Length: around 10 minutes. Less than 10:30 (11 minutes today, oops).
Host: Ray from Taipei.
Frequency: Mondays at 10 PM
What it’s about –
1. looking into my so-called Otaku life.
2. Thoughts and opinions on my observations for many things, mostly anime and culture.
3. Inner workings, ideas and others behind the scenes at Anime Diet (animediet.net)
Comment: It’s upclose (perhaps too much for discomfort), personal (I got good hygenes) and raw. It’s Ray unplugged.
This episode: Ray talking about one can do almost anything in anime but not really in live action, Queen’s Blade, his first anime experience, his friend’s experience, the ippanjin (normals) and pushing for the term “amazingly weird”.
At this point, to me it seems pretty clear that there is no thousand year old “Omniyoji”, that somehow, she’s behind everything from the very beginning. I don’t know and I’m not saying that is the truth. In fact, when other people often guess the plot or the ending to a movie (back in college, one of my friends figured out the ending of “Seven” about 30 minutes before the ending), I have to see the end.
I was surprised that the Noh play wasn’t like some sort of introduction device, but was actually taking place in the story itself! All the Japanese references were foreign to me and so I didn’t know what the masks meant. But I was stunned by the outcome of the episode anyway.
It was satisfying to see Hasegawa down the hatch and it was good to hear the chime when the job was done.
A big part of the element of this show hinges on Kuro’s memories, but few episodes ago there didn’t seem to be any hints that if they were true or false; although I did get suspicious about his recollections, but more and more, little hints here and there started to point out that his perfect eternal lover wasn’t so great after all.
To me, clue one wasn’t the part where she cut his head off; it was in the village where the painter guy painted a grotesque picture of her.
Now, there are some things that I’m not satisfied with:
1. Kuro’s protector when he was Minamoto (anyone still remembers that) – what happened to him? Why did he betray Kuro? If the Omniyoji isn’t real, then that subplot doesn’t hold up. Unless the reality is that Kuromitsu seduced him as well.
2. The many flashbacks – some of the stories never panned out and never seemed to have any importance, they’re there to confuse people.
3. The lack of any explanation at all as to how the “Omniyoji’s organization” survived and became the Red Emperor’s organization, especially if the Omniyoji wasn’t real.
It was implied that Kuro slept with Rai…But damn, with her severe bodily damage, how could they do it? Just thought I’d point that out for thoughts.
Well, there you go. Her message was “come to the Red Emperor’s Castle to clear up everything.” When I heard that, an alarm bell went off. I mean, it has occurred to me that Kuromitsu is the one behind it all, but many things were indicating that it was not true. like they were being chased; the Onmiyoji wanting to be immortal, crazy scientific experiments…
But one thing really nagged me – how did the Red Emperor people get Kuromitsu’s blood?
Giving that she’s trying to keep her lover living eternally, maybe this is what’s been going on (knowing what I learned from this episode):
1. For many years, she’s harvesting health bodies to keep him alive, but that takes more effort.
2. The Onmiyoji and his organization, which has been around for over 1000 years (assuming Kuro’s memories are at least accurate whenever he dreams of them and the “Onmiyoji” actually exists) has been seeking immortality, and they have learned enough secrets and developed enough technology, therefore –
3. By combining forces with them, maybe Hasegawa the mad scientist can find a way to keep Kuro unbreakable without having to get new bodies, although that’s not really what he wants; he just want to create an ultimate weapon/creature that cannot die; but she gets what she wants, which is being with him forever without having to go through the hassle of getting new bodies. Oh and, so she voluntarily gave them her blood samples. Easy, right? Since she’s been at the Red Emperor’s Castle all along.
4. Perhaps she couldn’t find perfect bodies anymore, hence it made sense to work with the Red Emperor Organization?
Above are just assumptions, assuming that Kuro’s memories are correct and what we’ve been seeing are at least mostly correct, because I wouldn’t be surprised at this stage if the Onmiyoji guy doesn’t really exist at all and Kuromitsu is really behind it all. Here are my questions:
1. Kuon (the clone) sure looks like the blond guy who supposedly turn Kuromitsu into a vampire; according to her, some guy made her into a vamp, and we see from the show that the guy was blond. In that scene when Kuon the clone was on top of her, he really looked like the blond guy. That leads to question 2 –
2. Who does Kuon the clone resemble? Kuro? Hmm…The blond guy? Maybe.
With themes and scene of betrayal being shown over and over again, I’m almost going with the gut feeling that she’s behind it all, somehow, even if Kuro’s memory is correct. Then my last question is –
Why? Why go through all the trouble?
When the entire show is over, I’ll have to watch it from ep 1 straight through to ep 12 and then wait for DVDs to come out and buy them.
I totally forgot that last episode the crew was facing the Old Turtle Dude and the overtly wacky long hair woman.
I’m obviously missing a lot of references here, as Kuro is sucked into the illusion, and the Turtle dude makes him take out some human waste in the delusion (yeeeewww).
Also, Kuro works with the strange hair woman in reenacting the scene of confrontation between her and Saniwa; or he’s like the cue for her to start; sort of like the guys hitting the small drums in a Noh play.
It’s a bit odd that him and the enemy almost coordinates in the reenactment; again, there’s a Japanese cultural reference that I missed somewhere.
As the plot takes a sharp turn (this being 13 episode and all), Kuromitsu shows up, and dispose of the enemy in her remaining stage. But the mysterious to Kuro’s memory and why Kuromitsu cut his head off at that time still isn’t solve, nor anything from his memory for that matter.
The answer is in the Genom/Tyrell Tower, the Gate of Mordor, the core of the Death Star…
One way in, one way out. But if Kuromitsu is waiting in there, then…
Could she be the one orchestrates it all? What about the Onmiyoji?
What parts of Kuro’s (I guess being Minamoto Raiko doesn’t matter now) memory is real? Which part is false? What’s the ultimate significance?
We get a breather from the epic battle in this episode, and Ninja Scroll like supernatural enemies fills this episode up and together with the Noh play sequence, makes it all that more exotic.
I await the release of subtitled (English or Chinese) DVD with eagerness and impatience. I just hope the show doesn’t let me down.
Oh and, don’t just read this! Watch the episode and immerse in this piece of art yourself.
Never underestimate how power can corrupt a person, but of course, who doesn’t want to tame it? Here’s the issue though, I though Kuromitsu’s blood is what gives people power in this show, but apparently some post-apocalypse thing is in effect because the people at the village of Kagu (Kagura) is instilled with power because of the event. It’s a contrast I’m hoping to see explained.
Ray: I can’t seem to remember a Madhouse production that I didn’t like. And Kurozuka is the surprise hit of the season for me. It’s simply…too…awesome!
Mike: I have to say, we really need more “mature” stories like this one. There is a wonderful soundtrack, fluid battle animation, and one of those epic concepts that easily could have become cheesy–love that crosses the distance of time–but it actually works.
I never thought I’d be impressed or at least intrigued twice this season (the other one being Ga-Rei-Zero) but thanks to this atmosphere, the story and the style of this show, I’m truly am delightfully amazed.
I wonder if Madhouse does more research than other people? But in any case…
If you already watched this episode and can’t wait for more, than I congratulate you. Great choice!
If you haven’t watched it already and you enjoy a tale of intrigue, ancient Japanese legends and Samurai/supernatural stories, why aren’t you watching this?
Long time ago, what made Madhouse famous in the US and all over the world was Ninja Scroll. That was an unreserved show displaying grotesque monsters, strange battle techniques and a little sexual temptation. But that’s what hooked me in college. This time, however, there’s nothing overtly sexual at all, just damn good fighting, romance that doesn’t look like it will be fulfilled, betrayal, Japanese style supernatural legends (which is what Madhouse does best), awesome fighting sequences (realistic, too), great seiyuu (the main lead male is awesome but do you like Romi’s sexy mature womanly voice, you little boys?).
Let me continue (oh, I’m going to continue and ramble about it all right): great introduction starting a story in Noe theater, nicely borrowed Matrix-style arrow sequence, exotic and yet quite beautiful forshadowing…
Why should I bother to explain the story at all when you could just watch it yourself and appreciate (yeah, I could look up the names on ANN or Wiki, but why not just explore the world yourself?)?
Always remember, when Madhouse gets deadly serious in making something, you shall be blown away if you dare to try it. If you have already, congrats. But if you didn’t like it…