64 of ? chapters read
The average ecchi story has the male protagonist stumble into a female bosom/crotch/other bodily region - and turns it into a moment of comedy which is dissolved by both characters panicking their way out (rinse repeat). This type apparently has the biggest chance of being turned into an anime nowadays. Another more mature approach in the ecchi genre has sex as an integral part of an adult romance which then turns its attention to the relationships of its characters (e.g. Nozoki Ana, Velvet Kiss). “Minamoto-kun Monogatari” (MM from now on) is unique as it stands somewhere in-between.
“B Gata H Kei” had a similar idea of having its characters aspire to their first sexual experience. But much like with a lot of romances you often feel that the story gets stuck in an endless loop of reappearing tropes – with its long desired conclusion in its final chapter/episode. Here, this is not the case. After a somewhat slow beginning, (at around chapter 12) MM throws its protagonist into the heated events that play out both most delightfully and actually realistic. Whereas in a harem setting you’ll find the main character becoming the center of attention either for being kind or simply breathing, Minamoto makes quite a big effort in order to be recognized.
Pardon the previous comparison as this technically should not be considered a harem. In fact, this shouldn’t even be considered a romance, though there is a chance for such development. MM is not about relationships or about love. It is about the insecurities that surround the first sexual experience and the ways of approaching women. Minamoto has no experience whatsoever and does a lot of things wrong. He’s being too pushy. He sucks at pleasing a woman. He isn’t masculine enough. But he is learning and you can clearly tell the progress that’s happening, both within him and in his encounters.
It is a most enjoyable short read and whets one’s appetite for more. So far it has been handled surprisingly honest and straight-forward. I can foresee the risk of complicating matters once more and more women come into the picture, but it doesn’t seem to take the stand that having a sexual encounter automatically leads to love or a relationship (which is again, quite authentic). Right now I recommend this to anyone who cares for a mature and erotic story that doesn’t overload on the wrong aspects.
Story (x 1.5): 7
Characters (x 1.5): 7
Art: (x 1.0): 8
Enjoyment: (x 2.0): 9
Overall (sum/6.0): 8.5
1 of 1 episodes seen
This will not be another review of which you can find plenty and probably far better than I could do. Instead this will be my interpretation of the events – in a way a post-view analysis – to make an argument for Tekkon Kinkreet’s complexity or simply to help you make sense of its plot. If you have not seen the movie before, beware of spoilers and the likely influence this will have on your viewing experience.
Tekkon Kinkreet picks up a few different themes and presents them alongside each other. Most noticeably the Yin-Yang symbolism which is portrayed with the two brothers. It is important to notice from here on out that the characters’ names are White (Shiro) and Black (Kuro).
Shiro is the innocent one who shows clear signs of autism. At several points in the movie we are witness to his vivid and colorful imagination. His interactions with others seem offbeat and his mental development is clearly delayed. Kuro often cannot understand what his brother is going on about while Shiro is cheerfully dancing to his own tune. The old man whom they are friendly with points out how surprising it is for Shiro to be completely unscathed by the city’s dark side. “No one so uncorrupted belongs here”.
The way things unfold, we are made to believe that Kuro is the one taking care of Shiro. However, once Shiro is taken into custody by the police, we realize it might have been in fact vice versa all along. Kuro (Yin) - who has lost his anchor – cannot function any longer. He becomes deranged and violent, up to the point where he even takes a puppet for a substitute of his lost counter-part (Yang). The forces tilt so far out of balance that Kuro’s inner demon materializes, the man-eating mythical ‘Minotaur’. In the meantime, Shiro’s imagery continually darkens - culminating in his extreme screaming fit, which symbolizes the battle between light and darkness within the brothers (who can be considered one at this point). Together, they overcome the imbalance and reach a blissful conclusion.
The Yin-Yang conceptualizes the interdependence of opposing forces. People are not ‘white’ or ‘black’, they are all kinds of shades of grey. Even with good things there can be a ‘too much’. Ever noticed how annoying these do-gooder anime characters can get once they start preaching about their superior morals? There are many applicable real life examples. Society rewards extraversion, but too much can turn into narcissism. Agreeableness is the core of harmony, yet if you take it too far you will be on the way to self-denial. Ambition means striving for success, its extreme will lead to obsession. Chinese philosophy has recognized this fact of life long ago – and Shiro and Kuro are here to remind us of this principle once again. Kuro wants to protect his world (“my city”) and therefore gets rid of Shiro. You have to become a beast in order to kill one. But he needs Shiro to restore his inner balance once the battle is fought. In a ‘Fight Club’-ian way this might have led to the conclusion that the two had been one all along.
Besides this struggle of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ there is also the underlying theme of coming to terms with one’s own self. The drawn out sequence between the Minotaur and Kuro seems to pay homage to NGE’s ending. The scar on Kuro’s hand will remind him of what slumbers inside him and its visibility symbolizes his acceptance of this ‘dark passenger’ (as Dexter would call it). But acceptance means also to move forward, to break out of the cycle. For most of his life he remained in self-deception of his identity (his true being and role in the world). Stuck in the misconception that he was the ruler of a city and caretaker of his brother. With the illusion shattering in a most cathartic way he could let go of these misguided notions and find himself in a much more beautiful place alongside the person he most appreciates. In the end he clearly knew what he was capable of, what he truly desires and needs to live on. The final scene shows him looking at his scar – deep in thought – and then jumping jubilantly into the water. I guess that’s what it means to live with your inner demons.
The other prevailing theme is that of changing times – portrayed with the struggling yakuza, reminiscent of the “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas”. Of course this change is brought about by the biblical “Snake”, tempting with money and power. Suzuki’s moral objections are meaningless because time moves on relentlessly. Kimura is unwillingly turned into the Harbinger of this new era of profit and greed – leading to the most intense moment of the movie (in my opinion). “The sins of the fathers…” – the never-ending spiral of violence and hate.
Besides the environmental (inter-individual) change, we also see in Kimura the intra-individual change. The news of fatherhood makes him cherish life and rethink his choices. Alas, if adapting was that simple, humanity would be rid of most of its problems. Kimura finds his somber end in yet another incredibly well directed and intense moment – almost as if mentioned in passing. And the spiral of violence continues yet again.
Not making the right choices or making the right choices too late – is that what it means to be human? While both Suzuki and Kimura are introduced as sleazy and cold-hearted yakuza, they felt genuinely human right before and in the moments of their death. The tragedy of these characters depicts the gravity of the consequences of our actions we ultimately and inevitably conjure – the causality of things. While Shiro and Kuro complemented each other to the point of merging identities – in order to overcome their crisis – Suzuki and Kimura (father and son) were not so fortunate. Maybe if the father had taught his son anything besides “how to whack someone” – and even that he couldn’t do (ironically) to his father’s satisfaction.
In the end we are left with several threads that intertwine at several points in the movie, yet end up separately. They leave a lot of room for interpretation, because after all ‘showing’ is much more fun than ‘preaching’.
I could probably go on for a while. If the meaning of all the symbols and allegories was so simple to deduce, I wouldn’t be here - writing down my thoughts – which were initially hazy at best. In fact, many more things can be said about this movie and seen differently than I have. But isn’t that what makes for great story-telling? Go (re-)watch it and find out for yourself :)
7 of ? episodes seen
[Quick Review (Weighting, Scores)]
Story (*1.5): 5 – neutral score, as this has no story – which works in favor of its purpose.
Characters (*1.5): 7 – no development of any sort but fun characters and bearable male lead. Consider them as means to an end.
Art (*1.0): 8 – very polished, cute character designs (not too childish), normal-sized breasts (TYVM).
Sound (*0.5): 5 – average. If you like cutesy J-Pop you may enjoy it more than I did.
Enjoyment (*2.0): 9 – extremely sexy with certain comedy value. Look no further if you want a quick fix of ecchi goodness.
Overall (Sum/6.5): 7.2 – don’t be fooled : within the ecchi genre I’d consider this one of its finest. Objectively, it obviously can’t compare to shows with ‘real value’.
Let’s get straight down to business. If you’re looking for something other than ecchi – like heartwarming romance or mind-shattering drama – get the hell outta here. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I have to praise this short series for not trying to establish any kind of story - therefore being incredibly honest about its intention. That is: entertaining us, the viewers, with outrageously sexy moments, scene after scene. Unlike a lot of other shows in this genre, this won’t shove a contrived story down your sore throat that would make you end up in ICU due to whiplash from shaking your head (I’m looking at you, “Rosario+Vampire”, “Sekirei”, “Highschool DxD”, insert more failures of your own choice).
If you care for the premise, it is as simple as that: the sole focus is on brother Keita and his two step-sisters (read: not blood-related) Ako and Riko. As it happens in the fabulous anime world, these two very lovely young ladies are head over heels for their rather wimpy brother (his whiney voice may test your endurance). What ensues are pubertal attempts of seduction to woo the reluctant brother. Everywhere. At any time. At any cost. No-holds-barred. Luckily, the brother most-often ends up going with the flow instead of stereotypically nose-bleeding his way out of the situations or keeping his distance with stoic composure (which would have otherwise killed the fun quickly). It draws the line to hentai by cockteasing you just far enough to leave the possible outcome to your - by then - more than vivid imagination.
As previously hinted, the brother doesn’t completely fall into the stereotype of a pathetic harem lead. Although his voice is irritatingly shaky and his initial reluctance to the sisterly advances makes you question his sanity (and sexuality), he does in fact not shy away from getting it on with the girls once they drilled through his socially imposed (feeble) moral layers. Lo and behold! Let’s put those asexual pathetic male anime characters to the torch, for Keita has arrived! Can you imagine a guy actually exhibiting sexual desire when the time has come with a willing female? Well of course you can, since you are just one of those (an apology to the unlikely female reader(s), at this point I cannot fathom your reasons for watching). But now you can imagine seeing it on the anime screen, how great is that? Hope dies last, or so I’ve been told. High five! (In hindsight, I’ll be fair and say that Keita is still a clueless retard that I’d butcher passionately if I ever had the chance but by anime standards he’s doing pretty well).
Now that the biggest danger of a cockblock is out of the way, let’s talk about the sisters. Remember the good ol’ school days, when pubescent girls grow boobs and discover their power over the male sex? Ako and Riko sure won’t waste a lot of time talking it through. They are (awe-)inspiringly honest about their affection towards Keita. French kissing and breast-fondling inclusive (don’t be naïve thinking that this show won’t have more in store). A comical dynamic is created by the sisters’ rivalry in their attempts to outdo each other. Sometimes you’ll be laughing, other times your jaw will hit the floor at lightning speed. Trust me, it’s a good feeling.
At the point of writing this review, I’ve seen 7 out of the announced 8 OVA episodes. With the exception of the last episode (#6, as the first one was named ep #0), which turned out to be a dull generic school examination episode (with no direct brother x sister action), this series was an oasis in the desert called “ecchi genre”. The animation is excellent, the focus narrow and the narration straight-forward. They did a lot of things right, a tip of the hat well-deserved.
1 of 1 episodes seen
They can only hope to understand.
What is life, what means reality? Why does man pursue the creation of artificial life? Where do we draw the line between human and machine? What classifies the perfect species?
Ghost in the Shell: Innocence might very well fare as a compendium of philosophy due to the manifold questions it not only brings up but most often also provides the viewer with unique - maybe obscure at times - in any way thought-provoking arguments.
The movie depicts a state of cold surreality in an eerie and sterile environment. The distinction between the organic and inorganic, between actual experience or artificial memory is of central significance.
”The imperfect nature of human perception causes the incompleteness of reality.” As we perceive the world, we create our personal reality which holds neither absoluteness nor can it be considered concrete. However, because it is a product of the mind and hence incomplete, we consider it real, our own – instead of an externally imposed artificial scenario. Yet, there’s no way to distinguish one from another. ”You’ll only ever realize later on. It’s impossible to know you’re in a dream when you’re dreaming.”
Would we want to wake up from a dream if it was so much more beautiful than that which we consider genuine, just to seek truth?
“The mirror is not a tool for realizing the truth, but for obscuring it.” And so is our consciousness. There’s no verification of the truthfulness of the impressions that affect us, the memories we have, the interpretations and conclusions we come to. We are obscuring reality to make it fit our individual creations.
They definitely dwell on this subject matter. Not least due to the creepy dolls that lurk everywhere. ”The doubt over whether that which looks alive is actually alive – on the contrary, the doubt that things without life might be alive” is something that’s continuously played with – and the transition to another intriguing theme. The definition of life - or rather human.
“When people think ‘Humans are different from robots’, it is no more profound than thinking ‘white is not black’.” Why does man try to create machines in the image of the ideal human body? None other than a cyborg makes the quite unorthodox and controversial approach to answer this by creating an analogy between children and dolls. A child playing with a doll is essentially the same as parenting. The child substitutes the doll.
The macabre intellectual argument is taken even further. The ‘content’ of a child is different than that of a human, yet it is human-shaped. Therefore parenting is closest to the creation of androids which is the intent to conquer nature that created us.
A very factual and coherent argumentation - but devoid of emotion. That is obviously where the machine is lacking. And Togusa, closest to being a human in the whole movie, reacts emotionally.
Interestingly enough, about the only time the atmosphere transcends the abstract sterility of the plot is when Batou returns home to his dog. In an absolute contrast to the usually dialogue-driven story we’re reduced to our visual perception and enjoy their reunion. While at first it may not seem special enough to be mentioned, the dog clearly stands out.
It is perhaps the most lively and intimate creature we’re presented with. Hugging Batou from behind, scratching him with his paw in eager anticipation of the food, Batou carefully putting its ears around the feeding dish and in the end sleeping in his lap – unconditional love in a setting that otherwise shows an utter absence of this emotion.
The science that explains and defines life ultimately produces fear - “…the fear that humans might merely be the sum of simple clockwork tricks and components, in other words the fear of the phenomena called ‘human’ is essentially vanity.”
Is the imitation of a human complete by putting a soul into a doll? Or is the existence of such a doll superior? The hacker Kim who has turned himself into a complete machine argues that either no consciousness or infinite consciousness makes a species complete and that can only be realized in dolls. ”If there were such a thing as a truly beautiful doll it would be flesh and blood without a soul.”
While the cyborgs might be the most complete form of existence, they are treated as inferior to man which is allegorized by the girl sacrificing the ‘life’ of dolls in order to be found. They are ignorantly treated as things despite the absence of a clear definition for life (which could disqualify them).
"You cry for bird’s blood,
but not for fish blood.
Fortunate for ones with voice.
If the dolls had voices,
They would have screamed,
‘I didn’t want to become human!’”
This is by no means shallow entertainment or easily digestible. The story moves solely by its highbrow dialogues which are in a way mentally exhausting, yet quite rewarding.
Whereas the first movie impressed with detailed hand-drawn sceneries, this time around they made heavy usage of 3D CG. Although it was flawlessly executed and did not necessarily feel out of place, I could have lived with less of it. The love for detail remains nevertheless and it certainly adds to the somewhat sterile - almost clinical - atmosphere of the futuristic setting. Highly recommended.
8 of 12 chapters read
To sum it up - rich girl who’s sick of the restrictions that come with her privileges meets poor boy who’s handsome & perfect at everything (with a somewhat forced dark past to insert at least a little random drama). They fall madly in love and end up running away from home just to return later for a happy ending.
Facts are, the main story is only 2 volumes long (the second half of both the 1st and 3rd volume are side stories with a similar premise) thus it avoids getting boring or simply too silly by ending early.
However, due to the lack of time (or space respecitively) the reader has to make do with a quite generic set of main characters and there’s no development either, but I guess that’s something to be expected of a short story.
Although the overall concept is nothing but shallow, the presentation is entertaining enough.
As aforementioned, the most striking difference is a simple formula: Hooray for boobies. Male lead Allen certainly doesn’t miss a chance to undress and fondle Rumina’s well-shaped titties (plus she doesn’t even resist!) and that’s probably the controversial part. It gets quite erotic at times but avoids drifting off into the hentai realm by leaving out the private parts. I’d definitely say it adds zest to the otherwise a little pale storyline.
The art achieves its goal by delivering pretty shoujo character design while backgrounds are as typical mostly non-existent.
This will not impress by any means, but it’s certainly enjoyable and will make you giggle as long as you don’t try to take anything too serious that’s done or said. And the guys might be left with half a boner.
26 of 26 episodes seen
The provided synopsis could hardly be more accurate, yet does it tell little to nothing about the series. The reason for this is that Mushishi, unlike usual modern entertainment, convinces the viewer through style - aesthetics. There is no flashy, grotesque or absurd story, competing for attention among the cliche-ridden anime market. The plot flows like a calm streamlet, contemplative in its very essence.
Each episode tells us a fascinating, coherent, artfully arranged tale revolving around Ginko and the people he meets on his journey, who are facing different consequences through the confrontation with the paranormal.
The way the protagonist Ginko approaches the phenomenon 'Mushi' is open-minded, enquiring, yet discreet.
Maybe we can go as far as to assume that the paranormal allegorizes the beauty of nature which rarely receives attention in today's perception (in fact is invisible to most!).
But the anime does not teach - it shows, implicitly. In a meditative way. Hence, the impression it delivers is so very strong. The viewer does not reject the wisdom it provides.
Every episode deeply touched me, not just through its profound story but as well by means of sound and animation. The music conveys the atmopshere modest, soothing, simply beautiful - and sometimes there is no sound at all. Minimalistic perfection.
The animation is astonishing - detailed sceneries of nature in every thinkable facet, backgrounds imbued with life.
It was an unusual, enriching experience. Philosophical and artful - opposing commercialism and qualitative decline. Timeless. read more