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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Edens Zero

Remember Fairy Tail? The manga that once was considered a candidate to joint One Piece, Bleach and Naruto big trio? And now it ended, and so did Naruto and Bleach, and we are now old and… sorry, where was I? Oh yes, Fairy Tail. The author of this manga, Mashima Hiro, recently started a second project called Edens Zero. Let’s talk about it!

Edens Zero is a brand new manga that Mashima writes on his own, as far as I know. I am saying it to differentiate this manga from other fellow projects associated with big name mangaka, such as Boruto or Dragon Ball Super. And, even though I obviously have no clue how long Edens Zero will run, so far it looks like it is aiming to be lengthy. The story already sets up the ground for multiple future arcs, so it could easily go to be a 100+ chapters long story. My point here is, you can think of it as of a new manga series, not as of a bonus for Fairy Tail fans.

edens zero Shiki

Shiki

That said, Edens Zero doesn’t shy away from Mashima’s previous work. In fact, he boldly reuses the same character designs and even names. You can find a mascot cat named Happy, a girl who looks just like Lucy, a guy looking like something in between Grey and Natsu and so on. It is clearly an intentional gesture, and Mashima isn’t the first artist to re-use characters between unrelated works. Think of Osamu Tesuka and his reoccurring characters. I don’t see any problem with doing that, it makes the reading experience even better for me.

Now, if you want to see the manga without any further spoilers, pause here and go ahead and read the first chapter. It is worth it.

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Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen 2 Episode 5

This episode is way better than all the episodes we have seen so far. For starters, Nobu Nobu died. One of the members of the Liberation army got angry and shot Ensho when he decided to stop the war.  Nobu Nobu just happened to be right in front of Ensho when it happened and got shot.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 5 (5)

Doesn’t that sound a bit ridiculous? We expected Nobu Nobu to play a big role in the war and yet he got killed by a nameless small fry. It makes sense if you think about it though. Shige Shige got killed by a nameless small fry too. After everyone went through the trouble of sacrificing lives and getting hurt in order to save him, he just happened to be killed by a poison needle. It makes sense for Nobu Nobu to meet the same fate. At least Nobu Nobu got to die peacefully. People accepted him as their ruler and he died knowing that he played a significant role in stopping the war between Edo and the Liberation army.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 5 (6)

It was nice of Katsura to acknowledge Nobu Nobu as their king but to be honest, all Nobu Nobu did was sit in a bathroom most of the time

Nobu Nobu’s death is a bit too ironic and sad.  He often mocked Shige Shige about being too soft, only to end up walking in his footsteps and throwing his life away for the greater good. It would have been nice to see Nobu Nobu live and spend the rest of his life as a normal guy.

I also find the relationship between Katsura and Shige Shige amusing. Katsura hated the government and became a terrorist to crush the government. Yet, he acknowledges Shige Shige, the guy who was sitting at the top of that government, as the true shogun and has immense respect for him. He even got extremely mad when Shige Shige got killed. It would have been nice if Shige Shige didn’t die and we got to see him becoming friends with Katsura and doing stupid stuff with him.

Gintama Season 8 Episode 5 (4)

By the way, what is with Nobu Nobu’s face here? I hope it is an animation mistake

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