Charlotte Ep. 1 Preview

The preview for episode 1 of the latest creation from Key has already been released.

Just a reminder: this new series is being worked by Aniplex (Sword Art Online, Anohana, Durarara!!, Fate/Zero) and P.A. Works (True Tears, Angel Beats!) while of course, Charlotte VN itself was written by the master Jun Maeda. It is expected to start on July 4.

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Planetarian is going to be released in Steam!

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And this is totally uncalled for!

Apparently, a certain visual novel publisher in the West named Sekai Project is going to release Visual Art’s/Key’s kinetic novel Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume.

Wow! Nobody saw that coming (except the guys at the Sekai Project, I suppose)! I’ve written a little something about planetarian before and it’s a must read!

In any case, it’s nice to see some recent VNs coming to the West. Here’s to hoping Little Busters! or Clannad makes the cut as well. 🙂

Source: Siliconera

Fate/Stay Night by ufotable!!!

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If you remember, a couple of months ago, I’ve written how ufotable brought justice to the Fate series – and looks like we’ll be looking at more of that from the incoming Fate/Stay Night! Since being announced last July (Source1, Source2), we’ve all anticipated it to be a mega-awesome piece of art and we all can’t wait for it to be delivered!!

Now – one of the glaring questions at that time was: What route will it take? We know the previous F/SN has tackled on Fate and it did disappoint some VN fans (not because of the choice but mainly because of the production and the way it’s done). But, according to some sources, looks like we should be getting the Heaven’s Feel route this time around – which should be a blast as this is the most standout route on F/SN!!

Anyway, the video trailer can be seen here from Siliconera (which is available for all countries) and here (with screencaps). Let the waiting game commence!!

Time and Memories are our Witnesses

When a person we love dearly leaves to live the afterlife, we who remain feel an agitating uncertainty towards basically everything. Everything.

As cruel as it is, such is the mystery of life and as that person moves on, so should we. Time and the memories you left behind are our witnesses. You’ve been with us, we know. And we are forever grateful for that. Though we may never hear your voice again or catch a glimpse of even your shadow, let your memories be our guidance on this fog of uncertainty.

My Most Precious Treasure

Whenever we saw each other all we did was fight.
But those were also wonderful memories.
You taught me so much; I’m not scared anymore.
No matter how difficult I can grab hold of happiness, so…
I’ll go by myself, even if it looks painful,
I’ll always carry on the dream I had with you.
Being with you was so wonderful; There was no one else.
But when I woke up in the morning, you weren’t there.
I felt that we could play forever.
But I know that’s just what I believed.
I don’t regret being born any longer.
Like the feeling after a festival, it’s sad but let’s move on little by little.
I’ll go anywhere, you know that.
I’ll show you that I can grant your dream of happiness.
Even if I’m separated from you, no matter how far,
I’ll be born with the new morning.
I’ll go by myself, even if I want to die,
I can hear your voice; I mustn’t die.
Even if it looks painful, even if I’m crying in sadness,
Deep in my heart I feel your warmth.
Time changed as it ebbed and flowed.
I can’t remember what happened anymore but,
If I try and close my eyes I can hear someone’s laughter.
Somehow that’s now my most precious treasure.

Picking up Go/Baduk/Weiqi and Eventually, ヒカルの碁 [Hikaru no Go]

Several months ago, I was thinking of some board game apps to pass the time just to get them gears running in all cylinders again. I downloaded some common and not-so common ones to try them out – Reversi, Mastermind, and finally, Go. I am already acquainted with Mastermind beforehand so I enjoyed playing it again. Then, I initially wanted to practice Reversi (otherwise known as Othello) and although there are some strategies required, I didn’t quite enjoy the game as much as I had expected it to be.

Then comes Go, also known as Weiqi in China and Baduk in Korea. As a quick background, this game originated in China some 2,500 years ago and the rules have basically remained ever since. What got me to playing are the descriptions I have read online, such as “The game is noted for being rich in strategy despite its relatively simple rules”, “Its simple rules and deep strategies have intrigued everyone from emperors to peasants for hundreds of generations”, and especially this one as well, “Go is a hugely engrossing game of great elegance and astonishing depth and richness. It will handsomely reward your efforts in learning the game.”

As I read along some basics, I remembered there was one anime/manga that tackled this game and that is Hikaru no Go. So I watched the anime while I try to learn the game in parallel and it was indeed very rewarding. So let me try to put up here just a very quick review on the anime/manga and the game as well.

Needless to say, Hikaru no Go is about a young boy named Hikaru who stumbled upon a Go board from his grandfather’s dojo. This is the event that changed Hikaru from being a boy who had zero interest in the board game to a professional. The manga and anime actually contains a sizable content of Go games and problems which made it all the more interesting.

Even though Hikaru no Go first aired on 2001, the animation itself wasn’t bad at all, though they did leave out some small details like lip movement, environment, etc. The background music though are top-notch! It matches up really well during the critical moments of the series to the point that I can hear them even though I’m just reading the manga! 🙂

The series also did well to touch on the development of the not only the main protagonist, but the other supporting characters as well. It makes following the series that much more fun! 🙂

On the other side, the game of Go has an extremely easy set of rules to understand but mastering it is another thing altogether. I’ve been reading and learning in for about two weeks now and I’m still probably considered an absolute newb to this. However, studying it is very enjoyable for me as I want to understand and fully grasp the commentaries of some games I’ve replayed.

All in all, this game and anime package is definitely a treat! Hopefully, more people would learn Go so we can all learn together and play this beautiful game. 🙂

Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo – A Flurry of Sceneries

Before I start, I must admit that I’m a little bit excited to get back to writing and reviewing anime again after such an extended period of hiatus. I immediately took advantage of the intense traffic jam that I got stuck in last week by finally watching Makoto Shinkai’s Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo/Children Who Chase Lost Voices.

For beginners, Makoto Shinkai is known in the anime movie world by producing absolutely stunning visuals and heart-wrenching stories. In this production, Makoto Shinkai instead focused on “acceptance” and created a Ghibli-like movie with the presence of multiple monster-like creatures (known in-movie as the Quetzal Coatl).

The story starts with a girl named Asuna meeting a young boy named Shin on the mountains, where she always spends her free time. With a kiss, Asuna had developed a yearning for Shin after finding out that he ‘died’ on the mountains later on. So, her adventure begins in search for the truth behind some mysterious events surrounding him.

The movie has a nice pace at the start but it got even more interesting as the story progresses. To be honest – I was expecting the story along the lines of his previous three major productions, and although this one is a bit different, it is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The theme of the movie is “traveling to know the meaning of goodbye’ and the path Shinkai-san took on this one is very imaginative and superb. Though I personally haven’t had such experience, the emotions of every scene can be clearly felt (what more if you’ve actually had trouble of accepting goodbyes). It’s very hard to provide more information on the story without giving anything away, so I suggest you watch the movie instead.

Visuals. Needless to say, it was another perfect 10/10. I hope the following screenshots from my phone give it justice:

I still can’t comment on the seiyuu after all these years because to me, they’re all perfect, really! ^_^ The characters though are very believable they blend seamlessly to the plot.

And finally, the icing on the cake, the almost obligatory music portion where he chose “Hello, Goodbye & Hello” by Anri Kumaki. Just like “One More Time, One More Chance” on Byousoku 5 centimeters, it seems that the movie is an animated visual of the song! Is Shinkai-san using songs as an inspiration? No one knows, but this is another great pairing!

In my books, this is a solid 8.7/10. I just felt it to be a little dragging at times but Shinkai-san is on the right path. Not constricting himself to the same ‘genre’ over and over again, this is a great, fresh movie from him. Now, please excuse me while I flip the internet over and under for Kotonoha no Niwa HD. 🙂