tenderness in Kirihara. And in my view, Kirihara would do anything for buchou...

My other favorite pairing for Kirihara (again, inspired by an excellent RP-er!) is Kamio. Ah...the classic love-hate relationship. Of course, this is quite different from the Yukimura pairing - first because they are more like equals in this case, being in the same year. I'm sure that changes the dynamic quite a bit. And also their rocky history together, which always makes for good drama. Lol... But I do think that they would get along quite well, if given the chance. Kamio's upbeat outlook on life and head-strong attitude is a good match for Kirihara's ambition and passion.


character single

Kirihara's character single absolutely rocks!! This is by far my favorite character song out of all of them (at least, the ones I've heard), because it's got an awesome beat, his VA (Morikubo Shotaro) has an excellent voice, and the lyrics are perfect for this character. Listen to it if you get the chance!

Akaku Someru Tsuki
(The Crimson-Dyed Moon)

lyrics translated by athena

There is no future for dreams you place upon
The sharp curves of the white moon

Burning soul - come here beside me
And create a blade from which hot blood be shed

The greater the pain is inflicted,
The greater the joy that flows from it

This cleansed body of mine is the RULE
And I shall dye the whole moon crimson

Betrayal can never be forgiven
Destroy the enemy before you, that is all

I, with this cleansed body
Shall have the final laugh

The blood, so beautiful...that is the RULE
Nobody can stop me now
The crimson dyed moon shall be mine
And I shall rule over all the world

This cleansed body of mine is the RULE
And I shall dye the whole moon crimson
The blood, so beautiful...that is the RULE
And I shall rule over all the world

Posted by athena at |1:25 AM| |

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