Hmm. I’m not sure how to begin after such a long and unexplained break that left the site somewhere between nearly and completely inactive. But rather than wasting time and words on apologies, let’s just pretend it never happened.
The only two shows I’d watched from the Fall Season were Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun and Initial D Fifth Stage. I was following Robotics;Notes but stopped somewhere around the 12th or 13th episode; I still haven’t taken the time to catch-up. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun was enjoyable for me; sometimes light-hearted, somewhat comedic (okay: I admit this show made me laugh) romances are enjoyable. Plus there was something about the simplicity (often overshadowed by the complexities) of Shizuku and Haru’s relationship that was very endearing to me. I suppose it was a success in my eyes, especially since I’m now completely caught up with the manga. Initial D Fifth Stage was a bit of a “must watch” because I had marathoned the first four stages (or acts) sometime within the last 12 months and this Fifth Stage caught me off guard; I didn’t know they were making anymore of these! I enjoy it purely because I enjoy driving, and watch with a former street racer who I constantly grill with questions about driving technique and car performance (“Can the 86 really beat a 4WD?” “Isn’t it cheating if the engine has swapped?” “What purpose does a tachometer serve?”).
Tamako Market is a Kyoto Animation production; as in the animators of K-On! … among other animes. And yes, everything is just as cute. The story centres on Tamako, her family (who make mochi, following the traditional path set by Tamako’s great-grandfather), her high school friends, and the tight-knit community they live in. Oh and there’s a rather annoying talking bird involved. It’s a cute show with the slightest hint of a plot (the bird is supposed to find his prince, back home, a bride), and just a shade of romance (Mochizou, the boy who lives across the way, whose family also runs a mochi shop, though more modern, has a crush on Tamako). I’m quite enjoying it at the moment, and I’m likely to see it through to the end.
Chihayafuru is in its second season, and if you haven’t seen the first… well I suppose you don’t have to, but you should. They do a good enough job explaining the basics of the game through the introduction of new characters – and new members of the Karuta Club. The series has also wasted no time in getting back into the heart of Chihayafuru: the competition! The team is already in the midst of the regional high school tournament, and we’re getting an idea of not only how the two new additions are handling the pressure, but how the veterans are supporting the new recruits while continuing to better their own game. There have been three story lines (speckled with development for all characters involved) thus far: The first is Hanano Sumire and her attitude toward Karuta. She joined the club solely because of her infatuation with Taichi, and while her main goal is still “love”, her ambition is slowly shifting as she starts to feel more and more competitive in Karuta. Second showcases the other newcomer, Tsukuba Akihiro. He had grown up playing a variation of Karuta (“second verse Karuta”) and joined the club to learn, but his ego was quickly crushed realizing “first verse Kartua” is completely different and more challenging, especially at a competitive level.
Finally we take a look at Taichi and how he still hasn’t managed to achieve a Class A status despite having the skills and having put in the effort through practicing and attending various tournaments. He finds himself in a difficult situation where he’s forced to take a look at the way he plays Karuta in a team, as well as individually. We’re reminded of how smart Taichi is, and how different his approach to Karuta is from Chihaya’s; but also how Taichi struggles to overcome himself (his responsibilities as president, his pride and image) in his quest to reach his goals.
I don’t plan on watching much else other than these two shows this seasons; nothing’s really interested me. But on top of these two, I’ve been following Uchuu Kyoudai (aka Space Brothers) which is a really good show. However, because this show does well in building up to and ending nearly every episode in a cliffhanger, I’ve gotten into the habit of watching a batch of three or four episodes at a time. My patience is funny in that I’d rather wait two or three weeks for more story than one week to find out “what happens next”.
Now I can’t speak for the other writers of Bokutachi no BLOG, but I’ll do my best to put in a post here and there – and with some regularity. Thanks to everyone who’s stumbled by and taken the time to read, and even more thanks to those who’ve stuck by during this literary drought. (If it weren’t for the steady stream of people commenting on the “Is Lelouch Really Dead?” post, I think the site might have shut itself down…)