Some of the anime I’ve been watching recently:
This a three disc series about Yume, a girl who moves to Tokyo to complete her training to become a mage. The series is set in modern day Tokyo, but there is a special branch of the government that certifies mages and authorizes magical actions. I thought the combination of magic and a sprawling bureaucracy was very amusing. Yume’s instructor lives in an apartment over a salsa club that he runs on the side, in addition to his work training apprentice mages. Yume gradually begins to understands how to use her magical powers, and she makes new friends. Someday’s Dreamers was a nice, mellow sort of series that I’d recommend for people who enjoy the urban fantasy genre.
Yuri is a normal high school student who has an unfortunate altercation with some bullies in a ladies restroom. He gets flushed down the toilet and transported to the Demon World, where he is promptly crowned king. If you can’t tell already, Kyo Kara Maoh is a comedy fantasy series that parodies many of the conventions of this genre. Yuri manages to be peppy but not totally annoying as he deals with the strangeness of his new world. He does spend a certain amount of time convinced that he’s in an elaborate theme park, but reality begins to set in as he starts to deal with demon marriage proposals and demon underwear. There are a few pseudo yaoi touches, as Yuri is surrounded by various handsome demon lords and castle staff. I think one of my favorite characters is Lady Annisina, who torments everyone with her demented inventions.
The official site for the series doesn’t have a whole lot of content, but there are a few clips available.
So far, the first two discs of the series are available, and the first few episodes were definitely stronger than the ones on the second disc. Kyo Kara Maoh is a fun, light and fluffy series. I think I’ll be netflixing this as the newer DVDs come out.
I was a little surprised at how much I didn’t like Steamboy. The animation was gorgeous, and I enjoyed the Victorian England setting. I like the seampunk genre of science fiction, but I really wasn’t able to connect with the characters or story of this movie. I did watch the movie when I was really tired, so that might have had something to do with it. Ray Steam’s father and grandfather are both famous inventors. Normal life is interrupted for Ray when representatives of a mysterious organization show up at his family home trying to steal a secret invention. He has to battle to save the city of London from destruction at the hands of some spectacular steam-powered machinery. He learns important cliched lessons that many anime protagonists have learned in the past, like “Listen to your seemingly crazy and eccentric looking Grandfater”.
The ending of the movie features some very lovely explosions followed by more explosions. I’m finding that even though I do like explosions, to really enjoy a movie like this I’d need to see more plot or character development. I actually found myself more engaged by the storyboards that ran behind the closing credits, because I was intrigued by the future plot developments the storyboards were hinting at.
I wonder if this movie loses something on the small screen? I don’t know, given the expense and time involved in producing Steamboy, I was expecting something better.
The response to the manga giveaway has been great, so far I have 17 entries from places ranging from Nebraska to the Czech Republic. Yowza!