Mangaminx's Lair
    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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Random Update
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Sorry for the lack of updates this week, but I just haven't found the time or energy to blog and it'll probably be that way for another week as I'm busy with other things. I should be back posting again by the 21st though and I shall play catch up with everything then!
posted by Mangaminx On Sunday, July 16, 2006   9 comments
Random Update
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Just a few random thoughts for the day.

1) I'm "contemplating" moving to wordpress, mainly for the functionality. Although I am a little put off by the prospect of moving my entire blog archive over to it.

2) I've "cleaned up" a few comments on the index sections of my blog. If your comments deleted it's not that I hate you or you've done anything wrong they were just getting a bit crowded and blogger wouldn't let me disable comments on the individual posts at the time of creation (one reason I'm contemplating Wordpress). Most of the comments are along the lines of blog appreciation and it's nice to hear people like reading what I write, its just better to drop me an e-mail using the link on the right.

3) I know I've been moaning about it a lot lately but the new season really is crap. This isn't due to the lack of yuri shows (I do watch other genres you know ;) ), but mainly due to the fact the shows suck. When I list "Coyote Ragtime Show" as my favourite show of the season so far I feel that there is serious issues with the current crop of anime.

Anyway, Simoun 15 coming soon!
posted by Mangaminx On Tuesday, July 11, 2006   3 comments
Oniisama E (Brother Dear Brother) Thoughts Part 1
Monday, July 10, 2006
I first hear of Oniisama E a few years ago but never really paid the show much attention because (like Rose Of Versailles) I thought "pffft it's old it'll be crap" (my newbie anime fan mind at this point classed old as "pre EVA"). Obviously I have proved myself a total idiot by this point in time as I'm finding plenty of older shows at the moment far more fun than the crap that has limped out of the current anime season of drivel. Anyway, I recently sat down and made a start on this 39 episode series which fairly instantly leapt into my top 10 anime of all time with it's wrist slittingly high levels of angst and drama. This anime teaches all other anime I have seen before how drama is done. Sadly when I mention it to other fans the majority of them haven't even heard of it much less seen it. But anyway that's enough ranting these blog posts on the series will first detail the basic story of the show, and then some of my favourite (mostly yurified) bits in detail...

The Story
Just a brief summary of the story here for those who don't know it. Our lead Nanako (pictured above) and her best friend Tomoko start at a new school as the series begins. What they obviously forgot to tell them before they started school is it is home to some of the most messed up characters ever to grace a slice of life anime (and several other genres). At the high school there are three older girls who are idolized by the younger girls, (it's worth noting many of the girls at the school went to the junior high version of the school before, so have known each other for a long time) basketball star with a mysterious illness Kaoru "Kaoru No Kimi" Orihara, the tall masculine girl with a troubled past Rei "Hana No Saint Juste" Asaka and Fukiko "Miya-Sama" Ichinomiya, head of the school sorority. It's a lot easier to call them by their nicknames so I shall be doing that. Anyway Nanako starts life at her posh high school pretty much as a normal girl in a sea of misfits, writing letters to her penpal Oniisama (a former young teacher who she asked to be her Oniisama) and dealing with the bunch of very disturbed girls at her school. It's a lot more thrilling than it sounds.

Anyway, on to my favourite parts. Spoilers from here on.

Episode 8:- I Want You

Nanako has had a girl named Mariko attatch herself to her. Mariko has done the following things.
1) Been exceptionally clingy and pushy with Nanako.
2) Actually scare Nanako with the way she is like that with her.
3) Caused problems between Nanako and Tomoko her best friend (although Nanako doesn't realize the full extent of this).
4) Bite Nanako on the ear from behind HARD, before running off.
5) Invite Nanako to her birthday party at which it was only herself, Nanako and her own mother in a huge hotel.

Now, under these circumstances it is certainly advised that in your "top 10 things NOT to do" the following are included.

1) Go into Mariko's house.
2) Agree to share a bath with her.

Yeh Nanako agrees to do both. This results in Mariko (after she's been drooling over Nanako in the bath a while) to try and physically restrain her from leaving. The drama here is brilliant with Mariko suddenly snapping and proclaiming "If you try and leave I'll kill you" and grabbing at the horrified Nanako. It takes her mother actually restraining Mariko for Nanako to escape the building, Mariko shrieking horribly as she does so. While you expect something to happen when Nanako goes to Mariko's house this kinda surpasses what I expected to an extreme. Brilliant stuff.

Episode 12:- The Scar

Not yurified here, but in episode 12 the pill popping Saint Juste decides that (to put it mildly) doesn't want to Kaoru No Kimi to throws her bracelet out the window of the apartment. The bracelet holds a dark secret and covers the scar of what seems to be attempted suicide on her arm. The horrified Nanako looks on as Saint Juste indulges in a little knife throwing to get her bracelet back from Kaoru.

Just another example of the show taking things to an extreme. In most shows set in girls schools we'd have had a struggle, some shrieking, and... well that's about it really. But knives? Nope. Although by this point in watching the anime it's fairly obvious that nearly anything can happen with it's stream of over the top angst. I can't really think of any other anime shows set in all girls schools (or schools in general for that matter) with pill popping, wrist slitting, extreme obsessiveness... if anyone else can feel free to mention it in the comments section below.

Anyway, next Oniisama E post I have a lot more of my favourite moments coming up. Mariko switches her "affections" elsewhere, Saint Juste mistakes Nanako for someone else in a drug fuelled haze... and other totally not happy nor fluffy storylines!
posted by Mangaminx On Monday, July 10, 2006   9 comments
Strawberry Panic 14
Friday, July 07, 2006
New OP. It's sweet it's cheerful, its probably slightly more crap than the last one. Still it has a good AmanexHikari part in it's animation. Hooray!

So here we have the episode following up Yaya kissing Hikari last week. I thought there would be lots of angst, lots of drama and it would be entertaining. Sadly it didn't turn out this way. In what is probably my least favourite StoPani episode so far there are a few moments to laugh at but mostly this episode is used just to put things back exactly how they were before... zzzzz. Just when Yaya was getting more interesting too.

Tamao: "Why isn't Hikari at our midnight yuri party Yaya-chan?"
Nagisa: "Who cares, I want her slice of cake"

Yeh that pretty much sums up the first scene here. Tamao and Nagisa end up sharing a bed too (although this seems to be a nightly occurrence by this point) as Yaya asks to sleep in their room. Of course Yaya hasn't exactly explained why Hikari isn't there in the first place. Considering the world of StoPani I'd have thought that "Oh she obviously kissed Hikari out of the blue, shoved her against a wall before being pushed away to the floor" was a fairly easy thing to guess.

So anyway, we get a brief replay of the whole Yaya and Hikari episode from last week except a bit longer with Yaya evidentially getting more than a bit more carried away than first appeared. Hikari shoves Yaya to the floor and we basically get Yaya looking in a complete daze (either in shock at rejection or shock at what she just did, can't really tell at this point). Yaya looks pretty sad when we see her at the tea party so presumably she is feeling guilty by this point?

The next morning Yaya for some obscure reason goes to add more to her inner pain by going to see Amane the real object of Hikari's love. Amane is evidently un-aware at what's transpired and the two have a fairly cold and totally pointless conversation. I felt this really summed up this episode well, lots of totally pointless conversations, there could at least been some kind of confrontation here but there was zip, zero, nothing.

Ahah, just when you thought Tamao wasn't any creepier this scene turns up! First off Nagisa realizes that "zomg I lost the ribbon that Tamao gave me to protect me as a charm, but turned out to be totally utterly useless against Shizuma anyway as I ended up with her tongue halfway down my throat while underwater" and goes off to find it. While she is scrabbling around in the now empty pool we catch one of the rarer sites of the StoPani world. A teacher. You know.. a teacher. The same teachers that never get informed about things like Kaname and Momomi's behaviour, ever. She directs Nagisa to the lost property box of things found in the pool and there is Tamao's ribbon. Upon returning it to Tamao the first thing Tamao does is attatch one end to Nagisa and one end to herself. I half expected her to give a mad cackle and shriek "You'll never escape me now BUAHAHAHAHHA" and while she says something similar to that (albeit slightly less insane) if I were Nagisa I would have bolted for the door when she first started tying one end to me. Of course Nagisa just blushes and laughs before being dragged into the same bed as Tamao once more. She really is an idiot.

Pointless scenes are just so pointless. I can't even remember who these two girls are, and even if I did I don't actually care about them anyway. Why was this even included? I'll probably find they prove key to the plot later and I'll have to search their names and try and remember what they actually did in this scene. I assume it was done to highlight that friends can be reunited (they were arguing earlier in the episode and end up making up in this scene) and so Yaya and Hikari can be (although I felt kissing your friend uninvited was a bit more of a serious issue than just some petty arguing).

Anyway, back to Yaya and Hikari. Tamao, Nagisa and Tsubomi seem to work together here to reunite them. Yaya and Tamao are standing in the place that Yaya met Hikari and Yaya is getting all depressed, angsty and evidently filled with regret and guilt. Just as Yaya reaches further levels of angst who should walk around the other corner with Tsubomi and Nagisa? Hikari of course! Just when an awkward moment such as this arises it's always handy for a flashback to come along. Oh look here's one now...

Yep its a flashback to how Yaya and Hikari first met. I won't go into details but the two girls run around, fall over, sing some songs and there's generally a nice atmosphere. The scenes were quite "awww" as both of them obviously like each other instantly (although in Yaya's case like needs to be in inverted commas) and have a good (if very cliched) time for their first ever meeting.

So it's obvious by now that the two are going to make up. Yaya apologizes, the two of them hug, and Hikari says they shall be best friends forever. Awwwww...... . Yeh it was boring, some great angst and plotline could have materialized from all this and it doesn't (yet anyway). I felt the whole thing was a bit of a wasted opportunity for Yaya to develop and the only way I can see more Yaya lovesick angst creeping back into the plot now is if Kaname and Momomi realize what she did. Still I suppose there's still a chance, but either way this seemed like a wasted episode to me. Everyone's friends again.

A wrap up scene with the now ever familiar midnight tea party. Both Yaya and Hikari are there. Everything seems to be back to normal. The End.

I've already stated my opinions on the episode throughout the post so I won't do the usual wrap up I do here instead I'm going to complain about the barrage my eyes and ears both receive at the end of this episode. Himitsu Dolls was bad... the video was hilarious... this is worse... the video was hilarious but unlike Himitsu Dolls it came worryingly close to making my eyes bleed. How can anything this bad be produced? It's so bad, it's good! It shall be forever stuck in my mind as "crappiest ending theme ever".
Mai Nakahara and Ai Shimizu look hilariously awkward again too.
posted by Mangaminx On Friday, July 07, 2006   13 comments
Simoun 14
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Ah at last an episode of Simoun to indulge my Morinas fangirlism, she (and presumably eventually he after Morinas has her fountain choice revealed) hasn't particularly done much in the series except provide a temporary rival for Aeru in episode three and hang around with Wapourif. So anyway, this week just so happens to focus on Morinas and Wapourif as well as the more non-relationship based part of the show in the form of the sacred Simoun technology. Oh and Morinas and Wapourif share a kiss too... does that qualify as yaoi even if it looks like yuri? It's all so confusing.

Dominura and the captain of the base ship kick this episode off with a rather dull discussion about the military side of things. Sure, sure the war aspect of the show is part of the plot but I can honestly say I really don't give a crap about it by this point in time. The show is all about the character relationships and that's what I'm interested in not who is teaming up with who.

Simoun seems to like it's shower scenes although it manages to do them while being considerably less sleazy than most shows. Last time it was Kaimu and Aeru this time Morinas and Wapourif have a shower conversation (in seperate stalls). Morinas comments she isn't bothered by Wapourif (he is male remember! I apologize in advance if I call him she accidentally at some points) sharing a shower with her as she is going to pick male when she goes to the fountain (much as I like Morinas as a female character, its been fairly obvious in her behaviour that she was going to pick male eventually I felt, she has a very male mindset). Wapourif and Morinas end up talking about Furoe who Wapourif was once in a "romantic" relationship with. It's clear Wapourif feels she can confide in Morinas as she goes on to tell her that he and Furoe never really worked as a couple (could their be two more incompatible cast members?) but puts it down to the fact he sees the Simoun pilots as higher beings. He is evidently a clear believer in the sacred side to the Simoun. He also reveals Furoe insists he tell everyone they were in a romantic relationship...

..yeh this image of Furoe "insisting" gave me bad dreams too.

Anyway the shower conversation here is pretty interesting, Morinas is modest when Wapourif mentions the sacred nature of Simoun pilots but Wapourif is fairly insistent in his admiration. Since they first met I've always thought there has been a bit of a vibe of attraction between Morinas and Wapourif and here it seemed fairly obvious I thought in expressions and in reactions to one-another.

The Simoun pilots take a well earned break (apart from the absent Neviriru and Aeru who I shall talk about later) in some scenes that really highlight how beautiful the series can be visually. I'm not entirely sure why but I'm beginning to like Yuun a lot more as a character lately and fingers crossed she gets an episode two herself at some point as she seems a bit of an enigma in the cast, not obviously bonding with the other pilots. There are a few other scenes throughout this episode where the pilots as a full group or in slightly smaller numbers are together with emphasis placed on them wondering how Aeru and Neviriru are. It's quite evident that to the Corp Tempus as a whole both Aeru and Neviriru are crucial parts and everyone is concerned for one or the other (or both).

Our "baddie but we aren't really sure if she's bad or not but she probably is or could just be up to something else" in the form of Dominura asks Wapourif to take apart a Simoun basically because she wants to know how it works. As we have previously seen Wapourif views the Simoun as sacred and this starts up the "angst, angst, super angst" path for him as he wrestles with what he has been told to do. Again as always with Dominura you have to wonder here if she has ulterior motives for wanting to know more about the sacred Simoun.

Neviriru and Aeru time! After the massive focus on them last week nothing much happens to them this week. Basically they fly about, Neviriru is uncomfortable and upset still and eventually orders Aeru to return back to base. So they head back. The End for these two this week, incredibly dull exciting stuff for our leads I'll think you'll agree.

Meanwhile we have a lot of Wapourif and Morinas angst scenes. Wapourif is still totally emotionally torn on dismantling the craft perhaps even more so after Morinas comments she feels it is something God flies in.

Important revelations? Perhaps! The captain of the Messis has been looking into Dominura's past. It turns out her old Simoun Corp mostly all died after trying to perfect a certain deadly kind of Ri-Mergion. Could that be what Dominura plans to use her current team for? To create the ultimate deadly Ri-Mergion? It would explain why she seems to be trying to discover the best pairings between pilots and the like. Seems very likely to me... the plot advances.. perhaps.

Nothing like skinny dipping in the moonlight to make you decide to dismantle a sacred machine and make you want to go and kiss another guy (or a girl who is eventually going to be a guy anyway). Wapourif decides to do both these things as she takes in the moonlight standing in a river. Time for the yaoi... that looks like yuri!

So Wapourif sneaks into the quarters of the other priestesses and finds Morinas's bed, Morinas awakens seemingly a bit startled to see the mechanic by her (I shall keep referring to Morinas as her or I'll just get even more mixed up between who is what gender at this point, as I said before Morinas is male in mind and will be fully male eventually thanks to gender swapping fountains) bedside. Wapourif kisses the startled Morinas who evidently enjoys the moment and relaxes into the kiss too (ah they really do like each other, all those scenes built up to something!). Wapourif then cries a little.. obviously hurting emotionally still by the decision he has come too. He then tells Morinas that "Simoun are just machines" and leaves the room. I'm sorry Mr.Mechanic but your just wrong!

Fortunately it isn't Wapourif who feels the wrath of the sacred Simoun he has dismantled but rather the person who told him too. Dominura looks into the dismantled machine the next morning and lets out a piercing shriek that is heard all around the Messis. The sacred power of the Simoun overwhelms her and she is left a quivering traumatized shell as some of the crew help her into the main ship. The girls (who have rushed up on deck) watch on in horror and Morinas and Wapourif stare at each other as in total shock. Frankly I feel Dominura deserved this after causing Wapourif a lot of pain in deciding what to do. What exactly has happened to her will perhaps be revealed next week as well as what she apparently saw in the holy power of the Simoun. Anyway, it's interesting and shows that the craft the girls pilot are certainly more than giant sky snails.

While this is transpiring, Aeru and Neviriru approach the Messis themselves. Aeru comments that she can hear someone crying looking pretty surprised about it. I wasn't sure if this was in reference to Dominura's scream or something else.. perhaps Aeru is very in tune with the dismantled Simoun and can hear it's pain? Episode End.

Despite the development for Aeru and Neviriru I thought was coming not actually coming this episode was excellent. I like Morinas, I like Wapourif and for them both to receive an episode of development more or less to themselves (ok Dominura was developed more too but I felt Morinas and Wapourif stole the show) was just a great treat. I've said it before and I'll say it again Simoun is simply just one of the best shows out their for character development and relationship development. As always episode 15 can't come soon enough.. although there was a lot of Rimone in the preview. I hate Rimone.

Rounding off this post with a bit of extra info. I'm a bit behind with my blogging at the moment for various reasons but I do intend (note "intend") to get some more posts (and variety) done the next few days. Strawberry Panic 14 will obviously be coming, and I have some ROD The TV and Brother Dear Brother (the show in serious need of some prozac) upcoming too. As for the new season I'm still reserving judgment on it but have found it seriously underwhelming so far.
posted by Mangaminx On Thursday, July 06, 2006   10 comments
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