Blog 200 > Tasty Tales from the Toybox

Awww, Danni, thanx! How have you been? Oops, wait. Oh no, a new fabricated message! Damn, lol. Ah well, although Cherokee-Hawaiian adult-film actress Danni Cole never actually sent me this sunshiny and spectacled cheer, the beach-house fantasy sounds like a perfect summertime anime episode, doesn’t it? Hahaha… Well, my Tumbling Toyboxers, it’s that time of the week again. Another weekly mega-cast to keep the otaku-sensei aghast! So, to celebrate this 200th Blog of the Toybox, we’re gonna take a dive at not only revealing why we blog to express and connect, but also why we choose to Twitter or Toybox. Why? Not only that, we’re gonna take a splash at unraveling why anime can never really be stupid. Why not? On top of those, we’ll trickle under our friendly neighborhood Uzumaki and Minami, trample past a few real-world and random-worded antics, and tumble upon the bottomless fall and bubbling rise of this humble Toybox! Sounds edible? Cool. So let’s turn on the oven and get ready to heat your inner mayhem. It’s time to cook this tasty show…

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Blog 188 > Kanons, Pirates & Bloodbaths

Greetings, my friendly neighborhood Toyboxers! Welcome to yet another weekly mega-broadcast from the Toybox! But beware. This time, I should warn you of the more bloody and sexy nature of the topics which swirl in the digital waters below, lol. Are you ready? Ready for this four-part monster post? Messy junior-high blood battles? Sticky flesh-on-flesh pirate hunters? Snowy high-school Kanon girls? And Disney-bioengineered teen idols? Well, if you are, and you ignore my warnings, I salute your bravery. And your lack of morals, haha! Just kidding. I truly welcome you. I’m not sure if I’ll have another “Question of the Week”, but who cares? Just grab some utterly buttery popcorn, take another deep breath, and enjoy the show…

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Blog 134 > Blue-Haired Babes

Thanx *nomadicotaku* for the idea… Got a fave blue-haired babe? (Bad captions not included, lol.)

Here are pretty much all of the blues in my collection. Seems like anime has the monopoly on blue hair, lol… Though I’m not including Kaname (from FMP) since her hair is kinda aqua-turquoise green, or Hazuki (from Moon Phase) since her hair is kinda violet-purplish. I think? ^_^;

Blog 122 > My 49 Anime in 2007

Happy New 2008, my fellow anime fanatics!… Back in my Blog 061, I noted that I watched 58 anime titles-seasons in 2006. While I couldn’t match that number in 2007, watching 49 is still freakin’ huge (or frakin’ huge, for BSG fans), lol. That’s almost one anime title or season per week! From the war-torn and tragic 1988 classic film Grave of the Fireflies to the wind-blown and melancholic 2007 Shinkai film 5 Centimeters Per Second. From the heart-breaking Kanon to the hilarious Lucky Star to the haunting Kino’s Journey.

Needless to say, 2007 was an amazing year for both old-and-new anime watching! Maybe I’ll hit 60 in 2008, hahaha!… Now, without further delay, here are my speed reviews for all 49 of the anime titles-seasons I’ve finished in 2007.

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Blog 108 > Figures of Air, Snow & Death

Anime Figures
Photo 2292 by xJAYMANx | Click to enlarge

Can’t wait for her photoshoot, lol.

Wow, more than two months since my last collection update! Unfortunately, my 17 boxed figures have grown to 23. Argh, too busy for photoshoots! Nevertheless, here are my latest 7 of those 23 still-boxed figures, including Morte the Death Bringer (Noir et Blanc), Misa (Death Note), and the genuine-not-fake Gothloli Asuka (Evangelion), as well as characters from the breathtaking Kanon and Air series. Enjoy the rest of the photos!

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Blog 096 > Snowfalls & Scissors

+++++ Kanon (2006; 1-24) – Started 07/10. Finished 07/15. DOUBLE-WOW! Childhood romance, melancholy and mystery! Heartbreaking and breathtaking!

Simply breathtaking. Before starting, I expected another cute heart-warming comedy. But when I sat down before the living room TV, the opening snowfall scene between Yuuichi and Nayuki, followed by the stunning opening song and credits, unexpectedly blew me away. At once, I sensed this wouldn’t be another ordinary teenaged comedy-drama. And it wasn’t. As the series unfolds, the 24-episode Kanon (2006) introduces one leading male character — Yuuichi — and his five co-leading females — Nayuki, Matoko, Mai, Shiori, and Ayu — each with her own mysterious romantic ties to his forgotten childhood past.

Animated in the familiar style of his previous project — Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (4 of 5 stars; my max for a half-season) — Director Tatsuya Ishihara employs the same brilliant techniques to tell this moving collection of stories. From Yuuichi’s narration — reminiscent of Kyon’s narration in Melancholy and voiced by the same actor — to the stylish “camera” work — including hand-held camera blurs, split-second off-center close-ups, wide off-center perspectives — to the striking natural settings — moonlit snowfalls, sunset-lit pollen clouds, water fountain showers — Ishihara paints a natural yet supernatural world so nostalgic and personal that it rivals the quality and intensity of animated feature films, like Makoto Shinkai’s unforgettable Voices of a Distant Star. And it is here, against Kanon‘s magical backdrop, where the various high-school friends and family members experience everything from laughing adolescent antics to time-freezing tragedies. Complementing this vision is the equally haunting piano-laced bell-sprinkled soundtrack and use of Pachelbel’s Canon as a fitting play on the series title. Typically, if a series is powerful enough to move me to the edge of tears — such as To Heart (1999, 2004), Fruits Basket (2001), Saikano (2002), Mai-HiME (2004), Negima! (2005), and Shuffle! (2005) — then it earns 5 of 5 stars (or 4 of 5 for a half season). But with Kanon, I was on that edge three separate times — with Matoko’s, Mai’s, and Ayu’s heart-breaking stories. So my decision is easy… an overwhelming 5 of 5 stars!

++++ Pumpkin Scissors (1-24) – Restarted 06/21. Finished 07/09. WOW, epic action, glorious inspiration, and demonic intrigue!

What is a noble? What is a soldier? Struggling to answer these questions in an alternate-past timeline, the 24-episode series Pumpkin Scissors (2006) depicts both the mundane and dangerous missions undertaken by the Imperial Army State Section III, a small motley crew of atypical soldiers nicknamed “Pumpkin Scissors”. Led by the fiery blonde Second Lieutenant Alice L. Malvin and the towering but soft-spoken Corporal Randel Oland, this small band resembles a retro-steampunk version of the cyberpunk “Section 9” from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002-2005). In fact, Alice is easily reminiscent of another noble blonde — the Arthurian sword-wielding Saber from Fate/Stay Night (2006). However, while Alice is unquestionably an outstanding fighter, she differs from the cyborg Motoko or the stoic Saber in her uniquely outspoken, often reckless, and occasionally, even childish behavior. And it is this distinction which probably makes her, not only the most inspiring, but also the most endearing of the three. Beyond that, the epic orchestral soundtrack and consistently crisp animation push this series to 4 stars. Yet, despite the heart-stopping chills and goosebumps during the climactic battle, the lack of a deeper emotional connection or satisfactory resolution to the hidden conspiracy prevents it from rising to 5 stars. That is, until a second season is developed, haha. Nevertheless, a strong 4 of 5 stars!