Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen 2 Episode 12

Here is a confession. I honestly didn’t think that Utsuro’s parting words were in fact a threat.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 12 (1)

Of course I expected Utsuro to come back but I didn’t realize that he had made plans to continue his carnage after getting revived. The way I saw it, Utsuro always thought that to live is to suffer. So it would make sense for him to pity the humans who foiled his plans to destroy humanity and chose to continue living, doesn’t it?

Gintoki, who knew Utsuro well, knew what his last words meant and set out to find his next incarnation. He went searching through all the Altana reserves for him.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 12 (3)

Gintama Season 8 Episode 12 (4)

Hmm.. Something seems strange. That is not a world map Sorachi!

This has got to be one of the stupidest mistakes made by Sorachi. Or more like, Sorachi simply refuses to acknowledge that Japan is not the only country in the world. Gintoki didn’t even have to step out of the country. Utsuro got magically reincarnated in Japan again.

Gintoki searched all over Japan, found baby Utsuro and tried to kill him.

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Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen 2 Episode 11

It turns out, Kanna really is Kagura. She can now transform from being a little girl to an old woman in a matter of minutes. Sorachi hasn’t explained how she manages to do that yet.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 11 (11)

I hate the unrealistic pointy chins

Gintama Season 8 Episode 11 (1)

All hail Granny Kagura

I am sure Umibozu would love to learn this trick, turn back into a teenager and flaunt his hair.

Kagura didn’t find a way to heal Sadaharu. She felt bad about returning to Yorozuya without achieving anything. So she lied about being Kagura’s daughter. To be honest, it is an extremely stupid thing to do. Lying about being Kagura’s daughter and causing all kinds of problems to Shinpachi is way worse than admitting that she hadn’t found a way to restore Sadaharu.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 11 (10)

Here is a nice picture of Sougo and Kagura being friendly

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Gang-aji Ttong (Doggy Poo) – Messing with anime fans since 2003

I honestly thought I had watched enough anime to not be surprised by anything any new anime throws at me. Then along comes Doggy Poo, a Korean anime about a piece of dog poop, to remind me why anime is such an interesting medium.

Doggy Poo is the story of an abandoned pile of dog poop and it’s struggle to find its purpose in life. I will be calling the protagonist Poo from now.

Doggy Poo (3)

This is the piece of poop we will be talking about – Poo

Poo is not the least bit happy about being born as dog poop (who would?) and dreams of being useful to someone or something. It meets several living beings during it’s life, namely some birds, a leaf, a lump of soil and a dandelion plant. Some of these creatures act rudely towards Poo while some of them willingly listen to its fears and offer support.

Poo hates being called dog poop, so much so that it cries when someone calls it poop for the first time.

Doggy Poo (6)

Doggy Poo (5)

Who wouldn’t feel bad for this sorry creature?

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Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen 2 Episode 10

To be honest, I feel a little bad about badmouthing Katsura. He is actually planning to follow Shige Shige and Nobu Nobu’s footsteps. He is even writing a constitution for Japan all by himself. Only in Gintama can a terrorist become a country’s prime minister.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 10 (2)

Sorry Zurump. You might actually make a good leader

Also, imagine the advantages of having a prime minister like Zurump. You don’t have to waste any resources for providing him security. He can take care of himself just fine.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 10 (3)

Also, who would want to mess with this monster?

Some people tried to assassinate him and he threw a couple of bombs at them with a smile. Watching Kastsura trying to change Japan is going to be fun for sure. Matsudaira is not the least bit happy about Katsura sitting at the top of the country and is trying to assassinate him.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 10 (5)

Sakamoto is currently out on a temporary transfer to the Kaiji universe

Here is the big news. Meet Kagura’s daughter – Kanna.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 10 (6)

Huh?

Kanna is more of a clone than a daughter. Kagura apparently traveled to the Dragon Ball universe and learned how to make clones.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 10 (16)

Gintama Season 8 Episode 10 (17)

Let us build a Kagura army!

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Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen 2 Episode 9

This episode is everything we have been waiting for. Gintama is back to being a comedy and this episode is unpredictable and funny, just the way Gintama has to be.

Gintama Season 8 EPisode 9 (1)

For starters, Shinpachi didn’t get to act cool

The cafe’s owner kicked him out along with the Amanto for fighting in his cafe.

Sadaharu has shrunk to the size of a peanut and is in a vegetative state. Gintoki and Kagura went their separate ways after their battle with Utsuro. Kagura is travelling from planet to planet trying to find a way to wake Sadaharu up.  Gintoki said that there is something he wanted to do and walked away. Knowing Gintoki, I wouldn’t be surprised if he just wanted to play some Pachinko or visit some anime makers and apply for a transfer saying that he is tired of Gintama. Shinpachi is currently taking care of Yorozuya all alone and waiting for their return.

Gintama Season 8 EPisode 9 (3)

Sadaharu

Not everything is bad though. Hasegawa is calling himself a hero and is now a big star. He is being praised by everyone and is living a life of luxury. I don’t even want to get annoyed about him acting all high and mighty. We all know that he is going to end up being homeless very very soon.

Gintama Season 8 EPisode 9 (4)

Just enjoy your fame while it lasts Hasegawa

Here is a nice picture of the Shimura house for you.

Gintama Season 8 EPisode 9 (5)

Whoa, whoa, WHOA!

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Monster, episodes 1-4

I thought it might be interesting to write a couple of posts on my experience watching Monster. It is a 74 episode long show, and I am sure my opinion about it will change as I watch it. Some things I care about now will seem insignificant then and some things I will only notice in retrospect. So, it might be worthwhile to pause and write down what I’m feeling about the show at the moment, before the next episodes wash the feeling away.

Monster Tenma

Tenma

The introduction part was really good. I tend to like shows that have normal adults as protagonists, and I like competent people, so Tenma’s intro was well to my liking. I also like the line with him trying to make a career using both his skills and the good (but dubious) relations with the head of the clinic. It is an interesting setup, there are lots of things you can do with it. Even if you don’t want to play with the morality of the situation too much, there are still endless plot possibilities. Having both legal and personal obligation to his boss would bind Tenma; and him benefiting from these relations would rob him from some of his moral and actual freedom. These are the things that make a story interesting. These twisted constraints put on the characters produce interesting situations that wouldn’t arise naturally, and they also make the plot less predictable.

So, I was a little disappointed when the whole story between the clinic’s head and Tenma got resolved. Imagine if Tenma’s boss remained to be a part of the story, how much more complicated everything could have been. Of course, making things complicated is not the goal but a tool; but I wonder if the show just didn’t want to bother with these more difficult plot lines. Making Tenma acquire an independent senior position simplified everything, and maybe that is exactly what they wanted. I guess I’ll see soon. Hopefully the anime will show me that it knew what it was doing there.

Tenma and woman who lost her husband

I liked that scene a lot. The woman was frustrated that Tenma didn’t save her husband even though he could.

The story with the poisoned candy and sudden deaths of the clinic’s personnel, I wonder if we are supposed to see it as a mystery. I first thought that someone wanted to poison the children and that it would be the same people who killed the children’s parents. I didn’t bother searching for any other explanations. But Johan’s words about him fulfilling Tenma’s wish to see Tenma’s higher-ups dead, that made me wonder. I don’t see any reasonable way how the kids could have anything to do with these deaths, but I don’t know enough to say for sure. It just doesn’t seem reasonable, so I decided not to bother with theories.

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Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen 2 Episode 8

The battle with Utsuro has finally ended!

Gintama Season 8 Episode 8 (6)

Wait, what?

We all thought that the fight was going to go on forever, didn’t we? Looks like Sorachi isn’t that keen on turning Gintama into a normal shounen anime after all. He didn’t want to drag the fight forever and end the anime with Utsuro’s death.

I don’t think Utsuro is dead by the way. We saw him jump into an Altana reserve after all. I wouldn’t be surprised if he came back to life with a different personality. I just hope that the new Utsurto gets to lead a better life and walk a different path.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 8 (4)

To be honest, Utsuro is not a bad guy. He thought he was saving everyone by killing them. If humanity isn’t destroyed, people will continue fighting with each other, hurting others and suffering. Utsuro, who had suffered a lot and desperately wanted to die, assumed that everyone else is the same. He assumed that everyone is doomed to suffer until they die. It goes to show just how much Utsuro wanted to die and let it all end. The torture he had endured had broken him to that point.

Even with all that, Utsuro wanted to be like other people. When he hurt someone, he felt like crying. The most heartbreaking thing is that he didn’t even know what he was feeling. If Utsuro did return to life, his current broken self would probably be erased. That is a bit sad. He is an anime villain you can’t help but sympathize with.

To be honest, I wanted someone to apologize to him before finishing him off. He deserved an apology for being turned into a sorry excuse of  a villain who was tortured, hurt, broken down, made into a bad guy and then killed off.

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Metro 2033

This is going to be a bit of an unusual post. Normally we cover manga and anime, but this time it is a novel: Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky.

There are a couple reasons I want to write about it. First, unless you follow Russian sci-fi lit, the chances are you won’t even hear about this book. I might be underestimating its popularity, probably not though. Second, there are a few things to talk about in this book. I mean, books often give you something to talk about, but this one was particularly good in this aspect. And lastly, there is no real reason for you to read this book, so I feel fine spoiling the whole plot.

Metro 2033 book

The novel tells the story of Artem, a young adult living in Moscow metro (underground train network) on the VDNKh station, with his stepfather. To be more specific, they live in the Moscow that survived a nuclear war, which wiped out the whole of human population on the surface, leaving a few thousand survivors in the metro. The metro itself had fallen apart and became a total chaos. Some stations try to survive growing and selling mushrooms, some stations created oppressive communist governments, some follow neo-nazism, some exist in the state of anarchy, and some adopted a strict caste system. There are different groups of people trying to achieve different goals, from religious sects to revolutionaries, from merchants to bandits, from insane people to so-called stalkers – people who dare leave metro and go to surface to gather materials and goods people in the metro need.

The setup for the story is fairly classic and shows that Glukhovsky is aware of Tolkien’s and other similar works. At the beginning of the story Artem’s station is sieged by mutants who are not just strong, but also capable of overwhelming human’s will across huge distances, although it takes them time. For the more experienced people it was clear that these mutants will overrun the station and then spread through the rest of the metro, possibly destroying the whole thing. That would be the end of humanity in Moscow, for what it is worth.

So Artem is visited by a stranger named Hunter who tells him to go to one of the central stations to deliver a report of the situation to the people there, and hopefully to get some help. Hunter was hoping to do something about the mutants, like closing the entrance point they use, but he didn’t really expect to succeed. After Artem was sure Hunter died in his attempt, he started his long journey.

I don’t want to give a report of all the adventures Artem lived through while he was trying to get to the center. The metro was in chaos, moving between stations might be difficult for a number of reasons, from locals being extra strict about whom they allow to pass through to the tunnels acting weird and people dying for no apparent reason. Artem lived to see all of that and a whole lot more.

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Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen 2 Episode 7

I wanted Sadaharu to join the fight but watching him getting stabbed multiple times was sad. He is just a dog. He should have been going for walks, playing with his tail and eating food. Instead, here he is, stuck in a battle he probably doesn’t fully understand, getting hurt and hunted down. He doesn’t even know Utsuro. Even if he meets him sometime, he probably won’t understand why Utsuro wants to destroy earth. I thought he might die in this episode, considering how much damage he had taken.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 7 (1)

The only thing on my mind during his fight was, ‘Whoa! Kagura is going to be pissed

I liked how Gintoki chopped off the hand of a guy who tried to kill Sadaharu. Even though he prefers fighting with a wooden sword, he has nothing against taking up a real sword and killing people. He doesn’t go out of his way to spare the lives of his enemies and can rip them into pieces without batting an eyelid.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 7 (2)

I am a bit disappointed with everyone ganging up against Utsuro. It is one of the things that turned me off about Naruto. I am not a big fan of endings where the whole world comes together to kill one overpowered guy.

I am also disappointed with how little attention the rest of the Shinsengumi members usually get. When Utsuro tried to kill Yamazaki, Hijikata and Sougo rushed to his side and tried to save him. Gintoki is even carrying the half-killed Yamazaki to safety. No one cared when Utsuro was killing the other nameless Shinsengumi members. They are just around to give Utsuro a chance to showcase his skill.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 7 (7)

Why didn’t anyone lift a finger to help these guys?

Gintama Season 8 Episode 7 (8)

I would have been a bit impressed if Yamazaki actually died

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Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen 2 Episode 6

Gather around people. I have a very important piece of news for you. What do you think Altana can be used for? Gaining immortality? Killing Utsuro? Nah. Turns out, it can be used for something bigger, something way more useful. Behold the power of Altana.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 6 (5)

It can help in hair growth!

All you have to do is crush the crystals and sprinkle them on your head. You will have a full head of hair in three seconds. Even Umibozu, who is as bald as a potato, managed to get a head full of hair. Isn’t that awesome?

If you, like me, preferred the bald Umibozu, don’t worry. Kamui ripped all his hair out and returned Umibozu to his original state.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 6 (7)

Jokes aside, I do feel a bit bad for Umibozu. He has always been embarrassed about being bald. He wore wigs, hid his head under caps and used every hair growth product he could find. He finally got his hands on something that worked. There was no reason to tear his hair out and leave him with a shiny bald head again. Why not let the poor guy enjoy his moment?

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