Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Viral Video: Pokémon the Abridged Series Episode 25

Pokémon the Abridged Series episode 25 is out. Looks like its been out for 3 weeks already! Thanks to Pratish for the tip, who also recommends the site http://www.seriesabridged.com/.

video


Find the previous Pokémon abridged episodes here:
http://boxofdanger.com/shows/pokemon-the-abridged-series/


I still miss The Mighty Butterfree, though not as much as I recently trained a Butterfree in Soul Silver and called it 'Mighty'. And its badass too. I got it as an egg and got it to hold a lucky egg. Now its like level 60 and kills all 'maggots' it comes across in one hit.

Friday, 22 June 2012

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya- novel 1

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Mikuru Asahina and Kyon could make a perfect couple...
There is just something about this series that I love, but I cant quite put my finger on it. I guess it must be because it simply fits my personal preference for a story, as well as the reading material itself. Yeah about that, Unlike the Spice and Wolf novels (which I adore), this novel is broken up into much smaller paragraphs with line spaces. Line spaces makes it a hell of a lot easier to find adequate places to stop reading without having to re-read part of the page before getting back into the swing of the story. The word count per page is also slightly shorter in this Haruhi novel compared with other novels. I don't know about other people, but I'm the type of bloke that prefers to read one page at a time without feeling committed to reading pages and pages at a time. Ironically this helps me to read more in one go.

My imagination when reading this book is that of the anime character designs. In a sense, the pictures provided in the book are rather crude and basic compared with the anime, or even the quality of the pictures found in the Spice and Wolf novels for that matter. This is slightly disappointing, but still irrelevant because you need to predominantly imagine the visuals anyway. I noticed that one picture of Asahina was wrong because in the story she was in casual clothing, but in the picture provided she was in school clothes.

...If it wern't for this one
Talking about the story now, what I really love is how the normal sensibilities of the protagonist / narrator, Kyon, blend in with the contrasting personality elements of Haruhi herself. The way Kyon has an outlook upon life and his surroundings make it very akin to the novels by Haruki Murakami, (which are heavy on the melancholy but always have a supernatural weird plot twist happening), but because Kyon is forced to abide by Haruhi's orders, his life is changed around from the melancholy and humdrum everyday life existence to something more fun and exiting, even though he doesn't care much for it yet.

In a way, Haruhi herself is even more of a tragic character, because she absolutely refuses to accept life to be boring and humdrum, to the point that it makes her borderline insane. She basically refuses to give up on her childish outlook of the world and believes it to be more than it seems, despite having no evidence to support this. She cannot adjust to a more adult perspective or outlook on life, and instead tries to fill the gap by having a chronic desire to try something new or exciting all the time. The story starts with her having no friends, and not only that, not having had one single friend throughout her middle school years. Kyon, the guy closest to her due to the class seating arrangement, tries to get her to open up, and this is what starts the chain of events that cause her to drag other people to befriend her, whether they want to or not.

Haruhi Suzumiya
I guess its kinda ironic that the only person that will never see life as anything other than a humdrum existence is Haruhi herself. Its my opinion that if she ever found out she was a super being, something akin to a goddess, then I think she would calm down a bit and not be so crazy / borderline insane. But thats the twist to the story, the reason she is surrounded by an alien, esper and time traveler is because no one knows what would happen if she ever found out.

One other thing that I absolutely love about this series is the time travel. Its as fun, exciting and clever as Back to the Future. Its all because of the little things that the author puts in. A good example is when Haruhi and Kyon first meet. She looks at him strangely and asks if they have ever met before. Its just a one liner but its perfect. Its just one of many time travel elements that make it so well thought through and awesome.

I also believe that the predominant reason why Kyon is a member of the SOS brigade is because Haruhi has a subconscious crush on him, despite the fact the club is there so she can have fun with non-ordinary people. Kyon on the other hand has a crush on Asahina, and she was only brought into the mix because of Haruhis fascination with her matured feminine body.

Yuki Nagato
OK, REALLY TALKING ABOUT THE STORY NOW, after the characters meet and the SOS brigade is created and set up, the time frame is around late May. Kyon is invited around Yuki's apartment so she can explain how she is a humanoid alien robot with no emotions, who is sent by the 'overmind' to watch and record Haruhi's movements/data patterns. Soon after this story Kyon and Asahima share a Saturday morning together where she explains that she is a time traveler sent from the future to keep an eye of Haruhi. Then finally on a later date Koizumi explains that he is some type of being closely related to what we would call espers, sent to deal with problems associated with Haruhi's subconscious outbursts. Kyon tries to be optimistic with all three of their stories, but he never receives proof from them.

WARNING: DO NOT TRUST THIS BITCH
In fact his first bit of proof was when the sweet girl named Asakura asked to meet him in class after school. she turns out to be Yuki's backup program who somehow actually has feelings and a somewhat free will of her own, unlike Yuki. She explains that she sides with those people/alien/freaks/whatever who would prefer for Haruhi to be shaken up into unleashing her powers. She believes that by killing Kyon, the only human important in Haruhi's life, then she will go into berserker mode and unleash powerful data that can be analysed for the 'Overmind'. The classroom they are in is sealed off, with the windows and doors being turned into walls. Then she whips out a military knife and starts swinging it at him like a crazy bitch. Yuki comes crashing through the ceiling in the nick of time and saves Kyons life. She talks out loud with fast talking program code, whilst battling against Asakura with tables being turned into huge spikes which are launched at her. Yuki gets hit countless times and her blood splatters everywhere. Yukis verbal programing code is complete and Asakura is erased from existence. Yuki doesn't feel pain so its OK, and she somehow cleans up the program code of the classroom to as it were before, and then does the same to her physical body.

The next day its announced in class that Asakura has transferred out of school. This is fantastic news for Haruhi as she's been searching for something mysterious to investigate on.

Kyon Ive come from the future to show you my cleavage!
Kyon gets another message in his shoe locker, this time from Asahina. Its for him to meet her at the club room during lunch. He goes there at the agreed time and finds an older Asahina in the room, who is up to 5 years older than the one Kyon knows. Shes says its important that he remembers the story of Snow White for a massive problem that he will soon be facing, one which is a bigger ordeal than the one he went through with Asakura. She also tells him not to get too close to her younger self, giving the impression that at some point Kyon and Asahina will want to get into a relationship which is ill fated. Upon arriving back in the class room at the end of lunch, Kyon gets the stick from Haruhi for being so friggin late. She tells him shes been on the hunt for information about Asakara at the school office. Later on that day Haruhi drags Kyon around to go and find Asakuras old home. It turns out to be the same condo as Yukis. Haruhi tries in vane to find answers, but comes away deflated. They bump into Yuki walking home from the convenience story but nothing comes of it. Kyon and Haruhi aimlessly walk around town until she feels deflated and depressed enough to confess her true feelings. She admits that she is the way she is after a baseball match she went to when she was very young. She saw the thousands of people that was attending the game and for the first time realised just how insignificant she was to the world, considering herself just one drop in an ocean of people. Kyon really should have comforted her at this point, but he just stood there, and let her walk off alone.


Itsuki Koizumi
Koizumi turns up out the blue and tells Kyon to follow him, saying that its now a perfect opportunity to see his powers and how his esper abilities work. They catch a taxi and travel to somewhere else in the vast city to a place that has been cut off from reality. They enter this 'space' from a sidewalk full of people. Once stepped into this strange reality that looks much the same as normal, but without people or colour (as everything is in black and white), they walk to the top of a sky scraper and to the roof. There is no wind, or even a breeze. Koizumi points to something in the distance, which is a blue giant as big as a sky scraper. It starts tearing everything apart. Koizumi explains that this 'space' with these monsters in it, are created when Haruhi feels stressed. Its a way of her venting pent up frustrations which would otherwise be bottled up. Kyon then notices a bunch of red orbs surrounding the giant. Koizumi then turns into one of these orbs and flies off to join the others. From there, the orbs start battling against the giant, breaking it up until the giant is destroyed. Koizumi then returns to Kyon and the walls of the space they are in start to crack apart and dissolve until they find themselves back in their reality with colour and life again. On the taxi home, Koizumi explains how three years ago he just woke up with the knowledge of Haruhi and her power, as well as the giants and the ability to apprehend them. he also says that if these giants were left alone, the 'space' these giants exist in would increase, until it covers the world. He explains that if they were never dealt with, the space would increase and engulf the world to become a completely new reality that would replace the current one.

The next day passes peacefully, but that night Kyon is awoken in the middle of the night and finds himself at school, with Haruhi. After looking around and noticing that the world is in black and white, Kyon realises that somehow he's in a similar 'space' again, only this time, Haruhi is there too. They find that the school is surrounded by an invisible barrier, which means the space covers only the school. They dont know what to do so they go to the club room. she walks out the room leaving Kyon alone. A red orb appears and struggles to form the shape of a person. Koizumi's voice speaks from it. He says that all the espers are using their power for him to reach Kyon. Apparently the space Kyon and Haruhi are in is a new reality that is being created to replace the old one, where Koizumi, Mikuru, Yuki and everyone else are. He says that there is nothing he can do to stop it, and wishes to see him in some format or another in the new world. Kyon asks why the hell he is with Haruhi for this new reality, and Koizumi jokes something about them being the new Adam and Eve. Just before his connection is severed, Koizumi passes on the messages from the others saying that Mikuru says 'Im sorry, its all my fault', and Yuki says 'Turn on the computer'. Koizumi then disappears. Wondering why everything would be Mikurus fault, Kyon turns the computer on. The computer doesnt run windows like it should, instead it stays in DOS, and Yuki starts a chat room type text conversation with Kyon before that too is severed. her last words were 'sleeping beauty'. Haruhi crashes through the club room door and tells Kyon that there is a giant blue alien outside. The giant starts destroying the school and Kyon and Haruhi make a run for it.

I want my old world back dammit!
They end up outside on the sports track and Kyon argues with her that he wants to go back to the old reality. Haruhi is slightly confused as to whats going on, but somehow knows that the giants are not a threat to them and that the sun will definitely rise in this black and white world. Kyon argues at her about how meaningful the old reality was, and Haruhi has a go back at him about how boring it was. in the end Kyon remembers the words 'snow white' from older Mikuru and 'sleeping beauty' from Yuki, and knows what to do. he looks at Haruhi, tells her she would look more hot with a pony tail, and kisses her on the lips XD

Kyon falls out of bed and hits the floor hard. hes back in the old reality in the middle of the night.
Next morning at school during homeroom Haruhi tells Kyon she is pissed off from a nightmare she had, and Kyon complements her on having a pony tail.

---

10-10. I really did love this book. I read it in no time at all. The anime ruled so friggin much but never continued, so im looking forward to the rest of the series!

Up next: The Boredom.

Click here for easy navigation around my Haruhi articles

What If God Was One of Us


Thursday, 21 June 2012

REVIEW: Oh My Goddess!- Manga volume 28

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

The Lost Voice arc:

Belldandy catches a goddess related illness called the 'Ahem Bug'. It means she looses her voice. Urd helps out and gives her some pills. She says the illness should pass by 3pm. Peorth then finds out and gives Belldandy her own potion.

At Whirlwind, Sora turns up and says that there is a crisis with recuiting new members at this years freshers fair.
They go there to help her out with recruitment. Otaki and Tamiya turn up and soon a karaoke contest is being held, where the winner gets to kiss a club member, which would have to be Sora as she is the ONLY club member. K1 sings for some reason, and Belldandy says that its the 1st time she has ever heard him sing. REALLY?? REALLY THOUGH?! Surely they would have all sung together in at least one of the group parties by now? Aoshima turns up and sings, thinking he would get to kiss Belldandy for some reason. Belldandy checks the time. its after 3pm which means her throat is cleared up and she can join in and sing too. She does, but the two potions she took causes her singing voice to be so powerful that it hypnotizes everyone to signing up to the Motor club afterwards, including Mara who was planning on scheming nearby, but whom never got a chance too. At the end of the day they got hardly any new members.

---

There are a number of problems with this arc. It implies that a new college year has begun. Does this mean that K1 graduated? Or is it really taking him 2 years to study German? The story implies that he has. on pages 32 and 33, they are walking around the club recruitment stalls around campus. K1 says "Its the same chaos as every year, but it makes me feel nostalgic. And i realize, this is a place i can never return to even though it was precious to me".
Belldandy then thinks to herself, "Keiichi, time can't be reversed. And in the twinkle of an eye, this moment will become the past. But knowing you cant go back is proof of your progress. its a very wonderful thing". WTF? So he has graduated?
OK then, what about Aoshima, Sora Hasegawa, Otaki and Tamiya? They were all present in this arc. I had thought that Den & Dai-chan had graduated and moved on already, but Sora refers to them as "upperclassmen". HU?! What about Aoshima? Why hasn't he moved on in life? remember, this is 4 or 5 years later from the beginning of the series, in which K1 had already spent one year at uni. What, is Aoshima studying for his doctorate or something?! My god, is Den & Dai-chan studying for a doctorate??! Is Sora studying a masters? Did they all flunk at least 3 years worth of uni?

The Polka-Dotted Cat and the Broom Race arc:

The household is making fun of Velsper and her (not his) white polka-dots. they cant think of a way to make Velsper normal again, unless they have help from a demon like Hild. Belldandy realizes that chibi-Hild is spying on them nearby via a fly on the wall. She seeks her out and asks for help. Mara is willing to help, only if Belldandy wins against her in a broom race. The broom Bell uses is String-Fellow Hawke, who had his own chapter a while back (yeah even though its a broom it can talk and move like its alive. In fact i think it IS alive if i remember, as inanimate objects are also sometimes classified as such in this series). Its revealed that Belldandy and String-Fellow Hawke have won the heaven broom race championship six times.
The broom Hild uses is Velspers mechanical 'broom' (its actually a vacuum cleaner), called Gluhende Herz. Velsper explains that in the past, she/he would use it to fly up and break into heaven. She also explains that Gluhende Herz has been used in the demon world to win their broom race championship eight times.

Just before the race starts, Hild explains that if she wins, the goddesses have to leave earth and return to heaven (although she doesn't say 'for good'). The race then begins and Hild is mostly in the lead. the course is around Nekomi. End of volume 28.

---

There are a few pictures of when Velsper broke into heaven on Gluhende Herz. Heaven is shown to have weird looking beings other than gods and goddesses walking along a bridge. Could they be deceased? The manga has yet to explain that side of heaven >.<
I may have suggested before that Hild may be trying to secretly make the goddesses improve upon their power, but having such high stakes on the line which could mean that they have to go home may show that Hild is indeed trying to maintain the goddess/demon market share on earth. Thinking about this though, her constant presence on earth would be keeping the balance of goddess/demon power on earth.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

REVIEW: Oh My Goddess!- Manga volume 27

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Rubber Band War arc:

Volume 27 continues with another story involving sisterly rivalry, only this time, ITS WAR, with rubber bands, and Peorth gets involved. It was only two chapters (172,173). I liked how Bell kept telling them "No fighting", followed by Urd and Skulds childish replies of "OKAAAAY".
Urd hid behind Peorth against one of Skulds attacks, and naturally Peorth got hit. This was when the epic war of doom got turned up a notch, because the pissed Peorth started firing fan belts around.

In the end the temple was trashed. Belldandys reaction to this was something like 'I told you no fighting, clean it up now please', followed by the other three goddesses responding in unison, "OKAAAAY" XD

Machiners arc:

Its getting late in the working day at Whirlwind. Chihiro remembers something about 'Thunderbird' and dashes off, leaving K1 to wonder if she didnt set her VCR to record an old episode of Thunderbirds. Theres a knock at the door and K1 opens it to be greeted by a robot. He (it?) asks for Belldandys help. K1 asks Bell if its one of Skulds creations, but she explains that its from a race called the 'Machiners' from another dimension, one in which the earths axis is tilted slightly, or something. Belldandy says her powers dont work too well on their race, so K1 goes to fix him, and is rewarded with a spanner. The next day Chihiro explains that the Thunderbird she was talking about was a bike up for sale that she agreed to go visit in the evening, but it wasnt the one she was hoping for. Another knock at the door turns out to be from three more Machiners. they deal with Chihiro and get her out the picture so K1 can fix them too. Again after fixing them K1 is rewarded with more tools. The process happens one more time regarding a flying machine that cant land properly (a reference to Thunderbirds episode 1 is mentioned). After this is resolved and K1 gets more tools, the next day he finds out these tools have some sort of special power that makes machines work better, or at least something along those lines. Chihiro ends up getting more jealous of his workmanship.
This ends volume 27.

The Mini Goddess RPG special from last time continues at the end of this volume.

-----------------

These two side arcs were OK i guess. The rubber band war was a good laugh.

Monday, 18 June 2012

REVIEW: Oh My Goddess!- Manga volumes 25, 26 and part of 27

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Fighting Wings arc (part 2):

Volumes 25 and 26 continue the Fighting Wings arc.
According to Lind, Urds angel 'World of Elegance' has indeed been eaten by the angel eater, and that its been here all along. Soon Peorths angel 'Gorgeous Rose' is taken too. When everyone is thinking of what to do, we learn a bit more about Lind and her personality in finding joy in battling. Belldandy and Lind go to take a bath together, but Belldandy is also hit by the angel eater right in front of Linds eyes. Lind realises that its coming out from within her. The commotion is heard all over the temple and everyone comes running. Lind forces everyone out of the bathroom and seals the room from within. Lind explains through the door that the angel eater is like a parasite and is hidden within her. Lind realises that demons must be pulling the strings, and on cue out come Mara and chibi-Hild.
Lind and Chibi-Hild start fighting within the bathroom, and Mara goes to rob Skulds angel egg out in the hallway. However, she is easily dealt with by K1, Skuld and Sigel. Hild reveals Linds angel out of her back, which is found to be carried by the angel eater in its claws. Lind is feeling pain and rips out her angel with the parasite out of her own back herself. This shows her skill as a combat goddess because she does not faint like the other goddesses did when it happened to them.
Now that the angel eater parasite is let loose, it tramples around and ends up outside.
Chibi-Hild wants to experiment a bit and forces a 'Familiar' egg into the unconscious Belldandys back. 'Familiars' turn out to be the demon equivalent of Angels. Its Hilds theory that familiars may make goddesses become demons. Lind, Skuld and K1 regroup in the bushes outside and come up with a plan that involves Skuld eating her egg and reincarnating her angel 'Noble Scarlet'. But the plan also involves K1...
They go to attack, Skuld eats her egg and Noble Scarlet is reincarnated at full size this time. This must show that Skulds power has increased from last time she said goodbye to her angel. This is just a decoy though and out of nowhere K1 uses his surprise attack by summoning 'his' angel called Cool Mint, a one winged angel (on her right hand side, unlike Linds angel 'Spearmint' which is one winged on her left side), which goes to attack chibi-Hild. The attack is in vain however because out appears a demon looking Belldandy (her costume is ~hawt). Belldandy summons her familiar which shocks everyone. The fight then turns from the angel eater to suppressing Belldandys power. But after a few seconds Belldandy looks at the group and tells them shes not a threat anymore. The familiar then changes form into an angel, much to the shock of chibi-Hild. K1 and Cool Mint attack the angel eater and freeze it. This allows Noble Scarlet to fly into its mouth and rescue the non-chewed up or partially digested (?? why not?) angels of Urd, Bell and Peorth. They all fly back to their respective goddesses. Now its just Spearmint left to rescue from the clutches of the angel eater. Lind turns to K1 and asks for her angel to be returned to her, which he allows. He then falls to the ground clutching his chest like some part of himself has been removed. Somehow he says that the goddesses must have felt the same thing but 10 times worse when it happened to them. Lind then goes to attack the angel eater and chibi-Hild, and this marks the end of volume 25.

Volume 26 starts where things left off, and Lind uses one hell of a powerful fast move to rip the legs off the angel eater, freeing her angel. She then turns her attention to the demons. A very quick fight results in the destruction of the temple (lol again). The angel eater goes berserk and Mara and Hild make their getaway. Belldandy, using her newly gained demonic powers, and Urd with her natural demonic powers, help to open a gate to hell in the ground. Everyone apart from K1 now helps to force the angel eater into it. For the first time ever in her life, Lind summons both Cool Mint and Spearmint simultaneously, and fly's straight up high above tokyo harbour, only to fly back down as fast and as powerful as she can to force the bloody thing into the portal, which doesnt initially work. Scare tactics however do work when Urd, Skuld and Peroth show their weapons to the creature, and it retreats down the hole to hell of its own free will. Meanwhile Belldandy is attending to the passed out K1. He wakes up to two breasts in the face XD
More laughs happen next as everyones combined spells to rebuild the temple mess up and create something that looks right out of Disneyland. Lind smiles for the 1st time, and thanks K1 for teaching her the importance on relying on the help of others. Turns out the reason why she couldnt summon both of her angels at the same time was because she never relied on both of their power simultaneously. All this time she thought it was her own power that was lacking in being able to summon both at the same time, and it was this that made her want to train to become as strong as she possibly could. Lind leaves before telling K1 that he is now an incredibly important person in her life.

Fighting Wings aftermath arc:

All that household stuff that was initially sealed by Lind is still sealed, including for some reason Velsper the cat.
At Whirlwind and at home, Belldandy seems to be having trouble supporting two angels. Its explained that Lind can support two because they are twins, but for everyone else it would be a struggle.
K1 comes up with a plan and suggests that he should host the ex-familiar/angel. Urd, Skuld and Peorth blow a fuse at this suggestion, probably out of some sort of jealously (though i cant see how, although it might be because there is now no way they can ever consider K1 a normal human from now on). All of a sudden the ex-familiar forces herself out of Belldandy and enters K1. Belldandy inspects K1 and tells him he's acquired an 'angel receptor'. After this, K1 goes around not accustomed to having power. He wants to bath and transports himself into the bath. He wants to get into his futon and instead the futon wraps around him. After a day at work, Belldandy and K1 return home to be cornered by Skuld, Urd and Peorth. They attempt to seal them both, saying that as much as Bell and Kei are trying to save the life of an ex-familiar (its not mentioned but implied that Belldandy is still somehow connected to the angel via K1), they are trying to save the lives of them both. K1 uses his angels bat like wings to fly off, appearing to be in berserker mode, and so ends volume 26.

Volume 27 starts with K1 flying off, and Belldandy breaking Peorths seal to give chase. After some usual antics, K1 recovers and comes up with another idea, to transfer the angel to a demon who has no familiar. At first everyone thinks this is a bad suggestion, but then they realise that Velsper would be the perfect candidate.
They find the cat frozen among other possessions that were sealed by Lind. They phone Lind and ask for her to send them the password to the seal. Skuld adapts a microwave that unfreezes everything. The cat awakens and K1 talks to the cat about the proposal. Velsper reluctantly agrees, as long as he can reveal his demonic self to Belldandy.  Although risky, Urd comes up with the pathetic excuse to Belldandy that Velsper is a demon cat sent to earth to study earth cats. Unbelievably, Belldandy believes the story. It turns out that the recommended way in which to transfer angels from person to person is via a kiss. Hilarity ensues and K1 and Velsper kiss. Just before transferal, the angel asks K1 to name her, which K1 declines on. Sometime later, Velspers black fur is dotted with white spots. This is because of the angels heavenly power. END OF THE ARC.

-----------------

I counted 21 various pictures of female/angel butts in this arc. 4 of which belong to Belldandy, and thats not including the numerous pictures of her naked. Just saying. ;P
Call me crazy but I have an inkling that Hild is not as evil as she may seem. I get the impression she is challenging the household to
a) see how powerful their skills are, and
b) make them stronger.

K1 being able to support angels and being called a 'receptor' is a major breakthrough to the series. If anything it shows that he has now transcended from a normal human being. Given time this could mean something bigger, like being able to support god like power, or be changed into a full god without much effort, if the story ever goes in that direction.

In all I loved this arc. It's about time we had another major story arc. It reminded me of a movie, though it could have been more epic.

Friday, 15 June 2012

REVIEW: Oh My Goddess!- Manga volume 24

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Keiichi and Megumi's Parents arc (part 2):

Volume 24 continues the Parents arc.
Keiichi and Megumi's mother (Takano), sent her husband (Keima), on a bike race against K1 around the mountain roads. K1 had to win in order to prove his love for Belldandy.
A stone pops up and hits K1's front light, affectively making him drive blind. Chibi Belldandy who is tagging along, helps out by using her power to create small floating balls of light.
The race goes on for a while and K1 looses. Somehow this is all right and all ends well. Takano finally gets round to asking who Belldandy really is, but the question gets avoided. Eventually the parents leave, realising that K1 and Belldandy are a private couple, that are keeping some secrets but its probably OK.

Road trip arc:
Due to a lucky ticket, Belldandy and K1 win a break for two at an onsen. Chihiro tags along to get in the way of their romance (bloody typical!).
On the day of departure all three cram inside a mini and make their way to the onsen, which is located west, many miles away. This is an interesting arc because it explores the idea of boredom when traveling, what to do when the car breaks down, frustration getting stuck in traffic, sleeping in the car, singing in the car, taking short cuts and getting lost. At this point they decide to call it a night and with a little help from Belldandy, a small open air hot spring is located deep in the mountains. They decide to relax here instead after their day on the road. They hang up a makeshift barrier to separate the mens side from the womans, and hilarity ensues when the wind blows the tarpaulin sheet up, revealing the womans side to K1, with two naked chicks ;p

Fighting Wings arc:
A tea party is underway in the temple grounds to celebrate the coming together of 3 angels. Skuld feels left out. Out of nowhere, a new goddess turns up, from heavens war division. She is called Lind and has an angel with only one wing. She warns the household that someone stole an 'angel eater', and that the 3 goddesses Belldandy, Urd and Peorth could be targeted. some sort of magical barrier is put up by Lind to cover the property. At the end of chapter 155, Urds angel 'World of Elegance' is seen to run off and probably disconnect from Urd, causing Urd some shock.

-----------------

Its been a while since reading this. I should have released this review (if its even that) weeks ago. sorry about that. Its good to finally hit the Fighting Wings arc. I really dont have much to say about this volume. Its still good stuff though. I really should be able to power through to the latest volumes from here on, but my current endeavors mostly include playing Pokemon Soul Silver.

EDIT!
I FORGOT TO SAY THERE WAS A NEW MINI-GODDESS SEGMENT! YESSSSSSS!!!!! AFTER GAN-CHANS CAMEO IN THE LAST VOLUME I JUST KNEW FUJISHIMA MISSED HIM ENOUGH TO BRING HIM BACK!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

THE HOBBIT: Production vblog #7

Part 7 was released today!

Spice and Wolf- novel 2

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

This novel covered the anime episodes 7-13. Along their travels, Lawrence and Holo come across a female Shepard called Norah, whose life shes owes to, but is also manipulated by, the church. we quickly find out that she leads an unhappy life, where one false move and she would be accused of being a witch. she really wants to be a own a shop and be a dress maker.

Upon arriving at the huge city of Ruvinheigen, Lawrence makes a contract to trade his recently acquired armor with the Remelio company. once arriving to the company, he realises just how screwed he is because business in armor sales has dropped to such an extreme that they are on the verge of liquidation. This also means that Lawrence is bankrupt.

After trying his damnedest to borrow from people he knows in the city, Holo comes up with a gold smuggling proposition, involving hiding gold in the stomachs of Norah's sheep.

Lawrence talks to the guy in charge of the Remelio company and they agree on the idea. they would be able to make shit loads of money by smuggling in gold untaxed. After finding Norah, Lawrence is able to convince her to help him, which would help her to have enough money to follow her dreams as a dress maker.

The three of them, as well as a guy from the Remelio company called Liebert, travel to a nearby city where gold can be obtained. the only thing is, the route they take has to be through a short cut through a dense forest where men fear to use because of the threat of wolf attacks.
Things go fine as far as arriving to the city and purchasing the gold. But on the way back through the forest they are stalked by a wolf. Holo forces everyone to go on ahead so she can deal with the wolf alone. Liebert and Norah go on ahead further than Lawrence, who holds back and waits for Holo to come back to him.

After waiting a while Lawrence sees someone arriving in the distance, but it is not Holo, it turns out to be two men from the Remelio company who have been ordered to kill him in case he betrays the company. They assume Holo has been killed by wolves already, and tie up Lawrence and kick him about instead of killing him, hoping that he would surely be killed by wolves soon enough.

Holo arrives and finds the stricken Lawrence. She explains that the wolf was just a youngster that was curious of Holo who was invading his territory (it also gives us the impression Holo had to pay the price of invading this wolfs territory by acting like a dog, or something unflattering for her. Still, she didnt need to change into her full form to sort the issue out, getting out of the situation with only muddy trousers and scratched arms and legs).

After Lawrence explains how they have been betrayed, she gets mad and eats a grain of wheat. she unclothes and demands to know what Lawrence thinks of her naked body, where he says she has an impressive tail (lol good answer!). She then changes into her full form, and he climbs on her back and they dash off to catch up to the others.

Holo and Norah
Upon arrival, Holo the wolf kicks the shit out of the Remelio men, including Liebert. they leave Norah with the gold taken from Liebert so she can feed the gold to the sheep before she enters Ruvinheigen. Lawrence climbs on Holo again and they run to the city, jumping over the great city walls in the dead of night unnoticed. They find the guy in charge of the Remelio company and force him to accept new terms of a contract where his company would have to pay him compensation in yearly installments.

In the end the gold smuggling goes well, but it leaves Lawrence and Holo financially much the same as they were before their troubles began.

There was no epilogue to Norah though, which was disappointing. this could still be covered in the next issue. After all they did promise to meet once again in a new city.

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This book was excellent. 10-10 again. The pictures were modest and not overused, mostly focusing on key character designs so the visuals could work better whilst reading this book. there were no mistakes in the translation and editing, unlike some other novels I could mention (like Battle Royale from Viz for example).

I have to say though i feel burnt out of reading two Spice and Wolf novels back to back. Im going to take a break with the series and read some Haruhi novels before returning back to the series.

And yes, I have started calling her Holo. not that this really matters.

P.S. Chronologically, the next story to read before diving into volume 3 is 'Wolf and Amber Melancholy' from volume 7 (click here for the link).

 Holo the (sexy) Wisewolf :p