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    Hi, and welcome to Mangaminx's Lair! I'm Mangaminx, a 21 year old female anime and manga fan, and this is my blog. Here you will find lots of reviews/screenshots and other features for your yuri anime needs! Feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment! Thanks to the amazing Melainy for my latest banner!

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Kaleido Star: Part 2
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Hi everyone! My Kaleido Star Part 2 feature is about to start.....ah this is so cliche...

As I said in part 1 of my review of the first season of Kaleido Star, this anime is about a Japanese girl named Sora who runs off to join a circus in America called Kaleido Stage. It covers all her trials and tribulations on her journey to becoming a star! This is really all that the anime is about from the standpoint of a main story, the incredibly likeable Sora faces challenge after challenge thrown at her and has to struggle to overcome them using her abilities and the help of her friends. Each plotline starts with A)Challenge Arises, B) Sora can't do the challenge/deal with it, C) Sora works hard/angsts hard, D) Sora overcomes challenge/does her best but fails. It may sound pretty basic but it's a lot of fun to watch. For example when Sora is cast in the lead role for a production of "The Little Mermaid" while Layla is away, she cannot understand that while she mimics Layla's performance she has seen before perfectly, that people don't like her performance. After a "zomg...why..WHY????" period of wondering what's up she realizes what to do and works hard to overcome it. Then when it comes to the moment of truth where she has to show to other her Little Mermaid can be popular, its truly nail biting stuff as you want her succeed so much and can't bare the thought of her losing!

Of course you wouldn't want Sora to do well if she wasn't so 1337 and happy. She almost rivals Tohru from Fruits Basket for sheer niceness and manages not to fall into the "ditzy" and "clumsy" trap that some leads do (usually resulting in me wishing them a quick death involving spikes). Layla proves to be an excellent secondary lead too, starting off as the opposition to Sora as she strives to do well, but eventually realizing that together the two of them can do some of the most amazing performances Kaleido Stage has ever seen! Ah a true story of opposites coming together, with Layla's rather cold and reserved demeanor different to Sora's bouncy enthusiasm. Which brings us nicely into the "slight" yuri subtext aspect of the show (and naturally the best bit if your as obsessed as me). Your going to need to read into things quite a bit to reach the conclusions I did but hey, I'll write about them anyway.

Sora and Layla get closer and closer throughout the series, to the extent when a situation arises that Sora isn't sure who she is performing with (you'll see what I mean while watching it), she can sense it is Layla they are so used to one-another's movements. Towards the end of the series the two are pretty much inseparable and there is certainly a slight romantic aspect there for me, from both of them but particularly Layla. Their final performance at the end of the anime could really only be described as incredibly gay, and all the better for it! End of fangirl rant!

Along with the rest of the staff, another thing that makes Kaleido Stage spectacular is the stunts and shows the characters actually put on. As I said in part 1 of my review while these fall on the "incredibly" side of impossible at times it's still breathtaking. GONZO (or GONZINO as the box says and I assume is them) use their usual 1337 animation to provide some of the most impressive visuals I have seen in a shoujo anime. Dramatic performances FTW!

So we have impressive stunts, a plotline that while rather set is still incredibly fun to enjoy (and a tragic ending *sobs*), lots of typical moving shoujo drama and angst and conflict... aswell as a "sugoi" cast. Kaleido Star is officially now my second favourite anime of all time and deservedly so, look out for a review of disc 1 of season two (which I've already watched) soon in this very blog!

The gayest stunt in the world of anime! (probably)9.5/10

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posted by Mangaminx On Thursday, January 26, 2006  
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