Nikuman-kun's sister officially joins the cast.

Nikuman-kun’s sister officially joins the cast.

Chihayafuru season 2, episode 5 begins the match against Hokuo Academy. Not only is this the final round in the Tokyo Regional, but it is a grudge match for Hokuo, since Mizusawa High denied them the opportunity to compete at the National championship at Omi Jingu last year. As such, this had to be a two-parter. What I wasn’t expecting was the appearance of several minor characters, and the strong foreshadowing of a Meijin battle to come.

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Nanami with ink brush and traditional attire.

Episode 3 of Kamisama Hajimemashita (AKA Kamisama Kiss) was another cute episode. It also did a good job of introducing slowly developing the storyline between Nanami and Tomoe. One of the things that struck me about this episode, however, was that it doesn’t follow the common anime practice of keeping the characters in a single outfit all of the time. Nanami, in particular, was shown in 5 different outfits, just in this one episode.

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The subs are out?

I was starting to despair that the cynicism and crass commercialism that is pervasive in our world had been effective in shutting down Hyouge Mono (Tea for Universe, Tea for Life). Huzzah get my gratitude for persevering in the face of indifference and lack of discernment. So, “Huzzah! to Huzzah.” Episode 4 displays many threads of the developing story. A fashion show develops characters in the context of pageantry, gift giving demonstrates egotism, and the tea ceremony is the setting for both petty ambition, and spiritual colloquy.

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Paradise Kiss

August 29, 2010

A picnic Fellini could have been proud of.

Paradise Kiss is the story of Yukari, a high school girl who falls in with a bad crowd. Instead of studying for college entrance exams, she disobeys her mother and tries to make it as a professional model. It’s difficult to blame her, since her new friends seem to be so much fun. Although they have their share of relationship problems, family troubles, and so on, they demonstrate an absolute devotion to their chosen craft: dress-making. Ultimately the show is about making decisions (work, family, and, yes, romantic decisions).

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