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It’s not easy being a god…seriously!

     Kamichu!- roughly translated this means god who is a middle school student.  It’s also the title of a delightful little anime from Geneon.  The story centers on Yurie Hitotsubashi, a typical junior high student, who wakes up one day to realize that she’s become a god.  It sounds really strange but the story is anything but.  It’s sweet, funny and full of heart.  The animation is gorgeous and the characters, Yurie and her friends from school, are wonderfully real. 

     The artwork as well as the story itself remind me of the works of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.  There is a gentle quality to the anime that warms the heart.  Yurie herself is a shy, adorable young girl.  Her best friend Mitsue Shijo is a practical, down to earth girl that always seems to have the best advice for Yurie.  Matsuri Saegusa befriends Yurie once she learns of her new god-like powers.  She and her sister run a Shinto shrine in their hometown.  Her sister, Miko Saegusa, a shrine maiden, is the only one other than Yurie who can see spirits and other gods.

      With the help of her friends, she slowly learns to deal with her new god-like abilities as the story progresses.  She also struggles with more everyday problems that often plague teenagers.  She has a crush on Kenji Ninomiya, the president of their school’s calligraphy club. The problem is that he doesn’t know Yurie’s alive, at least not at first.  Other characters include Yashima, the local deity at Matsuri and Miko’s family shrine.  He helps Yurie adjust to becoming a god while secretly longing to be a rock star himself.  All of the characters are endearing in their own way.  You’ll find yourself being drawn into their simple yet inviting world as you watch.  Kamichu! is one of those rare animes that slip into your heart and win you over without trying.  I strongly recommend this anime to fans of all ages.  It is truly a treasure. 

Kamichu Yurie with her friends Matsuri and Mitsue

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Posted by rinda on Jun 25th 2008 | Filed in Anime,Books,Manga,Movies | Comments (0)

Bleach-ing Out My Writing

     First off, I feel that I must apologize for my absence. I’ve been happily exploring the world of fanfiction, specifically Bleach fanfics. I’ve posted a few of my works and it’s gone surprisingly well. The world didn’t end. I didn’t get crushed by flamers. And I’ve actually gotten better at taking constructive criticism. But honestly, the best part about it…I love it! I’ve always enjoyed the writing. But I’ve come to realize that I enjoy the feedback from the other fans as well. It is so cool to share my writing with other Bleach fans who appreciate and love the characters as I do. It truly is a great feeling.

Young Kenpachi
Come on! Read the damn story.

     I haven’t stopped writing my own original work either. In a strange way, the fanfic writing helps me. I’m able to exorcise avenues and themes that I really don’t want to put in my original writing but eat at me. They’re just very different but seem to feed off of each other.

     So, if you’re interested…you can check out some of my Bleach fanfiction here at Fanfiction.net. As far as my original work, you’ll have to wait a little longer for that.

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Posted by rinda on Apr 15th 2008 | Filed in Anime,Books,Fanfiction,Manga | Comments (0)

BLEACH is Back

     This Saturday, March 1, marks the return of the English dubbed episodes of the incredibly wonderful anime BLEACH to Adult Swim.  As a huge fan of BLEACH, both the manga and the anime, this is a big deal for me.  I’ve seen the anime in both the original Japanese (with English subtitles) as well as the English dub version.  I think the dub for BLEACH is great.  The voice acting is top notch and it really seems like they tried to match the English voices to their Japanese counterparts. If you’re not a fan of Bleach or have never seen the series, this is a great time to start.

Bleach Group Pic 2
Ichigo Kurosaki and Friends

      BLEACH is an action oriented, Shonen style anime.  It tells the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, a 15 year old high school student, who has the ability to see ghosts and spirits.  After a run-in with a shinigami (or Soul Reaper in the English version) he discovers the true depth of his abilities and a world that he never knew existed.  It’s a fast paced story full of humor and drama.  The characters are well-developed and multi-dimensional.  They quickly become your friends.  That’s the kind of story BLEACH is.  It truly pulls you in.  

      BLEACH began as a manga written by Tite Kubo for Shonen Jump.  It was adapted into an anime and has become a huge hit worldwide.  The art work is wonderful.  The characters are realistic, hilarious and very dangerous.  The story telling is some of the finest you’re going to find out there.  It’s both epic and highly personal.  I can’t say enough good things about BLEACH.  If you’re familiar with the manga or the anime, I hope you will be there with me on Saturday night as the new episodes return to American airwaves.  If you’re new to the story, give it a chance.  It will surprise you!

Original BLEACH Adult Swim Promo

Japanese Promo for BLEACH

Meet Orihime Inoue on Adult Swim

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Posted by rinda on Feb 28th 2008 | Filed in Anime,Books,Manga,Movies,TV,Videos | Comments (0)

Toys, Manga and Who Knows What Else You’ll Find in the FanaticSpace!

    
     I really don’t know the proper web etiquette about pimping websites so screw it!  I’m just going to do what I want!  What I want is to talk to you about a wonderful website called FanaticSpace.  It’s a fantastic mix of all things cool!  This is one of my favorite sites and it’s devoted to the weird stuff that we all love…anime, manga, movies, games, books, television, and music…to name just a very few of the things discussed here. 

      The website is more than just a generic, run of the mill blog.  2xKnight (AKA Jason) writes about the stuff that most blogs ignore.  His site was recently involved in the online blog tour to promote Kaza Kingsley’s Erec Rex book series.  He also encourages guest writers on the site.  Finally, he’s always giving free stuff away!  He’s currently in the process of giving away a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com.  Do you know how much manga $50 will buy?  It boggles the mind! 

      The forum at Fanatic Space is ubercool!  But it needs people!  I’m not much of a forum girl, myself, but this one is geared to your whatever your personal favorite source of entertainment is.  The problem is the forum needs YOU!  It needs people and their voices.  I need you there so that I have someone to talk to!  It’s a great place to rave about the stuff you love or maybe discover something entirely new or bitch about what you hate.  You really need to express yourself and this is definitely the place to do it!

      So, check out FanaticSpace, especially the forum.  You might even catch me there!  It’s worth the trip!

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Posted by rinda on Feb 5th 2008 | Filed in Anime,Books,Comics,Conventions,Fantasy,Games,Manga,Movies,Music,SciFi,TV,Videos | Comments (2)

Manga…the American wasteland

    Today I heard the news over at AnimeFansOnline.com that Newtype USA will end publication of it’s magazine. It’s replacing it with a magazine called PiQ.  This new magazine will “cover anime, manga, video games and other aspects of pop culture of keen interests to you.” according to an email being sent to current Newtype USA subscribers.  This started me thinking about the steadily shrinking number of manga magazines available to us readers in the US.  I personally love Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat.  You can’t beat either of them for the amount of quality manga you get for the price.  But they can be hard to find if you don’t live near a larger city.  There’s also Otaku USA, which includes monthly reviews of new releases as well an in issue manga.  But other than that, there really isn’t much anymore.  Luckily, the availablity of English manga books has dramatically increased in the last few years. 

Kenpachi Zaraki Bleach Manga

Captain Kenpachi Zaraki of Bleach Rocks!

      I’ve become a big fan of manga in past couple of years.  Anime is great but there is something appealing about the medium of manga.  Although most popular anime either started as a manga or has been translated to a manga, there are usually subtle differences.  Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.  It’s a very objective thing.  The differences in art and storyline generally work for me.  But it depends on the manga.  Some of my personal favorites are Fruits Basket, Genshiken, Ultra Maniac and Bleach.

      A lot of people in this country dismiss manga as comic books.  Those are fighting words to me for two reasons.  The first is that I love comics.  I grew up with comic books.  The combination of visuals and the written word holds a special place in my heart.  The second reason is that manga may look like a comic, they are usually very different.  Most read more like lite novels.  Some are direct translations of their anime counterparts.  The genres are as varied as animes.  While they may look similar, most are unique and deserve a look. 

      To the newcomer, how to read a manga can be intimidating.  They don’t read like western books, from left to right.  But rather from right to left.  They also usually read from back to front.  Once you get the hang of it, it flows pretty well.  Here’s a little guide to help you figure out how to read your first one…

Manga Reading Direction

      I strongly recommend manga to all anime fans.  They’re portable, convenient and just as fun as your favorite anime.  Often times, the stories will be extended beyond the limits of the anime or provide a more in-depth storyline.  So check it out.  And support your favorite manga!  Otherwise, I fear that it will go the way of the dinosaur in this country.

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Posted by rinda on Jan 11th 2008 | Filed in Anime,Books,Comics,Manga | Comments (2)

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years to everyone!  Thank you to those of you who read my blog last year, and a bigger thanks to those of you who continue to read it despite my lack of new posts!  You’re all wonderful!  I hope that the coming year will be full of new and exciting things for me to share with you like new music,  new anime, new manga….just new and wonderful things!  And I hope that it brings all those good things to you and yours!  Happy New Years to all!

I just found out that it was the year of the Rat (well, not quite yet but since I’m in the New Year spirit!).  So to celebrate, I bring you my favorite rat….Yuki from Fruits Basket!  Enjoy!

Yuki Soma
Yuki Sohma - A New  Prince For a New Year!

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Posted by rinda on Jan 1st 2008 | Filed in Anime,Books,Conventions,Fantasy,Food,Games,Manga,Movies,Music,SciFi,TV,Videos | Comments (2)

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