Today I'm updating a little earlier than usual, because I wanted to make sure to get my Kingdom Hearts II review in before things got crazy with other stuff, and an unexpected development made it likely that they'll get crazy today rather than Wednesday.
So we were watching Kirarin Revolution, and I was agreeing with Hiroto and Seiji about how when you're in a situation with a lot of competition and it's like a battle, you can't be all whiny and like, "Why can't we all just get along!?" you have to learn to enjoy it, but at the same time thinking, "Why do people have to make contests out of everything?" when we heard a knock at the door. We knew we wouldn't be getting anything from TokyoPop for a few days, but the only people who come over at this time of day (meaning before four o'clock; I really have much less of an idea what time on average anyone comes by) are the Jehovah's Witnesses, who already came by this month, and the UPS guy. So we both thought, "It can't be!"
But it was! Our Saiyuki Reload and Host Club manga has finally arrived!
I say "finally," but like I said earlier, we didn't expect it to come until Wednesday. For some reason probably involving not knowing how to use the website right, we couldn't track the package, so we checked our LJ from last year to see about how long it took DN Angel to get here, and it looked like it took about a week. So today we were pleasantly surprised.
There is the slight concern that we just started Elemental Gelade 4 today, but since the deadline's not until October, we figure it's alright to take a break, especially since translating Saiyuki ultimately helps us with our job anyway. Host Club is another concern entirely, but since that would be a repeat of what we saw in the anime, we've chosen to go with Saiyuki first, because that will be new story.
We read Kazuya Minekura's comment on the inside cover, and she talks about how the cover is purple, which is Sanzo's color, but he's not in it much. But she cuts herself off, so we don't know if she's saying "sukunai ya (he's not in it much (with the rest of the sentence))," or "sukuna... iya (he's not in it m... no)." She then goes on to say to make sure to look under the cover, but after reading the book, because (she said in her web log) it's a spoiler. This intrigues me.
So hopefully, having not gone fully into Saiyuki mode yet, I'll be able to focus on Kingdom Hearts enough to remember all the stuff I wanted to say.
"It's short for Trespassers William!" That was going to be the title of my entry today, but then we got our package. It's my favorite line from the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and yesterday we started off in the 100 Acre Wood. But of course there's not a whole lot to do there, so there's not a whole lot to say about it yet. Except that it's amazing how tiny Pooh is compared to Sora now. Very cute.
After the book got destroyed again, it was off to Olympus Colliseum. This world made us both very, very happy, for two reasons. Number one: Auron.
I would like to say that it's been a small pet peeve of mine that some people are so obsessed with the Kingdom Hearts versions of Final Fantasy characters. I mean, sure, the costume changes for KH1 are awesome, especially for Squall and Cloud (we were sad to see that Squall brought the fur back in KH2), and I like to see Cloud and Squall and everyone, but I definitely disagree with the idea that playing Kingdom Hearts "is all about Cloud!" If I want to see Cloud in action, I'll play Final Fantasy VII! Or now I could watch Advent Children.
But even I have to admit that Auron is one of the most awesome Final Fantasy characters there is. And the way they brought him in to Kingdom Hearts was just so perfect! I cheered when he showed up, and ended up scaring Oreo.
Now this is where things got a little weird, and I almost wish I had typed a review earlier in case I would have typed something that would clarify. First off, Pete suggested getting someone who's already dead, and I clearly remember Hades saying, "I know just the dead guy." Maybe I'm just remembering wrong, because if I think about it, it's possible that he said, "I know just the warrior," which is definitely what he said last night. Athena thought that didn't sound right for Hades (he would have said, "I know just the stiff," or something, so maybe I did the same thing and altered my memory), and went into "I wonder what the original Japanese was?" mode. She realized it was probably "senshi," which, with one set of kanji means "warrior," and with another means, "death in battle." That's a pretty awesome pun.
Then Auron joins your team and is, of course, totally awesome. Since we had just been playing FFX when we bought KH2, we were really excited to see that the Auron limit is Bushido, and they do all the awesome attacks Auron does in the original. It was also awesome, but a little weird, to hear the exact same voice actor, saying the exact same lines, only different. I must say, I like the KH2 ADR director better. "Your pain shall be twofold!" That was just awesome.
The second reason we absolutely love Olympus Colliseum in KH2 comes from something that had been bugging us since KH1. But as soon as Hercules started talking, we started cheering again, because Tate Donovan is back!!!! We were so annoyed that they got Sean Astin to play Hercules in KH1. It made no sense. It's not like Tate Donovan would have turned it down--we later heard him in a freakin' Disney Guess Who? commercial! He had one line! Our current theory is that they were so obsessed with getting an allstar cast for the first one that they didn't even bother asking him. Instead they had to get Sean Astin and his crazy New York accent. Hercules is supposed to be a country bumpkin! (This theory is aided by the fact that most of the Final Fantasy characters in KH2 aren't voiced by the people who did them in KH1, but by some anime dub voice actors.)
Demyx is a really fun character. It's still weird to think of him as being played by Recess's Randall Weems. I can kind of hear it, but only kind of. It amuses me greatly because the Japanese voice of Sora is the Japanese dub voice of Vince.
Oh! The curse of the Underworld. That sucked a lot. That's all I have to say on that.
So we beat the Hydra and Herc is angsting (poor Herc), but we went off to go help Queen Minnie. Disney Castle is totally awesome. I love how the topiary in the courtyard looks like the one cartoon (I think it's called the Band Concert, but I'm really not as familiar with the Mickey cartoons as I should be) where Mickey's conducting the band and Donald's bugging him. If I'm remembering right, that was the first color Mickey Mouse cartoon. I could be wrong though.
I still think it's weird that a "cornerstone" is spherical, but I'm sure the Japanese word doesn't refer to anything cornery. Probably more like "foundation stone." But "cornerstone" just works better in English.
Timeless River is also very awesome. I love how they include so much of Mickey and Pete's history. And last night I realized that it makes sense that you don't run into Donald and Goofy from the past, because everyone else debuted before they did. Timeless River probably takes place in about 1930. That really makes me wonder about the castle building schedule, though, because Mickey was Yen Sid's apprentice in 1940, and at that time he obviously had a lot to learn. Maybe they built the castle and then he did his apprenticeship? But then who would be ruling the Kingdom? I guess Minnie would, since Mickey seems to be wandering around different worlds during all of Kingdom Hearts, so it wouldn't be unthinkable if he was doing it before then, too. Especially because we know he was doing it before then; we just don't know how long before.
Sora's Timeless River design is so cute!!!! But I think his hair might be a little too spiky for the animation of the time. I'd imagine too many spikes would be hard to animate.
Then we noticed that any time anything opens up at Atlantica, there's always a million other things to do at the same time. Actually, Celeste told us that when she was playing, that was always the case (because it always is), and she wouldn't know what she should do, and her boyfriend would be like, "Finny fu-un..." And his friend would be like, "Or you could do this." And her boyfriend would be like, "But... finny fun!"
We decided to go to the Blustery Rescue first. Piglet is the tiniest thing ever. And I'm sure I've said it before, but I'll say it again: the minigames in KH2 are sooooooooooooooo much better than the ones in KH1. Even just speeding up the music is probably a big help.
Then we went and signed up for the Pain & Panic cup, which somehow killed us. But it was a lot easier now that we had Comet. I think that's because this time we chose defense instead of magic at the beginning when they make you choose, because I really don't think Athena was at a higher level. It's weird though, because we think we're going through on Proud Mode, but most of it seems a lot easier.
And then we went to Atlantica. The first time we made it to Atlantica, Athena was already like, "Man, you're going to make me go through this again!?" And then the battle level was zero, which was very confusing. And then they did the whole opening movie, with Prince Eric, which reminded me that his Japanese dub voice is Kazuhiko Inoue, who has a very, very sexy voice. Prince Eric always reminds me of something we read on shinigami.org back when it was alive. It was "Top Ten Reasons to Love Trowa," and one of them was, "He's a guy, yet he wears spray-on jeans."
Anyway, then Sora and company showed up, and Sora was just a bit more toned and looking very attractive. And then it was time to learn how to swim again, only this time, apparently it's even more complicated and annoying, and Athena was like, "Why are you trying to kill my soul?" But then Sebastian asked Sora to be in the musical, and it was the best place ever! I almost get the feeling the game designers were taunting us. And King Triton was like, "I hope you haven't had to use that Keyblade of yours," and Sora's like, "Nope. No Heartless here!" and Athena's like, "Duh! You think they want to come back here!?"
And then we had a lot of finny fun, and did waaaaay better at it than we did the first time we played through, and it was all very happy. Though now I kind of want Athena to play through Swim This Way without hitting any of the buttons, because it's cute when Sora messes up.
And that's it for this week's KH2 review, but I don't think we have time to start on Saiyuki before 8 Simple Rules. Alas.
Today I'm thankful for getting a happy package from UPS, finny fun, Kinokuniya sending packages quickly, the pretty purple color of the Reload 7 cover, and getting a new series to work on.