Monthly Archives: October 2006

Welcome to the NHK! Ep 15 & 16

Since its Halloween and I’m behind on watching this show, I thought that I’d post about the scary show called Welcome to the NHK! episodes 15 and 16. When we last saw Sato, he was talking to his mother on the phone. She was giving him some bad news. We find out what the bad news is, he’s getting his allowance cut because his father lost his job. She tells him that he’s going to have to get a job. After they hang up, Sato is depressed about the idea of having to go outside. He then remembers the MMORPG coupon given to him by the suicide club teenager. He signs up for the game and starts to play as a fighter. He starts to play the game by himself. Because of this, his low-level character keeps getting killed by creatures. He’s interrupted by Yamazaki who reminds him about the game they’re working on. Yamazaki finds out about Sato’s game playing and explains that he needs to be in a group to avoid being killed all of the time. Even in the online world, his hikikomori habits stop him from talking to other players.

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When he goes to his hikikomori meeting with Misaki, she reads something from her notebook. She tells him that success is achieved with small steps. Sato realizes that he can start out fighting smaller creatures in his online game. He leaves their session before Misaki can finish. Misaki thinks that he’s improving because of his positive attitude. Back in the online world, he starts to raise his character level by going after weaker creatures. He gets so involved in the game that he stops going to Misaki’s counselling sessions. While in the game he meets another player named Mia. Her character is a healer. They start to play together as a team and are able to raise their character levels. In the offline world, Misaki shows up at his apartment wondering why stopped coming to their meetings. She keeps knocking on the door, but Sato is deep into the game, ignoring her. She opens his door and sees him playing the game. She’s surprised by the discarded beverage bottles and other garbage covering his floor.

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Episode 16 picks up with Misaki in Sato’s apartment, freaked out by what she’s seeing. The apartment is covered in garbage and he hasn’t shaved in days. She tries to pull him outside but he shakes her off. Misaki notices that he’s playing Mia and starts to think that Sato might started a relationship with Mia. Insied the game, Mia and Satou are making plans to go after dragons in order to start earning enough treasure to sell and make money in the real world. Sato wants to do this so he can avoid having to leave his apartment and still earn money. As they talk, Sato starts to having romantic feelings for Mia. Misaki comes back to his apartment wearing cat ears and a tail. She starts making “meow” noises. Sato throws her out and asks her why she’s dressed like a cat. She tells him that she saw he was obsessed by the Mia’s cat character. When he gets back to the game, Mia introduced him to some of her friends that she recruited to go dragon hunting with them. The group sets of in search of a dragon to fight. Back in her bedroom, Misaki is reading some “moe” magazines in order to find something to distract Sato from the game. Inside the game, Sato and the group find and kill a dragon. One of the group members talks to Sato about selling game items for money. He wishes Sato good luck and quits the game. The show cuts to this characters room where he’s laughing at Sato. He thinks that Sato will fail at trading items for money and can’t believe that Sato’s character name is his real name. Outside his room, his sister tells him that his lunch is outside the door. She overhear’s his remarks about Sato’s character name. She remembers going to high school with a guy names Sato.

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Sato and Mia are still playing the game, defeating more evil critters. Sato has fallen in love with Mia. He tells her that he doesn’t like the real world because of all of the people lying and talking about love. He asks her to always play with him. She agrees on the condition that they meet in the real world. Sato is stunned. He’s afraid of what she’ll think when she sees the mess in his apartment. She tells him that she’s already walking up the stairs to his apartment. he hears someone outside his door and starts to become nervous. She tells him that she’s opening the door. Sato sees the door open. Standing in the door is Mia, a character played by Yamazaki. sato is stunned. Yamazaki tells him that he wanted to teach Sato the truth about characters in MMORPGs. That people can pretend to be someone else. Any sense of love or friendship is just an illusion. Sato lies and tells Yamzaki that he knew Mia wasn’t real and that the only reason he’s playing is to earn money selling game items. Yamazaki doesn’t believe and tells Sato that he won’t make money that way.

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Yamazaki tells Sato that the only people who make money from games are the game makers, a subtle way of reminding Sato that the two of them are supposed to finish making their game. Sato loses control and throws a chair at Yamazaki. Yamazaki escapes and goes back to his apartment. He starts to think that playing as Mia might have been the wrong decision. Sato is in shock at discovering that Mia is Yamazaki and that he won’t make any money selling game items. The phone rings. Its the girl from earlier in the show. Her brother was one of Sato’s teammates that killed the dragon. She introduces herself as Kobayashi, the class president from Sato’s high school. We see Misaki outside, dressed in her high school uniform and carrying a bag of groceries. She intends to cook him a meal in order to get him away from Mia and the game. After knocking on the door and getting no response, she opens the door and sees that Sato isn’t there.

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Kanon Ep 4

Finally got a chance to sit down and actually watch the whole episode in one sitting. More of normal, day-to-day type episode, but it starts putting things in place. The show opens with the normal dream-scape voice over. We then get treated to a flashback scene where Yuuichi and Ayu first meet, seven years ago. She’s crying and he’s trying to cheer her up. This is also where he gets her hooked on taiyaki. And just like the older Yuuichi, he realizes that he was supposed to meet Nayuki. When he catches up with her, she calls him a liar as she does when they’re both older. The scene cuts to the older Yuuichi, who is awake in bed. He hears his door open and someone sneaking in. It’s Makoto. Yuuichi pretends to be asleep as Makoto stands over him, getting ready to drop some konnyaku onto his face. As she she’s about to drop it, he surprises her and she falls to the floor. He asks what she was going to do with the konnyaku. He tricks her into saying that it was her midnight snack. Akiko comes in and sees that Makoto is so hungry that she’ll eat konnyaku.

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In the morning, Makoto is complaining about heartburn because she ate so late last night. Yuuichi almost gets her to admit that she was going to drop the konnyaku on his face. After she runs up to her room, Yuuichi takes Nayuki her lunch. She went to the school on the weekend because her track team is practicing. After watch her train for a while, he leaves and runs into Kaori who’s also at school because of her club. She hints that things aren’t gong well at home so she’d rather come to school. Yuuichi believes that she had a fight with her parents. She tells Yuuichi not to cause any trouble for Nayuki and to watch out for Nayuki as she has a tendency to overexert herself. Yuucihi jokes with Kaori about this being the cause of her being sleepy all of the time.

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After leaving Kaori, he heads downtown to help Akiko shop. Ayu makes runs up to them and trips. Yuuichi introduces Akiko to Ayu as his landlord. After explaining what a landlord is, he introduces Ayu to Akiko who seems to recognize Ayu’s name, but isn’t sure. Ayu joins them in order to help Yuuichi unpack his boxes. She says she wants to thank him for helping her look for the item that she lost the other day. When they get home, Yuuichi notices Makoto watching them from the top of the stares. She hides behind a corner until Yuuichi calls her down to meet Ayu. Yuuichi and the two girls start to carry up his boxes. As Yuuichi carries the rest of the boxes up, Ayu breaks the ice with the unexpectedly shy Makoto by offering her a taiyaki she bought earlier. As Ayu leaves the house, she notices Makoto watching from a window. She waves to Makoto who shyly waves back. Later that night, Nayuki, back from training, asks Yuuichi for her notebook. He forgot it at school and decides to go and get it, even though the school is closed. He’s walking down the hall when he notices a figure. As he gets closer, we see that it’s so Mai carrying a sword. And the show closes there.

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So far, this is the only episode where the music got my attention. The music playing during the flashback scene was nice and enjoyable. I really enjoyed the music that played during the Mai scene and hoped for more of the same in the next episode. Another thing that I noticed, and I’ll have to find the previous episodes, but it seems like every time we see Ayu leave, it seems that she’s heading off into light. In this episode, as she left Yuuichi’s home, Ayu ran into the sunset. During the flashback, when she left Yuuichi, she ran down a sun-lit street. I’ve mentioned before that, as I understand it, the show is supposed to have a supernatural aspect to it and having Ayu continuingly running into the light is very suggestive of a plot development along those lines. And then there is Mai and her imitation of Buffy the Slayer. That should be a very intetersting plot development. Even though the show had a “normal, every day” feel to it (for most of the show that is), this was another enjoyable show.

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Pumpkin Scissors Ep 4

In the last episode, we learned a little about Alice and that despite being a noble, she’s interested in social justice and breaking down class distinctions. We finally get some more background on Randell Oland in episode 4. Granted, most of it is speculation. There are obvious opposite qualities in these two. Alice is rich and sleeps in a fine bed while Oland is poor and sleeps under a bridge. Alice is forward and enthusiastic where Oland is reserved to the point of being shy. But there are similarities, too. Both are interested in repairing the damage done by the war. Alice has spoken about helping people in pretty much every episode. Its how she got Oland to help fight the tank in the first episode of the show. And Oland was an ex-solider who rejoined the military specifically to join the Pumpkin Scissors unit. And both have their own switches to get them going. Alice basically has a short fuse, not even a tank firing its main cannon in front of her phased her. Out numbered, she wanted to take on experienced ex-soldiers with only a three man team not equipped for fighting. Oland literally flicks a lantern switch to take him from a meek shambling giant to a zombified one-man tank buster.

Oland is dreaming of tanks and a group of blue-lanterned soldiers, including himself, marching steadily towards the oncoming tanks with the words “Toten Sie” (roughly “Kill” in German) being shouted in the background and appearing on the screen. Just as he’s about to fire his gun, Alice appears in his dream, that its time to go and offer war relief. Oland wakes up under the bridge surrounded by hungry cats. After feeding them, Oland passes by a couple of other homeless men who ask him if he had another bad dream. He pauses and the image of Alice flashes by and answers that it was a good dream. The real-life Alice is sarcastically asking Oreld if he can only remember the names of women that he’s dating. Oreld is having trouble remembering the bad guy of episode two, Viscount Wolkins, who hunted them with his tank. An Army tank expert, Lt. Webner, is paying the team a visit. She tells them that the tank is an experimental one and that no one like Wolkins should have one. In fact, its still in development. She asks the unit to investigate. Orled suggests asking Wolkins himself. Captain Hunks tells them that Wolkins is in a sanatorium and incapable of telling them where he got it.

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To find out where the tank came from, the team head out to visit the foremost tank expert, Doctor Colt, in the empire. On the way over, Machs is preoccupied with a conversation he had with Lt. Webner concerning Orland. She’s curious about how he’s been able to take on tanks in a fight and survive. Machs describes him as a nice guy.Nice guy or not, she wants to know how he could ten tons of or and know where to fire his gun and have the shell penetrate a tanks’ armor at blank range. The team meet with Dr. Colt and give him their information concerning the tank for his review. After reviewing it, he tells that there is the tank doesn’t exist. There’s an organization called the “Alliance of Western Nations Technological Conference” were such technological advancements are made and this tank hasn’t been mentioned in it either. Dr. Colt goes on to say that this tank is far more advanced than any tank currently in production in any country. He asks if the military has started to analyze the tank. Alice tells him that they’re about to start. She suddenly gets a feeling on the back of her neck and decides to leave. As Machs is gathering up the papers, he notices a gun mounted on a wall that looks like the one that Oland uses. He asks the doctor about it, Dr. Colt tells him that its a mock-up of a 13mm anti-tank gun. It was designed to give a foot solider a better weapon to fight tanks with. The only effecitve way to use the tank is to fire at at point-blank range. After Alice and her team leave his office, Dr. Colt makes a phone call concerning “that tank”. As the unit drives off, they’re followed back to a laboratory were the tank is being dismantled.

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At the lab, Oreld notices a new armored car. Lt. Webner explains that it’ll be used by another military unit. Inside the armored car, the men who were following the team have snuck in. They start it up, and fire the main cannon, hitting the experimental tank. As the team try to recover, the armored car starts to move. The drivers intend to ram the tank with a front mounted spike. As the car speeds towards the tank, Alice notices that Machs is trapped it by fallen debris. As Machs is about to be run over, he’s picked up by Oland. Oland had turned on his blue lantern and is in the hypnotic like state that goes into when he is fighting a tank. The spikes of the armored car pierce Oland’s leg. He fires his gun, the same model as the one that Machs saw on Dr. Colt’s wall, at the same time that the main cannon fires, Injuring Orland on the side of the head. Back the head office of the team, Machs is reporting to Capt. Hunks, he tells him that all three of the masked men are dead and the tank is completely destroyed. He goes on report that Oland will be out of the hospital in a month. Machs asks the Captain about Oland’s old unit, the 901st Anti-tank unit. There is no such unit listed and by convention, no military unit has a numerical designation with the number nine in at as the previous emperor was killed on the battlefield on September 9th. Captain Hunks tells Machs that there are unlisted military units. And together they form a group of units called the “Invisible 9”. Stekkin suddenly runs in and tells them that Viscount Wolkins committed suicide. Captain Hunks states that Wolkins was killed in order to keep the secret about the tank. He goes on to say that there’s an organization out there that will kill to keep its secret. He asks if Machs is willing to risk his life in order to investigate the “Invisible 9”. Machs states that he is willing.

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Kanon Ep 3 – The slap heard ’round the world

There’s been a lot of humor in the previous episodes of Kanon and episode three is no different. Yuucihi brings home the girl who attacked him the last episode. Since she’s passed out, he has to carry her. When he gets in, both Nayuki and Akiko make the same joke (at different times) about the girl being a big ingredient for the oden. They manage to awake her by shouting that dinner’s ready. When they’re eating dinner, the girl is obviously hungry since she’s eating fast. Yuuichi asks who she is but the girl claims amnesia which Yuuichi doesn’t believe since she remembers him. The girl explains that the only thing she knows is that she holds a grudge against him. After dinner Yuuichi, Nayuki and the girl are going through her purse for clues. Yuuichi points that everything she has seems to have just been picked up from the ground. Its clear that the girl is trying to build a history for herself since she doesn’t remember who she is. They also find some pictures taken from a photo booth of the girl by herself. She explains that she saw other girls her age using the photo booth to take pictures. Yuuichi wants to call the police and turn the girl over to them so that they can take care of her. The girl is frightened by this and thinks the police are scary. Nayuki suggests letting Akiko decide. Yuuichi protests because he know that Akiko will let the girl stay.

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Sure enough, Akiko lets the girl stay, claiming that being around Yuuichi might help her remember. She later tells Yuuichi that she will talk to the police if there are any reports of missing girls.Since the girl can’t remember her name, Yuuichi comes up with an insulting name. The girl smacks Yuuichi in the face, knocking him over. After everyone has gone to sleep, Yuuichi hears the girl sneaking downstairs. He follows her and finds her looking through the refrigerator, looking for more to eat. He sneaks up behind her and drops some sort of gelatinous looking thing (konnyaku?) down the back of her shirt. The girl shouts and thrashes around the kitchen, waking up Akiko and Nayuki. She tells them that she was still hungry.

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I don’t remember a smack like this since Aka double-palmed Matsumaru in REC

At school the next morning, Kitagawa suggests that Yuuichi had some sort of love affair with the girl. Yuuichi points out that he was 10 at the time. Kitagawa mentions that a girl is outside in the yard next to the school. Yuuichi recognizes her as the girl that he and Ayu knocked over the day before. Telling Nayuki that he’ll be back, he goes outside to talk to her. He finds out that she’s a student at the school, but has been home sick. But she’s feeling stronger despite being sick for so long. He asks her why she’s at school and she mentions that she us waiting to meet someone, but she doens’t know a name or what grade this person is, even though we presume that its Yuuichi. As she leaves, Yuuichi tells her his name, but she only tells him her first name, Shiori. In spending time with Shiori during lunch, Yuuichi forgot about his promise to Nayuki to have lunch with her. He offers to buy her sushi as an apology.

After school Yuuichi is walking through downtown when Ayu runs up and jumps on his back. In another humorous scene, Yuuichi makes Ayu angry by mocking her with her catchphrase “Uguu”. To apologize to her, he buys her taiyaki. In all three episodes, Ayu has rarely been seen without a taiyaki bag. In the first episode, Yuuichi had a memory from when was 10. A girl around the same age bumped into him, crying because she was lost. To calm her down, he bought her some taiyaki. In the second episode, we find out that the little girl was Ayu. So it seems that Ayu has a strong unconscious bond with Yuuichi through taiyaki. In a poignant scene, Ayu explains that she was out looking for something that she lost. When Yuuichi asks her what it was, Ayu can’t remember and becomes distressed by not remembering what it was. After searching around places that Ayu could’ve lost it (and they all deal with food), They walk to a bakery that Ayu remembers visiting, but turns out that a bookstore is now located there. Standing front of the bookstore, Yuuichi asks if she has a cell phone. Ayu doesn’t know what a cell phone is until Yuuichi explains that its a mobile phone.

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As he heads home, Yuuichi wonders if the city casts an amnesia spell over people. Ayu can’t remember what she lost or where, he can’t remember his life in the city 7 years earlier and the girl at home can’t remember who she is. When he gets home, the girl comes running at him, slips and lands on top of him. Nayuki and Akiko come into the hallway and tell Yuuichi that the girl remembers her name. The girl calls herself “Makoto”. Yuuichi thinks her name sounds like a guy’s name. She defends herself by sayingf her name is cute and his is weird. Yuuichi calls her a freeloader. Makoto points out that Yuuichi is one too, despite being family.

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So this episode solves half of a mystery and introduces Makoto whom I liked from the original Kanon. I haven’t seen all of the original series so I don’t know her her story other than what’s been shown here. So know we have to wait to find out who she is and what happened to her memories and her connection to Yuuichi. Then there’s the mystery of Shiori. Why is she sneaking out to meet Yuuichi when she’s sick? Who is she? And if she’s recovering, why is she wearing a shawl instead of a coat in the snow? I thought the camera work during their meeting was great. It followed Shiori as she walked around Yuuichi when they were talking.

I know that Kanon is supposed to have a hint or two of the supernatural to it. That lead me to believe that Ayu is a ghost or spirit of some sort, but we see her reflection in the window of the bookstore. I don’t think that we would have seen her reflection if she was a ghost. As I mentioned earlier, I found the scene when Ayu couldn’t remember what she had lost to be very poignant (and the fact that I was able to spell that word correctly the first time…even though I am using it incorrectly here). The unknown urgent need that she had to find it as soon as possible and her reaction to not being able to remember it came acrossas very painful.

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Hatakari Man Ep 1

How can you like a show that has a junior employee telling the female lead (and a senior employee) not to change his work, have her be glad not to see her boyfriend because she’s tired and then complains about not having sex for three months? How can you not?

Hatakari Man shows us the life of magazine writer/editor, Matsukata Hirokko (Hiro). Hiro is basically a workaholic, the kind of person who rushes even when she’s not late. A junior writer/editor, Tanaka Kunio doesn’t want her reviewing his work since he knows that its already perfect. In the opening episode, Hiro gets to interview the Foreign Minister about his “celebrity” lifestyle. Instead of the hour that she was promised, she only gets 15 minutes and even that time is cut in half as the Minister is running late (or deliberately blowing her off). The next evening, she’s still at work when she receives a phone call from her boyfriend apologizing for the cancelling their date the other night. She also receives a phone call from a woman who works for the Foreign Minister. She wants to meet with Hiro to talk about the Minister. Hiro thinks that she might be a whistle blower. As she leaves, Kunio makes a comment about work coming before private life. Ignoring him, Hiro meets with the woman who tells Hiro about the Minister misappropriating funds. The next morning, Hiro tells the senior editor and chief editor. They get excited by the scoop. After they approve the new article, Hiro goes into super writer mode where she works three times as fast and is utterly focused on her work.

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The next morning Hiro watches a TV news report shows the fallout from Hiro’s article about the Foreign Minister. The woman that Hiro interviewed turns out to be the Minister’s secretary. The minister is shown blaming the secretary. Hiro gets a phone call from someone who threatens her life for “telling lies”. The senior editor takes the phone from and hangs up. He warns her that she could be in trouble from people following her. The chief editor walks in and complains about having to clean up the mess that the article created. On her way home that night, Hiro flashes back to the interview with the secretary. Hiro asked her why she was willing to blow the whistle on the Minister. The secretary points out that Hiro was angry at the shortened time length she was given to interview the minister. The secretary had days like that. As she continues to walk home, Hiro realizes that she’s being followed. She fakes a loud phone call to her boyfriend, Shinji, and runs into her apartment building. As Hiro gets to her apartment, Shinji calls her. She tells asks him to come over because she was followed and is scared. He can’t because he has to leave the city for a business trip. Interestingly enough, Hiro thinks that if she were a man, she’d say the same thing. Later on, Hiro thinks about how scary politics can be and how her article can cause a lot of trouble.

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Hiro is arguing with the senior editor because she wants to write an article defending the secretary. The editor points out that its against policy to disclose sources sine Hiro would have to reveal the secretary as the source. They found the possible abuse by the Minster interesting. That’s the only reason why they let her write the article. Hiro calls the secretary, trying to convince her to be named in a follow-up article. The secretary still refuses. She’s allowing herself to be seen as a criminal as a punishment for not stopping the greedy minister earlier. The following day, Hiro is still making her case to write a follow-up article. The senior editor is still adamant about not naming the source as it will damage the magazine’s reputation for protecting informants. The editor asks her if she’s still receiving threats and is she willing to receive more from the second article. The chief editor arrives and gives his approval for her second article. A little while later, Hiro is trouble writing the article. She’s suffering from writer’s block until she realizes that she wrote the article in such a way that didn’t clearly implicate the minister. She kicks into Hatakari Man mode and starts writing.

Overall, I liked this episode. And I can see the potential some pretty interesting office politics and conflicts between Hiro and Kunio. Kuno comes off as a laid back, cocky kind of a guy. I imagine that his writing has to be pretty good for him to tell Hiro not to edit his work. The remaining characters aren’t seen much except for the chief editor who seems to be a gruff stand-up character type, the senior editor who appears to be well-balance and doesn’t raise his voice often. And then there’s another junior editor who’s eager to make her way. She also has tendency to describe everything as a disaster. Hiro was great to watch and I can’t wait to see more. Her eyes still freak me out little, but I think she’s a great characte to follow.

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Pumpkin Scissors Ep 3

The show starts with Oland waking up in a sleeping bag under a bridge where he apparently sleeps at night. It jumps to Alice waking up in a lush big bed. At breakfast, one of her sisters makes comments about Alice’s uniform being to manly for her. Alice points out that its a military uniform. Her father asks her how long does she intend to play her “army games”. Alice mentions that its family tradition to be in the military. Another sister points out that the war has been over with a for a few years. Alice states that the real struggle is to help the people recover and that its the job of her unit to help bring relief to everyone who needs it. Her father points out that while people are going hungry, she’s been eating well. At the office for her unit, Oreld gets there late, but realizes that Alice is also late. Machs points out the lipstick on his chest. Later, Alice still hasn’t shown up and Oreld points out that she’s rarely late. Stekkin makes a comment comparing Alice to the habitually late Oreld. Alice then enters, out of breath from running from her house to the office. Alice says that commoners don’t have carriages to take them back and forth like she does. When Stekkin offers her a glass of water, Alice hesitates, asking if commoners drink water. Machs and Oreld wonder if anything happened to her. After Alice apologizes to Captain Hunks for being late, he sends her and the team off to repair the Su-13 tunnel in the south.

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Travelling by train, Oreld is complaing about rebuilding the tuneel. Machs explains that a rebuilt railroad will bring money back into the empire. Alice agrees and is enthusisatic about having her team work along side the commoners. Just then, her stops growls, causing her to become embarassed and Oland to ask if she’d eaten anything. When the train gets to the tunnel, Alice wants to use the tunneling train to bore directly into the rock that had collapsed into the tunnel. Oland thinks that the tunnel would collapse further if they did. They hear Oreld shouting and turn to see him holding onto a young boy who has stolen some food rations. The boy complains that the military gets to eat well. This hits a nerve with Alice who lets the boy keep the rations in return for taking her to his village. At the village, the boy’s father, the village leader, refuses to help Alice and her team. He explains that when the tunnel collapsed five years earlier, the military hired them to repair it. Instead of being payed for their work, the villagers recevied an exemption from serving in the military. With bad crop harvests and no money, people died. Alice asks him to trust her but he won’t help her repair the tunnel.

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Alice decides to go ahead and start the work by herself and orders the rest of the team to help. Oland then comes out with lunch but Alice refuses, ignoring her growling stomach. Alice can’t eat, thinking about people all of the people going hungry while she grew up having food. The same boy, Peter, from before shows up, playing on the tunneling train. Alice explains that it isn’t a tank like he thinks it is. Its a shield train. It was sued to knock down barriers and fences in front of soliders during combat. It’s been modified for drilling the tunnel. Peter apologizes for his father, but Alice understands that he won’t help based on promises. Alice starts working in the tunnel by herself, but since she hasn’t eaten, she collapes and dreams about her grandfather. We see a young Alice asking her grandfather if he feels lonely living in a huge house by himself. He tells her that all nobles are somewhat alone. She wakes up, with Oland sitting next to him. Alice slaps him. When Oland asks why, she admits that she doesn’t know why. She then refuses the dinner that Oland brought. Talking to no one in particular, Oland mentions that the country is wretched, suffering from a disease that he calls “war damage”. Alice compares the people of the country to patients suffering from the disease. She goes on to say that their unit is the doctor, working to cure the country. Oland tells her that the paitents don’t want the doctor to be a friend or to share their suffering. They just want the suffering to end. Alice starts to understand that ignoring meals has no affect on helping the country to recover.

The next morning, Alice and Oland return to the village. Alice drives her dagger into the table causing everyone to think that she’s going to use the threat of violence to get them to help. Alice removes the handle from the dagger, revealing the Emporer’s crest. Alice explains that this isn’t a normal military sword. The crest indicates that she’s the next in line to succeed to the head of the Malvin family, one of the 13 Appointed Families of the empire. She then swears an oath that the villagers will receive the money owed to them for the work they did five years earlier. Orled runs in shouting that Peter drove the Shield train into the tunnel and that it collapsed. Alice and the village leader crawl into the tunnel and find Peter. The tunnel entrance becomes completely sealed, trapping the three of them inside. Alice tells them that her team will get them out. The village leader is amused by her faith in her team. He doesn’t understand why a “well-off” person like her would risk her life. Alice tells him that its because she’s well-off that she risks her life. He then tells her that the tunnel collapsed when the villagers were working on it and that the nobles in charge of the project left without helping. Alice gets a premonition and shoves Peter and his father out of the way as a boulder starts to move. Just when its about to hit Alice, it explodes. Alice then sees a blue light and realizes Oland shot destroyed the boulder with his anti-tank gun. Alice wins the trust of the vilalge leader and the villagers start helping the Pumpkin Scissors team to repair the tunnel along side of the team.

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There really isn’t much to say about this episode. It was nice to get some background on Alice. We see that Alice’s father and sisters are typical nobles and that she’s the idealistin the family. We also learn that she will succeed her father as head of the Malvin family. Despite that, it was a predictable episode. And instead Oland shooting tanks, he shoots a boulder. I know this is only the third episode of the show. I don’t know how many episodes the show is scheduled to run for, but I hope a fair amount of them don’t end with Oland using his anti-tank gun and blue lantern to end things. Its not a bad show, but so far, it hasn’t become a great show to enjoy.

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Happiness EP 1

Happiness is on my watch list because a high school comedy romance seemed like a nice choice after some summer shows that ate my soul *cough* StrawberryPanic *cough* and dissapointing Fall shows *cough* CodeGeass: LelouchoftheZzzzzz…snort *cough*…huh? Umm, yeah, okay. And besides, with a title of Happiness, how can you not feel …happy. The show opens up with (yet another character named) Haruhi, a magic student at Hogwarts…a school were the magical students are separated from the regular students (Yeah, I know, its not an original joke. But who comes here for the jokes anyway? The bots sure don’t. 😉 ) Haruhi is demonstrating her powers in class. After class, she and her friend/rival(?), Anri are walking down a hall, being observed from a window in the regular students building. Watching them walk are Hachi, Jun, and the male lead, Yuumi.

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The next Haruhi is buying St. Valentine chocolates to give to Yuumi as its implied that he saved her from bully’s when they were little children with, interestingly enough, magic. Anri is also buying chocolates because she thinks that this is how Haruhi become popular. Hauhi has a stash of St. Valentine’s day chocolates, presumably for Yuumi, that she’s failed to give in the past. Jun is buying also buying chocolates and dragged Yuumi and Hachi along. while their friends are shopping, both Haruhi and Yuumi decide to go outside and wait for them They both come to a park and see some boys bullying a little girl. Yuumi talks to them, but they don’t listen and break the little girl’s box of chocolates. Haruhi uses magic to fix it.

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Haruhi and Yuumi are about to talk when Jun and Hachi show up. As Yuumi, Jun, and Hachi are walking away, it gets revealed that Jun, despite looking and sounding like a girl, is actually a guy dressed up as a girl because the clothes fit so well. haruhi goes home, saddened because she still didn’t give Yuumi her box of chocolates as a St. Valentine’s Day gift. The next day, Anri is demanding to know how the chocolates are for. She uses magic spells against Hauhi who dodges the attacks. Anri loses control of the spell and it breaks through a window. At this momemnt, Yuumi, Jun, and Hachi are walking by the building when the magic spell blows up a patch of the ground in front of Yuumi. Harhui runs out to see if he’s okay. As the two groups part, Haruhi manages to give Yuumi her box of chocolates. When Haruhi and Anri get to their dorm, Anri makes a joke about how great things would be if both schools were merged together.

Later that night, Yuumi is watching TV when a news report announces that the magic section of the school has burnt down in a mysterious fire. The next day, the magic school students are transferred to the regular school. As Haruhi and Anri are walking to their new class, Anri denies having anything to do with the fire. When they reach the room, Haruhi sees that Yuumi is in the same class.

Not a bad episode, but nothing really that stays with you. I expect some funny moments from the show. I hope they keep doing the will-they-won’t-they routine. The novelty of Jun, a boy who looks, dresses and sounds like a girl will wear off fast. Its the kind of show that I’d eat popcorn with.

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