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May 24, 2012

Anime Review: Honey and Clover

Honey and Clover tells the story of a group of college students living in a small apartment complex. Their lives are drastically changes when a girl pops up in their lives. It is one typical slice of life anime with comedic elements included.

Honey and CloverSynopsis:

Takemoto Yuuta, Mayama Takumi, and Morita Shinobu are college students who share the small apartment. Even though they live in poverty, the three of them are able to obtain pleasure through small things in life. The story follows these characters' life stories as poor college students, as well as their love lives when a short but talented 18 year old girl called Hanamoto Hagumi appears. 

Review:

After watching the entire series I must conclude that it is one slow slice of life anime. Even more slower than previous slice of life animes that I have watched. The story is quite original; a bunch of college guys living it out in a shabby apartment complex. I must say though, this anime is probably more suited for those who have a lot of time on their hands or want to watch some light romance and comedy anime. Things start of slowly until Hanamoto Hagumi comes along, then BAM! you got lovestruck guys running around the place, misunderstandings, one-sided loves and comic style comedy. It's all here if you are able to watch through the entire series. There were some emotional, bittersweet, and soulsearching events that will keep you occupied for a little while longer.

The art was average with some fair detail on scenery and characters. The characters were decently illustrated but I found them not that attractive to be memorable. For some reason, their eyes did not look right on their heads. Maybe they were too big? Or was it the lack of fine detail that ruined the anime?

Sound quality was excellent and voice acting was perfect. The opening theme songs were rather strange and it did not relate to the anime at all. For instance, the first opening theme song showed a green background with a revolving bowl in stop-motion animation style. Various random food would appear and animated a bit. It was pretty random in my opinion. The ending theme song was average and complemented the anime appropriately.

I did not find the characters that interesting or memorable. Hanamoto Hagumi looks too much like a kid and I can't really imagine her as being an 18 year old. The rest were generic and plain. Nothing in particular to mention here.

Overall, I think the anime focused more on character relationships and interactions rather than a central story or visual symbolism. I felt that the anime was more "take it as it comes" style; as in, it will randomly spit out events that cause the characters trouble. It was rather predictable what would happen next. Some characters will make you annoyed or make you sympathize with them. In the end, if you are really bored with nothing else to do, then you can give this a go.

STORY: 5
Not much of a story here. It's a slice of life anime!

ART: 6
Average. That is all I can say.

SOUND: 6
Good voice acting overall. The theme songs were kind of unrelated to the anime.

CHARACTER: 6
Generic and plain. I found the characters were not that memorable.

ENJOYMENT: 6
There were a few laughs, some emotional moments and bittersweet memories. Nothing too drastic here.

OVERALL: 6
I was relived that I finally got through all the episodes. Perhaps it was a bit too long for my liking.

My Loot

I find that retail therapy is an effective temporary relief from depression (provided you have enough spare money to spend). I reckon I earn enough to be able to spoil myself every now and then. It has been a while since my last shopping spree so this afternoon I decided to get some retail therapy.

I love accessories, especially rings because they have special meaning to me. So to start off my pampering, I went down to two accessory/clothing shops to check out if there were any cool items on sale. To my dismay, one shop had nothing interesting at all and all their items were really expensive. However, in the second clothing shop they had many items on sale, among them were necklaces, rings, bracelets, hairbands and scarfs. Three items immediately caught my eye.


Firstly, the two leather studded style bracelets (top left and middle). There was a black version of the bracelet in purple colour, but I decided against buying it because wearing a black bracelet with dark/black clothing doesn't really stand out. Next, I saw the chain/bracelet shown in the bottom of the picture and thought that it would look cool as a key-chain or strap. Just as I was walking out to the checkout I noticed the red flower clip shown in the top right. I thought that it would be a nice accessory to pin to my black dresses.

The next shop I visited was an anime/manga/figurine shop. This shop overcharges a lot but it's the only anime shop close to my workplace, and I know they ship quite a lot of their stuff directly from Japan and is trustworthy (i.e. doesn't sell fakes). Plus, shipping from across the country would be quite costly, so that is why I am still a loyal customer to the shop. I roamed around for a bit, staring in longing at the numerous (expensive!) nendroids, manga and artbooks. While I was looking around at the glass counter full of figurines I saw this really cute nendroid which was in my price range. This character was not from an anime that I have watched before. However, I fell in love with the cuteness of the character the moment I saw it and knew I had to buy it. It appears that this character is from an anime called Magical Girl Lyrical NANOHA - the Movie 1st. This nendroid comes in a blind-box set with a total of 8 characters, meaning that you buy a sealed box and inside this box is one of the eight possible characters, but you don't know what character is inside until you open the box up. I guess that's the fun and excitement of buying blind-box nendroids, you never know what you're going to get. So before I go and open mine, here's a few snaps of the packaging.





And now, drumroll please as I cut open my box...


Tada!



All in all, the total amount I spent today is less than the amount I get paid for one hour of work. The best thing is, for such small amount it helped me get rid of my depression...at least for tonight.

Linux Mint 13 is out!

Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon

The Linux Mint team as finally released Linux Mint 13 named “Maya”.

Available in two editions, Linux Mint 13 features the choice between a productive, stable and mature MATE 1.2 desktop and the brand new modern-looking and exciting Cinnamon 1.4. These two desktops are among the best available, they’re perfectly integrated within Linux Mint and represent great alternatives to Gnome 2 users. Linux Mint 13 is also an LTS (Long Term Support) release and it will be supported until April 2017.

I will probably be switching back to Linux Mint after using Ubuntu 12.04 for a while. I've been encountering some bugs in Ubuntu that annoyed me a lot. For instance, I can't use my uni's WPA2-PEAP connection, Totem sometimes freeze when playing videos and something when I close my laptop lid the screen will not turn back on. I can;t wait to try out Linux mint 13 using Cinnamon.

Check here for full details and download links.