Yankumi: The Bad-Ass Teacher with a Big Heart

30-DAY ANIME CHALLENGE
Day 4:  Favourite Female Anime Character

yankumi-gokusen-anime-1Unlike Day 3 of this anime challenge where I found it difficult to choose my favourite male anime character, Day 4 isn’t very hard for me.  So my favourite female anime character is Yamaguchi Kumiko or more known as Yankumi from the series Gokusen (ごくせん) by mangaka Morimoto Kozueko (森本梢子).  

Yankumi isn’t pretty, nor is she sexy.  In fact, the plainness of her appearance is constantly emphasized throughout the series.  Nevertheless, I love her character.  She is very strong, not only physically but also emotionally and mentally.  She is one of those rare manga/anime characters that I want to emulate.

I find her lack of sexual appeal very refreshing, especially with the current trend in the anime/manga industry to portray overly sexual female characters with flawless beauty and, ahem, big, bouncy boobs. (I still love you Nami & Robin! – ONE PIECE)

Yankumi is the heiress of a Yakuza family, but she doesn’t want to be the successor.  Instead, she wants to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher.  The series revolves around her often hilarious struggle to conceal her Yakuza identity.

Her character is such a paradox of what you’ll expect from a member of the Yakuza.  She is technically the second highest in the Yakuza hierarchy in the series, yet she wants to pursue a “mundane” job as a teacher (I apologize to all my teachers!).  She is surprisingly innocent, especially when it comes to matters of men and love.  However, what struck me the most are her dedication as a teacher and her genuine desire to help her delinquent students.  Although sometimes I find her dedication too much, bordering on foolishness, but still it’s admirable.

I love the manga and the anime, but I think the drama starring Nakama Yukie (仲間 由紀恵) delved into the characters and the story deeper.  I watched all 3 seasons and all films.  And until now, it remains as one of my most favourite J-Dramas.

Finally, what I love about her the most is her strength, specifically her physical strength.  I wish I have the same ability to beat up a huge group of violent guys by myself.  Hey, I’m a woman.  I believe all women should have the ability to defend themselves.  Although I train in self-defense regularly, thank God that I’ve never had the need to use my skills yet.  I hope that it never comes to that.

So now you know that Yankumi of Gokusen is my favourite female anime character.  How about you?  Who’s your favourite female anime character?

Links:
Gokusen Anime Official Website at NTV (Japanese)
Gokusen Drama Official Website at NTV (Japanese)
Nakama Yukie Profile at Productions Ogi (Japanese)

RUN! RUN! RUN! Towards Our Dream

one-piece-logo1

Rating:   :D :D :) (2 & 1/2 out of 5 grins)
As you may know very well by now, I’m a total ONE PIECE fan.  You may now be tired hearing me prattle about ONE PIECE here and ONE PIECE there, but I don’t care. (●ↀωↀ●)✧

RUN! RUN! RUN! is the second ending theme song in the series, sung by Otsuki Maki (大槻真希), who also sang the first ending theme song Memories under Sony Entertainment.  RUN! RUN! RUN! is used in episodes 31 to 63.  Although I think that the animation is better here than in the first ending, I still like Memories more than RUN! RUN! RUN!  

I don’t think that it fits ONE PIECE well.  Hmmm. . . Of course, this song talks about dreams and running (well, duh, the title’s all about the word “run”), so you can assume that it means to run towards your dream, but that’s about it.  It’s not that memorable, in my opinion.

Nevertheless, I still like Otsuki-san’s vocals.  Even if I don’t think that this is a ONE PIECE song, I think that her voice fits the song perfectly.

Uploaded by:  HuguesCG

What’s your favourite ONE PIECE song?

ONE PIECE fan?  Check out my i love ONE PIECE Pinterest board.

Links:
ONE PIECE Official Website (Japanese)
CASSIS Official Blog ~Otsuki Maki’s band~ (Japanese)

Dear Girl ~Stories~ 27: Ono-D Learns How To Communicate With Cats

Title: スタジオの向こうで大人たちが真剣な顔で話してた (Sutajio no mukou de otona-tachi ga shinken na kao de hanashiteta / At the other studio, the adults were talking with serious faces)
View Episode Guide
Rating: :D :D :D :D :) (4 & 1/2 out of 5 grins)
ATTENTION!!! Important Note: All the translations below are my own (by Arria Cross). All are labelled “rough translation”, as they did not undergo any professional proofreading and/or editing and may lack literal and/or grammatical accuracy.  I did my best, however, to convey the atmosphere and context of the conversations in this radio show.

dgs1

Credit: animelo.jp

This is the 27th episode of Kamiya Hiroshi (神谷浩史) and Ono Daisuke’s (小野大輔) radio show Dear Girl ~Stories~.  I love this episode!  It’s so hilarious.  The 2 hosts begin by introducing themselves in DJ-style.  Then they announce that their next event titled “Lovers Only” has been decided.

HiroC: Why is it “Lovers Only”?
OnoD: Well, “lovers” mean koibito (lovers), right?
HiroC: Oh! You’re so smart!
OnoD: Eh? Eh?!
HiroC: That’s amazing.
OnoD: What is?
HiroC: Common sense dictates that when you hear this title, you’d be like, “Eh? Is this rubber?” (Arria:  the pronunciation of “lovers” in Nihongo is rabaasu, similar to “rubber”)
Both: (laughs)
OnoD: That’s different!
HiroC: People will ask, “Is this whole event where you do rubber-like things?” AHAHAHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHAHA!
OnoD: This program isn’t that kind of program. Come on now! We can’t have that.
HiroC: But there are so many things in this program that they’re forcing us to do. I’m so scared. It’s really scary!  (Arria:  I bet he’s talking about “Duriangelion”.)
OnoD: So it’s like rather than rabaasu meaning “lovers”, it’s more like gomu-ningen (rubber-person). . . (Arria:  An obvious allusion to my favourite anime ONE PIECE‘s Monkey D. Luffy).
HiroC: It’s like GOMU GOMU NO-!!!
OnoD: Ahahaha!

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Fiery Portgas D. Ace: Come Back To Life Please!!! 。゚( ゚இ‸இ゚)゚。

30-DAY ANIME CHALLENGE
Day 3:  Favourite Male Anime Character

Choosing my favourite male anime character is difficult.  I have so many!  I can’t decide on my number 1 favourite among them.  But I don’t want to list all of them in this post, so I decided to choose only one.  I chose Portgas D. Ace from my number 1 favourite series ONE PIECE.  Ace, more known as Hiken no Ace (火拳のエース / Fire Fist Ace), is Luffy’s sworn older brother alongside Sabo.

portgas d. ace

If you look at the big picture, his appearance in the series is very short.  I’m pleased with the animators’ decision to extend his appearance at the Alabasta Arc, compared to his very brief introduction in the manga.  Kudos to TOEI!  The appearance of his character may be short, but the impact of his role on the whole series is very huge.  His death is my number 1 Most Gut-Wrenching Scene in ONE PIECE before the time-skip.

Furukawa Toshio Credit: topio.jp/

Furukawa Toshio
Credit: topio.jp/

I may be in grief over his death and wish that he’s still alive, but I think that his death is a genius move by Oda-sensei because it catapulted the 2-year time-skip in the series, where the entire Mugiwara Pirates powered-up, making the series so much better.  But still. . .I really MISS him! ƈ  ͡ (ुŏ̥̥̥̥ ‸ ŏ̥̥̥̥) ु

He’s now easily one of the legendary characters in the series, like his 2 fathers, Gol D. Roger and Shirohige (Edward Newgate).  I just adore his character.  Furukawa Toshio-san (古川 登志夫) did an excellent job in bringing his character to life.  For those of you who don’t know, Furukawa-san is also the voice of Dragon Ball‘s Piccolo.

Before I end this post, I want to tell you that I’ve been eyeing this figure since it was announced.  It’s the Excellent Model P.O.P. ONE PIECE NEO-DX Portgas D. Ace 10th Limited Version.  I absolutely love the details on the muscles.  You can almost see them rippling.  Kyaaaaaaaah~ (ᗒᗜᗕ)՛̵̖

Photos of Portgas D. Ace Figure Credit: one-piece.com

It may have been a difficult choice to choose a favourite male anime character, but I think I’m satisfied with Portgas D. Ace (for now, at least).  How about you?  Who’s your favourite male anime character?

ONE PIECE fan?  Check out my i love ONE PIECE Pinterest board.

Links:
ONE PIECE Official Website (Japanese)
Furukawa Toshio Official Website (Japanese)
Furukawa Toshio Official Twitter (Japanese)

Exploring TOEI Animation Philippines Through ONE PIECE

Credit:  Real Scope at FujiTV

Credit: Real Scope at FujiTV

Rating: :D :D :D :D :) (4 & 1/2 out of 5 grins)

I planned on translating this episode of  Chou Sennyuu!  Riaru Sukoopu Haipaa (超潜入!リアルスコープハイパー / Super Infiltration!  Real Scope HYPER) for a long time now, but I have my plate full with Dear Girl ~Stories~.  Fortunately, a blogging comrade Miha-chan already wrote about it in her post titled “Philippines and Japanese Animation”.  Miha-chan and I are both proud Filipinos, so of course, we’re very eager to discover shows that feature the Philippines.

I have a special interest in this particular episode because not only does it feature my mother country, the Philippines, but it also features my number 1 favourite anime ONE PIECE.  This episode specifically features TOEI Animation Philippines, Inc., a 100% subsidiary company of Toei Animation.  I briefly mentioned this during my interview with Zack from The Culture Cast.

one-piece-logo1

I would have written an English translation for the videos in the same manner that I translate DGS, but I think that Miha-chan has already done a good job in outlining the important things shown in this episode.  If you’re already proficient in Nihongo, then good for you.  But if you want to understand what’s happening in this show, read Miha-chan‘s post.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask either Miha-chan or me.  お楽しみね。

Uploaded by:  shambara55

I hope that you enjoyed this episode of Chou Sennyuu!  Riaru Sukoopu Haipaa (超潜入!リアルスコープハイパー / Super Infiltration!  Real Scope HYPER) as much as Miha-chan and I did.  Many thanks to shambara55 for uploading the videos on Youtube.

Links:
 Chou Sennyuu! Real Scope HYPER Official Website on FujiTV (Japanese)
ONE PIECE Official Website (Japanese)
Toei Animation (Japanese)
Toei Animation (English)

ONE PIECE: From First Impression to Undeniable Passion

30-DAY ANIME CHALLENGE
Day 2:  Favourite Anime You’ve Watched

I don’t even have to think about this one.  Without a doubt, my number 1 favourite anime of all time is ONE PIECE by Oda Eiichiro-sensei (尾田 栄一郎).

one piece1

My passion for ONE PIECE is not what you would describe as love-at-first-sight.  In fact, I kind of took the neutral side when I first watched the anime.  I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t particularly love it either.  I didn’t really understand all the other die-hard fans of the series, who would often mimic Luffy’s Gomu-gomu and Zoro’s Santouryuu techniques.  Luffy’s simplistic and happy-go-lucky personality annoyed me.  His dream of becoming the Kaizoku Ou (Pirate King) baffled me.  But as the story progressed, I became attached to the characters and admired the strong bond between the Mugiwara Pirates.  With time, I saw beyond Luffy’s idiotic simplistic personality and realized that he really cares about his nakama.  He would do anything and everything for them.  For him, his nakama are his family.

My earlier impression that it’s a shallow series, heavily dependent upon flashy battle scenes and flamboyant fighting techniques, gradually disappeared.  The series is typical shounen with lots of action, adventure, and comedy and big, bouncy boobs (ahem!), but I’m surprised (in a good way) that the story arcs are taking on deeper and darker themes (e.g. slavery, exploitation of power, etc.).  Now I’m convinced that the mangaka Oda-sensei is a plot genius.  It always amazes me how he takes a character or an event from an earlier arc and turns it into a major plot element in later arcs.  I’m not sure if all of them are deliberate or by chance, but without a doubt, these twists and turns are AWE-SOOOOME!!!

Many first-time anime viewers are discouraged by the sheer amount of episodes in the series.  That’s understandable.  Well, if you’re one of them, I’m not going to force you to watch it.  Make your own decision.  And if you do watch it, I can’t guarantee that you’ll like it.  I’ve encountered many people on the web who watched the series, and concluded that they don’t like it.  Many of them haven’t gone past their initial impression that it’s a shallow series.  Perhaps they haven’t discovered the deeper and darker themes yet.  Too bad.

I have so many things to say about ONE PIECE and a single blog post like this is not enough for me.  I love ONE PIECE so much, and I can’t wait to see how it ends.  I want to know how Oda-sensei will wrap everything up.  But at the same time, I don’t want it to end.  Quite the contradiction, huh?  Oh well.  Typical feeling of an OP fan.

So now you know ONE PIECE is my number 1 favourite anime.  In fact, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I write quite a lot about this series.  Well, it’s just that there is a LOT to write about this series and. . .and. . .and–

–and I’ll shut up now.

ONE PIECE fan?  Check out my i love ONE PIECE Pinterest board.

Links:
ONE PIECE Official Website (Japanese)

Dear Girl ~Stories~ 26: What?! DGS is Ending?!!

Title: おのでぃの時計って空き缶の裏みたいだね (OnoD no tokei-tte akikan no ura-mitai da ne / OnoD’s watch looks like the bottom of an empty can )
View Episode Guide
Rating: :D :D :D :) (3 & 1/2 out of 5 grins)
ATTENTION!!! Important Note: All the translations below are my own (by Arria Cross). All are labelled “rough translation”, as they did not undergo any professional proofreading and/or editing and may lack literal and/or grammatical accuracy.  I did my best, however, to convey the atmosphere and context of the conversations in this radio show.

dgs1

Credit: animelo.jp

This is the 26th episode of Kamiya Hiroshi (神谷浩史) and Ono Daisuke’s (小野大輔) radio show Dear Girl ~Stories~.  They begin by congratulating themselves for another hit, and HiroC says that there are some weird rumours floating around.  They read some letters from their listeners containing some of these rumours.

Miku-san (Listener Letter): Is it true that Dear Girls is ending this September? I look forward to this show every week, and HiroC-san and OnoD’s duo is super amusing. If you’re ending, please don’t end. I beg you. I want you to continue on this show.

No name (Listener Letter): Is it true that the show’s final episode will air soon? Is is true that “Storyteller” will return?

Youkeika (Listener Letter):
Letter Title: REQUEST
Please host “Storyteller” from now on, too, Kamiya-san and Ono-san!

Arria: I’m not familiar with this at all, but based on these letters, it seems to me that “Storyteller” is a previous radio show that perhaps have been replaced by DGS. If you have more information about this case, I would appreciate it if you share the whole story with me. ありがとう。

OnoD: What? What?
HiroC: What is the meaning of this? For some reason, according to rumours, this show is ending soon. What’s up with that?

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