Friday, December 29, 2006

Maria-Sama ga Miteru: Vacation of the Lambs, OVA 1

In short and with no spoilers, this is top notch Maria-Sama ga Miteru. And as an Original Video Animation (OVA), the quality is even higher than usual:
• Beautiful, detailed backgrounds
• higher frame rate of animation with way more detail
• at 55 minutes or so, much longer than a normal episode
• VERY close to the novel, including dialogue, plot, visual details, and character interactions
• even the sound was improved, probably because it is a DVD rip that was subbed

Let's just say I grinned like a fool throughout the entire thing. The Powers That Be really outdid themselves with this one and as long as MariMite OVAs continue to be made, I kind of hope the story is ONLY released in OVA format if it's going to be this good.

You can read a thorough transcription of the novel here at
Notes from 12th Marimite Novel, pt1
Notes from 12th Marimite Novel, pt2
Notes from 12th Marimite Novel, pt3
Notes from 12th Marimite Novel, pt4

And you can download the actual OVA here:
Lililicious and Otenba team up: - this has a variety of download options, including direct download

My personal response
Yumi is so> gay. ;)
I thought this when I read the novel translations and transcriptions but to actually SEE her reactions and what she focuses in on with Sachiko - particularly when Yumi goes to wake up Sachiko for breakfast the one morning... I just don't think straight girls are like that, are they?

To someone who has only seen the anime and has not read (or read about) the novels, you'd think the interactions between Yumi and Sachiko were TOTALLY upped in comfort level between the two of them. But in reality novel!Sachiko was always much more touchy-feely with Yumi than anime!Sachiko was. So as far as character interactions go, this OVA is the most true to the novels of any of the anime.

I grinned like an idiot through the whole thing. There's something special about having a series you've rewatched a dozen times and know by heart and getting to see a brand new episode (even if its one I already knew the story to). After a year of watching all kinds of random anime, watching "Vacation of the Lambs" really hit home why I love Marimite so much and why I got into anime in the first place. That characters can be so developed and so human...

I thought the new version of the opening theme was pretty good, too. I like that they kept the OP - it really set the tone and the mood and the nostalgic feeling. Even the other soundtrack bits within the story were all tracks from the series. It helped with the comfort level, relaxing the viewer and soothing away any apprehension that they might butcher our beloved characters and story. :P I didn't care for the closing theme - I knew ahead of time that it was a new one. FYI it is by KOTOKO, the gal who did the OP and EP for Kannadzuki no Miko.

9 out of 10

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Lost Room

Well, we all liked it at our house, anyhow. ;) Usually SciFi movies and such scare me off with bad acting and cheezy story/effects - but this had none of those. The acting was really great, most of the characters were fleshed out, but by far the story was really well done.

The story revolves around the key to the lost room (its a motel room) and about 100 other everyday objects that also came from the room, all of which have unusual properties. The key, obviously, can open most doors, taking the user into the lost room. From there the user can go to nearly any other door they can visualize. The comb can freeze time for up to 10 seconds for the user, the pen can electrocute and fry someone, the watch can hardboil eggs, etc. Some are more powerful than others, some have properties left to be discovered, and some temporarily obtain new properties when combined with other objects.

The thing with the room is that each time the key holder leaves the room, the room resets. If the bed was mussed, it is suddenly made, etc. Anything left behind in the room, such as clothes or people, disappears. The only thing that can survive the room reset are objects.

Minor early plot spoilers from here to the cut!
Our protagonist, detective Joe Miller (dude from Six Feet Under) loses his daughter to a room reset (she's played fantastically by Elle Fanning, Dakota's little sister). So now Joe is on the hunt for some way to retrieve her, running across various people and factions of people involved with the mysterious objects.

Maybe that sounded cheezy. It's not - it's really fun to see what different objects can do and why they can do it and who you're gonna find using them. *shrugs*


So apparently it was made in hopes of a series coming out of it, similar to how Battlestar Galactica got its start. I kind of agree with most critics that it may of been better off as JUST a miniseries because as with most things, the magic is lost after however many seasons and they STILL haven't solved the puzzle or whatever. Kind of like what is happening slowly with Lost. Only with the Lost Room, our protagonists will be attempting to put to rest the lost room and in doing so, destroy the objects for good somehow while the Order tries to reassemble them all. The only interesting thing thrown into the mix will be Joe and how he interacts with the objects now that he himself is an object as the replacement Occupant.

Which the Order will probably find out once they take a good gander at that polaroid.

The only big plotholes that bothered me (or story holes or whatever) were Ruby even KNOWING to look for objects or whatever, and Juliana Margules' character and Joe sleeping together so quickly. For the second, I guess if they were only *hoping* to get a series out of this and there was a chance they weren't going to get it they thought, "Well, we'll have them sleep together NOW just in case we don't get a series."

The thing I like most about the Lost Room is that it's the real world with magic properties that are relatively subtle. So they don't have to go over the top with effects and end up being cheezy - because lets face it, to have a realistic outer-space type show, you need some damn fine effects. :D Anyway, it just gets my imagination going.