On instinct, I picked up a copy of the first volume of Rozen Maiden, covering the first four episodes. I’d forgotten that this was actually a really good show and that I liked the background music in this show. And that I actually liked Hinaichigo, though my favorite dolls are still Shinku, Suigintou, and Suiseiseki… I can’t believe I actually admitted that (Gaaaa, flashback to childhood).
Ooookaaay, on with this so-called “review” thingy. In terms of the DVD itself, I didn’t buy the collector’s edition since I picked up the special edition of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya volume 2 in addition to all of Ichigo Mashimaro/Strawberry Marshmallow. As I mentioned, I liked the music of this show and still liked the same opening song when it was released. The only options that the DVD offered is the original Japanese version with subtitles and the English dubbed version. There weren’t any extras other that the language option and the previews of other shows from Geneon. There was no animation or background music on the DVD menus, just the plain options to choose to play all, pick a chapter, and the extras. Basically, they didn’t go all out on this release, but I get the feeling that this really isn’t going to be a huge seller.
The release isn’t bad overall (unlike this blog which aspires to that level), but I wasn’t overwhelmed, let alone just whelmed, with the English dub. For some reason, I have it in my head that the dolls should have a European accent, preferably the Queen’s English. The current voices are a little on the boring side. With the exception of Suiseiseki. I can’t express how disappointed I am in that. It just doesn’t fit with the queen of tsundere desuness. I don’t think it worked at all. I think that Nori and Hinaichigo are cast the best in terms of voice acting with Suigintou not too far behind. The voices of Shinku and Jun really didn’t do much and since they’re the lead characters, most of my indifference is based on their performance.
I’m not going to talk about the story this this show has been out there for awhile. Despite the lackluster dub, I think it is still worth picking up because it is a good, solid show. Explaining why you have a show about a teen-aged shut-in who plays with living dolls is going to be tough, but then we all know people who can’t miss the latest in snarky singing contests and TV shows that focus on the latest gossip of celebrities and what they’re wearing, etc. So they can just back off. *Ahem*.
Image-wise, it looked fine. Story-wise, they pretty much presented it the way that I remember seeing it. Other than that, if you liked it or if you haven’t seen this show, I think it is worth getting. The story is incredibly imaginative and while a little slow to begin with, it I think it’s worth having in the library.
I’ll buy the rest of the releases and will more than likely watch it with the subtitles unless I get lazy and just want to watch the show.]]>
I felt that way with my first Star Trek convention. Some of those folks make Haruhi fans look tame.
This episode went from good to bad to thankfully really enjoyable. As funny as he is, I’m getting tired of Konata’s dad (but he’s not what I’m talking about at all). Maybe I’m seeing some shadow of myself, you know that whole “projection” thing that psychologists sometimes talk about. It’d be great to see him and Kagami and Tsukasa’s dad hang out. The whole convention segment was great, but having the same actor voice the extras sort of dampened the enjoyment factor. Thankfully Tsukasa’s predictable first-timer eagerness was pretty adorable. And then we came to the scene that killed the mood for me.
Poor thing, she must know we’re coming to the worst part of the show.
Oh look, here it is.
I’ve complained that Akira and the Lucky Channel, as funny as these segments are, take time away from the main characters (more Miyuki and I mean now KyoAni). Lucky Channel really needs to be spun off. But the segment with Gamers’ (?) store staff was down right unfunny. I went from having a good time to fast forwarding just to get through this part. Now I know how the people who hated the eating discussion in the first episode felt. It was funny to see the store staff in action in episode 10, but man, they forgot the funny in this part. Not even having the actor who voiced Kyon/Yuuichi made up for this. They’d better have the actress who voiced Kanon’s Nayuki in the next episode to make me forget this scene. And she needs to be singing “ichigo jammu”. Come to think of it, there’s only been one Kanon reference that I can recall. Shouldn’t there be more? Maybe Ayu’s winged backpack, some unidentifiable yellow jammu, maybe a taiyaki or a few “Ugu’s”.
I’d forgotten that Kagami and Tuskasa had older sisters. Thanks Zyl.
Let’s see more of them
Thankfully the whole temple scene was the strongest part of the show. I thought it was nice story background development when Kagami mentions that the turnout of the crowd was big, despite the family’s temple not being well-known. I had a great time laughing when Konata turned her bad luck fortune completely around by thinking of it as set to collect. They needed Miyuki there too. Overall, it was a good episode. Not the strongest, but funny enough with the enjoyable parts of the convention segment and sreiously rescued by the temple segment.
Eeepp, matching hairpieces. Too cute. Wait for it, wait for it…
And there it is, right on the money. I couldn’t agree any more.
Sad to say, but I think I would go for that reason alone.
Obligatory Kagami picture]]>
Alright, I succumbed and ordered the collector’s edition of the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Once you get past the brain cell killing fumes that escape when you open the box (after comparing those fumes to that of a Sharpie, I prefer the Sharpie), it’s just like what you’d expect of a collector’s box. Lot’s of images covering the box, a little bit of a struggle to get the CD out of it’s own box and the DVD itself was fine. Haruhi’s headband was promptly discarded and promptly chewed upon by a cat.
Surprisingly, it was one of the extras on the DVD that annoyed me. Under the “Extras”, there’s a “making of Haruhi”. When I see something that says “Making of…” I naturally assume that it is the behind the scenes making of the actual show, movie, etc. In this case, it wasn’t. It was the behind the scenes making of the TV commercials with Aya Hirano. For some reason, this just annoyed me. If they had said that it was the making of the commercial, then I would’ve been fine. I still would’ve watched it anyway, because Aya is cute and I like watching the making of movies and shows. I know, it’s a minor point. I’m probably just looking to complain about something other than the voice work.
I received the DVD shortly after the release date and when I watched it, I kept making notes comparing the dub to the original. Until I was told to stop and just watch the “damn” DVD. I’ve watched the whole subbed portion a few times over the last few weeks and I’m glad to say that the lists basically shrank down to a few items. I liked the added scenes that pop here and there. I think they added a bit more to the show. As for the voice acting, it’s reversed itself since the first time I watched it. Part of the problem is that there will always be a running comparison the the Japanese version. Oh well.
At first, I thought that Mikuru was cast the best, but now I don’t think so. The high voice is there, but it just doesn’t sound natural to me. Even when I don’t compare it to the Japanese version, it just doesn’t do it for me. Koizumi’s voice, is fine in a neutral sort of way. So in that regards, it’s probably the best cast voice out of all of our favorite band of merry mayhem makers. Actually, I think Nagato was cast the best. The voice is as emotionless as it should be.
In terms of emotions, Kyon’s casting is good, but for me it isn’t as sarcastic edge as I’d prefer. And it seemed a bit to polished for an average high schooler. And that’s the same complaint that I have for Haruhi. There energy is there, but the bored-with-life-and-impatient-for-things-to-happen edge isn’t there. From reading the translations and watching the dubbed version, the two main characters seem to be missing an edge that two disaffected teenagers need. Kyon’s has that weariness that I got from reading the translations and watching the Japanese version. And Haruhi has the energetic dedication. Despite the missing edge that Haruhi and Kyon need, the casting is good, just not 100%. I am, however, glad that Haruhi Suzumiya has finally been released on DVD and I’ll probably buy the collector’s edition of remaining releases because that’s just who I am.
Of course, the great thing about all this is, I’m just some pontificating twit with a blog]]>
I really hate it when I don’t write down any notes about a show. The remaining little gray cells are over taxed as it is. I still think they should drop the Lucky Channel segment and give us more Miyuki. Spin off the Lucky Channel into it’s own series and give us a behind the scenes with an idol show. Something akin to Extras. That would be fun to see.
Not much to say about these last few episodes other than they’ve really made Tsukasa stand out to me. She’s also had the best facial expressions of the show so far. Watching her dealing with her cell phone in episode 7 was funny. Watching her focus hard on her footing for the hurdle jump and then run the race had me laughing hard. And Konata’s reaction to her when she talked about considering Konata’s chocolate cornet as a dessert. Konata’s reaction shows a real mean streak which was something I unconsciously felt that she had. Yeah sure, Konata’s a free spirit, but show her up in front of other people, well let’s just say that little miss stabby comes out. Then there’s Tsuakasa’s expressions in episode 9 when she tells us that she isn’t having fun. They just brought the humor of the show up to a higher level. And vaulted Tsukasa so far ahead of Konata on my favorites list that there’s no hope for Konata at all. Of course, no one will ever come close to Kagami’s level.
And out come the claws
When cake stops becoming pleasurable, there’s no reason to live
Obligatory Kagami picture just because she’s my favorite]]>
As I mentioned before, I found it to be a very inspirational show. In watching Manabi work with a vision so real in her mind, that she was able to inspire a seemingly jaded school and its administration to work towards it. It brought to mind the goals that I have and a new desire to get to them. Start with the finish in mind and get there. Pretty simple thinking. It my take time, but you’ll get there. Who knows, maybe you’ll be joined on the way by people who can help you achieve your goals.
I wasn’t surprised that the school turned out to help Manabi and the student council clean up the old dorms (though I was surprised that clock towers can explode), giving Manabi the opportunity to re-energize the drive to saving the school fair. The only things that really stood out for me in episode 10 was Mei’s realization that she had (and to an extent needs) friends and that Takako, despite being stuck in between her friendship with Manabi and her school’s superintendent, was openly supportive of Manabi’s school fair drive. Even as adults, some might be to afraid to show that level of openness.
Takako scored more points when she pointed out that Manabi could already see the school fair in episode 11. despite having to wait in the student council office as the fair was on, Takako had learned to see the fair as completed - the image that Manabi had all along when she was explaining her vision to Takako earlier in the series. All of which goes back to what I’ve tried to express, start with an image the goal completed as how you see it and work towards it. In this case, Manabi succeeded in getting the fair up and running. While a little obvious, it was nice to see that the superintendent had a change of mind about the fair.
I suppose that The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has spoiled me in terms of school fair concerts. Where was the bunny suit? Where was the witch outfit. Why didn’t Mei sing “God Knows” or “Lost my music”? I want my rock bunny! Ahem.
I think it’s an interesting point that Mika makes about Manabi when she asks Manabi how she sees the world. How she can find the interesting in a world that others would think of as boring or normal. In seeing your goal completed, I think it stands to reason that you have to see some things differently. You have to get excited about your goal, because no one else will. Sure, you’ll find encouragement along the way, but the image of your completed goal is yours alone. So, go forward and get to your goal.