Wednesday, May 24 2006

More for the pile…

Today I did my part to keep the Cha-Cha Maru afloat. No, I didn’t send Robert a box of Chachamaru cookies, or a case of Chachamaru for kitchen. I just ordered a few more anime DVDs to add to The Great Unwatched Pile on my coffee table, which I hope to make at least a small dent in soon.

  • Ah! My Goddess TV, discs 4 & 5 (good stuff).
  • My-HiME, discs 1 & 2 (fluff! super-powered schoolgirls with mecha!).
  • Kaleido Star New Wings, discs 2 & 3 (if it’s even half as good as season 1, it’s worth every penny).
  • Girls Bravo, discs 5 & 6 (well-drawn plot-free fluff).
  • Tenjho Tenge, discs 5 & 6 (hot girls, big fights, trainwreck of a plot)
  • Maburaho, discs 6 & 7 (yes, I know Yuna turns into a nagging bitch; I always liked Kuriko better anyway, even though the phony-widow landlady is the real prize).
  • Daphne in the Brilliant Blue, disc 7 (wins the award for “most obvious use of fan-service to hide the inept scattering of plot crumbs”, but Maia’s adventures are fun, and the series has inspired two of my Bad Haiku: “pointy chin, nice ass, / someday there will come a plot; / meanwhile, that must chafe.” and 「その服に寒いよね。でも、お尻いい。」
  • DearS, disc 4 (they had to do some plot surgery to the manga to tell a complete story, and they left a lot of threads dangling for a second season that will never come, but I really like it, and you can never go wrong with dancing chibi in the credits).
  • Burst Angel, discs 5 & 6 (pretty drawings, poorly-integrated CGI, trainwreck of a story).
  • Crest of the Stars, box set (recommended by some guy I trust).
  • Stratos 4, box set (likewise).
  • Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase, manga volume 3 (nekomimi gothloli vampire, what’s not to like?)
  • Hyper Police, manga volume 6 (I always thought the anime deserved a second season…).
  • Haibane Renmei, original soundtrack (I can never manage to get that song out of my head, so it might as well be on my iPod).

I think I’m way overdue for twin posts on music and manga, especially since I just finished region-converting my dozenth Hello!Project DVD. The latest one is the concert video Folk Songs 3, which not only has the usual cute jpop idol girls, but an older male vocalist whose work I’ve acquired an interest in recently, Gen Takayama.

And I’m still trying to relocate the reference in one of my books to the original Cha Cha Maru. I’m sure the ship in Plastic Little played some part in the naming of the robot girl in Negima, but the name 茶々丸 goes back at least to the Ashikaga period. Tea cookies, kitchen cleansers, pet hunter ships, and robot girls are an odd group to be tied together by a name, and I just want to know how it got started.

[ah, there he is! I knew I’d run across a Chachamaru in the Ashikaga period. Turns out he was even in the Ashikaga family, and a rather ruthless fellow. I doubt there’s anyone named after him.]

[…and another Chachamaru reference in anime: apparently it’s the name of a bar in Maison Ikkoku]