kristensk: Blue Exorcist - unsheathing sword (ane rin unleash)
So, I love the Ao no/Blue Exorcist manga. I really do. I love the main cast and how they interact, I love the way the story has developed everyone, and I even love Kato's tendency to subvert all expectations. But, I've got to say: the current arc is leaving me a little adrift.

Manga Spoilers Ahoy! )
kristensk: Blue Exorcist - unsheathing sword (ane rin unleash)
And, now for some slightly belated fangirling over things I've watched recently:

How can there be only two episodes of Ao no/Blue Exorcist's Kyoto Saga left?! Nooooo! I don't want it to be over yet. It's been such an incredible ride. I loved this arc in the manga, and I love it even more animated.

The last few episodes in particular have been amazing. And, not just because they touched on favorite moments like Yukio's brief display of demon powers and Rin and Suguro cementing their Vitriolic Best Buds status before Rin finally unlocked his sword and awesome happened. (Though those were a treat. Seriously, there's so much win right here.) But, even moments that never really stood out for me in the manga have been given new life through the voice-acting, the music, and the fantastic animation. Toudo dueling Juuzou's squad is a special highlight. That glorious full-body fight animation!

Please, please let this season be a hit so we can get more!

And, in a complete change of pace, I've been re-watching SWAT Kats with [livejournal.com profile] mintysage. Not all of my old favorites have stood the test of time, but SWAT Kats does. Maybe some of the first season animation is a little... off, but then episodes like "The PastMaster Always Rings Twice" and "Night of the Dark Kat" make up for it. Storywise, each episode still sucks me right in, and it's fun to see it all over again with fresh eyes after putting it away for a few years.
kristensk: smirk (ane rin smirk)
The animated Kyoto/Impure King Arc has started, and it's amazing! Okay, so it's a slow start, but it's nice to see that, with only twelve episodes, they're not rushing. Episode 2 was nothing but character establishment and development, and it gave me all the feels. Special love for the hilarity of Rin's drunken conversation with a panicked Shima.

Also, I can't help wondering if even the official subtitlers are making jokes about how Takara is always just there without contributing anything. (At least, not until much later anyway.) Because when Shura divides the kids up in episode 2, she clearly says his name... but it's not in the subtitles. I laughed at that probably more than I should have.

Simultaneously, the manga has been dropping bombshell after bombshell about the Order's past activities and the origins of the demon kings... while dropping only hints toward the answers we're all waiting for regarding the Okumura twins' birth. Evil, clever Kato.

Spoilery comments behind the cut )

And, all the AnE joy lately has inspired icons:

kristensk: smirk (ane rin smirk)
After peeking at the raw/untranslated version of Ao no/Blue Exorcist Chapter 77, I couldn't help cackling. It's like the story's come full circle back to the brothers' first mission together. And, Rin still isn't fond of Yukio's tactics ;)

My spoilertastic thoughts on the translated chapter are behind the cut. )

And, while I'm fangirling, Shonen Jump posted an epic AnE cosplay with a pair of real life twins. They even have an adorable little black and white cat!

As is obvious, yes, I'm not dead. Life has just been a bit weird lately. But, I have made a few scrap posts as well as posting the proper opening to my FMA/AnE Fusionverse over on Mindtwins.
kristensk: Blue Exorcist - Shiro (ane shiro)
First, a fanfic recommendation for catastrophechao's excellent Yukio introspection, Lists. In which Yukio tries to define himself, and the author succeeds. It's well-written and poignant.

And then, some gabble about the latest Ao no/Blue Exorcist chapters.

Rampant Spoilers Behind the Cut! )
kristensk: smirk (ane rin smirk)
So, chapter 58 of "Blue Exorcist" finally arrived, and, regarding Rin and the zombies, I would just like to say: I called it!.

And, since I haven't actually spoken about the ongoing manga in ages, here's a smattering of impressions under the cut:

Mind the Spoilers )
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
The SWAT Kats Fanfiction Archive has been pretty active lately. This month, there's the start of a new story, plus updates for two more older ones. It's always nice to be able to check a story "in-progress" instead of "unfinished".

And, my bit of squee is the very belated realization that a new, stand-alone chapter of Inuyasha (often listed as chapter 559) was published last year. Apparently, it was made as part of a project called "Hero's Comeback" where the publisher releases new content from various retired series. I approve of this idea!

The chapter was a lot of fun. Nothing mind-blowing being just a short adventure, but it was great to see old favorites again. Especially since Takahashi worked in a moment for everyone. The best parts were definitely Kohaku's reaction when Sango handed off babysitting duties so she could join the fight, Sesshoumaru wordlessly showing up to protect Rin... while ignoring everyone else, and Kaede getting to show off her skills.

(Now, if Takahashi could have just left out the tired old "joke" of Inuyasha and Kagome fighting over something related to Kikyou. Kikyou's dead twice over, and the gag needs to die with her.)

Also, it's somewhat weird to me that I now have a "Rin" in two fandoms... and one's a little girl while the other is a teenage boy.
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
A couple weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] seekersks brought over the second and third Bleach movies ("The Diamond Dust Rebellion" and "Fade to Black" respectively) for us to watch. I've fallen way behind on the Bleach anime, but the movies reminded me of everything I love about the series. Then, last night, I went to catch up on the manga, which I was about a month behind in.

Cut for spoilers and much fangirl meltdown... of the unhappy kind... )
kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
So, yeah... Fullmetal Alchemist is over. Well, there are still three (with rumors about four!) more episodes of the Brotherhood anime to go, and I trust they will be sufficiently awesome, but... Yeah, it's over. And, Inuyasha is over. *cry* All my favorites at once! Still... the end was amazing. Well worth the ride. More, less coherent commentary is behind the cut:

Obvious Warning for Spoilers and Abuse of the Word Awesome )

And, yes, [livejournal.com profile] mintysage and I have decided that "We Found What We Were Looking For" by Bryan Adams is our personal ending theme for FMA.
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
Blargh! I've spent the last few days half out of it thanks to allergies and such, but I think I'm finally winning. That or there's a lull in the pollen. But, I can work with that!

The allergy energy drain has made for very unproductive days, but I have gotten some sketching done. Mostly attempting to illustrate this little scene from [livejournal.com profile] jordannamorgan's fanfic Family. Please, please feel free to point out all eleventy billion things wrong with it. Al is slowly driving me to distraction since I know there's something wrong, just not exactly what. And, something weird is going on with the angles of Ed's book, but I can probably badger someone into holding a book for me.

And, of course, I finished "Inuyasha: The Final Act". And, the finale was everything I wanted. More fangirl babble behind the cut... )
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
Pride!Ed = REJECTED by Arakawa for the win!

And, the rest of chapter 106 looked pretty awesome too, but I'll withhold further comments until it's actually been translated.
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
Ah, it's that time again. [livejournal.com profile] seekersks and I have once again signed up for Otakon! Sadly, this year it's at the end of July, which means waiting to pick up our badges on Thursday afternoon will probably be like standing inside an oven. Ah, well. As is the norm for this early in the game, there aren't a lot of guests or events officially announced just yet. But, I see that "Jordanna's Ed", Vic Mignogna, is already on the guest list. Shame there's nothing in the FMA:B soundtrack to cajole him into singing (and why couldn't "Bratja/Brothers" be re-used in FMA:B? Or a new ballad for the brothers?). But, maybe he'll have some funny stories from the recording process.

In other fangirly news, FMA:B is moving into the final battle. Episode 50 just made me want to stand up and cheer as some familiar faces showed up again after a long absence and we began the prelude to some really awesome action. Yes, I know from the manga things are going to go south soon, but the tide is already turning in the most recent manga chapter, so I'm just going to enjoy the ride.

And, my plans for tonight are to sit down with the final three episodes of Inuyasha. Yes, I stopped watching it weekly so I could see the end all at once. "Final Act" has improved in leaps and bounds since its rocky beginning, so I expect to be a very happy fangirl by the end. But, a sad one too. Because this is it. The manga has ended, now the anime adaptation will have ended. ::sniffle:: No more Inuyasha. Hmm... I wonder if they've considered doing another movie. ....What? The fangirl needs more of her fix.
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
Website Updates: ARGH! I was supposed to post this here weeks ago and kept alternately forgetting or putting it off. At any rate, the SWAT Kats Fanfiction Archive was updated back on the 8th.

Fangirling: --Warning - Spoilers-- Well, my initial disappointment with "Inuyasha: The Final Act" has faded. It took the series several episodes, but it finally hit its stride. I'm sad that I'll never see parts of the manga animated (and I liked those sword upgrade chapters too), but the show has developed a good balance between cutting what really didn't significantly advance the plot and giving proper attention to the parts that do. The Shippou episode was as hilarious as I remembered, and this past week's adaptation of Kikyou's death was perfect. I even sniffled. And, kudos to whoever decided to pull out the string arrangement of "Dearest". I was expecting Kikyou's theme, and we got that too, but... "Dearest" makes me sniffle all by itself.

And then, there's "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood", which, as might have been obvious, has me completely hooked. Episodes 19 and 26 were made of absolute win. And, now... Finally! The Briggs arc, one of my favorites from the manga!

Lastly, "Nurarihyon no Mago" gets an anime! I've been following this manga for almost a year now and enjoying it as my "substitute Inuyasha", so I can't wait to see it animated.
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
Well, I saw the first episode of "Inuyasha: The Final Act" tonight... and then I had to go and re-read the twelve chapters worth of the manga that it blitzed through on fast forward. I.... uhm... the animation was nice, and it was great to see everyone again and hear the old, familiar voice cast. But... but... I had little idea what was going on. The story picks up almost immediately where the original series left off (aside from the cutting of one short, self-contained storyline from the manga)... only it does so years after the end of the first series and years after I read the relevant chapters of the manga. A recap would have been nice, but... most of all, I just wished they hadn't put the plot on fast forward.

Maybe next week they'll at least slow down enough that it will make sense and characters won't seem to arbitrarily teleport into the scene as the plot demands and equally arbitrarily change their minds with no explanations. Please? Pretty please with sugar on top?

Ah well... at least it got me re-reading the manga, and the corresponding chapters were wholly enjoyable where the show... wasn't.
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
Wow... It's hard for me to believe that Inuyasha (the manga) has really ended. I don't think I've ever followed anything that managed to last so long. And, I missed the first several years of Inuyasha's run. I just came in in 2001 and had to catch up. Still, it's been a great ride, and I'll miss my weekly Inuyasha fix. Anyways, comments on the finale will be behind the cut. First, in honor of the end of Inuyasha, an Inuyasha sketch post:

Catch - Inuyasha catches Kagome as she trips. Edit: I made some changes to this one and reposted a corrected copy.

Smile - I think this was originally supposed to be another sketch based on "After the Bone Eater's Well" of Six, one of Inuyasha's clones. After all, how often does Inuyasha smile like that? Still, it's cute.

Grip - Inuyasha in modern dress catches himself after being blasted back.

Delivery - From an idea that might eventually become an AU fanfic. Miroku and Sango encounter some trouble while trying to return a lost sword. I like the style I used here, but I can't quite seem to get Sango right.

Inuyasha Finale Comments - May contain some spoilers )
kristensk: bingo! (sk bingo)
Website Updates: I've about got the Fanfic Archive update ready, and I'm hoping to get in an update on my own site soon. I've been revamping parts of my "What's a SWAT Kat?" section since some of it dated back to my first website... including the art. Yikes. The bad! It burns! Oh, and I'm also hoping to get up a new image now that it's time for the summer theme to go.

Fanfiction Review:
Mad World and The Black Plague
Author: Tigerkat
Series: SWAT Kats
Rating: K+/PG for some profanity and violence.
Summaries: [1] An old villain is loose and planning his most devious plot ever. How will the SWAT Kats stop him when another kat is living under their roof? [2] Tai begins his training to be a SWAT Kat and isn't doing well. Meanwhile, the evil Dr. Viper has infected the city's water supply with a horrible virus.

The first two entries in a series, these stories are probably two of the best "third SWAT Kat" stories I've read in years, and I just wanted to comment on them. The author's character, Tai, is really nicely handled. He's a likeable character with no outrageous abilites. (There are hints that he may develop some form of powers in the future, but these at least have been well-grounded in his background, logically explained and are developing slowly. In fact, he shows no extraordinary powers at all in the second story, "Black Plague".) He has a solid, believable background and a tendency to doubt himself that remains lightly handled without ever plunging into the depths of melodramatic angst. And, perhaps most refreshing of all, he actually has to train to be a SWAT Kat. And, as the icing on the cake, the canon characters are all in-character, and the stories feature fully-developed, original villain plots.

This Week's Inuyasha: Chapter 478 is out! And... [livejournal.com profile] mbimomma, I'm starting to think she really might break Tessaiga, possibly for keeps this time. It seems pretty clear certain other characters won't make it through this battle as well, but... I'm getting worried. Since Inuyasha now seems to be fully in control of his youkai blood, it could be reasoned that he doesn't need the Tessaiga anymore. His control is awesome, but... but... *cries* Tessaiga! Don't listen to the fandom, Takahashi! I know I'm like one of the poor sword's only three fans, but still!
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
Webpage Updates: The SWAT Kats Fan Art Page is updated! Now, if I can just continue this mostly on time streak...

Art: And, I went digging through my box of sketches and found some stuff I hadn't scanned as well as a few projects I hope to finish up and scan eventually.
Faces - Several years worth of little face doodles compiled in one image.
Sad Callie - A quick sketch of a rather depressed Callie sitting with her back to the viewer.

Inuyasha Manga Prattle: Wow, Takahashi has really been awesome lately. First, that last arc with Sesshoumaru, which was all kinds of wow. Sesshoumaru is officially back on my good list (at least for now). And, Jaken! My opinion of Jaken has increased so much since he cried over Rin's plight. Crying since Sesshoumaru can't... riiiight. That's kinda endearing too though.

And, this week she's back to the good, old weird-creepy stuff that first hooked me on the series because it reminded me of "The Real Ghostbusters". Yes, I like what I term "weird-creepy", but I don't watch scary movies. Shush.
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
Ahhh... Last week was a good one in fangirl land.

First, last week's Inuyasha manga chapter (465, "Light") was amazing. Sad, sniffle-inducing and amazing. I was expecting it to happen. Just not so soon, with so many things still left to tie up. But, Takahashi certainly hasn't lost her touch. She even managed to swing me back around to being sympathetic toward a character who had mostly lost my sympathy over the last year or two's worth of manga. And... well, it was a beautiful chapter. And, it made me do fanart. That I'm still working on. But, here's a portion of it. Maybe it will speak better than I can as to how the chapter got to me. --Potential spoiler but nothing obvious.

One Cut Spoiler )

And then, on Thursday, I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Great movie. I can't, like [livejournal.com profile] seekersks, say that it was the best movie I've seen all year... since it was the only movie I've seen all year. In the theater anyways. But, it was wholly entertaining, never slow or dull like so many reviews have claimed and easy to understand even though I only saw the first movie once the year it came out. And, I just couldn't resist leaning over to Seek in the middle of the last big fight sequence (on land, with the water wheel and all) and asking, "Hey, I thought we weren't watching "One Piece" tonight?"

Okay, just one more piece of fangirlish prattle and I'm off: Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] ryokometal_75 sent me a link to a video of the Inuyasha live action play. It's in three parts (you have to view the poster's listing to find the other two parts), not subtitled and not complete, but it's still fun to watch. I was pleasantly surprised. And, contrary to what I had heard, it's not a musical. Unless the random rock music that starts blaring during fight scenes constitutes "musical". It is entertaining though. Live Action!Miroku is a little disturbing, but Kagome seems to have him under control with a few well-placed slaps and a kick or two. Live Action!Inuyasha's wig doesn't quite convince me, but his acting is perfect. I didn't realize how much I missed the surly(er) Inuyasha from the early days when his "I don't care" attitude wasn't quite so transparent. (Not that I don't love the person he's evolved into as well.) I especially love how he sits on the sidelines and munches on Kagome's potato chips (or some similar snack) as she and Miroku fight for their lives.

Edit - 8/24/06: The video link no longer works as it has been removed from YouTube for the time being.

*snork!*

Oct. 4th, 2004 12:45 am
kristensk: smile (Default)
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::snickering:: Well, that's going to have me laughing for a bit.

And... Well, I have nothing else to say today really. Seeker captured me this afternoon and forced me to watch the majority of Samurai Deeper Kyo, starting where we left off last week at episode 10 and watching all the way through to the end. It was good. A little confusing in places, but it was a marathon viewing and those always make me a little fuzzy on details for some reason. The series definitely goes on my recommended series list. It ended good and everything, but... in the end... WHICH ONE WAS IT?!!!! ARGH!!! (I assure you, watching the series will explain this reaction.)

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