Posts Tagged ‘Tamaki’

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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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

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.