katmic (Level 10)

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I am a HUGE fan of soul eater. It is one of the first anime series I ever watched along with Blood+ and when it ended, I had every intention of continuing the story in the manga once I found out that the last episode of the anime was not the end.

But for some reason I never actually got down to reading it. It isn't surprising considering that I am an even bigger fan of claymore and I only got down to continuing the story in the manga last year.
Whenever an anime ends, I struggle to continue the story in the manga. Most times I am holding out for a possibility of its return. Other times I can't help but wonder how I will make sense of the story in the manga considering how many changes the anime will usually make.

Anyway, I finally got down to reading Soul eater yesterday, not seriously reading it though, merely the three most recent chapters, not because I suddenly wanted to read the manga but because I was just curious to see what was happening in the story so far.
I did the same thing with Dead man wonderland and I might do the same for Blue exorcist. It is really annoying to think that some of the best anime stories I have
ever watched belong to manga that are released monthly.
That is another reason why I simply cannot get into reading these titles. I hate waiting. Claymore was so good that I finally decided to follow the manga. But i have no intention of doing the same for Attack on Titan.
Anyway, Soul eater; yesterday was a strange day because i downloaded three soul eater chapters for the sole purpose of seeing what was happening at the present and to my surprise those three chapters ended up being the last chapters of manga.

‘WAIT, SOUL EATER IS OVER!’ is what went through my head when i read that last chapter. It is a surprise even to me who wasn't following it because every time i visited a manga site, i would look into it to see how many chapters were out and it seemed to be moving oh so painfully slow.
I was sure it had a few more years to go, with the vast number of ridiculously intriguing characters it had to explore. And to think i wanted to use those three chapters to decide if i wanted to read the manga.

Anyway despite the fact that i had no idea what the hell was happening (i thought the Kishin died ages ago) and a couple of characters were new to me (Noah?) these three chapters were EPIC, so much so that i went further back to read two more chapters prior to the last three.
I guess this is the mark of a good manga that i can drop in at any point, even the end and i can enjoy it immensely. Then again it might have helped that i watched the series.
First though, here is what happened, at least as i understood it:

N:B- For those interested in enjoying this finale for themselves, there are spoilers in the plot description

THE PLOT:>

The chapters kick off in the dying moments of the final battle. It seems Maka, Black star and Kid chose to take the battle with the Kishin to the moon, or maybe it wasn't their choice.

Either way the Kishin is quick to reveal why he was once revered as a god. Maka is immediately dismissed from the battle. Kishin shows little patience for her abilities as a human, swatting her aside and only choosing to recognize the more inhuman opponents on the field, black star and dead the kid.
The battle is chaotic; black star and Tsubasa, kid alongside Patty and...i don't remember the other gun's name, throw everything they have at the old god. He beats their attacks back and unleashes torrents of fear induced attacks.
Maka, continuously attempting to infuse herself into a battle she is too insignificant to partake in,
watches as black star takes punishment to protect her from death. Eventually, as the trio exchanges philosophical arguments with the Kishin, Black star takes a particularly destructive attack, i think protecting Maka again, losing his arm and nearly shattering his spine.
With the odds stacked so high against them, death the kid activates and unites the lines on his head, becoming a fully fledged shiningami.
His power is such that his spiritual resonance is felt all the way on earth. We learn that shiningami, kid's father, possesses the exact same power as the Kishin and can execute some sort of madness resonance.
With this power he, like the Kishin had claimed once before, stood so far above humanity that he could have washed them all away or subjugated them. Kid refutes this claim and attests to the kindness of his father who, despite being so powerfully gifted, never once chose to use the madness wave, not even in battle to defend himself.

There are speeches made about shiningami's madness wave being one of purity. Kishin welcomes the challenge to contend with this pure madness and fear. But Kid will not use the power either, choosing to believe in his and his friend’s power.

Empowered now though, he joins the fight with greater strength. Maka activates her Majin hunt
scythe and, along with a determined black star, joins the fray. The battle changes the landscape. Kishin opens an eye of sorts into space from within which he unleashes untold destruction.
The team is falling and would have been crashed by the overwhelming pressure if not for a sniper shot from earth which brings the mad god's assault to a halt. Stein, on earth, then unleashes Mijonir and sends it flying to space.

The thunderous hammer does considerable damage to the Kishin, allowing the team precious seconds to recuperate. He however eventually fends the attack off. When Maka attacks once more despite the Kishin's disinterest, he loses his cool and impels her with his hand.
Somewhere along the line we catch a glimpse of soul, back in the piano room in Maka's soul. No longer afraid of the black blood, he begins to play a tune. Both he and Maka activate the power of the black blood and resonate.

And she emerges from the attack, unscathed and unveiling her newest and most powerful Scythe weapon, the Kishin hunt. The final portion of the battle is just as fierce and eventually, with black
star and Kid down, she cuts into his stomach.
She slips into his soul and locates Crona. They have a conversion about Maka saving her, though she has no intention of leaving. With soul creating a path out of the dark emptiness of Kishin's soul using his music, the pair exit as Crona uses her black blood and Eibon's brew to activate a seal within the Kishin.

Kid and black star cut a way through when Kishin closes the hole in his stomach and rescue Maka and soul. With their final attacks, a sort of four way resonance (didn't know that was possible) the Kishin falls in a dramatic fashion.
His blood explodes out and covers the moon in blackness. The team returns to earth. At school, kid learns from Excalibur that his father Shiningami had passed away. That was what it meant for him to fully awaken as Shiningami; the power passed from his father into him at which point he died, showing faith in his son to defeat his old enemy.

Kid is finally crowned as the new shiningami. He declares a truce between humans and witches and because a witch's soul is required to create scythe, he presents Soul, now also called eater, on stage and christens him the last scythe.
No more witches would be killed for this practice. The moon remains blackened.
Soul and Maka later speak about their relationship. He is no longer afraid of the black blood and the madness. Black star is learning to fly without Tsubasa's help. Maka makes a speech and the manga ends.

MY THOUGHTS:>
Considering that i haven't been reading soul eater, a number of things about this finale confused me, as one would expect. For instance, i know that Black star is stronger than Maka but i am surprised at the sort of praise that was being aimed at him by the Kishin, basically stating that even Death the kid was on a lower level than he was.

I remember black star and how strong he was but the Kishin made it sound like he had somehow
transcended humanity, which was sort of interesting. Black star has always been my favorite of the group, but i am curious as to how he grew so powerful that he surpassed even Kid, a death god.
I think Kishin called him a divine warrior or something along those lines. Either way i liked how this final battle was structured.

I was confused when i began to read these chapters only to come across the Kishin. Last time i watched soul eater, he was beaten, and most of my curiosity about what was happening in soul eater revolved around finding out who the new villain was if the god of fear had been beaten a while back.

I guess the anime took some liberties with that finale. Either way this is the sort of finale i wanted to see from soul eater. As much as i loved the soul eater anime, i hated that final battle. Sure it was the best action we had seen in soul eater up to that time, but all that business with Maka suddenly becoming part human and part weapon and eventually single handedly beating Kishin irritated me.
Even if she hadn't done it single handedly, that ending was too cheesy. For someone so powerful, Kishin went down way too easily. This battle did the Kishin justice. For one thing he was powerful as heck, especially that one attack that was like a massive space eye floating over his head.
Though the art was confusing in some places, but there were panels that made it seem like he was laying large portions of the battle field to waste. Because i have never been a fan of Maka as the main character, i will admit to taking some joy out of the Kishin so casually dismissing her from the fight as not being worth his time.

Kid and black star have always been the power houses of the team. Even in the anime's final battle, they did some serious damage to him where Maka simply relied on Soul. Maka has never really seemed that strong to me or deserving of her place.

Her only contribution is her scythe and really that is soul and his power. Seeing Black star and Kid team up against the Kishin was epic.
Though Maka did redeem herself and it wasn't some silly little revelation like in the anime. This time she simply relied on her power and did what she was good at, using soul to his peak. This chapter reminded of why i love anime and manga.

It is the quirkiness and inventiveness that is displayed sometimes. For example Maka's scythe, I remember the first time i saw the witch hunt in the anime. It was the craziest thing i had ever seen. Then she achieved the demon hunt, which i assume is the majin hunt, and that turned out to be even
crazier looking, a scythe that lost some of its curves and replaced them with strange edges.
And all these scythes have tended to take on a ridiculously massive size. The Kishin hunt in these chapters was just as inventive looking as i expected. It was basically a piano's keyboard fused with a scythe blade, an odd looking thing but which, with Maka's new change in dressing, looked nothing short of awesome.

I guess Maka redeemed herself in my eyes in these chapter. Even when outclassed by the other two, she wouldn't give up, constantly jumping into battle even when she knew she couldn't put a scratch on her enemy.

I didn't know she could fly either, though technically she was standing on Soul. Actually even black star was flying. Since when could any of these people fly? I missed a lot in not reading soul eater.
I remember the first time we saw kid attempt to activate his shiningami powers in the anime. It was epic. Him finally achieving death status was awesome, not something i expected actually. It was quite sad to see shiningami go, standing atop the school roof and watching the battle on the moon, displaying his faith in his son and asking Excalibur to look after and guide him, even as he began to break and wilt.

He was a cookie character, but he was a hero. I liked what death the kid said about him, that though
he was a shiningami, or rather THE SHININGIMA, the title didn't mark him as a bringer of death but a protector of life.
And despite possessing a power every bit as chaotic and destructive a power as the Kishin, he chose to believe in humanity's power to protect them as well as the world. Speaking of which, i vaguely remember the Kishin and shiningami being friends in the anime. But i might be wrong.

Either way, it was a sad scene, especially when death the kid-i should stop calling him that since he is just death now- returned to earth only to learn about his father's death, and realize that when he become a true and complete shiningami, he took his father's power and hence life force.
They didn't waste too much time on the mourning though, instead focusing on kid's determination to be a great shiningami to the world.

I remember Kid and shiningami not being on the best of terms in the anime; i think kid suspected him
of being part of Eibon's experiments, who i thought would show up in the end. But he didn't.
I had actually forgotten about Crona's existence, though we had already seen her redemption a long time ago. I guess she thought she had more to give penance for. She was a pitiful character in the end, but she showed courage in confronting her end in light of the sacrifice she had to make to stop Kishin, especially considering what Maka had to go through to tear into the Kishin's soul and save her.
It made everything all the more tragic though, especially when she admitted that though she had been despairing a while ago, she was secretly hopping that Maka would come for her, even while whispering "She won't come for me, why would she."

It was fascinating stuff.

I know i have heard the name Noah before but i don't know from where. I think he might have been that priest in the anime with the weaponized crosses on the back of his hands. Then again i also saw a zombie of sorts. And why was the Kishin vomiting bodies from its mouth? That reminded me of orochimaru but crazier.

I laughed at that sniper shot, the idea that someone could shoot a bullet from a gun from the earth and strike a target accurately on the moon. Only in anime does such stuff happen. And i don't remember seeing Mijonir in the anime. He must have shown up later.

It was great to see Excalibur again, the most powerful yet most unusable and annoying weapon in the soul eater universe; not nearly as funny as i remember but just as pompous looking.
So much of these chapters reminded me of why i loved soul eater so much, especially seeing black star and Tsubasa and their hilarious interactions. There was a young girl, a witch, in the scene that i didn't get, or rather the words black star said to her.

If i remember correctly she was the saint samurai’s charge, the witch Maka, Black star and Kid were sent to kill; only to realize that she was a kid moments before the saint kicked their asses. It’s surprising not to see the saint samurai make an appearance in this final battle.

Then again why did shiningami seat this battle out? Hmm, plot hole? I remember one of my favorite arcs in the anime was the Medusa arc, when Spartoi was formed, because it show cased the incredible skills of the other students. I would have hoped that they had taken part in this final battle, especially the black fellow with the flaming lantern-if i am remembering him correctly.

I missed seeing more scenes with soul and black star. Together these two were my favorite characters in the series. They were so similar they should have been matched as weapon and master. I have lost all memories regarding Soul and the piano room, though i think it had to do with black blood.
Over all, even without having read the previous chapters, i cannot deny that this was an epic finale to an epic series. It took me a while to get used to the art. It is one of the things that kept me away from the manga. I wasn't comfortable with it.

But once i got used to it, i was impressed by some of the panels in the chapters, especially with the Kishin and the air of madness created around him. The finale satisfied me, especially with the whole blackening the moon permanently business. That was new.
It is like a scar, reminding the world of a great battle that brought down a great evil.

RATING:> 5/5, i really wish they would bring this series back to life. I would love to watch this story unfold animated. One of the things i remember enjoying about soul eater was all the business with fear and madness; there was a pretty impressive and inventive way the entire concept was presented and i saw similar displays in the manga.

Speaking of which, the last time i saw Stein in the anime, he was overtaken by madness. I guess he fought it off.
If you do not know the story of Soul eater, it revolves around a school that trains and guides talented weapons and weapon meisters. There are certain individuals with the power to turn into weapons, and they are paired with the masters that will wield them into battle.

The goal of each weapon and meister is to kill and collect ninety nine evil souls and one soul of a witch. Once a weapon collects all 100 souls, they evolve into a death scythe, the weapon used by the head master of the school, Shiningami, the grim reaper.

It is the goal of the school to create and train more death scythes. The story follows Maka, whose father is a death scythe, trying to make her way through school with her weapon Soul, alongside black star, descendant of the white star clan, a powerful warrior clan so corrupted by fighting and
their lust for battle that they left the warrior’s path and took to a more monstrous life until DWMA led by shinigami wiped them out.

Black star is the only survivor, choosing the name so as to distance himself from his filthy past. He was brought to the academy by the shiningami, who wouldn't slaughter a child. Black star's weapon is Tsubasa, a girl with a past as dark as his and who, unlike other weapons that have a single form, can take on multiple forms, including two mini chain scythes.

Alongside them is Death the kid, the son of shiningami (hence the name), a student endowed with two weapons instead of one in the form of dual pistols. Kid craves order.
As a team they contend with their various missions within the academy as well as fighting to swat the forces of Medusa and other witches as well as their demonic hordes.
This manga is a must read. I say that based on what i saw in the anime as well as how good this finale was. This is how all series should end. Anyway, this is a must read.
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This chapter was strange, i do not mean that in a bad way...or maybe i do. I reminded of the sorts of scenes i usually find in the rare fairy tail filler that i have come across.

THE PLOT:>

We learn that Flare's appearance isn't totally by accident. Flare is a citizen of the village of the sun, and she is pissed off at what has become of her home. The hunters are quick to refute the accusations aimed at them but end up admitting that they are hunting the eternal flame.

Flare goes on the offensive and loses. Wendy and Lucy however team up and take all three hunters down.

I think that was it...oh and two pages of fan service.

MY REVIEW:>

There was one exciting thing in this chapter and that was learning that the village of the sun was Flare's home. Okay, i wouldn't call it exciting, more like an interesting bit of information.

The rest of this chapter was mostly meh. Virgo's antics were funny as usual and it was good to see Leo, but other than that little else happened in this chapter worth mentioning, which isn't a good thing considering the fact that this was an action packed chapter.

Considering how hyped they were in previous chapters, the hunters went down quite easily. True they put up a fight, but it all seemed too easy at the end. I wasn't happy with that.

Learning that Flare's powers were instigated by the eternal flame augurs some interesting events to come in the future. Who knows what will happen when Natsu eats it, and we all know he will.

MY RATING: 2/5

Highlights: Virgo trying to dive into the ice.

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I have to say i am surprised by how much i loved this series. I was skeptical at first because of how OLD Trigun is. I was drawn to it because it is the first anime i have ever seen take place in an old western setting. Plus i rarely watch anime about action heroes that use guns to execute impressive feats.

I was surprised by the quality of this show, certainly i can see why many that watched in its time rate it so highly. Someone should reanimte this show.

THE PLOT:>

The story takes place on a deserted planet in the far future with the human population scattered through out the dry globe. Two girls, insurance agents have been tasked with what could be the most dangerous assignment of their lives, to locate and trail the legendary villain Vash the stampede.

A miscreant so vile that he has accumulated an awe striking bounty of $$60,000,000,000, Vash the stamped has been nicknamed the humanoid typhoon for this legendary destructive tendencies, believed to possess so much skill and power in his two revolvers as to have leveled several a city in his time, similarly responsible for the deaths of countless innocents.

Vash's actions have as of late cost the insurance company a considerable amount of money in compensation, so much so that they have taken it upon themselves to have two of their best agents tail Vash around and make certain that he keeps his destructive tendencies to a minimum.

But with a target as volatile as Vash, an individual for whom several towns will issue evacuation orders at the mere mention of his approach, what chance do two field inexperienced insurance girls stand...

MY REVIEW:>

I was surprised by Trigun. A few episodes in i was suspicious as to whether i would be able to progress further in the story considering just how old this anime was. One episode in i couldn't get over just how old the animation looked.

Considering how many times i have attempted to convince myself that my tastes revolve around story and character quality and take little interest in the animation quality, i couldn't avoid considering how old and aged this anime looked.

It wasn't just the animation though; everything just seemed way too old, the sorts of the characters' names used, back stories displayed- the overall structure of arcs and plots, even the finales of certain story lines and messages put across seemed dated and over used.

Which makes sense, after all this anime ended in 1998. That doesn't mean that this wasn't quality story telling. I can see why so many older anime fans would gush over this anime; chances are Trigun could be accurately described as the naruto, one piece or even bleach of the old days.

I struggled to get into it however, especially in the beginning. I wrapped up the first ten episodes of Trigun last year and i didn't make a move to start the second part of the series until two weeks ago.

So in case i am not making my point clear, THIS IS A REALLY OLD ANIME, or at least it felt like it to me.

Now that i have finished the series though, i am glad i stuck to it. There was a point during the story where i stopped and realized that for a while now, i had been enjoying rather than tolerating the told series. The story is told in a basic linear manner; Vash goes around from town to town making a fool of himself, eventually running into trouble and doing his best to bring the chaos to a peaceful end

whilst ensuring that all involved, including the bad guys, come out safe and sound.

Vash the stamped makes up a large part of the charm of this anime. Whenever a crisis is resolved, you usually gain a deeper understanding of why he is called the humanoid typhoon. Sure he doesn't mean for it to happen, but rarely does an crisis resolve without some sort of catastrophic occurrence taking place.

In some cases entire towns have been wiped off the map during one of Vash's escapades. None the less the series allows you a glimpse into the mind and heart of a man blamed for so much evil but who could inherently be the most innocent man on the planet.

It is an intriguing story told through the eyes of the insurance agents, Milly and Meryl. They, through each adventure they follow him through, begin to peel away Vash's layers, revealing the inner guey core and the demons that haunt him.

Actually Trigun could be viewed as a rather sad story. Well, i was more inclined to view the story as rather foolish and illogical, because it follows the life of a man who will not kill no matter the situation, even when it means that others will suffer. But as time goes by, as we learn of who Vash is and what he has gone through, it doesn't seem so foolish that he would wish to save every life he comes across.

The first time we along with Milly and Meryl, finally realize the true impact of Vash's altruistic intentions on his physical being, it is quite shocking. I think that was when i first began paying attention to the show, when Vash took his shirt off.

After this episode and a couple of more, Vash started coming off as less of a stubborn naive soul and more of a human (sort of) determined to follow through with the teachings of the only family he ever knew.

Last week when i did the Karas review, i compared Karas to batman. Vash can be compared to superman. If their is one thing that many in the comics have said about Clark, it is that he may be an alien, but he represents the best of humanity.

This is what Vash becomes by the end. He doesn't refuse to see humanity's flaws. But no matter how much abuse they aim at him, he will not stop protecting them, with his life and well being if it requires it.

Looking at it that way, the story takes on a more complex structure. Because even the most basic shonen type episodes and arcs had some lesson to teach about the intrisnsic human spirit, its flaws and strengths and further revealed to us who Vash was.

I think Vash and Woolfwood are my favorite team of anime characters, secondly only to Kilua and Gon from Hunter x Hunter. Wolfwood is the very opposite of Vash. A traveling priest with a massive cross shaped gun, he is the anti Vash in a way.

Sure he isn't cold blooded, but he believes in the 'kill or be killed' creed. He will kill without a shred of guilt but each time he takes a life, he does so to safe guard an innocent life back home. I enjoyed watching this two squabble about the right thing in battle and vash's attempt to change Wolf wood's ways.

I for one blame Vash for what happened to Wolfwood, or maybe i should blame wolfwood for allowing Vash's teachings to creep past his armor. He was an awesome Trigun character along with Milly, the super strong girl who, though coming off as thick headed, was actually smarter than them all combined.

It was fun watching her drop hints about secrets and give sage advice camouflaged as some light remark of little importance.

Trigun is a surprisingly deep story with a lot to say about its characters. There are a surprising number of

twists in the story, especially about who Vash actually is, his arch nemesis Knives and the truth about how humanity came to live on that planet.

As one would expect for a series this old, the action is...actually okay. I can see how some people would have been blown away 10 years ago, but for anime this old, the action is actually not bad. At the very least it gets the point across about how bad ass a gunslinger Vash is.

I Surprisingly loved the music, it was so subtle as to not be noticeably, but did a lot to accentuate the old western feel of the series.

RATING:> 4/5, it had its flaws, but trigun is a must watch for any anime fans. It is funny, especially Vash and his silly antics, with a deep story and decent action for an anime decades old.

Trigun is the 26 episode anime production of Madhouse, running from April 1998 to September of the same year. The anime was adapted from the manga by Yasuhiro Nightow that premiered in the shonen captain magazine in 1996, jumping to the magazine Young King Ours after the closure of its previous home in 1997, and continuing its run under the title "Trigun Maximum" until 2008.

Yasuhiro is responsible for creating the story and characters of the third person shooter video game Gungrave (not a fan of the anime series). The Trigun manga's 44 chapters have been published by the western comics company, Dark horse.

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There are certain anime that I will always remember for one reason or another because they were not simply well done but they did something completely different and worth praising. karas is one such show that, at least visually, blew my mind in a way that I had never experienced before.

This six episode OVA, compressed into two movies later on, set a precedence for what true quality is as far as animation , music and design is concerned, at least for me.

THE PLOT:>

The story is set in a fictional Shinjuku, in Tokyo, a city inhabited by Yokai (demons) and humans. For generations humans and Yokai have lived side by side in pseudo harmony, with human tradition

and culture intertwined with their belief in and respect for demons and their kind.

Standing in between the two worlds has always been the Karas, the crow. Each city, though static and immobile, is an entity, living and as close to sentient as a city can get. Imbued with the hopes and dreams of those citizens that inhabit it, the city will express its desire, something akin to the lifeblood pumping through its imaginary veins through the Karas.

These human beings, infused with supernatural forces are the manifestation of the city's own will, a force generated to protect the people within the city and execute the will of the city as a power of considerable strength.

Standing besides each Karas is a Yurine, usually taking the shape of a little girl, a guardian, part of the city itself, that carries out the city's will, responsible for infusing the Karas with his/her power, as well as choosing when to seal and unseal the power of the Karas sealed within his sword.

Together these two individuals stand between a city and those that wish to cause harm to it, be it

human or demon. Each city exists as a pseudo living organism. Each city will generate a Karas to defend its will. There is always one Karas for one city. And no Karas may interfere with the activities of another city.

For centuries humans have bowed to, respected and worked along side demons in an increasingly progressive manner. However as the advent of science and education brought about modernity and industry, the old ways, the traditions, cultures and sites began to disappear and soon demons began to lose not only their place in human knowledge but their homes as well.

An age came were Yokai were reduced to nothing more than myth, no longer visible to the human eye. For some Yokai, it came down to a matter of evolution and adaptation to the new regime of humanity.

Others haven't been nearly as accommodating and for years have nursed a grudge against humanity. Now the time has come for them to strike back, to recreate the fear that humanity once held for them and hence allow their existence to return to the human plane.

The Mikura though, yokai with demonic forms fused with machinery to increase their power, do not march to their own beat. An old Karas, Shinjuku's own 400 year old Karas in fact, has risen to lead them into this war.

Conscripted during the Edo era to guard the city, Eko, over the centuries, came to lose his faith in the people he had been charged to protect, coming to revile them in time and determining that to protect the will of the city he would have to destroy it and start anew.

It is this threat that Otoha, the newly conscripted karas faces, an ancient Karas with a grudge, hell benton forcing the city into a state of rebirth, leading a charge of demons incensed by the ignorance and disrespect humanity has come to display to its kind.

This is a battle that will test Otoha's faith in the city and forte even as he contends with crises closer to home than he would like...

MY REVIEW:>

I will admit to feeling a little bit of disappointment the first time I watched these movies. I had been lusting after karas for a year before I finally watched it. I remember coming across it on some anime website and, having watched very little anime by then, I was blown away by what I saw.

A few other you tube clips only made my intrigue for this show grow; and I wouldn't say I created an exaggerated expectation for the quality of this movie, because in a way it was even better than I thought it would be, and by the end of both movies, I was blown away.

However there was also a level of disappointment in some of its execution that I simply couldn't ignore.

Anyway:

The story: The story of Karas is dark, darker than I actually expected, especially in its depiction of

the Karas. It also raises a bunch of philosophical questions that I rarely appreciate when watching anime. The episodes mostly revolve around a contention between the modern and traditional.

The Mikura are angry because they have been forgotten. More than that though, there homes have been stripped away and destroyed by years of industrialization and modernization, replacing shrines and forests with tall buildings and concrete.

They are essentially fighting to regain their lost homes and prestige, albeit using violent means.

Eko comes off as a more realistic hero than most. Actually Karas has been compared to batman by a great many reviewers, and that last shot on the skyscraper didn't help. But I get the link. Karas are tragic heroes, forced to serve a city that might not really deserve them.

And that is basically Eko's story. He served and protected the city for 400 years and it isn't that he simply lost himself in corruption and hate and all that.

No. Eko spent so much time protecting the humans that he came to see them in a true light, no longer

innocents but creatures that over 400 years finally proved to him just how vile they are. Eko chooses to destroy the people of the city not merely because they prove themselves unworthy of his protection specifically, but because they do not deserve to be protected by anyone, be it himself or another Karas.

Eko is what someone like batman would become if allowed to live 400 years. Like Eko he could come to see Gotham as nothing more than slime that never learns or grows. IN a way this made Eko more intriguing. He wasn't evil, he was simply tired, and he told Otoha as much, that the young man can't even start to judge him because he hasn't been a Karas for more than three years.

Not that Otoha's life was any easier. Born of incest, this young hero grew up with violence, eventually coming to join the Yakuza and dying before he was recruited by his Yurine. There is no denying that Otoha's life has been one of misery and it is fascinating to consider the fact that as a Karas, one of his abilities outside armor is that he cannot fee pain; maybe this is a sort of reactive mechanism to the deep seated pain within his soul.

He doesn't brood per say, but he is like a cloud of moving gloom. There times he smiles and manages to show that the world hasn't beaten him just yet and he can enjoy life. As a Karas though, he is a walking machine of justice fused with vengeance, that could border on hate depending on how you view the story.

None the less you can contrast his immaturity with Eko's wisdom; Eko sees in Otoha his past, as a young Karas with every hope and dream that he can save Shinjuku, before a few hundred years showed him the foolishness of hope.

This story has so much potential, especially with the other characters; Nue, a half demon formerly loyal to Eko but who came to despise the old Karas and now seeks to save his older brother from Eko; the detectives Minoru and Kure following the trail of the supernatural, one of them keen to prove the existence of demons to exonerate his daughter who is incarcerated in an asylum for claiming that demons were responsible for a massacre from which she was the only survivor, and so many more.

The problem is the execution. This story is non linear, jumping back and forth quite rapidly and, more often than not, causing confusion. By the end of the OVA I felt like I didn't really know who Otoha was or Nue for that matter. Even his claims of revenge made little sense to me before the last 40 minutes.

The story basically felt a little too rushed; maybe this show would have done better as a 12 episode series, with enough time to flesh out the characters and plots. These six episodes were simply not enough to get the point the writer had across. I will commend it for the potential it possessed and a portion of the plots it executed well.

But I would have liked to understand Otoha a little better. This is Karas' one failing, and unfortunately it is a massive one. I will admit to being bored while watching one or two particular portions.

The Karas: These guys single handedly made the show forme. I loved the designs, so unique and so dark and intricate, especially in the last episode when the other Karas of all the other cities showed up to watch the final show down between two Karas.

Simply put, these Karas look good in armor. And their transformation is nothing short of unique, the way they run through and emerge from a circular golden ring of runes armored, steam rising, before the eye on their swords open on the command of Yurine unsealing the Karas power...it is all so excessively dramatic that it is awesome.

I am actually reminded of mew mew power. The first time I came across the show, and the magical girl genre, I was 11 and, quarter way into the episode, I found myself wondering why the theme song was playing once more. A minute or so later, I came to realize that the it wasn't the theme song replaying but a transformation occurring.

These girls, for some unknown reason, required the entire theme song to replay to transform into what they claim is armor but is actually a more colorful outfit than the first. I really do not like this genre

The first time I saw a Karas transformation I was afraid this was what would happen. I was pleasantly surprised. And these Karas are powerful as heck.

I do not think I have come across heroes so powerful yet so grounded. It isn't merely the enhanced abilities, it is how enhanced those abilities are. Calling Otoha super fast would be to underestimate just what he can do.

I remember this one scene that starts off with the destruction of a building, and as its ruins collapse,

Otoha and another enemy engage in battle. The battle lasts nearly 15 minutes and I was so engrossed in its intricacies that I didn't even notice the building was still falling.

These beasts had just engaged in an elongated battle in what was nothing more than a blink of an eye. And the transformations...just...wow; I remember the first time I read that the Karas could transform into a vehicle, a tank and a fighter jet. I couldn't quite picture how this would happen and I was afraid at how ridiculous it would seem.

I was duly impressed by the display though. Karas were basically designed to fight in ways that are nothing short of breath taking and amazing. Which bring me to...

The action:> Karas is one earth shattering action scene after another. I have never seen action scenes

as epic as Karas, outside of two other shows at least. These fights blew my mind several times over and that is partly because of how breath taking the animation was. I remember going back to Karas every few days to re watch some of these fights just so I could understand how awesome they were.

If there is one thing that makes Karas a must watch, it is these fight scenes. They more than make up for the failing story. Otoha is one of those dark and bad ass of bad ass action heroes I rarely encounter in anime.

Even Nue and his golden guns were a sight worth drooling at.

The Animation: Most OVAs make it a point to break their necks with the animation. Karas went beyond even that. It was a beautifully and artistically animated OVA, one that justifies the awards it has won for its work. I

like the lack of laziness that so many other anime display. When we get shots of the city, we are not treated to a hazy display of nebulous figures; the anime does its best to actually display to us humans walking and going about their business on the streets. I don't know why but that is something I always notice in an anime, how active the background is.

Most tend to keep it static. I like that Karas kept every scene alive.

The music: these scores were perfect. Karas was designed with an international look in mind, rather than being restricted to Japan, even though the setting was Japanese. The music showed this intent, including less Japanese instruments and focusing on a more international orchestral score.

This is the sort of music that should accompany a dark series such as Karas, with epic battles and dramatic finales.

MY RATING:> This is a 10/5 for me, in other words it exceeded my expectations. It had

faults, major faults with regards to the story, and as such it wasn't perfect, but I could ignore them in light of the visuals. The music was excellent and the animation was breath taking. The character designs, especially the armor and vehicle transformations were amazing, along with the Yokai and Mikura.

This anime, Karas, is a must watch, though I suggest watching it in its compiled form as the Karas: The Prophecy and Karas: The Revelation movies.

Karas is a six episode long OVA; it was produced by Tatsunoko production as an anniversary project celebrating 50 years of anime. Karas won the Tokyo anime award for its 2D and 3D animation techniques., especially with regards to the Karas fights.

Tatsunoko has been responsible for productions like sket dance, Evangelion, The money of soul and possibility control (C), Casshern sins, Robotech, Akira, flying house and even south park.

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So most of us have heard by now that the second season of legend of Korra is preparing for it release. I am one of those people who isn’t particularly excited by the news, more like waiting tentatively to see whether this second season strikes a cord with me. Not that i particularly hated the first season. It was decent as far as anime/cartoons go if i was to weigh it as an individual series. However as a sequel, i can’t help but feel underwhelmed, especially in comparing Korra’s first season and Aang’s first season.

To put it in blunt terms,where Korra could be described as a bullet, the original season of avatar was an explosion, and it only got bigger from that point on. Maybe it’s because avatar was new back then; it was a unique adventure and each new episode was a new opportunity to better understand the world of avatar.

With Korra one could say that there is no mystery. There was something exciting about seeing Toph metal bend for the first time, and the mention of bending lightening was nothing short of mind blowing. IN Korra where such occurrences are common place, it feels like something is missing. There is a lack of mystery and discovery. Basically there is a newness missing.

Which is why i have hope for this upcoming season. It seems like the writers are going into new territory, returning to avatar the adventurous spirit it lost. I for one wish we had just continued the air bender storyline, with the characters we loved instead of entering a new adventure.

Anyway, last air bender was nothing short of quality, the best animated series to come out of America ever, and what i am listing below are most amazing and mind blowing moments and events that the series had to offer during its three season run. I will not rank them because that would take time, though i will briefly state which stands above the other.

So, without further adieu, this is my list of the best moments in Avatar: The last air bender:

1. Sozen’s comet--- If anyone actually requires me to spell out exactly what about these two hour extravaganza makes it the best thing in last air bender, they need to go back and watch the series. I have watched quite a lot of anime since last air bender wrapped up a few years back, but i can honestly say that i can count on one hand the number of anime series that have had a finale as epic and satisfying as Sozen’s comet. We re talking about a set of four episodes that managed to wrap up most major plots in last air bender while delivering a barrage of out of this world action scenes.

Whatever one thinks of last air bender, there is no denying that this finale stands miles ahead of so many other series that should be its better because of this epic finale. So many moments come to mind that i am tempted to refer to the whole two hours as simply too epic to comprehend, but three moments/events stand out among the four episodes, which are pretty much the three best moments in last air bender. Let me just add that i love how the flames were animated in this finale.

1.A--- The final battle- there are no words to describe just how epic this fight was, how many moments had me mentally and sometimes physically skipping about in excitement, that moment when Aang and Oozai were earth bending entire columns of rock at each other in such an intricate fashion, when Aang had to roll himself in rock armorfrom a face cliff to deflect a fire lord attack, when Aang was forced into a corner and had to roll into a ball of rock to defend against epic fire attacks from the fire lord…this battle was epic moment after epic moment.

I have seen many an epic final battle, especially in an anime, but i do not think i can remember any that have satisfied me as much as this one did, at least not right now. Many pointed to the fact that Aang would obviously activate his avatar state in time to defeat the fire lord. It was classic anime story telling. But by the time i watched this finale, i hadn't wanted that much anime, and i didn’t think that Aang would re acquire his avatar state. Which means i was that much more blown away when Aang’s hand shot out of the rubble and grabbed Oozai's goatee. If you haven’t watched avatar, you should start right now if only to watch this final battle. Unlike many fans, Aang not killing the fire lord didn’t affect me in any way. In fact his alternative was much more unpredictable to me.

This was a great end to a great series.

1. B--- Zuko and Katara Vs. Azula- i have come across several forums disparaging this particular battle. I on the other hand loved it. Sure, it was more about quantity than quality, but that doesn’t make it any less spectacular, not to mention the haunting track that played during the battle, beautiful animation, especially with regards to the fire, the means with which Katara finally brought Azula done with masterful water bending. It was simply awesome. Plus i wanted to see Zuko finally put Azula in her place and in a way he did.

1.C--- Iroh and the fire bending masters take back Ba Sing se- These men might old but they are powerful as heck.

While most of them displayed an incredible level of power, especially that old fire bender, whose name i forget, that was sending walls of fire rolling down city streets, it is Iroh who took the cake with that massive fire bending attack. Even the build up to that attack was epic. Wikipedia has referred to that attack as the single most powerful fire bending attack ever displayed in the avatar universe, and i am inclined to agree. It was like a blast from a canon. It is worth mentioning that Iroh himself made the series better as a superb character, one of my favorite in fact; i always imagined that if Aang ever made it to his old age, he would be just like Iroh. I am one of those people who didn’t believe him when he said he couldn’t be the fire lord.

2---Zuko joins team Aang- Again many an anime fan will attest to having seen this coming. I didn’t. It was one of those events i had dreamt of ever since Zuko betrayed Katara in the mines (another epic finale by the way). I always thought that with its current roster, team Aang was a fairly complete and self sustaining group entertainment wise, but is was surprised by how much of an evolution occurred once Zuko joined the gang. His character seemed to signal incongruence for the team, and i have expected every episode after to devolve into a festival of brooding. Surprisingly though, Zuko breathed a fire into the team, especially with the individual missions he embarked on with each of the members (Katara’s was the best). And the jokes were funny, especially when Aang and Zuko would reminisce about his previous attempts to capture him.

3---Zuko and Aang master fire bending- besides the appearance of the dragons and a further exploration of the world of avatar and fire bending, i simply enjoyed watching Zuko and Aang’s diversely distinct personalities bond as they came to a mutual understanding.

4---Azula- Azula was just one large epic moment as a character.Every single scene she was in was filled with intense fire bending action scenes punctuated by her fiery dialogue, mostly threats. But though her many encounters with Zuko proved be jet fueled scenes of action, the most memorable was her first appearance in the avatar world, when she was on board her vessel, training as she made the first display of lightening bending. It was a unique moment that heightened the intensity of the threat she created. Plus it introduced the other variations of bending.

5---Katara/blood bending- this was one of those episodes were the simulation of water bending peaked in displaying just how powerful and deadly the art can be. And while the blood bending was awesome, the entire episode and its story proved to be superior in intrigue to me, along with the awesomely animated scenes of Katara and her opponent ripping the water out of trees and in turn reducing them to husks. I only marginally respected water bending until this moment, well this and the swamp scene where Katara displayed deadly accuracy against a pair of swamp benders.

6---Aang defeats the fire nation invasion- This was the moment in the season one finale where Aang wrapped himself in waves of water molded into the shape of a monster. It was carnage on an epic scale, the kind of display we had yet to see in the avatar world. Besides this moment was Katara’s first fight against her water bending master. It was also in this episode or the next that she finally beat Zuko all on her own.

7---Toph- Toph is another character who is just an epic moment in motion, constantly lighting up each scene she graces with her witty comments and snappy jokes. That along with her earth bending style, which just begs you to keep looking at it, make Toph my favorite character in the avatar universe (with Iroh a close second). My highlight with regards to epic moments doesn't, in this case, have anything to do with Toph but with her appearance, specifically the earth bending bending tournament and its wide array of cookie characters displaying a wide range of impressive earth bending skills.

8---Toph/mental bending- This was the moment that Toph first displayed mental bending. This you just have to see, as well as being a fan of the show, to understand its epicenes. I just realized it; water has blood bending, fire has lightening, earth has metal bending; what does air have? I just have to say again how awesome Toph is. I am reminded of that moment in the last episodes, on the fire nation ship where she sort of rolled herself into theship, merged with steel armor and unleashed a beating upon those poor fire nation soldiers.

9---Aang’s wrath- This was that moment in the dessert where a bunch of fools had the gall to steal Appa and Aang went crazy, reached the avatar state and nearly obliterated them before Katara calmed him down. I am not sure what about this moment sticks to mind, but i know it was awesome. Maybe it’s because it was one of the first time we saw the avatar state in most of its glory. There was also that moment when Aang nearly destroyed an earth city fighting the king who was determined to test his limits.

10---Bumi- I am guessing that that is his name, that crazy earth king that was also Aang’s child hood friend. I remember this being one crazy episode of constant fun. The action was different, this time placing the team on the defense against what they rarely face, a stronger opponent than them. The battle with Aang was awesome, but what proved to be more impressive was the moment when King Bumi, captured and defeated by the fire nation, broke out of his cage (was that telekinesis?) and single handedly took his city back. If Iroh is king among fire benders then Bumi is king among earth benders standing above even Toph in his awes striking power. You have to wonder what the fire bending masters were thinking not ending the fire nation’s campaign instead of waiting on the avatar. Between the five of them, the fire lord didn’t stand a chance.

11---The blue spirit- this was the moment when Zuko first began to grow in me, to show that he was more than just a scarred villain, when he donned

a mask,

twin blades and saved the avatar. That is one of those twists that struck me like lightening. I didn’t see it coming and it first showed the possibility of a friendship between these two, as well as showcasing Zuko’s fearsome sword skills. Nearly as good as this was that moment in the earth nation when Zuko, separated from Iroh and attempting to make friends with a poor family, finally revealed himself as the prince of the fire nation and annihilated an earth bending bandit.

12---The first invasion- this was the invasion that took place during the eclipse, when all the allies came together to stop the fire nation. It also off set Zuko’s departure from the fire nation at a time when he had finally earned the respect of his father, and thus allowed him to develop further as a character. We also saw his gentler side when he had an opportunity to kill his father and chose not to.

13---Sparky sparky boom boom man- I do not think there is anyone out their that can call themselves an avatar fan who didn’t wish that this fellow had survived until the end. I would have loved to see what this guy could do with the comet on his side; he would have probably burnt down the earth kingdom on his own. Sparky was an anomaly in the avatar world, with his ability to shoot fire from his fore head. You could say that he had taken the whole fire bending thing to a whole new level, morphing him into the sort of destructive force Aang and gang rarely face.

No best avatar moments list can end without mentioning Sokka at least once. i can’t remember anyone specific moment that allowed Sokka to shine besides the episode when he mastered his sword skills and acquired his black meteor sword. Sokka was simply a joy to watch, and a character that is yet to be replaced in legend of Korra, at least for me.

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