Monthly Archives: May 2007

Cherry Blossoms United


This is just a list of really neat things that I’m putting together (with help from many others; you know who you are) that makes Manabi Straight’s ending such an awesome experience. It’s proudly a contender for my Best Ending Evar.

Needless to say, SPOILERS. But such good, warm, fuzzy spoilers.

  • Loli’s in a Mini.
  • The realization that the outfits they wore in the OP are the same as the ones in Mikan’s return, and Mikan’s outfit was the same with her outfit in her dream from episode 7. Plus that the OP actually took place in the show’s continuum!
  • The most awesome and meaningful Victory Pose.
  • The guitar riffing with Mikan’s feet.
  • The guitar riffing + special ED + what happened to everyone afterwards
  • Momoha’s publication.
  • A Happy Life.
  • Mucchi and Mei fussing in traffic on the way to the airport.
  • The scene on board the train; not just Mikan’s tearful reprise, but how it answers the question implied in episode 1.
  • Manabi’s hovercraft.
  • “Sempai” talk.
  • The allegory of a cherry flower in bloom (see picture below–configured like a cherry flower), how in episode 11 (which is where that picture comes from) was the blooming, and episode 12 they part (in which you see plenty of fallen blossom) like cherry blossom in season (see episode title).
  • It’s still extremely cute.
  • A lot of Momoha lines.
  • Merorin Q!
  • Completing the humanist message.
  • Mei and Takako in the credit roll.
  • Tagging up their alma mater.
  • Resolving Mika’s dream in episode 7.
  • :3
  • The sweet sorrow of parting.
  • The clapping.
  • “Do you enjoy your happy life?”

Damn you Funimation, better get on with it!

Feel free to add your own to this list in the comments or anywhere!

Re: Heroic Age 7

I guess this needs a comment.

[your_mom] delivers!

“Did anyone notice DNA‘s ass”? You bet I did. Actually if you paid attention the past 7 episodes you would realize depending on the angle of their butts, definition vary. And this applies indiscriminately to all the characters in the show. Normally I’d chalk it up to cheap production values; after all this is not a show that is suppose to wow you with great animation; it’s by all means pulp space opera. Naturally when you just want to get some character on the screen, you pay attention to their upper body and face, but their lower body is mainly just for walkinglooking like the character is like a human. How do you draw flabby or flat butts anyways? Throw two generic curves in and we’re all set! At least she has correct looking chops in the OP.

Of course, the comment comes in an inopportune time, in my opinion. The end of episode 7 was fairly impressive; unexpectedly finding help in the form of the largest-boobed fleet commander (am I making an accurate statement here?), right after some awesome Iron Tribe fireworks is something refreshing and “yay.” And if you’re like him:

You know where your eyes are pointing at.

Yukana is Love

So I guess it’s only because I’m watching episode seven for the second time that I actually paid DNA’s ass any attention.

Exam Hell – Examining a Perspective Bias

One common element shared by far majority of TV anime is the high school setting. Many of us who watch anime regularly may have long since gotten used to this subtle background fact of life.

Invariably a lot of the material used to make anime are aimed for the adolescent crowd, so high schools are popular settings by extension. But what is high school life like for a Japanese kid? I have no first-person experience, so I can’t say. I imagine for the lot of the non-Asian viewers, that will be the case.

Even if the Japanese education system is a bit of a hybrid between East and West, the focus on entrance exams has long twisted the Japanese education system, on practical grounds, as a means of a guide to some sort of standard of education, a setting of norm. If you did well in school you would have a shot at getting into a good college, and from that a decent job opportunity. If you’re just an egghead, then you will naturally excel in academics and if you end up in academia, all the more better. If you don’t do so well in school, there’s always hard, sweat-of-the-brow work. Or, marriage and home making.

But being an exaggerated means of escapism, anime and manga as I observed it…well, no one likes to be reminded of their day-to-day reality, especially that one big fat exam which torments their collective, uncertain future. Sure, we all can share with living under that sort of stress to some degree, but it’s another story to experience life in a society where that’s everything.

A bit of sharing: at my cram class today the professor decided to do a bit of public service and reminded us the best way to relieve anxiety is to place the impending exam in context: that there is something more important in life than one’s career, or one’s job prospect, or what will happen to us if we fail. Gain an appreciation for life right now; we are probably more fortunate than many others. At the least, not being totally strung out on stress is likely help your exam performance.

But at the same time, this stress is appreciated. It gives you a perspective.

Utopia is where Manabi Straight takes place. It’s a world without that perspective, or I should say, it actually realizes a set of fears many people in Japan should have: that when people graduate, they won’t have jobs; when people graduate, they’ll find themselves holding a depreciated piece of paper because everyone has one; when people graduate, they’ll do the same things people who are younger are doing a better job with, thanks to the future curve; when people graduate, they won’t find a more fulfilling life than before they graduate.

So what does schooling offer them? Why are we spending time milling away when we could be starting our careers today? Just because some people pay you more later on? Perhaps that is counter to the harsh reality of today, but the stress won’t end.

At the end of it all, I guess, the point is that anime is entertainment, but the healing nature of Manabi Straight comes across as the background theme behind all the commotion that we talk about. It’s a calculated effort; a show for freeters and salarymen and just those people struggling with their grinds from one period of their life to the next.

Hosanna – Manabi Straight Version

Taken from this. The below is just something that struck me like a bad AMV idea. I had to get it out of my system. (To be honest this happens on a regular basis and I have a secret stash of things like this somewhere.) [edit: catch the full song on youtube]

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GAR for November

Remember, remember, the 11th of November,
Of smoking, fangirls and GAR.
I see no reason why contractor, so badassed,
Should ever be forgot.

Maybe they’ll commemorate it by drawing mustaches on Hei’s mask.

The fans will totally demand, whine and ask;
For a disappointing turn.
Like ROD’s Joker, in his second task,
No affection was earned.

Or I think?