Day 24 – A BL that made you mad

*breathes in deeply* Today’s title is going to be Hyakujitsu no Bara (百日の薔薇), the anime. Just to make things clear, what I’m about to write next is based solely on the anime adaptation of the manga, as I’ve yet to read it.

I came across a really nice quote (from Maya Angelou I think it was) once, saying something along the lines of: you might not remember the exact words/events/etc., but you will definitely remember how something made you feel. I don’t remember much of what happened over the course of this BL show, but one thing’s for sure – I couldn’t wait to finish it just so I could go on MAL and give it a low rating ><.

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Yes, we have a bit of a Romeo and Juliet thing going on, what with the characters being from two countries that are at war, yet they still love each other; yes, we have guys in uniform parading about, talking about fancy stuff like honour, pride and protecting your country; on the other hand, there’s this guy Klaus who’s basically raping another guy, Taki, for most of the duration of the anime. And I mean he literally leaves Taki bruised and bleeding by the end of it Oo.

I get the appeal of a dominant seme and the intention of adding drama to the story, but that kind of non-con really doesn’t seem alright to me. I don’t usually get upset with things, but this anime definitely made me mad while watching it. I guess the only positive thing about this post is that it was easy for me to pick a title :D:D.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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Day 23 – Favourite type of male

I think I’ll just let some pictures do the talking for today xD.

Long story short, I guess what they all have in common is long-ish hair, they’re quite tall and more on the lean side :D. I’m also a fan of well-defined shoulders and curly hair :D:D. But then again, people who don’t have any of these characteristics might still be attractive depending on what kind of person they are. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that looks only go so far ^^.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 11 ~ Princess Arete ~

アリーテ姫 (Princess Arete) is a 2001 anime film produced by Studio 4°C, based on The Clever Princess story by Diana Coles. Apparently, in Japan, this film is a successful feminist piece. And for good reason. It shows the story of a young princess who doesn’t want to be a princess – pretty cliché, right? Well, there’s no prince to come save/fix/marry/wake her up with a kiss/rape her while she’s sleeping/etc her. No, sir, she saves herself. You might spend half the time you’re watching it wondering what it is about, but it’s worth it even though it’s not your usual fairy tale. I think it’s a bloody good effort and it shows a strong female lead character, which I really liked. Oh yes, yes, indeed, I am a feminist, but not one of those who says guys are always wrong and it’s your fault women don’t have rights, but one of those who wants gender equality – fair stuff for both males and females. I’m rambling again, so do take over.

You’re not rambling; this really has to do with the movie as well ^^. I liked the film a lot. I found myself going all ‘woah, what’s gonna happen next?’ throughout as I never knew what to expect. And even when I thought ‘ok, this is gonna happen now’, it didn’t because Arete changed things; she took matters into her own hands and did what she thought was best for her and those around her.

Yup, I liked that, too. I liked the music, too, actually, it fit both the story and its style. As for the animation, this one, too, reminded me of Ghibli films – relatively simple but expressive. And I think the pacing of the film was ok, too, I mean, you’re not overwhelmed but not bored either, right?

Mhm, the pacing was quite alright and the film does indeed remind of Ghibli productions. I really, really loved how it was able to convey a genuine medieval feel (from the clothes people wore, to the buildings they lived in, to the lack of lighting inside the castle); the OST did a great job of creating this atmosphere and adding to the story as well. Thanks again for suggesting we watch this film, Nikki-chan ^^.

Hehe, anytime.

And that does it for today’s post. Enjoy the trailer below and thanks for stopping by!

MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 10 ~ Hide & Seek ~

Hide & Seek (カクレンボ) is a 25-minute-long anime film directed by Shūhei Morita (森田 修平) and produced by Yamato Works. The story of this anime centres around an unusual game of hide-and-seek called “o-to-ko-yo” (オトコヨ), which can only be played by 7 children at one time, all wearing fox masks. One by one, the children who enter the game disappear. One night Hikora (ヒコラ), a young boy, joins the game in hopes of finding his missing sister Sorincha (ソリンチャ). And this is how our magically creepy anime of the day starts to unfold. How’d you find it?

Short. And sometimes, a bit unclear. And the buildings were ludicrously tall. It was an interesting story, but you can’t figure it out unless you think outside the box. I mean we both thought the demons were a bit too mechanical, didn’t we?

Yes, we did. It kind of bugged me from the start that whenever they moved, they squeaked and creaked all over the place.

Well, apparently, this show aims to promote awareness that Tokyo’s development is putting an end to children’s games, such as, for example, hide and seek. It made a lot more sense after reading this. And I think it’s a nice way – albeit on the slightly horror side – to raise awareness. I liked both the animation and the music, what about you?

Yeah, things made more sense after reading that bit about the city’s development and the sacrifices that come with it. I definitely enjoyed the music as well, and the visuals. I think the ‘demons’ were animated really nicely; I mean, I found them to be genuinely eerie. It might’ve been short, but the film definitely managed to create a really immersive atmosphere.

Yup, it’s really easy to get into it.

So, enjoy the trailer and thanks for reading!

MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 09 ~ Miyori’s Forest ~

Miyori’s Forest (ミヨリの森) is a 2007 anime film produced by Nippon Animation and directed by 山本二三 (Nizō Yamamoto). Miyori is about to become the guardian of a forest she never remembers going into, but this isn’t all. The forest is inhabited by creatures who not only seem to know her since she was a baby, but also know a secret which is crucial for both their survival, and the villagers’. How did you like it?

I quite liked the film. The story is easy to figure out from a certain point onward, but it was fun to discover all the spirits living in Miyori’s forest as well as the village built next to that forest. The film had quite nice visuals as well – some bits reminded me quite a lot of scenes from Studio Ghibli films, like Mononoke Hime. How did you find the film?

Ghibli-ish, indeed. I am a big fan of productions where when someone finds out about spirits or stuff which seems ‘supernatural’ they don’t waste half or worse, three quarters of the series/film to show me the drama, until they finally accept they are what they are. So I think I really liked this film, with regards to this. She took it very well and it might have taken her a while to adapt to living in a village after coming from Tokyo, but I’d say she did well. They created really good characters for this film, I think I liked them all – except for the jerks trying to build a dam and destroy the forest, bloody hunters! I think I’m getting rather fired up again, so do take over.

Well you’ve got a very good reason to be fired up. On the other hand, the jerks were eventually driven away and that was quite satisfactory to watch xD. Although one might say that this film isn’t so much on the ‘magical’ as it is on the ‘supernatural’ side of things, I’d say it was quite enchanting; it shows how much one can accomplish if they only ask for the help of others (be they people or, in this case, spirits).

Hm, it is supernatural, but on the magical side of it, what with the deity of the cherry tree, and the god of wind and stuff like that… I don’t know, I just felt it was a magical experience more than just a supernatural one, but that’s just me.

And on this note, we’ll leave with the trailer (albeit a very short one). Thanks for reading!

MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 08 ~ まほうつかいじじぃ ~

For today we bring you まほうつかいじじぃ (Mahōtsukai Jijii), a short anime film directed by Junichi Yamamoto (山元隼一) and produced by Ryōichi Mori (森りょういち). It was made as part of a project that aimed to promote the relationship between old and young people. This anime is a sort of small, concentrated dose of magic that will definitely bring a smile on your face. I’d say this makes it quite a good anime to start the New Year with, don’t you think? 🙂

I agree. This is a story about how we should hold on to and follow our dreams. The protagonist recalls going to kindergarten, and being profoundly impressed by an old man who made everything seem like magic (for example, painting). Having a life full of responsibilities as an adult, and a job he doesn’t particularly enjoy doing, the protagonist decides to use the image of the old man as encouragement, inspiration and strength and changes his own life. I’d say they managed to convey the message they meant to: as big a gap as there is between the young and the old generations, it’s important to cherish them [the elderly], and spend time with and learn from them, even though we seem to be growing ever so impatient and think they’re just old fashioned. I believe there’s a leaf to take out of everyone’s book.

Woah, that’s really nicely put Nikki-chan ^^. I also thought that alongside the project’s message the anime also focused on the need to follow one’s dreams, and I really enjoyed seeing how the old man was a constant source of inspiration and strength for our protagonist. The film’s soundtrack basically consists of one song which, for me at least, made the visuals even more enjoyable and lively.

Yeah, I liked the song and the simple animation, too (you can find the lyrics here). And instead of leaving you with a trailer, you can actually watch the whole little thing down below, as it’s just under 7 minutes.

As always, thank you for stopping by and we wish you a Happy New Year!

MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 07 ~ Rainbow-Coloured Fireflies: The Eternal Summer Vacation ~

We kept a very special film to share today, on the last day of 2015. Rainbow-Coloured Fireflies: The Eternal Summer Vacation (虹色ほたる~永遠の夏休み~) is an anime film directed by Kōnosuke Uda (宇田 鋼之介) and produced by Toei Animation. It shows the story of a boy, Yūta (ユウタ), who goes looking for beetles on a hot summer day. But he’s not looking just anywhere for them; he went to the place where he and his late father used to go. A storm breaks out and he falls off the dam; however, an old man he’d given water to earlier, tells him he’ll bring him back, but the process might take a while. Thus, Yūta is sent 30 years back into the past, to the village that used to exist there at the time. He quickly makes friends with Saeko (さえ子) and Kenzō (ケンゾー), and before they know it, summer comes to an end and they have to say their goodbyes. However…whoa, wait! You go watch the film, there’s more to it than what I’ve said above; in fact, that just scratched the surface. Wouldn’t you say so, Moro-chan?

I would indeed say so, Nikki-chan ^^. I really enjoyed the film and its ability to use a magical occurrence in order to bring into discussion some very real, and I dare say universal, experiences. I guess it’s ironic that we’re talking about a very summer-infused story in the middle of winter and during Christmas time, but it still works. For me at least, the story’s about wanting to hold on to what is dear to you (hence the ‘eternal summer vacation’ part?), and that’s something people want to do regardless of the time of year. I feel like I’m getting off track here. What did you think of it kiddo? 🙂

I think…I think I really liked the fireflies, hehe! On a more serious note, I agree, the story is about holding on to what you cherish the most, as well as being able to move on from the past, and keeping promises. I think it was quite a moving film for me; I liked the story a lot. I also liked the music. As for the art and animation, I think it reminded me a lot of Ghibli films.

Oh yes, the fireflies were definitely amazing! The music fit the story really well too, and it was interesting to see how the creators played with the animation style. I also really loved the ending of the film – how it shows that what we cherish the most stays with us throughout our lives, even if we we’re ‘supposed to forget’ things along the way. This is definitely a very touching story that everyone should watch.

Yup, yup! So, what are you guys out there waiting for?? Go get a hot cuppa, get cosy, and watch this wonderful story!

Well, if what we said above wasn’t enough, here, have a little taste with the trailer: Thanks for reading! Oh, oh, and a Happy New Year to everyone!

MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 06 ~ Santa Company ~

Today’s anime, サンタ・カンパニー, was directed by Kenji Itoso (糸曽賢志) and produced by Nexus. This short film is about a trainee Tonttu, named Noel, who works in the Santa Company’s Gift Department.

One Christmas Eve, a child’s letter arrives in after all the Santas had departed; Noel and her friends (Mint, Bell, and Thomas) decide to deliver the gift even though they weren’t supposed to do that. During this journey, Noel learns what the most important thing is for Santa. So, what are your thoughts on it?

I quite liked the whole ‘finding out for yourself what the most important thing for a Santa is’ aspect of the story. I think it’s a nice way of reminding people what Christmas should really be about. I felt like they could’ve dedicated a bit of time to explaining some of the terms the story introduced (e.g., ‘Tonttu’ or ‘Mukku’), but at the end of the day that didn’t stop me from enjoying the story. What did you think of it?

Nah, for starters, I disagree with allocating more time to explaining terms. I mean, considering the length of the film, I think it was pretty well paced, and there was enough screen time for both characters and plot. It wouldn’t have been like this if they had started explaining the new terms. Everybody can realise what they refer to, and even if one doesn’t, it doesn’t matter, because whether or not one knows what those words mean, won’t have an impact on whether they love the film or not. As for the story as a whole, I really liked it. It’s a very short story where you do get a little character development and the plot is quite ok – I think it’s exactly the fact that it’s not over-complicated that allows it to deliver the message it was meant to: what is Christmas meant to do? What does Santa consider the most important aspect of his job? The shopkeeper said that the answer varies as each individual is unique, but its core is the same for everyone.

I don’t think the explaining would’ve taken that long, but I can definitely see how going with the flow of the story works for this particular case. Indeed, it’s not a big deal and doesn’t distract from the overall enjoyment of the anime. This was just something that crossed my mind as I was watching it and made me think that there might be more to the story than just the anime itself. That aside, I really liked the way in which one got ‘promoted’ to the position of Tonttu. While each apprentice had to find the answer to the question (similar to an exam), its discovery was left entirely up to said apprentice and, like you said, there is no set answer; this makes the whole experience all the more meaningful and profound once the apprentice actually finds their own answer. This is definitely a film for everyone to watch and be reminded of what Christmas is really about.

To be honest, yeah, one does get the feeling that there’s more to the story; I’d no idea that there was a novel and this anime was its sequel. I think I’d like to read it, as it’s a nice little story. On another note, the visuals were really nice, right?

Yupyup. And I dare say we both loved how they designed Rudolph III as well, huh? 😀

Yeah, I liked his personality even more, though. Aside from these, I don’t know why this short is underrated; I mean, it didn’t make me believe in Santa again, but it has a nice message and it’s really enjoyable, I’d say.

Maybe because it’s short? It’s great to have more of something you might like, and maybe for some people this anime wasn’t long enough. That said, I’d argue that the short length of the film adds to its charm. And as you said, it manages to deliver a nice message along with enough action to make things interesting.

I’d argue that length shouldn’t matter. Oh my, this didn’t come out right…

And on this note, have a wee lookie at the trailer. Thanks for stopping by!

MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 05 ~ Magic Tree House ~

マジック・ツリーハウス (Magic Tree House) is a 2011 anime film based on the American children’s series written by Mary Pope Osborne. It was directed by 錦織博 (Hiroshi Nishikori) and produced by the Ajia-do studio. The story follows Jack and Annie, two siblings, as they stumble upon a magic tree house filled with books. They soon figure out that they can time-travel to any place at any moment in time, but far from doing this for enjoyment only, they decide to help Morgan le Fay (an enchantress) regain her human form and magic abilities. I was actually impressed by how well the film turned out – I loved it! What did you think of it?

I really enjoyed the film as well! The idea behind it was easy enough to figure out, but that just made me even more eager to see where the siblings would end up next and what/who they’d face there. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it was really nice to see a genuine children’s story again.

I think what I loved the most was Annie’s attitude – she’s very open-minded (if not slightly reckless, but as a child, I suppose it’s ok) and optimistic. I also liked the pacing of the story and how they showed Jack’s inner conflict.

I agree. It was interesting to see how the siblings reacted to what they were experiencing, what with them being quite different to begin with. Oh, and I absolutely loved how Annie went around naming (and catching, whenever possible) all the animals they encountered.

Yup, yup, indeed. Just like the Magical Sisters Yoyo & Nene, this film too sends a powerful message: that magic doesn’t need incantations for happening, and what’s important is not to be alone and to believe. And I think it was this that pushed it quite high up on my favourite list. I think this is one of those little gems that one can enjoy with their family and friends, at any time.

And that does it for today’s post. We’ll leave you with the trailer – enjoy and thanks for reading!

MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 04 ~ A Summer Day’s Dream ~

This is a fan-made series which has an original plot, but features characters from the Tōhō Project. As of yet it consists of 2 OVAs and a special (episode 2.5). It was created by the Maikaze dōjin circle and directed by Tokine (時音). I’ve never heard about the Tōhō Project before watching this series, so I must admit I was a tad dazed and confused throughout the series, especially since it presents the viewer with quite a few characters. All in all, it was enjoyable to watch; I just wish they’d make another episode or two and conclude the story. What did you think of it?

Well, I’d heard of Tōhō a few years ago, due to some music videos I stumbled upon on Youtube. I knew there was at least some manga based on these games, but I didn’t think there were anime, too. To start with, this particular short story is about Reimu Hakurei (博麗霊夢) – a shrine maiden – who solves Incidents (strange events with supernatural causes) in the Gensōkyō world – a place where all sorts of creatures live. I think I liked the animation the most. That, and the music. I mean the story isn’t such a big deal, and before you can remember your own name, you’re flooded with at least a dozen characters’ names – not that this would be bad.

Speaking of the story, the only thing that stood out for me was the fact that everyone seems more than willing to get into over-the-top fights over what seems like an insignificant thing (e.g., a stolen watermelon).

Or a book – even I would fight for a book.

Fair enough, but what I mean to say is that characters were pretty quick to jump to oh so dramatic skills like ‘rabid red eyes of death’ (not the real name of the skill, but you get the point), or use swords that will ‘cut through anything and everything’, etc.

I don’t know…if you take my Wotsits away I might use that skill, too. By the very end of the special, though, I started thinking that Alice in Wonderland served as a great deal of inspiration for this story. I mean, the run after the rabbit, a girl called Alice …I don’t know, I just felt so. But I did enjoy it, and I agree, I wish they’d continue it. I think it has potential exactly because of how simple and no-brainer the whole thing is, but also because of the beautiful animation and music; I mean if they can afford it, why not? It’s a nice little magic story.

True… now that you mention it, I did find myself thinking that the voice acting was quite good. Now excuse me while I go out to buy some more Wotsits :D.

Without further ado, here’s the OP/PV – enjoy and thanks for stopping by!