Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Photobucket Hates Me? Conspiracy!

Your navigator here, wondering if he'll ever learn how to make himself some sort of avatar for blogging.

Well, apparently Photobucket has an "issue" with the manga preview pic in my review of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya which keeps getting removed for reasons that according them them are "accidental."

Yeah, well that "accident" happened twice now since I re-input the image to put it back in the review before they restored the original. Then the second input got nuked.

Can you say conspiracy?


Well, Misaki can! She senses a hell of a conspiracy here! How else can you explain her wearing that in Sato's room?

In case you have no idea who the hottie is, that's Misaki from Welcome To The NHK. If I had to describe the series, I'd say it's everything you knew fandom could be with mental illness involved and a lot of cynicism.

The series follows the misadventures of the NEET (Not currently engaged in Employment, Education or Training) Tatsuhiro Sato, who is also a hikikomori something fierce, as he becomes involved with the darker side of anime fandom. Still, he does meet Misaki Nakahara who pledges to save him from himself, so all bets are off as to who is really in the bad situation.

Chris Patton plays the lead Sato, in what may very well be the best proof ever that type-casting truly can be avoided. His performance is hysterical in parts yet far more subtle in it's darker and more mentally disturbed moments. A key scene is Sato's breakdown in the middle of classroom. His paranoia and fear of being rejected is so palpable it hurts to watch. Patton plays every moment to perfection in what may be one of his finest performances, which is over-shadowed only by the sheer sarcastic perfection of his work in Kanon.

Stephanie Wittels backs up his work as Misaki, who might very well have just as many issues hidden beneath her veneer of helpful concern as Sato. There's a certain quality to her that screams "issues."

Despite my sheer love for AIR I have to wonder if Misaki is a better role than Kano Kirishima. Still, this is an actress that can turn in a solid performance. Every scene Misaki has makes you wonder about her intentions and part of this comes from Wittels' light tone in this part. She delivers lines that are actually quite dark with a sweetness that belies the true purpose behind them.

Trippiest closing ever with a disturbed opening, but the character interplay is good and the twisted otaku moments make you think just a little harder about your own obsessions. Look out for Luci Christian as Sato's sempai Hitomi Kashiwa, a former conspiracy lover now firmly settled in the shadowy reality of life and Greg Ayres (hope you're feeling a lot better sir!) as Sato's best and possibly only friend Kaoru Yamazaki. The series is available in fine singles from ADV (ooh, and they're pre-WE HATE DUBS NOW!) and two lovely half seasons box sets from Funimation. Available at all fine anime retailers of good repute. I recommend: Robert's Anime Corner Store because they rock for hating bootlegs!

Anyway, bye for now and remember: English dubs allow anime fans to experience anime in our native language (assuming you're an English speaker) and thus get an experience that can be closer to our hearts!

Hmm, I seem to remember this post starting as something else but it turned into a light review. Oh well, if it proves useful to anyone. . . .

Well, I'll be shocked but happy if it does.

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