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Author Topic: Kuragehime  (Read 18000 times)

Offline AC

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Kuragehime
« on: October 16, 2010, 08:52:03 AM »
01:

Ladies and gentlemen, this may very well be the dark horse of the season, and a contender for one of the best of the year. It sounds premature to say such a thing so early in the show, but if the first minute alone did more than enough to render me completely smitten, this show is seriously speaking volumes.

This is a josei title, but even so, there's nothing cynical about what you see here. Tsukimi is one of the most likable female leads/geek in recent times, and her genuine love for jellyfish and flashbacks of her (late?) mother has grown on me instantaneously. Her relationship with the Nunz residents is quirky and cute, but underneath the fun and laughter lies the warm, family/sister-like connection. Their jokes on venturing through Shibuya are delightfully amusing, but at the same time there's a tinge of sadness of how the closeness of the relationship.

I love how the show makes subtle, unforceful references to the fujoushi community, social withdrawal and even anime/manga subculture, and how it does it with credibility. And the huge revelation at the end of the episode? Stupendously hilarious. It's cute, it's funny and yet it's not that off-the-wall.

This is one gem I'm keeping a very close eye on.

Offline zzeroparticle

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2010, 11:33:55 AM »
A Noitamina show a dark horse of any given season? I dunno about that.....

Offline Shadowmage

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2010, 05:26:45 PM »
I like this title.  It's genuine in a way that is believable but still interesting.  Now I'm curious what the title can do to distinguish itself from Genshiken or Welcome to the NHK!, but considering that this is told from a female perspective, I do have some high hopes for this one.

I recommend Mobile Suit, RX-0 and Unicorn from the Unicorn OST.

Offline AC

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2010, 05:52:04 PM »
A Noitamina show a dark horse of any given season? I dunno about that.....
I don't really care much about past instance of Noitamina shows, especially when the special timeslot doesn't apply to me who's living in SE Asia, anyway. My definition of "dark horse" is based purely on the content alone, and perhaps the director who's working on it. As it looks like Brains Base has created another entertaining show.

Offline C0MPL3X

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2010, 08:30:38 PM »
noitaminA and brains base implies quality content for me

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2010, 08:43:03 PM »
I don't think this was a dark horse.  A Brains Base anime from a director with a proven track record and being shown in the Noitamina timeslot (which, given the quality of anime that have aired on that slot, these days means something).  If it wasn't going to be good, it was going to be a shocking disappointment.  After the first ep, the only question at this point is "how good".

Ep 1

Easily the best first ep of the season.  Easily.  I finished the episode with the stupidest grin on my face, so enjoyable I found it.  Instantly love the OP and the reference overload during the sequence.

Lots of oddball and eccentric characters, but the interactions between them are really believable and entertaining (I especially loved the scene where they go to the shut-in for advice) and they're sympathetic.  The seiyuu are good too.  I'm very quickly running of out of ways to say that Kana Hanazawa is amazing.  I can't help but compare her with Mamiko Noto, in that they both often voice cute characters in cute ways, but I really think Hanazawa is immensely more talented.  Even in this episode, Hanazawa leaves Noto in her dust (although, to be fair to Noto, she didn't exactly get a large number of lines to do much with, and the lines she did have kept getting interrupted).

This is an interesting take on it and a good explanation why nerds (like me) are going to find it so sympathetic.  I have a feeling there'll be something said about the difference between expectation and reality, particularly expectations from childhood.  It's interesting that the ED sequence shows all the characters as children, and there's constant reference towards Tsukimi's mother's prediction that she'll grow up to be a princess, which seems to crop up particularly when she's down about something.  There's almost something about "growing old" in this anime, as opposed to "coming of age", which most anime are about, and the ironic thing about it is that 18 isn't old by any stretch of the imagination.  (Neither is 26, but there are days where I have a huge amount of trouble convincing myself that's the case).

This is absolutely the must-watch anime of this season.  No questions about that.

Edit: Oh yeah, and what better way to get a first impression than from a fujoshi?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 08:53:10 PM by Sorrow-kun »

Offline AC

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2010, 11:03:36 PM »
Kanazawa to be compared with Noto? I actually think that Kanazawa's voice can sometimes sound like Kawasumi Ayako's, especially during the comical moments.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2010, 10:00:28 PM »
1:

AH HA HA HA HA!!!  Now this is what anime is supposed to be:  fun!  From start to finish I loved everything I saw.  Back story, character introductions, setups, execution, humor, everything about this clicked so well.  Sure, I called it pretty quickly that the "Princess" was a transvestite, but I didn't care.  Delicious setup through irony?  Sign me up!

Oh God, the potential this one has is amazing.  DO IT NOITAMINA!
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Offline AC

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 08:06:10 AM »
Just when we are getting smitten over this show, it's delayed until next week. Crap. What's up with the delayed telecasts of anime episodes lately, anyway?

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 12:44:22 PM »
Gymnastics bitch.
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Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2010, 07:21:46 PM »
Ep 2

The awkwardness was palpable.  I did think the Sisterhood was being overly irrational.  I think it would have been more interesting if they tried to have a conversation with Kuranosuke and found that they just couldn't, rather than going into their shells to the extreme they did, but I get the feeling that, later on in the show, they'll find out they have more in common with so called "hipsters" than they think.

The fact that Kuranosuke is the son of a famous politician is a corker.  There's so many different directions they can run with this.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2010, 04:49:51 AM »
2:

If you can't name all the movie references in the intro, you fail at geekdom.  Though, I will admit, I'm not sure on the stereotypical Cho-Han dice game part.  It's something common in a lot of Japanese periodical films of the feudal -> Meiji era.

God, I haven't had this much fun with a show since Honey & Clover.  It's completely whimsical and random but quite funny.  Mayaya's obsession with the Three Kingdoms lore is pretty ridiculous, and yet I find myself appreciating her joke about the "moe" version of Three Kingdoms.  I once wrote that Koihime Musou would have Zhuge Liang rolling in his grave.  I have found a kindred spirit nerd.

I agree with Sorrow-kun that they were a bit too harsh with the stranger.  I get that they're pretty insecure around anybody new or hip.  It's actually kind of ironic that the "weirdos" get weirded out.  I hate to use that term, but that's the best one I can come up with.  They really are girls who purposely live outside of society.  So, society scares them.  Again, it is a rather extreme reaction and behavior, and something that I would be embarrassed about if I ever knew people who did such a thing.  I just understand it is all.

Then again, their resolve is only as thick as the cuts of meat going into the hot pot.  I think things got reconciled there a bit too easily, but whatever.  It was properly set up in the episode, and though Transvestite-kun had no way of knowing that they lust for Matsuzaka beef (and who wouldn't?), alls well that ends in a well.  Or something.

And, yes, he being the son of a diet member is ****ing delicious.  You get the idea that dad knows of his son's habits and strongly disapproves, both for his own beliefs and for his political standing.  Big brother seems to be the compromiser and the "good son", but you get the idea he doesn't hate his little bro or his hobby.  He's just protecting everybody from blowing the whole situation sky high.

I find it fascinating that the media hasn't blown that story, tho.  Shit, US politicians can't get away with jack and all their family secrets get aired to the public, too.  It's disgusting and makes me wish I could legally murder some members of the press, but that's life.  And I know the Japanese equivalent to the paparazzi is just as loathsome and vicious, so yeah.  But, hell, I'm not going to let that bother me too much.  The show's fun and I'm willing to let it take me where it wants to go.
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Offline AC

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2010, 06:59:03 AM »
2:

I'm still loving every minute of the show. Like TIF have said, the show is whimsical, funny and honestly cute. Tsukimi's nerd freakouts are just do ado-wable. I can't relate to Mayaya's nerdy passion for Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but I can relate to those around Mayaya and feel that she can go overboard with her passion. And yes, she echoed my sentiments at the industrial moe aspect.

As far as the Kuranosuke and the Nuns interaction are involved, I see some interesting interaction dynamics between the characters. I can't help but ask why Tsukimi isn't as cold towards Kuranosuke as the rest of the Nuns. Is it simply because she saved the jellyfish? I honestly think that unlike the Nuns, Tsukimi doesn't have adverse feelings towards hipsters. Sure, she may not blend well with hipsters but this doesn't necessarily mean that she hates them. She does see the good in Kuranosuke and is willing to cut him some slack.

The Nuns however, are different with the treatment. It's not that about them seeing themselves as victims of the hipster community; it's just them being intolerant towards hipsters. I don't condone it, but I can understand where their sentiments come from: hipsters can be shallow judgmental people. But here's the irony: the Nuns have become judgmental in the process and immediately regarded Kuranosuke as one of them when he's actually a nice guy. He may be incisive at times, but he only means well. It's social etiquette under the magnifying glass here. Their immediate reconciliation after receiving the Matsutaka beef is too convenient, but it's not hard to swallow either.

A trasvestite son of a diet member... wow, two contrasting worlds under one roof. I kinda admire Kuranosuke's brother for trying to keep it together out of brotherly love.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2010, 04:27:33 PM »
3:

I can't help but appreciate a show that keeps putting a smile on my face.  I don't know really what to say about this episode but that the clash of subcultures is not going to end anytime soon. 

Kuranosuke is probably wrong in his overbearing nature.  He's literally forcing his world onto Tsukimi.  However, Tsukimi's reasons for being so counter-culture are more like, ingrained environmental behaviors.  The sisterhood is her life, so doing something against the wishes of the sisterhood would trouble her life.  In a way, she's not making a decision for herself what she really wants.  The sisterhood allows her to not have to worry about anything just so long as she sticks to "the rules".  Kuranosuke, on the other hand, has a selfish motivation to turn Tsukimi from frog to princess.  Part of it might be a genuine wish to help her, even if the "help" he's giving her isn't what she wants.  The rest is his own want to test his skills at beautifying people.  In his mind, all women are born to be princesses (a theme echoed by Tsukimi and her mother in the first episode).  But he's adding a new dimension to it:  whether they want to or not.

I admit, I saw this coming eventually, but I was hoping that the whole point wouldn't be that "being beautiful is good;  not being beautiful is bad".  So far, I don't think they're quite shoving that plot concept down our throats, but I could see it going that way.  The rest of the sisterhood might not go along with it, but Tsukimi has already had her first taste of what "normalcy" can be like, and while she hated it initially, she's found something about it appealing.

Couple of other points:

- I am very pleased we're dealing with some 30 somethings here.  I don't think Tsukimi is that old, but the rest of the sisterhood is.  That's fascinating to me.  In another post I pointed out how youth is desirable in feminine quality in Japan.  If this show is going to explore the middle age a bit, I'm all for it.  It's something that really has never been touched upon in anime as far as I know.

- The Prime Minister Uncle was a hoot.  One thing about the Japanese, they don't have a problem poking fun at their politicians.

I love this show.
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Offline AC

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Re: Kuragehime
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2010, 06:54:22 AM »
3:

Aww, this show is so charming that I can't find myself to hate it in any way.

But TIF is right: Kuranosuke is a little invasive in trying to beautify Tsukimi, albeit it's all for the right intentions. I don't find his concept of "everyone is beautiful" wrong; in fact, it's a good concept of him. I just wondering what does he mean by that sentence. How does he ultimately define "beauty"? I find it noble that he can befriend the Nuns despite their initial cold treatment and rabid nerdy enthusiasm (one valid way to show that he recognizes "inner beauty") but at the same time, he's also into makeup, fashionable stuff and such which is more about "outer beauty". It's a contradiction that makes him a little unusual... and interesting.

But there's one thing I truly agree with Kuranosuke: polishing a diamond in the rough is more fun to watch. It's classic Cinderella storytelling but it still works, so I'm not sure if it's a trope for now. I actually thought for a second "Man, bishoujo Tsukimi is damn ado-wable!".

You know one thing I like about Tsukimi? He hasn't exploded over getting a makeover from Kuranosuke, despite being against makeup and stuff. There's no sense of cynicism to make her hateful towards Kuranosuke, and that's what makes her likable.

One thing I feel good about this episode: the Nuns do make an honest living. For a minute, I thought that they're living off their parents shamelessly and they're even justifying their actions but then comes the curveball to show that the Nuns still a level of decency to make ends meet.

And I have to give it to Kuranosuke's brother. Not only is he a good brother who's very laid-back for a Japanese politician, he's also earned my vote for his Hosaka-Imagination moment.

Just to end off my post, here are two screenshots that I just have to poke fun at:





Apparently, Takuya Kimura realizes that GATSBY ads can only get you so far~

Is this show a parody or something...?
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