Molly Rants-A-Lot – Because It’s Too $@%^ Hot Outside

Posted on May 30 2010

Molly here and I’m back with a bit of a condundrum. For the past month I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to figure out what it is I should review next. Here I am, home for the summer, trying to think of something to watch out of the sheer drive to do absolutely nothing and it donned on me. It’s summer! Well, almost, but it’s that time of year we boot up our computers without the intention of writing papers and waste our time away in the time-sucking vortex that is the internet.

Who wants to be outside in the sun when you could sit inside a dark room all day watching an anime about being outside in the sun?! With that in mind, I thought I would give you (or attempt to do so) some recommendations on some good summer watching. Let’s get started, shall we?


xxxHolic– Yes yes, anyone who is privy to all things CLAMP or is a FUNimation junkie will know about xxxHolic. So why did I put it on the list? When I think of summer, I think of ghost stories and complaining about the heat (something Yuuko and I have in common). xxxHolic has both and more!

For those who don’t know, xxxHolic revolves around a high schooler with the strange (and unwanted) ability to see and ultimately attract spirits, the lovable spaz that is Kimihiro Watanuki. This becomes quite a nuisance to Watanuki one day as he finds himself ushered by an inexplicable force into a strange shop after being chased by one of his ghostly stalkers. There he meets the equally strange and mysterious shop owner, Yuuko Ichihara (though she admits that that her name entirely fake).

Yuuko, claiming to be able to grant wishes, cons Watanuki into wishing his seeing ability away. Now, I wouldn’t call it a con, but before Watanuki could retract his wish, Yuuko plagued Watanuki with something worse than ghosts: indentured servitude to pay off his debt for the wish that won’t be granted until that debt is paid. I’m not sure months, if not, years of free meals and limitless taunting aimed toward our flaily friend equates to a ghost-free existence. Everything that could happen does happen to our poor punching bag, which makes the enjoyment of his suffering all the more entertaining.

This series is quirky, dark and mysterious, interlacing the captivating storytelling of CLAMP, the dark atmosphere, its entertaining yet understated soundtrack, the simplistically creepy animated style and the colorful cast of characters. One who is accustomed to CLAMP’s work will not only recognize Yuuko and Mokona (the adorable mascot of the series) from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles (another popular series by CLAMP), but various other nuances from their previous works. I always make a point of rewatching this series every summer. I recommend watching this one at night!

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket– I know that the manga was previously reviewed by our own Llian on Meringued Manga’s.(Go read it NOW, because we love our Llian very much) Because of that I won’t waste your time re-summing it up for you. This is another series I tend to rewatch when ever the summer season comes around. I actually have this thing about watching things about being school while not in school, but luckily Fruits Basket makes school seem interesting, keeping us on our toes. With one moral after another and the overall theme of friendship (not to be confused with the clichéd friendship speeches of the Yu-Gi-Oh nature) this series makes you want to go hug your closest friends after watching it. Admittedly, the series itself is pretty girly, but the dark undertones and hilarious interactions of the characters make this an easy watch for almost anyone. Each character presents something a little different, allowing the watching to relate to at least one character on some level. This endearing anime can easily pick up anyone’s mood after a losing game of kickball. Let me give you a little forewarning, though:

Before you silly purists out there go and watch the original Japanese track of the series, if you have never seen it before….. well, just do me a favor and watch it in English. I have a qualm with Yuki’s voice in the Japanese version, but let’s not get into that right now. Let’s just say there was some gender confusion and leave it at that.

Sasami: Magical Girl’s Club

Sasami: Magical Girl’s Club– OK, ok, I admit, this series exceeds the sparkle factor of vampires that happen to walk in the daylight, but I am still amazed by how freakishly dark the series gets by the end of the second season. One might recognize our heroine from Tenchi Muyo, Tenchi Universe and Pretty Sammy. No, you’re not going crazy (At least I don’t think you are). Sasami is back with the help of Ryo-Ohki and her magical friends to save the Earth and the World of the Witches!

Sasami, a girl with the power to animate objects (mostly cooking utensils), attends a normal elementary school. Without an outlet to use her magic she appears as just another silly, blue-haired child (that seems fairly common place for anime). Under the guise of the “cooking club”, Sasami, Anri, Misao, Makoto and Tsukasa hone their magical skills with the guidance of Washu and Daimon. After an invitation to the World of the Witches, everything the girls thought they knew was not as it seemed.

So, why would I recommend a “magical girl” series? Besides its overwhelming cuteness, each character offers something for everyone to relate to or something to “aww” at if they so desire. It starts out relatively slow but as it picks up it becomes a fairly involved and uncharacteristically dark with the seemingly inevitable doom of man kind as we know it. The animation is bright and memorable and the characters are as lovable as their past reincarnations. It’s good for those afternoons that are too damn hot to actually do anything outside.

That’s it?!?! There are so many things I would recommend to you, my anime-watching public, but I could easily go on and on in a never-ending tangent, never to let you escape from this URL. So, with that said, why don’t we meet back here in one month and complain about the heat together again! Next month, I’ll be looking into Satoshi Kon’s “play within a play”, a story about a restaurant full of bespectacled men and something about being loveless (or not, I don’t judge). Perhaps I’ll throw in something extra special if I feel like it. Now, curl up with your obligatory love interest, sip your lemonade and shake your Pokewalker so you don’t actually have to get up use those long things called legs, because it’s going to be a long hot summer (or winter if your reading from the Southern Hemisphere). See you back here in June for part II.

You Might Also Like...

  • Oni May 30, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    The only thing bad about xxxHolic is how it ties into Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles. You have to figure out when to double back and read Tsubasa (as there are arcs in both the manga and anime where simultaneous things that effect both stories happen).

  • mollybibbles May 30, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Unfortunately, the ties with Tsubasa, when speaking about the anime, don’t occur until much much much later in the series. I treat the xxxHolic anime like a stand-alone series. I would love to go through each series and attempt to create a list of the episodes/chapters to watch/read in some order to link together the intertwining stories. Maybe that’ll be my next project ^___^

  • Sandgolem June 1, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    I loved fruits basket, an ex of mine convinced me to try it and I never looked back. A very absorbing story and one of a kind characters.

  • You must be logged in to comment. Log in