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New Reviews: Kashimashi and Fushigi

Purely as an experiment, I thought I’d add a quick announcement of the new reviews posted here, in the event that people wanted to log a related comment and/or follow the blog’s RSS and not the main site’s. Open to comments on whether this is a good idea or redundant.

A couple of additional comments:

One, if anyone was wondering if there’s a difference between the review-type-notes on the blog and the actual main site reviews, it’s that any comments on anime I’m currently watching I make in blog form are really just random, stream-of-consciousness notes and musings. I don’t bother to edit it, and I don’t spend much time on them—just trying to get some thoughts recorded while it’s fresh in my mind.

Actual reviews, in contrast, are proper, well-thought-out, carefully-considered, and have had way too much time spent preening the text. I won’t even start writing a proper review until I’ve finished watching the whole show, and it’ll likely see a dozen revisions over the space of two or three weeks as I try to make sure it’s clear, gets the point across, and covers the most salient details, before I’ll even consider publishing it. I also make every effort to keep them to a reasonable length—I set arbitrary word count limits, and hack away mercilessly to see if I can meet them and still say everything I think needs to be said. I and the other reviewers at AAW will also periodically go and read over older reviews to see if there’s any ways to improve the text; older reviews, in particular, are always getting trimmed and honed.

Phrased differently, if I write it in a review, I own those words and opinions fully. That’s why I might sit on a review for literally months letting it ferment, before I’m satisfied that what it says is what I really mean. If I say it in a blog post, my comment could be based on a mistaken assumption that I haven’t researched, half-baked opinions that aren’t thought out, or just be incoherent rambling. I still said it, and published it, but it’s liable to be half-baked.

I’m personally by nature more of a novelist than a blogger—I vastly prefer a carefully-considered, polished opinion to publishing in the moment. That’s why we have an archive of over four hundred reviews at AAW, and will continue adding to that resource of commentary on anime of days gone by and things that have been forgotten but shouldn’t be for the foreseeable future.

On which note, having recently purchased the entirety of Maria Watches Over Us, and being something of a yuri fan, Kashimashi Girl Meets Girl is the first review of a set of what will be coverage of every yuri series I’ve personally seen. Which isn’t actually that many, but anyway.

4 Responses to “New Reviews: Kashimashi and Fushigi”

  1. Chainclaw Says:

    I guess I’ll be the first to post something here. I gotta say I had a blast watching the whole Fushigi Yugi series (Thank god for youtube). Even the weaker parts of the franchise, such as the first and third OVA, never lost all their mystical wonder and appeal. That’s the kind of show that really helped remind me why I’m an anime fan.

    Marc if your reading this I hope you don’t mind if I slip in a few comments on your original review of the FY tv series. Even though everything you said about the show was accurate, you still might end up compelling me to write my own review just because I can’t stand to see it only get three stars. I’m also kind of baffled by your “it’s like” section where you call it “Sailor Moon meets Magic Knight Rayearth”. I’ve never seen MKR, but I have seen some Sailor Moon episodes and it’s nothing like FY at all. Fushigi Yuugi doesn’t have any magical girl Super heroines. It’s got one girl, who certainly isn’t a super herione, and who doesn’t have much in the way of magical powers, at least not till the end.

    If I was going to compare it to something, it would have to be “The Neverending Story”. I assume you’ve seen that. Can you really say when you saw it was a story about poeople getting transported into a book where written stories come to life, The Neverending Story wasn’t the first thing that popped into your mind? Granted Neverending Story didn’t have as much bloody violence or as many attempted rape scenes, but the concept was still the same.

    The obvious comparison in the anime world is Inuyasha. I saw so many youtube comments calling the series a ripoff of Inuyasha, to which I happily pointed out that FY came out first.

  2. Ghostwriter Says:

    I just read your “Fushigi Yugi” and “Kashimashi” I’ve never seen either series so I can’t really comment on their quality. But I did read a review of “Kashimashi” on ANN some years ago and I thought to myself,”That might make an interesting idea for a story.” (As I’ve said before,I kind of a writer so a lot of times,I look around for ideas for stories.)
    My version of this had many similar elements,a boy that has a crush on a girl,that same girl not having an interest in said boy. Yep,I even included some aliens in this and they restored him to life after he stumbled upon them testing a new device called a demolecularizer,a device that can destroy an object’s molecular structure. The aliens restored him and placed a watch-like object on him called a remolecularizer which takes anywhere from a week to two weeks to restore and then stabilize his molecular structure.

    One added feature to this device is the ability to switch genders. He can switch from boy to girl back to boy again. The aliens said that they’re going to be monitoring him for the time being to make sure that nothing goes wrong. Basically,the boy returns to his old life,with the added problem of unstable molecules,having to wear this device nearly twenty-four hours a day,and having to keep this whole situation a secret from everyone else.
    During the course of the story,he turns himself female,introduces himself with a feminine-sounding name to the girls who know him and ingratiates himself into that circle with his crush. Here’s where my version differs from “Kashimashi.” The boy finds out that the girl he likes isn’t interested in him because she’s interested in the friendly and handsome but not-very-smart and oblivious football star. The boy thinks to himself,”Oh brother! She’s interested in HIM!?!”

    Also,the remolecularizer sometimes goes on the fritz and threatens to reveal his secret. So,everyone. What do you think about this?

  3. Chainclaw Says:

    The entire tv series of Fushigi Yuugi and all three OVAs are available on youtube for free if you are interested.

  4. Ghostwriter Says:

    There’s a challenge I’m issuing to everyone on this website. Imagine for a second that the creator of your favorite anime or manga asked you to help him or her do an American version of their project,which would you like to do?