Archive | November, 2011

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle

23 Nov

Air Dates: April 9, 2005 – November 4, 2006

Episodes: 52

Genre: Fantasy, Romance,  Adventure

My Rating: **** (4:5 stars)

Last post i covered XXXHolic where is mentioned the crossover storyline with Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. He is followup to that! :c)

The main story arc starts after the soul of a girl named Sakura, who is the princess of the Kingdom of Clow, was taken in multiple other dimensions. This happened after a fight broke out when warriors from another dimension arrived through a portal into the Kingdom of Clow at a set of ancient ruins on the outskirts of town.  Sakura was at the  ruins with her childhood friend Syaoran who was helping to excavate them. During the fight Sakura and Syaoran tried to get away and ran deep into the ruins to an area that Syaoran hadn’t even really gone into. Somehow Sakura activated the ruins and it opened a portal to a dimension. During the activation her soul was separated from her body and turned into feathers that were dispersed out through other dimensions. After the happened she fell into a catatonic state leaving Syaoran devastated and willing to do anything to try and save her. He, along with the now catatonic Sakura, were transported to the Dimensional Witch in the XXXHolic dimension through the open portal. (In this anime she is referred to as the Dimensional Witch where in XXXHolic she is called Yukio.)

In the XXXHolic dimension they find one of Sakuras feathers. The Dimensional Witch explain to Syaoran what the true meaning of them are and shows him what to do with the feather (help her absorb it back into her body) which this one helps her to come out of the her catatonic state but with no memories or anything. Basically a shell of what she used to be. She tell him that they must travel through all the dimension to gather her feathers. Each feather has a bit of her memory and soul in it so when she absorbs it back in her body she will start to regain her memories and turn back into how she was before. Syaoran is given the shpeal about ‘if you make a deal me to help you recover the rest of the feathers, I  in exchange I want something that is of equal value’. This cost is Sakuras memories of Syaoran. He is willing to do anything for her so he agrees knowing that Sakura will never know of their past and their relationship. The Dimensional Witch agrees to help Syaoran find the rest of feather and to help with this she assist with pulling two other people from two other dimensions into hers. The Dimensional Witch also helps by popping up from time to time throughout the anime to assist with issues in other dimension and creates the XXXHolic/Tsubasa crossovers.

First is Kurogane, a ninja from the world of Japan. Kurogane is the most powerful ninja/warrior in his world but was getting too cocky about it. The princess in his world, Tomoyo, sent him away to help him find his true strength, power and to knock him down a few notches. Of course Kurogane was pissed to all hell about this and made it very clear that he was not happy. Because he was not getting the hint the princess put a curse on him that if he was to kill someone he would lose part of his power and strength. When he makes it to the XXXHolic dimension he is forced to give up his sword in exchange for the use of the white Mokona Modoki which will help him and the others to pass from dimension to dimension. This is also how the  Dimensional Witch is able to communicate to the group. Mokona is like a Skype enabled rabbit thing that they can see and talk to her and she can see and talk to them. (See XXXHolic to find out more about the Mokonas). Kurogane is reluctant at first to assist Syaoran and Sakura but soon realizes this is his only way back to his Japan and to the princess. Side note on this, I totally think that there was some serious love story between the two but they never really got into the whole thing. Only bits and pieces.

The next character to join the group was my fav, Fai D. Flowright! Fai, as he is called throughout the anime, is a powerful magician from the dimension Seresu. He unlike the others sent himself to the Dimensional Witch after he sealed away the king of Seresu. In exchange for the use of the Mokona he gives up the giant tattoo on his back that is the key to his powers. He still have some basic powers left but decides to not use them during his journey because of what happened in his dimension.

Together the four of the them along with Mokona are sent off to the first dimension to hunt down the feathers. They are given a warning along the way that other might also be after the feathers and not every world has one on it but it is there duty to try and find them. Throughout the anime they are sent from dimension to dimension looking for feathers and fighting off people and other sorcerers that are after the powers that Sakuras feathers contain. (There is yet another arc in the story where Fei-Wang Reed another powerful magician in another dimension is out to get Sakura and Syaoran and is putting up obstacles where he is can. This is one of the larger secondary arcs throughout the anime.) As the story progress the feather are found slowly but surely and Sakura starts to regain her memories minus Syaoran. This part was a bit odd since during each episode that she finds a feather they have a flashback moment to the memory it contains. If it was of her and Syaoran and she was talking with him, well it is now of her talking to herself or to the spot where he was. Craziness. The group gets closer also and begin to form a strong bond which helps them with each world that they travel too.

This is a great anime but it has a few drawbacks. One is that there are at time too many arcs going at once so the story line gets jumbled up. There are a TON of character in this that have recurring parts but there were too many to go into above. They all play a important part but again it goes back to too many arcs at once and it gets confusing. Next thing is that most of the worlds are entertaining and make great episodes. There are a few though that are so freakin boring that was surfing the net on my phone while the episode dragged on. The anime doesn’t cover the story as a whole so when you get to the end there are still some things that are not answered. From what I have heard/read, the manga goes into further detail. So I would almost say read the manga and not watch the anime or find where the anime left off in the manga and read from there. One of these days I will do that…

***There is a short movie that came out call Tsubasa: Reservoir Chroicle movie The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom that was released on August 20, 2005  which is basically a 35min long movie. This was a ok movie but it really was just another episode that was few minutes longer than normal. There was of course some of the same crossover stuff with XXXHolic but nothing too special. This was also released  on the same disk with the XXXHolic: A Midsummer Night’s Dream movie.

XXXHolic

17 Nov

Air Dates: April 6, 2006 – September 28, 2006

Episodes: 26

Genre: Fantasy, Supernatural, Comedy

My Rating: **** (4:5 stars)

XXXHolic is one of my favorite Supernatural anime’s. There are no huge fight scene, no big love story (even though there is underlying arc that is about the main character Kimihiro Watanuki’s crush on Himawari Kunogi from his class. Its doesn’t over indulge into the love story but it’s enough to give it some feeling and not keep it so dark).

The plot is based around a highschool kid names Watanuki who is plagued by the ability to see yōkai and ayakashi (spirits, demons…etc.) that for some reason have a very strong attraction to him to the point of almot smothering him at times. He is the only one that can see these spirits and to the people around him they think is a bit ‘off’. For this he has no real friends and is a loner. His parents aren’t around so he lives by himself which makes dealing the ayakashi more difficult.

The story starts off with him stumbling into a mysterious shop as he was trying to get away from a group of ayakashi that were trying to swallow him up one day. This is where the main female character comes in named Yūko Ichihara who is a the owner of the shop. This is a place where she makes deals with patrons that happen into her shop to grant wishes in exchange for something of equal value. Helping her in the shop are two AI’s Maru & Moro along with Mokona Modoki which refers to two bouncy rabbit like things (one black and one white) that were created by Yūko and a cross over character Clow Reed who is a sorcerer and some might say Yūko is one too.

*So to explain the crossover bit for a second. XXXHolic has a strong crossover in the storyline with Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. However in the Anime it is shown more in Tsubasa. The story goes that the soul of a girl names Sakura was taken in another dimension after a fight broke out with warriors from yet another dimension that arrived at a set of ruins, that she was at with her friend Syaoran, through a portal . Her soul was captured and turned into feather that were dispersed out through other dimensions. After her soul was turned into feather and left her, she fell into a catatonic state leaving Syaoran devastated and willing to do anything to try and save her. He along with the now catatonic Sakura, are transported to Yūko in the XXXHolic dimension. In this anime she is referred to as the Dimensional Witch. Syaoran is given the shpeal about make a deal and in exchange I want something that is of equal value. This cost is Sakuras memories of Syaoran. He is willing to do anything for her so he agrees… I will cover more of this one later but this is to help you get a bit of the cross over part.

Ok back to XXXHolic. Yūko learns of Watanuki’s abilities and agrees to help rid him of his plague if he works in her shop. Well working in the shop meant be her B**** lol! He is left with cleaning, cooking, running errands, assisting with people that come in the shop, late night runs to buy Sake since that is ALL she drinks all the time. Yūko even uses Watanuki’s abilities to help other people that are being haunted by ayakashi or possessed by yōkai. Through these customers Yūko helps Watanuki to learn to deal with/control his abilities. Another classmate of Watanuki’s is Shizuka Dōmeki who doesn’t have the ability to see yōkai and ayakashi but, can sense them and also exorcise them ends up coming in about ¼ of the way through the series. His family owns a shine that he lives and works in which has given him this power through his family’s history and shinto practices. Yūko finds out he is like the Yin to Watanuki’s Yang during one of her ‘consultation’ that ended up dragging him into it. He and Watanuki don’t get along since Watanuki is a loner at school and Dōmeki is more popular and friends with his love interest Himawari  which also makes Watanuki jealous of him. The two end up getting paired up more often than not throughout the series and end up creating an odd sort of friendship as they fight off and free people from unwanted yōkai and ayakashi. They also become better friends with Himawari who is oblivious to what is going on but is just a good natured girl that likes the two of them.

This was a really good anime for the fact that it really delved into the darker side of  yōkai and ayakashi. Most of the time I want action action and more action but this was a nice change of pace. The ending of the anime leaves you wanting more but sadly that is it.

***There is a movie that came out xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night’s Dream released on July 20, 2005  which is basically a 60min long episode. To me it could have just been a regular 24 min episode since it seemed to drag on and on. One good thing from it is that you see some the crossover parts with Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. This was also released  on the same disk with the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chroicle movie The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom.

Air Gear

15 Nov

Air Dates: April 4, 2006 – September 27, 2006

Episodes: 26

Genre: Action, Comedy, Sports

My Rating: ***** (5:5 stars)

OMG this anime made me want to dust off my rollerblades and go bust a move! I love this anime for that reason alone! Lol!

The anime is based around this new fad called ‘Air Treks’ (a futuristic evolution of aggressive skating also called ATs) where the riders are call ‘Storm Riders’. The fad has become so popular with the youth of Japan that they have started to form ‘gangs’ that battle to the be on the top of the Storm Rider ranks, which is on Trophaeum Tower. The Trophaeum Tower is made up of the Kings of the Air Treks, the Sky Regalia, that have surpassed the laws of physics in a way to obtain crazy powers as Storm Riders and have titles to match their ability’s like ‘Sky King’ who can see the Wing Road. This means that he has the power to ride the wind with great speed and agility far past that of any normal Storm Rider.

Itsuki Minami, aka Ikki, is the main male character in the anime. The story starts off with him steeling a pair of ATs from one of the girls in the family he has been staying with, the Noyamano’s, since his family disappeared some time ago. (The anime never really went into this part.) He starts out slow making a ton of mistakes but eventually gains enough skill that he starts to battle and gain the attention of the current Kings. He is dubbed Little crow by Simca who leads the gang Genesis and who also has a major crush on Ikki. Genesis is one the largest and most powerful gangs out there that is said to be on a mission to actually destroy the Trophaeum Tower. Simca decides to take Ikki under her wing so to speak and teach him the ways of Storm Riders since she thinks he has the ability and power to become the next Sky King and in turn help her take down the Tower.

Ikki also has another girl that is chasing after him, Ringo, who is the main female character. She is one the girls from the Noyamano family that he is living with. Unknown to Ikki though she is the leader of the second generation of Sleeping Forest said to be THE best Storm Riders out there. Ringo is also the Queen of Thorns and part of the Sky Regalia. She is not as forth coming as Simca is about her feelings but they shine through whenever Simca tries to make moves on Ikki and she gets her underwear in a twist over it and gets up in Simcas face.

After attempting to compete in a few battles on his own Ikki decides to form him own gang the Kogarasumaru. He gets his two closest friends to join that show no real talent on ATs but as the story progress so do their skills and tricks with one being able to skate like a bad ass but upside down with a AT on his head insead of his feet! Kogarasumaru originally was only had the three members then as they started to win battles they gained members since as the one of the rules states if your gang is beaten then you must disband.  They gain at least two more powerhouses with one being a current King, Agito. I love Love LOVE me some Agito!!! If I was to dress up as any character for cosplay it would be Agito with Simca a close second. Agito is a mess of a kid but so freakin awesome. He has two parts to himself that can be swapped by simply moving this eye patch that he wears from one side to the other. The best way to describe him is a modern day  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with the eye patch being his catalyst. Agito’s Dr. Jekyll side is this sweet little Lolita-esx boy that is in love with Ikki. The Mr. Hyde is a crazy ass kid that would as soon slit your throat then look at you. For this reason he wears a straight jacket at all times however he is able to use the straps as part of his ability with his ATs.

The main arc is based around these battles between the gangs, the fight to either destroy the Sky Regalia or become part of it and battles for gang property/land since another rule is that after so many battles you can take your claim on an area. There are WAY too many gangs and battles to go into them all but, once you start watching and get about about ¼ of the way through all the episodes it starts to click with who belongs to what gang and what gang does what. I do have to say the final battle is sick with all the gangs and kings present! Makes you sad that it comes to an end after it. :c(

This is defiantly one anime that doesn’t have too many dull points that makes you want to fast forward to the interesting parts lol! I really wish though that they hadn’t of ended it the way they did. There is SO much more that they could have done with this…

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