Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tytania - and character death

Tytania is a space opera. It's about a galaxy-spanning empire run by a single family, the Tytania. The five people actually running the empire are the Clan Lord and the four Dukes. The various star-systems which make up the empire have a certain amount of autonomy until they happen to have something the Tytania want, or unless they happen to run afoul of the Tytania. If either of those two things happen, the Tytania slap them down hard and take over the planet/star-system.

Naturally, given human nature in a dictatorship, there are many, small, poorly organized rebel groups arrayed against the empire, which have less affect on the Tytania than your average mosquito in a hurricane.

Enter Fan Hyulick, who is hired by a planetary system to fight the Tytania when they come calling. Hyulick actually succeeds in beating one of the four Dukes in a battle. The bad news is, that wasn't the intent of the planet government. They were simply wanting to have enough military presence to have some bargaining power. They immediately fire Hyulick, but to late to escape the wrath of Tytania.

Hyulick in the meantime becomes the focus of everyone in the universe. The Tytania alternately want him dead or tortured forever. The rebel groups wish to cash in on his victory and use him to further their causes. Most of the series is Hyulick's and Tytania's maneuverings around each other.

The series wasn't that bad. I always enjoy series with lots of good-looking characters and it kept me interested enough to watch the whole thing but there were some things I wasn't that fond of in it. For me, the major flaw was that the plot moved too slowly. In fact it almost didn't move at all. A lot of time was spent on the foibles, personalities and interactions between the four Dukes and various factions within the extended Tytania family. And Hyulick spent more time accidentally stumbling from one action to the next than he did purposely achieving anything. Plot-wise, the series was disappointing.

Another thing I didn't like was the "token" character death of Lira, Hyulick's love interest.

I should probably explain my different classification of character deaths. I know what you're thinking .... dead is dead. *laughing* That's not necessarily true in anime, but that's beside the point. Character death can be more or less tragic, more or less satisfying, more or less emotional, depending on the 'class' of death it is. The worst possible death a character can suffer is the "senseless death". I'm using 'senseless' here to mean there was no possible reason to make it necessary to kill off that particular character, and usually the death is accidental. The series makers do it either just to have a character death or to 'tidy' things up from their perspective. I've already mentioned the example of Solomon in Blood+. Other examples include Dio in Last Exile, Michel in Macross Frontier and Third in Jyu Oh Sei. Toboe in Wolf's Rain can be considered a senseless death.

Slightly better than the senseless death is the "token death". Usually I consider it a "token death" if no one else in the series dies, but occasionally other minor characters die and the token death is the only death of a major character. Token deaths may or may not be senseless. Michel in Macross Frontier is both token and senseless. Maes Hughes is a token death, but he died for a reason and it wasn't an accident. Yamazaki's sister in PeaceMaker Kurogane is a good example of a token death. She's the only main character to die in the series (if you don't count the chief bad guy), and her death was borderline senseless. In Tytania, Lira is killed about half way through the series. Her death is not really a token death in that Hyulick does manage to kill one of the four Dukes as well as the minor Tytanaian lord who kills Lira. Her death just feels like a token death to me. They could have stiffened Hyulick's resolve without killing Lira.

Another class of death I hate is the "balance the karma" type death. The person has to die in the end to make sure all the karma is balanced out. I personally could care less about the karma. I want my characters to survive. Alex Rowe in Last Exile is a good example of this type of death. Jomy and Keith's deaths in Terra e seem to fit in this category.

Another class of death that's pretty common is the self-sacrificing death. These are always tear-jerkers, but they're more acceptable than other types because the death is usually for a good solid reason, and often someone else is saved. They are also usually far and away the most emotional character deaths. Keisei in Shikabane Hime is both a token death and a self-sacrificing death. Nuriko in Fushigi Yuugi would be the stereotypical death of this type.

Series that decimate their cast with multiple character deaths are also fairly common. X is this type of series. Casshern Sins also, and Chevalier D'Eon, Chrno Crusade, Fafner, Wolf's Rain, Samurai Seven, it's a pretty long list. Gilgamesh offed the entire cast.

I'm frequently amazed when I think about how far I've come from when I started watching anime. Like all Americans raised on Saturday morning cartoons, I never expected to be faced with character death. In fact, death is probably the major defining difference between "cartoons" and anime. My first experience with it was Nuriko's death in Fushigi Yuugi. I was so totally in shock. I could not believe that they had killed a major character, and in such a heart-wrenching way. I almost quit watching anime. Now I'm usually amazed if all the characters manage to survive the series, and believe me, those series are pretty uncommon. Get Backers pretty much did it, and with a sizable cast. Scrapped Princess and Heroic Age both did it, despite indications to the contrary. And of course series like Card Captor Sakura and Azumanga Daioh, generally everyday-school-life series don't kill off characters. Part of what makes or breaks that ending I'm always talking about is the number of characters that survive the series.

Oh! And about Tytania, I really didn't like the Opening song, although the Ending song was great.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Common Themes

I haven't posted in a while, so I thought I'd talk today about common themes. There are a number of common themes to anime plot lines, and a lot of series fall into those common categories. That means a lot of anime have similar plot lines. In fact a unique plot line is the exception rather than the rule, and I keep an eye out for those anime.

One plot element that is very, very common is the female high school or middle school student who is transported to another time or world. What she does there varies between series. Sometimes she ends up as the last hope to save the civilized world, either the world she's been transported to, her original world or both. If she's not in a savior role, then she at least has some quest to accomplish. In the case of Inuyasha, the quest involved gathering the million fragments of a shattered round, magic-filled jewel in order to keep demons and humans from using it for bad purposes. Other examples of this type of anime are numerous and include such series as: Fushigi Yuugi, Juuni Kokki, Harukanaru Toki no Naka de, and Escaflowne. Occasionally it's a male student who's transported to an alternate reality and is required to accomplish something. Kyou Kara Maou and KIBA are examples of that.

Another common plot device is the harem-type anime, where one guy is surrounded by several girls, all vying for his interest or favor or attention. Some hard-core examples of this type of anime include Shuffle, Maburaho and Rental Magica. "Hard-core" in the sense that everything and everyone revolves around the central male character. Much more subtle examples of harem-type anime include, surprisingly, ToAru Majutsu no Index and Toradora. ToAru and Toradora did a good job of hiding the fact that they were harem-anime by not focusing on the actions of the central male character to the extent that the story suffers. Nonetheless, basically Touma and Ryuuji respectively were surrounded by multiple girls who were interested in them. Reverse-harems are almost equally as common as regular harem-types. In reverse-harems obviously, the central female character is surrounded by multiple, usually very gorgeous males. Examples include Harukanaru, Ouran High School Host Club, Fushigi Yuugi, Pretear and Saiunkoku.

I've already talked about shinigami in regards to Bleach, but shinigami-containing series are also a common plot device. The series may be based around shinigami like Bleach is, or simply happen to have shinigami in them. Shinigami-related series include: Bleach, Yami no Matsuei, FullMoon wo Sagashite, Death Note and Kuroshitsuji.

Vampires are also an extremely common theme in anime series. Vampire series include: Black Blood Brothers, Blood+, Karin, Kurozuka, Nightwalker, Trinity Blood, Shingetsutan Tsukihime, Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase, Vampire Knight, Vampire Knight Guilty and Vampire Princess Miyu. Vampire series are probably among my favorite series, but that's because I've always been a little fascinated by vampire legends. Interestingly, in essentially all these series, the vampire(s) is the good guy. Well, perhaps not in Kurozuka, and Blood+ and the Vampire Knight series have both good vampires and bad vampires.

Sci Fi (science fiction) themes are common and probably more than half the time sci fi series are mecha series. Stellvia, Eureka Seven, The Third, Soukou no Strain, Soukyuu no Fafner and Sousei no Aquarion are all mecha sci fi, along with Macross, Gundam and Eva. There are also a fair number of sci fi series out there that are not mecha series, including Toward the Terra, Avenger, Jyu Oh Sei and Kurau. In general I like the non-mecha better.
Magic is another common thread in anime. And it's easier to list series that do not have magic in them than to list the extensive group that include some form of magic. Magic is extremely common and often makes me wish I had just a fraction of those abilities or powers. ToAru Majutsu no Index is a unique series in that it actually separates extrasensory perception (esp) "skills" from magic, claiming that esp is 'science' and magic is, well, 'magic'. People with esp skills of any sort cannot perform magic. Interesting concept.

Because there are so many similar plots in anime series, it's fun to find ones that are really different. Other "interesting concepts" that I've enjoyed along the way include: 1) Death Note: I hated L's death, but it's the first series I've ever scene where the main character is the bad guy in the series. 2) Moyashimon: a series about micro-organisms. Really. Absolutely unique. 3)Toushokan Sensou: Libraries have their own armies. Okaaaaay. Totally hard to swallow but a great love story and very fun to watch.
These are just a few examples of some of the series that fall into these categories, and I'm always on the lookout for new categories.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yoko Kanno - the music

Yoko Kanno is far and away my favorite composer of anime music. I have a lot of composers that I like, but she tops the list. Her range of musical creations is just so amazingly broad! Cowboy Bebop was one of the first series I ever watched and she did the music for that series. She also did the music for Wolf's Rain, Escaflowne, Macross Frontier, Macross Plus, Sosei no Aquarion, Ghost in the Shell SAC, Turn a Gundam, Please Save my Earth and Darker Than Black. She also composed opening (OP) and/or ending (ED) theme songs for Record of the Lodoss War, Gasaraki and Cardcaptor Sakura. If you've ever seen any of those series, you can see what a wide range of music types she composes. I'm always amazed by the different sound of her pieces and her ability to change the feel of the anime by her music. She's just pretty awesome.

Another composer I really like is Kenji Kawai. He did the music for Seirei no Moribito (two of my favorite soundtracks), as well as for Sky Crawlers, and at least one soundtrack worth of music for Gundam 00, Higurashi no Naka Koro ni Kai and Otogizoushi. Recently he's done the music for Higashi no Eden.

Kaoru Wada is another favorite. Kaoru composed music for Inuyasha, D.Gray-man, Gilgamesh, Ninja Scroll, Samurai 7 and Casshern Sins.

I'm also especially fond of Joe Hisaishi's music, especially when it accompanies a Miyazaki Hayao flim. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Mononoke Hime, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea were all composed by Hisaishi. His music often has an almost religious feel. I especially like to play it when I'm driving through Utah and Colorado. It just seems to fit.

Beside favorite composers, I have certain soundtracks that I really like and play over and over and over and over. The Seirei no Moribito OSTs (original soundtracks) fall into this group, as do the two Blood+ OSTs, Jyu Oh Sei OST, Loveless OST, Macross Frontier OSTs, Mushishi OSTs, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu OSTs. Quite a lot of them really, but I love series soundtracks. My biggest difficulty is to decide what music to play, because I like them all. I actually end up rotating them so that I play all of them on a fairly even basis. When one of my favorites comes up though, it tends to get played more than once .... or twice.
I have way too much anime OST music to list it all here, or even list more than just my top favorites. I also like the Tsubasa OSTs, the Death Note OSTs, the X OSTs and Code Geass. Noir and Noein OSTs are great. See? Once I get started it's hard to limit the list. Probably I've even left out a favorite along the way.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

RideBack - and mecha series

RideBack is a short series (12 eps) that I just finished watching. The story centers around Ogata Rin, a prima ballerina who injures herself and stops dancing. She comes across a club in the college she begins to attend where the members ride "ridebacks", which can best be described as mutant motorcycles. Rin discovers she has a talent for riding them, especially a red one called Fuego. In the course of the 12 eps Rin gets caught up in politics and involved with anti-government terrorists.

Two things I didn't like about the series: there was a token death, and I think I've made myself pretty clear on how I feel about token deaths. Why kill a character just to have a character death in the series? The series wouldn't have suffered if Suzuki had survived it. Secondly, there were a couple episodes filled with teenage angst, it's-all-my-fault. When the series is only 12 eps, don't waste them on angst, is my feeling.

Overall though, I liked the series. On my rating system, it's a maybe-buy-on-DVD (if it's ever licensed). The plot is decent, but what makes the series is the music and the 'ballet' movements Rin achieves with Fuego. The ending theme song (ED) is a great piece of music and the scenes with Rin 'dancing' on Fuego are awesome.

RideBack is a mecha series, but a mecha series done right. Which means the creators don't sacrifice characters or plot for the sake of showing off their mecha creations. There are tons of mecha series out there and I tend to avoid most of them. Examples include all the Gundam and Macross series, and of course the classic Neon Genesis Evangelion. All too often, the series creators are so busy showing off the mechanicals, that everything else tends to fall by the wayside or is just an afterthought. Reideen is a good example of that. I would say that a good quarter of every episode was devoted to watching Reideen's transformations and movements. The most recent Macross, Macross F, and Eureka Seven are good examples of mecha series done right. And of course, the music in Macross F is beyond awesome. Yoko Kanno of course. Her music is always spectacular.

Mecha series tend to have a couple of themes in common besides the showing off of the mechanical creation. One is that almost without fail a young, more or less clueless person has a true talent or skill at operating the most sophisticated and newest mecha-du-jour. So that person gets roped into whatever organization the mecha belongs to, and tends to become the last hope of civilization against some threat. Another common theme is a mid-series loss of ability or desire to pilot the mecha, followed by serious angst. This theme may or may not be present, but it's pretty common.

Besides the ending, things that make me decide whether I like a series or not, include PLOT and music. I like good looking characters too, but it's not an essential. I really liked Samurai Champloo, and I can't believe anyone would call those characters pretty. Of course beautiful series are easier to watch, but if there's no plot to speak of you get tired of watching them pose after awhile. And the back ground music (BGM) can really help or hurt a series. I guess I basically look at the overall package, which is why I can't tell until I've seen the end.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bleach - 2 synopsis

A while back I found myself trying to explain the plot of Bleach to someone who had never heard of anime before, let alone shinigami. It was an interesting exercise, compounded by the fact that the person was trying not to stare at me as if I had lost my mind. So this blog will be a synopsis of the plot of Bleach, just in case anyone reading this hasn't seen the series.

To start out, Bleach is about shinigami .... a whole society of shinigami. You can't watch anime for long without running across shinigami unless you only watch mecha series. Shinigami are also known as Soul Reapers. They are non-human, supernatural beings who collect people's souls. Depending on the series, they collect the soul either before the person dies (thus causing the death), immediately after the person dies, or at some time after they die. In Bleach, the shinigami not only help the dead person's soul "pass on" to a community called Soul Society, they also protect the souls from souls that have gone bad, called Hollows.

Bleach's story line is centered around an orange-haired high school kid named Kurosaki Ichigo who can see, hear, touch and just generally commune with ghosts (and shinigami), and a small female shinigami named Kuchiki Rukia (wearing the grey school uniform in this picture). Shortly after the two meet, Rukia is injured protecting Ichigo and his family. In order to save everyone she attempts to transfer some of her shinigami powers to Ichigo. Ichigo takes them all and then must act as a shinigami in her place while she recovers. The catch to this plan is that giving a human your powers is a felony in the Soul Society. Other Shinigami come and retrieve Rukia to the Soul Society, and Ichigo is left for dead when he tries to stop them. Rukia is sentenced to be executed for her crime.

Ichigo is helped by a "shop-keeper" named Urahara who supplies goods for the shinigami in the real world. Urahara and his 'employees' get Ichigo back on his feet and teach him to fight. Then Ichigo and his three friends, Inoue Orihime (orange-haired girl), Ishida Uryuu (guy in white) and Yasutora Sado (also known as Chado, tan guy in pic), and Urahara's friend Yoruichi (who wears the form of a cat) enter Soul Society in order to save Rukia. This first arc covers the first 65 or so episodes and is very well done. The Soul Society has it's own pecking order, and most of the action centers around the doings of the 13 Protection Squads and Ichigo-tachi battling their way past these guys. These 13 squads are led by Captains and Vice-Captains, and Bleach manages to balance a huge cast of characters, most of whom have distinct personalities. The cast in Soul Society includes the 13 captains and vice-captains, various other shinigami and various non-shinigami characters.

So this is the plot line until the mid-60s episodes. Then you discover that the execution of Rukia is a small part of a much, much larger plot which is the main story line of the series. This larger plot started back over 100 years previously, and it's the larger plot that is interrupted by filler arcs when the series moves too fast.

The captain of the fifth squad is a shinigami named Aizen Sousuke. Aizen intends to be the supreme ruler of all existence, and it is his complex and convoluted plan which splits the shinigami in Soul Society and turns the society pretty much on its head. Aizen manages to stay multiple steps ahead of everyone in his plotting and maneuvering and that still seems to be the case out to 213 episodes now. When their plotting is uncovered, Aizen and his two traitor captains flee to Hueca Mundo (the world where the Hollows live) and Aizen starts creating a Hollow Army, led by 10 Espada (Hollow with greater than captain-level spiritual power) and multiple Arrancar (also Hollow heavies). Aizen's ultimate intent is to destroy Ichigo's home city in order to get the power necessary to create a key to get to the King of Soul Society to destroy him and become the supreme evil overlord of all creation. <--- my words. In the process of accomplishing this, Aizen-tachi kidnap Orihime and Ichigo-tachi follow him into Hueca Mundo. Four shinigami captains also follow them there. Ichigo-tachi and the 4 captains are then trapped there by Aizen who departs to the real world to destroy the town.

At this point the plot diverges to 100 years ago to show everyone the start of Aizen's plotting, and the reasons behind Urahara's real world existence and the existence of another group (called the Visored) who are about to show up on the good guys' side. It's at this juncture that we get another filler arc. And not just any filler arc, a Don Kannonji filler arc (my LEAST favorite character).

So there you briefly have 212 episodes of Bleach plot. I couldn't really do the plot justice in this amount of time, including all the character interconnections and various battles and interactions. For example, the shinigami captain who arrests Rukia is her brother Kuchiki Byakuya. Or Aizen murders his Vice-captain who adores him. Well she actually ends up living but isn't really sane after that betrayal. But anyone who wants the details should really watch the series. One of these days maybe I'll figure out the eps that are filler arcs and post it here so anyone can just watch main plot line story.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Natsume Yuujinchou

I just finished watching the second season of Natsume Yuujinchou. Really nice series. No, really visually gorgeous series. Lots of pretty characters. It's what I would call a 'feel good' series. Nobody dies, very few cliff-hanger episodes, fun to watch. The premise is a boy who can see and interact with youkai (ayakashi, demons, ghosts, non-human entities). He inherits a "Book of Friends" from his grandmother which contains the name of every youkai she has defeated over her lifetime. Natsume sets about returning their names to the youkai. His sidekick and self-proclaimed bodyguard is Madara, a powerful youkai who mostly takes the shape of a fat cat and who Natsume calls Nyanko-sensei. The interactions between Natsume and Nyanko-sensei are priceless. Some of the best scenes in the series take place between the two of them.

This is not a fast-paced, action-filled series. Neither is it a boring, snail-paced series. It's fun and occasionally bittersweet and always beautiful. It has a background plot of Natsume learning to trust and interact with the people around him, and it's filled with interesting characters. My biggest regret is that both seasons were only 13 episodes. I would have been happy if it had gone on much longer. I enjoyed watching it and will no doubt buy the DVD when it comes out.

Along with being an anime addict, I'm also a collector. I like to collect things and I have a pretty massive anime DVD collection. I like to watch series over and over. Most of the DVDs I have are region 1, produced by companies here in the States. And yes, sometimes the American companies butcher the titles and the subtitling job. A good example is Blood+. Who the hell is doing the translation on that one? Someone who speaks Greek? Since when did "Okaeri, Saya-neesan" translate as "hey, how'd you catch that?" And it goes on like that. *shakes head* It's by far the worst job I've seen, and I have a lot of DVDs. Luckily, if it gets too bad, I can just turn off the subtitles and listen to it. So why not get region 2 and just listen to them all? My Japanese isn't that good. Just good enough to know when they're totally screwing up. Buying the DVDs makes me feel marginally less guilty about downloading anime.

Sometimes the American version screws the title up so much that I don't immediately realize what series it is. For example, Harukanaru Toki no Naka de came out over here as: Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time, Soukou no Strain came out as: STR.A.IN - Strategic Armored Infantry, Weiss Kreuz was released here as Knight Hunters. On the other hand, sometimes they do it right. Jyu Oh Sei was released as Jyu Oh Sei, not Planet of the Beast King or some other translation. Those examples are harder to find. When the original title is not in English, it's a little scary what they come up with. Maybe that's why so many anime series have English titles.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bleach - 1 and plot devices

Let me just say up front, that if you don't watch or keep up with the series I'm talking about, there will be a LOT of spoilers in here. I'm assuming anyone who might read this is current on the series.

Today I'm going to start out talking about Bleach. Bleach is one of my current favorite series. It's got the greatest plot line, but the filler arcs are just incredibly irritating. I'm saying this because I just finished the arc which occurred in the past and explained the existence of the Visored, and now I get a Kon-Don Kannonji arc?!? NOT happy.

I do understand the whys and wherefores of filler arcs. The anime series catches up to the manga and has to do one of two things: kill time to allow the manga to get ahead again or diverge the plot significantly from the manga. Thus filler arcs. The idea being that in a filler arc, nothing happens that affects the main characters permanently (like death or marriage or losing a limb) and any characters introduced in a filler either die there or are lost to follow up, so that their existence doesn't affect the main plot line. Or occasionally their contribution is so insignificant that they can be added into the main plot line after the filler without affecting the plot. An example of this type of character is Ririn-tachi, the mod souls created by Urahara during the Bounto arc.

The Bounto arc was Bleach's first main filler arc. It was long (50+ eps) and though it wasn't a bad arc, it was painful to watch Ichigo-tachi fumble around like morons immediately after they had achieved so much in winning through and rescuing Rukia. And they fumbled around for most of the arc. The Bounto arc went on so long, that when it was finally over, we celebrated. I was driving to Colorado for Christmas break and my friend sent me a text message: "Kariya is dead!!! Rejoice!" It's still on my cell phone.

Less irritating arcs include the Captain Amagai arc and the short arc with Rukia and the shinigami who lives in Hueca Mundo killing Gillians. Main plot line delays are difficult to endure anyway, but understandable. But please! A Don Kannonji-Kon arc when we're waiting to find out if Aizen succeeds in his megalomaniac plot to rule all of existence? That's harsh. It seriously makes me want to throw heavy objects at my monitor. I'm just hoping it's a short, really short arc.

On a different topic, I've started getting the first eps of the series coming out for the new season. Yay!! I've finished watching the endings of about 15 series in the last couple of weeks, so I'm ready for some new ones. I'm something of a anime addict, which is probably obvious since I'm blogging about anime. My favorite series of the last group? RideBack, Casshern Sins, Toradora, Skip Beat except for it's horrible ending. What was that?!

I rarely decide whether I really like a series until it's completely over because the ending often makes or breaks it for me. Example: Gilgamesh. They killed the entire cast in the last episode! What kind of ending is that? Another example is Wolf's Rain. I liked that series right up until the end, and should never have watched the last four eps. The other type of ending that I dislike, but it can be done more or less acceptably, is the non-ending ending. They may or may not tie up some plot lines or current issues in the larger picture, but everything continues. A pretty good ending of this type was Fruits Basket. They tied up a major plot issue and life goes on. A really bad ending of this type was Skip Beat. They resolved exactly NONE of the plot lines.

Of course, being American, I grew up with Happy Endings, so those are still my favorite, but I also am not overly upset about unhappy endings that make sense and end the way they do for good and logical reasons. Plot devices I don't particularly care for include:
1. senseless death (Blood+ - Solomon accidentally scratched by Saya's sword),
2. token death of a character (Fullmetal alchemist - Maes Hughes),
3. introducing a new character or suddenly giving back story on a minor character and then killing him off a couple of episodes later (Trinity Blood - Noel)
4. bad guys comes over to the good side, and dies shortly afterward (Escaflowne - Folken)
5. death of major characters in the final episode (about half the series out there)
I'm sure there are more, but those are my top dislikes.

Anyway, that's it for now. Ja ne

*laughing* I don't know why I bother. I just spell-checked this.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Okay, just getting started here. I'm creating this blog so I can talk to myself, ad nauseum, about anime.

In case the title wasn't a giveaway, this blog will be about anime. Sometimes I just need to be able to rant about a particular series, or plot line (usually lack thereof). I'll try not to make this a blog filled with only rants. I'll also include my take on series as I'm watching them, my likes and dislikes, my current favorite characters .... which will probably lead to some of those rants I was talking about. I have a propensity for picking as my favorite character, the character who ends up as the token death for the series. For example, Michel in Macross F, Solomon in Blood+, or Maes Highes in Fullmetal Alchemist. Of course, one of my all time favs was L in Death Note. I wouldn't necessarily call him a "token death", but you see where I'm going. It's probably better for me not to like a character too well.

The picture will switch out periodically, depending on my current mood probably. Tonikaku, I'll make the blog prettier as I go. Just want to get some stuff going here.