Old Fart Who Loves Japanese Pop Culture 日本の大衆文化を愛する中年

Japanese Dramas, Manga, Anime and Japanese Movies, Jpop, and anything else about Japanese pop culture that I find interesting.


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Location: Akihabara@DEEP, NY, Christmas Island

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Aria the Origination 水星领航员 第3季 Screen Caps

Episode 1 That Approaching Spring Breeze
Spring is approaching on Aqua and Carnival is over, Akari is writing to Ai-chan filling her in on what’s been happening and questioning her own abilities. But Ai-chan replies that it’ll all work out and by the next time Ai-chan visits Akari will most likely be a “prima” or full undine. Akari, Aika and Alice are out practicing, discussing what they’ve learned from their seniors during carnival, when Alice suggests that they stop for tea. They meet Akatsuki and Al at the café, Al is helping Akatsuki study for the Salamander promotional exam.

The first season covered Akari when she first started at the Aria Company as an apprentice or “pair” so named because pairs where two gloves to protect the hands, Akairi was a “single” or journeyman during the second season, and the opening episode of this third season finds her and Aika still journeymen but I’m sure the pair will soon be tested for their own promotions.

Crystal Nova released the first episode of the third Aria season this week, I’ve been waiting for their release because I’ve downloaded their releases for the first, second and OVA and they do a nice job on this anime. Their quality hasn’t decreased at all and while I was hoping for a HD release it just doesn’t make sense if HD RAWs aren’t available to begin with. I just love this show, as I’ve noted on the posts covering the first and second seasons. I’d definitely recommend watching the 3 series in the order they were produced, the standalone OVA could be viewed anytime after the first season, but it was actually released after the second season aired. Download the hardsub English fansubs for the first and second seasons, OVA and the first episode of the third season from the Crystal Nova tracker here.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Shika otoko Aoniyoshi 鹿男あをによし Screen Caps

A temple priestess is asking for help, without a successor to take her power, the thing she holds in check may destroy her country. The scene shifts to a board room after an earthquake, they have been monitoring Mt. Fuji and the number of earthquakes and possibility of eruption is high, if it occurs Japan may be split and Tokyo may become an island. The director asks about a picture that the researchers noted in the historical earthquake records. The charm was for a Giant Catfish that lived under Japan and if it moved it caused the earthquakes. The director laughs wishing it was that simple. The scene shifts to a research lab after an earthquake. The unluckiest man in the world, Ogawa Takanobu played by Tamaki Hiroshi (Nodame Cantabile, Water Boys) is told by his lab director that he’s to be sent to a girls school in Nara to teach for a semester, because he’s lost his composure and doesn’t get on well with his co-workers. His lab rival Noguchi, is getting a promotion and Ogawa’s girlfriend is going to marry that adversary. With nothing to keep him he decides to go to Nara.

Once he arrives he meets his other cast members Ayase Haruka (Hotaru no Hikari, Hero) as Fujiwara Michiko a fellow teacher who live in the same boarding house as Ogawa and another teacher Fukuhara Shigehisa played by Sasaki Kuranosuke (Meitantei Conan 2, Bambino!). Tabe Mikako (Yamada Taro Monogatari, Hinokio) as Hotta Ito is his most troublesome student and the principal is Kodama Kiyoshi (Dream Again ,Hero) as Oharida Fumiaki. The show is one of the funniest I’ve seen in a long time. Ogawa’s troubles, the physical comedy, a man on the edge of despair yet somehow he keeps going, and in Nara he meets a woman whose luck is apparently as poor as his own. This huge subplot of Japan on the brink of destruction, the incredible deer of Nara and three stars who made some of the best dramas in 2007, Nodame Cantabile, Yamada Taro Monogatari and Hotaru no Hikari. I very much look forward to more episodes to come. I would highly recommend this to fans of Nodame Cantabile or Yamada Taro Monogatari because of the wild characterizations and absurdities. This is the best opening episode I've seen so far this winter drama season, you should give this show a try.

Download the RAW video bit torrent files here, the English soft subs can be downloaded here.

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