It’s been a while since I’ve written here, primarily due to stress and illness, both of which are still with me. Tonight I am snuggled under and electric blanket with my pup at my feet, and as usual, these things make me want to talk about manga. Actually anime, tonight, I guess. Heavy cold and flu medicine have made reading difficult, though I am still working my way through the Bleach manga, and have re-read Fullmetal Alchemist 13 & 14 in anticipation of the English release of volume 15, which should be sometime this month, I think.
Speaking of Fullmetal Alchemist, I must take this opportunity to tell you all that my workplace Secret Santa (who today was revealed to be our creative director’s assistant, Chelsey) has outdone every Secret Santa in the history of time by making me an Elric Brothers shrinky-dink keychain. I repeat, an Elric Brothers shrinky-dink keychain. That’s right, she drew Edward and Alphonse Elric on a shrinky-dink, baked it, ran a key ring through it, and gave it to me for Christmas. I spent much of this afternoon admiring it, and now my coworkers may believe I am insane. I will attempt to blame this on the illness.
Anyway. Continuing. Not even illness can stop the consumption of anime, so that’s what I’ll talk about tonight. We’ve continued on with Bleach, after having skipped the bulk of the “filler” episodes, and have now reached the end of what is available in any form. A new fansub should appear in the next 24 hours. I am very anxious for it. What is striking to me, is how interesting Orihime Inoue has become in the last season or so, and I’m surprised to find that she’s now one of my very favorite characters. I am especially interested in her recent friendship with Rukia, as well as her maturing love for Ichigo, and all the complexity that brings into her relationships with both of them. She has, oddly, become the character I most relate to, personally, and if someone had told me that during the first season or two, I would have laughed very hard. I’m torn over how fast I really want to read the manga. On one hand, I like it better overall, what I’ve read of it at least, but on the other, I have been enjoying having major plot points revealed to me in the anime, and I’m not sure I want to change that. I guess we’ll see how quickly I read (and how quickly we accumulate the manga) now that we’ll only get new episodes of the anime once a week at best. Time will tell.
In the meantime, we’ve also started watching Kino’s Journey, which is kind of spectacular in lot of ways. Paul read something that recommended this series to people who liked Mushi-shi, and having watched the first few episodes, I can see why. It has a similar, episodic feel to it, as we follow a lone traveler (a girl, Kino, and her talking motorrad, Hermes) from place to place, and a gives us a similar mix of both the beauty and the darkness of humanity. The second episode, in particular, jumps right in to the darkness, in a move that could be disastrous if it was written more clumsily, but as it is, bonds us quickly to Kino, and to the difficulty of the choices she must make as she travels. It is moving, intriguing, and even profound. Oh, and funny. So, so funny when it wants to be. We’ve only watched three episodes so far, and we’ll be savoring our lovely, new discs, to tide us over on cold evenings.
Hmmm… I’m starting to get sleepy under this blanket. More later, perhaps, as the evening goes on.