Friday, December 29, 2006

Anime — Maria-sama ga miteru + Mari-mite Spring

Slice of life at a Catholic girl's high-school, centred on the doings of the student council, with the highest drama being about matters of etiquette, in the main — the girl who seems to be dating too many different men (who turn out to be her brothers); or the one who is found to have a set of Buddhist prayer beads, rather than a rosary (like fibbing to get into a church school here). No magic, no martial arts, no fan-service, save the occasional shoulder or ankle, or sisterly hug.

In contrast with the hyper-kinetic action of other titles, this is quite calm, and about the people, and, in the second series, the matters of succession, as the third-years graduate, and everyone else moves up one place in the council hierarchy.

This is definitely a series that deserves its high reputation. It's also one that on the face of it doesn't sound like my sort of thing at all, but just sort of clicked.

Anime — Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito

Finally mopped this one up, after having d/ld it a while back. Having chosen the more active Miyuki fansub, I did have to suffer appalling literal romanization, like "Ririsu" and "Jiru" for Lilith and Jill.

Generally a harmless piece of ecchi, if a little incoherent given the world-book hopping background, but what the hey, it has some bad-ass sword fighting, too. And knowing the dud ending in advance helps it from being too much of a let-down.

Perfectly fine for whiling away a wet winter evening.

Anime — Kemonozume

One of the autumn's titles that didn't get much attention, perhaps because of the unusual animation style, with a lot of rotoscoping for backgrounds, and an almost European feel to the character design, except in occasional bursts of nigh standard anime look in the intro vignettes to most episodes.

The basic premise is that there are man-eating monsters who usually live concealed in human form; and there is a clandestine society of hunters who act to keep society at large free from predation. The heir to the society falls for a girl — but you guessed it, she's a Flesh Eater. Cue, one would think, Romeo and Juliet with martial arts mayhem. But no.

If there is anything that this builds on, it is Nietzsche's line about being wary of fighting monsters, lest one becomes one as well. Factions splinter, divisions blur, and things start falling apart as the intermittently happy couple try to stay ahead of pursuit. And by falling apart, I mean descending into serious madness, of one of the most messed up and depraved villains gets close to succeeding in dragging the whole world down with him.

Definitely 18-rating stuff, but definitely one of the more original titles of 2006. It's not every day your hero fights to freedom while bound naked (but for handy censoring blur) to a chair.

What I did on my holidays

Much like n molesworth, I've been doing a lot of "did 0" and "mucked about". A chance to rest has been good, especially after starting the holidays with a filthy drive in fog to go to pay for the newly installed carpet in my den, and continued discomfort from the tooth that's been playing up these last couple of months. At least that has settled down a bit now, even if it doesn't yet feel ready for prime-time when it comes to chewing.

I now have a nicely fitted out and de-cluttered den, sufficiently de-cluttered that Karen can come in in her wheelchair and watch stuff with me; and we've even managed to clear and sort the spare room enough that that's accessible and the bed could be used. Admittedly there's still stuff to sort, and a lot of jumble waiting a chance to offload, but there is progress.

And all the usual seasonal things happened, the dinner with college friends on Sunday, and this year, none of the trauma we had last year.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Hard frost, and lots of it today. Hard work scraping the wind-screen to get a peep-hole, while running the engine; and the edge of the passenger side had only just about defrosted by the time I got to work. This will have put a stop to the still busily flowering fuschias in the font garden.

Plenty of wild-life crossing the road on the way home; a hare on the bridge over the new dualling of the A428, and a muntjac on the descent into Bourne.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


The last six weeks have gone roughly : toothache, fever, toothache, cold, tooth with abcess, root canal work part 1 of 3. Not fun. Not much enthusiasm to blog either. Just retardedness on ephemeral chat boards.

[Now playing - Planet Rock]

Friday, December 08, 2006