June 2006


Per request, for those looking for the Ergo Proxy – 16 torrent, click here.

I’ve been posting only summaries and information lately on the anime I constantly blog or love, and haven’t gone much to blogging about anime itself. First off, classes have started, and I’m pretty much forced to cut down on my anime viewing (as if I’d do that), but really, me-time has been replaced with going to school; I have nothing against that, really, because I promised myself that I’d get rich and purchase the best and biggest HDs, fastest RAM, speediest and most consistent T3 connections … all for anime. School isn’t so bad when you have a goal like that. Meh.

Anyway, Honey and Clover II is premiering tomorrow; being the rabid fanboy, I’m hoping for a blow-away first episode. Gack. I’m seeing myself as far from the capabilities of bloggers who blog about memes (!) and stuff in anime-dom I barely know about. (I’m serious. I don’t know much about anime-dom, and just a few days ago I didn’t know Akitaro Daichi, who was the director of Fruits Basket [as if I cared XD].)

I admit, I’m not as into what’s behind the anime as to the anime itself. I don’t go into who produces this, who animates this or who directs this: I simply watch the anime itself. If anything, the anime tells everything. I wouldn’t even mind if it was animated by J.C. Staff or BONES; being human, BONES makes mistakes, just not as much as J.C. Staff, perhaps. But what I’m trying to get to here is that it’s pointless to compare animation studios or directors or whatnot, because even directors like Spielberg directed ET. (I mean, ET, come on. lol, jk)

I’m all into comparing anime – I’m going to compare Ergo Proxy and Honey and Clover and say Honey and Clover’s better, and I’ve gotten into more than a little trouble with that. Thing is, although a lot invoke the apples and oranges argument, as long as they belong to the same medium, anime, they’re all fair game to me as long as I’m comparing them to some general criteria like plot, for example. I’d probably give as much of a 10 to Ghost in the Shell as to Honey and Clover for their plot because both appealed to my senses, were sensible, and weren’t dragging or boring. That doesn’t have to make them similar, just comparable. With this I compare a whole lot of anime and stack them all against each other. As long as they’re anime, they’re fair game to me and some will be near the top and some will fall rock bottom.

Comparing the people or animation studios behind the anime is a waste of time to me, however. But it’s always worth a look: you’d probably watch something to do with Shinichiro Watanabe, even if it was only scriptchecking than this Ruuxvucxva SA(Faufa who directed some obscure anime. People also can’t be as consistent as anime.

I mean, once an anime is there, it’s there forever. It can’t be changed (unless cleaned up in DVD releases), but people can change. How would one know if it was only a fluke, or everything having gone well for the one-time director or writer?

Darn. I got to get some sleep. Ciao.

Anyway, I'm sorry if there are no screenshots – basically, I couldn't take them because I didn't see the video decoder for ffdshow in the system tray which allows me to take those. It's perhaps because it's an MKV, I don't know. I'm really sorry, guys. I hope you enjoy the summary. This episode chronicles the quotidian things Real does.

Real wakes up at 8:00 in the morning, beautifies herself up, flosses her teeth, and walks around with Pino, getting some supplies. Pino, like the child she is, dances around and gambols in the snow. As Real writes in her journal, Vincent dreams of Real: he utters her name. Pino calls Vincent, and fools Vincent for a while because she wore Real's make-up.

Vincent wakes up. He then bumps his head into the low ceiling, and Real writes unacceptable, only to be mimicked by Pino. Vincent greets a good morning to Real; afterwards, out in the deck of the ship, Real pushes Vincent down the snow. She then writes about Vincent being left-handed.

She exercises in the CR, and later on scolds Vincent as Pino plays her recorder. She and Pino then play catch with a ball. After some time, she gets bored and stops playing.

She doesn't know how to cook at all. Even if it was only some spaghetti, she lets the boiling water overflow and drops the packet of spaghetti. She also has problems with a pimple.

Pino knows more about food preparation than her; she doesn't even know how to open canned goods or to slice bread properly. Real keeps on exercising – her lifestyle is indeed boring, but unlike Pino and Vincent who try to glean something out of it, she remains something caustic and irritating.

These images repeat again and again.

Later, Vincent and Pino play by using cans to walk on snow. Still later, Pino plays with Real's make-up and looks like a gaudy clown. She invites Vincent to play with her as he cleans up Real's mess with the spaghetti. Vincent somewhat accedes, and Vincent doesn't look too bad as a girl (really). He even tries to even out the make-up on his face when Real arrives. He breaks some of her make-up accessories as he hits the low ceiling again. Real, irate, closes the door on them both and Vincent tries to follow Real to ask for forgiveness. Although she was only beside the ship, he doesn't see her and even ventures somewhat far from the ship to try and find her.

Real scolds Vincent again in the dining table.

The scene changes. Pino, outside, mimics Real's putting on of her make-up. She looks like an Adachi character here (no joke), especially with the eyes, as Real looks curiously on. She even mimics Real's surprise at seeing a pimple on her face.

Snow arrives, and Real doesn't seem too happy being stuck with it. Whereas Vincent and Pino have fun in it (Pino even tries to wake Real up), Real stays in bed looking constipated. After some time Real hears Vincent shouting vulgar words at the wind, taunting it. Real doesn't join in, thinking it to be a joke.

The snow prevents them from leaving the place, and although Pino and Vincent still live it up and remain content, Real looks like shit. One time, Real sleeps with Pino, away from her bed, and to surprise her, Vincent and Pino stop the alarm clock from running at 8 am. Real wakes up, later on, and sees Pino and Vincent preparing their food.

Real writes pointless entries in her journal; as her candle was nearly consumed, she calls Vincent to ask for another one. Vincent was about to light that candle when Real grabs Vincent's face and draws it near her. Vincent, surprised and excited, does not know what to do, that is, until Real plucks off one of Vincent's facial hairs. (And here I thought there was going to be some 'action', really.)

An aurora appears; Pino launches a snowball that hits Vincent's face directly. Real does what Vincent did before: she called the wind vulgar names, taunting it. It works.

IMPRESSIONS:

I don't know what to make of this. This, for the most part, has been a character-development episode, mainly that of Real. Despite her cold facade, once again, we know that she's human, prone to whims, sadness, happiness, madness. She also seems to have warmed up to Pino and Vincent despite what she thinks of them. Nothing has moved forward in terms of story, but perhaps we'll know from this episode why Real will act as such in the following episodes.

    I've been spoiling myself terribly these past few days just to have more of my Honey and Clover fix. I won't spoil you, but give some tidbits of information I've obtained from different sources.

    OP: "Fugainaiya (ふがいないや)" by YUKI
    ED: "Split (スプリット)" by SuneoHair

    Yes, those are the same guys who brought us our OP and ED of season one, so at the least we can expect similar music. I wonder how Split can top Waltz, however – I really do think Waltz is among the best anime songs of all time.

    Next, there will be NO more third season of Honey and Clover; everything will practically end on this season. Things, then, to look up to:

  • There will probably be a LOT more resolution than the first season.

  • If my guess will be right, two out of four among the main male characters (Shuuji, Takemoto, Morita and Mayama) will have partners. I won't tell you who, but some will end up empty-handed.

  • Things will not go as your typical romance anime. Realism in this anime series is so vivid that not everybody will end up happy. The twists will also be unexpected; I was like whoa! when I discovered that the relationship nearest to being set-in-stone was also the one that I had expected least. No, seriously.

  • There are only 13 episodes. This is confirmed.

  • Solar Fansubs confirmed that they will sub this series, and we all know how good Solar is.

    It will air at June 29 in Japan, though I'm not so sure about the time. If Solar gives priority to subbing H&C, the first subbed episode will probably appear three to four days afterwards. I will blog this series.

I'm a total Honey and Clover fanatic. If it means anything, I slept at an average of four hours for this week amidst a heavy semester just to watch an episode of H&C everyday. I think it's among the greatest anime of all time with its beautiful cocktail of human nature, goodness, emotions, and bittersweet relationships that only Shingetsutan Tsukihime could perhaps only par with. I've been told off by some people because I'm TOO rabid a fanboy. I, however, disagree with them – H&C still has its flaws despite it being among the greatest anime I've seen. However, I feel that there only has one big flaw that lessened the enjoyment of Honey and Clover, and that was changing the ED from Waltz to Mistake.

It was their biggest mistake. 'Mistake' just didn't deliver with its rock-ballady tones compared to the placidly plaintive 'Waltz,' and for me, the lyrics also didn't compare because Waltz was simply more symbolic than mistake. Seriously, I cried at ep6 and ep24 simply because Waltz was so well-ingrained into the scene that it conveys and paints it so beautifully to the viewer. This has not been achieved with 'Mistake,' even for heavy episodes like ep15 and ep16. Using 'Mistake' instead of sticking to 'Waltz' definitely detracted enjoyment of the show. It's because rock isn't a suitable genre, really, to use in an anime like this. Simpler ballads that are 'pop'-ish, or soulful deliver the message better, because this anime presents bittersweet experiences of a group of friends as they grow and improve and develop in life. Soul music tends to present this emotion better, and mixes better with the show as a whole, as one can observe.

I'd personally have enjoyed the heavier episodes more if I heard Waltz playing at the end rather than Mistake. I hope they don't make the same mistake again.

I’m using the Connections theme because it’s the only one that gives me some leeway to be free with what image header I like. Though it’s quite limited, I’m thankful that I can use images other than the ones bundled with the theme itself. Now that I look at it, it isn’t so bad – and Rika’s always good!

It still looks clean and neat as a theme, so unless all the other themes possess the ability to upload custom images, I think I’m going to stick with this for now. I ask pardon for the pixelation – the custom image header ability is very limited – I can only crop a specific part of the image, and I guess they don’t take account for the pixelation.

Anyway, I hope you still enjoy my site. Unless someone can give a better H&C picture that won’t pixelate when I place it as my header, I’ll stick to Rika-san temporarily. 😉

Enjoy.

I replied to a post made by Kaoru Chujo in AnimeSuki on Rika and Mayama. I thought this was blog-worthy, and seeing that I was the one who wrote it anyway, thought that there’s no harm in posting it. Perhaps this explains why I like Mayama a lot as a person, and why I hope for a RikaxMayama pairing at the end of it all.

You forgot that on that dark night in Rika’s life where she felt there was no more hope, it was Mayama that stayed with her on her bedside, watching the moon and understanding totally how she feels. In a state deeper than trenches, he was the one who was there, who held her hand, who comforted her (he did not sleep!). He also realized he was far away from getting her, and that was why he watched the bright moon in the night sky. To an extent, Rika reciprocated all that he has done for her with a kiss (and perhaps something more) as shown in the anime. Mayama still knew his place, however, and did not do anything more than to be a great worker and be subservient to Rika – to the extent of literally taking care of her.

I do think that being a diligent worker was not the primary reason why Rika couldn’t let go of Mayama. I think your ‘intimacy breeds intimacy’ hypothesis is among the towering reasons why she couldn’t let go. Shuuji moved away from Rika at that time; he realized that he couldn’t get close, but did nothing about it just as he had done all his life. He often made the third choice (as he has stated in ep17, I think), and although he has grown to be a person that one could depend on is still very lonely as one. Mayama’s the guy that despite being taken as uncool or obnoxious (ep6) will do his best despite all innumerable setbacks and obstacles in his way. I also admire him as a person that could rein in his emotions of love and obsession (often burning passions) to a person who’s physically and psychologically weak – if he were any other self-serving male, he’d have forced himself into Rika, but he didn’t do this – he waited.

Rika also realizes that it isn’t Mayama’s fault, but hers – her inability to reciprocate for the first season, that is. Reading those wonderful spoilers, I’d love to ponder on how they’re going to animate that relationship that’s almost set in stone later on …

Too blinded with her husband’s death, as we are oftentimes in the face of great adversity, she failed to see the beauty and nobility of Mayama’s actions. Time passes, however, and wounds are healed. Then one realizes one has to move on, which I’d say Mayama has been championing the cause of for Rika. How he did that was a simply beautiful read: I’d probably cry if it looked even better animated. After one frees himself from the blindness, however, one can look at the people nearby who one has been with all the way, even in the ebb points of his life. For Rika, it has been Shuuji and Mayama, but because both Rika and Shuuji have realized the impossibility of being together as the shadow of Harada always hung upon them, there’s always Mayama. I won’t detract anything from Mayama, however, because he’s among the male leads in an anime that is far away from idiocy; he’s persevering, diligent, loving and caring for his friends … that’s why I hope for his happy ending.

I still hope for more of a resolution with Honey and Clover, but for the most part, I can simply wow at the advances the characters of Rika and Mayama made. For the most part also, Honey and Clover has already ended. Only Yamada’s life and love story hasn’t been resolved yet, but I hope it will in the future – she’s the only other person aside from Mayama that I’d like to have a totally happy ending.

I love this show.

Yes, I love this show a whole lot. If anything comes near to this, it would be Shingetsutan Tsukihime, which ties with Honey and Clover right now for my favorite anime of all time.

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