Posts Tagged ‘Ouran’

Ok, so after getting distracted with Tumbling for a couple of weeks (which was totally worth, fyi) I can finally accomplish the post I’ve been meaning to get to for awhile now. As you know from my super excited post way back in June, the Ouran Highschool Host Club drama was released in Japan at the end of July. So far, 8 episodes have aired, and I’ve seen 7 of them (still waiting for the 8th to be posted). It’s fun, because I’ve seen the anime enough that I know what happens, so I don’t need to wait to watch the English subtitled version. Although, some parts do deviate a little from the original, so I end up watching them twice. But hey, I’m cool with that. Anyway, 7 episodes is a sufficient amount of viewing to write a reasonable review, so here goes. By the way, there’s no spoilers here.

Mainly, my review, though it’ll go on for several more paragraphs (which you’ll still probably read), can be summed up in a single statement: IT ROCKS! Yes, yes it does.

First off, yes, there are a few things, especially with episode 2 where it doesn’t follow the anime. But that’s ok! No, seriously. What was changed, I can see why they did it as far as the story line goes, and I think they did a fantastic job with it. They kept all the ‘happy fan’ parts in the right place (and no, that’s not a ‘dirty’ term, by that I mean scenes that fans would kill people if they were cut out).

In episode 2, they took a character who literally had a walk-on role in the anime (she stood next to Kyoya in principal’s office when Tamaki started his first day of middle school, and all she did was gush when Tamaki told her she had pretty, straight hair) and made her important. That little moment caused a huge break down in that episode, where Tamaki’s words held quite an impression, and it was a much better character story to use than whiney Kanako and her tea cup, host swapping crap.

Also, episode 5, if you ask ANY Ouran fan, will be ranked in their top 3, depending on which character is their favorite it’ll be in either spot there. They pushed the episode one step further, keeping the BEST scenes in there, but adding more “OMG!” moments to it. For Kyoya fans, it’s extremely pleasant surprise, because, as we know, Kyoya’s character development in the anime doesn’t happen until two-thirds of the way in. Well, in the live action, it starts in episode 5. I’m not going to give any spoilers on that one. I’m just going to tell you it’s awesome, like, “finding money in your winter coat pocket from last season that you didn’t know you had” awesome.

Kawaguchi Haruna as Fujioka Haruhi

Kawaguchi Haruna as Fujioka Haruhi

As for the casting, and this is coming from someone who had no prior experience with any of these actors (Ouran’s my first J-drama. I know, where have I been, right?), I think they’re all well casted. I have a couple minor nit-picks, but don’t we all. I’m not complaining, I think the cast is great. Starting with Haruhi, solely on looks, she’s perfect. When dressed like a girl, it’s completely obvious she is one, even with short hair. When she’s a host, that line blurs a lot, as it’s supposed to. Good call on that. Kawaguchi also captures the annoyance that Haruhi feels frequnetly very well.

Yamamoto Yusuke as Suou Tamaki

Yamamoto Yusuke as Suou Tamaki

As for Tamaki, when I first saw him I thought to myself, “wow, his face is very unique.” But that’s not in a bad way, in fact I think Yamamoto Yusuke is a very good looking actor. Honestly, that was the thought I was hoping for with him, after all, Tamaki’s character is supposed to be half French anyway. I do wish his hair was significantly more blonde, but again, I’ve got no complaints on this one. Yamamoto nails his outlandishness and overzealous behaviors, but is still completely capable of more serious moments when they’re needed.

Daito Shunsuke as Ootori Kyoya

Daito Shunsuke as Ootori Kyoya

Kyoya, oh geez, where do I start? He was the only character that I actually wasn’t too horribly impressed with. That was short lived, mind you. I guess we’re most critical of our favorite characters. Daito nails the ‘cold as ice’ vibe that Kyoya’s known for putting off, but there’s a slight pompousness to Kyoya’s actions and speech that I feel like is missing. As the episodes go on though, and especially after episode 5, I don’t miss it. I even think I might like the live action Kyoya better than the anime one. But now after seeing the Japanese drama Tumbling, I just love Daito as an actor, period. And did I mention he’s got the most gorgeous smile that I’ve ever seen on any human being, ever? Truth.

Takagi Shinpei as Hitachiin Hikaru & Takagi Manpei as Hitachiin Kaoru

Takagi Shinpei as Hitachiin Hikaru & Takagi Manpei as Hitachiin Kaoru

As bizarre as it sounds, I think I might have been convinced that Japan doesn’t have celebrity twins, because I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the casting for the Hitachiin brothers. Perfect. That’s all I’ve got to say. Except, again with the hair, I wish it was more orange, but that bothers me less and less as the episodes continue on. Something I’ve noticed in the anime, is that they have this attitude when they realize Haruhi can tell them apart together that’s a cross between “oh crap, what do we do now” and “well, that’s interesting.” The Takagi twins nailed it. It’s a bigger depth of character for the Hitachiin brothers than just their goofy antics and trouble making.

Chiba Yudai as Haninozuka Mitsukuni

Chiba Yudai as Haninozuka Mitsukuni

Here I am thinking they got some twelve year old kid to play Honey, when really he’s 22 years old. Facially, they’re spot on in my opinion, but his hair drives me absolutely nuts. He’s supposed to be BLONDE, not red. But, I’ll give Chiba credit. His rendition of Honey, I think, is impressive, so again, whatever on the hair color. I was very curious as to how they would deal with the height thing, because while Chiba isn’t that tall, he isn’t short either. The shrinking when he jumps is hilarious, and I’m ok with it. As far as characters go, this casting is the one I read the most complaints about. I think they’re all nuts. He’s an excellent Honey senpai!

Nakamura Masaya as Morinozuka Takashi

Nakamura Masaya as Morinozuka Takashi

Now Mori, I really don’t have a lot to say about. Sorry, the pun wasn’t completely intended, but it’s true. (If you didn’t get the pun: Mori doesn’t say much, ever.) Frankly, as far as characters go in Ouran, Mori seems to be the least important. Really, he just follows Honey around, and only has somewhat of a character development in one episode: Honey’s Three Bitter Days. That episode is not until the latter half of the series, so hopefully that’ll make me less indifferent about him. But in his favor, he does do a great job of, you know, not speaking.

I am thrilled with how Ouran is playing out. To first time Ouran watchers, keep in mind: the bizarre things are part of the charm. It is, after all, based off of an anime. As for Ouran anime veterans, keep an open mind. It’s true to the story, and even though some things are a little different, it’s still right on in character development and vibe.

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Me with my Ouran card

Me with my Ouran cards

Can’t believe I forgot to post this. Here’s another Ouran gem I stumbled upon. It’s bad for my game though, they know I’ve got a Jack or a 4 when i shriek like a little fan girl when I get Kyoya in my hand. But Lena does the same thing with Mori. Ha!

Stumbled upon some Ouran treasures

Posted: August 22, 2011 in AMVs
Tags: , , ,

So, these two AMVs I stumbled upon tonight after getting a Something Corporate song stuck in my head. I searched for “Something Corporate” in YouTube with “AMV,” because I’d rather watch it with anime characters than just plain ol’ lyrics or something else. Anyway, I came upon an Ouran video with Something Corporate’s “As You Sleep.” The person did an excellent combining Tamaki’s piano playing abilities with that of Andrew MacMahon of Somehting Corporate, and making it look like Tamaki was the one playing. It was brilliant, until it ended abruptly.

If the video doesn’t load, watch it here: http://youtu.be/lPxU3NBmO6o

And then after it was over, and as I was sulking at the disappointing ending, I noticed a Kyoya and Haruhi AMV with All American Reject’s “Give You Hell.” I thought, well, why not, and clicked it. I’m extraordinarily glad I did. The video was set up brilliantly, making it look like Kyoya was Haruhi’s ex, and Tamaki was her new guy. Hilarious.

If the video doesn’t load, watch it here: http://youtu.be/OXdA5Q9vLEE

Laura Bailey

If you’ve watched any anime, you’ve probably heard Laura Bailey. If you’ve watched a lot of anime, you’ve probably heard her multiple times and didn’t even know it. Most voice actors can be picked out from one voice to another. There’s always a distinct sound to an actor’s voice that makes you think “I know who that is. I’ve heard that voice before.” I’ve watched a number of anime, and I’ve never once done that with Laura Bailey. Her voice is so unique from one character to the next, even if she’s playing similar character styles.

She just happened into anime voice acting, which is insane because a lot of people have that as a goal and never make it. Born in 1981, from Mississippi, Laura actually went to college for acting and drama. Since breaking into the anime world, she’s done an extraordinarily long list of anime, video games, cartoons, and movies. In this post, I’m only going to point out characters that I’ve seen.

It kind of goes without saying that she does quite a few young girl characters, generally they’re high school students.

 

 

Hiromi, Moon Phase

Hiromi, Moon Phase

Laguna Blue, Monster High

Laguna Blue, Monster High

Kanako, Ouran Highschool Host Club

Kanako, Ouran Highschool Host Club

Maka Albarn, Soul Eater

Maka Albarn, Soul Eater

Tohru Honda, Fruits Basket

Tohru Honda, Fruits Basket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maka and Tohru are the main heroine’s of their respective anime. Of all the characters that I’ve heard her do, these two sound the most alike. Kanako is a one episode-side character, but she has a distinct voice all her own. As for Laguna Blue, she’s from an American cartoon called Monster High. This voice intrigues me the most out of her “high school student” cast. Somehow she manages an Australian accent and a very unique tone.

 

 

Jaina Proudmoore, World of Warcraft

Jaina Proudmoore, World of Warcraft

Lust, FMA

Lust, Full Metal Alchemist

Halibel, Bleach

Halibel, Bleach

Anko, Naruto

Anko Mitarashi, Naruto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s done a few young women voices too. These characters have a generally more “sexy” tone to their voices, but again, they’re all distinct and unique.

Shinnosuke, Shin Chan

Shinnosuke, Shin Chan

Trunks, DBZ

kid Trunks, Dragon Ball Z

If that wasn’t crazy enough, she can even do young boy voices. Though I’m not really a fan of Shin-chan, I was crazy impressed that his voice was the same one that was once Lust from Full Metal Alchemist. And as far as trunks goes, he has a little bit of gruffness in his voice that I didn’t think was possible for a woman voice actress.

My favorite part about Laura Bailey is that she has her own official website complete with a demo voice reel. If you really want your socks blown off, take a listen on lizardbee.com. Most voice actors don’t display they’re demo reel to the public. Also, check her site for her character list. You’ll also notice that she’s been known to do multiple characters in a show or video game, because her voices are that unique.

Is this the first time you guys have seen her range? Crazy isn’t it? C’mon guys, tell me why you like Laura Bailey!

Breaking News!!

Posted: June 29, 2011 in random articles
Tags:

I’ve never been this excited… ever! My brother’s fiance is back home in Japan, and she sent me a link of a new comedy drama starting in July. OURAN HIGHSCHOOL HOST CLUB is going live action!!! Love it! I can’t watch the trailer, unfortunately. It won’t let me, because I’m not located in Japan. Kanashii!! But I am now following them on twitter, even if I have to use google translate to read it. Starting July 22nd, I’ll be stalking the internet for the English sub title version. So far the cast looks great, except that I wish Tamaki and Honey were more blonde.

“Megane Danshi″
part 6: Kyoya Ootori

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

Kyoya Ootori

Kyoya Ootori

Kyoya is the Vice President and “Shadow King” of the Ouran Highschool Host Club, and he’s my second favorite Megane Danshi of all time. He’s considered the “cool” type when entertaining guests. Though he is only shown with clients a couple of times, most often he is faded in the background with a clipboard or notebook in hand.

He is considered the “Shadow King” of the Host Club, because he’s generally the one who calls the shots, even though Tamaki’s the president. Kyoya’s well versed in legal matters, and is constantly on the prowl to keep the Host Club’s image and reputation clean, despite attempts by outsiders to destroy it (namely the newspaper club).

Unbeknownst to the rest of the Host Club members, Kyoya uses the club as his own personal business, meticulously calculating budgets, income, and expenses. Though he usually gives in to Tamaki’s lavish whims, Kyoya knows how to pull strings and often, uses his own family’s properties for entertainment, such as their personal beach and resort park.

the Host Club's Shadow King

the Host Club's Shadow King

He’s also a master of networking. He seems to know everything and anything about anybody, and he’s always in contact with high ranking people via his family’s business. In flashbacks, he researches everybody he meets for his own personal knowledge and gains. In fact, everything he does is generally for a selfish motive. Whether it is still true or not is put to the test in the episode “Kyoya’s Long Day,” when he prevents the wife of a major electronics company CEO from being ripped off by calling the salesman out on his fake wares. Though he claimed to know all along that it was her because of her large ruby ring, Haruhi realizes that a flag had been blocking her hand from their standpoint. Haruhi voices her thoughts on the real reason he helps people: because like Tamaki, he gains something intangible from it.

For a character that is really only spotlighted in two episodes, his character development (which mostly occurs before the events of the series via flashbacks) is striking and rewarding to the viewer. He overcomes a bleak situation with one of the best comeback I have ever seen.

Kyoya's father and brothers

The men of the Ootori household

Kyoya is generally stone faced, never revealing his true thoughts, motives, or feelings about anything. As the youngest of four, Kyoya was faced with a very adult situation early on in his life. As the third son, it was made clear to him in Jr. High that he had no chance at being the successor of the Ootori business, which mostly dealt in hospital management, alongside manufacturing hospital equipment.

His oldest brother, Yuuichi, only ever named in the manga, and he’s already graduated from his studies and currently working with their father at the main hospital. His second oldest brother, Akito, also only named in the manga, is still in medical school with plans to join Yuuichi in assistance. From the flashbacks, Kyoya accepts that he is destined to work for his brothers, a really heavy burden for a young teenager.

"I will always feel the frustration of not being able to step outside my frame."

"I will always feel the frustration of not being able to step outside my frame."

Kyoya’s father, Yoshio, puts immense pressure on him. He is told during his flashbacks that achieving academically was something that his brothers had already accomplished and it will take much more than that to impress him. Kyoya likens his situation to painting: he’s been given an ornate frame and must paint the perfect picture within it, but not outstep his boundary.

Before meeting Tamaki, Kyoya does his best to please his father and not step on the toes of his brothers. He excels academically and does what his father says. Besides that, he doesn’t try to do anything over the top that might upset the balance. Yoshio has an extremely cold personality, never showing affection or praise. Kyoya’s mother is never mentioned, not even in passing, in either the manga or anime.

Kyoya’s sister seems to be the only one within the Ootori family who really cares about how Kyoya feels. She tries to comfort her younger brother, and is seen in the flashbacks as hanging out with him in his room while he does homework.

Kyoya's sister, Fuyumi Shido

Kyoya's sister, Fuyumi Shido

Fuyumi is only daughter of the Ootori household. She is only seen in flashbacks, and in the manga is revealed to be married into the Shido family. She often visits home, which she is chided for by their father.

Kyoya’s main flashback takes up the entirety of episode 24, “And So Kyoya Met Him.” In it, the entirety of his family situation is explained. Fuyumi tells Kyoya that he can relax a little, because their older brothers have the run of things. Kyoya counters that it’s because he’s the third son that he can’t relax; the pressure on him is the highest of all. She’s concerned for Kyoya’s happiness, and he tells her that him being happy is a mute point.

Upon meeting Tamaki, like the rest of the Host Club members, Kyoya begins a change. He befriends Tamaki on his father’s orders, because Tamaki is the son of the Suou Group’s chairman, a frequent competitor. Tamaki turns out to be a crazy, whimsically minded “fool” in Kyoya’s eyes. Kyoya submits to all of Tamaki’s outlandish requests at sightseeing and starts to realize that he’s hard to keep up with.

Angry Kyoya

Angry Kyoya

Aggrivated, Kyoya is seen for the first time showing a genuine emotion: anger. He rants and raves about Tamaki’s whims that are generally incoherent and almost impossible to fulfill. Fuyumi wanted to tell him that, if he made him so mad, that he should stop hanging out with him. She refrains, because she’s “never seen him so passionate about anything before.” In the Japanese, its translated as “never seen him so happy before.”

Then Kyoya is thrown a curve. Tamaki shows up at his house, and plays the piano for the rest of his family, reducing them all to tears. Without realizing it, Kyoya was also reduced to tears. After that, Kyoya and Tamaki have a conversation that bring about another moment of rage for Kyoya, and he knocks over the coffee table, sending the tea set and dishes crashing to the floor.

Kyoya’s markedly jealous of Tamaki, because, as the illegitimate child of the Suou CEO, and the only child, Tamaki became the heir to the company overnight. Though that’s not actually true (as I’ve mentioned in a previous post about Tamaki), Kyoya can’t stand to hear Tamaki say that he doesn’t want his father’s company.

Kyoya Laughing

Kyoya Laughing

Tamaki is the only one who was able to see through Kyoya, telling him that if he really wanted his own father’s company, he could do it. “The only one who’s given up here is you, Kyoya.” The switch is flipped. Kyoya is seen in the only other emotion he displays in the entire series: he laughs. One of my favorite lines comes after. When Kyoya realizes that Tamaki is right, he makes a face, and Tamaki says, “Oh, man, what an evil face. So you’re finally showing your true colors.” The painting scene is shown again (below), and Kyoya really does paint with his true colors. Tamaki asks Kyoya to help him start the Host Club, to which he accepts. He tells Haruhi in the series that the reason he started the Host Club with Tamaki was because it was such a crazy idea. Neither of his brothers had done extra-curricular activites, and he used the Host Club to his full advantage.

Yoshio Ootori

Yoshio Ootori

Toward the end of the anime, Ouran Academy hosts a family day festival. Kyoya’s father arrives and slaps the glasses off of Kyoya’s face. Yoshio tells his son that he’s never been so ashamed. I felt for him so badly. Tamaki’s father even tells Yoshio that he went too far, and asks him if he’s taking out his company’s failing on him.

That’s when it’s revealed that the medical equipment branch of the Ootori company is being bought out French conglomerate. Yoshio reveals that he was going to give that branch to Kyoya. After seeing his duties in the Host Club, he says that it serves Kyoya right that he’s going to lose it anyway.

Like I had said before, Kyoya turned the Host Club into his own personal business. What his father didn’t know is that Kyoya amassed a sum of money in the Host Club. Before the French company could buy it out, Kyoya, under the guise of KO (or OK in the Japaese version) bought it out from under the both of them. I thought either portrayal of his initials was fitting. The English way means “Knock-Out” and the Japanese means “Okay” if you didn’t pick that up.

Kyoya's true colors

Kyoya's true colors

This is where Kyoya’s true colors come out. Yes, he surpassed his father’s expectations by planning far enough ahead to eventually buy it out before a competitor could. But, he subsequently turns over the entire management rights of it to his father, basically saying that he doesn’t want it and shoving it back into his face.

Haruhi’s assessment was correct. Tamaki’s impact on him was far reaching. Once only thinking of himself and what he could gain from everything, Kyoya put aside his material success for something much more rewarding in the process. He also rose from the chains of “the third son” to be a well respected member of his family by his father in the end.

There are a number of couples in various anime who have canon building for them, either to end the series with inference, or leave you guessing. I personally ship these five couples and hope that they will end up together as their series continue to progress.

There’s one anime in the countdown that has already ended, but there’s enough canon to confirm their feelings, even if they never confess. That pair is #5 on the countdown, so let’s kick it off.

Luke & Tear

Luke & Tear

5. Luke Von Fabre & Mystearica Grants

This duo, from Tales of the Abyss, has a chance meeting when Tear interrupts Luke’s training in order to kill her brother Van, Luke’s trainer. In defending his trainer and clashing with Tear, the pair have a fonic resonance that send them flying into the enemy country.

Luke at this point is a bratty, self absorbed protagonist who goes through a huge learning process and emotional struggle with Tear by his side. He learns that he’s a replica of the real Luke, and has a hard time figuring himself out after that. Then he makes a brash decision to follow Van, who unfolds as the main antagonist, and ends up destroying an entire city.

Once he’s able to come into his own, and gain everyone’s trust back, Luke becomes a fascinating hero of the story. There is a lot of emotional tension between the pair through the series, especially when Luke makes a sacrificial choice that is slowly deteriorating his body. They have several encounters when they mean to confess their feelings, but it never happens. After one such encounter, when Luke is saying his goodbyes, she whispers back as he’s leaving, “I love you.” The final battle ends with Luke presumed dead and gone. I yelled at my screen after that, probably for an hour. Why couldn’t she just tell him?!?!

The end of the series brings the main cast of protagonists together two years later to celebrate Luke’s coming of age, even though he’s gone. Then a mysterious stranger appears who just happens to look like Luke and his original, who was definitely dead by that point, combined. And they left it at that; the series ended. I straight up cried. I’m am in full hopes that if the episode were a minute longer, she would have confessed, or him, or both.

Kyoko and Ren

Kyoko & Ren

4.  Ren Tsuruga & Kyoko Mogami 

What I love about this pair from Skip Beat is the evolution of their relationship throughout the series and their connections when they end up working on acting projects together. Ren is a twenty year old ace actor, already at the top of the A-List. Kyoko is a renegade 16 year old who broke into the acting business after her long time roommate and “friend” confessed to solely using her for his own gain. She dropped out of highschool to work several jobs and housekeep for Shoto while he launched his own music career. Blindly in love with him, she was mortified and sought to get revenge by becoming a bigger star than him.

Ren learns of Kyoko’s motive for getting to acting, just the revenge part, not on whom she wants the revenge. Their relationship is really abrasive at this point, as he frowns upon her method of using acting for revenge. Kyoko quickly learns that not only is she good at acting, but she actually loves doing it.

Ren carrying Kyoko

Ren carrying Kyoko

When she starts to get acting jobs, the pair tend to connect just by watching the other act. She got her first acting role because the previous actress was too much of a diva to take direction. Kyoko was, afterall, supposed to be that actress’assistant. Kyoko actually broke her foot, carrying her to the shoot after the van broke down and she refused to walk. Ren went back to find Kyoko and carried her to the shoot. That was when I knew there was something there for this pair.

With the role, she did a tea ceremony scene where she knelt down the entirety of it with her broken foot. She showed no sign of pain in the filming. It really impressed Ren. That’s kind of how the anime plays out, but there’s a deeper emotional complication to it. Ren has been chided for not being able to act in roles that involve being in love, because he has no experience to draw on it from. He begins to realize that he’s starting to have those feelings. Kyoko herself is in such a blind hatred because of the betrayal that she forgot how to love.

It also unfolds to the viewer that there is a good chance that the pair met when they were younger, and he had given Kyoko a fair bit of hope in the form of this Corn stone. I think Ren realizes it, but Kyoko still seems to be oblivious that he knew what the stone was called and where she was when she got it.

Then, there’s a string of episodes in the middle of the series in which Kyoko is Ren’s assistant. She nurtures Ren, making sure he eats (which he often doesn’t do when he’s busy) and admiring him on set. Then he falls ill and Kyoko does everything in her power to care for him.

Ren’s assistant, Yahiko, megane danshi and comic relief, is fully aware of their feelings for each other and often prods Ren into seeing it, but Ren denies it. Though they are getting closer in the manga, neither of them are any closer to realizing their feelings.

Ulquiorra and Orihime

Ulquiorra and Orihime

3. Ulquiorra Cifer & Orihime Inoue

From the anime Bleach comes probably the most controversial couple on the list, because though canon exists, its tough to read and could swing either way. Also, there’s been a number of inference toward Orihime and the title character, Ichigo, especially her confession toward him before she’s kidnapped. Ulquiorra is also an antagonist, which puts another strike in. And Ulquiorra also dies, so there’s another. BUT! There’s still some lingering hope!

Orihime has a spiritual ability that can reverse damage on allies by “reversing time” on their bodies, a power said to be greater than god’s. For this reason, the main antagonist, Aizen, tasks Ulquiorra with kidnapping her and being her keeper while she is Hueco Mondo. He gets pretty possessive over her. And I’m not sure if their little spat over making her eat is out of concern for her or as a prerogative to keep her alive for Aizen’s sake.

Later, Ulquiorra has the infamous “are you afraid?” chat and the “heart” questions, about whether or not she has one of those that all humans have. He doesn’t believe in human emotions of the heart, because he can’t see them. (Granted, if he just opened up one of the bodies of his victims, he could see it, honestly.) But instead he inquires as to whether or not he should crack open her body to see it. He doesn’t.

Then it starts to get interesting. Ichigo even comments that Ulquiorra appears to be more human, and that Orihima might have had that impact on him. Ichigo and Ulquiorra have their fight, and as Ulquiorra dies and disintegrates in the process, he reaches out to Orihime. He asks her if she’s afraid of him, to which she says she’s not. Then he realizes he has a heart; it was in his hand all along, and Orihime was at the other end of it.

So now there’s the question. Is he really dead, and is there more in store for the pair? My sister is a die hard shipper of these two, and she’s horribly upset that they aren’t #1 on my countdown.

Haruhi and Tamaki

Haruhi and Tamaki

2. Tamaki Suou & Haruhi Fujioka

Tamaki is the president of the Ouran High School Host Club from the anime of the same name. He is also the illegitimate child of the school board’s chairman. Haruhi on the other hand is a commoner who got into the elite Ouran Academy on scholarship. Since Haruhi finds herself mixed up in the Host Club, the two begin to expand their worlds into each other’s.

Haruhi, looking like a boy, accidently knocks over an 80 million yen vase that was in possession of the Host Club. She is then forced to join the Host Club to get 100 customers to request her in order to free her of her debt. Eventually they all figure out that she’s a girl, but they still go on with it, continually masquerading her as a boy in school.

When Tamaki goes below his status to help Haruhi dig through the fountain for her lost food card, it reveals a side of Tamaki that most “stuck up rich kids” don’t have. He’s very down to earth, albeit a little crazy, but he has an enormously generous heart, a genuine demeanor, and an infectious personality. He gets very upset with Haruhi for doing things on her own, but comes to realize that she’s been alone her whole life and manages to do everything growing up on her own. Her mother died when she was ten, and her father is always working.

The best scene ever is when Tamaki finds out about Haruhi’s fear of thunder and lightning. He crawls into a closet, and when he inquires as to why, she tells him that she’s always used to getting over stuff like this on her own. He throws open the closet doors, and she embraces him while he consoles her. He tells her, gently, that she never has to do anything alone. (Then the scene is kind of ruined with a whole S&M inference by the other Host Club members, because he gives her ear plugs and a blindfold to help. He’s then chided the whole rest of the episode. They should have just cut it after the embrace.)

Since Haruhi’s involvement in the Host Club, Tamaki took a genuine interest in “commoner” things such as stuff they eat, games they place, and even a products expo that he convinces the Host Club they need to take a field trip to. He’s also extremely overprotective of her, attributing it to his fatherly duties over her as her mentor. The rest of the Host Club think he’s an idiot, because he still hasn’t realized he’s in love with her, even though the rest of them have.

At the very end, I think Haruhi comes to realize how much he means to her as well. When Tamaki was set up by his loathing grandmother to take off to France as the fiance of some rich, snotty chick, Haruhi collapses and exhibits similar habits from when her mother died. Eventually she takes off in a rampaging horse carriage to stop them before going to the airport. While on a bridge, she loses control and falls out of the carriage while side by side with Tamaki’s car. Tamaki jumps out of the car to grab her, and pulls her into an embrace (which should have been a kiss scene!!!), before they land in the water (photo above).

The anime ends, after dancing with all the Host Club members, with her in Tamaki’s arms. In the manga, it continues, and Haruhi has come to full realization of her feelings. Tamaki, meanwhile, is still an idiot. It’s just a matter of time.

Temari and Shikamaru

Temari and Shikamaru

1. Shikamaru Nara & Temari

From the anime Naruto and Naruto Shippuden comes, hands down, my favorite couple who isn’t together (yet). Shikamaru is a Leaf Village (Konoha) ninja, while Temari is from the Sand Village (Sunagakura). The pair first meets in the Chuunin exams when they are put against each other. Though Shikamaru actually wins the fight, he forfeits before claiming victory.

Their relationship really gets bumped up when Shikamaru is put in charge of a squad to bring Sasuke home. Shikamaru ended up in a battle and was having trouble trapping her, because she could easily fight from a hiding spot. Then Temari shows up and shatters all the trees with her wind technique, which also deflected the music, easily defeating their enemy. After the battle, they return to Konoha find several of his subordinates in near death condition, including his best friend Choji. He blames himself for it, vowing to step down from being a ninja. Temari has a serious conversation with him, and Shikamaru accepts what happened and agrees to move forward. Then when he sees her and her brothers off, they have a quick exchange of words, after which he half smiles and she has a gleam in her eye.

After the time jump, Naruto returns to Konoha to see the pair walking around together. Naruto makes a comment about them dating, to which they deny. (It’s okay, we all know the truth!)

Shikamaru's proposed title screen

Shikamaru's proposed title screen

Shikamaru’s relationship with Temari is very much like his father’s relationship to his mother, which bodes favorably for them. There is a running gag that Shikaku, his father, is whipped, and that his mother is a force to be reckoned with. Shikaku says , “no matter how strong-minded a woman is, she will show kindness to the man she loves.” Which is funny, because Shikamaru mention that Temari is “as subtle as a Rhino” and is “scarier than his mom.” I think its fate.

And to stir the pot further, in an OVA at the end of episode 75 of Shippuden, we see something strange. Asuma talks about having the show named after him, and shows the title screen with the silhouetted of him and his lover, Kurenai. Shikamaru says that the show should be named after him, and as you can see to the right, the title screen features him and Temari silhouetted. Awesome, right? Shikatema ftw!

Blonde Puppy Brigade

Posted: May 1, 2011 in random articles
Tags: , , ,
Tamaki Suou

Tamaki Suou

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

For those of you who don’t know, Ouran Highschool Host Club is my favorite anime to date. The president of the Host Club is Tamaki Suou. He’s a second year highschool student at the elite Ouran Academy, a school for the children of extremely wealthy families. From the time Haruhi Fujioka, a commoner who gets into Ouran on scholarship, gets mixed up with the Host Club, Tamaki becomes obsessed with learning about and doing things the commoner way.

Tamaki is the illegitimate son of Ouran’s chairman to a French woman whom he fell in love with. His father’s family, especially his grandmother, is not fond of Tamaki’s mother and pays her off to have Tamaki live in Japan with his father. As his father has no heir at this point, it was the only choice they had. Part of the deal includes that she never see her son again. Tamaki’s mother is frequently ill, and he agrees with the terms so that his mother can have a comfortable life for herself. Despite his past, Tamaki is an extremely positive and cheerful young man, is genuinely caring and enthusiastic, and has insane piano skills.

Vash

Vash the Stampede

I am almost half way through Trigun, and will probably have it finished here in the next few days. It is quickly becoming one of my top 5 favorite anime, especially after the introduction of Nicholas D. Wolfwood and the shoot out contest episode. Because I don’t know Vash’s full story at this point, this will be short.

Vash the Stampede is an ace gunman and vigilante for peace and love. Though he has exceptional shooting and dodging abilities, he never shoots to kill. Snuffing out even one human life would mean the end of the world to him. Most often, he appears to be a klutzy goof ball with an infatuation for beautiful women. Most people don’t believe that he’s the renowned gunman with a 60 billion doubledollar (their currency) bounty on his head. But when it gets down to business, he can be super serious.

He seems to have a fair bit of a tragic past, and I’m still waiting for it to reveal itself.

Vash's puppy face

Vash's puppy face

Now, the whole point of this post is to compare these two. When I was watching episdoe 6, Lost July, of Trigun, I witnessed a scene that made me double take. This chick hired Vash as a body guard, and she says, “come, Spot!” to order him to follow her. Subsequently, he makes a puppy face, barks, and proceeds to follow. Immediately, I thought of Tamaki Suou from Ouran who is know in the Host Club for his infamous puppy face that allows him to get his way. Specifically, he uses it to get the Host Club to get in the same boat about saving the Newspaper Club from being dismantled. As soon as the rest of the Host Club relent, he lets out a loud bark.

This got me thinking about how similar these two characters are. For the most part, both characters appear silly and ridiculous and are often chastised for not being or taking things seriously.

Tamaki's puppy face

Tamaki's puppy face

In reality, both of them are extremely talented, Vash with guns and Tamaki with the piano, and can be very down to earth and serious.They use their talents in these serious situations for the benefit of others and learned their respective talents for selfless reasons. Tamaki initially started playing the piano to keep his ill mother company, while Vash learns to became a gunman to protect others.

Despite their tragic pasts, both characters continually look forward. Even though neither of them are my favorite in their respective anime (for obvious reasons, Kyoya wins out in Ouran, while Wolfwood wins in Trigun), their personalities make them very lovable characters whom I hold a great deal of respect for.

Futago: Twins!

Posted: April 21, 2011 in random articles
Tags: ,
Hitachiin Twins

Kaoru (left), and Hikaru (right) Hitachiin

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

A subject I relate to: Twins, or in Japanese, Futago! I am also a twin. Her name is Alicia, and she is also a Japanese and anime fan like me!

If I say Hikaru and Kaoru, you might think of the Hitachiin twins from Ouran Highschool Host Club, right?

These two trouble makers go on a self discovery journey in the Host Club, started by Tamaki’s persistence in playing the “Which one is Hikaru” game and inviting them to expand their world by joining the Host Club. Their borders are further broken down when Haruhi reveals she can tell them apart based on their personality, despite them wearing hats and dying their hair.

Hikaru is generally more outspoken, and a little more dense in the emotional state of others. Kaoru is more observant, reserved, and gentle.

Kaoru (left), and Hikaru (right) Mido

Now what about the Mido twins from Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase? They’re also named Hikaru and Kaoru. Weird, right?

These two little girls are basically elemental mages (World of Warcraft analogy, sorry ^_^) and are the cousins (and betrothed) to the the main character Kouhei (Kaoru) and their cousin Seiji (Hikaru). Whether the betrothals are serious or not is debatable, but it does strike a lot of initial animosity toward Hazuki (the title character) who has a strong tie to Kouhei.

Their names are not the only things in common with the Hitachiin twins. Kaoru is shy, quiet, and a bit of a crybaby, while Hikaru is outspoken and somewhat aggressive. Though similar dynamics exist between both twins, the difference is more obvious between the Mido twins.

In comparison, my twin and I are more like the Hitachiin twins; she is more reserved than I am, but our dynamics are not as pronounced.

AMV Round 1

Posted: April 15, 2011 in AMVs
Tags: ,

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

I’ve decided to share with you guys some of my favorite AMVs, and more to come when I stumble upon them.


the link is here, if the video doesn’t load: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLiLVIp5SVA

This is my favorite Tamaki/Haruhi video that I’ve found so far. I always get chills when I watch it. The only downside is that there’s some subtitles from the anime which are a tad distracting. But it’s still an awesome AMV. The song is “Dare you to move” by Switchfoot.


the link is here, if the video doesn’t load: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw8pcxE6U9k

This is probably the most well made AMV I have seen so far. It fits Soul Eater extremely well, even though it makes the anime seem far more gruesome and horrific than it actually is. My only downside with this one: there’s not enough Death the Kid, but I suppose he’s not all that scary being obsessed with symmetrical things. The song is “This is Halloween” from Nightmare Before Christmas as done by Marilyn Manson.