Archive for October, 2010

Kuroshitsuji 2 – Black Butler an anime that couldn’t be more perfect if it tried!!!!!!

I love this series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is one of the best anime’s I’ve ever seen and is so perfectly my thing it couldn’t have been more perfect. It had everything I ever want in a show and had the most perfect ending as well. The plot is set in a manor house on the outskirts of Victorian era London, butler Sebastian Michaelis serves Ciel Phantomhive, the orphaned twelve-year-old head of an English noble family and a toy and candy empire, who serves directly under the Queen. Sebastian carries out any task required by his master while solving the problems plaguing England with ease and perfection, because of his demonic lineage and Faustian contract with his master. Ciel has a contract that states Sebastian must work for him as his most loyal butler until they discover who killed his parents, abused him and destroyed his family. Once Ciel has accomplished this than Sebastian is free to eat his soul, the main purpose of most demons is to eat human souls. So the two form a partnership and as events unfold until the truth is revealed and Ciel gets the revenge he wishes for and thus giving himself to Sebastian to devour.
Series 2 opens with somehow Sebastian having not eaten Ciel’s soul and is instead trying to find it. Turns out Ciel is rather unique and has a pure and very delicious soul even though his whole life has been clouded in darkness. At the moment of his devouring another demon swept in and stole Ciel from Sebastian. Series 2 opens Sebastian getting Ciel back to him but now Ciel has no memories of getting his revenge so the contract isn’t fulfilled and Sebastian can’t eat him. Also is the introduction of Alois Trancy who has had a very similar life to Ciel and thus has formed a contract with his own demon butler. These two boys and their butlers are all tied together in a battle for revenge, the truth and their souls. Sebastian has to fend of the advances of another demon trying to get his Ciel and it all plays out like a dark and twisted love square.

There are many things that make this series brilliant, there’s the obvious fact that is can be slashed very easily it borders so closely on shonen ai and there are openly gay characters like a red headed shinigami. But it’s not its gay subtext (though that helps) that make this series so good it’s the whole package. Not only does it have a very attractive cast, these are beautiful character designs for both male and female character, but also a very attractive misc-en-scen. Being set during the Victorian era makes for gorgeous use of clothing and the London setting. I love the Victorian period, I love its fashion and architecture so having a dark gothic anime reinterpret this period gives you amazing visuals. The music is wonderful; it is scored with dark classical and gothic themes brining the scene and feel of the series alive. It also deals with my favourite genre, the supernatural. I love demonology and occult series; I love the way Japan interprets western mythology and demon lore making it more beautiful and seductive. Japanese manga and anime creators have always had a love affair with European history and culture and then reinvent it with their own style and Kuroshitsuji is a perfect example of this. It the kind of anime that makes me want to buy the Manga’s, action figures, art books and even cosplay.
So Kuroshitsuji is visually perfect, it is also thematically perfect and has a great storyline. The series is full of emotions such as revenge, sorrow, need, love, devotion, greed, despair, anger and desire. As we learn more of the twisted fates of these two boys and the lengths these demon will go to for their souls we also begin to see the difference in these characters and why there is so much more strength and dignity to Ciel and his relationship with Sebastian. There is trust and respect between these two and at the very end they have become something more than master and servant, demon and human and there is a whole new journey for them to begin.
Kuroshitsuji also have many other interesting characters and while the show follows heavily on the main protagonists it has a very fun supporting cast. There are all kinds of other supernatural characters that I love such as shinigamis and fallen angels. So there is something for everyone and as a fan girl this series is the closest I’ve ever come to series such as Yami No Matsuei. So all in all I can’t say enough good things about this series it was engaging, fun, emotional and beautiful throughout. It did the genre so much justice, it had a wonderful gothic Victoriana world to indulge in and it had such a wonderful relationship with great development at its heart.

Check out the My Yaoi, Shonen ai, Boys love Slashable anime list!!

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Gokusen The Movie – The perfect end to a great series!!!


I have finally gotten round to watching the Gokusen Movie and it was brilliant. I have been a fan of the J drama ever since the first season and I can say the movie doesn’t disappoint. All the aspects that made the TV series are there, it has everything a Gokusen fan would want from a film. The plot of the original series involves Kumiko Yamaguchi, the granddaughter of a Yakuza boss, Kuroda of the Kuroda Ikka. Her parents died when she was younger, and her grandfather has no other descendants, so Kumiko is next in line to head the family business with the title of Ojou. However, her lifelong dream has been to become a teacher. While her grandfather approves of her choice, others in the family want her to become the next boss. Kumiko (known by her students as “Yankumi”) becomes a teacher at an all-boys private high school. Her class is full of delinquents, but she tries her hardest to teach them not just about academics (her subject is Mathematics), but about lessons of life, much like any “dedicated teacher” story. Though she’s forced to keep her family a secret from the public, her Yakuza upbringing gives her the strength and the experience to reach out to her students, while also providing comedic relief. Each series she get through to the hearts of her students and stands up for them in turn helping them stand up for each other and showing they are more than the delinquents everyone believes them to be and that they are in fact good kids that eventually end up doing the right thing and making the right decisions. As each series ends her class manage to graduate (although there is always a big threat that nearly prevents them from doing so and a big fight that Kumiko has to save her students from) and Yumiko goes to find another teaching jobs. Each new series finds Kumiko again becoming the teacher of a delinquent class 3D.
While it’s not a good idea to watch all three series back to back as they pretty much follow the exact same pattern of new class the student don’t respect or listen to Yumiko, students get into fights, Yumiko saves them eventually they except her, students are framed, Yumiko the only one that trusts them, Yumiko proves her students innocence, students find out she’s Yakuza then there’s a big treat but students manage to graduate and go onto the next stage of their lives. Each series has its own set of 3D students and theirs problems but you’re guaranteed to hear these same lines each episode “I’m their homeroom teacher” and “give me back my precious students”. So if you watch it all in one go it ends up repetitive but apart from that I love this show. I love the teacher that comes in and helps the problems students, much like Rookies and Taiyo to Umi. The other great aspect of Gokusen is each season has its own hotness factor as well as plenty of eye candy. Series 1 had a great class and in particular the gorgeous Oguri Shun, series 2 had the KAT-TUN boys of Akanishi and Kamenashi me being a big Kame fan and series 3 the beautiful Haruma Miura.
So onto the movie, Yumiko is still working in the same school as the last season though her students have graduated she is now the homeroom teacher of a new set of 3D delinquents. The first part of the movie concentrates on her gaining the respect of her new students and teaching them the meaning of true friendship. Into the mix is thrown a new trainee teacher to shadow her who is none other than Odigiri Ryo one of her students from series 2.
The second part of the film concentrates on one of her ex students from series 3 (Kazuma Ren who is now working) accidently gets caught up in a drug charge. Even though he isn’t her student anymore Yumiko feels responsible and herself and the rest of the series 3 3D students try to find a way to help him and discover a corrupt businessman trying to get into politics but secretly running a drug ring. Everything leads to a big confrontation and a fight and of course a big speech by Yumiko that is aired on national TV since she interrupts said politician’s very public conference. So while the movie follows many of the motifs of the series and you get the “I’m there homeroom teacher” line the film does take it to the next level by upping the danger factor and giving it a much more serious threat than that of biker gangs.
The movie has all the humour of the series plus all the heart. It is just so much fun and the best bit is that it cameos characters from all 3 series. By the end of the film so many of Yumiko’s ex-students have seen her on TV they feel its right to make sure they come see her and let Yumiko know who much she helped and inspired them. As someone who has done teaching as a career there is nothing better than knowing you made a difference in your students live and just how important understanding and helping your students are. I loved seeing what had become of characters I had seen over the years and they couldn’t have done it better. So I highly recommend both the drama and the movie.

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