Friday, March 27, 2009

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Overall Rating: A+

Summary: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a science fiction romance and drama movie with some touches of slice of life based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's novel of the same name (時をかける少女 (Toki o Kakeru) in Japanese). The story starts out normal enough, and follows Makoto Konno, a high school girl, and her two best friends, Chiaki Mamiya and Kōsuke Tsuda through their everyday lives. However, soon Makoto realizes she has the ability to leap through time when she goes back in time when she avoids an accident that otherwise would have killed her.

Throughout the film Makoto consults with her aunt. When I was watching the movie this didn't quite make sense to me (how did she know about time travel?), but when I was looking up information about the movie I found out that the implication is that her aunt is the protagonist of the book, and that movie is set after the book takes place.

Initially, Makoto uses her newfound power to do whatever she wants, and uses it to ace a test, and play karaoke for 10 hours (one of my favorite scenes). However, she soon realizes that her actions can adversely affect those she cares about, and she must use her powers more carefully.

My friends Leah and Will recommended this one to me. It sounded interesting and fun, so I got it from Netflix, and fell in love with it. It's a great movie, and I wish it had been shown in more theatres in the US. Do yourself a favor and watch this one. 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vampire Doll

Overall Rating: B
Synopsis: A Comedy/Adventure/Supernatural shōjo series created by Erika Kari. The story follows Guilt-na-Zan, a vampire lord who was trapped in a black cross for centuries. He is released by one of the descendants of the exorcist who trapped him. However, when he was "alive", Guilt-na-Zan was an attractive man (well sort of), and when he wakes up he is in the body of an attractive girl (which is apparently made out of wax?!?).

Kyoji, the exorcist who awakens him, has revived Guilt-na-Zan to be his maid (weird), and has modeled the wax doll after his sister, Tonae (weirder). Kyoji threatens to seal Guilt-na-Zan in the black cross again if he doesn't agree, so goth loli Guilt-na-Zan does all the chores.

While in the doll form, Guilt-na-Zan can only use his powers to create cakes and flowers. Only by drinking the blood of Tonae (and Kyoji keeps him on a very strict diet) can he return to his normal form for a few minutes and use the full extent of his powers.

I liked Vampire Doll, but mostly for the comedy. The plot is barely there, but it works because the book is hilarious. For example, there are references to Guilt-Na's "Battle Apron", and even a scene where gang members have their wickedness sucked out by a demon and then start making out with other. If you are looking for something to laugh at with not much plot, then this is a good one.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Sorry it's been so long since my last update, due to personal reasons I have not been able to keep up with Hobotaku, but I hope to start posting regularly again.

Overall Rating: A+
Summary: A romantic comedy shōjo series created by Aya Kanno, which follows Asuka Masamune, a tall, masculine and cool high school student. Asuka is the captain of the kendo team, and excels in judo and karate, and everyone in the school thinks he's the greatest. However, Asuka has a secret - he loves all things cute, sweet and lovely like cooking, shōjo manga and sewing. He tries to hide his love of cuteness and be masculine, but when he meets a girl named Ryou Miyakozuka he falls in love and all bets are off.

For her part, Ryou isn't like most girls. She cannot sew, coo, bake, make bento or do any of the the normally "girly" things. Instead Ryou is tough, is an excellent fighter, and likes fighting movies. She and Asuka become fast friends along with Juuta Tachibana, a classmate who is always following Asuka around.

Why is Juuta always following Asuka around? Will Asuka and Ryou get together? The answers are hilarious and adorable.

Here's the thing, I have been wondering what an appropriate word in Japanese would be for a man who is feminine, but not gay and doesn't cross-dress. Apparently, the word is Otomen.

When I read the back cover of this manga in the Cary Barnes & Noble, I fell in love with the concept since (aside from sewing) I love all the things Asuka talks about and went through a long period (re: High School) where I tried to hide that and act masculine and cool (I'm pretty sure I failed at that stuff though). After reading Otomen, it's now one of my favorite manga (at least that I've read recently) and can't wait for more of it to come out. Volume 2 comes out in May (I hate it when there's a 2 or 3 month break between volumes being released) and I plan to pick it up as soon as it's out.

If you like romantic comedy shōjo manga, and your male protagonists to be a bit girly, then you will absolutely love Otomen. Even if that doesn't describe you I recommend a least giving this one a try. <3!