Tokko episode 4

May 31, 2006


That Shindou. He's such a user. He agrees to go out with one of his sister's friends just so that he can gain access to the forensic labs as there are rumours that the evidence collected from the murders where the zombies are involved are there. There, his date – Yukino – shows him an ancient manuscript about alchemists who summon spirits. In that book, Shindou spots the very same bug-like creatures that created those zombies. But before he could go any further, Yukino's father, who also works in the lab, tells him to go away.

I suppose I can understand why Saya – Shindou's sister – tailed him on his date. Seriously. That guy needs to learn the fine art of getting a woman! Using them as sources for his work ain't the way.

Shindou explains to Yukino why he's so interested in that book, but Yukino although surprised, refused to divulge any more information. That's what you get from playing a girl, Shindou!

Shindou later finds out from Saya that Yukino's mother was murdered when she was a teenager. This perks his interest and he decides to visit her lab – she's doing the night shift.

And you know what people say about nights – that's when the denizens of evil appear. πŸ˜› Shindou finds himself attacked by, not a zombie, but a guy with horns coming out from his back. Instinctively, he assumes a defensive position when the demon spews a truckload of bug monsters at him. (Eeew.) Then – to the surprise of the demon – something happens to Shindou's tattoo. A shield appears before Shindou and splatters the bugs.

The demon attacks, and Shindou, frozen by a flashback, can only stare. Lucky for him the Leather Squad (TOKKO) appears. Rokujou slashes the monster's hand off. And the demon runs away.

As Rokujou looks after a wounded Shindou, the Leather Squad contemplates how Shindou can survive a "No. 12" (presumably the bug-spewing demon). And one of them makes an ominous comment: "He's mixed."


Thoughts: I noticed that Shinou's tattoo is no longer a faded grey but a stark black. Hmm, I wonder what does that signify? And does it have any similiarities to the tattoo Rokujou has?

Like I suspected, Shindou could very well be some kind of hybrid. But what does that mean? Could it mean that mummy or daddy is a demon? Could it mean that somehow, in the past, he was attacked, and somehow the monster's genes stayed in him because he survived?

So many questions.

After viewing the fourth episode of this series, I have to agree with some of the critics that there isn't anything very original about Tokko. But the story is well-told, and it keeps you intrigued about the whole mystery about what these creatures are and why Shindou is so important.

Tokko episode 2-3

May 30, 2006


Summary: Things are getting really interesting for Shindou. Shindou and his fellow TOKKI officers stumble upon a bloody scene. As Shindou and his friend are told to pick up the 1000-part remains of the victims, they are suddenly alerted to a scream. Together with the chief, they arrive at the scene just in time to see a cop being literally shredded into pieces by some zombies. Gah.

They TOKKI officers try to stop them with their puny guns, but the zombies just keep on coming, all the while saying that they can "smell the blood". Then the mysterious TOKKO unit arrive, casually dismembering the zombies into itsy bitsy pieces.

Okay, after this scene, my file stopped working, and I couldn't wait any longer so I watched episode 3. πŸ˜‰

Somehow Shindou has acquired a strange tatoo-like mark on his arm in episode 2. His sister is so worried about the mark that she sends him to the hospital. The doctor says that it's nothing much, but he takes a blood sample anyway. Later, we find the doctor very excited over what he saw under the microscope.

Shindou, meanwhile, has wandered off the hospital grounds. He sees an old brick building, and since he sees guards there he becomes overly curious and sneaks into the building. Funny, for such a heavily-guarded place, it's sure easy for Shindou to sneak in!

Inside, he sees a comatose guy, but his newly-acquired tattoo begins to hurt a lot and he begins to have visions of monsters – so much so that he passes out. When he comes to, the girl of his dreams – Rokujou – is there. Apparently, the comatose guy is her brother. Both, like Shindou and his sister, were survivors of the massacre that happened at their apartment complex years ago. Earlier we saw a flashback of a younger Shindou greeting a young Rokujou who is drawing on the pavement. Even when she was little, Rokujou was an odd duck.

Remember the excited doctor? Well, somehow bug-like creatures invaded his lab and began devouring Shindou's blood sample. Then they turn on the doc and his buddies and turn them into zombies. Shindou and Rokujou arrive just in time to save Shindou's sis, and Shindou wonders why in the world are suvivors of the massacre being targeted.

Despite this grimness, Shindou subjects himself to his sister's matchmaking efforts. The blind date of his friends and his sister's colleagues at a goukun turn out to be a wee bit of a disaster because she invited their Captain along for the fun!


Thoughts: I really am starting to warm up to this show. πŸ™‚ I've always been partial about "clueless would-be hero becomes savior" stories. Also, maybe it's the whole horror theme thing, but if Tokko were to appear in the stores I'd certainly grab it. Here's to hoping it appears!

So, there's something up with Shindou's blood eh? I'm starting to wonder if he's part monster or something. Maybe some kind of hybrid? Perhaps all survivors of the massacre are targeted by these bug creatures because they're hybrids and all need to be eliminated as they pose a threat.

Too bad we'll never find out what's in Shindou's blood as those blasted doctors were slashed to shreds by Rokujou.

Tokko episode 1

May 30, 2006

tokko.jpgBrief summary: Shindou Ranmaru is late for his graduation – he’s now a an investigator for TOKKI, The Special Mobile Investigation Force. We are informed from the very beginning that Shindou is no ordinary guy. He’s been having bloody dreams about the day his parents were ripped to shreds in their apartment, and he’s been dreaming about a half-naked blood soaked girl. Shindou lives with his rather uninhibited sister who walks around in her underwear when he’s around and flashes him her boobs casually. (Poor guy.) So much so that his best friend says that he is a “sister-con” (someone who has a sister complex). Being a rookie for Tokki means that they have to be ordered around by their chief and to be assigned wonderful duties like picking up shredded remains of murder victims. Yes, the bloody murders – the one that took their parents away – are still happening.

As Shindou is getting used to his new ‘station’ in life, he suddenly meets that half-naked girl and finds out that she’s part of this secretive unit called Tokko. Since he longs to solve the murders of his parents, he thinks that the girl holds the key to what happened in his town years ago.

Thoughts: Tokko has received a lot of criticisms because of its bad animation and cookie cutter-characters. But maybe I’m just less sensitive to bad art as I don’t understand what’s so bad about the animation. πŸ˜‰ Sure, they take a lot of short cuts when it comes to the action scenes – splashes of blood to tell you that something violent is going on – but on the whole, it’s nothing as bad as Weiss Kreuz for example. Now, that’s bad animation.

Still, it’s not great animation as well. Low frame rates and all. But it can do.

I found the story intriguing – yes, something is up with Shindou. He immediately perks the interest of the Tokko people, especially the blonde who says that he has the “scent of the other side.” Not sure by the amount of decapitations, blood, exploding heads, severed limbs though. I’m not that affected by them, but it’s sure interesting how much blood is shed in this anime!

The last scene in the opening sequence got me really interested. It seems to hint that Shindou could be a potential enemy of Tokko. Hmm!

Apparently this is a 13-episode anime. I wonder how much ground can they cover? Better, I wonder if I am ever going to see it in the stores?? Tokko is not exactly popular in Malaysia, so I have doubts whether it’ll be brought over.

Ah well.

All in all, since not many are blogging this series, I’ll be blogging it.

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid OVA

May 27, 2006


If you want a reason to watch this OVA, I'll give you a few: Wanna watch Sagara Sousuke completely loose his iron-clad cool? Wanna see Tessa half-naked? Wanna see Sagara see Tessa half-naked? Ok, nuff reasons already.

It's really nice to see the Full Metal Panic team again – without Kaname Chidori though. ;P To be honest, when I heard that the OVA was going to be about Tessa, I was so dissapointed. I so wanted to see Kaname and Sousuke again at their usual antics. Who cares about Tessa?? (And Tessa fans throw rotten tomatoes at me.)

But this OVA is so funny, I forgot my former grudge. Basically the story is this: Tessa wakes up drunk one night and catches our favourite Sergeant totally off guard. Why? Because Sousuke doesn't know what to do with a Tessa that is clad only in a shirt and undies and who is all for rubbing herself all over him. 
This has got to be my favourite scene in the OVA. I know, it's cruel, but I enjoyed seeing Sousuke sweat buckets and stammer like a jumping mexcan bean and with his voice almost at a falsetto! Man, priceless!

While trying to find out what happened to her – how did she get drunk?? – Tessa tastes Kalinin's cooking, stumbles upon Kurz Weber who is in a big fight that has something to do with a couple of fighting pigs. This all ends with a confession to Sousuke that produces hilarious results. Are you dense, Sousuke?? Apparently, yes. πŸ˜‰

This OVA is like Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu only instead of setting it in school, we have the whole comedy thing in the Danaan. Watching this OVA had me yearning yet again for more Full Metal Panic. Sob. I hope they have a fourth season. I so want to see it. Snifffff …

If you want a nice sypnopsis of the entire episode, visit Random Curiosity.

What kind of yaoi girl are you?

May 24, 2006

You are the Jane yaoi girl!
Yaoi Personality Quiz brought to you by

Yup, pretty much spot-on. πŸ˜› So, I'm one of those that can go "incognito" eh? That's nice to know!

If you look at the list I'm currently collecting, I read mostly shonen. I tried shoujo, but I really can't stand all the pussyfooting around. I have no patience with romantic triangles, squares and hexigons. I prefer action – no, not between the sheets, though I'm not impartial to them – but not mind-numbing tournaments ala Dragon Ball (that anime drove me nuts). I like strong plots and strong characters, and this applies to my yaoi as well. They have to have both for me to be interested, period.

PS: I do not, however, dream of men being in each others arms 24/7. πŸ˜‰ I still prefer heterosexual relationships, and I don't read slash fanfic of any kind because I find it unrealistic (realism is a very big thing for me for some reason) and silly. I only read yaoi based on original characters and only if they have anything going for each other besides smex.

Kiba (Wolf’s Rain) = Tamaki (Ouran High School Host Club)

May 23, 2006


Kiba (right) wonders when he can have Tamaki for dinner.

My best friend and I usually make it a point to find out the seiyuu behind the anime characters. We’re just almost always left in awe by the talent and versatility of the voice actors.

When we first saw Ouran High School Host Club, we checked out who played Tamaki and nearly fell over when we realised that it was Mamoru Miyano and he voiced Kiba in Wolf’s Rain!

You see, Kiba = angsty, moody bishie (well, he’s actually a wolf, but who cares?)

And Tamaki? He’s the total opposite. Vain, silly, ditzy, flake – insert other adjectives if you like, but he’s certainly not moody or angsty! If Kiba met Tamaki in real life, he’d eat Tamaki for dinner just to shut him up!

I just enjoy how Miyano voice Tamaki. It’s just perfect – there are moments when Kiba does sneak through; those rare moments when Tamaki is either angry or serious (like 0.001% of the time) and it just sends chills of nostalgia down my spine.

Ignore me, I’m just being fangirlish. πŸ˜›

Fullmetal Alchemist: Bluebird

May 22, 2006

I fell in love with the opening sequence of this very rare game immediately. The song by Ayumi Hamasaki, "Moments", has a lot to do with it, but what clinched it for me is Edward Elric in a uniform. πŸ™‚ And Roy. πŸ˜› Oh God, I'm such a sucker for Roy. Then there's Pride – not the King Bradley one from the anime. This is an "alternate reality" Pride. In the manga, he remains hidden, I believe.

In this game's version, Pride – well at least according to my friend – was made from Edward! It's an alternate ending of the game, so if Ed dies, you get Pride. Ooooooh.

Darn, too bad the game is no longer in production. But it's made by fans, and it's extremely rare and everything. Ah, at least we have the opening sequence on youtube. πŸ˜›

That’s right, there will be a yaoi category!

May 22, 2006

I was wondering whether I should, at first. Especially worried that people I know will stumble on this blog and say, “OMG! She reads yaoi!”

The common misconception people have about yaoi is that it’s gay porn. Yeah, admittedly some of the yaoi out there is nothing but gay porn. However, yaoi is orientated towards women and are mostly written by women. This is a concept I found difficult to believe in my pre-yaoi, shonen-ai days. Why would women want to read about gay relationships?

I spoke about this briefly in my post, Boys’ Love, anyone?, but basically it’s the idealised romantic notion of men, and women just like bishies … getting it on. cough. I really don’t understand myself, seriously. πŸ˜›

So, this category will just host my reviews on the yaoi out there – only what I consider worth mentioning, that is.

I’m not sure whether I should password protect these posts. Let’s see, let’s see …

The manga I’m collecting

May 22, 2006

Yesterday, I managed to put my manga in some semblance of order. They were lying in an undignified heap by my bed for a few weeks now, but now they're back on the bookshelves in my library safe and sound. From the pile, this is worth collecting:


monster.jpgWhat happens when you save the life of a child who grows up to be a vicious serial killer? This is what the manga is all about; it's a character-focused story, so we get to see all this from the perspective of a surgeon, Dr Tenma. The art is gorgeous, clean, realistic and neat. I can't wait to watch the 74-episodes anime!


This shonen manga is just so cute and hilarious! I love the art, which is classic shonen style. The humour is what makes collecting this manga worthwhile – Yoshimori comes from a family of kekkaishis who guard the site of an ancient site. This site is located at their school (of course), and Yoshimori and his neighbour, Tokine has to guard it every night. Yoshimori is in love with Tokine, who is older than him btw (refreshing!) but she's from a rival kekkaishi family and they believe tha they're the true heirs of the kekkaishi legacy. So, it's like Romeo and Juliet without the angst. πŸ˜‰

Descendants of Darkness

Although I find the shonen-ai bits overdone and overwrought (it's fanservice all the way!), I love the art, and I love the lead character, Tsuzuki and the angst he's put through. So lovable, yet he has a painful past, so kind and yet so capable of such destruction. πŸ™‚ Too bad the mangaka stopped producing and left the project halfway. Therefore, Vol.11 is the "last" volume, though I heard the mangaka will be continuing the story this year. She better …

Anne Freaks

anne.jpgThere's something about this disturbing manga that makes me want to read g the next volume. The characters are amoral, they don't regret killing people … but the secrets they have intrigue you so much you have to keep on reading! 

On the fence:


This sci-fi, apocalyptic tale enthralled me with its gritty art and deep story, but all the teasing for the final 3 volumes have gotten to me. If there aren't any answers soon, I feel like giving up.

Black Cat

Way better than the anime. And the story is very different too. But for now, although the art is good (I'm very particular about art in my manga. I don't buy manga with bad art no matter how good the story is) I don't feel for the characters. 

Manga I wished I never spent money on:

Deus Vitae

deus.jpgNo doubt the art is super-gorgeous. I've never seen such achingly detailed work, but there were too many nipples! The girls take every opportunity to striiip. At one point, a law officer decided to interrogate the main character by … yes, you heard me, "bonding" with him, which requires her to striiip of course. The abundance of nipple exposure just got to me – thank god it ended at the third volume. And oh yeah, the story – if only it was a good story. It had a lot of potential, however. Humanity has been almost eliminated by this cyborg called Eve who, in turn, created a race of super androids to take humanity's place. Now, humanity must defeat them somehow. The ending was silly.

I actually have way  more manga than this, but listing this all will take me days. πŸ˜› 

Boys’ Love, anybody?

May 13, 2006


I love Ouran High School Host Club because the comedy is so on. Compared to the manga, it's actually funnier – and this is a rare case where the anime is actually better than the manga. (The manga tends to take the fun out of the humour a little by overexplaining the humour.)

One element of Ouran that I have to get used to is the "twincest" between the Hitaiichin twins. In case you straightaway rate the anime as an R-rated show, rest assured that for the twins, it's just an act to pull in the girls that they (cough) "service". And nothing goes beyond a teary-eyed look and embrace. πŸ˜›

But like the character Haruhi, I really don't understand the appeal of having twins showing, er, romantic love towards each other. Its still ick to me, but I laugh anyway when the Hitaiichins do their thing because, in case anybody doesn't know it already, Ouran makes fun of the whole boys' love genre to the max.

The twins represent the brotherxbrother "genre" that appears in yaoi sometimes, while Mori and Huny represent the whole "shota" deal. Shota – and I'm probably oversimplifying it – is where the seme – the dominant guy – is this massively huge guy and the uke, (the submissive guy) is shorter, more effeminate and here's the rub – they often look like children. Eventhough it's almost always stated in the story that they're 18.

It's hilarious how Ouran tapped into the shota genre with Mori and Huny. Huny looks like a six-year-old, but he's actually 18. Apparently the author jokingly said (in the manga) that since Huny's birthday is on Feb 29, he grows only once every leap year. That could explain it! ;D

I personally just hate the shota genre. It's just too unrealistic and it reminds me too much of paedophilia. Sorry to shoto lovers – no offence, yah? But with Huny and Mori, it's all played out so … subtly … I can handle that. πŸ™‚

This post is sparked off by a post at Sama Zama: Boys' Love: Yo-go or No-go? where he asked whether you'd stop watching if Haruhi never turned out to be a girl. To be honest … I will. Not because it's too shonen-ai as a result, but because where's the fun of it?

Because Haruhi is a girl, we see Tamaki's antics, we see his jealous streak and hopeless attempts at trying to win her – that's why Ouran is so hilarious!

And about Boys' Love – yaoi and shonen-ai and all that. To be honest, when I first heard about it, I was like, Oh my God, are you serious??

It's not that I dislike gays etc. It's just that I find it absolutely weird that girls will be into this. I am a girl, and I am so not into seeing two guys making out.

Well, at least, was. hehe.

My best friend is really into yaoi and shonen-ai. Her favourite series is Gravitation, followed by Fake. I used to tease her so much about it, but seeing that she's fed up with me making assumptions about the genre, I decided to do my little investigation.

What I found out there was … yikes. πŸ˜‰ I disliked shota-slanted yaoi immediately, didn't like gakuen settings and didn't like how 60% of the time one guy is drawn as a massive hulk while the other is frail and girly. My main complaint about these yaoi is that it is so unoriginal, silly and unrealistic. (That's why I don't really like the shonen-ai aspect of Yami No Matsuei either … it doesn't seem very realistic at all.)

Then I found Takanaga Hinako's Tyrant who fall in love or Koisuru Boukun and I was smitten. (DramaQueen has licensed it, and to my utter relief, is naming it The Tyrant falls in love. I've been dying to insert the "s" after "fall" for ages.)

Both of the guys are drawn in a realistic fashion (meaning, they don't look like underdeveloped 18-year-olds, and both behave in a realistic fashion – no weepy ukes here! The weepy one is the seme, hehe.). Then it's absolutely hilarious as well! I thought – well, if yaoi can be like this, I don't mind.

I understand why girls dig yaoi now. As a girl, I find it romantic that guys can be so 'emotionally open' to each other. Some girls say it's because they can see two bishie guys having 'fun'. But I also understand it as a fulfilment of a girls' desire to see their guys as sensitive and emotionally open as the men they see in yaoi. And oh yeah, that they're sexy, desireable and all that as well. πŸ˜›
Well, so far no yaoi out there has topped Tyrant, and I don't expect any to. Perhaps my taste is just far too narrow (or fussy and spoiled, as my friend says) for me to enjoy the yaoi genre properly, so I'll call myself a "dabbler" more than anything else.