Thursday, 9 April 2015

REVIEW: The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki chan

The thing about the world we saw in the movie without Haruhi being a force of nature and all the other crazy stuff going on is that it was soulless. Just like the real world. It wasn't a world full of anime styled high jinks and stuff i would like to see happen in reality. It was just like this one. Its normal-ness hit Kyon hard like a ton of bricks. Its one of the most special things to see from an anime; a world that is as monotone as the one you are in right now. Its powerful. Its special. It gave me goosebumps.

This new anime series tarnishes that absolutely and completely.

To say this anime is crap isnt really the point. It angers me.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Spice and Wolf- novel 12

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Holo and Lawrence share a few intimate moments early on in this novel. Once whilst still on the island Kingdom of Winfiel where their banter leads to mutual hand holding, and again when on the return boat to Kerube where Lawrence lovingly brushes her hair back without her asking whilst they talk. Their actions are showing more instinctive intimacy. Both don't question it, nor blush nor feel weird about it.

Piasky's letter suggests that the real wolf bones may be in the possession of the Debau Company, whilst Huskins information talks of another sheep god named Hugues and his colleague Fran who can be found in Kerube.

At the trading house on the south side of Kerube, Kieman gives Lawrence a letter from Eve which states that she profited with the furs. Kieman also directs them to the location of Hugues, which turns out to be an art shop in town.

Hugues shop turns out to be full of paintings. Lawrence and Holo explain what they are there for and Hugues reveals that the paintings are primarily for other wandering gods that wish to purchase a visual record of their homes before they were destroyed by mining or from the Moon Hunting Bear.

Fran Vonely
Holo fails to find any visual records of Yoitsu. The painter named Fran turns up. She is only a girl who also specialises in silversmithing. Fran is a frequent traveller to old villages in the north and knows a lot about the old tales and stories attributed with them. When asked, it is revealed that she knows about Yoitsu. Lawrence puts his foot in it and asks to pay for a map. Fran seizes this opportunity to exploit them and forces them to embark on a quest to a northern village named Taussig where local tales tell of an angel and a witch. Fran needs co-operation from outsiders in order to investigate the story. Otherwise she would come across as visiting the village as an associate of the supposed witch.

They set out by using Hugues' wagon with Fran riding her own horse. They travel north to the planes and find the village at the foot of a few mountains. They are welcomed into a household where they are served dinner whilst the husband tells them the story of a local legend, a tale of the appearance of an angel many years ago. After that the gang are led to a wood by the same guy. He tells them another story of a witch which occupied the wood a few decades ago. Our gang plan on staying the night in this wood to investigate further.

They reside in a cottage next to a lake with a waterfall where the Angel was supposed to have appeared. Inside the cottage they find the so called witch. She's long since dead still sitting in her chair. Turns out she was a nun who came here years ago to see the Angel.
Fran and Col go off exploring together a few times, giving Lawrence and Holo some alone time. Again theres a bit of handholding going on between them and again its considered not that big a deal.
Once everyone is together in the cottage, Fran explains that the village has used the tale of the witch to deter the church from caring about the angel rumour. The village are scared of higher factions such as the church coming in and setting up a water mill at the river. Otherwise the villagers would be burdened by heavier taxation.
Our gang is being watched during their stay, presumably from the villagers.

It comes to light that the reason why Fran is so interested in the Angel rumour is because it was mentioned from her lost friend, or maybe lover.

Its agreed that the Angel rumour must derive from falling snow and ice from above the waterfall, with the falling ice looking like wings.

Fran asks Lawrence and Holo to ride into the village on horseback to acquire a map of the river path and its streams. They do so but out of the blue arrive men by horseback with spears, demanding the village representatives to come out. Apparently this is the landlord arriving demanding to lay waste of any lands where the legend of the angel remains.

Holo and Lawrence escape by foot back to the lake and cottage. they meet up with Fran and Col along the way. Fran says that soldiers were also here a moment ago.

Fran has the idea that the landlord has chosen a third option without being confrontational to both the church and the pagans. This third option is to erase all traces of the dead nun entirely, construct a water mill and therefore profit from travellers coming in from the Northern Campaign. She reveals that the dead nun was actually called Katrina Lucci, a woman currently being canonised as a saint. Her possessions, the cottage, the area and even her dead corpse will soon be considered holy relics. This should bring in enough profit in itself for the landlords (the Debau Company) so there should be no need for a water mill.

Before they set off on this journey, Fran was informed about Lawrence's skill as a ruthless profitable merchant from Lud Kieman of Kerube. Fran expects Lawrence to somehow help sell the so called witch off as a saint, the complete opposite of a witch. Lawrence thinks this is totally impossible. Fran is so annoyed at Lawrence's unwillingness to help that she storms off. Col, having spent a lot of alone time with Fran, thrusts a book of scriptures at Lawrence and storms off after her.

Lawrence and Holo open the book. It has blood stains and is very old. Inside it are letters from Frans friend who told her about the Angel. These letters confirm that he was a soldier that died, and she was born on the battlefield, using the church as a means of saving her life.

Lawrence consoles Holo. He draws her in close and they bump foreheads. He decides with a clear head that instead of running away he will instead choose to help Fran. Otherwise Fran could easily end up dead; 'erased' alongside the dead nun/saint.

The two head back to the cottage. Lawrence does not plan on selling Katrina off as a saint, but instead will refer to her as one as a representative of the church during the canonisation process.
Later on Fran and Col arrive back. Fran is surprised at Lawrence's willingness to help.

Soldiers arrive on horseback, followed by most of the villagers. Lawrence and Fran head out to confront them. Lawrence is addressed by the landlord appointed governor who points a spear at him. Lawrence introduces himself as a merchant that has been sent by a bishop in order to render the legend of the angel in silver work, the exact same story our gang had agreed on in the first place. However Lawrence then goes on to say he was also sent to check on Katrina whilst her application of canonisation was still ongoing. This surprising news stirs among the locals and troops alike.

An old knight steps through the soldiers and reveals to be the true leader, a man named Kirchner Linguid. He greets Lawrence and asks him for proof of his word. Lawrence has none. Instead Lawrence recites a list of relevant names attributed to the canonisation process he memorised from Katrinas book of scriptures, and tells the leader that he should ask them for proof.

The leader Kirchner is more timid than Lawrence would have suspected, and the man is just about to believe Lawrence when a solider in the ranks shouts out that he recognises Fran Vonely as the chaplain of the Kirjavainen mercenary troop from the battle in Ploania where the resulting battle led to the leader being hung on suspicion of being a pagan. Therefore Fran could not be attributed to the church, so the soldier says.

Tensions are high but Fran steps out admitting she was the person who the solider claims her to be. A spear is pointed at Fran as she tries to defend herself with a strong speech. she is injured by a spear in the shoulder. A villager then shoots an arrow in the leg of the soldier that did this. This starts a battle between those willing to believe the angel legend and those that do not. Lawrence takes Fran away from the fighting and she asks to go to the lake. She is bleeding quite badly.

Holos wolf form appears at the top of the waterfall. her howl is so powerful that everyone stops to look up. A rumbling occurs which some say sounds like a heavenly troop. An avalanche occurs from the top of the waterfall. The crash of ice and snow sends icy water into the air in such a way it appears to be wings taking to the sky- the angel legend in fruition.

Back at Hugues shop Lawrence recites the rest of the story. The village accepted the legend and came to believe in Lawrence and Fran, as well as Katrinas sainthood. Fran was fussed over by the villagers so much that Holo looked at her with delight at seeing a person loath so much attention, similar to when she was worshipped as a goddess in the past.

It took 3 days to return to Kerube. Everyone goes to bed that night on the second floor of the shop. Just before retiring for the night, Lawrence talks with Fran in her bedroom about the map she promised to draw. Its revealed that it was her intention to die at the lake once she solved the mystery of the angel and put her past behind her.

Lawrence leaves Frans room and finds Holo waiting just outside. He ignores her and they retire to their bedroom together.

---

I have not experienced a decent Spice and Wolf novel since volume 6. This book was fantastic. I read it in the blink of an eye I just couldn't put it down.

The author reveals in the afterword that he wrote the story when on a writing holiday in Okinawa. The quality shows. This is a beautiful story that equals the tone of those original novels.

Despite having two extra people around (Col and Fran) not once did they get in the way of Holo and Lawrence's important alone time. Talking of which this novel starts with the important statement of saying to the reader that Holo and Lawrence love each other, the two characters have known it for ages, but now they don't care about being free to express this to one another with simple gestures such as handholding, caressing and intimacy.

The angel legend involves a 'beast'. In the grand scheme of things with Holos life span its a relatively new legend. Could it be from a wolf god? Does this mean at least one other wolf god is out there somewhere?

I love this novel. Its been two years since I've read a decent Spice and Wolf novel. I might have slated volume 6 but honestly looking back it wasn't that bad. Things got worse which made vol 6 look good. That was the last good novel. I thought the series was on the slippery slope of mediocrity.

10-10. Yes thats right. Ten out of friggin ten. Spice and Wolf is BACK.

"If you fail, I won't forgive you."
"Of course." Lawrence said, lightly bumping Holo's forehead with his own.
"Of course." he said again.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Spice and Wolf- novel 11- Side Colors 2

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Set before Holo and Lawrence arrive at Lenos, I think? They sidetrack to a new village being set up in the middle of nowhere for the sake of building an abbey. They help out around the village and settle skirmishes by translating poorly written church plans for them to follow.

The second short story was about them going through a forest on a detour to find a place to relax in the sun.

The last short story takes up about half of the book. Its about Eves life after falling from nobility and trying to cope being a much poorer person. Spoiler alert she murders her first victim in her first trading attempt. Cold blood. However she was stuck between a rock and a hard place so she didn't have much choice. However if you read this chapter not already knowing the character you would say it was out of character for her to kill him like she did. She fancied him for crying out loud.

---

Overall this book sucks. The two short chapters with Holo and Lawrence were actually good. However at this point I would say I'm bored to shit with the series.

4-10.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Spice and Wolf- novel 10

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

The gang travel by boat to the island kingdom of Winfiel, where Lawrence follows written instructions given to him by Lud Kieman from Kerube to meet with certain salesman in order to gain access to an abbey which may hold the wolf bones Holo is after.

The kingdom is on the verge of financial ruin. This is evident by their failing nobility and their nearly worthless currency. To make matters worse the worlds most powerful economic alliance, the Ruvik Alliance, are taking interest in the abbey our gang want to visit in what may be the first signs of taking control of the kingdom.
This bloke named Piasky from the Ruvik Alliance escorts them up to the Abbey which ends up a 3 day trip by horse.
During the day or so Holo and Lawrence just chill out. Their banter involves him burying his head in her chest apologetically because he failed to find information that day, and there was another one before that where he and Holo shared a bed with her lying on top of him.

Piasky cannot find specific details which is relevant for Lawrence, but is interested in using him as a means of breaking down the power that the Kingdom of Winfiel has over the all important abbey. He explains that the Ruvik Alliance has bought the land as a means of building towns and villages for the sake of refugees for those affected from war or religious tensions. Holo feels emotional during this bit and Lawrence wonders what would have happened if she met him first before Lawrence.

The shepherd they are staying with named Huskins turns out to be a sheep god. He found a letter from a messenger lying dead in the snow which informs that the Abbeys taxes would cripple the Ruvik Alliances plans.
Huskins tells them he was hoping to meet his kind in the area after the Moon Hunting Bear destroyed his homeland many eras ago. Holo breaks down during this bit and cries. She understands this guys intensions however her plans were to walk away with Lawrence and Col only for her to storm back alone in her wolf form to raid the abbey for the bones then come back.

Lawrence somehow forces Piasky to look into the Wolf bones in more detail. It may be their last chance to save the Ruvik Alliances plans.

Lawrence then has to convince a council of higher ups to look into it. Which they do.

Complex stuff happens and in the end Huskins uses his godlike powers to drive a herd of sheep into the opposition. Holo goes on ahead to the abbey and storms the place, only to come back and inform Lawrence that the bones were fake all along.

---

This novel was dead boring. I gave up on it for months. Luckily its over now, and my synopsis should spare you the need to read it.

The series needs to drop Col, up the romance and focus on the risks of Holo being a wolf more often.

5-10.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Ai Tenchi Muyo! Episode 1 review

This was 4 mins. I turned it off after 1min 52 seconds after not being able to stand it any longer. I want my 112 seconds back :(.

Never again.