Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saiunkoku Monogatari

My appetite for animated Chinese-inspired period dramas has been whetted by Twelve Kingdoms. Hence I'm dragging my roommates into (re)watching Saiungoku Monogatari, which roommate C dragged me into watching back during freshman year of college. But that was years ago, so I've basically forgotten everything except:
  1. Very pretty fake China!
  2. The girl wants to be a government official
  3. Emporer Tamaki (from Ouran)
  4. Pretty boys (see above image) whose names I can't remember
  5. Political intrigue (???)
It turns out that is a pretty good summation for a hefty portion of Saiunkoku, but it's still an extremely fun anime to watch. It is extremely girly shit, yes, but as with every type of genre, girly shit can be really awesome sometimes.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mononoke: sans Princess

I finally got around to watching Mononoke (which I mistakenly believed was related to Princess Mononoke for far too long - this incidentally also makes gif hunting very difficult).  This is one of those shows that is visually stunning, complete with bright, opalescent colors, but is simultaneously so utterly terrifying.

Based on the three-episode Bakeneko story arc from the horror anthology Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales, Mononoke follows the travels (and inevitable exorcisms) of the mysterious Medicine Seller.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Twelve Kingdoms --- damn you, Tangorin!

I started watching Twelve Kingdoms not long ago-- it's based on a series of light novels by Fuyumi Ono, who wrote Shiki as well. Since I enjoyed Shiki so much, and I've heard lots and lots of good things about Twelve Kingdoms re: worldbuilding, character development, female characters, etc, I decided to go ahead and start watching the anime because I decided that I needed a break from all of this science fiction and/or depressing mecha shit Kathryn keeps shoving down my throat.

I'm not very far into the series yet, but it's quite enjoyable. It's mostly set in a ancient Chinese-inspired fantasy world with interesting looking youma and unicorns and shit, but it's not very over the top and it's very visually coherent. Also has a pretty soundtrack. 

Anyway, yesterday this happened:

Here is one of those aforementioned unicorns. Kirins are these cool unicorns who can also turn into people and have cool chimera-ish things as their mommies. Each of the twelve kingdoms has a kirin that is responsible for choosing the king for that kingdom. Both king and kirin are immortal, but if the king starts being a shitty king, the kirin gets ill with a disease called shitsudou and dies, and the king dies afterwards too.

This kid is supposed to be the kirin of the kingdom of Tai, but as an, um, unborn fruit on a tree (look dont ask it gets complicated) he got reverse-spirited-away and ended up growing up as a kid in Japan while that kingdom when to hell. He's back now, but he didn't really grow up knowing he was a magical unicorn from a fantasy world, and is now a bit confused as to what he is, etc. 

As am I. It's a language thing. Giraffe? What do giraffes have to do with anything? We were talking about East Asian mythological creatures. Why bring up giraffes? I do not understand. Let's look it up!

Oh ok it all makes sense now. The word for giraffe in Japanese is also "kirin". I get it now.


Wait a minute.....