Responding To Some Amazing Hidamari Sketch Posts by 8c (Part 1)

One of the greatest sins of my blogging career has been that I’ve never properly posted about Hidamari Sketch (and similarly, one of the greatest sins of my anime-watching career has been that I never watched any of it past the first season/read more than 1 volume of the manga) – Both of those in spite of considering it one of my alltime favorite anime, it having formally introduced me to favorite director Akiyuki Shinbo, and it being a large part of re-introducing me to anime. Well, you know what they say, the early bird catches the worm – I kept my mouth closed so long that someone else spoke out before me, and now I’m actually glad that I never said anything, because 8c knocked it out of the fucking park!

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This Is A Wonderful Set of Character Art

Going for a bit of an Ogiue Maniax style with this one…

So, I recently came up with this plan to make 100 header banners for my site. The idea is to use only official art and screenshots, and to try to take images from all of my favorite anime series, either using moments that I like, or just characters whom I love. Running this plan by No Name, he linked me to the official site for this Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight video game, KiraKira HappyFesta! – more specifically to the page where you can download different wallpapers of the characters. I promptly cut them up into banners, which you’ll see if you read my posts on-site, but as I was doing so I began to realize just how special these images were.

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200 (+) Anime Worth Taking With Us Into the Next Decade

100 Characters For 100 Otaku (Part Nineteen: 10-6)

The nineteenth post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.”

This is it! The top 10! We’re almost at the end of “100 Characters For 100 Otaku!!!” I think it’s pretty funny how the fairly even, if not somewhat male-dominated list took a sudden shift in the top thirty to being most women, hehe. Let’s see if the trend continues as we dive into 10 down through 6! By the way, be sure to check out Mainichi Anime Yume where the author is doing his own 100 character list!

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100 Characters For 100 Otaku (Part Sixteen: 25-21)

The sixteenth post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.”

It’s down to the top 25 in the “100 Characters For 100 Otaku” series! Truly, it feels like we are in the final stretch! Incidentally, if you’ve been reading all this time, I’m sure you’ve seen the hints at the bottom of the posts of characters to come. Have you been able to guess them at all? Today, I’m going to make them especially hard, and you have to post your guesses! Now, let’s get started with numbers 25 down through 21!

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100 Characters For 100 Otaku (Part Three: 90-86)

The third post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.”

Alrighty! We’re blasting into the third part of “100 Character For 100 Otaku!” A post series in which I follow through on the insane request to take the list of my top one-hundred characters and not only state what I like about them, but also how they are mirrors of the true nature of otaku, how they parallel my own otakudom, and for some reason, how they parallel the first episode of Crest of the Stars! It’s a wacky ride, and today we have numbers 90 through 86!

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100 Characters For 100 Otaku (Part Two: 95-91)

The second post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.

Welcome to the second post in the “100 Characters for 100 Otaku” series in which I, upon request, take the list of my 100 favorite anime characters and state what I like about them, how they are mirrors of the nature of otaku, and draw a parallel between them and my own otakudom as well as the first episode of Crest of the Stars (yes, this was part of the request!) Today I’ve got numbers 95 down through 91, so let’s see what they’re all about!

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Top 5 Anime Resolutions



There is plenty of fanfare over a great climax. Shows like Gurren Lagann have climaxes that stay in mind forever, but this is a post about the moments or even full episodes after the climax – the resolution. When people say that most anime has bad endings, they are usually referring to the weak or ambiguous resolutions. Here are some that were excellent.

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Top 10 First Episodes of Anime

At the request of someone, and my own personal interest, I behold unto you the top 10 first episodes of anime. Now, there are a few stipulations for this list. I didn’t pick any ‘introductory’ episodes (with the exception of number 10). In other words, episodes that get the story off to a start with and introduce the characters in a high-energy way that may not pervade into episode 2. That’s because while those episodes are great, I’m looking for episodes that are one of the outright best in the whole show. First episodes that may be the first thing that even comes to mind when the show is brought up. I had to rewatch several of these episodes to get the order correct, but I’m confident in my results. Lets go!

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The Long-Expected Second Coming of the King – Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight

Originally, it was one of the shows that got me back into anime. About 6 months later, it was the anime that evoked the strongest emotional response from me ever – a complete mental breakdown (read about that on the lists page.) At first, it entered my list at number ten or so, remaining in the teen areas afterward. Though it had meaning to me, and I loved it, I never really plunged deeper into it at first. However, I would like to quote the post I’ve read and quoted the most of any on the internet – Omo’s favorites list. Manabi Straight was the only show added to that post between 2004 and 2007, but that’s not the entry I’m quoting. It’s his comment on his alltime favorite anime, Martian Successor Nadesico.

“To make a lofty and senseless analogy, Nadesico is like a man’s heart. Deep, subtle, but very real. On the surface it’s superficial and it can be really funny at times, but each passing wave is just a shadow of the profound inner workings that lies beneath. The uncovering of that is what made Nadesico my favorite ever since I watched it through the first time. It managed to be funny, easy to swallow, but my mind chews on it like tough jerky, releasing pleasant “flavors” each time I think back to it.”

When I first watched Manabi Straight, it was long before I had any kind of grip on my favorites list. However, like Nadesico, this ended up being the show that was constantly in my mind releasing new flavors into me. I continually had tiny revelations about it and found myself idolizing the subtleties and amazing undercurrents that kept the show’s spirit burning within me. Omo helped with this also with his awesome and frequent analyzations of the show’s inner workings.

As time passed, I forgot some of the show’s details, as I did for most of the things I had the bad sense to marathon when I was new to anime. However, the show’s image in my mind only became greater and greater. It didn’t take me long to realize that it was one of my favorite anime – however I refused to appoint it such until I rewatched it for confirmation. Hence, this is not a post in the Epic Journey. When I first started trying to perfect my favorites list this past summer, I came to the same conclusion every single time – Manabi Straight in my top 5. I absolutely knew I HAD to rewatch it.

However, I was sure not to watch it during the summer, because I was scared it would make me want to drop out of school (it would have.) Finally I got the chance today and rewatched it. To say the least, it was everything I expected and more. Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight is EASILY my second favorite anime of all time – a spot it’s long deserved and finally honored with. I feel great relief in knowing that my favorites list is that much closer to perfection, though I still need to do this show in the Epic Journey. That may happen soon, since this is a show I want to watch over and over and over again : D