I look forward to this OVA simply because I can't get enough of Hyakko hence why I continued with the manga. I was delighted when I found out that Nippon Animation will once again bring this series back, despite that this is just a 10 minutes OVA.
As expected, there is no in depth story or character development.
The OVA in a nutshell: Touma and Torako spending their after school at a cake cafe and trying out all the type of cakes on display.
There are some funny moments, thanks to Torako antics. I also discovered that Touma has gay feelings towards the innocent Torako ^o^
Hyakko OVA is bundled with the fifth volume of the manga. It featured the same seiyuu as the TV series and I'm happy to report that the quality of the animation too remained the same. The ED theme is sweet, maybe to compliment the cakes that have been consumed?
I kind of disappointed with the outcome of this OVA but better than nothing, I guess.
Trivia: The most abused line in this OVA is Sacher Torte!
Here is the OVA in glorious HD!
Art 7/10 Story 7/10 Sound 7/10 Character 8/10 Enjoyment 7/10 Overall 7/10
I remember at one particular time, I was obsessed with sports-related anime. In my craze, I picked up Bamboo Blade and was glad that I did. It even makes me interested in kendo. Too bad I'm too old to pick up a sport, or to learn martial art.
Bamboo Blade is pretty straight forward in terms of the story line. We have a struggling kendo club looking for new members to ensure that the club will not be canceled. Of course, as the story progress they managed to gather new members, including two boys. The instructor is kind of good for nothing sensei. One day he met with an old friend, another instructor at another school, and bet that his club can beat the other kendo club in a practice match. The prize is one year supply of sushi (didn't I said he's good for nothing?). Anyway, somehow the practice match leads to the final tournament. There are nice mini stories, trials and tribulations in between that completed this story.
Bamboo Blade does a fairly good job explaining what Kendo is, the strategies and the ropes of the sport. As a total noob when it comes to Kendo, I didn't get lost in the plot trying to understand what has taken place.
Each of the members have eccentrics personalities which make this show so fun to watch because they are such a riot! The members of the club is the heart of this series and totally has the best character chemistry ever. Tamaki got to be my favorite character in the series. She's small and seems to have a quiet personality but she's one of the best at Kendo. Also she's an otaku, so she wins big time. Kirino is the responsible captain of the kendo club and have a close relationship with Sayako, the hilarious red-head. There is also Satori is the timid girl, Miyako who have split personalities and is totally in love with the very eccentric, very geeky, Dan the pimp. Let's not forget Yuuji who is the only sensible male around and seems to be the closest with Tamaki (I was hoping for some romance), and their failure of a teacher, Kojiro.
Despite this being a all female cast for the most part, there is absolutely no ecchi or fanservice to the pervert, which is something that I appreciated.
Kawazoe Tamaki. She might be small but she can so kick your ass to oblivion.
While it may not be the best looking series out there, I think AIC A.S.T.A, FUNimation Entertainment and Studio Tulip did a pretty good job with the art. The characters were designed with their personalities in mind and has such versatility to them. The overall animation is well enough to catch your attention and does not come off as an over kill. Only the background is lacking in character, imo.
The OP of this series is pretty catchy and lively. It will give you a sense of happiness. It also has a sweet ED too. Both songs were done by Hirohashi Ryou (the seiyuu for Tamaki). The background music too is pretty awesome, with epic orchestral pieces to hot-blooded insect songs. The voice actors did at awesome job to add personalities to the characters. They also did well in matching with the characters' various emotion. Did you know, Kojiro is voiced by the same guy who voiced Kamina-sama from Gurren Lagaan, with the same intonations and vocal gestures. It was sheer hilarity and full of epicness!
Bamboo Blade has it all: comedy, drama, romance... all rolled up into 26 episodes. If you are looking for a fun anime with great character chemistry and amusing anecdotes, then Bamboo Blade hits the mark just right. However I can't recommend it to everyone especially if you like plot twist and a fast pace non-linear storyline.
Personally I thoroughly enjoyed this series though :)
Art 8/10 Story 8/10 Characters 10/10 Sound 8/10 Enjoyment 10/10 Overall 9/10
BLEACH Fade to Black 君の名を呼ぶ, or Burichi: Fade to Black - Kimi no Na o Yobu, is the third movie for the shounen manga/anime series Bleach. The film was directed by the same director that did the first two movies of Bleach, Noriyuke Abe, and written by Masashi Sogo and Kubo Tite himself. Just like the first two films, the music is done by Shiro Sagisu. However the movie's theme is "Koyoi, Tsuki wa Miezu Tomo", performed by Porno Grafitti. The movie was released in Japan in December 13, 2008 while the DVD was on September 30, 2009. This movie had cost US$35 million in the making O_0.
Mayuri Kurotsuchi was attacked by a scythe user just as he perfected some sort of potion, which caused him to lost his memory. His ever perceptive fukutaicho Nemu Kurotsuchi came to the rescue a tad too late. In his confusion, he destroyed the control panel using his oh-so-nasty zanpaktou. Zaraki Kenpachi who was the first captain to arrive at the scene was quickly assaulted by Mayuri poisonous caterpillar baby. Obviously the lab was destroyed triggering a massive explosion that cost amnesia to all shinigami in Seiretei.
In all these havoc, the scythe user used the potion to release snake-ish reiatsus thingy froze everything on it path. It was a mega scale attack on Seireitei. The purpose of the invasion is this and only this:
Rukia's first appearance! w00t!! :3
Rukia who was about to go back to Seiretei (she's from the real world) was attacked by the same scythe wielder. Just like Mayuri, her memory vanished instantly. The scythe wielder apparently has a partner and the two of them said something vengeful towards the shinigami in general as they were about to leave Seiretei with Rukia in the scythe wielder's arm.
Guess who is the first person to notice that something is not right with Rukia ? Oh hell yes!
Back in Karakura town, Ichigo was gazing out of the windows when he felt something is wrong. He wasn't sure what it was though since his memory as a shinigami was erased too. His attention was quickly diverted to Kon who was reading Rukia's coded letter. As he has no memories of nee-san, he disregarded whatever Kon was saying and went to sleep. This is when he remembers everything (I would like to believe he was able to remember on his own because of his strong feelings and deep connection with Rukia :3) and woke up with a start. He was able to read the coded letter without hassle much to Kon's amusement because a while ago, Ichigo has no freaking clue of what the letter was saying (yet another example on how Rukia and Ichigo operate on the same level).
Who will you go to if you have shinigami problem? Urahara Kisuke! *insert Ghostbuster's theme* Unfortunately for Ichigo, Urahara didn't remember Rukia either. However they learned that third of Soul Society was destroyed and there might be a relation with everyone's inability to remember Rukia.
I couldn't stop myself from chuckling when Urahara asked Ichigo who Rukia is to him. I think Urahara all knowing smirks kinda answered the obvious question XD
I dare you to lie, dickhead
"Precious comrade", eh? Ichigo, you fucktard...
Urahara opened the Senkaimon gate for Ichigo after he got his answer. Once in Soul Society, Ichigo and Kon were amazed at the devastation. As they walked around, they met Hisagi Shuuhei. Before they were properly introduced, the invaders from the previous night attacked again. I was freaking impressed when Hisagi used Bakudou #62 Hyappo Rankan against the snake-ish thingy. Although it has little to no effect, it was still freaking cool. Ichigo on the other hand used his vaizard's Getsuga Tensho with no hesitation (he didn't said the usual incantation. He just grunt! OMG! *melts*). Of course, the other shinigami who never saw (or couldn't remember) a shinigami with a hollow mask didn't hesitate to attack Ichigo. I squirt when I saw Ichigo fighting the lower rank Shinigami. Smooth good quality animation FTW!!
Besides the lower rank Shinigami and Hisagi, Ichigo was confronted by Abarai Renji and Komamura Sajin. Everyone was confused as to how did Ichigo knows their names. Ichigo who was frustrated at Renji tried a different tactic: Rukia. Renji could feel something but since he's rather retarded to begin with, he ignored those familiar feelings and continued to attack Ichigo. But nothing beats Komamura retardedness when he went bankai on Ichigo's ass. Jeebus. I is glad that his bankai was defeated by Ichigo (he doesn't even need to go on vaizard mode).
Meanwhile, Rukia found herself in a shack in a district of Rukongai that she used to live. She was greeted by her kidnapper in a loving manner. The girl especially seems so happy to get re-acquainted with Rukia again.
I present thee the hawt kidnappers! In case you didn't notice the oppai, the blond is a chick ^^
The siblings are not a threat to Rukia, just to Soul Society. When Rukia asked for their names, they answered that Rukia had promised to give them names not long ago. This makes Rukia remember of their acquaintances. In the flashback that follows, the siblings were small kids and Rukia was taking care of them somehow. When she questioned what has she been up to all these years, they lied and said she was sleeping (*facepalm*).
Back in Seiretei, Kuchiki Byakuya kinda have a feelings that something is amiss. He went back to his manor and search every rooms looking for nothing in particular but was hoping that he could find something. Then he got into Rukia's room (WTF? empty?!) and saw the chappy carved on the table. Upon intruding the Kuchiki manor, Ichigo chanced upon Byakuya standing staring at his late wife picture. I love the words Ichigo used to make Byakuya remembers Rukia. Those words carry so much emotions. It shows us how well he knows Rukia as a person.
But of course it was Renji's duty to interrupt such moments as he attacked Ichigo. The animation during the fight is superb. The fact that Ichigo who was melancholy when he tried to make Byakuya remembers but acted all gruff and manly in trying to do the same thing just so effing awesome. It makes me drools.
You don't want to mess Ichigo when he's in desperately horny-for-Rukia mode
I love Kon's body/face reaction when Zabimaru and Zangetsu clashed after Ichigo went bankai *drools at Ichigo serious face*
Byakuya couldn't resist Ichigo's puppy-eyes after he defeated Renji so he told Ichigo that Hisana was born in Inuzuri.
can you resist meh?!
Cue flashback on Byakuya and Hisana. It still annoyed me to no end that Hisana and Rukia look so much alike. I know they are siblings and all but damn, couldn't Kubo be creative a bit? I mean Ganju looks like an adopted child of the Shiba! Thank goodness Hisana and Rukia have totally different personalities.
That piece of information that Byakuya provided proved to be rather priceless for Ichigo. Not long after Ichigo arrived at District 78, Kon picked up Rukia's scent while Ichigo picked up her reiatsu (yosh!) . They found her on the hill where her friends' graves are. My heart breaks when I saw how totally lost Ichigo is when Rukia doesn't remember who he is.
Kubo and his symbolism *teary eyes*
Ichigo almost succeed at making Rukia remembers but she was assaulted with terrible headache and she was taken away by the siblings (after they attacked Ichigo) leaving the dejected Ichigo behind.
There is only in one other occasion that I remember Ichigo looking as depressed as this. It was in the manga/anime after the SS arc when Rukia chose to stay in Soul Society and didn't follow the ryokas back to the real world. Ichigo was at complete lost then, as noticed by Inoue Orihime herself, as he is now when Rukia failed to remember who he is. It was only after Rukia get back to him that he went back to his usual self (get what I'm trying to implied here fools?! >3).
I was thankful to Kon for putting some sense into Ichigo's head. Like Kon said, even when no one else remember who Rukia is, Ichigo remembers. That means he is still connected to Rukia. After Kon schooled him, he went away leaving Ichigo behind to think what he had just said. Looking at the letter Rukia left for him, it makes him reminisced the time when she was in his room (cue flashback)
I don't see Inoue and Ichigo share this intimate moment, do you? >3
While Ichigo reminiscing, Rukia was grueling the siblings about Ichigo. The siblings told Rukia the truth, that they just came back. They had been looking for Rukia for a 100 years and tried to persuade Rukia to believe that Shinigami is bad news. Despite their effort, Rukia got another flashing images of Ichigo and this time around her headache was so unbearable, she lost consciousness. Since the siblings really love Rukia, it was a given that they think it was Ichigo's fault.
Back to the depressed Ichigo, when he finished reminiscing, Kon came back to look for the letter. Then out of the blue Ichigo said to Kon, "I don't need you to tell me that I'm not ready yet". Bhuahahaha you don't need to be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to understand what that means =D
Right after he got his motivation back, Ichigo was confronted by Hitsugaya Toushiro, Yumichika and Madarame Ikkaku. Another awesome fighting scene ensued. I smirked at the annoyed face of Ikkaku. I was happy to report that Ichigo has difficulties against Toushiro despite the size different. It just goes to show that he deserved that Captain title. I was relieved when Renji interfere at the last moment when Toushiro is ready to give Ichigo the final blow though. And then the old fuck Yamaji appeared with Shunhui, Soi-Fon, Ukitake and his fukutaicho, all the while showing off his supposedly-incredible reiatsu. No negotiating my ass! Urgh! So hate! If he's so great, why couldn't he find the true fuckers who did this to Seiretei? Fucking stupid old fuck *grumbles*
I have to give credit to the 2nd Division though. I love it when those ninjas appeared and surrounded Ichigo and Renji but loads of them couldn't defeated the smexy Urahara. I squeal when he appeared wearing the 12th Division Captain robe (in your face, old fuck!) with Benihime singing praises. Where there's Urahara, there is Yourichi as well. These two urges Renji and Ichigo to look for Rukia while they handle the old fuck and the captains. Urahara explained to them about the hollow he encountered so long ago that used scythe to erase memory of the soul it possessed. Mayuri kinda experimented on it and like any other things with Mayuri, he does it at a crazy scale, without giving much thought that it could imposed a threat to Soul Society (I loves him for that).
(Btw, Soi-Fon attitude really irks me. She was being a bitch towards Urahara and considered him a traitor. But wasn't Yourichi the same? Yet she fucking blush whenever they made contact. Stupid effing lesbian ninja.)
In order to find Rukia, Ichigo must used kido that relies on the bond/link between them (Kubo makes sure that only Ichigo can do it). Once activated, the red ribbon connected Ichigo and Rukia, which helped Ichigo pin-pointed her location at that time: Mayuri's lab.
The male sibling has some sort of doubt that what they were doing will only hurts Rukia but the female will not back down from the plan. In their head, their plan was flawless. Without shinigami Rukia will stay forever with them. However, Rukia stopped the siblings when they want to activate the potion machine. In frustration, the female sibling leaked her purple-blackish reiatsu. It was mayhem.
It deterred Ichigo and Renji only momentarily. Renji released his bankai, Hihio Zabimaru and so does Ichigo. It has been a while since he called out his bankai release name properly. I almost forgot that his bankai zanpaktou is called Tensa Zangetsu.
The background effect for Tensa Zangetsu is freaking awesome~
The epic entrance. Hot male shinigamis are hot *brain explodes*
One look at Renji, Rukia finally remembers him. This only fuel Ichigo's determination to make Rukia remembers him as well, stating that Rukia he knows would never lose herself in such a way and would not stop at being a shinigami.
In her panic, the female sibling kinda slipped and told Rukia that she used to be a shinigami too. Upon hearing this Rukia asked Ichigo to repeat his name at which her memories return as she choked Ichigo's name (I effing love the flashback, it was very telling).
This however makes the siblings very angry. They held Rukia hostage and declared that they will not forgive Ichigo for trying to steal her away from them. The female proceed of wishing for her, Rukia and her brother to merge and become one so that they'll be together forever. Thus, Dark Rukia was born. Without missing a beat, Dark Rukia proceeded with their interrupted plan, releasing hell upon Seireitei.
Renji told Ichigo to stay by Dark Rukia, referring her as "that woman" since she was the reason Ichigo was here in the first place, and he will deal with the snake-ish thingy (Renji can be cool sometimes ^_^). This when the others joined the fight too.
Ichigo was forced to fight Rukia but he never actually attacks her. He didn't even went on vaizards mode (which he usually does most of the time nowadays). He tried his best to make Rukia remembers as they fight but to no avail. Like the other fight scenes, this one is made of awesomesauce as well. I so want to see Rukia pulls that kind of slick moves in the in the future.
At the same time, the others were fighting the tentacle monster. I would not go into details of the fight but it was quite EPIC (OMG Benihime... I love the sound it makes when Urahara swings it *fangasm*).
Dark Rukia was about to decapitate Ichigo when Byakuya came and used the bakudou #61 on her. Byakuya and Renji then informed Ichigo that Rukia has turned hollow and must be killed. Of course Ichigo wouldn't hear any of that. He knows that Rukia can be saved. It's not too late because like he said, "It doesn't matter what happens, we (he and Rukia) are still connected". As he pleads desperately hoping that Rukia could remember, he thought of how he gained the shinigami power thanks to her. Realizing that it was their only option, he asked for Byakuya's permission to save Rukia.
Granted that, he stabs Rukia with Zangetsu and gives her his shinigami power. Now the cycle is completed. Rukia has his power and he has hers.
Like my friend doeman said: my butt cheeks were clenched so hard I almost got a cramp! lol
With that Rukia turned back into a shinigami and collapsed into Ichigo's waiting arms where he hugged her as he protected her from the explosion.
As Ichigo was busy saving Rukia, Byakuya and Renji destroyed Mayuri's lab. With the destruction, all the shinigami regained their lost memories.
After Rukia comes back to her senses, Ichigo greeted her with a simple "Yo", just like he did at Sokyouku (*fangasm*). The smiling Rukia then asked for Ichigo's permission to meet the two siblings. She only went to the siblings after Ichigo said so.
Rukia's rape slaves
I admitted that I got teary eyed when they told Rukia that they have no one else to turn to except Rukia (cue flashback about their disappearance and why Rukia doesn't remember them). Right after Rukia told them their names: "Homura" and "Shizuku", the siblings fade leaving the sad Rukia crying out to the heavens. I feel her pains. And then OMG it rains! It's fucking rains! It was raining when Ichigo's mom died. It was raining when Ichigo finally encountered the Grand Fisher. It was raining when Rukia held him on her lap. It was raining when Kaien died. It was raining now too! w00t!!
In the final scenes when Rukia said that Ichigo has saved her again, Ichigo retaliated and said that she had saved him first. He said, "You know, if death is not really the end for us too, that encounter maybe a beginning" referring to when Rukia gave him her shinigami powers and "we could've been linked for much longer. A connection once linked, it will never disappear". To me that sounds like him suggested that their bond is eternal :3
He addressed her as shinigami when he bids her farewell, to which she replied with the same exact words from their first encounter: "It's not shinigami. It's Kuchiki Rukia" (*ZOMG fangasm!*).
Fuwahhh!!! This review takes a whole day to write! Why so long? Because i couldn't stop fangasm at every little things (I is too spent to proof-read this post. Gomen). This is the fourth time I'm watching it and the effects are pretty much the same. Like I promised, here are some of the pictures worthy of fangasm (could you tell that I want to be in Ichigo's pantsu? XD)
The reason why there are so much of Ichigo is because I love the strong emotion carved on his face (all of those expressions are taken when he talked about Rukia ;3). We are so used to his other indifferent expression that this is sorta refreshing.
The first time I watched it raw, I noticed that Homura's voice sounded familiar and suspect that it belongs to Aya Hirano. I was right. No wonder I like Homura right away after I heard her voice. This explains her set of oppai too ^o^
I retracted my phailed quality comment in my first look review. I don't have any complains after 4 times watching it so far. I must be on over critical mode when I first saw it raw. Comparing my notes with the subs, I wasn't far off from what was being said either (*pat self at the back*). However I still couldn't get the truth about Rukia's pantiless hollow uniform.
It is safe to say that this happens during or slightly after the Soul Society arc. How can I be so sure? Just look at Mayuri-sama head piece.
I like his SS-arc head piece compared to his post-SS-arc Pharoah style
If you notice the pattern, almost everyone who are close with Rukia questioned Ichigo's determination to save Rukia and why he tries so hard to make everyone remember who she is. His answer and the reactions from the other characters: Urahara, Kon, Renji and Byakuya kind of confirmed the relationship and his feelings towards Rukia. His words: "Rukia and I are linked. I'll find her for sure" is another strong testament from Ichigo, showing how determined he is. It wasn't a question whether or not can he do it, but a question of when.
Like many others who have seen this movie, I am surprise at how deep they are focusing on Ichigo and Rukia relationship. Even as an IchiRuki fan, it was unexpected. It makes me wonder if Kubo is trying to say something with the movie. His heavy involvement with the whole story and character designs sure looks like he is trying to tell us what we have already known over the years (thanks to his interviews and color spreads and wot not): IchiRuki is canon ^_^