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MoonShadow: It involves large amounts of backstabbing starfish.
- SunKitten and Kazuhiko: That is the most perceptive description I've heard.  And accurate, let's not forget accurate...

From the [MITAnime summaries]:
The manga starts out kid-friendly, just as the series does, but then grows very dark. Imagine what David Lynch's version of My Neighbor Totoro might be like, and you'll get the idea. If the anime follows the manga's path, I can see a lot of traumatized six-year-olds in a few episodes.

Oh my...  Now I really want to see My Neighbour Totoro meets TwinPeaks?...  Imagine that red curtained room with Totoro sitting serenely in one corner behind the giant and the one armed man...  I think a SanityRoll is probably in order at this point.  That or more DriedFrogPills... --Kazuhiko
The only question remaining is - who's got the AMV skills?  --Vitenka (Would work wonderfully, the TwinPeaks? ThemeTune? is so very memorable)

From the AyaCon anime summaries: (from memory - correct when I/you have the sheet to hand)
Cute girl finds a cute transforming starfish.  Series then ceases to be cute as the entire cast tries to commit suicide, genocide or both.

This series is also known by the abbreviation (of the Japanese title) "Naru Taru".
Anyone know what the long form of the name means?
Well, it seems the full name is "[骸] なる [星] [珠] たる 子", pronounced "Mukuronaru hoshi, Tamataru ko". The kanji are rare and I haven't found the words in my Japanese dictionary so I can't be sure, but I think it means "Dying planet, shining children". This is partly guided by the blurb on the back of the English manga, "From a dying planet shall come the children of light". Those who know better than I are as always very welcome to correct me. --AlexChurchill
"Corpse, become, star, jewel, child"...? I need to read up on grammar.. - MoonShadow
That's pretty accurate, except "hoshi" is commonly used to mean planet as well as star. Literally it's "Corpse-becoming planet, pearl [??taru] child(ren) :) --AlexChurchill
WWWJDIC gives "barrel" for taru, which makes me suspect it's actually part of the preceding word. - MoonShadow
Yes, I suspect it is, which is why I suggested on the edit summary "jeweling children? pearling children?" for "tamataru ko". I'll try to remember to look up "-taru" in my book of Japanese grammar when I get home. As for "hoshi", it occurred to me that not knowing much about the origins of certain things in the series yet, it could be actually be "dying star" rather than "dying planet". That would fit with the English name ShadowStar, but not with the blurb about "From a dying planet shall come the children of light" - which may turn out to be the best translation of the name anyway. --AlexChurchill
adjective-naru or verb-naru is effectively -becoming, -scent or -facent. So: corpse-becoming star - jewel-like(?) child(ren). I haven't come across taru before, and have tried in vain to find any more info. --Bobacus

Some notes about those characters: (pain-stakingly looked up before I noticed the added links to Unihan - which looks very cool)

rad 188
nelson 6789
GAI: bone, body.
mukuro: body; corpse.

rad 72
nelson 2452
SEI, SHOO: star.
hoshi: star; spot, dot, mark; bull's eye; one's fortune; point, score.
Grade 2 joyo character.

rad 96
nelson 3637
SHU, JU, tama: gem, jewel.
General-use joyo character.

There was speculation at one point that the translation of the manga might be forced to stop before conclusion, due to the nature of some of the later episodes.  [This page] (Google cache [here]) seems to contain a statement from the translators saying that two or three pages total will be altered for the publication in Super Manga Blast, and some of those edits will be reversed for the collection into official manga from DarkHorse?.  Which is broadly good news that the translation will be finished, although as the guy from Studio Proteus said: "It is a shame the situation in America is such that we could never publish it as originally drawn."
Interesting to say that it is "a shame" the situation in America is such that it cannot be published as such.  Does anyone actually know what the nature of the problem is?  Personally I'm prepared to accept that some things are better off left out for a general audience.  If only two or three pages are altered then it really won't be an issue since the scanlation of the original version of those pages will crop up on the internet almost instantly. --Kazuhiko
Well AlexChurchill isn't going to be making any effort to track down such scanlations, despite making a beeline for future volumes of the manga as they're released.  I'm of the opinion that shocking plotline can be communicated very well without particularly graphic violence.  I'd thus agree that some things ought to be left out... although I'm not sure how America counts as more of a "general audience" than Japan? :) --AC
Is it graphic violence then?  If so, I'll agree that I have no particular desire to see the original (depending, of course, on how well the alternative is done).  The general audience in the UK / US is used to very different things than the general audience in Japan...  OTOH, Now AngelSanctuary is licensed I'll have to admit that the amount of difference between what is acceptable to the two audiences is dropping. --K

Recently I was in one of the rare second-hand Japanese bookshops that don't actually shrink-wrap everything and I flicked through volumes 1-6 + 12 (the end).  I'm imagining that having any intricacies stripped away (since I can't read Japanese) would put a bias against a lot of series but I was left with the basic feeling that the plot consisted of death-pain-sex-repeat, which would be pretty bad if the participants were of age.  Since they are quite obviously not, I guess I should just count myself as relieved that I've been away from this series long enough that I don't particularly want to read it any more. --K (disappointed)
And that is the difference between what the general Japanese audience wants and what the general American audience wants, apparently. - PlasmonPerson

Vitenka has provided the anime for download here:
[First five] and... Argh.  I need a better filing system. [The rest]
You'll need the secret ToothyWiki login (from Vitenka/WikiBlog?, I think?) (or email him for a new one)

Vitenka has also provided episode synopses for the following episodes:

Kiero Star writes:

Wagh, first post in this place. EVER!! But anyway, on with the point. In the past few days, I sat and watched the whole anime (all 13 episodes). It was very good. Though I'm still left with TONS of unanswered questions. At least the manga continues on from there, but still, the sixth volume won't be released until JANUARY!! This leaves me deeply saddened. Also a few of my questions to contemplate...

1) What the hell was with episode ten? I mean the subtitles were so confusing!! I'm so confused!! What was going on?? What was up with that dead guy?? SERIOUSLY!!!
2) What happened to Hiroko's creepy shadow dragon thing, which had no name by the way????
3) Who wrote that note to Akira??? As in, is Komori dead or not???
4) Just what exactly were Akira and Kazuyuki(not Takano) doing in that clinic???'As in I'm not really quite sure I want to know...
5) How in the hell did Shiina get in Banda??? As in, Jeesuz her mother already pointed out that she "striked out in everything but PE and Home Economics..."
6) What was up with the name Bungo (for Kazuyuki Takano I mean)??? As in, how did Satomi come up with that nickname?
7) What was the point of that naked girl...?? As in,the naked girl who lives with Sudo.
8) What was in that test tube??? As in, that test tube that those 3-4 girls tried to force on Hiroko.
9) What was that shadowy figure in that one episode?? There's one episode. I can't remember which one, but there's a shadowy figure which I wasn't able to identify.
10) Also what was with that blonde pig-tailed girl with no feet that that girl found in the alley??? I think this is episode 9 or 11. However, the little blonde girl was random.
11) Does Hoshimaru really belong to Shiina, or is Hoshimaru linked with another person who did not want him???

CategoryAnime, CategoryManga

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Last edited August 12, 2006 3:46 pm (viewing revision 36, which is the newest) (diff)