Month: September 2014

TSUBASA RESERvoir CHRoNiCLE

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So today I’ll be reviewing a manga. Yes, the manga, not the anime. This is a story drawn by the mangaka group called CLAMP who also drew stories like Card Captor Sakura, XXX Holic, Chobbits and Code Geass. This manga was published for the first time on May of 2003 and it wasn’t until October of 2009 that it was finished. With all the fame that a sequel to Card Captor Sakura implied, it was in April of 2005 that the tv series was released… And here’s why my review is only for the manga, the broadcast of the series ended in November of 2006, almost three years before the manga was finished.

Those of you who have some information on the anime will say, “Oh, but the anime had two OVAs”. Yes, the anime did, in fact, have two OVAs. But the last one was published in May of 2009, five months before the manga was completed. So, as I said, the anime series still need to be finished.

So, as I said before, Tsubasa takes place after CCS, it’s a sequel. The thing is that even though the story is a sequel to CCS it’s happening in a completely different dimension. How, then, do this two stories intertwine? The answer is simple, Clow Reed. Apparently, after sealing Keroberos and Yue inside the Clow book, the most powerful magician of all did not die. Instead, he travelled to a different dimension and met with Yuuko Ichihara, does the name ring a bell? Yes, Yuuko is the witch that owns the store where Watanuki works in XXX Holic.

As you can see, the story is a kind of crossover between several of the stories created by CLAMP. But Clow isn’t the main character of the story. Just like CCS, in Tsubasa, Clow is but the reason why the story actually takes place. By a simple wish of a moment and because of his extraordinary power he accidentally creates the villain of the story.

What’s actually interesting about this story is the difference with all the stories I have ever seen or read. Our two main characters are actually Syaoran and Sakura, but they’re not the same characters as in CCS though the original Sakura does make an appearance towards the end of the story.

Anyway, Sakura loses her memories and in order to get the back, Syaoran travels through the dimensions looking for the feather-like memories with the help of three other companions apart from Sakura; Kurogane, Fye and Mokona.

One of the things I love about it, though I must admit I got sort of angry about it at first, is the surprises. First thing you need to keep in mind, that even though you think your reading thing in a chronological order, you’re not. And that, my dear friends, is AWESOME.

The best way to read this story is to read CCS for a little background information, and after that read Tsubasa and XXXHolic at the same time. Otherwise it’s kind of difficult to understand. Anyway, it’s not really necessary to do it. But if you want to completely understand it, you should.

Another interesting fact is that CLAMP just started publishing a sequel to TSUBASA RESERvoir CHRoNiCLE it’s called Tsubasa World Chronicle: Nirai Kanai-hen. Enjoy it!

I guess I’ll leave it at that. Until next time, I sign out…

P.S.: My favourite characters here, are Mokona and Fye… 😛

Luna von Schmilinsky

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HUNTER X HUNTER

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Hunter x Hunter is an anime based on the manga of the same name drawn by the mangaka Yoshihiro Togashi. The manga was first published on March 3, 1998 and although until recently the manga was on hiatus, it now has 349 chapters (about 32 volumes. Yes, I read that.). The first animation of this manga began its broadcast on October 16, 1999 and the last was on March 31, 2001, with a total of 62 chapters. Later in 2011 it began transmitting a second anime called Hunter x Hunter 2011, whose transmission will end on 23 September this year.

I must admit that this is one of my favorite series, even though the first chapters are less interesting than a chemistry class. Just like the manga, really. But as the series progresses it becomes increasingly interesting and these early chapters that bring us nothing but frustration are very well rewarded.

The main character is called Gon Freecs, a 12 year old boy who decides to embark on the adventure of becoming hunter in order to find his father Ging Freecs a hunter who is famous for the difficulty to locate him. During the hunter examination Gon meets Leorio, Kurapika and Killua, who accompany him on his adventure.

The interesting thing about this series is that each character has a story behind it and as Gon’s story develops, the story each character develops as well givin every character a past present and future throughout the series. This is one of those series that are very much attached to reality while still in a fantasy world. It has characters that you’ll always wonder if they are friends or enemies to Gon, as they can help at any given time and then fight him in another.

Also each character teaches us something different, as between tears and laughter each one gets increasingly closer to his goal. Gon, proves that perseverance and persistence eventually pays off, so we must be stubborn and not surrender to anything. Killua teaches us that anyone can change if they really want it. Leorio can’t do anything to change his past, but is determined to change his future. Kurapika shows (in a very complex way, since he doesn’t do it himself) that we must be smart and that we shouldn’t look at the past since it’s no use.

Another thing I love about the series is the surprise effect, there are many times when they catch one off guard during the series. In addition, the series is full of jokes that make an appearance at the most unexpected moments.

Truth be told, after watching Hunter x Hunter, reading the manga and then watching Hunter x Hunter 2011 (Yes, I know I’m sick) I can properly say that the difference between the three is not much. The manga and 2011 are virtually identical. Hunter x Hunter is also quite attached to the manga, however has some filler chapters that, instead of being funny and pointless (As in most animes,) are actually quite interesting.

I think the only thing I did not like was that in 2011 they changed the design of some characters and to those who had seen the first series it’s kind of like hitting your mother in mothers day. For example: Supposedly, Menchi has pink hair, not mint…

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Explanatory image.

And that doesn’t only happen with her. I don’t care that much when they change the color of clothes, I mean, they’re just clothes. But changing things like hair color, eye color or skin color is annoying. I mean, sure, you could die your hair. But why on earth would a 12 year old BOY use contacts?!

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Killua before and after.

However, leaving aside my obsession with keeping things perfect, I like the fact that Gon and Killua look younger in the second series because that gives you more drama to the case. It also lets you notice their growth throughout the series.

In short, it is an anime that I recommend to everyone. Those who know me know this. I’m addicted, I love it. In fact, I had promised myself that I would not continue reading the manga since I liked what I’d seen and considered it a good ending. Then I accidentally learned that the mangaka was drawing again and here I am, reading… This story is just too GOOD.

And for those of my readers who play video games, there is a game of this story. It’s called Hunter x Hunter Woder Adventure and it’s for Play Station Portable PSP. I haven’t had the chance to play it because my computer is super old and doesn’t run the emulator, but I can’t wait to play it. But beware, the game is in Japanese. So I wish you all the best of luck with that.

Until next time, goodbye…

Luna von Schmilinsky

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH EDWARD ELRIC

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He became a State Alchemist at the age of 12, after making a mistake that almost cost the life of his brother. He embarked on a journey to recover the body of the only close relative he had left. During which, he managed to save his country, Amestris, from total annihilation. He fought beings called homunculi, who were trying to forge a philosopher’s stone out of human lives and also managed to beat one of them in the midst of its transformation to God. Now, at 18; the Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric, is the only state hero that cannot use the power of alchemy and also the only person in the world that has managed to make a perfect human transmutation.

After a slight inconvenient involving a wounded guard and the word “short”, we sat in the Resenbool train station to talk about the events that have occurred since he was 12.

I cannot believe I’m finally talking to you, I must confess that you are one of my idols. I know all about you.

So why interview me?

Eh… Let’s say it’s my job.

I understand. Well, work is work. So shoot.

We all know (or at least I do) you undertook your trip with your brother following an accident that claimed the body to your brother, and your right arm and left leg. However, no one has clarified to the media what was this accident; would you tell me something about it?

I figured you would ask that… -pause- we tried to do something stupid, and as a result a being that some would call “God” took the life of my brother and my left leg. When I awoke, I realized that Al was nowhere in sight and understood what had happened; so I took a suit of armor and drew an anchor seal with my blood because I was somewhat in a hurry, then gave my arm in equivalence for his soul, and pasted it to the armor.

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You have yet to tell me something new.

Law of equivalent exchange, depending on how much I like you, I’ll tell you what happened that day.

Right after Inuyasha almost killed me… Lucky me…

Who is Inuyasha?

It doesn’t matter. It is the second time you mention this “equivalence”, what are you talking about?

Man cannot obtain anything without first giving something in return. To create, something of equal value must be lost. That is the first law of alchemy, “Equivalent Exchange”. That is perhaps the only true rule to this world. Absolutely everything has a price, even mistakes. So humans can’t play god. It is like worshiping the sun: if you get too close, it’ll only burn you.

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I guess you speak about mistakes because of your case, am I right?

Right, indeed. As I said, ours was a mistake that was charged non the less.

What about your brother? I know he’s got his body back, but has not yet fully recovered. Will he recover?

We have overcome many problems. I promised Al I would recover his body, and I did. All our suffering was my fault to begin with, he was not sure it was a good idea and I convinced him. I got him into it, so I had to get him out. Many things have happened, so I’m sure he will recover. He’s strong and though his legs still do not work quite right, he does have them. So he will find a way to get up and walk, it’s what we’ve always done.

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I am glad to hear he’s recovering. Speaking about what you’ve managed, who did you bring from the dead?

Alphonse.

Your brother?

Yes. It was he who gave me back my arm, and did it in exchange for his life. So I had to give him what I had promised, I had to return his body, his life.

How did this happen? What led you to make this mistake?

Good question, -laughs wryly- Hohenheim. I can’t blame him for our mistakes, but I can and will blame him for not being there.

Hohenheim? Your father?

I see you are very well informed, but I do not consider that bastard my father. He left us and when mom fell ill we tried to contact him in all the ways that we could think of, but even after she died he did not show up. Then he died, just like that. Without giving me the opportunity to punch him again.

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Then; your father is gone, your mother died, and you are alone. No one to stop you, from making a decision that robs your brother from his body and you from your limb. So you become a State Alchemist, under the tutelage of Roy Mustang…

This man does nothing but annoy, even today. He appears occasionally with Risa to make my life miserable because I’m not being able to use alchemy. -he sounds knuckles- Maybe I should kick his ass for him to understand that alchemy is not everything. -he smiles perversely.

Eh… Hum… -I walk away slightly and smile nervously- Better change the subject, why can you no longer use alchemy?

That was the price to bring Al back, -smiles proudly- it’s the price of human transmutation.

How Can alchemy be a price?

There are two factors, to begin with an alchemist can only revive another alchemist. This is because each alchemist has a door connecting him to a void of infinite light where that so called God is, and that door is what allows us to use the science of alchemy. As the price is the door that allows you to use it, you can not get out from the door you entered. So you need to get out through door belonging to the alchemist you are resurrecting, with him, or you will not be able to come back.

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I see, and that’s how you found a solution to the taboo.

It’s not that hard. Once you think about it, you notice this is a matter of pride. Humans are very proud, we think that just because we’re able to use alchemy, we’re a god’s level. But we are not gods. We are scientists, just that. To challenge death, we must be able to swallow our pride and lower ourselves to a harder life, and that is the only way to get our loved ones back.

However, you are not only recognized for being the first and only one who has managed to make a perfect human transmutation. You are also a national hero.

Don’t call me that way, I’m not any hero. Everything I did, I did for my own reasons. The person I loved refused to leave Amestris, so I needed to save the country in order to save her. That’s all there is to it.

But you saved it anyway. What was happening? How did you do it?

There are, or were, strange beings called homunculi. I do not know where they came from, nor am I interested. But they were extremely strong and wanted to forge a Philosopher’s Stone. When Alphonse and I started our trip, the plan was to forge one in order to restore our bodies without respecting the equivalent exchange. In our search, we discovered that to create a Philosopher’s Stone lives were needed in large quantities, so we gave up. But they had other plans. I ended up fighting against something that was more like a god… Anyway, I saved Amestris. I don’t think it’s a big deal.

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No big deal… Well, that’s your opinion. Will you tell me what your mistake was?

Equivalence. I’ll tell you what you want to know.

Really?

Yes. Now, the truth is that I’m not proud of this. Only Mustang knows, and that bastard’s blackmailed me to death. I’ve had enough, I’d rather you posted it. Anyway, I convinced Al to resurrect mom. The transmutation failed, and I almost lost him… Which reminds me! I need to go home and help Winry and Al with dinner.

Winry’s your girlfriend?

Yeah … Anyway, -he gets up and stretches- I hope the interview helped you.

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Yes, of course, don’t worry. Thank you very much.

It’s been a pleasure.

Luna von Schmilinsky

P.S.: There is a poll at the inteview page, there you can vote who will be in my next interview. Feel free to comment and ask for other characters as well. Have a good night!

50 YEARS WITH MAFALDA

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Immortalized as a little six year old girl, Mafalda, the masterpiece created by Quino is now 50 years old. So this is a very special day for journalists, since she was created as an opinion cartoon. So I hope today you learn a little more about the opinion cartoon that was so loved, it had a TV show.

Yes, you read thing right. Mafalda was originally a cartoon meant to be in the opinion section of the argentine publications Primera Plana, El Mundo and Siete Días Ilustrados. The first time the cartoon was published, was in 1964. But 9 years later, in 1973, Quino realized he wouldn’t be able to keep up the cartoon without repeating himself and stopped drawing.

Mafalda was a very intelligent young girl who tended to ask things that were way too complicated for her age. That’s why her father had problems to answer her questions, and, in more than one occasion argued with her about it or even made fun of her without Mafalda knowing. Another cause of arguments between Mafalda and her father is the lack of a TV in their house, which causes some minor problems at school also.

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Her relationship with her mother went a lot more smoothly, but there was always an uncommon argument here and there. Soup, for example, was a very sore spot between Mafalda and her mother, who seemed to prepare soup for lunch pretty much every day. Quino obviously had fun with the idea, and there was even one time when Mafalda decided that maybe, if Fidel Castro (former president of Cuba) said that soup tasted good the rest of the countries would think it was bad for health or something and would probably forbid it.

Something that makes Mafalda special as a cartoon is the characters. Each character has its own personality, which is very important for every story in the world. But it is a lot more valuable because we’re speaking of a newspaper cartoon. Mafalda is a very curious girl, thirsty to know about everything that surrounds her. Her mother, is obsessed with cleaning and obviously loves soup. Her father works most of the time, but he loves plants and has a declared war against ants.

I think one of the most impressive things of this cartoon is that, even now, 50 years after it was first published it’s not only funny, but you can also relate it to the things we’re living now worldwide. In fact, I’d say that the world hadn’t needed her more than it needs her now. So I can’t help but feel sad that Quino didn’t keep on drawing what would possibly be my favorite cartoon on earth.

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Have a good night guys!

Luna von Schmilinsky

A HOUSE IN THE FOREST

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Taken on the shores of Lake Garda by Luna von Schmilinsky

When I went to Europe with my grandparents, the tour took us to Lake Garda. At the edge that faces the border with Austria, was a huge white house and on the corner was this little beauty. Though it was inbetween buildings, if I got close enough with my cammera it seemed to be in the middle of a forest. It took some time to get the shot, but finally I managed it and this is the result. It kind of looks like one of those tiny houses in Disney movies… Like the one in ‘The Sleeping Beauty’.

INUYASHA LOSES HIS PATIENCE

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After waking from a nap that lasted 50 years caused by his dead ex-girlfriend when she sealed him to a tree, he fought many times against the wickedest hybrid ever created. He frustrated his plans to steal a jewel that could have given him infinite powers with a simple wish. He saved the world during the feudal era of Japan and managed to get the girl. All this being half a man and half a beast, rejected by the society of his time.

Carrying a sword in his belt and wearing his usual red haori, Inuyasha comes into the WcDonald’s with a green cap and scowl, while ordering a nonexistent bowl of ramen amid a burger restaurant.

Come on, I do not have all day. Let’s finish this quickly.

Uh, yeah. First of all thanks for giving us a few minutes of your valuable time for this interview.  -Inuyasha growls indifferently- So, tell me a little about yourself… Where do you come from?

Kagome’s place.

Uh … No. I was referring to the place you were born.

Ah! My mother’s hut.

Very well, let’s leave geography for another time. Who was your father?

It was the strongest dog demon of all time.

I see you’re very chatty… You say your father was a dog demon. That makes you half dog, where is your tail?

My tail? I have no tail.

But, your brother has one…

Half-brother. That man also has an ego and a superiority complex larger than that of a god, and that doesn’t I have them also. Besides, what does a tail with the interview?

That with the amount of information you give me, you might be answering me in monosyllables.

OK… -He snaps angrily- I’ll answer with more detail if you promise to leave me alone soon.

Deal. So tell me, how did you start your journey?

500 years ago a damned man deceived Kikyo, the guardian of the Shikon no Tama, and I. As a result, I ended up sealed on a tree and Kikyo dead. 50 years later, Kagome woke me from my sleep and I mistook her for Kikyo because she is her reincarnation and also had the pearl with her. Anyway I wanted the Pearl and she accidentally broke it. So she got me in this mess. Are you happy now?

Very much, yes. So it all starts with the relationship that you shared with Kikyo. Could you tell me a little about it?

Do not abuse of my patience… -Growls.

Okay. Then explain to me how it broke?

If a demon eats the pearl, it becomes a brainless monster that can not be destroyed. In this case it was swallowed by a bird and as this woman is a terrible archer, she couldn’t think of a better idea that to tie a leg that I had ripped off the animal to one of her arrows and shoot while it regenerated. Obviously, it was a perfect shot, but the price was three years of tortuous travel to find and collect all the fragments of the pearl.

Explain to me what is pearl.

It’s a magical pearl that can grant any wish to a person or give incredible powers. It was created by a priestess named Midoriko.

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But we do not have to worry about the existence of this pearl anymore, right?

You’re right. Kagome and I take care of it.

Talk to me about your companions, how are they?

My companions? Oh, you mean my pack. Kagome is my best friend and mate… Today Miroku and Sango are married and have three children. We all took care of Shippou and educated him. He now leaves occasionally to do fox things…

With mate you mean wife?

What are you talking about? -He blushes.

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I figure that’s a yes, then.

Hey! I did not say that! That’s distortion.

Let’s just say I don’t care. Do you think things have changed between your era and this one?

Of course, I lived in a forest and to reach any village you had to walk for days. Demons are a lot less common now, and magic does not exist. Although there have been people able to use it.

And I suppose Kagome, your girlfriend, is able to use it…

Yes.

See? She is your girlfriend.

You ungrateful brat! How dare you?! –glares at me.

Then I guess your ex-girlfriend is Kikyo.

Think what you want.

Very well, let’s change the topic. How long did it take to gather the fragments of the pearl?

Three years.

What happened after you got them all?

We destroyed the Pearl and Kagome got back to her time for three years, finished school and then returned. Since then, we’re always together.

Really? Together, together?

‘This interview is over.

 Instantánea 32 (01-03-2012 01-39 p.m.)

Hey, no … Wait! I was just kidding.

You got what you wanted, now stop harassing Kagome’s mother so she’ll tell you when I come, please. The woman is terrified … Which reminds me why I came here in first place. –He unsheathes Tessaiga- Get away from my pack!

Wait! What are you doing?!

What I should have done when I arrived!

Kagome: SIT BOY! -Inuyasha crashes to the floor.

Thank you!

Inuyasha: Damn! Kagome! What the hell is wrong with you ?!

Kagome: You better go before it recovers.

Yes!

Luna von Schmilinsky

Let’s meet Ash Ketchum!

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He believes in an innovative religion and has won the Orange League, Ash Ketchum from Pallet town apart from having the world’s record of going to the Pokémon League without winning, dedicates his life to train his pokémon with all the dedication and love of a real professional while the effects of a rare candy don’t let him grow.

He has a very simple house with a countryside view. Sitting on the sofa with Pikachu by his side while the butler per excellency, mr. Mime brought some tea we began our conversation.

I know you’ve had a very controversial and even criticized carrier and I would like to know a bit more about it. That said, I’d like to start from the beginning… Why did you choose this requested and unstable carrier?

Well, truth is I wasn’t good at math or sports. I didn’t really like writing… I wanted to travel, get to know the world. Oh, and dad was a pokémon trainer too.

Oh really? How was your father?

Mom says he had blue hair and pink cheeks. She also said something about a second carrier that that was something between a mime and a clown. –In that instant mr. Mime brings us some sweets and stuff… Wow! – Anyway, I assumed that if he could do this, I could too.

But even if he was, you’ve never won the Pokémon League, right?

Well, I actually won the Orange League. But apparently nobody recognizes winning the Orange League as a remarkable merit. So I guess it doesn’t count.

Even so, you have continued to pursue your dream to become the best Pokémon trainer of the world. How long do you think you’ll take?

I’d rather not think about that. Anyway, nothing has changed since I started my journey. Well, yes… My clothes (laughs).

Speaking of time, how long has it been since you began your journey with Pikachu?

That’ll 16 years traveling the world and, of course, battling every trainer I make eye contact with (literally).

… So how old were you when you started?

Ten years old.

In that case, probably all women addicted to plastic surgery wonder, how did you manage to maintain the appearance of a ten year old all these years?

A few days before going to pick Pikachu up, at night, I left my window open. A noise woke me at dawn. It was Peter Pan. Turns out that I was chosen to be one of the lost boys, so I was given a candy to never grow. But I was so anxious to meet my pokémon that although I had told him that I’d be going, I eventually retracted. The problem is that I had done the spell to not grow already, and the spell is apparently irreversible. So I’ll stay like this forever.

You believe in Peter Pan?

Yes, and I also believe in the Clefairy.

That’s a Pokémon, how can you not believe in them?

Simple, A scientist once told me that the Clefairy had come to this planet on a meteorite, bringing all the pokémon world. However, I think that meteorite is the planet itself and the Clefairy actually move us through space at they’re will. For now we are passing near a star called sun, but when we move away, the pokémon are the only ones who can survive those deplorable conditions and it’ll be the end of mankind.

I see… Let’s talk about the candy, what kind of candy was it?

It was a rare candy. Generally this candy is used to reinforce skills and contribute to the growth of a pokémon. However, apparently the candy has an adverse effect on humans, and instead of making us grow, it affects the pituitary, which instead of creating growth hormone, begins to create a hormone that does the opposite. Today, I have the appearance of a nine.

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This discovery will make Lindsay Lohan and John Travolta feel fulfilled. -mr. Mime collects the empty cups… Wow- Have you talked with a scientist on the subject of rare candy?

Yeah, I talked to Professor Oak. But the next day, when I went to do my exams, he had forgotten all about our conversation. So I had to visit Professor Elm.

Then I guess you’ve never had an erection…

What is an erection?

That confirms it. Pikachu, what do you think of all this?

Pikachu, Pika pika pi.

Of course, I understand perfectly. So I guess I better end this interview here. Thank you so much for this opportunity Mr. Ketchum.

It was nothing. You can come back whenever you want. Oh and please don’t forget to tell me what an erection is next time you come.

Sure. Bye Ash! -Mr. Mime guides me out … WOW!