Twitter is becoming Facebook!

And Facebook is becoming Twitter. Dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!

Ahem.

Just thought this new tweet message was interesting. Don’t know if I like it or not.

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Kajika and Lee-Leng

If it wasn’t obvious these two are meant for each other before, it is now, with this lovely image from Hanasakeru Seishounen‘s new ending animation. Click to embiggen.

Kajika and Lee-Leng
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Detective Conan episode 535: The payoff

It only took 13 years!

Takagi's surprised as Satou kisses him

Satou and Takagi kiss, close up

Satou and Takagi kiss, wide angle

Satou and Takagi kiss, as seen by the Detective Boys at the door

Maybe someday Conan will tell Ran that he’s really Shinichi. (Episode 1000? ;P)

Quite possibly the greatest picture of Shinichi ever

Jealous Shinichi, Detective Conan episode 331

Kyou Kara Maou 90

Plenty of spoilers in this post. You’ve been warned.

We’re well into the sword-stealing plot now. Yuuri and his retainers (minus Gwendal, Gunter, and Murata) are in Caloria for a celebration for the defeat of Soushu. They run into Alford, who has a unique sword in his possession along with the holy sword. Janus (I’ll just go with that spelling for now) shows up with a huge monster and demands they hand those swords and Morgif over…or he’ll start destroying Caloria!

Yuuri makes what to him is an easy choice: hand over the swords. He makes this decision not only for himself, but for Al, who reluctantly agrees. After the swords are taken–just like that!–the monster and Janus disappear; they had simply been an illusion.

"That enemy of ours sure knows how to trick us. " By "us" he probably means "Yuuri"

"WTF?"

“It couldn’t be helped,” Al says. “You didn’t make the wrong choice, Yuuri.”

But I’m not sure if I agree with that sentiment!

You can always argue that hindsight is 20/20, and it really does seem like the most noble thing to do to try and save the people of Caloria. But you have to remember that this isn’t just a matter of giving up their personal swords. The three swords the White Ravens wanted aren’t just any swords. Al’s has holy power, Morgif obviously has demon power, and the third, rusty sword has some as-yet-unexplained effect on people with maryoku (and probably other powers). You have to weigh the dangers. Is it more dangerous to let a monster rampage a city-state, or to let an amoral group have three ridiculously powerful magical items?

To be fair, the person who should have spoken up–Flynn–did not. I can’t imagine Conrad or Josak recommending against saving people, even though Josak seemed to have the whole deal figured out from the beginning. Wolfram’s the logical one to do it, but Yuuri rarely listens to Wolfram’s advice even if he had said something. The person who speaks for Caloria should have protested on behalf of her people. That she didn’t either means she didn’t understand the enormity of the situation, or she’s still “following” Yuuri, even though he told her he doesn’t want to be followed.

Come to think of it, I’m not sure if Flynn has ever gone against what Yuuri said since the box incident.

It would be hard for a leader to argue for the possible destruction of her country and deaths of some of her people. But I feel that if she’d looked at the situation objectively, she would see that this decision could have repercussions not just in Caloria, but across the entire world.

Someone should have been there to point that out. But no one was. Murata was either back at Shinou’s temple or on Earth. Gwendal was at the castle. And no one else stepped up.

I guess what’s strange to me about this is that everyone just did what Yuuri said without protesting much at all. In the past, they’d challenge him, make sure he was looking at all sides of the issue. He’d usually go ahead and make the exact same decision, but at least I felt comfortable that he knew what he was doing. Not so in this episode.

Another thing that seemed to be curiously lacking was the strategy behind the scenes. Typically when Yuuri makes decisions with big consequences, his retainers have a plan to bail him out. Maybe this plan exists and it’ll be revealed in the next episode. I sure didn’t see a hint of it in this one. “Let’s go get our swords back” isn’t much of a strategy.

Here’s hoping there’s a purpose to all this. I’ve been feeling somewhat weird about the general conceits of the show all throughout the third season. It seems to me like Yuuri’s standard decision-making is being demonstrated time and time again to be flawed. I don’t know if that’s on purpose, and if Yuuri is going to grow, or what.

On the one hand, I don’t want Yuuri to lose his drive to protect. But on the other, I wish he would temper that with a little more common sense. Now that he’s been in this world awhile, he can start making judgments based on his knowledge of its rules, rather than Earth’s. It should get to a point where he can start thinking of the consequences, instead of having them pointed out to him by someone else.

* * *

Random shot of Sara from the end of the episode! What can I say, I like him.

Hey look, it's Sara

Yuuri and Wolfram’s wedding

Okay, not really.

Is this actually what Yuuri is imagining Wolfram is imagining? Because I would have assumed Wolfram’s vision would involve a wedding dress.

Kyou Kara Maou OVA

IMAGE: Shori is interrupted while playing a dating sim

Last night I watched Kyou Kara Maou R in its entirety. I had seen the first four episodes previously; finally I found a raw version of episode 5. The quality wasn’t great, but I was pleased to discover that I could follow what was going on without subtitles, like I did back when I was anxious to see how KKM season 2 ended.

(There are also some errors in the fansub of episode 4 that I was able to recognize, such as Gwendal’s line, 「それはりすちゃんだ」, which means “That’s a squirrel”, not “Her name is Risu-chan”. I only picked up on this because I already knew that people tend not to recognize the animal Gwendal is trying to make. In this case, Greta thought it was a fox.)

The five episode OVA starts with the first part of a new adventure involving Small Cimaron’s king, Saralegui.

IMAGE: Sara tries bewitching Yuuri

IMAGE: Sara tries bewitching Yuuri

IMAGE: Sara tries bewitching Yuuri

IMAGE: Sara tries bewitching Yuuri

IMAGE: Sara tries bewitching Yuuri

After that it goes into three stand-alone, humorous episodes whose only purpose seems to be to reintroduce Shinou to the world. There’s a worldwide festival held in Shin Makoku, unthinkable before Yuuri’s time as Maou; an ancient magical device that shows people their most dreaded future, with which Shinou decides to play a prank; and a story about on the level of season 2’s “Baby Panic”, in which pink bear bees spawn and give their love to dragons thanks to the power of Gwendal’s obsession with cute. Then we go back to the Sara story.

IMAGE: Sara reveals his true intentions to Yuuri

IMAGE: "For example, I could tell his heart to stop."

Episode 5 was hands down the most epic. Yuuri, Conrad, Wolfram and Josak head to Small Cimaron with Sara and Beries; Murata brings Shori to Shin Makoku on Shinou’s request, and they meet up with the retainers Yuuri left behind to try to find a way to save Yuuri from Sara; another function of Morgif is revealed; Beries demonstrates his powerful houjutsu, ultimately facing off with Adalbert (I LOVE ADALBERT!); and Sara finally reveals his evil powers and demands. If you’ve watched this show at all you can probably imagine how it ends, but it’s still worth seeing for yourself.

IMAGE: Wolfram fights back

IMAGE: "Run! Run for it, Yuuri!"

IMAGE: Yuuri gets pissed

IMAGE: "I believed in you."

IMAGE: Yuuri gets pissed

IMAGE: Yuuri gets pissed

IMAGE: Sara jizzes himself

IMAGE: Maou-mode

The humor is great, too. My favorite part has to be when Shori complained to Murata, “What am I, a battery charger?” XD

IMAGE: "What am I, a battery charger?"

IMAGE: "You didn't do anything!"

There were things I didn’t like about this OVA. A lot of the new music was boring, and some of what wasn’t boring was blatantly ripped off existing pieces. For example, the music played in episode 2 when people are arriving for the festival is essentially “Fireworks” by Nicholas Hooper, from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Plus, in that same episode they introduced some less-exciting Maou-mode music, much to my dismay. It was used again in episode 4, but, thankfully, in episode 5 they went back to the real deal.

Yuuri was still Yuuri, but he was unfortunately much more…uke. He blushed all the time, and in episode 5 he even grabbed Sara’s hand. I can’t speak for how he is in the novels, but in the anime he is very straight–you could argue he borders on homophobic. In the first few episodes he can’t get over how “fundamentally wrong” it is that it’s even possible for him to be engaged to Wolfram. Sure, he gets used to the open homosexuality around him after awhile, but I would hardly say he embraces it.

IMAGE: Yuuri blushing

IMAGE: Yuuri blushing again

Yuuri’s reactions to Wolfram are part of the comedy of the franchise. He doesn’t reject Wolfram because he doesn’t like him–he obviously cares a great deal about Wolfram, to the point of risking his own life. He rejects Wolfram because he is not attracted to men. He’s a self-described “dirty baseball boy”…he’s not going to go around holding hands with men.

IMAGE: Yuuri takes Sara's hand

IMAGE: Wolfram is none too pleased

IMAGE: Yuuri holding Sara's hand

There is a running joke about who he’ll end up with romantically, and a sort of underlying belief/hope that he will come around eventually and get with Wolfram or Conrad or some other guy, but it seemed throughout the first two seasons that this dynamic was meant to be permanent and subtle, not that he is going to actually grow into being homosexual. The OVA refutes this, and it’s jarring.

Another thing that was far more subtle in the anime was Gunter’s crush on Yuuri. The OVA is ludicrous by comparison. Don’t get me wrong, Gunter’s pretty ridiculous in the anime, but the OVA not only crosses the line, it blasts through it like it was never there. He’s constantly having nosebleeds and muttering about seeing Yuuri naked. Again, it’s just jarring.

IMAGE: One of Gunter's many nosebleeds

An OVA is by nature shorter and more concentrated than a drawn-out story, but there’s no need to exaggerate personality traits like this.

Ultimately, though, I did enjoy the OVA. It had all the good stuff: Yuuri’s policy of believing in people, the mazoku retainers’ endless loyalty, bravery, and asskickery, some good seibai, and an interesting new villain. It was a good way to curb my appetite for KKM while I await season 3…which has just started in Japan. Now I’m just hoping someone will pick up the North American license that was abandoned when Geneon stopped distributing anime, so I can own all of KKM on DVD.

IMAGE: Seibai!

IMAGE: Seibai!

IMAGE: The gang

cf. Detective Conan 219

I am pretty sure it’s impossible not to be a hardcore fan of Kaitou Kid.

But never fear…Kudo Shinichi will always be ichiban.