Archive for Ga-Rei Zero

2008 in Review: Picks of 2008

2008 in Review

Another year passes. Man, it’s hard to believe I’m already in to my 9th year of being an otaku as well as my 4th year of blogging. Time sure flies. I’m now well over 1500 posts with nearly 16k comments, and it’s thanks to everyone’s support that I’ve gotten so far.

This year was marked by an increased number of good shows, but surprisingly, it wasn’t as “happening” as last year. To put it in another way, while the average increased, the top end of the bell curve wasn’t as high as last year. Nevertheless, this year still had its moments.

My choices here aren’t particularly graded using a strict measure, it’s more of an overall rating of shows of this year that I greatly enjoyed in one way or another, so please view it as that rather than a solid indicator of quality.

Of course, being a mere mortal with a real life outside of the Internet, I will inevitably miss a few gems here and there, so feel free to voice up any other shows that you, my dear reader, believe I should have watched and not missed for this year.

With that said, here’s the list.

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「Message」//「Yuri-mu Croquette」

Two very anticipated albums just came out.

First off, Collaboration Album Message is, as its name states, a collaboration album between famous video game music composers and doujin singers. I’ve been gleefully waiting for it since I heard Haruka Shimotsuki is collaborating with Motoi Sakuraba for the first track, 「image~心像~」, and oh boy I am not disappointed.

「image~心像~」 just sounds so calming and epic at the same time it’s truly a dream pairing between two of my favourite music producers presently. The rest of the album seems pretty standard fair to me, but I have been only looping image and the other tracks from Yuri-mu Croquette, so I may not have judged them fairly.

This brings me to the other album, Ga-Rei Zero image album, Yuri-mu Croquette. I’ve been anticipating this album solely for the Yousei Teikoku song, 霊喰い, played during the heart-wrenching battle between Yomi and Mei. God I can’t stop looping it. It’s been a while since I’ve had my fix of Yousei Teikoku and 霊喰い really satisfies that. The three songs, AI, if, Reincarnation are also good too, and I believe the last track is the one used in the final episode where Kagura kills Yomi. Can’t help but to BAWWWWWWW whenever I hear those songs.

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Ga-Rei Zero 12

Ga-Rei Zero

BAWWWWWWWWWWWWW YOMI!!!!! T_T

The sad thing about prequels is that we already know what’s going to happen and we can’t do shit about it. God I hate that bloody shota.

The end of the episode also jumps 2 years later, just to tease us, and we get to see Fujiko, the new supervisor as well as Ga-Rei’s hero, Kensuke Nimura finally. Recycled Kazuki’s seiyuu for him, hurr hurr. Also shat bricks to find out that Kiri and Jinguji didn’t die. Thought they were dead for sure. Kiri even has amnesia to accompany her survival!

Ga-Rei Zero

Wonder if this will lead to a Ga-Rei anime?

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Ga-Rei Zero 11

Ga-Rei Zero

Ga-Rei Zero is already the winner of “Most Unorthodox Weapons Used” this year. First we had a motorbike, then a suitcase, drill hands, an iron, a FREAKING boiler and now, just to top things off, a weaponized wheelchair. Gotta admit, we all should’ve seen it coming, eh?

Anyways, Yomi continues on her rampage, and now she’s fully in the evil-but-goddamn-awesome Yomi mode, so the casualties keep piling up. Practically the whole Supernatural Disaster Prevention Agency is gone now, with only Iwahata, one Naboo, Noriyuki and Kagura left. Kagura’s father also passes away this episode, leaving Byakuei with her at the end of the episode.

Next week, Yomi vs Kagura. Oh dear god I hope it’ll be epic.

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Ga-Rei Zero 10

Ga-Rei Zero

Kazuki dies painfully in the hands of Yomi. God damn, while I don’t condone evil Yomi, but I have to admit she is seriously badass in this mode. Poor Noriyuki too, seeing his best friend getting killed by the love of his love while she’s begging him to kill her all the while. No wonder he ran away after this (in the manga).

Producers are also really creative at saving the budget too. This was practically episode 2 except for different point of views. Of course, Kagura isn’t dead yet. Her father intervened in the nick of time.

Next week, Ranguren vs Byakuei battle. I sure hope they saved up their budget for that fight.

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Ga-Rei Zero 09

Ga-Rei Zero

Evil Yomi is born finally. God, I really want to wring the neck of that detestable shota, especially after what he did to Yomi in this episode…

Ga-Rei Zero

The producers are really not letting up any chance for fanservice aren’t they?

That being said, the circumstances of Yomi’s transformation was not what I expected. I’d thought it would’ve been a lot more dramatic… possibly involving a lot more killing/blood/gore, so seeing her getting “approached” at her most weakest moment, both physically and mentally, was kinda anti-climatic for me. But then again, it’s more logical this way I guess, and it does promise a higher chance of success :P.

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Ga-Rei Zero 08

Ga-Rei Zero

Fuck yeah, shit starts hitting the fan this episode! About damn time we get some Yomi action already.

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Ga-Rei Zero 07

Ga-rei Zero

Kagura cries.

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Ga-Rei Zero 06

More plot development with the escalating infestation of evil spirits in the Tokyo area reaching critical levels. The team is being pushed to the limits to deal with the widespread manifestations around the city and Kagura faces another test of her resolve as a spirit-exterminator when her own school is attacked and someone she knows falls under the infestation of a nouryou.

Pretty much another bridge episode, but with quite a bit more action in it. I am seriously impressed at the rate that Ga-Rei Zero is keeping up with making all the fighting scenes fluid and impressively choreographed. If there’s one thing this show doesn’t lack, it’s style and it’s undeniable after seeing Mei’s spear serving dual-purpose as a parasol as well, XD.

Ga Rei Zero

Speaking of Mei… damn, she sure got killed really fast. That butterfly-controlling shota is a real shinigami. Everyone he meets or approaches surely dies sooner or later. I was expecting Mei to stick around and provide some psycho-bitch aspect to the show, but hell, she got knocked off just one episode after being introduced? Bet she’ll return as a evil spirit infused with the sesshouseki just like Yomi did.

Kagura gets the bulk of the focus this episode and it continues to deal with her less-than-amicable relationship with her father (not surprising since the only things he seems to say are “Get stronger, Kagura.” or “You must uphold our responsibilities.” bla bla bla) as well as her naivete and inability to kill spirits that have taken over humans or are humanoid in form, although funnily she seems okay with cutting imitations of either herself or Yomi, ahahaha. One thing’s for sure, she’s really got some real skills of her own with the sword and it shows in this episode, although not exactly as good as Yomi’s skills are yet.

Wonder what’s gonna happen next episode. The lack of preview footage really does a good job at making me get the latest episode as soon as it comes out. Oh I’d like to mention that the guy who’s providing all the <40MB raws (that seems to be ripped from Nico or somewhere) is doing a really good job at those. Hell, it even edges Horrible Raws in terms of quality, not discounting the small resolution.

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Ga-Rei Zero 05

I just realised Ga-Rei Zero is the only show this season that can make me snap out of “gaming mode” (as I call it) for it. Man, I’m have terrible backlog on the most of the shows once I get bored of Kirovs and Dreadnaughts.

Ga-Rei Zero

This episode a breather episode, and instead of Kagura x Yomi, we’re treated to Yomi x Noriyuki, who are both engaged to each other, in case people haven’t noticed yet. So far they’ve been neglecting this dynamic, so this episode is well-due for it.

The setup is pretty much generic, where Kagura worries about both of their relationship since they keep fighting with each other, thus tries to set up a plan to make then both get closer together. As with most setups of this kind, much hilarity ensues as their plan involves getting Nikaidou (poor girl) laying the moves on Noriyuki while hoping Yomi will get jealous. Of course things backfire, but thanks to Kagura’s tears, the day is saved, heh.

Of course, we all know that when a couple fights over trivial things all the time, it’s actually a sign that they’re really close to each other instead, so I wouldn’t be worrying about the both of them. Yomi also inherits a kimono belonging to her father’s wife, which turns out to be the same outfit she wears in the manga that happens later on. More links to the main story, heh.

Ga-Rei Zero

Meanwhile, plot development isn’t abandoned too with a new character, Isoyama Mei, is introduced. As her surname suggests, she’s Yomi’s cousin, born from her father’s brother, who opposes Yomi getting engaged to Noriyuki and tries to suggest Mei for the engagement instead, since he doesn’t want Yomi, as an outsider, to carry on the Isoyama lineage. While it seems Mei doesn’t care about being the heiress of the lineage, she is concealing a “darker” side to herself and as hinted in the OP sequence, most probably will be the antagonist character for this series.

Ga-Rei Zero

One thing I gotta admit, this show seriously has character designs for females that push every moe-button in myself. If Mei wasn’t so “dark”, I think I would be moe for her too.

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