Mushishi is truly magical…

You know, with all the talk about mushishi in my blog, i still cant find a suitable way to best describe this outstanding anime nor categorise them in any of the major genres.

Ive watched a lot of animes in the past 4 years and have still numerous backlogs of anime series still waiting to be watched. But when mushishi came, at first i thought it was good in terms of the quality from all aspects. However, upon further analysis, this particular series just gives me the chills. There is no way i could describe it. Its spiritually enlightening, and even that is a gross understatement. Every episode is pure magic, meticulously done in great detail that sometimes you just wonder in awe.

There is no central plot. Every episode tells a different story. It doesnt have much action, nor is this an action anime. It’s calm, soothing and really touches on the human essence when it comes to storytelling. Imagine its morning and you are relaxing by a pond where the water is extremely calm breathing in the fresh morning mist. Everytime i finish an episode, that is what i feel, not just a cool breath of fresh air, but the whole atmosphere of calm and serenity that i experienced. It got me thinking real deep about what i have just watched. Its an amazing rollercoaster of emotions and feelings that i dont get most animes that i have watched.

Just listen to the soundtrack and you would immediately be mesmerized. Ive posted a couple of samples in which i think in my opinion, truly brings out the best in the series.

You can listen to a sample of the soundtrack here and here

Here are the pictures that i promised the other time. Finally, its the set that i can be proud off and its a very good investment.

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Mushishi DVD collection completed!

I dont have the pictures to show the entire collection just yet, but suffice to say that i have finally bought all 6 volumes of the DVD and it looks sweet when all of them are placed in the collection box that came with the first volume.

Although the final volume was released months ago, i only managed to get it at a bargain price on ebay. Im very short on cash and any cent counts!! Thankfully the package arrived just fine. Although it tooks a whopping 3 weeks to arrive to my doorstep, at least its cheap.

So whats next after mushishi. I dont think i would be buying Anime dvds at the time being. I already have my investments on manga and games, and those are real money suckers. Id love to have the Blood+ DVD collection though. Im a big fan of Blood+.

Guess ill have to wish for it and hope it falls from the sky and into my hands.

Notable new anime series

This year’s Spring 2008 anime season is gonna be a busy one. With almost 30 new series airing in Japan alone, its gonna be tough for me to filter the good ones from the bad ones. Ive previewed (watched the first episode of the series as a first impression) almost half of the total series being released and i must say that this year’s quality is certainly better than last year’s. There are some potentially good ones out there right now. Why I say potential? Well its simply because that ive only watched the first episode of the series and its not justifiable to say whether its good or bad as a whole. But judging from episode one in terms of technical qualities, like voice acting quality, character design, animation and soundtrack, one can made predictions on whether a particular series is gonna be a hit or not.

Ive got a couple that i wanna share. First up is SOUL EATER.

SYNOPSIS

Set in the Shinigami technical school for weapon meisters, the series revolves around 3 groups of each a weapon meister and a human weapon. Trying to make the latter a “Death Scythe” and thus fit for use by the Shinigami, they must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and 1 witch.

SOUL EATER was the first anime series of the season that i watched. What i noticed instantly was the incredible and vibrant artwork used throughout the show. Its character designs are unique and there are some light hearted humor in this seemingly dark show. I like the strong bold lines used to accentuate certain designs, be it the background or the character art itself. This is certainly gotta be one of the better series to be released this season.

Image credits goes to Random Curiosity.

Second series: Nabari no Ou

SYNOPSIS

Rokujou Miharu is a boy who has a hijustu (hidden technique) living inside of him. This hijustu is the power of creation. Many ninja clans are seeking it as the one who posesses it becomes the ruler of the ninja world. Rokujou’s classmate Kouichi started a nindou (“Way of the Ninja”) club at school with Kumohira, his English teacher. Both Kouichi and Kumohira are secretly ninjas. They tried to persuade Rokujou to join the ninjustu club. At first, he was reluctant, but after being attacked by group of ninjas trying to get his hijutsu, he joins. He must become the Ruler of Nabari in order to survive.

This series got me intrigued. Not only does it have ninja and stuff behind a modern backdrop, but the story of having different warring ninja factions after a book inside a boy is interesting indeed. Not only that, the characters introduced in the first episode have a certain depth and a layer of realistic emotions. The background art is something to admire at. The sceneries in this anime series is just so surreal, so watercolor-like. It doesnt look simplistic, rather the sketching lines are retained in the art itself and just painted over, making it look really artistic. Just see the images below to know what i mean. Somehow im very keen to know what Rokujou Miharu would do, now that he knows he holds some terrible power that other ninja factions are after. Design wise, top notch for the characters, which is no surprise since JC Staff is doing most of the work and Square Enix is sponsoring the project.

Image credits goes to Random Curiosity.

Evangelion 1.0 You are (Not) Alone coming to town…

Ok i seriously need to head down to town more often. Im missing out lots of juicy and interesting news lately. Just this evening, i was heading to Cineleisure with my friends to have some lan gaming fun when, to my shock, i spotted an ad of Evangelion 1.0 movie on the first floor of the mall.

O RLY?!

YA RLY! Yes its true, its exactly what ive said. The movie is indeed coming to town. The franchise that started a social phenomenon in Japan years ago is coming to theaters right hereT Too bad i didnt have camera to prove it to you guys but im dead sure the ad is there. I cant remember the release date for the movie but if im not wrong its 13 March 2008.

The remake to the original blockbuster classic that redefines Mecha animation today is the 1st of 4 movies to be shown here. I need to reconfirm the official release date again. It happened so fast… we were rushing to out destination when this Evangelion poster caught my eye. It was crowded at that time and i didnt had the time to stop and take a closer look. It was quite big, covering the entire length of the mall’s pillar near the entrance.

I can already hear Utada’s featured song, “Beautiful World” being played through the theater’s powerful speakers… What good music!!

On a side note, A Death Note movie spin off, “L Change the World” is coming to theaters on 21st February 2008. I hope its good. I love the manga and the movies are not bad either .Im definitely gonna catch this when it comes out. At least it will relieve my impatient wait for Eva to arrive.

Upcoming purchase of the month: January

So these are the stuff that im gonna purchase online for the month of January.

1. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.

I came across this book and found it unique, in a sense that this novel tells a story of our world in a not so distant future being plagued by zombies. But this is no ordinary zombies, it reaccounts how humans warred againts the rampaging zombies throughout the world through first hand interviews by various types of people around the world. Have to be good stuff.

2. Mushishi Volume 5

Almost coming to an end to the mushishi dvd release, Volume 5 will be released on the 15th of January. One of my favourite anime series just got better. Im almost done to collecting the entire set. The 6th and final volume will be released on the following month. Even with the budget crunch, im still buying stuff online on top of my manga fix like Bleach and Fruits Basket every month. Too bad it’ll be 5 months later after i completed my transport supervisor course, promoted to 3rd Sergeant and get a pay increase.

Fieldcamp over!

Finally the fieldcamp, which is the highlight of BMT is finally over. Having gone through 6 days outfield, with the last 3 being the most miserable days of my life, ive managed to survived the ordeal. Now with a 4 days break starting on Deepavali, i had the time to start blogging.

Alot of things happened in BMT, both good and bad. Its been an experience, and being myself, an experience i will not forget and will not want to go through again. Its been challenging both physically and mentally and this break is a much deserved one. Im grateful that i was not slated for any regimental or extra guard duties during this precious 4 day break.

With BMT i dont have a lot of time in my hands to do the things i wanted and thus i find that time is very precious to me. BMT truly has taught me to appreciate the small things in life. If im not wrong this would be the 7th week in BMT. Just a little more before i POP.

Just to update on myself:

I havent been able to watch that many animes nowadays, though i have bought a number of original R1 anime DVDs, namely Mushishi and Samurai 7. There are both great products. Im planning to get Noein, Suzumiya Haruhi and possibly Beck and Full Metal Panic TSR in the future. But currently im putting my purchases on hold and focus on buying mangas and comics instead. These include Ex Machina, a new series im collecting by the famed Brian K Vaughan, Fell by Warren Ellis.

I went to HMV yesterday to have a look around at some of the latest album. I came across this unique Finnish Symphonic Rock band and i really like their music. The band is called Nightwish and they have a pretty good female vocalist, somewhat similar in the direct of Evenescence. You guys should check out their album. Ill give a more detailed review later.

While in camp i managed to keep a log of my experience on a notebook, but ive yet to transfer them digitally here. Now im a little hesitant on whether i should transfer them or not due to personal reasons and the length of texts in which i have transfer. Since i havent been updating it regularly, the number of entries have been piling up. Sadly though most of them are undated, but they are in chronological order when written. Maybe ill transfer them when i have finished BMT.

Thats it for now.

Oh by the way, I’ve watched this awesome Anime movie, Tekkon Kinkreet and i heard that the animation has been submitted for the 80th Annual Oscar animation nonimation. That must be big news for the people who worked on the project. I really appreciate the efforts put into making this visually incredible piece of animation. It would be nice if they are nominated. However, they are in for a tough fight with big contenders like Shrek 3, Rataouille, and Beowulf. Well best luck to them.

Full Metal Panic Fumoffu thinpak set DVD!

Another package also arrived that i ordered from Tower.com. I was impressed with Tower.com’s swift delivery despite its cheap shipping rates on DVDs. The best part is that no matter how many dvds are there in a set, the shipping rate is calculated on a flat rate of 1 set and not on the number of DVDs in the set.

And thus Full Metal Panic Fumoffu thinpak arrived.

Title: Full Metal Panic Fumoffu

Licensed by: Funimation
Region: 1 (NTSC)
Resolution: 640X480 (4:3)
Subtitle: English
Dub: English 5.1, Japanese 2.0
Episodes: 1 to 12

Number of discs: 3

ADV released a more economical version of the title, in a complete thinpak collection with the box to keep all the casings together. It is totally devoid of extras, save for the usual textless openings and closings and some previews on other animes released by ADV. At just SGD 59 for a region 1 DVD, with the box, plastic casings for individual DVDs, this is quite a bargain.

Front and back of the box:

Inside the box you’ll see 3 thin sized dvd casings, holding a DVD each.

The thinpak cases features different pair ups of the girls in the anime.

The menus in the dvd are quite bare and doesnt feature any animated features as you browse through the menu and submenus.

Here are some screenies of the video itself. The picture looks bright and colourful, but i think ADV has kinda messed up with the transfer of the video to the DVD. Interlacing problems are quite evident throughout the series. But other than that, its quite crisp. The interlacing problem could be repaired if you enable FFDshow to process the picture.