New Anime Streaming Site: Anime Bananas

The founder of a new site for streaming anime contacted me to take a look at his site, Anime Bananas, and possibly write reviews for him.  The question of Anime Bananas legitimacy came up on the Crunchyroll Forums.  As evidence for its legitimacy, one can’t find fansub versions of anime on the site, and the founder has agreements with the anime providers he connects to.  Let me talk about the benefits of Anime Bananas and a couple of its drawbacks below.

Anime Bananas

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Crunchyroll Streaming Rurouni Kenshin!!!

I was ecstatic to learn that Crunchyroll is now streaming Rurouni Kenshin!  One can’t watch it until January 1st if one’s not a premium member, but that’s not a problem in my case.  For a moment, I feared that they would be streaming the European version of the English dub, which is horrible unless one wants a good laugh.  But, I heard the talents of Dorothy Menendez and Richard Hayworth, and my heart was set at ease.  Having heard the dub before the sub, I have developed an aversion to hearing Kenshin voiced by a women.  However, this did not bother me in Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal, where I prefer the sub–probably because Kenshin is younger during those events.

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Seeing that announcement made me think that I was running a fever.

Anyway, here’s the thread about it: Rurouni Kenshin Holiday Special.  Cheers to Crunchyroll for the nice Christmas gift!

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“Traduttore, traditore”: An Interesting Allusion in Kill la Kill

The above Italian proverb is famously translated as “Translation is betrayal,” but even that translation betrays the more literal “Translator, Traitor,” but we would all agree that the former carries the meaning better for English speakers.  In episode 5 of Kill la Kill, I noticed a rather interesting expansion of what was literally said.  Before I get into that, I would just like to say that episode five has by far been the most interesting episode thus far.  The show is starting to get into more of the plot as a new faction has appeared on the scene and we discover that Kamui have killed their wearers.

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But, the line to which I’m thinking of is Teme ni wa shindemo watasanee!”  If we were to opt for a literal translation, this would translate to “Even dying, I won’t hand it over to you!”  That does not  make to much sense to English ears.  Better would be “Even if you were to kill me, I would not hand it over.”  But this sounds a little wordy, and does not really seem to fit Matoi’s personality.  What did the translators for Crunchyroll do?  Reference Charlton Heston!  (Requiescat in pace)  “You’ll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands!”  A more excellent choice that anything based on a literal translation.

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One of the reasons I study Japanese is so that eventually I might not have to rely on the translators.  How much fun they must have though, especially those who worked in the 90’s!  Some anime of yore have hilarious translations, especially the many and varied ways they translate baka!  Well, wish me luck as I try to find time to tackle my kanji book again.

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Dog and Scissors: An Unexpected Favorite

Feeling rather blue one day and having heard that Dog and Scissors was an amusing, if insane, comedy, I turned to it on Crunchyroll.  For those of you unfamiliar with its premise, a young book lover saves the life of his favorite author during a robbery.  Unfortunately, the young man, Kuzuhito Harumi, is killed and returns to life as a Dachshund.  At which point, the author, having Shinobu Akiyama as her nom de plume and Natsuno Kirihime as her, rather ridiculous though idoneous, real name, locates Kazuhito in a pet shop due to a strong mental connection between the two of them (she heard his thoughts of despair over not being able to read) and takes him into her house. 

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This is of great benefit to Kazuhito in that he is now able to read as many books as he desires; but, Natsuno happens to possess sadistic tendencies and torments Kazuhito with a pair of scissors named Hasajiro.  I would feel more pity for Kazuhito if he did not deliberately call down the wrath of Natsuno for poking fun at her wee bosom.  Natsuno herself, for all her eccentricity, happens to be a likable character as well, not a little helped by the talents of the consummate seiyuu, Marina Inoue (Yoko of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan).  All the other characters, from the Kazuhito’s sister who makes curry with a chain saw to Natsuno’s masochistic editor, are all nuts, but this makes for a brilliant screwball comedy.

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Even the tragicomic  romantic affections of Natsuno for the boy–now, dog–who saved her life is hilariously funny.  If the writers handled this a little more clumsily, this could turn rather disturbing.  As it is, I’m hoping for some deus ex machina event to transform Kazuhito back into a high schooler so that Natsuno’s affections may be requited.

So, had anyone else been pleasantly surprised by this show?  Or discovered an unlikely favorite this season?

Inu to Hasami wa