Diary of An Anime Marathon: From Miyazaki to Tomino and A Few Others in Between (Tiger & Bunny, Hanasaku Iroha, Sacred 7, Beelzebub)

Recently I’ve gone through a very busy spell which involved a less than ideal work schedule that persists to this month. I’ve also played host to an otaku exchange student 21stcenturydigitalboy who stayed at my house for a month here in Manila and mostly spent his money buying rare anime-related merchandise. As a result I felt I’ve been rather behind in my anime hobby even though it may not seem like it.

After working all through the weekend I get this weird day off on a Tuesday and unsurprisingly (given everyone else is busy) I woke up at 4am and have been watching (and commenting on) anime ever since. Here’s my account. It’s not going to be chronologically consistent as I’ve made a narrative out of it. Suffice to say that it’s comprehensive (for better or worse). I’ve caught up with shows I’ve been following from Spring and the new shows I’ve started. Here we go!

The Borrower Arrietty

The latest offering from Studio Ghibli has Miyazaki Hayao adapting the script from Mary Norton’s The Borrowers. This is Yonebayashi Hiromara’s directorial debut, the youngest guy to direct a film from the acclaimed studio. The Borrowers are a race(?) of tiny humanoids who “borrow” from humans superfluous raw and used materials for subsistence. The primary charm (and since this is a Ghibli film, its capital is charm) is the exploration of the countryside house reminiscent of the mouse’s eye view as can be found in Disney’s Cinderella.

The house and garden is exquisitely detailed and vibrant with excellent use of light, shadow, and the clever placement of fixtures, tools, and inanimate objects. If there was one thing that I’m ambivalent about, it’s what seems to be a forced evocation of the Ghibli ecological manifesto during a key dialogue point between the lead characters.

It’s not that big a deal, but I can understand if other viewers will find it off-putting. The heartwarming, yet somewhat darkly ambiguous ending is a treat. Do I find it more charming than Ponyo? Probably not, but I think I like it more.

Tiger & Bunny Episode 15

[Spoilers] Sky High falls in love with an android that he destroys and he never knew it. Delivered in Tiger & Bunny’s seemingly simplistic and light-hearted way, I got a treat of a kind of tragic story that I only saw in the likes of the 80s Astroboy (where Astroboy falls in love with a little robot girl on this island and the girl ends up being a ticking bomb that blows up), and Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. Given the show’s treatment, one isn’t easily moved to tears by this melodrama, but I say it’s a good treatment anyway, which allowed the romantic sub-plot from the previous episode to progress without dominating the show.

[Commie] Tiger & Bunny - 15 [FC38720C].mkv_snapshot_07.55_[2011.07.12_15.34.11]
I had thought Kotetsu’s power surge from the previous episode is some kind of zany result from being an object of love. Rather, it’s the onset of superpower decay, besetting the one person who being a hero means the most. This is a humorous show, but this lighthearted take on things sure allows it to attack the characters with so much pathos. Good stuff.

Hanasaku Iroha Episode 15

Like K-On!!’s Hirasawa Yui, and Aria’s Mizunashi Akari, Matsumae Ohana is this disruptive force of character that provokes everyone around her to confront something about themselves that leads to epiphanies big and small. She does not do this consciously or purposely. She put it so perfectly on her own terms, “like a dog…” it’s like a conditioned reflex… “she just finds herself drooling…” Amazing stuff.

While Akari is more determined to succeed Alicia as the prima of Aria Company, and Yui is just a moeblob, Ohana achieves the same effects as the other two by being a ball of frantic energy.

[HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.13_[2011.07.12_15.37.29]
In this regard she’s more like Manami from Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight only that she isn’t limited to only energy and enthusiasm (not that these are the only things that define Manami as a character of fiction). Ohana is good at waitressing the way Akari is good at rowing a boat and Yui is at guitar, skills achieved with hard work and guts. This episode is the culmination of a Yuina arc, but Ohana drove the story no doubt about it. I’ve watched this episode three times now since last night. This is the result.

Beelzebub Episode 25

Don’t look at me like that. I am aware that I am very much capable of liking a bad show without relying on irony. It’s still bad, but my wife really likes it so we watch it together. It has grown on me primarily due to one reason: Kunieda. I enjoy watching her suffer with her tsun-cum-dere embarrassment over her attraction to Oga. This was enough. I survived up to this point on this alone. Then the show changed its ED:



Sacred SeveN Episode 02

The story feels flimsy, but I don’t watch this show for the story. I watch this for the inspired animation during action sequences – and this time it’s not only about the fighting. The mid-air catch between Arma and Ruri remembers so much love for Eureka SeveN that I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. Mid-air catch: check, Itano Circus: check. Sure is Eureka SeveN in here. The circus in this case involved Alma on his sky surfboard evading streams of fire shot at him by the Darkstone Beast of the Week (DSBotW).

Also, Nakajima Megumi’s performance as Ruri… if she sounded very different from how I know her in the pilot episode, she definitely sounds more like Ranka in this one. I for one cannot complain. As I’ve said in my post on the pilot episode of Sacred 7, this show is the more straightforward hero show by Sunrise that compliments its other hero show Tiger & Bunny which is more meta, layered, and subversive.

And finally…

Garzey’s Wing


Unlike a bunch of people I know, I’m not a connoisseur of horrible anime. I get how some shows can get so bad, it leaves one in awe and amazement that one starts truly enjoying oneself. But I don’t go out of my way to watch these shows. So why now Garzey’s Wing? A notoriously awful show that during anime legend Tomino Yoshiyuki’s career highlight reel in the 2009 New York Anime Festival, it was the only show not mentioned in any way. And let me tell you, Tomino Yoshiyuki made some very very, bad shows.

This makes him, and consequently the show, very interesting. To me he is probably by far the most interesting person in anime ever (certainly far more interesting than Miyazaki Hayao). The influence of his work is staggering. My esteem for some of his works are incredible. But oh my god when he sucks, OH GOD does he suck. So, his suckiest work holds a lot of intrigue for me, and indeed I watched all of it on youtube.

Was it terrible? It will not disappoint. The first five minutes of this show will stay with me for a long time. What prevented the show from becoming unbelievably dull is the hilarity provided by a truly inspired English dub. Listen, and listen well. This is a cultural relic right here. And while this manufactured significance may buoy my spirits for a time… I really made this blog post to do something productive out of the 90 or so minutes I spent watching Garzey’s Wing that I will never ever get back again.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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32 Responses to Diary of An Anime Marathon: From Miyazaki to Tomino and A Few Others in Between (Tiger & Bunny, Hanasaku Iroha, Sacred 7, Beelzebub)


  2. Pingback: Blog News- Left and Right Views » Diary of An Anime Marathon: From Miyazaki to Tomino and A Few Others in Between (Tiger & Bunny, Hanasaku Iroha, Sacred 7, Beelzebub)

  3. Myssa says:

    While I enjoy seeing Kunieda and the rest of the Red Tails get screen time, the art style, nay, the poses used in that ED, which look unnatural for even MY aesthetically-untrained eyes, bug me. Oh so much.

  4. kadian1364 says:

    I must be drinking the Ghibli Kool-Aid, because I don’t remember any particularly didactic moments of raw-raw-environmentalism. What I do remember is a beautifully animated, solidly written film. Without the glaring flaws of most of Ghibli’s major productions in the last decade, it’s a promising start for the new director.

    I very much enjoy Tiger & Bunny when they’re doing the small episodic/s’life vignettes, because it features its light humor and affable characters, which are the main draw for me. The whole previous arc with the Jake villain put a bad taste in my mouth, and plants doubt whether it can pull off a successfully dramatic finale, so the longer the srsbsns is put off the better.

    You say there are “connoisseurs” of horrible anime? Why in the name of Godoka would people willingly subject themselves to this, this, “terribad” anime? The depravity of some fans boggles the mind.

    • For what it’s worth I thought the ecological question of human beings crowding out the other species and creatures like the Borrowers are in a long list of endangered species was cleverly done enough. Those who aren’t averse to Ghibli’s usual tricks about these things won’t or shouldn’t mind it.

      Also, the Barnaby Batman story is also my least favorite bit in Tiger & Bunny. I like the side characters’ “star turns” a whole lot more.

      Them connoisseurs are something else man… they’re like this guy who watched 150+ episodes worth of ZZ Gundam, SEED, and GSD in the same year. I just don’t know.

  5. sadakups says:

    I KNEW you were going to screencap that sky diving scene in Sacred Seven 2.

  6. foshizzel says:

    Whoa! Nice marathon watch there Ghost looks like the same things I am currently into.

    Tiger and bunny 15- Nice to see some story on Sky High! He was a mystery to me, sure he isn’t the most brilliant character and fell for android! Which reminded me more of the one from Big O well somewhat not 100% lol.. I guess that was more of a feel good episode, and damn I figured Tiger’s power was fading away.

    Hanasaku Iroha 15- Not bad either this week I really didn’t like Yukina at all, sure she has a cute personality laughing and being carefree of worries. I liked how she turned around this episode and actually worked, guess Ohana has that effect on people! Really gets you motivated huh.

    • Kotetsu fading… it’s good melodrama. I love this stuff. Tiger is suffering and I love it.

      Yuina has annoying speech patterns but is a rather interesting contrast to the rest of the cast. Consider her as an alternative take on the Mugi/Miyuki well-off nice girl stereotype. These girls are usually improbably nice and all-around likable. Not so our Yuina, who is not quite troubled, but is plausibly immature.

  7. Matt Wells says:

    Isn’t Garzey’s Wing a pseudo sequel to Aura Battler Dunbine? Takes place in the same world, with a cute fairy sidekick, but for some reason Tomino couldn’t get the rights to use the mechs? I myself am not a conniseur of lousy dubs, but I’ve spent more than a few hours watching highlights reels of them on Youtube.

    My personal favourite? The infamous “Let that Child alone!” Dragonball Z dub, where every single attack was a Kamehameha, Goku sounded like Charlton Heston, and Piccolo was called Big Green. BIG. GREEN. Worst thing about it? Its the only version of DBZ that was ever commercially released in the UK. Then there’s Clash of the Bionoids, which makes Harmony Gold’s treatment of Macross into Robotech look subtle and faithful to the source material.

    Been reading the manga since the series began serialization, and Kunieda is still the best thing in that pile of utter blandness and mediocrity. There’s something about a hard as nails gang leader going all Kyaahhh and moe moe over a retarded street punk that I find hillarious. Android love interest and one shot story format? Tiger and Bunny is definitely a show directed by the same guy that gave us Big O. Which you haven’t watched yet. And you really should. Now. Same for the Gaogaigar TV series.

  8. Dliessmgg says:

    I couldn’t help comparing Tigerbunny 15 to Hoffmann’s Der Sandmann. It made me very worried about Sky High.

  9. Shinmaru says:

    Garzey’s Wing is only a waste of time if one were to watch it in Japanese. If you’re watching in English, then it’s a one-way trip to Entertainment Town!

  10. Pingback: Where I’m Reading About Each of the New Shows | My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull

  11. MarigoldRan says:

    Why is that black guy’s hand where it is?

  12. Xard says:

    >If there was one thing that I’m ambivalent about, it’s what seems to be a forced evocation of the Ghibli ecological manifesto during a key dialogue point between the lead characters.

    believe it or not that shockingly dark scene is from the original novel. I too thought Miyazaki came up with it but no, that’s not the case. Very good film with surprsingly dark undercurrent for Ghibli film IMO…their darkest since Mononoke, perhaps. Still, I liked it and I’m happy to see you liked it too.

    I too prefer it over Ponyo.

    >Sacred Seven

    Well, things have developed quite a bit since ep 2. I’ve enjoyed this show surprisingly much. The hysterical ep 4 is my favourite so far but the action in episodes 3 and esp. 6 was rather impressive and very well done. It was also nice to see Butler-kun get shit done with his mecha in ep 5, even if that lazer ended up being terrible cocktease and trolling. ;____;

    >Garzey’s Wing

    well what to say here…

    He’s just a human. Humans are just a human. They come into this life filled with dreams and aspirations. They want it all. And try to use the power of the universe, the earth, and the power of the spirit.


    That OVA is pure gold with dub indeed.

    • Wow I’m surprised by that indeed. I’m not sure how much that changes my mind about Arrietty, since I don’t really dislike it. I’d watch it again with the wife when she’s freed up.

      Oh I am having so much fun with Sacred 7. The school festival is a celebration of everything wonderful and terrible about contemporary anime.

      Oh man, I don’t think I’ll ever forget Garzey’s Wing. I just don’t know.

      • Xard says:

        I didn’t mean it should change your mind about it one way or another, I just wanted to let you know that sometimess what looks like Miyazaki forcing an aesop in might not be the case after all. It surprised me too because it was exactly the kind of stuff you’d expect from Miyazaki… no wonder he wanted to adapt the book, hah

        Garzey’s Wing is… unforgettable experience, yeah. Despite my affinity for bad old school anime you saw it before me. I saw it pretty recently myself because its reputation had kept even me away from it. At any rate it is comedy gold of highest order. 😛

  13. Pingback: A Pleasant Surprise, Again: Beelzebub ED 3 « Drastic My Anime Blog

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