Winter Anime

While I try my best to watch a little of all the series that are released during the season, there are many, and it’s not always possible to keep up. Sometimes, I don’t want to keep up. This season was leaning more toward the “not wanting to keep up” side. I can’t say I was particularly excited by any of the titles that came out for winter. There were a few that proved to be fairly good, but most of them were what I thought they would be… lame.

Durarara!!

This series is one of the better, and should be well worth watching through to the end. By the same creators as the series Baccano,  it isn’t surprising that this is a crazy story full of twists and turns, and with a stunningly large cast. The story, as far as we can tell, centers around a mysterious headless motorcyclist and  a gang that no one is sure actually exists. The many characters have their part to play as the story and mystery surrounding these rumored beings unfolds. As in Baccano (which if you haven’t seen it, as an action fan, you must remedy this immediately), we can look forward to a solid and exciting ending which will explain everything.

Sora no Woto

This show very much feels similar to Haibane Renmei. A somewhat slow plot with many slice of life elements, but all surrounding some more mysterious background and mythology. It focuses on a group of young female soldiers guarding a small town at the edge of a country. The effects of war can be clearly scene throughout the small town, but for the most part it is a quiet and peaceful place that hasn’t seen much action in a while. The characters are cute, the story is enjoyable, and I look forward to a stronger over arcing story coming together by the end.

Nodame Cantabile: Finale

If you’re a classical music fan, you should definitely check out the Nodame Cantabile series. Even if you’re not, the show is still definitely enjoyable. It has a cast of humorously eccentric and love-able characters, a simple but solid story, and a great soundtrack.

Dance In The Vampire Bund

My vote is still out on this series. There are some loli type conventions that I’m really not comfortable with, but the plot seems interesting. Vampires have decided to present themselves to the world, and essentially take over Japan’s economy. Their leader is a vampire in the form of a small female child, who is protected by the co-lead character a boy who has lost most of his memories, but is the Vampire Queen’s protector as a werewolf.

Hanamaru Youchien

I was looking forward to this one, depending on how it turned out. It’s pretty adorable, indeed. Slice of life show about a new kindergarten teacher, and all of the crazy things that happen with a large group of single digit aged children. I especially love the little genius girl Hi-chan, who is constantly dressing up in animal costumes. The ending theme seems to change regularly as well, which can be very entertaining.

Baka to Test Shokanjuu

No idea what I was getting into with this one, but it’s fun. A bunch of kids attend a school where the level of accomodation and safety is dependant on your grades. Kids with good grades get cushy classrooms with a snack buffet, and failures get dusty moldy rooms where everything is falling apart. Of course, in order to remedy their situation, the kids are allowed to challenge other classrooms to duels with combat miniatures of themselves who’s powers are based on their test scores.

Katanagatari

This show is new even for the winter season, and so my vote is still out on this one as well. It seems alright so far, nice action and some humor. Typical action collecting show.

Ladies Vrs. Butlers

Dropping this  show, it seems to mainly be about breast bouncing, breast suffocating people, breast floating in water, and…more breast. Of course, pantie shots, crotch in the face, and all the other ecchi tropes. I don’t mind ecchi sometimes, but there is a limit that this goes far beyond.

Omamori Himari

I may drop this, it seems a bit boring. The standard master servant relationship with human and cute ecchi demon, childhood friend butting in, and some fighting scenes with cheesy one liners. The art is nice, and it’s not completely boring…just overdone.

Ookami Kakushi

This seems like a Higurashi wanna be, and I’m yet to decide whether they will be ok, or fail completely. It’s starting to lean toward fail, but I won’t know until it’s over.

Seikon no Qwaser

Dropping this show with a huge WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? Kid gets powered up by drinking BREAST MILK. Yes, that’s right, Breat Milk. We watch him drink the BREAST MILK, and then go fight. I am baffled and disturbed.

On Going Series:

Tatakau Shisho

I love this series, it just keeps getting better and better. Some people hate it, because their favorite characters just keep getting slaughtered. But I love anti-heroes, so I love who is playing the villain in this show, and wish she could just continue to kick ass and take names for the next few years.

Cross Game

This show is a bit slow sometimes, but it is a decent sports anime about baseball mixed in with some romantic drama. Not my favorite, but worth a watch.

Dragon Ball Kai

I didn’t watch the original Dragon Ball, but my husband did. I’m mildly enjoying it despite my dislike of the art. Sometimes action series where the good guy always prevails in the end can be a nice change from the depressing show I usually enjoy. My husband says that the story moves much faster than the original, and there are many things which are closer to the manga that were not shown in the original series. This is a good thing, I’d reckon. So, if you’re a DB fan, be sure to watch this.

Computer Troubles

Recently my piece of junk computer decided to take a turn for the worse, in that it decided to completely stop working altogether. This makes things a bit difficult for my terminally bored husband and I, given that we now only have one working computer between the two of us. That computer being a desk-top who’s monitor no longer registers the color green.

This dilemma becomes even more problematic given that I have recently taken up the responsibility of blogging for a new website about women in metal called Metal Chicks.  On the other hand, the site is well on it’s way to being an excellent source of information, as well as a great community. If you’re a fan of metal (or just good looking and talented girls), be sure to check it out.

Kill Hamyuts Meseta!

Tatakau Shiso: Book of Bantorra

With about 10 episodes aired so far, I’m not disappointed. You know just enough about the characters to want to know more about their motivations, the world is fairly solidly built and somewhat steam-punkish (I do love me some steam-punk), and the plot is intense, swift paced, but with time for a deep dish of waxing philosophical.

In the world of The Book of Bantorra, when humans die they become books- a sheet of brick like substance which contains their entire life story in almost movie form. This record plays through the mind of any human who touches the book with their bare skin. The library, as well as the people who fiercely guard it, were created and left by the god Bantorra. The humans, however, were left by the god’s to their own devices long ago.

Since then, the Library of Bantorra, and the Armed Librarians, are in constant violent run-ins with a religious organization called “The Church of Drowning in God’s Grace” or the Shindeki Church. The members of the Shindeki Church believe that only the most interesting books authored by self indulgent and ambitious persons will be let into heaven. These guys seem to want to off Hamyuts Meseta, and she seems more than happy to meet them in hopes that one of them might be able to do it. Why the death wish? We have to wait to find out. I’m not too worried, in any situation, she seems like she could just suffocate them all with her breasts.

We play Doctor a little different here

Seitokai no Ichizon

Let me tell you that I had absolutely no high hopes for this series, and that I had actually fully expected it would be dropped. Lucky for me, it more than surpassed my expectations. This show is just plain clever. It drops the ball here and there, but picks it right up again before you can think of losing hope. The blatant references to other anime will remind you somewhat of Lucky Star, but the references are more in your face, as is the humor in general. Each character is  a bit of an exaggerated stereotype, but at times gently written and lovable so it never goes too over the top. I’m particularly loving me some Chizuru, who is an endearing mixture of homicidal maniac and  yuri pedobear. In the second to most recent episode, the little sister of Mamiko Noto’s character joins the student council for the day and causes quite a stir. I won’t tell you too much about it, but if you watch no other episode, this one is worth it.

Sasameki Koto

This series is still going strong for me. It’s simple, humorous, and melancholy, as a more drama oriented slice of life should be. Recently we’ve been more formally introduced to the character of Aoi Azusa, a girl made lonely by her own expectations. She is a die-hard fan of Ushio’s brother, whom she believes to be the mysterious woman author of her favorite yuri novels. In the last episode (episode 9), she entertains delusions in her head of the summer she will spend with Sumika creating a fanzine or an original work. Sumika, not realizing how important this is to Azusa, unintentionally hurts the girl’s feelings. More subtly, we see Ushio struggling to realize her own feelings, which appear to be jealousy and loss in regards to the attentions her friend is receiving.

X-Mas (life) Wish List

I’m not going to get any of this stuff, because I’m incredibly poor at the moment, but here are the components I would like to have for a home recording studio some day.  Because, I want to be bad ass like Arjen Lucassen, Imogen Heap, and Bjork.

Roland Juno Stage

Avalon 737 Preamp


Neumann U87 Mic

I’d also like to get an electric guitar and the necessary components (amp, pedal, mic, etc). That’s going to be something I’ll have to pick up and play around with, however, so that it’s right for me. Of course, Pro-Tools, an Mbox, and some Digidesign programs like Strike (I’d like to avoid a drum machine).

Some day I’ll be able to get these things, and start recording music properly instead of over an onboard computer mic and freeware…or worse, the LJ voice-post telephone thing.


Mexico City Survival

If Buenos Aires is the Paris of the Latin Americas, then Mexico City would have to be the New York. Imposing Skyscrapers rub elbows with the beautifully crafted stone work of Cathedrals. Bells ring out over bustling market places, above neighborhoods adorned in peeling paint and graffiti. The sacred tones weave their way among the rattling of trucks, the hissing of opening bus doors, car horns, and footsteps. Voices call out above the din- vendors hawking their wares. Siete tacos, Seis pesos!

With everything going on around you, you might not be sure where to start. In a city spanning an impressive 651 square miles, and harboring approximately 20 million inhabitants, it is easy to become a bit overwhelmed. Hopefully you will find some reassurance in this brief guide intended to give you a hand on enjoying your stay in Mexico City.

Transportation

The following message is extremely important, and should not be ignored:

DO NOT rent a car or attempt to drive in Mexico City!

Much as Superman enjoys breaking the laws of physics, so to do the citizens of Mexico City enjoy breaking any and all laws concerning the road. In fact, you may as well operate under the assumption that Mexicans believe there are no laws, there are only suggestions (which they choose to ignore on a regular basis). The very first day of my arrival to Mexico City, I was treated to a thrill ride. Having passed the street he had intended to turn on, the Taxi Driver stopped, put the car in reverse, and drove backwards amidst traffic on a one-way street.

The city is, on the whole, very well communicated. There are plenty of choices when it comes to getting around. The most effective and the most inexpensive (2 pesos per ticket) method of transportation is probably the subway system. The local people call the subway system the “Metro”, and even if you don’t speak Spanish very well people should know what you’re looking for if you use that word. Every station should contain a wall map of the different lines you can take, and the locations those lines stop at. Be sure to find out the names of metro stations that are close to the places you need to get to.

Another great mode of transportation in this city is the bus. Almost every street has at least one bus running through it, and every bus route will make a pass by at least one Metro station. The busses typically cost between 3 or 4 pesos, and are able to be hailed from any street corner on the route. Unlike bus lines in the US, the drivers are not required to stop at specified bus stops, and can pick up and drop off passengers as necessary.

*When you enter a bus, be sure to move to the back of the bus as soon as possible, and look for a button located by the back door. This button will usually be either bright red and located on a pole by the bus door, or a small silver button located directly above it. *

Despite some of the more interesting driving techniques, taxis are also a great way to get around. The cost of this method is a bit higher, but nowhere near the amount you would spend on a taxi in the United States. Most trips will cost around 10 to 20 pesos, and longer trips around 50 pesos. From one side of the city to another you should never spend more then 20 USD. Taxis can be hailed on most major streets, you rarely have to call for one. Different cabs charge different rates, the least expensive tend to be the small green or red and gold VW Beetles.

Holiday Pepsi, Mexico Style

wiwichu a merry christmas

Remember Pepsi Ice? Well, it seems that every holiday season it gets repackaged here in Mexico as “wiwichu.” Yes, as in “Wiwichu a merry christmas”.

Stream of Passion- Street Spirit

Stream of Passion covers Radiohead’s Street Spirit. Even though I wish Linstruth and Lucassen were still involved,  Kei is a happy bunny.

Quiver Like a 17th Century Courtesan’s Inner Thigh!

Top Chef Season 6 Episode 12


The guest judge on Top Chef today alone should make you watch it, even if you don’t watch the show itself.

Nigella Lawson, a food writer and journalist, is possibly the hottest 50 year old I’ve ever seen; Not that I have seen all that many, mind you. After finding out a bit more about her, she has my vote as one of the coolest foodies (if not people, in general) in existence. Anyone who gets crap for wearing fur, and responds by saying she’d like to kill herself a bear and wear it deserves a damn medal. I love animals, but I love people who’s mouth matches their actions even more.

And what a mouth. this woman could give lessons on creative criticism. The title of this post is what she said that a Pana Cotta should do. On the recent episode she also said that she would “rather eat sawdust” about Eli Kirshtein’s Circus Circus inspired dish, and that she needed Excalibur to cut through Jennifer Carroll’s Tournament of Kings inspired dish. I say kick out Padma, and make her a permanent part of the show instead. Top Chef England? Yes, please.

As to the show itself, my guess is that chubby country cook’n Kevin Gillespie, and the volatile Voltaggio brothers will be the last ones standing for the finale. Jennifer Carrol, who showed quite strongly at the beginning of the season is starting to succumb to self doubt, and her dishes are suffering. Eli has been mediocre throughout, and Robin Leventhal was just a very lucky disaster who truly deserved to “pack her knives and go”.

Anime: Sasameki Koto

Sasameki Koto

I love Yuri, so you can imagine my delight when I found out that they would be airing this show already. That makes it the second show of the season featuring lesbians! Yay lesbians!

Wait… that sounds like I’m saying Yay me!

Well, OK, Yay Me!!!

Back to the show. Thus far, there have been 5 episodes aired and so far so good.

Ushio is a glutton for adorable girls, you know, the short, delicate, ultra-feminine cutie pie. Unfortunately, the world is just not made for lesbians. Nope, not even in Japan. So, despite her best amorous efforts Ushio just can’t ever seem to get the girl. One would think that no one could be more frustrated, but it’s a drama so hold your horses. Ushio is completely and utterly oblivious to the fact that her best friend Sumika is head over heels in love with her. Worse, she doesn’t even realize that Sumika likes girls, and keeps telling the poor dear that she just isn’t her type. This little dynamic leads to plenty of angst and humor, as the tall karate chopping Sumika tries her best to make Ushio happy- even if it means helping her find someone else.

Along for the ride is a second lesbian couple who are determined to drag Ushio and Sumika into making an all girls club at school, and a male classmate named Masaki who’s sister landed him a modeling job after finding out he was cross-dressing to get Sumika’s attention.

I’ll be writing from time to time about how the series is progressing, along with some of the other series I’m following- Darker Than Black (2nd season), Seitokai no Ichizon, Nyan Koi!, Kimi ni Todoke, Letter Bee,  Book of Bantorra, and Sangoku Engi.

If you’re interested in watching it or any other series, be sure to check this page out, they update regularly.

Viva Maruchan!

Today was grocery day, and we came back with some Instant Ramen that will put hair on your chest! Macho Macho Maruchan.

In Mexico, there are a lot of things that are different with even snack foods that look familiar to us Americans. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even recognize some of these Ramen flavors unless you live in Southern California.

As you can see above- spicy chicken, cheese, and shrimp with lime and habanero chili flavor. Not shown, you can also find shrimp or crab with lime, shrimp or crab with chili, carne asada, chicken asada, and chicken with tomatoe. Personally, it’s all about the Cheese ramen, which I’m surprised isn’t more prevalent in the States. Who doesn’t love cheese?

Some other snack foods that you might surprised about are the every day Frito Lay brands (called Sabritas here in Mexico). You’ll be hard pressed to find regular old Fritos here, as most stores sell lime and salt flavored, or lime salt and chili (peppers) flavored.

You know Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Well, they have those, but even the regular brand of cheetos contains pepper and is quite spicy. It’s the same with Doritos. Only potato chips will resemble what we’re used to, except you’ll also find chili flavored potato chips of all kinds available as well.

Ever had a pizza with beans, avocado, and chorizo? Well, you’ll find it here. People here regularly eat salsa and ketchup on their pizza, on their potato chips, on their Ramen, and even on their fruit. I’ve come to like chili powder on some fruit, but I still haven’t quite warmed up to the idea of it on any of those other things.

Soft because it's beaten!

I’ll talk about delicious Mexican snacks a bit more later, but I thought I’d show you one more funny thing you might be familiar with. Sunbeam Bread. On the side there, on this Mexican made packaging, you’ll notice it says “Soft because it’s beaten.”  If you’re familiar with their products on the English market,  the bag says “batter whipped”, if it says anything to the effect at all. On this package one might wonder if they’re referring to the bread or the poor little girl…

« Older entries
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.